When the Ninth Legislature convened in November, 1861, representatives gave little thought to the somber days that lay ahead, instead making exultant predictions of a quick victory over the enemy to the north. Houston's warning was forgotten. The Texas Senate, Volume II, picks up where the first volume left off, covering the story of this sometimes venerable, sometimes raucous, and sometimes unsavory body from the onset of the war until another eve, that of the period sometimes called the Era of Reform. Written by members of the Senate Engrossing and Enrolling Department and edited by Enrolling Clerk Patsy McDonald Spaw, this volume comprises the years of the war itself, Reconstruction and Republican dominance, Redeemer politics and the return of the Democrats, and the rise of agrarian reform. Sources for the history include the Senate journals, the letters and private papers of senators, newspapers of the era, committee reports, and other primary sources, as well as general and specialized histories of the topics. As in the previous volume, carefully selected illustrations and appendices listing members of the Senate for each of its sessions add significant details. The Texas Senate, Volume II presents a narrative account of the issues fought; the legislation proposed, rejected, and accepted; and the actors who filled the stage of this period in Texas history. This volume presents both an account of the times a guide to the sources for other historians to mine.
Patsy McDonald Spaw, engrossing and enrolling clerk of the Texas Senate, holds a doctorate in law from the University of Texas. She also served as coordinator and editor of The Texas Senate, Volume I, published by Texas A&M University Press in 1991.
What Readers Are Saying:
“ . . . the book stands as a monument to the men who served in the Texas Senate during the upheaval of Civil War, Reconstruction, Redemption, and the early glimmer of Progressivism . . . a bountiful harvest gleaned from hundreds of scattered and often obscure primary sources. . . .” --Civil War Book Review
“. . . . Its pages offer valuable insights into the impact of the Civil War and Reconstruction on nineteenth-century Texas. . . . Libraries and other research centers would be well advised to obtain copies of these volumes as they appear, for they are certain to become standard reference works.” --East Texas Historical Association
“. . . . This two volume series, with additional volumes projected, is an excellent basic source of information on Texas.” --Amarillo Sunday News-Globe
“. . . the narrative is presented with clarity and objectivity. Of particular interest are the colorful ad insightful portrayals of the men who served in the Senate; a useful Appendix lists the officers and members of each Senate. . . . The editor has succeeded remarkably in synthesizing in one volume a study of a legislative body that is the best reference on the subject.” --Journal of the West