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AS IN 1840 

TEXAS IN 1840, 










Land of the prairies, hail ! 
Of birds and music, of flowers and beauty, 
Of loveliness and hope, Peace be thy lot, 
Joy thine inheritance, and Holiness thy praise ! 










Entered according to the act of Congress in the year 

C ierk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of > 





Permit this humble attempt to convey to the Public some just views 

of the state, advantages, prospects, policy, and 

destinies of Texas, 

"aP (Bi; E) g Ig) a ^ T ^ E> IT VIL!J 3 

As a feeble testimonial of respect for your character ; of honor for 

your patriotism, and of high estimation of your 

talents as a statesman: 

If other considerations need be mentioned, they will be found in 

reference to the regard your domestic virtues and moral 

purity are held by your feUow-^citizen, 






Description of Galveston Island. Horticultural pursuits. Gardens produc- 
tive in winter as in summer. Abundance of fish and birds. Deer fast 
disappearing. Prosperity of the Island. Steam packets, foreign com- 
merce, etc. Inundation by water. Visited by yellow fever in 1839. 
No local causes for disease. Delightful situation for summer residence. 
San Jacinto classic ground. Description of Buffalo Bayou. City of 
Houston and surrounding country. Fine pasture lands. Two routes from 
Houston to Austin, the new capital. 23. 


Enter upon the undulating country. Desirable situations for family resi- 
dences. Flocks of deer seen feeding and sporting on the prairies. A 
settler's views of the country. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc. Rapid mul- 
tiplication of stock. The country increases in beauty. A family of emi- 
grants. Indian depredations. Reflections. Productiveness of the bot- 
tom lands. Wild rye. Singing of birds. Lovely May weather in 
January. A hunter and his dogs Wild cat. Lady travelling unattend- 
ed. Brazos river. Town of Washington. Texian cotton. Soil easily 
cultivated. Great liberality. Pet fawn. Heavy forests. Seven plan- 
tations at one view. Religious privileges. Schools. Temperance so- 
ciety. Great productiveness of the soil, stock, etc. 29 


Regard for the Sabbath. Preaching in a settlement. An eccentric indi- 
vidual. Indian anecdotes. Causes of enmity to the Indians. Abun- 


dance of game. Utility of dogs in Texas. Sufferings of the settlers 
during the war of independence. Travellers seeking settlements. A 
waggoner's opinion of Texas. No Mosquitoes in the upper country. 
Preparing for conflict with Indians. A border family. Indian Massa- 
cre. Pursuit and destruction of several Indians. Hard lodging. Town 
of Rutersville. Its academies and prospects. Town of La Grange. 
Rich pastures. Fat cattle. Butter and cheese staple commodities of 
Texas. Wild Turkeys. 40 


Meet travellers from New York. A negro's opinion of farming in Texas. 
Rough country. Town of Bastrop. Discovery of the bones of a mam- 
moth animal in its neighborhood. Flourishing plantation. Indian anec- 
dotes. Female courage. Cedar forests. Difficulty in crossing a creek. 
Natural vineyards. Enter Austin. President's house the first object 
seen. General description of the city when six months old. Indians. 
Their degraded state. Wandering through the streets almost in a state 
of nudity. Fall of water in the Colorado, suitable for manufacturing pur- 
poses. Beautiful marble. Building stone. Neighborhood of Austin re- 
markable for its beauty and fertility. A Linnean garden of fifty acres. 
Austin desirable as a place of residence. Its interior position giving it 
immunity from crimes and immoralities consequent upon maritime cities. 
Sabbath in Austin. General respect for Christian observances, etc. 53 


Cross the Colorado above Austin to visit the highlands. Fine farming 
country. Splendid views. Mountains seen in the distance. See traces 
of the buffalo. Petrified shells. Texas once submerged by the 'waters of 
the Gulf of Mexico. Two captive buffalo. Visit an aged settler. His ex- 
posed situation. His last conflict with the Indians. His opinion of Texas 
as a farming country. A novel spring Its limpid waters. Beautiful 
singing birds. A wolf. Visit to Gen. Burleson. Fight with the Chero- 
kees. Texian troops drive in 25,000 head of buffalo. Gen. B's. account of 
the upper country. Texas the store house of 'the western world. 68 


Geographical position of Texas. It contains more productive and valuable 
laud than any other country of similar extent in the known world. Its 


natural divisions are, the level, undulating, and mountainous or hilly 
country. The mountainous portion peculiarly adapted to the various 
kinds of grain abounds in fine springs. Abundance of water for hy- 
draulic and other mechanical purposes. Minerals abound. Silver mines 
once worked. The cross timbers a curiosity. Bottom lands exceedingly 
rich. Sabine Lake the Neches and Sabine rivers fall into it vast 
quantities of fertile and valuable lands on their banks. Matagorda Bay 
Colorado river empties into it. Labacca Bay nearest navigable point 
of communication with Austin. Aransaso Bay abounds with fish and 
turtle. 81 


Texas one of the healthiest regions of America. Causes of the winter 
4 Northers' their arid character and general influence. The Gulf 
breezes constant visitants throughout the summer. Prairies conducive to 
health. A residence in Texas highly favorable to Consumptive patients. 
Several remarkable cases of cures known to the writer. The Soil of 
Texas not excelled by any other portion of the Globe. Live oak trees. 
Grape Vines. A vinftyarrl soon rendered profitable Mnsquit trr>p- 
Its suitability for hedges. All the fruits peculiar to the temperate zone 
will flourish in Texas. '98 


The varied uses of corn. Irish potatoes indigenous. Two crops of corn 
can usually be obtained each year. Price of corn in 1839-40. Fine 
cotton country. Large crops. Sugar cane its superiority over that of 
the United States. The utility and healthfulness of Sugar. The culti- 
vation of the cane not confined to wealthy farmers. Method of cultiva- 
ting Sugar. Rice can be grown to great profit. Indigo indigenous. 
Process ef culture its manufacture profitable. Grapes their abun- 
dance suitable as an article of trade. Flax and hemp. Tobacco. 
Sweet Potatoes their excellence. Garden vegetables. 113 


Cattle raised without expense. A well conducted Dairy a profitable busi- 
ness. Horses the country well adapted for raising the finest breeds. 
Wild horse of the prairie. Working cattle easily broken. Sheep 


and goats. English wool growers. Swine their increaie. Mast. 
The ground pea. Domestic fowls their increase. Bees a simple 
method of preserving them. Wax and honey an article of exportation. 
Silk worms adaptedness of Texas to the growing of silk. Farm 
ing advantages of the country, etc. 130 


Peaches. Rapid growth of the trees. Dried peaches an article of com- 
merce. Apples and pears not much cultivated. Wild Plums. Al- 
monds can be grown near the coast. Figs, oranges, etc. will suc- 
ceed well. The Nopal its peculiarities. The hawthorn valuable as 
an hedge. 144 


The pcccan tree its large growth and abundant fruit. Usage orange 
its peculiarities. Cherry laurel, or wild peach. Prickly ash. Wild 
China tree. Spanish persimmon. Cayenne pepper. Great variety of 
wild Deans. Vanilla iia value and peculiarities. Sage. Wild rve. 
Musquit grass. Gama grass. Native clover. Valuable medicinal 
plants. Mimosa or sensitive plant. Great profusion of flowers, etc. 153 


Petrified shells found on the elevated prairies. Animal remains disco- 
vered imbedded in the earth. Most of the rocks composed of lime- 
stone. Iron abounds in rocks and in oxide. Coal in inexhaustible 
quantities. Lead ore. Copper mines discovered. Silver mines once 
worked in Texas. Gold found. Marble. Singular mass of metal. 
Petrified wood. Salt. Copperas. Alum. Sulphur springs, etc. 170 


The bison, improperly called the buffalo. Deer. Wild goats. Peccary, 
or Mexican hog. Wild hogs. Bears. Racoons. Fox and grey 
squirrels. Jaguars. Leopards. Wolves. Foxes, etc. 180 



Eagles. Prairie hawks. Fish hawks. Owls. Buzzards, or vultures. 
Swans. Cranes. Geese. Ducks. Turkeys. Red birds. Wood- 
peckers. Starlings. Prairie hens, duails. Pheasants. Orioles. 
Turtle doves. Larks. Birds of Paradise. Mocking birds. Paro- 
quets," etc. FISHES. Red fish. Sheepshead. Trout. Perch. 

Mullet. Drumfish. Crabs. Oysters. Clams. Muscles, etc. 193 


Alligators simple method of destroying them. Land tortoises. Sea 
tortoises valuable for food. Rattle snakes remedies to cure their 

bite. Black snakes and bull snakes, etc. not venomous. INSECTS. 

Large spider. Centipede. Scorpion. Musquito. Red bug. Horse- 
fly. Ants. Sand fly, etc. 198 


Jasper, San Augustine and Nacogdoches are situated on the Neches 
river and its branches. Anahuac, Liberty, Alabama and Cincinnati 
on the Trinity. Galveston, Bolivar and Austinia on Galveston bay. 
Harrisburg and Houston on Buffalo bayou. Velasco and duintana at 
the mouth of the Brazos. Brasoria, San Felipe de Austin and Wash- 
ington are old towns on the Brazos, Matagorda, Columbus, La 
Grange, Rutersville and Austin on the Colorado. Victoria and Gon- 
zales on the Guadalupe. Linville, Cox's Point and Demill's Landing 
on La Baca Bay. Goliad and San Antonio de Bexar, both ancient 
Spanish towns on the San Antonio. Aransas, Lamar and Copano on 
Aransasa bay. San Petrucio on the Rio Grande, etc. 209 


Mexicans in Texas their character, habits, etc. Emigration chiefly from 
the United States and England. Refutation of slanders cast on Texas 
by her -enemies. Causes of the neglect of literature in former days. 
Chivalrous character of the Texians. Equality of all classes. Texian 
females. Log houses. Furniture. Detestable habit of swearing. 
Newspapers, etc. 226 



Present favorable religious position of Texas. Religious intolerance while 
under the Mexican despotism. The monkish farce of re-marrying its 
infamous tendencies, Romanism and priestcraft no longer tolerated. 
Increase of churches. De Kalb College. Unanimity of the different 
denominations. Discussion consequent upon religious liberty. Sabbath 
schools. Large bequests of land for the endowment of schools, etc. 238 


The Indians of Texas causes of their degraded state, and vicious and 
destructive habits. The Caddo Indians their defeat and dispersion. 
Cherokees civilization, defeat and expulsion of that tribe from the 
Texian territory. Camanches their predatory habits and faithless 
and cowardly character, etc. 248 


Foreign relations of Texas generally favorable. The war with Mexico 
at the present time merely nominal. Considerable trade carried on 
with that country. Policy of Texas pacific. Texas the doorway for 
the trade of the United States and Mexico. 257 


Lands plenty and cheap. Cultivators may all be suited. Caution re- 
quired in purchasing land claims from strangers. Kind of emigrants 
most needed. Prices of provisions in 1839-40. Texas the country 
for farmers. Directions to emigrants removing their families, goods, 
etc. 267 


THE author of the following pages, with the purpose of 
preparing to emigrate with his family to the rising 
young nation of the west, near the close of the year 
1839, made a visit to several towns on its southwestern 
borders. After remaining a few days in these places, he 
was induced to spend some time in travelling in the in- 
terior. His method was to take short journeys, visit 
farm houses and villages, as well as larger towns, and 
to make enquiries of all classes of the people. In this 
manner he visited various sections of the republic, in- 
cluding the late and present capital. In the latter he 
spent some time during the session of Congress, and en- 
joyed the privilege of conversing freely and fully with 
members of that body, and various other distinguished 
individuals from every part of the country. Availing 
himself as fully as possible of every facility for gaining 
information respecting the situation, soil, climate, pro- 
ductions and prospects of the whole country, he feels a 
comfortable assurance that the facts and information 
contained in this publication, will be found interesting 
to readers generally, arid especially useful to those, who, 
like himself, are looking towards Texas as their future 

As the writer's continuance in the country was lim- 
ited, and his travels did not embrace the whole of the 
territory, he pretends not to verify every fact from his 



own individual observation. Still, as he has derived 
much of his information from many of the oldest resi- 
dents and men of the highest intelligence and worth, it 
is presumed that such facts will be found no less accu- 
rate than those he himself witnessed, while their con- 
nections and results are much more fully given than 
could be done by a merely passing observer. The ob- 
ject being to furnish information to others, especially 
such as might desire to make their home in this country, 
his design was to obtain facts and views for actual set- 
tlers, as well cultivators of the soil as of mercantile and 
professional men. The facts, conclusions and feelings 
thus learned, he has endeavored to embody in the fol- 
lowing pages. 

Should the effect of his work be such as to furnish 
useful information to the thousands who are flocking 
towards the new and rising star of the west, and to aid 
the country of his adoption in gaining to herself an in- 
dustrious, intelligent, and virtuous population, the object 
for which he gives it publicity will be accomplished. 


THOSE revolutions and changes in the political state of countries which 
dissever their parts and call into existence nations, which but for such 
revolutions must have ever remained unknown and unimportant pro- 
vinces, are themes of interest to the mind of the philosopher, the politi- 
cian, and the philanthropist. To the wise, the learned and inquisitive, 
such, from the nature of things must ever be the case, because all that 
relates to government, and especially all that induces the breaking up 
of old relations and established systems and the formation of new orga- 
nizations, necessarily affect the happiness of men, and should teach 
lessons of wisdom in relation to both the preservation of old govern- 
ments and the formation of new ones. History sustains the truth of 
the statement above, when she records the bloody struggles terminating 
in the expulsion of the power of Spain from Holland, the revolution 
which for ever expelled the house of Stuart from the throne of England, 
the deliverance of the United States from the power of Great Britain, 
and the revolutions that broke in sunder the last bond that bound any 
part of the American continent to the throne of Spain. 

If any circumstance have lessened the strong interest naturally con- 
nected with such events, the frequency and greatness of the changes 
that have marked the overthrow of governments in modern days have 
been the cause. So numerous have been the revolutions in govern- 
ments, so frequent the dismemberment of nations, so rapid the changes 
from a state of despotism to democracy, and from democracy to mo- 
narchy, that a mere recital of them would occupy pages, and the 
briefest history of them would fill numerous volumes. Who could 
recount the changes in Poland, France, the States of Germany, many 
of which formed for a season a cluster of kingdoms tributary to Napo- 
leon, Italy, Holland, Spain, Portugal, and the manifold changes that 
have transpired on our own continent ? In several of the above coun- 
tries three or four radical revolutions have taken place in a few years. 
Still, on them and the peculiar events by which they were caused and 
terminated, political philosophers and moralists have meditated, and 
from them educed lessons of practical wisdom. 

By the events which severed Texas from the power of Mexico, 
another class of facts and principles are presented to the investigation 


of the wise. These will be the more interesting as the causes of this 
revolution differ essentially from the causes of all other similar events, 
with the single exception of that which produced the independence of 
the United States. In both of these innate love of liberty, general 
intelligence, knowledge of their rights, and a heroic purpose to yield 
nothing for themselves or children to lawless power, will be found to 
form an important class of the sources of revolution. Ambition of 
aspirants and reckless violence of men of desperate fortunes, or men 
exposed by their crimes to punishment, give no part of the coloring of 
the picture of the resistance of Texas to the authority of Mexico- 
High principles of religious and political freedom, ardent patriotism, 
generous devotedness to the cause of regulated liberty and lofty 
heroism, marked the character of the leaders in the great struggle of 
Texian independence. The causes operating to the same event in the 
Congress and Executive of Mexico, were the violent abolition of the 
Constitution of the country, the establishment of centralism, the at- 
tempts to enforce obedience to lawless authority, and to the authority 
of the priests. Against these, a people accustomed to be free naturally 
and almost necessarily contended ; peaceably while they could, but 
forcibly, when by force they were assailed. 

The emancipation of a nation from the manacles of religious domina- 
tion, of whatever form, is ever a matter of interest to the lover of 
rational liberty, and will be hailed with delight by the true philanthro- 
pist of every creed. Every deprivation of the rights of conscience, 
every violation of the fullest freedom in religion is an outrage against 
the dearest and most sacred rights of man, a usurpation of a prerogative 
appropriate to God alone, and an attempt to control by physical force, 
that principle which mind alone can reach. Hence, every one who 
understands the nature of true liberty, and is not an enemy of the 
human race, must find in such events sources of sincere and cordial 
satisfaction. If all spiritual tyranny is odious and deserving of resis- 
tance, that form of it practised in Mexico and other Spanish countries 
is superlatively hostile to all that is valuable in freedom or precious in 
the rights of conscience. By the very first article of her constitution 
Mexico declared the Roman Catholic religion established, and declares 
that no other shall be tolerated. This religion, according to the estab- 
lished canons, vests in the priests the power to condemn without appeal 
for heresy, and requires the civil power to enforce their decisions by the 
sword, and in several countries by the faggot. This religion too, wher- 
ever its strength is equal to the accomplishment of such a purpose, 
excludes the scriptures from the community, and discourages learning 
among the common people. In every part of the world where popery 
reigns, the doctrine that ignorance is the mother of devotion, is practi- 
cally taught by confining all the learning, reading and knowledge to a 
select few, in whom is vested the whole authority of the country. 

