Forgotten Texas Leader
Hugh McLeod and the Texan Santa Fe Expedition
Texas History - Western History
6.125 x 9.25, 248 pp.
1 b&w photo., 1 line drawing., 6 maps.
Pub Date: 09/01/1999
Canseco-Keck History Series
Price:        $24.95


Published by Texas A&M University Press

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Forgotten Texas Leader

Hugh McLeod and the Texan Santa Fe Expedition

By Paul N. Spellman
Foreword by Stanley E. Siegel

Mirabeau B. Lamar, Albert Sidney Johnston, and Thomas Jefferson Rusk called him friend and colleague. Sam Houston considered him his greatest political nemesis next to David Burnet. He was the most popular public speaker of his day. Hugh McLeod served in the Republic of Texas legislature, organized the office of Adjutant General, and held officer commissions in four armies over his lifetime. He fought at the Battle of Neches, wrote the official report of the Council House Fight, helped grow Galveston into a city, and at the time of his death was next-in-line to command the Confederate regiment that became known as Hood's Brigade.Paul N. Spellman illuminates the overlooked events in the life of Hugh McLeod, whom history has ignored except ignominiously as "the commander of the failed Santa Fe expedition." In this comprehensive retelling of the 1841 expedition, Spellman reminds history readers that the failure of that venture was caused by many factors including McLeod's uneven leadership, but that the personable general went on to live an active life in service to Texas and the causes in which he fervently believed. s Spellman tells the story of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition, the Council House Fight, and other signal events in early Texas history, Hugh McLeod comes alive as a legitimate but heretofore forgotten Texas leader. Forgotten Texas Leader: Hugh McLeod and the Texan Santa Fe Expedition lights the way to a new understanding of McLeod's contribution to the making of Texas.

Paul N. Spellman is a professor of history at Wharton Junior College. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Houston.

What Readers Are Saying:

“Paul N. Spellman wishes to rescue Hugh McLeod from his relative obscurity and place him in the first rank of Texas historical figures. McLeod’s story is an interesting and important one, and Spellman, his first biographer, does it justice. . . .Forgotten Texas Leader is, however, a readable and interesting account of an important figure in early Texas history.” --The Journal of Southern History

“From the book, we gain a clearer view of this landmark incident in New Mexican history.” --Marc Simmons

“. . . engulfs the reader as Spellman weaves the Texan’s ill fated journey into a master tale. . . . In this highly readable biography, Spellman provides a well documented defense of McLeod’s life and career and successfully elevates him to the first tier of Texas’s post-revolutionary generation. . . .” --Military History of the West

“..the biography succeeds in involving the reader in the life and times of Hugh McLeod.” --Western Historical Quarterly

“. . . he presents a useful study. McLeod’s role in the Republic and early statehood should not be forgotten.” --Journal of the West

“. . . Spellman is both fair in his judgment of McLeod and thorough in his research of the book, whose major contribution is the reassessment of McLeod’s leadership. In addition, the author aims to show that the personable and supremely self-confident McLeod should be remembered for more than just his leadership of the Texan Santa Fe expedition. That, in fact, he enjoyed a busy and fruitful life both before and after it. To that end, Spellman succeeds admirably.” --The Journal of Arizona History

“Individual effort, timely partnerships, greed, and hard work are all part of this tale, which focuses mostly on the unique characters who were there when it began and helped make it a success. Spellman has created a detailed and practical text that can help answer questions about the mechanics of drilling, pumping, and storage, but this book also has a much greater usefulness, generating a colorful and accurate depiction of life and labor in the midst of a remarkably messy landscape.” --Bloomsbury Review

“Professor Spellman has produced a quite readable account of an underdeveloped piece of Texas studies which students will welcome as a well-researched addition to their libraries. The strength of Spellman’s study as a well researched study relying largely on primary sources remains intact.” --Panhandle-Plains Historical Review

“Spellman has an exciting subject, and he tells it well. Some of the scenes on the march to Santa Fe and the treatment of the `Pioneers’ are better than anything Louis Lamour or Larry McMurtry could conceive. Spellman’s treatment of McLeod and the Santa Fe Expedition is almost certain to captivate even the casual reader of Texana.” --Jerry Thompson, Dean of Arts and Humanities, Texas A&M International Univ


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