The Bookshelf, The Parlor, The Young Texas Reader, and the Monthly

The Texas Bookshelf is different from the The Texas Parlor, . The Texas Parlor carries "general" bookish information and non-book information and even different Texana news and notes of use to the bibliographically challenged and other nosey folks intersted in historical, literary, and cultural observations. Will's Texana Monthly may carry material from either blog, but extends itself beyond those, especially for longer compilations or treatments. The Monthly, the Bookshelf and the Parlor are all companions. So, is the Young Texas Reader which specialized on books and such things for the youngest to the teenagers.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Search for Texas - Bobby McKinney

A Search for Texas:

The Revolution - the Republic – the Relics, 1836-1846.

By Bobby J. McKinney. Rosenberg: Mouth of Caney, (2314 Jones, 77471), 2006. Revised edition. Photos (some color), map, bibliography, 129 pages. $21.95 hardback with color, pictorial cover ISBN 978-0-9789308-0-6

Bobby McKinney has dug up the dirt on Texas, especially the dirt in and around the counties neighboring the lowest Brazos River but as far away as Saltillo, and his book shows you what he and others have found. This includes over 200 photographs of buttons, plates, insignia, ordnance, weapons, and personal effects from both armies and navies and occasional personal and religious relics. Most of the relics, in sharp photos, date from the 1790s to the 1840s with a little oozing on both ends. The earliest seems to be a Jesuit ring of the 1730s found near Victoria. They are intriguing so get a chair when you pick up the volume.

The author has spent years following the army trails of the revolting Texans and the forces of president-dictator Santa Anna. McKinney divides the book into chapters: Dinero (yes, that’s money); Buttons; Buckles-Plates-Insignia; and the like. The photo commentary is usually a date, type of relic with occasional gestures of detail, and location of discovery, but occasionally the inveterate digger breaks into full paragraphs of explanation. The coins’ artwork is wonderfully diverse and alluring. The buttons show fine detail and domestic simplicity – stars abound – and some are clearly U.S. military issue. Many of the photos focus on weaponry – blades, barrels, balls, lock plates, flints and such. The final chapter surveys historical markers in the bottomland and elsewhere.

McKinney traces himself to a signer of the Declaration of Independence and looks comfortable under the trees.


Anonymous said...

Great book.Nothing else like it. Photos are really good. Never have seen so many excavated 1836 Mexican Army or Texas Army artifacts before.A must for Texas History buffs and collectors.

Anonymous said...

Wow. No one has ever seen so many great relics from the 1836 Mexican Army. Great photos and so many buttons and stuff. Your missing out history buffs and collectors if you don't have this one.