Whether the advocates of these tenets admit it or not the above are 


simple facts, and corroborated by a thousand circumstances. Wherever 
now popery is unchecked by other sects and infidelity, darkness of 
ignorance covers the land and gross darkness the people; the govern- 
ments are absolute despotisms, or with the name of legislatures are 
connected the exercise of uncontrolled power. Indeed, where the 
priests through the confessional have access to the most secret family 
concerns of every individual, and through servants, etc. have spies in 
every household ; and while they have the power of the civil sword to 
enforce their demands, as well as the fear of their power to effect secret 
ruin, and these priests become the organs of despotic power, it is diffi- 
cult to conceive how real liberty and valuable freedom can possibly 
exist. If to these things be added the licentiousness of a priesthood 
who are, by their celibacy, tempted to the vilest libertinism, and sepa- 
rated from all the tender associations that bind men to society ; and the 
further fact that they are all the sworn agents and defenders of a 
foreign and despotic, civil and ecclesiastical power, it becomes evident 
that spiritual and political tyranny is inseparable from any established, 
or even strongly prevalent Roman Catholic, religion. 

From the establishment of such a religion, and from the uncontrolled 
power of such a priesthood, has Texas, by her revolution, been freed. 
So long as she continued subject to the government of that besotted 
and priest-ridden nation, liberty was but a name even if the people 
dared to speak of such a boon ; "education and literature, under one 
pretence or other, would be prevented ; social confidence and free 
affection would be destroyed, because some one would probably reveal 
lo the priest the secrets of the bed-chamber ; thought, investigation or 
enquiry would be dangerous, lest any sentiments or principles deduced 
should be decreed by an assize of priests to be opposed to the tenets of 
the despotic bishop of Rome, and every thing desirable to freemen 
would necessarily be blighted by the withering influence of a supersti- 
tion, which has degraded half of Europe by its influence, and deluged 
more than half its nations in blood. Over this triumph of free prin- 
ciples and the subversion of ghostly authority, we might expect the 
adherents of the Man of Sin to weep; but to our surprise, professed 
protestants, and professedly liberal protestants have joined them in 
their wail, and united with them to denounce the authors of these bless- 
ings as traitors, rebels and outlaws, because they did not tamely and 
without resistance submit to receive the mark of the Beast themselves, 
and affix it to their children. To the philosopher and Christian philan- 
thropist is commended the task of developing the providence, the 
causes, the principles and course of events, terminating thus happily in 
the deliverance of a new nation from political and spiritual bondage, 
and the formation of a government upon a model fitted at once for 
durability and the security of the rights of the people. 

A history of the present slate, agricultural and commercial situation, 
and probable prospects of a young and yet unpeopled empire lying near 



to our own borders, whose language, government, institutions and 
habits are like our own, abounding in fertile fields and nearly every 
advantage sought by the farmer, and which opens wide its doors to 
emigrants from every land, inviting them to come and partake of its 
liberty, its political and commercial advantages, without stint, saying to 
every one who chooses to plant his foot there, Tros Tyriusve nvllo di$- 
crimine agetur, must contain a mass of information exceedingly impor- 
tant to thousands, not only in the United Stales but also in Europe. 
At all times there are great numbers of men who, by just arriving at 
maturity and commencing life for themselves, or from some of the thou- 
sand other causes which induce changes of abode, desire to remove 
from their former residence and choose a new home. While this is the 
fact, and while various portions of our own country and Great Britain 
are annually swarming like bees from the parent hive, they must desire 
to find some place where, with fair prospects of success, they may begin 
their new plan of business. Especially in a time like this of commer- 
cial distress, of fear, of doubt, and of the destruction of fortunes by 
forced collections of money, when very many enterprising, industrious 
and good men are cast afloat upon the agitated billows of life, it is 
exceedingly interesting to learn of a new country whore, with compara- 
tively little capital, men may enter upon business, may purchase farms, 
and lay secure foundations for future competency and prosperity. 
With the broken remnant of a formerly good estate, full many an emi- 
grant has already sought the prairies of the new republic, planted him- 
self upon their borders, and in not a few instances begun to see the 
dawn of new hopes, for not only support, but fortune. 

When the man whose former plans and prospects have failed, is 
hesitating where to go and where to attempt again to provide for his 
family, to learn that within reach of his hopes is a land of exuberant 
richness, abounding in streams and springs of water, easily brought into 
successful cultivation, and withal inhabited by a people like his own, 
speaking his own language, worshipping his own God according to his 
own faith, with a government free, and just and prosperous, how joy- 
fully will he turn his steps to the favored spot, and there found the 
beginning of his hopes, his family and country. 

To Protestant Christians the events of Texas are further deeply 
interesting, as an indication of Providence in relation to the propagation 
of divine truth in other parts of the Mexican dominions. They do not 
expect, nor even wish to plant among the millions of nominal Roman- 
ists in that country the true gospel by either the sword or legislative 
enactment ; but they do desire and expect to see the time not long 
hence, when constitutional and legal obstructions to the gospel will 
even in Mexico be removed. The example of Texas in this respect is 
already appreciated by the leaders of all those Mexicans \vho are op- 
posed to the tyranny of centralism, and they openly proclaim their 
purpose to secure religious freedom and the benefits of education to the 


whole people.* Public feeling, even in that region, is beginning to 
demand that the iron fetters imposed upon the mind and conscience 
shall be relaxed, if not utterly broken offand destroyed. These circum- 
stances, with thousands of others, show that the dawn of gospel and 
civil freedom begins to be visible, spite of the fogs, mist and clouds 
which have so long brooded darkly over the fair fields and towering 
mountains of the land of Guatimozin. In connection with the indepen- 
dence and free government of Texas, the struggles of the Mexicans 
themselves for liberty, and the glimpses they occasionally have of the 
blessings of the liberty of conscience and the sound words of prophecy, 
unfold to the hopes of the benevolent Christian that at no distant day 
the sacred scriptures, accompanied by the voice of the preacher of righ- 
teousness, shall penetrate the inmost recesses of Mexico, and shed their 
hallowed light upon the minds of thousands who have never seen the 
bible, or heard the voice of one of the real teachers of the gospel of 
Jesus. When once the sacred wedge finds entrance into this region, its 
progress, though perhaps unequal and interrupted, shall be onward and 
onward, till it cleaves in pieces the compacted and mighty mass of dark- 
ness and error. Nay, Mexico herself will in the event appear to be but 
a suburb of the extended territory to be pervaded by the conquering 
power of the gospel of Jesus. Guatemala and all South America will 
feel the bland influence of the light of the Sun of Righteousness rising 
upon Mexico, and in due season, warmed by its beams, will glow in the 
light and burn in the fervor of Christian truth. Not all the obstinacy of 
long cherished superstition ; all the ignorance induced by closing the 
bible against the laity; all the craft and influence of an interested and 
bigotted priesthood ; all the stern enactments and decrees of tyrannical 
rulers ; nor all the power of the fierce inquisition, can stop the onward 
progress of truth when once fairly put in motion, and impelled forward 
by the demands of public feeling, the impulse of Christian benevolence, 
and the power of God the Holy Ghost. Viewed then as the beginning 
of the downfall of Antichrist, and the spread of the Saviour's power of 
the gospel, the history and relations of Texas must furnish to the mind 
of the ardent Christian subjects of deep enquiry, delightful contempla- 
tion, and fervid thanksgiving. 

Let but that part of the Mexican constitution, odious even to millions 
of Mexicans themselves, which prohibits the exercise of any religion 
but popery, be removed ; let the people enjoy the privilege of listening 
to the voice of the heralds of the Cross, and reading the Word of Life 
for themselves, as they now desire to do, and how long could the am- 
bassadors of Christ be kept from proclaiming in Mexico, that it is by 
neither might or power but by the Spirit of God that men are saved ? 

* These statements were made to a friend of the writer in Texas by the Commander- 
in-Chief of the Federal forces, who stated moreover, that the same views were held by 
all the leading Federalists of Mexico. 


How long before the sound of faithful preaching, according to the 
scriptures, would be heard within the walls of the city of islands? And 
when both the Word and servants of God find entrance into the great 
city, how long before some of the wise and learned will embrace its 
simple and beautiful truth, and learn something of the glorious excel- 
lency of Emmanuel ? When the preached Word, which is the lamp of 
God, shines amid surrounding darkness, some eyes will be enlightened, 
some hearts won, and new witnesses for God called to stand forth and 
testify the truth of the Lord. 

In all the relations and prospects above named, the republic of Texas 
forms a subject of deep interest and importance. Its present state and 
future destiny are no less matters worthy of the inquiries of the histo- 
rian, the philosopher and statesman. At this time its political position, 
aspects and relations, are those of a really independent and established 
member of the family of nations. 

In these respects her existence has been practically admitted by se- 
veral of the elder portions of this great family, and by two of them her 
independence has been formally acknowledged. Both of these have 
diplomatic representatives actually resident near the government of this 
youngest of the national fraternity. Yet strange to say, this incipient 
nation whose arms have successfully repelled the whole power of 
Mexico, does riot now number two hundred thousand inhabitants alto- 
gether. At the time when she declared her independence, it is be- 
lieved her whole population was considerably less than forty thousand. 
At her hour of doubtful conflict at the battle of San Jacinto, she re^ 
tained within her territory still fewer numbers than just before. 

Perhaps the history of revolutions records no attempt to assume na- 
tional identity and being under circumstances more dubious, or, accord- 
ing to ordinary calculations, more rash. Casting themselves upon the 
chances of war and the providence of God, they put all to hazard, and 
soon exhibited the unprecedented spectacle of an infant nation victo- 
rious over its parent, and holding the supreme magistrate of that parent 
nation a prisoner of war. If such facts be strange, others no less so 
will bear honorable testimony to the generosity and kindness, aa well 
as the heroism of the patriots of Texas. 

A very few weeks previous to the final battle and victory, the Presi- 
dent of Mexico, commanding in person the army which invaded Texas, 
wantonly, and in direct violation of treaty stipulations under which 
Fannin's troops surrendered, murdered the whole corps in cold blood. 
Acting on the same principles, he refused quarter to the brave little 
company that defended the fortress of the Alamo. His every act 
towards prisoners shewed the settled purpose to murder all who fell 
into his hands. Soon he in turn, with several of his principal officers, 
was made prisoner, not by a surrender upon stipulated terms, but by 
being captured and secured without a single word of pledge for his 
security. With a noble elevation of generosity the Tcxian officers 


refused to retaliate, even upon the bloody author of these crimes, his 
own cruelty. If there be left in Mexico one spark of magnanimity, 
whoever of them possesses it must, in view of these facts, blush for 
shame at the degeneracy of his country, which has never attempted to 
wipe the deep stain of the murder of prisoners from its escutcheon, by 
disavowing the act or punishing the cowardly monster who perpetrated 

Now this republic has settled and established upon solid grounds and 
truly republican principles, her form of government, taking, as far as 
circumstances would permit, the United States as her model. Her 
legislature with calm deliberation watches for the well-being of the 
nation. Her laws are equal and judicious; her people simple and 
orderly; her magistracy respectable; and peace among themselves is 
universal. Her population is sparse in most parts of the country, but is 
rapidly increasing in numbers ; her militia, if not numerous, are patri- 
otic and brave, and need, to call them promptly to the field, only to 
know that an invader's foot presses their soil. The rewards of agricul- 
tural industry are abundant, and the means of supplying what is neces- 
sary to subsistence are found in every portion of the country. Fearing 
nothing from Mexico, she is at peace with all the rest of mankind, and 
nothing indicating a ground of fear that these pacific relations will be 

Wherever the population is sufficiently dense the interests of litera- 
ture have begun to receive attention. Numerous schools and aca- 
demies have been already organized ; several of which are taught by 
clergymen and others of high classical and scientific attainments. 
The institutions of religion too have also received a goodly share of 
attention and regard. Already a considerable number of respectable 
and pious clergymen are laboring in different sections of the country, 
and others are frequently passing into it. Among these clergymen are 
found Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Cumberland Presby- 
terians and Baptists, who are all harmoniously laboring to diffuse the 
blessings of the gospel and to save sinners from death. Colleges have 
been chartered, and the primary steps taken towards putting them into 
effective operation. Perhaps .few countries in the world, of the same 
state of political and commercial advancement, have made more ample 
and efficient exertions for the promotion of education and literature 
than the young republic before us. 

The fiscal concerns of the republic and its currency are in some 
degree in disorder, which it will require a little time to correct. In these 
respects however, the situation of Texas is very far superior to that of 
the United States at the close of the revolutionary war. Though the 
treasury notes of the country have greatly depreciated, they still com- 
mand money at a stated price, and if the wise legislation of the last 
Congress be persevered in they must soon appreciate, and in a very few 
years be equal in value to gold and silver. 


The prospects of Texas in future are as fair as a fertile soil, a genial 
climate and healthful regions can render a country. To recapitulate by 
name the varied and abundant advantages possessed in this region, irri- 
gated by an unusual number of pleasant rivers, abounding with lands 
prepared by Nature's hand for the plough ; furnishing abundant subsis- 
tence, without culture or labor of man, for cattle and swine ; and pro- 
ducing by cultivation, corn, rice, rye, buckwheat and oats, sugar, 
cotton and other crops, in great perfection, would transcend the limits 
prescribed to this part of the work, and anticipate an important part of 
the following pages. 

Texas as it is, forms the subject of the book before us. To those 
who, like the writer of this article, have visited its waving prairies, tra- 
versed many of its elevated plains, marked the beauty of its scenery, 
noted the exuberant productiveness of its soil, marked the bland soft- 
ness of its winter breezes, plucked some of the gay flowers that even in 
winter deck its verdant plains, and observed the numerous herds of 
eleek cattle and fat beeves that feed untended upon the wintry products 
of its prairie pastures, no part of the following statements will appear 
extravagant or exaggerated. 

Should the influence of this little work produce a considerable in- 
crease of wise arid virtuous population in the republic of Texas, and 
consequently find homes for many who would otherwise be subjected to 
the continued effects of the distress of the limes; and should it induce 
many Christians to plant in that country the germs of the future 
churches of the Redeemer, the writer and publisher will be entitled to 
fho thanks of community, and the consciousness of having done good to 
their fellow men, both in temporal and spiritual concerns. 

May a blessing from on High attend it. 


TEXAS IN 1840. 


Description of Galveston Island. Horticultural pursuits. Gardens produc- 
tive in winter as in summer. Abundance of fish and birds. Deer fast 
disappearing. Prosperity of the Island. Steam packets, foreign com- 
merce, etc. Inundation by water. Visited by yellow fever in 1839. 
No local causes for disease. Delightful situation for summer residence. 
San Jacinto classic ground. Description of Buffalo Bayou. City of 
Houston and surrounding country. Fine pasture lands. Two routes from 
Houston to Austin, the new capital. 

THE principal entrance by sea into Texas, as well as its most 
important entrepot of foreign commerce, is Galveston, a 
rapidly growing and prosperous town, situated on the eastern 
extremity of Galveston Island, and immediately adjoining the 
inlet of Galveston Bay. This island, like very much of the 
southern and south-western coast of the United States, is a 
low and level sand beach, and seems to have once been merely 
a bar or sand bank, some distance from the shore, and formed 
by the comparative stillness of the water at the point where 
the advancing and retreating waves met. The surface is 
composed exclusively of silicious sand, mixed with such veg. 
etable and animal substances, as have from time to time mingled 
with it. 

Though the structure of the soil indicates nothing favorable 
to cultivation, the whole island is covered with a luxuriant 
growth of grass, the annual burning of which, by accident 
or design, has uttterly precluded the growth of every species 
of timber, only three trees being known to exist on its 


whole extent of thirty miles in length. It is found also by 
experiment, that with proper attention to manuring, gardens 
become highly productive, and yield, in addition to many 
luxuries, abundant profits to their proprietors. 

As might be expected, therefore, several enterprising in- 
dividuals have lately turned their attention to horticulture, 
purposing to supply not only the town, but the numerous steam 
boats and shipping that constantly cover its wharves, with the 
healthful and delicate products of the garden. So far the re- 
sult has proved highly satisfactory to both the owners and 
their customers. 

