The Press: Texas Magazines

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Ioway, Ioway, that's where the tall corn grows. . . .

By thy rivers gently flowing, Illinoize, Illinoize. . . .

Songs are all right. They go handily from mouth to mouth. But certainly the sovereign states of the U. S. have matters of more permanent value than dithyrambs. Texas has. What does it do with them? It puts them into a new magazine called Bunker's Monthly, 160 pages of eye-easy type. Does Vermont (native state of Calvin Coolidge) fill as many pages each month with readable material of its own efforts? No. Does Iowa (home state of Average American Citizen Roy Lewis Gray) do as well? No.

Texas, of course, was once a republic in itself, a land where tradition makes bloody Alamo a Bunker Hill and Sam Houston a George Washington. It is now the largest state in the Union, the seat of the Democratic National Convention (at Houston). Bunker's Monthly, however, is no passing boom sheet, no harp twanging the glories of yesteryear. It is substantial in size, pleasing in appearance, broad in editorial content. New Yorkers and Californians can read it with profit.

It has subscribers in all states except Delaware, South Carolina, Vermont. Who knows but what it may some day become the Atlantic Monthly of the prairies, oil fields and canyons? It was several years in the planning; the first two issues (January, February) have appeared on schedule.

Chester R. Bunker, president of the biggest printing plant in the southwest, put up the money for Bunker's Monthly.

Peter Molyneaux, 46, able newspaperman and romantic historian, who came to Texas to cure bad lungs and who was director of publicity of the campaign that made Dan Moody governor, is editor.

History. Texas has a past that gives Editor Molyneaux and his readers much to think about. The French let the Spaniards have Texas; and the Mexicans in revolt took it away from the Spaniards.

Then in 1821 across the Sabine River came mild-mannered Stephen F. Austin of Missouri and his band of settlers "to redeem Texas from its wilderness state by means of the plow alone." Paradoxically, these people became loyal citizens of the Mexican Republic and ousted rebels from the land. But when Santa Anna, the Mexican general of the dark and cruel eyes, turned his guns on the Alamo (Roman Catholic mission at San Antonio), a different story began. Colonel Travis, Davy Crockett and 180 Texans refused for eleven days to be ousted from the Alamo.

Their food and gunpowder gave out.

Dozens of men and mules died side-by-side with dry, festered tongues. Children were fed flies. Santa Anna brought up bigger guns, battered down the stone walls of the Alamo, butchered the remaining haggard Texans in cold blood. Only a Negro and a few women were spared. All through Texas cries went up: "Remember the Alamo." But Texans were not given to cries without action. To get Santa Anna, they chose a commander named Sam Houston, 6 ft., 3 in. in his moccasins, of whom President Andrew Jackson said: "Thank God, there is one man at least in Texas who was made by the Almighty and not by a tailor."* Commander Houston wasted no time in routing the Mexicans at the battle of San Jacinto and capturing General Santa Anna.

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