Wednesday, February 6, 2013


(from the 1858 Texas Almanac)

[Extract from an old manuscript, (not published,) “A Review of Kennedy’s History of Texas.”]
The first specific objection we shall allege to his excellent work, is founded on the
mode by which he prefers to convert our country’s appellation into its personal term. He
says, in a note to volume 1, page 217: — “Texas and Texan are the correct English
appellations of the land and its inhabitants.”
It is an indubitable fact that the inhabitants of Texas, literate and illiterate, have
almost universally adopted the term Texian, to define their political individuality, and we
are not apprised of any rule of language that is violated in doing so. Words are but arbitrary
signs at best; and, although lexicographers and grammarians have certain established rules
for the construction of them in their several modifications, there is scarcely a single rule
which does not leave room for and recognize some exceptions. We believe, however, there
is no fixed rule governing the conversion and termination of names of places into their
personal appellations. If there is, writers of the most approved character and nations,
ancient and modern, have corrupted it in many instances.
Texas ends in as ; we cannot on the instant, recollect any country or place whose
name has the same termination. Paris ends in is, and we say Parisian ; Tunis has a like
terminus, and we say Tunisian. Examples in cases most analogous are in our favor; but
nothing can be more fanciful and without rule, than the various modes of effecting such
verbal conversions. For Greece, we say Grecian, or Greek; for Persia, Persian; Rome,
Roman; England, English; Turkey, Turk, or Turcoman; Russia, Russ, or Russian; America,
American; China, Chinese, &c., &c., with incessant variations. We, therefore, conclude
there can be no imperative law of language adverse to the term Texian, which we have
almost universally adopted, and which is fully incorporated into our public documents. We
believe every man has originally the right to determine the orthography, and, if you please,
the rhythm of his own proper name; and certainly communities are equally privileged. We
fancy that Texian, the i pronounced e soft, according to the vernacular tongue of our late
step-dame, has more of euphony, and is better adapted to the convenience of poets who
shall hereafter celebrate our deeds in sonorous strains, then the harsh, abrupt, ungainly
appellation, Texan — impossible in rhyme to anything but the merest doggerel; and we are
sure the accomplished author of Fitful Fancies will not insist on a term which even his
genius would find it difficult to compose to the metrical harmony of an epic.

I found it here.

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