It is a circumstance not to be forgotten, that in this climate 
these gardens are, with a short interval, nearly as profitable in 
the winter as at other seasons of the year. Nearly every 
month can furnish fine lettuce, radishes, beets, and peas, 
and thus regale the appetite of the northern traveller, as he 
arrives on the coast in winter, with the luxuries of his own 
summer season. 

This island is indented by a number of creeks, or rather 
inlets, from the gulf, on the south, or the bay on the opposite 
side, extending, in some instances, more than half its width of 
two or three miles, and meandering considerable distances in 
other directions. These creeks, composed mostly of salt water, 
are the constant resort of numberless fishes of different kinds, 
including redfish, sheephead, salt water trout, etc. Here too 
are found frequent beds of the finest oysters, yielding an 
abundant and cheap supply of this delicacy to the whole island, 
and much of the adjoining coast. 

If these waters are productive of the tribes of fish, they are 
no less so of various aquatic birds. Among all the waters 
intersecting the island, are found vast numbers of geese, 
brandt, ducks of numerous kinds, and nearly every variety of 
the smaller waders and inhabitants of the shores. In the same 
vicinity are found cranes and herons, pelicans and gulls in 
vast numbers. The sportsmen find abundant use for their 


rifles and other fire arms, and the epicure no less relishes the 
fruits of the sportsman's labors. But whether the too eager 
pursuit of this game may not soon induce it to desert this once 
favorite spot, is a problem that it is feared will soon be solved. 
Deer, too, were formerly plenty in the central and western 
part of the island, but they are now seldom seen. Such pro- 
bably may soon be the fact in relation to geese and some other 

The town or city of Galveston contains a population little, 
if at all, less than three thousand, when four years since 
nought was seen on its site but one unbroken beach and soli- 
tary strand. It now contains a great number of stores, six 
hotels, one Presbyterian church, two schools, one exclusively 
for females, and many valuable buildings in progress. The 
harbor is constantly dotted with numerous vessels of all sizes, 
and the flags of many nations. Several steam packet ships 
ply regularly between it and New Orleans, and a large num- 
ber of steam boats take their departure hence for Houston, 
the Trinity, Sabine, San Jacinto, the Brazos, etc. The auc- 
tions, warehouses, streets, and custom house, exhibit clear 
marks of active business. Judging from the past, we may 
expect soon to see this infant city become a large and popu- 
lous mart, in which the products of all nations will be found 
seeking consumers. 

As drawbacks, however, upon these pleasing prospects, it 
should be mentioned, that once at least this town has been 
already visited with that fearful malady the yellow fever, and 
once a portion of the island was inundated by water, in con- 
sequence of a powerful tornado that forced the waters of the 
bay far over the surface of the land. The former of these 
evils, however, was confined to a very small part of the then 
small city, which, being without police, had no power to pre- 
vent the formation of a nuisance, to which the disease was 
attributed ; and the other, though causing much alarm, was 
productive of little if any injury. 



Perhaps among the regions of the south, no spot can be 
found better fitted for a delightful summer residence. Sur- 
rounded by the waters of the gulf of Mexico, the unchecked 
breezes of its broad surface shed their bland coolness over 
every part of the island, and entirely assuage the intensity of 
the otherwise oppressive heat of a southern atmosphere. 
Thus free from the rigors of northern cold, and enjoying a 
constantly refreshing breeze that removes the effects of the 
sun, it enjoys a climate of an enviable character. Without a 
single local cause for disease which cannot easily be removed, 
and in the midst of many advantages, this entrance into Texas 
gives to the emigrant pleasing promise of the interior, when 
its border furnishes so much to please. 

From Galveston the course of most emigrants is by steam 
boat up Galveston Bay, northward to the river San Jacinto. 
This, though a comparatively small stream, will be ever here- 
after memorable for the defeat and capture on its banks of the 
Mexican army, under the command of Santa Anna, on the 21st 
day of April, 1836, by which the war of Texian independence 
was virtually ended, and the liberty, religious and civil, of her 
people secured. 

Viewed in this connection, well may the waters of this river 
be regarded as not only classic, but sacred to freedom, and 
the memory of the brave men who here, against superior 
numbers, conquered their armies, made prisoner of the chief 
magistrate of Mexico, and planted deep the pillars of their 
own national liberty. On this stream well may the men about 
to make Texas their country, pause and ask, what is the 
value of that sacred boon, deliverance from popish bigotry 
and Mexican tyranny, which was here purchased by the zeal 
and heroism of the little band who, with the cry of Fannin 
and the Alamo, rushed upon victory, and gave a name to the 
river imperishable as the principles of liberty which their 
valor secured. Ever verdant be the plain where freemen 
conquered ; ever dear the spot sacred to the glory of the 
new-born republic 


Some distance up this river appears the mouth of its princi- 
pal tributary, called the Buffalo Bayou, a small and narrow 
stream with considerable depth of water and elevated banks. 
Still narrow as the stream is, so much so, as to render the 
passage of two steam boats past each other somewhat difficult, 
it continues navigable like a canal, with high banks, some 
distance into the country. At the extreme head of this nav- 
igation stands the city of Houston, so called in honor of the 
Honorable Samuel Houston, commander of the Texian forces 
at the battle of San Jacinto. This was the late seat of gov- 
ernment of the republic, but the Congress of 1838-9 appointed 
commissioners to designate a new site for the Capital of the 
country, who, after some enquiry, selected Austin, at the lower 
falls of the Colorado, to which point the heads of departments 
removed in the latter part of the year 1839. 

Next to Galveston, Houston is probably the largest town in 
the republic, and, with the like exception, enjoys the greatest 
amount of commerce. Through the Buffalo Bayou it has a 
direct water communication with Galveston and New Orleans, 
and hence affords a very convenient market, not only to its 
immediate vicinity, but also to many of the fertile settlements 
along the banks of the Brazos and Colorado. Here vast num- 
bers of emigrants almost daily arrive, and pass onward in 
various directions to the points of their several destinations ; 
bearing with them full often wealth, taste, refinement, litera- 
ture, and occasionally, an ardent and devoted piety, which it 
is hoped may like true leaven diffuse a sweet and healing 
influence all around it. 

Houston is the seat of justice for the county of Harris, and 
here are its court house and jail. It contains, according to the 
latest accounts, somewhat more than two thousand inhabi- 
tants, has two schools, one presbyterian church, two printing 
offices, one daily paper, and two weekly ones. Here, also, are 
six hotels and numerous mercantile establishments. A com- 
pany has been formed and chartered to make a rail road from 


this place to some point on the Brazos river, and preparations 
are in progress for carrying the project into execution. It is 
proposed in a short time to establish a line of stages from this 
city to Austin, and the carriages and horses requisite are 
already in the republic. 

It is situated upon a plain considerably elevated above the 
Bayou, but on or below the level of the surrounding prairie. 
The buildings are sparsely scattered over a considerable extent 
of ground, which gives them much advantage in relation to 
yards and gardens. A number of the houses, though mostly 
wood, are well built, and give pleasing evidence of the taste 
and comfort of the proprietors. 

The country westward of Houston for some thirty miles or 
more, is a level prairie, with scarcely a sufficient inclination to 
carry off the water of the rains that fall upon it. The soil is 
a thin mould of dark earth resting upon a base of light colored 
clay, which can scarcely be of much value except for grazing 
purposes, as is further evinced by the presence and pillars of 
the crawfish. This prairie is, however, interspersed with 
occasional wood lands and streams, in the vicinity of which 
are found considerable tracts of fertile and valuable land. 
These latter portions might be appropriated to the plough, 
while the wet lands could be allowed to remain a common, 
open to all who should choose to use it for purposes of pasture, 
the grass being exuberant and very fine. Between this place 
and the Bay there is a considerable amount of good land, and 
a large quantity of valuable pine timber, but which will prob- 
ably soon disappear before the busy axe of the white man. 

In passing from Houston into the interior, two distinct 
routes are open to the traveller, one by the way of San Felippe, 
and the other by the way of Washington and Independence, 
both towards Rutersville, Bastrop, and Austin. In order more 
clearly to understand particulars respecting the country, several 
extracts from a journal kept upon a journey on the latter routa 
are here inserted. 




Enter upon the undulating country. Desirable situations for family resi- 
dences. Flocks of deer seen feeding and sporting on the prairies. A 
settler's views of the country. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc. Rapid mul- 
tiplication of stock. The country increases in beauty. A family of emi- 
grants. Indian depredations. Reflections. Productiveness of the bot- 
tom lands. "Wild rye. Singing of birds. Lovely May weather in 
January. A hunter and his dogs Wild cat. Lady travelling unattend- 
ed. Brazos river. Town of Washington. Texian cotton. Soil easily 
cultivated. Great liberality. Pet fawn. Heavy forests. Seven plan- 
tations at one view. Religious privileges. Schools. Temperance so- 
ciety. Great productiveness of the soil, stock, etc. 

"January 1st, 1840. Having obtained such rest and refresh- 
ment as the place afforded, we started forward at about nine in 
the morning. After travelling a few miles, a change in the 
character of the country became pleasingly evident, Instead 
of the flat and unvaried surface of the former days, we found 
ourselves upon a rolling or undulating country, with pleasing 
interchange of hill and valley, prairie and woodland. From 
the beauty of the elevations, the gentleness of the slopes, and 
the fertility of the grounds, we regarded many spots as being 
exceedingly eligible for location and family residences, nor 
could we forbear to anticipate, that at no distant day these will 
be occupied by a dense and active population. Among other 
pleasing views of the day, we saw flocks of deer feeding 
quietly or sporting gaily among the prairies. From their 


numbers it would seem as though they enjoyed here an un- 
disturbed residence, but their flesh appeared so often upon the 
tables of our hosts, as proved that their harmlessness afforded 
them, even here, no protection. Herds of cattle in fine order, 
appeared here and there, feeding leisurely among the woods 
or plains, and in one place a flock of sheep, the first we had 
witnessed in Texas. 

" At night we put up with a planter from Tennessee, a gen- 
tleman of intelligence and plain manners. He had resided 
in that place but about ten months. His circumstances ap- 
peared to be quite comfortable. He stated that the country 
possessed abundant advantages, that farmers particularly 
have every inducement to emigrate, the soil producing bounti- 
fully every essential cultivated in the United States, with not 
exceeding one third of the labor there required. He par- 
ticularised, as crops which he had himself noticed, rye, oats, 
Indian corn, buckwheat, onions, etc., all of which, he stated, 
succeeded exceedingly well, surpassing in general the best 
products of the same kind in Tennessee ; the article of sweet 
potatoes he had known to grow almost beyond belief, a single 
one often weighing eight pounds. Among fruits not known in 
the states, he described as common in Texas what he styled 
the bush plum, resembling in color and general appearance 
the cherry, though much larger. Peaches are produced here 
in great perfection, being equal to the very best found in the 
United States. Apples have been to some extent tried and 
have succeeded. Wheat also has been successfully cultivated, 
so that it is no longer problematical whether that most delicious 
of all grains can be produced here, still it may likely succeed 
better in more northern sections of the country. All the va- 
rieties of the walnut found in the United States abound here, 
and in addition to them the peccan* which is a very delicate 
variety of the hickory nut. With occasional exceptions, the 

* The peccan is found also in several parts of the Uuited States. 


nuts and acorns of the forest furnish sufficient food for ex- 
tensive herds of swine which range at large and fatten with- 
out expense to the owners. All the feeding they require will 
be to keep them tame and attached to their home. Cattle of all 
kinds, he continued, increase with astonishing rapidity, needing 
neither shelter nor other expense to the owners. Ten months 
since, said my landlord, I had but two hogs, the increase from 
which at this time amounts to forty head, which is but a fair 
view of the multiplication of that kind of stock. Domestic 
fowls are equally prolific, continuing to lay eggs throughout 
the whole winter. 

" Whole herds of cattle, consisting of many hundreds, be- 
longing to the settlers, branded and registered according to law 
may be seen feeding on the luxuriant grass of the extensive 
and beautiful prairies of this country. 

" January 2d. The country passed over this day surpasses 
in beauty even that noticed yesterday. The rolling country 
appears now fully before us, affording views and prospects 
which are truly delightful eminence succeeding eminence, 
till the low and flat prairie country has entirely disappeared. 
The extended landscape furnishes such a view as toayankee 
would seem the perfection of beauty in hill and dale, and ex- 
cited in us a propensity to possess some portion of a land des- 
tined, at some future day, to rival in wealth and beauty the 
fairest portions of the world. In richness and fertility some of 
the elevated prairies this day passed over, exceeded any thing 
that we had before witnessed in this or any other country. 
The soil seemed composed of a black and friable loam of great 
depth and strength, fitted at once for producing abundant crops 
and for long continued fertility. Possessing all the advantages 
of a rich bottom, with the warmth and dryness of uplands, 
they combine excellencies of soil seldom found in any part of 
the United States. 

" Put up for the night with a family just about to remove to 
a neighboring plantation, and give place to a purchaser who 


had lately emigrated from the state of Mississippi, with his 
family of twelve persons. With these he had travelled by 
land about seven hundred miles, four hundred of which were 
in Texas. He stated that, in that distance, since entering the 
republic, he had not passed over five miles at any time, too 
poor in soil to warrant a farmer in cultivating it for profit. 
The lady about to remove, in conversation, mentioned that 
since coming to Texas this was her second removal ; in the 
first, about three years since, she found her house surrounded 
by a party of hostile Indians. With a part of her family she 
fled, and providentially made her escape. Two men however 
of the household, while in defence of the fugitives, were 
butchered, and their bodies afterwards found near the house. 
The lady never returned to reside at the place of death, but 
took up her residence at the farm she was now leaving in 

Such circumstances may in part explain why the set- 
tlers in such a country, have been slow in making extensive 
improvements in their houses, orchards and gardens. Scarce 
able to defend themselves and families from the murderous 
savage, they had little leisure or inclination for the indulgence 
of taste and luxury. But now it is believed such scenes are 
for ever at an end. No more, in most parts of Texas, " shall 
the war whoop awake the sleep of the cradle." Now, in the 
broad expanse of the prairies, the deep jungle of the forest, 
of the bottoms of the rivers, or rambling among the loftiest 
hills, no apprehension need be felt for the loneliest traveller, 
much less for the wife and little ones around the domestic 
hearth. Now may the settler find a time, not only to sow 
his field and collect together the numerous herds of his cattle, 
but may also plant his pride of China, his evergreen vine, and 
cultivate his vineyard, and in peace enjoy the bounties of his 
bending orchard. Soon, very soon, it is believed, that the 
gardens and fruiteries of Texas will rival the finest of like 
ornaments, not only in the new, but the older states. With 


a soil and climate admirably fitted for such purposes, nothing 
is wanting but a very little exertion to render her shrubberies 
and grounds the pride of the western continent." 

" January 3d. Leave at eight in the morning for the town 
of Washington, situated on the Brazos river, a distance of 
about ten miles, and passed through a piece of low flat wood- 
land of several miles in extent, called the Brazos bottoms, 
which in fertility and productiveness is not exceeded by any 
lands in the world. Some of these, or like lands, have, it is 
asserted by men of unquestioned veracity, produced four thou- 
sand pounds of seed cotton upon one acre for a single crop. 
In passing through some of the less lofty timber of these bot- 
toms, we were struck with the perfect freshness and green- 
ness of the grass, which wore more the appearance of flowering 
spring than of the rigors of mid winter. 

" On enquiry, we learned with some surprise, that what we 
regarded as grass is in fact a native indigenous rye, which 
springs up late in the autumn, continues entirely green and 
succulent during the winter, and in spring shoots up to seed 
and dies like the cultivated crops of that grain. Some indi- 
viduals have gathered portions of the seed, and find it to be 
really and truly rye, as clearly as is that cultivated by the far- 
mers in the states. Where this is found in abundance, it 
affords a pasture equal to the finest summer pastures of New- 
England. It seems likely, however, soon to be so severely 
grazed upon, as to prevent it from successful seeding, and 
hence may soon cease to be valuable. 

" In this woodland the birds were singing with all the viva- 
city and sweetness of spring, the weather was mild as a 
northern May or June, and woodpeckers, of which there were 
many varieties, were heard in every direction. In our pro- 
gress through these bottoms we met a hunter, accompanied 
by five or six stout and fierce-looking dogs, carrying slung 
upon the barrel of his rifle the skin of a large wild cat which 
he had shot, and the carcase of which the dogs had just de- 


voured as their share of the game. On our admiring the size 
of the skin, and the delicate softness of its fur, he very kindly 
offered to present it to us, which we gratefully accepted. 

