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.

Friday, February 12, 2010

David Crockett in Congress - Boylston and Wiener

      David Crockett in Congress: The Rise and Fall of the Poor Man's Friend: With Collected Correspondence, Selected Speeches and Circulars.  By James R. Boylston and Allen J. Wiener.  Houston: Bright Sky Press, 2009. Hardback with colorful pictorial jacket, 8.25" x 10", 340 pages, some holographic document reproductions, 16 4-color photos, most of which are a wonderful gallery of Crockett portraits, ISBN 978-1-933979-51-9, $29.95



Not since Peña's Diary and Kilgore's How Did Davy Die has such an interesting and revealing volume come forth for the passionate friends and foes on the perennial Crockett. The authors scoured sources to find Crockett's writings while a U.S. Congressman from Tennessee.  From these Boylston and Wiener draw a credible biography of an intelligent man with sharp beliefs and remarkable public relations skills. 

            The recent painting of Crockett merely as a weak captive of his public persona has gained the status of a songster's refrain.  But here you'll find David Crockett as a truly brave individual who was committed to upholding his constituents' rights (including native American) by vigorous efforts despite the threats to is political life.  His physical life he would expend in the similar cause in the Alamo.

            Crockett began his public career as a justice of the peace and as a Jacksonian supporter as any reasonable fellow ought do in Tennessee, but when Mr. Crockett went to Washington, the President's denial of land rights and odd inveigling over the Bank of American turned Crockett into a outright opponent – a task requiring more courage than "fighting a bear when he was only three."  That strident and articulate stance eventually met the Jacksonian immoveable object, and he lost his Congressional seat, and then he came to Texas while leaving the rest to reside in hell. 

Boylston and Wiener volume is half interpretive narrative (heavily footnoted) and half transcriptions of Crockett's and others' writings mined from sources across the nation.  The latter is a treasure trove of often annotated primary source reading, much previously unpublished.   Letters, requests for newspaper articles, Congressional material, circulars, speeches, etc. number to well over a hundred.  There are calm reasonings, vitriolic accusations, personal concerns, a bit of parody, and other diverse forms.  He had a national stage and genuine ability to switch from a backwoodsman profile to careful manager of news releases to demonstrate his sophistication.

    If you think you know David Crockett, get the volume, and read aloud his own words.  - WH

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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