" At the distance of several miles from any visible human 
habitation, we met a lady on horseback, with an infant in her 
arms, attended only by a servant girl on foot and a little dog. 
She was riding leisurely along with an air of perfect security, 
courteously nodded to us, as we passed, and went on. So 
little apprehension of danger is felt here, either from Indians, 
Mexicans, or from the rudeness of the dwellers in these 
new regions. 

" This day we crossed the Brazos river at Washington, which 
stream is here about fifty yards wide, with a sluggish current 
of about two miles per hour. The water is at present low, 
but when at its height the current becomes rapid, being equal 
to six or seven miles per hour. At such times the water is 
exceedingly turbid, and strongly tinged with red, like the Red 
river ^Louisiana, whence many have inferred that the names 
of this and the Colorado rivers, have by some mistake, been 
changed. The name of this river Rio Brazos de dios signi- 
fies the river of the arm of God the Colorado signifies the 
Colored or Red river. 

" The town of Washington is the seat of Justice for Wash- 
ington county, and pleasantly situated near the west bank of 
the Brazos, about one hundred and forty miles from the sea 
coast, and seventy-five miles from Houston. It contains a 
population, including the residents of its immediate vicinity, 
of about six hundred inhabitants. Hero they have a very 
respectable academic school, under the direction of a well 
qualified and able teacher. 

"Spent the night very pleasantly at the house of a respectable 
planter, lately removed to this country from the state of Mis- 
sissippi. He has resided on this farm about one year, for 
which, when entirely unimproved, he paid two dollars per acre. 
He has now about seventy acres under cultivation, a corn 


mill wrought by four horses which yields a daily profit of 
ten dollars. His cotton gin is nearly completed, and the press 
for the same entirely ready for business. He planted the last 
season about twenty acres in cotton, the quality of which upon 
examination appeared equal to any we had ever seen. He 
considers the cotton lands superior to any in Mississippi or 
Florida, and equal probably to any in the world. Two thousand 
pounds to the acre he regards as an ordinary crop, which may 
be obtained with much less labor than is usually bestowed upon 
like quantities of land elsewhere, one hand being able to attend 
to a crop of fifteen acres. For other crops he regards the land 
as equally favorable. As a specimen of the productiveness of 
the soil, and the feelings of the people towards new settlers, 
he stated that a planter no great distance from himself, from a 
field of five hundred acres of corn, has now about fifteen 
thousand bushels to sell, for which there is a great demand to 
supply the wants of the floods of emigrants. This planter 
instead of demanding cash, and the highest price for this grain, 
proffers to all the settlers who have not had time to make their 
own crops, to loan to them corn for their family purposes, to 
be paid when they should be able to do so from the produce 
of their own fields. Such generous liberality and kindness 
well deserves to be recorded, not only as a testimonial of the 
worth of an individual, but as an example worthy of imi- 
tation by all who desire to be regarded as patriots or friends of 

"January 4. While at breakfast with the family of our hos- 
pitable landlord, I was gratified and surprised to see enter the 
door and approach the table a beautiful female deer, having a 
small bell suspended at her neck. With perfect familiarity she 
received her breakfast of corn bread, and departed to seek its 
wonted pastime in the woods and prairies. The landlady re- 
marked that it thus came every morning and disappeared till 
the morning following. 

" This day's journey lay for a considerable distance through 


heavy forests, found for the most part in the valleys or bottoms 
of the streams which intersect the country. From these we 
would again emerge, and by gentle ascents climb the summits 
of the rolling prairies, the elevation of some of which must 
be very considerably higher than the waters of the ocean. 

" The views from the highest of these is, in some cases, 
exceedingly beautiful and picturesque. In every direction ap- 
pear the rounded tops of the undulating prairies, dotted here 
and there with the verdure of a branching and aged live oak 
with its brilliant foliage, while occasionally appears a level 
plain unmarked by aught but the wild deer and cattle that crop 
its still green herbage. Skirting these, with ever-varying lines, 
may be traced the hill and valley woodlands, the latter marking, 
by their indented borders, the courses of the streams to whose 
banks they furnish fringed edges. So soft, so gentle are all 
the changes, and so marked with verdure and fertility, that 
every variation gives new delight as awakening fresh scenes 
for human happiness and comfort. 

"From one of those elevations we could at once see seven 
plantations newly formed, proving the rapidity and success 
with which population is increasing. From the same point 
the whole horizon seemed bounded by mountains that inter- 
cepted the view before the eye could find the level of the 
ocean, but what seemed mountains, proved, upon further inves- 
tigation, to be merely a succession of gentle hills like those 
around us, and like them fitted to delight the eye of the tra- 
veller, or yield abundance to the labors of the husbandman. 

"About fifteen miles in a westwardly direction stands the 
little but interesting town of Independence. It contains about 
one hundred and twenty-five inhabitants, two respectable 
schools, one for males and the other for females, which appear 
to be well sustained and under the direction of excellent in- 
structors. One of the school houses is used also as a place 
of worship, and occupied alternately by baptists, methodists, 
and presbyterians. Here, including a number from the sur- 


rounding settlements, is a temperance society embracing about 
sixty members. * 

" In every direction from the town the country is thickly 
settled with industrious and intelligent farmers, who, while in- 
tent upon the labors of the field, are not unmindful of the edu- 
cation of their children, and the privileges and duties of the 
church of Christ. Here resides the Rev. Hugh Wilson, of 
the presbyterian church, a missionary, and missionary agent of 
the General Assembly's Board of Missions, a man well fitted 
to exercise a happy and diffusive influence in a new and rapidly 
settling country. Here, perhaps as fully as any where in the 
republic, are at present enjoyed the privileges of the religion 
of the gospel and of good education. 

" Mr. Wilson has resided in this place something more than 
one year, and clearly expresses his opinion, that for exuberance 
of soil, mildness and amenity of climate, and healthfullness of 
the country in general, Texas possesses advantages equal to 
any country in the world, and superior to any part of the 
United States which he had seen. In his opinion, a good and 
competent living may be here more easily obtained, and pro- 
perty more readily acquired by industry, than in any section 
of the western country whatever. In illustration of these 
opinions, he said, that swine, and all the varieties of cattle, 
grow upon the hands of the farmer without care or effort ; 
that the milk and butter here made are excelled by none in the 
world. Poultry, which furnish so many of the finest delicacies 
of the table, frequently increase] a hundred fold in a single 
season. Mrs. W. assured the writer, that one parent hen. 
would rear one hundred chickens in a year, and that she her- 
self had had that increase in herj own poultry yard the last 
season. She further remarked, that chickens hatched in the 
spring would produce their own broods in the Autumn. In 
short, the domestic fowls continue to lay their eggs and pro- 
duce their young the whole of the year. 

" Similar testimonies of the rapid and unexampled multiplt- 



cation of domestic animals, and the little care and expense of 
rearing them, were received from many persons of the highest 
respectability, and were wholly uncontradicted. Taking these 
statements as true, and uniting with them the fact that the soil 
is productive beyond the ordinary fertility of good lands in 
the valley of the Mississippi, and the conclusion is irresistible, 
that for farming purposes Texas affords greater facilities than 
can be found in the very best parts of the whole United States. 

"Jan. 5. The sun arose this morning with a light and warmth 
resembling some of the finest weather in May in the city of 
New York. We breakfasted with our kind and hospitable host 
with the doors wide open. The air was balmy and soft, and no 
disposition was felt to approach a fire more than in midsummer. 
As if to complete the image of Spring, a blue bird, " that sweet 
harbinger of Spring," at the north, was heard just by, carolling 
its sweet song with all that enthusiasm and vivacity which 
renders it so great a favorite. Notwithstanding this deli- 
cious softness, which frequently occurs in winter, the heats of 
summer are so mitigated by the almost unremitted breezes, as 
to be less oppressive than they frequently are at New York 
and Philadelphia. A clergyman, (the Rev. W. Y. Allen, of 
Houston,) who spent two summers in Princeton, New Jersey, 
declares, that in Princeton and Philadelphia he often suffer- 
ed more, especially in the night, from the heat, than he has 
ever done in Texas. 

" In some parts of this day's journey, we observed landscape 
views more beautiful and enchanting, if possible, than any we 
had yet seen. The country and scenery were evidently, 
though by almost imperceptible shades, improving, as we ad- 
vanced into its interior. Many of the views actually surpass- 
ing the most splendid scenery we had ever observed from some 
of the more commanding heights upon the Hudson river. To 
compare them with those formerly described would be difficult, 
and yet upon the mind there rests an image of extent and 


mellowness somewhat richer and more pleasing, which can be 
far better imagined than expressed. 

" Near sunset arrived at the residence of one of the oldest 
settlers in Texas. Soon after our arrival, it being Saturday 
night, the Rev. Mr. Wilson before named, accompanied by an- 
other clergyman, also arrived, in order to preach the day fol- 
lowing in a neighboring school house. It is pleasant to observe 
that Christians in the United States are not forgetful of these 
dwellers in the wilderness, but send to them, by the hands of 
faithful men, the precious words of eternal life. Though no 
deep-toned bell called together the solemn assembly, yet even 
here the solemnity of the sabbath could awe the heart, and 
call from their rustic dwellings these tenants of the wild, and 
bid them remember the Lord. 



Regard for the Sabbath. Preaching in a settlement. An eccentric indi- 
vidual. Indian anecdotes. Causes of enrr.ity to the Indians. Abun- 
dance of game. Utility of dogs in Texas. Sufferings of the settlers 
during the war of independence. Travellers seeking settlements. A 
waggoner's opinion of Texas. No Mosquitoes in the upper country. 
Preparing for conflict with Indians. A border family. Indian Massa- 
cre. Pursuit and destruction of several Indians. Hard lodging. Town 
of Rutersville Its academies and prospects. Town of La Grange. 
Rich pastures. Fat cattle. Butter and cheese staple commodities of 
Texas. Wild Turkeys. 

" JAN. 6th. Sabbath. The family with whom we spend this 
day, appear to pay as much respect to its sacred authority, as 
do most families in the slate of Connecticut, or other parts of 
New England. The blessing of God was invoked upon their 
rooming repast, the children were all neatly clad in their holi- 
day garments, and the little girls, of which there were several, 
were all dressed for the sabbath school. At the usual hour 
we all, ten or twelve in number, attended by the two clergymen 
before named, proceeded to the place of worship. The con- 
gregation was considerable, filling up the academy where 
they met. The attention was serious and respectful, and all was 
as orderly and decorous as in the best regulated religious 
communities. The sermon was able, solemn, and well adapt- 
ed to the hearers, such as would be respectable in a more ad- 
vanced state of society. 

" In the afternoon we visited an eccentrick individual, who, 
with no other associates than his dog and chickens, lives in 
his cabin alone in the border of the forest, only visiting occa- 
sionally the grounds of the person at whose house we were 


staying. He is an aged Frenchman, who has been many 
years in the country, and has formerly been a soldief of Texas: 
In giving some reminiscences of his life in the early settlement 
of the country, he related several anecdotes of Indian character 
and Indian warfare. Unlike many modern writers who delight 
to paint Indian character in fair colors, he spoke of them and 
of the Mexicans in terms of strong dislike and disgust. In 
many instances, he said, the greatest troubles with which the 
Texian army had to contend, were the depredations and rob- 
beries practised by the Indians who were professedly friendly. 
These were constantly lurking about the camps and stealing 
every thing of value within their reach. 

"Among other instances, he mentioned that once being left in 
charge of the camp equipage, while his messmates were abroad 
on duty, he left his place for a few moments to procure water 
from the river Guadalupe, which was just at hand. While 
here, he caught a glimpse of an Indian gliding swiftly through 
the thickets towards the river above him, with a blanket he had 
just stolen from the camp. He immediately fired upon the 
savage with a rifle, but without effect, as the Indian pressed 
on into the stream. By the time he could seize another gun, 
and be ready to fire, the red man had nearly attained the mid- 
dle of the river with his booty. He again fired, and it would 
seem with better aim, for the thief sunk and was seen no more, 
while the stolen blanket was observed floating down the cur- 

" How the narrator's mind was afFected by such events, did 
not appear otherwise than by an apparent perfect indifference. 

"At another time, he said, an Indian was shot at night, while 
crouching at a corn crib attempting to steal the grain. In the 
morning it was found to be a woman, who by the shot had 
both her knees broken, and had died of the wounds. This 
incident must certainly awaken regret, as there is too much 
reason to conclude, that the unhappy woman was induced to 



the act by the cravings of hunger, or perhaps by the cries of 
her starving children. 

" In another place, while the troops were encamped at night, 
and their horses tied on the prairie to feed upon the grass, a 
dark object was seen to approach one of the animals. On 
being fired upon the figure disappeared. In the morning a 
trace of blood was followed some distance to a hollow, where 
a wounded savage lay. On being interrogated why he at- 
tempted to steal the horse, he remained silent, in either haughty 
sullenness or else in despair. An officer present then presented 
his rifle, and asked him where he would be shot, he opened 
his bosom, pointed to the centre of his breast, and was imme- 
diately pierced by a ball at the place indicated. A rope was 
then attached to his legs, by which the body was dragged some 
distance and hung upon a tree, as a warning to other Indian 
depredators, where it remained for several months, and until 
eaten up piecemeal by the wolves and vultures. 

" If such severities towards the natives seem to partake of 
too much cruelty, some palliation for it may be found in facts 
like the following, related by the same recluse and lonely man. 
It was my lot, said he, for some time to reside in the neigh- 
borhood of two families from Kentucky, by the name of 
Dougherty, nearly related by marriage, and living very near 
together. These were attacked at night by a party of Indians, 
and all put to death. The houses, and, as was supposed, all 
the deceased were burned up; but some months afterwards a 
young man to whom one of the murdered ladies was about 
to be married, discovered the remains of his affianced bride in 
a thicket, knowing her by the mark of her name upon her 
corset, which yet remained distinct. Probably after being 
mortally wounded she hid herself in this place, and there 
awaited her end. Were this young man to feel the strong 
risings of indignation towards the murderers of his beloved, 
and return upon them some part of the pangs they inflicted, 
would not charity at least palliate the crime ? 


"Jan. 7th. Our host has resided 17 years in Texas, and 
having been long engaged in surveying lands and in cultivating 
the soil, is perhaps as well qualified to judge of the relative 
advantages and prospects of the country as any man in it. He 
conceives that Texas furnishes greater facilities for the labour- 
er than any other country in the world. Every thing neces- 
sary to the convenience and even comforts of life can be ob- 
tained with less effort and difficulty than elsewhere. His 
house and plantation both indicate that he is well aware of 
the advantages of his situation, the former being one of the 
best houses we have noticed in the country. 

" This section of the republic forms a part of what was 
originally Austin's colony, most of which is described as 
being fertile and pleasant, as any section of the United States 
or Mexico. While it produces, whenever cultivated, abun- 
dance of grain, cotton or sugar, the woods and prairies abound 
with game of every description, from the smallest to the lar- 
gest kind, except the buffalo (bison,) which seems in flying 
from the face of the white man to have deserted this section 
of country. Accompanied by his five large dogs, our host 
stated he could at almost any time bring home a bear, a deer 
or two, or other valuable game. 

" Packs of large and powerful dogs are kept by most of the 
planters, for the avowed purpose of repelling or destroying 
such wolves and other beasts of prey as would injure their 
stock. Though for these purposes they are certainly useful 
and desirable, they were formerly in all probability more ne- 
cessary still to keep in check the approach of the silent and 
wily savage, who would otherwise enter the hamlets of the 
sleepers by surprise, and perpetrate many more deeds of blood. 
These vigilant guardians of their master's homes, have prob- 
ably been one of the most efficient means, of keeping at a 
distance from the houses of the settlers the murderous hordes 
of Indians, that could be devised, for seldom indeed will the 
red man risk the effect of the waking white man's shot by 


night or day. Now, however, it is hoped that this use of 
canine guards will no more be necessary. The sleepers in 
the farthest hut upon the prairie, as far west at least as Austin, 
may rest secure from any sounds more fearful than the varied 
cries of the wt>lves that roam in search of food, but which 
always keep at a respectful distance from where they hear the 
watch dog's note of defiance. 

" The sufferings of the early settlers from the incursions of 
the Indians, while under the government of Mexico, and dur- 
ing the war of independence, from the merciless and savage 
ferocity of the Mexicans, were greater than people at a dis- 
tance can well imagine. In the winter of 1835-6, the coun- 
try was invaded by an army of Mexicans, under the command 
of Santa Anna, the President of Mexico, in person. The pro- 
gress of this army was marked by every atrocity which 
characterises a civil war among barbarians. Prisoners, to 
whom terms of surrender had been granted, were murdered 
by hundreds in cold blood. No age, sex, condition or charac- 
ter has any protection from the violence of such foes. As 
they advanced to the Colorado, the Texian army under Gen. 
Houston retreated towards the Brazos, and the inhabitants, in 
accordance with the advice of the commanding general, left 
their homes with all they possessed, except a few articles 
which they could carry with them, and fled eastward, literally 
" not knowing whither they went," or at what point it would 
be safe to leave their helpless and destitute families. 

" At this time the sufferings of the Texian women and 
children were intense ; fleeing towards the lower country, over 
a territory much of which was yet unsettled, without a cover- 
ing from the storm, and without even the prospect of obtaining 
the most common necessaries of life, in an inclement season, 
and pursued by worse than even savage foes, they suffered 
many of the terrors of famine, cold, nakedness, and fear united. 
To fly exposed them to want and the most bitter privations, to 
stay was to endure insult, pollution and death. Yet many 


would-be-christians and philanthropists in the United States 
and Great Britain, could look upon this scene with indifference, 
while they represented the violation and butcheries of these 
Mexican hordes, as only the just punishment inflicted upon 
incendiaries and traitors, 

" From the statements of eye witnesses, including the Rev. 
Hugh Wilson, it appears that some months after " the flight," 
as this season was appropriately called,, large amounts of mu- 
tilated books, and broken valuables, were seen scattered along 
the roads taken by these fugitives, either dropped by the flying 
families or thrown away by the plundering Mexicans. It would 
be impossible, said the same Rev. gentleman, to picture the 
wretchedness and distress of the whole people from this time, 
till the truly glorious battle of San Jacinto terminated the con- 
flict, and enabled the wandering fugitives to return to their 
plundered and deserted homes. 

" While stopping for refreshment at the house of a planter^ 
five travellers rode up, and enquired the price of land in that 
neighborhood. Our host informed them that there was but 
little there for sale. All that part of the country was in pri- 
vate hands, and very few if any exhibited a disposition to part 
with what they had. From all that passed it appeared that the 
price of land is slowly but steadily rising, and that in a few 
years Texian lands will be prized as highly as those of any 
other country. These horsemen appeared to be substantial 
farmers, probably from some part of the Western States, who 
are seeking for positions in which to spend their days, or for 
the establishment of their children. Similar companies are now 
almost daily met, traversing the country, in its length and 
breadth, searching out choice locations either for themselves 
or their friends, being almost universally delighted with the 
country and its prospects. What renders this conclusion 
nearly certain is, that many of the choicest sons of Tennessee, 
and other southwestern states, have already settled with their 
families in the country, and that additional multitudes from the 


same quarters, are constantly arriving who have similar objects 
in view. 

" Jan. 8th. This day, as usual, passed through a country 
interspersed with woodlands and elevated prairie. Numerous 
flocks of birds were frequently flying up before us, and the 
meadow larks sung sweetly to us on either hand. 

" Overtook a teamster driving a four-horse wagon, with a 
load ; weighing twenty-five hundred pounds, bound for the 
city of Austin. He had been about twelve months in Texas, 
and though by birth a Virginian, he had resided a long time 
in Missouri. From conversation with him, to obtain informa- 
tion, it appeared that he thought Texas far preferable to Mis- 
souri for farming purposes, that he enjoyed better health, and 
added that here he was not tormented to death by musquitoes. 
Being asked if he had not found that insect troublesome dur- 
ing the last summer, he replied that he had not seen a dozen 
since coming to the country. In answer to a question, as he 
resided upon an elevated prairie, whether he did not find the 
heat of the sun insufferable in an unclouded summer day, he 
said that so far from the sunshine being more oppressive than 
in Missouri or Virginia, it is a great deal less so, from the 
prevalence of the winds during the day, which rendered living 
in the open prairies quite agreeable. 

"As the sun was about to set, we were apprised of being in 
the neighborhood of company by startling and sharp cracks 
of rifles at no great distance. For a short time we were 
unable to determine from whence the sounds came, but on 
passing a projecting point of the forest, we found ourselves 
close upon an unfinished house. At a little distance in the 
woods stood two young men, loading their rifles, to make fur- 
ther trial of their skill in the use of that deadly weapon. 
One of these was a small man and apparently quite young, 
the other remarkably large, athletic and powerful. Their ap- 
pearance was sufficiently rustic for every forest or hunting pur- 
pose, and their language and conversation smacked strongly of 


the spirit of border fighting and hatred to the Indians. They 
had learned but a few hours before, from a traveller, that 
Indians had been seen further up the country, (whether friendly 
or not they seemed not disposed to enquire) and hence they 
were thus preparing for such emergencies as they supposed 
might likely transpire. 

" Having obtained permission to put up with them for the 
night, and been ushered into the only habitable apartment in 
the house, we discovered that the inmates consisted of the 
elder of these young men and his wife ; the young man, his 
mother and three other younger children. All these resided in 
the same little apartment, which constituted their parlor, bed- 
room and kitchen. 

" Soon after we were seated, the elder young man joked his 
wife about her fear of the savages, asking if she would not 
dream of Indians for the whole night. Her answer was low 
and indistinct, but appeared to imply quite as much fear of 
him as any thing else. In answer to a suggestion that the 
Indians mentioned by the traveller might be a company of 
friendly Indians, and not disposed to do mischief, the young 
husband with a mingled frown, sneer and angry laugh, an- 
swered, " friendly ! Yes, they will all be friendly enough if 
once they come in the range of my rifle." This remark was 
received by the junior members of the family, with a laugh of 
pleasure. It required but little penetration to discover, that 
our hosts were accustomed to the vicissitudes attendant upon 
settlers in the borders of the haunts of savages, and that to 
them sporting and the killing of Indians were merely synony- 
mous terms. 

"A large wood fire, the only light to bo obtained, threw its 
imperfect glare upon the countenances of the circle, and pro- 
duced an appearance of ghastliness, which was any thirty but 
pleasant. This, added to the evident roughness and reckless- 
ness of character exhibited in the husband, rendered our abode 
here less desirable than some other places we hav- seen else- 


where. Soon, however, the bacon was fried, the hominy pre- 
pared, and supper, consisting of little more than these, an- 
nounced. The elder lady then directed her little girl to hold 
up the lighted pine knot over the table, and by this light we 
partook of our simple but abundant repast. 

" Alluding to what had before been said, our hostess, 
whose thin and pale countenance, her shining and unsteady 
dark eyes, grizzled and dishevelled hair, rendered her appear- 
ance almost haggard, remarked with great bitterness, " I am 
afraid these cursed Indians, will never give me peace more. I 
was in hopes I had heard the last of them. My family has 
been butchered, and I have been driven about by them till my 
soul is sick of life.". 

" Being asked if her family had suffered much from the 
savages, she replied, (turning her wild and piercing eyes upon 
me,) " Have they ! Yes, all my family have been murdered 
by them, except these children. That boy," pointing to the 
younger of the men we found practising with their rifles, 
" had three balls planted within an inch of his life. One of 
my sons, my two sisters, and my old father and mother were 
all cutto pieces on new year's night a year ago, (January 1st, 

" After supper, from conversations with the family, chiefly 
from a lad of about twelve years old, we obtained a narrative of 
the facts alluded to, of which the following is the substance. 
The parents of the old lady at the close of the year 1838, 
resided near the falls of the Brazos. On the night of the 
following New Year's day, her father, mother, two sisters and 
two sons, with a young lady from a neighboring settlement, who 
was on a visit to the family, were sitting before a large fire 
round the table, listening to the eldest son who was reading to 
the company from a song book ; when a sudden rush was 
made upon the door by a party of Indians. The youth who 
was reading was immediately shot through the head, the 
young lady who sat next to him was cut through the skull 


with a tomahawk, and the rest of the family cut to pieces in 
an instant. The younger brother, who has been frequently 
mentioned, sprang through the midst of the enemy, gained the 
door and fled, quickly followed by a number of bullets, none of 
which, however, took effect upon his person, though three 
pierced his clothing. 

" He escaped with all speed to the nearest settlement, 
about six miles, giving notice of the attack, and especially 
informing the father of the young lady of the murder of his 
daughter. A party of ten or a dozen men, of whom the esca- 
ped young man was one, immediately formed to pursue the 
murderers. Without an hour's delay they started, and fol- 
lowed the enemy most of the night. At length they lost the 
trail, and were reluctantly returning to their homes in despair 
of meeting and chastising these midnight assassins. Sud- 
denly, however, they came upon their foes near the house of 
one of their own number. Here an immediate and terrible 
onset was made upon the savages, which resulted in the 
death of several Indians and one white man, the remnant of 
the red men escaping only by the rapidity of their flight. 

" Such are some of the events with which many of the 
new settlers have been compelled to become familiar ; and 
such scenes of violence and cruelty have produced in many 
of the people that feeling of hatred towards the Indians, that 
would induce them without scruple, at every oppprtunity, to 
put them to death. Still, it ought not to be imagined, that this 
indiscriminate hostility to the natives is universal ; it is pro- 
bably confined to such of the border settlers, as have been the 
more immediate and bitter sufferers by the depredations of 
these sons of the forest. 

" In due time after supper we were shown to our lodging 
in an outer apartment, only partially covered by a roof, and 
that part far from being water proof. Our bed consisted of a 
quilt spread upon the floor, and our covering of another we 
brought with us. The upper parts of the room were occupied 



by the poultry, whose frequent noises, and the dripping of 
the rain which now began to fall upon us, as well as the house, 
rendered sleep a difficult though a desirable business. 

" January 8th. Arose with the first dawn of morning, and 
hastened forward to Rutersville, so called in honor of the Rev. 
Martin Ruter, D. D., the pioneer and first general agent of 
methodist missions in Texas. He died on the field of his 
labors, and left the work to be completed by others, which he 
had already auspiciously commenced. There appears a pe- 
culiar appropriateness in the name of this town, when it is 
remembered that it is intended to be consecrated specially to 
literature and religion, and that from it all gambling, and the 
sale of spirituous liquors, are strictly excluded. 

" Arriving at Rutersville near noon, we soon perceived that 
its location on the summit of one of the most elevated prairies 
of the republic, was admirably fitted to secure the health of 
the inhabitants, as well as furnish delightsome views of the 
surrounding country, which, to the eye of the curious, might 
be said to resemble, by its varied appearances of live oak and 
post oak groves upon the heights and cedar forests along the 
valleys, mingled with frequent prairies, the scenery of a taste- 
fully and thoroughly cultivated country of the old world. The 
town is yet small, having been designated for the purpose but 
little more than a single year. Already two edifices have 
been erected as seminaries of learning. These, however, are 
intended as a mere beginning or foundation of a future college, 
and extended female institutions of learning. 

" The Rev. C. Richardson and lady, late of Tuscumbia, 
Alabama, both of whom sustain high reputations as te ^ers, 
are already engaged in their several departments of instruction. 

'" Situated at a distance from navigable waters, or extended 
water power, the place seems not especially adapted to com- 
mercial enterprise, but well fitted for retired literary and sci- 
entific pursuits. The methodists, Cumberland presbyterians, 


and baptists, have frequent, if not regular seasons of preaching, 
and it is believed that churches of each of these denomina- 
tions exist here. 

" Situated forty miles from Bastrop, arid but five miles from 
the Colorado river, it is near the centre, east and west, of the 
republic. The high moral and religious tone of the commu- 
nity, the excellent measures taken to preserve the purity of 
public morals, and prevent evil influences upon the young, 
together with the spirited exertions of the friends of learning 
and education, seem well calculated to secure for it the con- 
fidence of those who would select a residence, with special 
reference to the education of their children. 

" Arrived at evening at the little town of La Grange, near 
the banks of the Colorado, and put up at the inn, with the 
best accommodations we had found on the road. Nearly op- 
posite this place, on the other side of the river, is another 
small town called Colorado City. In neither of them however 
is found any thing remarkable. 

" Jan. 9th. Proceeding at an early hour on our way, we 
passed for some distance through a dense forest. From this 
we sometime before noon entered upon a beautiful bottom 
prairie, embracing some thousands of acres. Scattered over 
its surface at various points were seen herds of cattle and 
horses feeding leisurely upon its but partially discolored her- 
bage, and extending as far as the eye could reach. Some 
parts of this natural low meadow appeared to be equal in 
richness to any we had ever witnessed, and in the various 
copses of woodland which skirted it in different places, the 
cattle were lying at their ease, lazily chewing their cuds, 
or luxuriating in the long grass or wild rye. From every ap- 
pearance, many of them were fitted by their fatness to make 
excellent beef.* 

* Subsequent enquiries fully justified this conclusion, as all the beef sold 
at the market in Austin was of similar cattle, which had not been fed with 


" With her unnumbered thousands of acres of such lands, 
equally productive in pasture and grain, in cotton or sugar, why 
may not Texas shortly become a store house of provisions and 
raw materials for the world ? In all that pertains to the dairy 
she may outvie a Cheshire in England, or Goshen in New 
York, for over them she possesses several important advan- 
tages. No deep snows or keen frosts of winter, shut up the 
earth or destroy its herbage, so that it yields no winter's nu- 
triment, nor do cattle in the coldest storms require other shel- 
ter than is furnished by a protecting forest, and which again 
affords protecting shade in the heats of summer. Let but the 
hand of industry, enterprise and skill which marks the conduct 
of the northern farmer, here be put forth, and soon shall Texas 
smile at once the granary and the Montpelier of the Western 

" As we journeyed forward a flock of wild turkeys crossed 
the road a few rods before us, manifesting very little alarm, 
barely by their short note expressing their suspicion of us as, 



Meet travellers from New York. A negro's opinion of farming in Texas. 
Rough country. Town of Bastrop. Discovery of the bones of a mam- 
moth animal in its neighborhood. Flourishing plantation. Indian anec- 
dotes. Female courage. Cedar forests. Difficulty in crossing a creek. 
^-Natural vineyards. Enter Austin. President's house the first object 
seen. General description of the city when six months old. Indians. 
Their degraded state Wandering through the streets almost in a state 
of nudity Fall of water in the Colorado, suitable for manufacturing pur- 
poses. Beautiful marble. Building stone. Neighborhood of Austin rer 
markable for its beauty and fertility. A Linnean garden of fifty acres. 
Austin desirable as a place of residence. Its interior position giving it 
immunity from crimes and immoralities consequent upon maritime cities. 
Sabbath in Austin. General respect for Christian observances, etc, 

"ARRIVING in the evening at a house on the edge of an ex* 
tensive prairie, we were pleased to discover that the sitting 
room of the dwelling was already occupied by travellers, who 
had by some hours preceded us. It was a family consisting 
of three ladies, one infant child, and a gentleman, all recently 
from the state of New York. It was truly gratifying to meet 
in this region ladies from the north ; they will surely make 
lovely tenants of the prairies, nor less pleasing ornaments of 
the woodlands. How pleasant to meet here the smile of 
female welcome, instead of the bloody knife of the savage, 
The gentleman, it appeared had previously visited the country, 
and rinding a place to his taste, was now bringing his family 
to Bastrop, a town on the Colorado, intending it for their per* 
manent home. 

" The proprietor of the house and plantation where we lodged 
was absent, but his lady, and she by her intelligence, modesty 


and good sense, merited the title, used every exertion to make 
our night's sojourn agreeable. In answer to the enquiry how 
she liked Texas, she said very much. She had resided in 
the country something more than a year, and all the plans and 
enterprises they had adopted were prospering beyond their 
most sanguine expectations. Every necessary for family use 
could easily be obtained in abundance, and many luxuries 
were already beginning to be enjoyed. Among the latter, an 
epicure might have named the article of bear's meat, which 
some think no uncommon delicacy, the skin of a large one, 
killed but a day or two previous, then hanging on the outside 
of the house. 

" Willing to gain information from every source, we enquired 
of a negro man, one of the plantation hands, how he was 
pleased with this country, he replied, " O a heap better as 
Alabama, Sir, where we come from. This country make easy 
work for farmer. Every thing grows here 'out much trouble." 

" Jan. 10th. Proceeded on our journey, accompanied by our 
new acquaintances, the gentleman with the two elder ladies 
and child in a light covered waggon, drawn by two horses, 
and the younger lady on horseback. The young Miss galloped 
off over the level plains with the gaiety and sprightliness 
of a fawn, looking towards her future home with all the buoy- 
ancy of hope and expectation. It was no less pleasing than 
unexpected, to see on these far western plains of Texas, a 
young lady, gaily coursing her steed in evident security over 
grounds where, but a short time since, none but the bravest of 
the other sex, and armed to the teeth, dared to be seen abroad. 

" A portion of the country over which we passed this day 
was very poor, and exhibited a strong contrast with most of 
what we had before noted. The land was composed, for much 
of the way, of either loose sand or coarse gravel, similar to 
what is usually found on the beach of the ocean or larger lakes. 
The growth upon it consisted of yellow pine, a portion only of 


which appeared fit for sawing, and stunted trees of different 
varieties of the oak, principally of the kinds called post oak 
and black jack. The surface was cut up into ridges, between 
which were found small streams of water, which however pro- 
bably dry up in summer. In some parts of this region, spite of 
apparent sterility and frequent fires, grape vines appeared al- 
most as frequently as might be desired in a vineyard. The 
fruit as represented by residents of these natural vineyards, is 
often large and of high excellence. 

" This new feature in Texian scenery continued but for part 
of the day. Just before arriving at Eastrop we descended 
from this elevated range upon a wide and beautiful prairie, 
nearly all of which has been enclosed in fences, and is yield- 
ing its rich products to the hand of the husbandman. Bastrop 
is the seat of justice for the county of Bastrop, and situated 
on the eastern bank of the Colorado river. It seemed fast 
rising into importance, having in its vicinity, in addition to its 
stores, inns, etc., two steam mills, but the establishment of 
Austin, within thirty miles, as the capital of the republic, drew 
from it many of its most enterprising citizens, together with a 
considerable share of its monied capital. Still, situated in the 
heart of a fertile district, in the immediate vicinity of almost 
the only pine timber in a great distance, it is probable it may 
remain a considerable and respectable town. 

" About two miles from this place, in a prairie, Gen. Denys 
discovered a horn and several bones of a very large animal, 
supposed to be now extinct. The following description of 
them is in the words of a letter from the finder, and hence 
may be relied upon as correct : 

" ' When you was in this place I had the satisfaction of 
shewing you some specimens of bones, which, I am told, are 
the largest that have as yet been discovered on the habitable 
globe. I have had a number of travellers, and some of them 
scientific gentlemen, who have called on me to see them ; and 


they all agree that they exceed any thing in natural history, 
or of the present day the large bone of Kentucky not ex- 

" The bones which I have fortunately procured so far, are 
the horns, jaw-bone, and teeth of some mammoth, of which 
history gives no account. The great Mastadon is said not to 
have horns ; but I have nearly a perfect horn, six and a half 
feet in length, nine inches in diameter, or twenty-seven inches 
in circumference ; also, part of a tooth, say one-third of it, 
weighing about sixteen or eighteen pounds, and about one' 
third of the lower jaw or socket, of the same weight. 

" I still have hands employed in excavating the earth, and 
am in hopes of shewing that Texas, although young in the 
annals of history, can produce the largest bones that have yet 
been discovered.' 

" Whether any further discoveries have been made does 
not yet appear ; but the horn and other parts of the animal 
here named, are in such a state of decay, as renders it doubt- 
ful whether the remainder if found would be valuable. Enough 
however has been obtained to show, that at some former period, 
animals of a size and power now scarcely to be conceived, 
found in these fertile regions a home adapted lo their wants, 
which, as we presume, yielded full supplies for their most eager 
appetites. But what was the nature, and what were the habits 
of this giant dweller of the prairies ? Though we cannot 
positively decide this question, it is at least highly probable 
that it was like the ox or bison, a graminivorous and pacific 
creature, cropping with them the grass and shrubbery, and 
leaving, except in defence, the rest of the quadrupeds to enjoy 
unmolested their various propensities. The fact of its having 
horns like the ox, and the form of the tooth, seem highly to 
favor the above supposition. 

" At the close of the day arrived at a large plantation, 
where we discovered a comfortable house, several large barns 


and stables filled with grain and provender, and put up for the 
night. Our hostess appeared to be a lady of piety, of the 
baptist persuasion. She regretted deeply being deprived of 
her former religious privileges ; but consoled herself in the 
hope of seeing better Vmes. She had been in the country 
about two years, and in that time she and her husband with a 
few servants have brought into cultivation an extensive farm, 
while around the house were seen a number of thrifty peach 
trees, now nearly covered with green leaves, some of which 
\yll probably yield fruit the present season. Thus, new as 
the country is, they are in the midst of abundance, and enjoy 
every luxury which so short a residence in any could be ex- 
pected to furnish. The barn-yards and fields about them, 
seemed alive with large numbers of horses, oxen, cows, 
calves, colts, swine and fowls, implying that their stock of 
these animals must be quite large. 

" She said the Indians had given them very little peace till 
within a short time. At different times these plunderers had 
driven away and destroyed most of their hogs, cattle and horses, 
and twice had she been compelled to flee in haste from home, 
and suffer in common with the neighbors, all the privations 
and hardships of those whose only home was the forest, and 
whose only covering the clouds, and whose only dependence 
for food was upon such grains or fruits as could be found in 
the field, or game that might be taken in the forest. Some- 
times, when pressed by their foes, the people were compelled 
to wander for days together, through marshes and wet grounds 
to avoid danger, while in want of the merest necessaries of 
life. A sister of hers in particular, she said, when flying 
from the Indian murderers was exposed for several days and 
nights to all the vicissitudes of the weather, her feet con- 
stantly wet, and her health in a delicate condition, yet was she 
so favored as n.ot even to take cold or suffer any subsequent 
injury from it. 


" She has a son-in-law, now living in sight of her residence, 
of whom she related the following. He had for some purpose 
ventured a considerable distance from his house, when he was 
shot down by the ever watchful foe of the white man, receiving 
a ball in his neck and three barbed arrtws in his hip and side. 
In this wounded and helpless situation, a large Indian ap- 
proached him, and placing a foot on each of his shoulders, 
passed his knife round his head, and then tore off the scalp. 
This was the last thing of which he was conscious for many 
hours, but when he awoke found himself surrounded by hike 
friends. He still lives in the enjoyment of tolerable health, 
though that part of his head from which the scalp was remo- 
ved still exhibits a very unnatural appearance. 

" The following incident related by the same lady, and 
confirmed by several others, transpired during the winter of 
1838-9. A Mr. C. and one of his sons were engaged in 
ploughing near the house, Mrs. C. in the garden sowing seeds, 
and another son sitting on a fence conversing with two men on 
horseback, when a party of Indians appeared. One of them 
shot Mrs. C. in the neck with an arrow, she barely was able 
to get into the house where she expired. The horsemen fled, 
Mr. C. and the son on the fence escaped to the thickets ; the 
son who was ploughing with his father, rushed into the house 
where his mother was dying, and the younger children hidden 
under a bed. Here his body, with that of his parent, was 
found pierced through with a spear, though it is presumed that 
he bravely defended her to the last, as several guns were 
heard by the fugitives, and three of those in the house were 
found discharged. Either from fear of the arrival of other 
white men, or from the effects of the young man's fire, the 
Indians departed without disturbing the children under the bed, 
or searching the thickets for those who fled. Had equal bra- 
very and devotion been exhibited by the father and the 
horsemen named above, it is probable that brave youth might 


still live to defend a father's life as he did the ashes of his 

11 The following also was related by the same lady, and 
afterwards confirmed to us by the mother of the children whose 
story is related. A Mr. H. residing near the Colorado with 
his large family, had sent three of his sons one morning to 
the forest upon some errand, when, at the cry of a child that 
a heap of people were coming, they looked out and saw a 
large party of Camanche Indians on the prairie, apparently in 
conversation with two laborers belonging to the family. Mr. 
H. directing those in the house to be prepared, took with him 
two guns and passed some distance toward the Indians, whom 
he saw shake hands with his laborers. Scarce had their hands 
parted, when one of the men fell pierced through with a 
spear, the other fled for life, but soon fell, as an arrow passed 
quite through his body coming out at the breast. A daughter 
of Mr. H. had by this time clothed herself in her brother's 
surtout and hat, and called to her father to return to the house. 
He did so, and with the rest of his family guarded it till the 
Indians departed, dreading all the time lest the lads sent into 
the forest had fallen into the hands of these merciless robbers. 

" In this state of painful and anxious uncertainty, they re- 
mained till late in the night, when a noise of unusual character 
being heard, the mother exclaimed, they, meaning the Indians, 
are coming again. It soon however appeared that it was the 
eldest of the absent lads, who had cautiously approached the 
smoke-house to obtain some food for his younger brothers, and 
ascertain if possible the fate of their parents. He had already 
secured a good piece of bacon, and now ascertained the joyful 
fact that all the family were alive and unhurt. He stated that 
on coming out of the woods they saw the Indians, and were 
discovered by them in turn ; that they fled to the river, swam 
across, and lay hid in a thicket without food till late in the 
night. The younger brothers complaining much of hunger, 


he directed them to remain where they were, while he would 
go to the house and attempt to procure provision. In the morn- 
ing the sorrows of the family were assuaged, except for the 
unhappy laborers, whose death they now deplored. 

"January llth. The first woodland we entered this day 
contained a large proportion of red cedar, (Juniperus Virgini- 
ana,) and extended for some distance along the road. Many of 
these trees were large and tall, giving promise to future 
settlers of abundant materials for building and durable fences. 
Occasional copses and borders of cedar and live oak (quercus 
sempervirens) gave pleasing variety to the landscape through- 
out the day. The prairies, as usual, were level, covered 
with long grass and occasional thickets, composed mostly of 
water dogwood, (cornus forida aqualica) with here and there 
a solitary tree of the acacia family, here called musquit. 
Population appears to be considerably numerous, though 
the settlements have but lately commenced, and houses ap- 
pear from almost every elevation. 

At no great distance from our last place of lodging, we 
arrived at a large creek, of some twenty yards in width, 
though the water was not deep. Owing to the soft mud de- 
posited in its bottom by the late rains, the passage was some- 
what difficult and tedious. In the midst of this water and 
mud our carriage gave way, the horse taking the shafts and 
forward wheels with him up the opposing bank, while the 
body, baggage and hinder wheels remained quietly resting 
midway of the stream. With the aid of our philosophy, how- 
ever, and after several hours labor, we succeeded in uniting 
the parts of our broken vehicle, replacing in it our bag- 
gage and getting again under way, thankful indeed that it 
was no worse. Fatigued by our exertions at the creek, we 
put up at an early hour, having travelled but a short distance. 

" Our host, who is an emigrant from Kentucky, has resided 
two years in Texas. His plantation is fine, and his prospects 
are fair for success and opulence. He is an intelligent 


farmer, and seems to be enthusiastic in his admiration of the 
expected blessings about to fall upon the new republic. His 
family had indeed been troubled by the predatory incursions 
of the Indians, but he is confident such disasters can no more 

" January 12. Our journey this day lay over alternating 
prairies and gentle eminences, covered with sparse wood- 
lands, in both of which innumerable grape vines clustered 
upon the shrubbery or lay extended like the vines of the 
water melon along the ground. Many places indeed appeared 
as though they had been intended for vineyards. The char- 
acter of the country for fertility and beauty fully sustaining a 
comparison with that we had before passed. About two or 
three o'clock we came in sight of the city of Austin, the new 
capital of the republic. 

" The first object that attracted our attention was a white 
house, designated as the residence of the President. " On 
that spot," said a traveller on horseback by our side, pointing 
to the President's house, " I for the first time saw a buffalo. 
It was in May last, and he was feeding in perfect quietness." 
It is situated upon the top of a considerably elevated and 
finely rounded hill, in the front of which is an inclined and 
level prairie, while in its rear and on the right and left are 
clusters of oaks of different kinds, all entirely in the state in 
which they were placed by nature's hand. It commands from 
its front a fine view of a considerable and beautiful prairie, 
extending to the Colorado on the south, on which, extending 
more than half a mile from east to west, are seen clusters of 
small houses, mostly of logs, and timbers, either in heaps, or 
just begun to be laid as foundations of future dwellings and 
places of business. 

" On the right, at a little distance from this house, in a 
beautiful valley, extending at nearly right angles from the 
river, some distance towards the extreme north part of the 
city, is a broad and beautiful street, called Congress Avenue, 



passing through the whole extent of the contemplated city. 
On this street are erected temporary accommodations for the 
several secretaries and heads of departments. At a little to 
the westward of these on another eminence, and nearly 
opposite to the mansion of the President, stands a neat 
white building, at present occupied by the two houses of 
congress. Farther south on the same street, and not far from 
the centre, are found the hotels, stores and most densely 
built part of the town. 

At this time the population is estimated at about one thou- 
sand souls, and is rapidly increasing. Some idea of the 
mushroom rapidity of its growth may be formed from the fact, 
that less than six months since not a stone was laid, or a 
blow struck upon a piece of timber, nor even a tent spread, 
where now, in addition to the citizens, are congregated the 
two houses of congress, the chief officers of the military and 
naval departments, the secretaries and attorney general, the 
justices of the supreme court of appeals, with their officers, 
attorneys and suitors. 

" For beauty of situation, the city of Austin and neighbor- 
hood exhibits at once delightful variety and perhaps unexam- 
pled symmetry of parts, presenting next the river an expanded 
and beautiful plain, which at some distance arises by a gentle 
slope, rxcppt where the elevation is divided by the charming 
valley through which extends Congress Avenue. The sum- 
mits of these opposing hills will in due time be surmounted 
by splendid public buildings, in which art and taste uniting 
their powers with those of nature, will give to this beautiful 
picture its completion of elegance. On the right and left 
again of these grounds, places are already selected upon 
which to erect temples for the worship of the Most High. 
Perhaps at no other place can so many elements of beauty, 
salubrity and elegance, in a new city, be found united. 

" The views also, from both these elevations, of the country 
for some distance on the opposite side of the Colorado, are 


such as would give delight to every painter and lover of ex- 
tended landscape. As the face of the country ascends by a 
continued succession of gentle acclivities, each somewhat 
higher than the last, and most of their summits crowned only 
with grass, while their feet are bordered by shrubbery and 
timber, a great distance up and down the river, and as well 
as at a distance from it, is presented to view. As yet these 
grounds, affording such pleasing prospective, though exceed- 
ingly fertile, remain untouched by the hand of industry. When 
each of these slopes, among which are no doubt many springs 
of clear water, shall be studded with hamlets and covered 
with waving grain or flowing cotton, who could look upon 
them but with delighted eye? And surely such changes 
cannot be far distant, though now but one solitary and aged 
settler tenants the whole visible region. 

" Scattered through the town we discovered a considerable 
number of Indians, who seemed to have visited the place for 
purposes of trade, as some of their horses carried packs of 
buffalo and other skins. Their dress and appearance betoken- 
ed little resembling refinement or civilization ; boys and girls 
of eight or ten years of age passing about the streets entirely 
in a state of nature, or with a single rag wrapped about their 
middle. Numbers of the men seemed to possess no other 
clothing than a slight cloth girdled about their waist. They 
were said to be Tonkewas and Lipans, two small tribes who 
are generally hostile to the Camanches, and of course in amity 
with the whites. In contests with the Indians they seem 
to be regarded with but little respect as combatants, but are 
very valuable as guides and scouts, in searching for the trails 
and hiding places of their foes. The pacific relations and 
small numbers of these Indians, prevent any apprehension from 
them, and hence they arrive and depart at any of the towns 
and settlements without awakening fear or suspicion. 

" A mile or two above the city is a considerable fall in the 
Colorado, furnishing to future enterprise extensive water power 


for all purposes, whether of grinding grain or other species of 
manufactures. It appears to be the opinion of some that this 
power may be used to any desirable extent. At and above 
these falls is found an abundance of very pure and valuable 
limestone, furnishing a lime which, for whiteness and strength, 
is believed to be unsurpassed. Some specimens of this stone, 
of which too there are extensive masses, were exceedingly 
compact, fine grained, and beautifully variegated. From every 
indication it would seem that they were susceptible of a very 
high polish, and if so will hereafter be denominated elegant 

" Near the city are also found two other varieties of stone, 
one of which is white, and so soft when taken from the quarry, 
that it may be easily cut with a saw, axe or other tools of the 
carpenter, but which, on drying, acquires a hardness believed 
to be sufficient for building purposes. It has been used as yet 
only for chimneys and hearths, and that for so short a time 
that its qualities are not fully tested. By no experiments yet 
tried has any carbonate of lime been detected in it. The 
other variety seems to be an impure limestone, and fitted only 
for rough walls and foundations. 

" The country in the rear and vicinity of Austin is a beau- 
tifully undulating region, of fertile prairies, wood-crowned 
knolls, meandering valleys, enclosing small streams whose 
banks exhibit serpentine rows of cedar, elm and live oak 
timber, mingled with dense shrubbery. Scarce a spot, it is 
believed, can be found within some miles of the city which 
would not by its fertility well reward the labor of the agricul- 

" From the character of the soil, especially its marly na- 
ture, little doubt exists that this whole region will be found 
well adapted to the culture of wheat and all kinds of grain, 
and also favorable to the growth of apples, pears, quinces, and 
all the fruits which succeed in the southern parts of the United 


States. In these opinions we are strengthened by some few- 
experiments, and the observations of many men of intelligence 
and observation, who have turned their attention to the sub- 

" Should the seat of government remain permanently fixed 
in this place, which is now highly probable, this whole region 
must soon smile not only with plenty, but with whatever can 
charm the eye, or gratify the palate of the luxurious. 

" The position of the city of Austin is indeed far in the in- 
terior, being more than one ^hundred miles from the nearest 
point, now visited by sloops or steam-boats. This difficulty 
will however probably be soon obviated, in part at least, by 
improving the navigation of the Colorado, and the construction 
of rail roads, connecting the city with one or more of the 
navigable streams or bays of the republic. By uniting the 
advantages of the river navigation with rail roads, there is 
much reason to believe that in a few years the capital of Texas 
will be regarded as being quite as accessible as is now the 
city of Washington. 

" If its seclusion from the coast be accompanied with some 
inconveniences, it is productive also of some very considera- 
ble benefits, among which may be named its security from 
invasion by any maritime nation. No power it is presumed 
would risk its forces so far from the sea coast, to destroy 
the records and buildings of the nation, in order to imitate 
the maraud of General Ross in burning the capital at Wash- 
ington. Another advantage of considerable importance is its 
comparative freedom from being infested with the hordes of 
drunken sailors, convicts from foreign prisons, and loafers which 

* A gentleman from one of the Atlantic States is now commencing 
a nursery and Linnean garden of fifty acres in extent, intending to supply 
the whole region with the very best varieties of trees and plants to be found 
in America. 



deluge so many of the maritime cities of the United States, and 
furnish so much labor for the officers of police and of criminal 
justice. It is believed by many judicious observers that the 
stream of the Colorado can be rendered navigable for small 
steam-boats through a considerable part of the year, and during 
its high waters it will even now admit of being used to con- 
vey the produce of the country to market. 

"Jan. 12th. Sabbath. The day was remarkably fine, resem- 
bling rather a fine day in the early part of June in the northern 
States than the middle of January. The streets were nearly 
empty, the stores closed, and the stillness of all around proved, 
that even here, the authority of the command to remember the 
sabbath day, was recognized. While we trace the westward 
march of the star of empire, may we not expect that with 
equal speed the beams of the star of Bethlehem will delight- 
fully illuminate the path of the heralds of worldly power ? and 
that wherever the temples of political power ascend, there too 
will be found the gospel to consecrate the dome and regulate 
the influence of authority ? 

" Attended divine service in the Senate Chamber. The 
auditory was large and highly respectable, comprising in it 
most of the members of Congress and heads of departments, 
with their families. Before sermon a little son of Judge B., 
Vice President of the republic, received baptism. A sermon 
was then preached by the Rev. Mr. Lawrence of New Orleans, 
and listened to with a solemnity and feeling which showed that 
the assembly felt, the sacredness of the occasion. After ser- 
mon the sacrament of the Lord's supper was administered by 
the Rev. J. F. Crowe, D.D., Vice President of West Hanover 
College in the State of Indiana. Nineteen persons united in 
this feast of love, including some of the highest officers of the 
government, and one negro servant, whom these Christians 
publicly acknowledged in the brotherhood of Christ. The 
whole service was marked by such a degree of decorum, dig- 


nity and solemn seriousness, as to make one forget that he was 
not in a church set apart for religion, and surrounded by a 
thousand associations of sacred character. 

" The afternoon was appropriated to the organization of a 
Sunday school society, auxiliary to the Methodist Episcopal 
S. S. Union in the United States. After an address by a 
clergyman of that persuasion, a constitution was adopted and 
a subscription taken up, amounting to one hundred and twenty- 
nine dollars, when the meeting adjourned till the next Lord's 
day. At night another service took place, in which a large 
assembly were solemnly and faithfully addressed by the Rev. 
Dr. Crowe, who is now acting as a missionary of the Board of 
Missions of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. 
His services seem to be highly appreciated, and can scarce 
fail to be eminently useful. 

" Here, there are two sabbath schools, a primary school has 
also been lately established with fair prospects of success, a 
house intended to serve as a Presbyterian church and academy, 
is in progress of erection, and another church in contemplation. 
Such facts related of a town situated upon the outmost borders 
of civilized population, and not yet six months old, must, to 
every reflecting mind, be as gratifying as they are uncommon 
and surprising. 



Cross the Colorado above Austin to visit the highlands. Fine farming 
country. Splendid views. Mountains seen in the distance. See traces 
of the buffalo. Petrified shells. Texas once submerged by the waters of 
the Gulf of Mexico. Two captive buffalo. Visit an aged settler His ex- 
posed situation. His last conflict with the Indians. Ilia opinion of Texas 
as a farming country. A novel spring Its limpid waters. Beautiful 
singing birds. A wolf. Visit to Gen. Burleson. Fight with the Chero- 
kees. Texian troops drive in 25,000 head of buffalo. Gen. B's. account of 
the upper country. Texas the store house of the western world. 

"JANUARY 16th. In company with Col. G., one of the long- 
est residents of the city, prepared for an excursion across the 
Colorado, for a few miles to the highlands, as they are inap- 
propriately called, being in fact nothing more than elevated 
prairies, the ascents of which were but moderately steep, and, 
like their tops, covered with a luxuriant growth of grass, and 
occasional patches of timber and underwood ; very little indeed 
being too steep to prevent the convenient use of the plough 
and other instruments of husbandry. At a distance they ap- 
pear indeed a range of large hills, but the traveller is surprised 
on finding himself upon their summits, without having en- 
countered more than a gentle acclivity of a moderate elevation. 
Here he perceives himself in the midst of a region, undulating 
indeed, but bearing all the marks of great fertility and adapt- 
ation to agriculture. 

<; Though mounted on good horses, we found the fording 
places over the Colorado, to our unpractised habits, a subject 
of some alarm. The water in one place was so deep that our 
horses' bodies were half buried in the stream ; the current was 


rapid, and the footing beneath rough and uneven in conse- 
quence of the presence of considerable sized loose rocks, over 
which our horses sometimes stumbled. Though the animals 
snorted and seemed reluctant to venture into the stream, hav- 
ing lifted our feet from the stirrups nearly upon the animals' 
backs, we soon found ourselves safely landed on the other 
side. Here departing from what appeared to have been an 
old Indian road, we took a mere trail, and were soon upon the 
woods-tufted knolls and open elevated prairies. 

" Having enjoyed for a short time a view on one side of the 
receding ranges of continuously rising hills, with their diver- 
sified forms, and on the other the course of the river, on 
whose farther margin the city of Austin, like Aladin's palace, 
seemed to have arisen in a night, we pursued our course to 
the highest point of land which appeared in view. 

" Here the prospect was at once extended, grand and beauti- 
ful. Up the Colorado, whose banks, fringed with thick forests, 
could be traced for some distance, were seen also a considerable 
range of literal mountains or large hills, the ascent of which is 
in many places steep, approaching to precipitous. Limestone, 
if it do not compose the principal part of these mountains, is at 
least found among them in inexhaustible abundance. Other 
valuable minerals are also believed to exist here, the presence 
and uses of which, it belongs to the future to unfold. 

" Down the stream far as the eye could reach, appeared in- 
terchangeable flats of even bottom, with its forests, level and 
elevated, prairies invested with their fleeces of thick herbage, 
and tufts of woodland, either covering the summits of hills or 
skirting their bases like the border ornaments of a splendid 
dress. In front and rear the same appearances before descri- 
bed, were unfolded, except as the view was enlarged, and as 
greater distance threw a softness like a thin veil of gauze over 
the landscape. 

" Nothing we had ever witnessed of magnificence and beau- 
ty, mingled with soft and pleasing imagery, could compare 


with what is here presented. Winter as it is, and clouds oc- 
casionally dimming the brightness of the scene, we could not 
but feel unwilling to quit a spot presenting to the eye so many 
things on which it gazed with delight. 

" Here, as in most other places in Texas, the whole grounds 
we had passed wore indubitable marks of great productive- 
ness. The various grasses which cover its entire surface, 
though embrowned by the frosts, form a coat like a thick cov- 
ering of fur upon the skin of the beaver, and prove clearly the 
fertility of the soil. The climate too is mild and pleasant, such 
as we should think finely adapted to mitigate or relieve dis- 
eases of the chest. Though it is now mid winter, our surtouts 
are thrown open, because uncomfortably warm, the breezes are 
bland and soft, and the laborer would no doubt choose to divest 
himself of both his coat and vest. 

" Traces of the late visits of the buffalo were frequently visi- 
ble, large numbers of which it is said are now feeding on the 
prairies at no great distance. We picked up among the eleva- 
ted prairies several petrified shells, evidently of the oyster kind. 
How they should ever have come to this place would seem a 
mystery indeed, unless, as some suppose, at least, the southern 
half of Texas was once covered by the waters of the gulf of 
Mexico. On this subject and several others, our mind, like 
many others, has been busied with multiplied conjectures, 
which however we deem it unnecessary to record. 

" Before returning to town, we paid a visit to an aged man, 
the only resident we believe in the neighborhood on the south- 
ern side of the river. He showed us two young buffaloes 
about half grown, which he had domesticated. Their appear- 
ance was sufficiently uncouth and rough to imply their savage 
state. He has resided here for some years in the midst of the 
forest, or rather an elevated prairie. He has frequently been 
exposed to imminent danger of destruction from tlie natives, 
but has strangely escaped to the present time, to old age and 
future probable security. 


11 His last adventure with them he related to us nearly as 
follows. Being on one occasion, a few weeks since, at a 
moderate distance from his house, with his rifle as usual upon 
his shoulder, two Indians started suddenly from a thicket near 
him, and both fired full in his face. One of the balls cut the 
lower part of his cap, and passed just over his ear, slightly 
grazing his hair. He in turn presented his rifle, and shouting 
Indians ! Indians ! a common cry when red men were discov- 
ered, he rushed towards them, reserving his fire. Seeing him 
approach, and perhaps aware of his intrepid character, they 
turned and fled. Upon this, taking aim at the hindmost, he 
fired, but without effect. The Indian immediately turned with 
a yell of exultation at his defenceless state, and advanced upon 
him with his brandished hatchet. 

" Now the white man in his turn fled, pursued and fast gained 
upon by his youthful and more athletic foe. Feeling his 
strength abate, he merely succeeded in gaining the summit of 
a hill which overlooked a field near his house. Here he stop- 
ped, and beckoning with his hand as if he saw friends near 
him, he gave a shout to them to come on. This ruse checked 
the pursuit, and the enemy quickly disappeared, though no 
white man heard his cry or was near enough to afford him 

" Near the house of this old gentleman there is-a fine spring 
of exceedingly clear and cold water, arising in a small basin 
or cavity of lime rock. Running thence but a few feet, the 
water falls into another basin containing an area of about half 
an acre, and fifteen or eighteen feet deep. In this little pond 
are seen sporting numerous fish of different kinds, some of 
them of considerable size, affording pleasing sport to those 
who are fond of angling. So perfectly limpid is the water, 
that the pebbles on the bottom, and the smallest fish in its bo- 
som, are perfectly visible, and to the unpractised eye the water 
would seem scarce more than four or five feet deep. 

" In relation to the comparative advantages of Texas and 


other countries, this aged settler in common with every other 
individual who had spent one year or more in the country, 
spoke with the utmost decision and confidence. Having been 
in the country since 1828, he professed to understand all the 
peculiarities and difficulties, as well as the advantages of its 
soil, climate and productions. He estimates the advantages 
to the agriculturist as almost incalculable. The very least 
amount of well directed industry is sure to produce abundant 
rewards. One half the amount of labor applied to crops in 
the northern states, would here be compensated by not mere 
abundance but profusion. 

" Much of the farmer's profits accrue to him through the 
increase of his domestic animals, which require little or no 
labor or effort on his part, as they can procure their own sus- 
tenance in the fields and forests, during the whole year. Even 
the milch cows requiring but an occasional handful of salt, or 
ear of corn, to keep up their attachment to their home and 
preserve their familiarity with man. Similar advantages are 
enjoyed for rearing swine, and all the other domestic animals, 
none of which require grain but laboring horses and oxen. In 
short, added the old gentleman, " Texas is the place to live in 
for comfort and ease. Very little labor being sufficient for 
securing all the necessaries of man and beast." 

" In the course of our excursion, we were regaled from time 
to time with the songs of the forest birds, a considerable vari- 
ety of which spend the winter here, and exhibit their beautiful 
plumage, as well as the sweetness of their varied notes. A 
less pleasing object however arose just before our horses, from 
among the long grass. It was a large brown wolf, whose short 
ears and gaunt form betrayed even to us his true character. 
He seemed however but little alarmed, and trotted on leisurely 
before us, till, coming to a ravine, he passed into it and disap- 
peared. Though these animals appear to be quite numerous 
in most parts of Texas, and somewhat annoying to the pigs 
and oiht-r young animals, and though their cries as they ap- 


proach the dwellings of men in the night are far from pleas- 
ant, they are not known to have attempted to make man their 

"Jan. 25th, 1840. In compliance with a former polite in- 
vitation, called upon Gen. Edward Burleson, Commander-in- 
Chief of the army of Texas, who has lately returned from a 
successful campaign against the Cherokee and Camanche 
Indians. One object of our visit was to learn with accuracy 
from him information respecting such new and unsettled parts 
of the republic as he had visited. 

" As a kind of preface to his statements, he mentioned, that 
the late war with the Cherokees occurred after two attempts 
had been made to form treaties of peace with them. In the 
latter case, the object appeared and was supposed to be accom- 
plished, the terms of a treaty having in general council been 
fully agreed upon, but which stipulations were directly 
violated by the Indians. Immediately, on the day after the 
last council, active hostilities commenced, in which, after a 
smart skirmish, the Cherokees were routed and retreated to a 
considerable distance. On the following day, the Indians sent 
a flag to Gen. Burleson's camp with proposals, which was 
regarded by Gen. B. as merely an artifice to gain time for more 
full preparations ; he consequently detained the bearer of the 
flag, and immediately attacked the enemy in their position. 
The result was that the Indians were totally defeated, and 
Bowls, one of their principal chiefs, killed. The family of 
Bowls, with many other women and children, were taken pri- 
soners, and, as is supposed, an entire end put to the Cherokee 

" After this victory Gen. B. scoured the Indian country for 
a considerable distance, driving not only the Cherokees but 
the Camanches far from their accustomed haunts, as well as 
from the dwellings of white men. On his return he took 
pains to drive before his army nearly all the large herds of 
buffaloes in that direction, and only ceased this employment 



till not much less than 25,000 of them were found feeding 
within the settlements of Texas, some twenty or thirty miles 
from Austin. 

" Thus deprived of their usual supplies, these wandering 
Indians will be compelled to change their hunting grounds, 
going farther north and west, or be driven to observe peace, 
however unwillingly, with their white neighbors. Such a terror 
has been produced by these things, that little fear is felt that 
these prowlers will venture again to make their incursions with- 
in many miles of the new capital of Texas. 

" In the performance of these important and valuable ser- 
vices, Gen. B. traversed a large extent of country, extending 
about one hundred and fifty miles north of Austin, and from 
near the Trinity on the east, to near some of the head waters 
of the Rio Grande on the west. Much of this territory he 
supposed had not before been visited by white men. 

" The country of the Cherokees, lying north and west of 
Nacogdoches, is an extensive and fertile region, abounding in 
valuable timber. The water is unimpregnated with lime or 
other minerals, the land is of a reddish complexion, like the 
land in the vicinity of San Augustine, betokening the presence 
of a portion of the oxide of iron. The streams flow through 
a comparatively level country, and are consequently to a good 
extent capable of batteau or flat boat navigation, and some of 
them may perhaps be navigated a part of the year by steam 

" The region of country lying between the Trinity and Bra- 
zos, above the falls of the latter, embracing a large extent of 
territory, is generally undulating, abounding with limpid springs 
and streams, most of which partake more or less of lime. 
Much of the land, perhaps two thirds, is composed of prairies, 
and the remainder of woodland. The character of the timber 
is various, according to its situation, including Cyprus, cedar, 
walnut, hickory, ash, elm, and several varieties of the oak. 


Considerable falls forming valuable mill-seats, are found in 
many of the creeks, which, being composed of spring water, 
will probably furnish water for flour mills or machinery through- 
out the year. Some of the streams in this part of the country 
are brackish, and one of them is too salt for any domestic pur- 

"Lime stone, fitted either for the kiln or building purposes, 
is found in various places, and the soil, as indicated by the 
fact, is of excellent quality. It would doubtless produce 
abundantly of corn, rye, oats, barley or buckwheat, and prob- 
ably also of wheat. Cotton will eventually be apt to be its 
staple production, and for that crop it is admirably fitted. All 
the fruits of the temperate zone it is believed will flourish here, 
and yield to their cultivators at once luxury and profit. From 
the falls of the Colorado, just above Austin, no obstructions ex- 
ist in that river to prevent flat boats from bringing cotton or 
produce for a great distance. 

" Above the city of Austin, between the Brazos and the 
Colorado, for a distance of about fifty miles, the general aspect 
of the country resembles that just described, with the excep- 
tion of a few more precipitous hills of limestone along the 
banks of the latter river. On nearly all the streams falling 
into the Colorado, are eligible sites for all varieties of machin- 
ery, with permanent water power for working them. Lime 
stone of the finest quality abounds, much of which by the fine- 
ness of its grain, seems capable of being elegantly polished. 
The soil both in the prairies and woodlands, seems to partake 
of the nature of marl, indicating both its productiveness and 
durability. Wheat, Gen B. thinks, would succeed well, as 
it is certain every other kind of small grain will. The whole 
region must be perfectly free from all local causes of disease, 
and is entirely exempt from the annoyance of flies and mus- 

" All the upper parts of Texas, from the Brazos to the head 
waters of the Guadaloupe, resemble those parts just described, 


except that the upper portions contain a greater proportion of 
timber. The whole, according to the opinion of Gen. B., is 
fitted to sustain an exceedingly dense population, and to be- 
come the store house of the western world. 

" Of the correctness of the opinions of Gen. B., we have 
no other means of judging than the fact, that his whole con- 
versation and manner marked him to be, as does also his general 
reputation, a man of clear and discriminating intelligence, of 
close and correct observation, of sound sense, simple manners 
and retiring modesty. In him we see an illustration of the 
principle, that the truly brave soldier is generally found to be 
the man of modesty and worth. 

" The following incident related by Gen. B., of an adven- 
ture by a relative of his own, with the Camanche Indians, may 
illustrate the advantages of cool presence of mind, and the 
terror which those savages feel of the white man's rifle. 

"An uncle of Gen. B., with two of his sons, being on a 
hunting excursion, had dismounted from their horses to allow 
them to feed upon the prairie. The horse of the father had 
strayed some little distance from the others, when a large body 
of Camanches on horseback advanced upon them. The father 
directed the sons to get their horses and mount, proposing to 
ride behind one of them and escape. Before this could be 
accomplished, the father's horse came running up to them as if 
for protection, and they were completely surrounded by the 
savages. By the direction of the father, the horses were so 
placed as to form a three square space, with their riders in the 
centre. Giving strict charge to the young men not to fire, till 
the enemy should come to the muzzles of their guns, they 
presented their weapons over the necks of their horses, and 
awaited the attack of the assailants. 

" Finding them thus entrenched, the Indians, without ventur- 
ing nearer than a long rifle shot distance, retreated some 
ways, and approached in a direction which they seemed to 
consider less guarded, but meeting again the open mouth of 


the fearful weapon, they again fell back, and again advanced 
in a still different direction, but with like results. Thus they 
continued their approaches till their horses became wearied, 
when, on their again retiring, the beleagured trio mounted 
their horses and soon left their enemies far behind." 

The following information relative to the opening of a direct 
communication for trading purposes, between Austin and Santa 
Fe, we look upon as being of considerable importance, as it 
will doubtless attract much enterprise and capital to this cen- 
tral position of the republic. We copy it from the Austin 

" The distance from Austin to Santa Fe is about 450 miles, 
over a rich, rolling, well watered country. It is nearly a 
north western direction. From this city to the old San Saba 
fort, it is about 125 miles. There was formerly an old Spa- 
nish road run from Gonzales to San Saba, which passes 
within fifteen miles of this place. That road runs over a 
beautifully undulating country, with an abundant supply of 
water, and rich grass prairies, and bottoms covered with wild 
rye, which would supply an abundant food for horses and 
mules at all seasons. The road is, even at this time, quite 
plain, and might with very little trouble be passed with loaded 

From the old Fort there is a plain wagon road to Santa Fe, 
a distance of 325 miles. The road crosses the Colorado 
river about 225 miles above this city where the stream ap- 
pears as large as it does at this place. There is a good ford, 
and it is rarely affected with high water. The country be^ 
tween the San Saba and the Colorado is one of extraordinary 
beauty. It is about two-thirds prairie, the rest of it timber 
and bottom lands, beautifully undulating, and containing clear 
running streams of water in every valley. Nature has de-? 
signed it for a stock-raising and grain-growing country, and it 
will be more celebrated for the abundance of its productions 
than any portion of Kentucky or Tennessee, 



After crossing the Colorado, the road becomes a little more 
hilly, but the country is still fertile, well watered, and con- 
tains an abundant supply of musquit grass and wild rye for 
grazing. This portion of Texas contains, during the summer, 
more buffalo and other wild game than any portion of the 
country ; but the game usually travels to the south in the 
winter in order to feed on the more luxuriant prairies. 

After crossing the Brazos river the country assumes a dif- 
ferent appearance. On the right you have the broad rich 
level prairie, which stretches off to the south east, until the 
view is lost in the distance, and the dull monotony of the 
level plain is only relieved by the innumerable herds of buffalo, 
deer, antelopes, horses and wild cattle, which are for ever in 
sight in those extensive prairies ; while on the left, the Padre 
Pinta hills rise in bold magnificence above the plain. The 
road runs along near the margin of the mountain, where the 
streams from the hills furnish an abundant supply of water, 
until you reach the upper branches of the Red river ; when 
the mountains bend suddenly to the west and stretch off 
towards the head of the Puerto, a branch of the Rio Grande. 

Nothing can exceed the beauty and fertility of the country 
on the head waters of the Red river. The river is divided 
into innumerable branches, and spreads itself over an extent 
of country about 80 miles square. Through the centre of this 
tract passes the Santa Fe road. Following up the north east- 
ern branch of Red river, you ascend the mountain which 
brings you into the elevated plain upon which stands the city 
of Santa F, at the distance of about forty leagues. 

This plain is on the top of a high mountain, which (unlike 
the mountains of the United States, which are broken into 
rugged peaks and abrupt precipices,) presents a level plain of 
extraordinary fertility. The scene is however occasionally 
varied by an abrupt peak which rises high above the plain, 
and seems to have been placed there as a beacon to direct the 
steps of the weary traveller. This elevated table land is per- 


haps the best wheat country in the world ; and Malte Brun 
says, in his geography, that the only reason Mexico does not 
drive every other country upon earth out of the grain market, 
is the difficulty of transporting it to the coast. Upon this 
table land, pure fresh water lakes and running streams are 
found in sufficient abundance to supply a caravan of traders 
with water. There is no portion of the country where the 
distance between water will be more than fifteen miles, and 
loaded wagons might pass even now without difficulty ; and 
with a very slight improvement the road would be equal to 
any in the world. 

The Camanches are the only tribe of Indians to be en- 
countered on the route, and a company of 50 men well armed, 
might pass over any portion of the country with impunity. 

Many portions of this country are rich in mineral produc- 
tions, and mines may at no distant period be wrought with 
profit. But our object now is to speak of the trade, and we 
have only been so explicit'in describing the country through 
which the road passes, to show the feasibility of directing the 
trade to this country. 

If goods can be landed at Philadelphia, carried over land 
to Pittsburg, thence shipped in a steam boat to St. Louis, and 
again carried over land to Santa Fe, a distance of not less 
than 1600 miles, through almost a desert country, and abound- 
ing in warlike tribes of Indians, and afford a profit, how much 
greater would be the profit to carry them from Texas, less 
than one-third of the distance, and where none of those ob- 
stacles exist. 

The trade of Santa Fe consists principally in valuable pel- 
tries, and gold and silver in bars ; and to this country horses 
and mules, and even cattle might be driven with profit. 

Santa Fe is the place where all the traders from the north 
of Mexico meet the traders from Missouri, to make an ex- 
change of their commodities. Some idea of its value may be 


drawn from the great prosperity of St. Louis, which derives 
its principal wealth from this trade. 

Goods may be landed at Galveston or Linnville, if imported 
direct from Europe, at a cheaper rate than they can be landed 
at Philadelphia, as our impost duty is much less than it is in 
the United States. From Galveston to Santa Fe it is not 
more than 500 miles. From Philadelphia to Santa Fe it is 
more than 4000 miles. 

We have every advantage over the St. Louis trader, and 
only want a little energy to carry the plan into successful 

Believing that such direct and isolated facts and observa- 
tions as those contained in the above journal, would be more 
interesting, and convey more practical information to many 
readers, than more formal and general descriptions, they are 
placed at the beginning of the work, and will be explanatory 
of many things afterwards named in a more general way. In 
order to greater conciseness, and to secure to every part its 
proper share of attention, we now propose to speak of the 
nascent republic in a more methodical way, and arranging our 
facts and conclusions under distinct heads 




Geographical position of Texas It contains more productive and valuable 
land than any other country of similar extent in the known world Its 
natural divisions are, the level, undulating, and mountainous or hilly 
country The mountainous portion peculiarly adapted to the various 
kinds of grain abounds in fine springs. Abundance of water for hy- 
draulic and other mechanical purposes. Minerals abound. Silver mines 
once worked. The cross timbers a curiosity. Bottom lands exceedingly 
rich. Sabine Lake the Neches and Sabine rivers fall into it vast 
quantities of fertile and valuable lands on their banks. Matagorda Bay 
Colorado river empties into it. Labacca Bay nearest navigable point 
of communication with Austin. Aransas Bay abounds with fish and 

TEXAS is bounded on the North by the Red river and the 
United States, on the East by the United States, from which 
it is separated mostly by the Sabine rirer, on the South by the 
Gulf of Mexico, and on the Southwest and West by Mexico. 

" It extends from lat. 26 to 34 and near an half north 
latitude, and from 16| to 24 1-3 degrees west longitude from 
Washington, including, within its extensive limits, a greater 
amount, it is probably conjectured, of productive and valuable 
land than any portion of equal extent in the known world. 

FACE OF THE COUNTRY. Taken as a whole, Texas is one 
of the evenest and most level portions of America. With the 
exception of the Northwestern region, no part of it can 
properly be termed even hilly, much less mountainous. Still, in 
relation to its peculiarities of surface, the country may naturally 


be divided into three sections, each differing materially from the 
other. Perhaps these may appropriately be designated as the 
level, the undulating, and the mountainous, or rather hilly parts 
of the Republic. The level section embraces the entire coasts, 
and extends inland along the direction of the rivers, from thirty 
to sixty, and, in some places, eighty miles. Much of this, 
though the whole country may, in relation to its surface, be re- 
garded as one vast inclined plain, facing the Gulf of Mexico, is 
so flat that after heavy rains the water drains off but slowly, 
and the prairies for miles resemble shallow lakes in which the 
grass and reeds shoot above their surface. Still, very little, if 
any thing like marsh can be said to exist in any part of the 
country. The only parts unfitted for the plough, are what are 
called crawfishy places, which are, however, highly valuable 
for pasturage. Other portions of the level country, including 
the cane prairies, are among the richest and most productive 
lands in the world. The extent of the area of this, or either of 
the other regions, it is impossible to estimate, other wise than by 
the general remark, that it is very extensive, and will admit of 
a greatly increased population. 

Above, or rather beyond, the level region, commences 
what is appropriately styled the undulating or rolling country. 
This forms by far the largest section of the country, and 
though not so uniformly rich as the level region, contains an 
immense extent of exceedingly fertile soil, both prairie and 
woodland, besides much rich sandy loam that will probably, at 
no distant day, be found equally profitable with the finest por- 
tions of the country. Upon the tops of the elevated prairies 
of this region, are found frequent level plains of considerable 
extent, whose surface is indented with cavities a foot or two 
deep, and from three to seven or eight feet wide. Such places 
are denominated hog-wallow prairies, in which the land is 
extremely rich, and believed to 'be durable as any other. Be- 
side these peculiar places, much of the soil of the upland 
prairies is a black mould, of considerable depth, supported by a 


subsoil of either a steel grey or else of a formation of marl, uni- 
ted with other substances. Among other advantages of this re- 
gion, one very important one is the frequent springs and streams 
of pure and limpid water. Along these rills and streams are 
always strips of woodland, sometimes presenting a mere mass 
of shrubbery, with here and there a cedar, and sometimes a 
broader belt of lofty forest trees. Other sections are covered 
with scattered trees of post oak and black jack. Most of 
which consists of elevated and gravelly land. Among these 
are occasionally found numberless clumps of grape vines, pro- 
ducing abundance of large and delicious grapes, and proving 
the adaptation of these regions to the production of raisins, 
wine, and the most delicate fruits of the vine. 

The mountainous or hilly part of Texas embraces its north 
western section, and, though considerably extensive, forms the 
smallest of the three divisions of the country. In no place 
does this broken feature approach nearer than one hundred 
and seventy-five or two hundred miles of the coast. Though 
in this region the elevations are considerable, and for Texas 
steep and somewhat rugged, few of the acclivities are exactly 
precipitous, and none of the mountains would rank higher 
than those of the fourth or fifth class. For the most part they 
seem to be of secondary formation, lime stone composing a 
very large proportion of their substance. Hence, as might be 
expected, their ascents are generally rather gradual than abrupt, 
and their summits rather rounded than pointed and rocky. The 
sides of these hills, extending to their very tops, are covered 
with a luxuriant growth of timber, including the oak, cedar, 
elm, and other trees, interspersed with shrubbery of various 
kinds. The soil in the valleys, which are numerous and ex- 
tensive, and extending for some distance up the sides of the 
mountains, is exceedingly rich, and fitted to produce the very 
finest crops of grain, grass, or other productions. From the 
feet and sides of these hills, issue innumerable streams and 
springs of water, which, uniting into creeks and rivers, and 


passing down the declivities of the country, furnish abundant 
facilities for every kind and degree of hydraulic power. Is- 
suing from the hearts of these mountains, the water of the 
streams is cool and pure, and but slightly diminished by the 
warmth and dryness of the summer, so that mills and machin- 
ery can continue their operations, throughout the year. After 
watering their own mountain vales, and escaping from such 
narrow channels, they unite with others of their own charac- 
ter, and flowing on to the undulating and level regions, form 
the large and navigable rivers that water all the plains of this 
new but interesling country. These mountains are known to 
enclose in their bowels vast amounts of valuable minerals of 
different kinds. The two most important articles in the mineral 
kingdom are understood to be abundant; silver mines were 
formerly wrought here by the Spaniards but abandoned in con- 
sequence of the hostility of the Indians ; and specimens of fine 
virgin gold have been found. 

An interesting feature in the face of northern Texas is 
what is called the Cross Timbers, extending from near the 
eastern shore of the Brazos river in latitude 32 in a direct 
northern course, to near the Red river, a length of about one 
hundred and thirty miles, while in width it cannot exceed from 
ten to fifteen miles. Near the centre of these timbers 
formerly stood several villages of the Caddo Indians, but 
which were burned by Gen. Rusk, in January 7th, 1839. 
Such a range of forest, marked by extended and distinct 
boundaries of prairie, and lying in such a perfectly straight 
line, must be regarded as extremely curious, and worthy of 
particular attention. 

Nearly all the streams in the whole of this country except 
those among the mountains, are skirted by wide borders of 
alluvial or bottom land, covered with dense forests of timber 
and underwood, or else with almost impenetrable coats of 
cane, either alone or mingled with timber. Many of these 
alluvions are very wide, some of them from three to fifteen or 


twenty miles, and consequently make an important part of the 
face of the country, especially as their fertility is unsurpassed 
by any portion of the known world. Embracing as they do 
so large a portion of the land, were all the rest of the country 
poor, these bottoms would of themselves form for it a desir- 
able character. 


As indicated by its boundaries, nearly the whole southern 
border of Texas is washed by the waters of the gulf of Mexico, 
whose broad waters lave not only the shores of Texas, but 
considerable portions of the United States and Mexico. No part 
however of the extended coast of this great gulf or sea, is more 
frequently indented by inlets, bays and harbors, than that of 
the new republic. Though the entrance to many of these is in 
some measure impeded by bars and shoal water, most of them 
are accessible at high tide at all seasons of the year. These 
partial obstructions to the navigation of the harbors of Texas, 
being composed of sand and other soft materials, it is believed 
will be eventually removed, and that this country will present 
as many facilities for maritime commerce, as any other part 
of the southern country of equal extent. 

Commencing at the extreme eastern point of the coast, the 
first considerable body of salt water penetrating the interior, 
is the Sabine Lake, which, with the Sabine river that empties 
into it, separates this part of Texas from the United States. 
This body of water is connected with the Gulf by what is 
styled the Sabine pass, is of considerable extent, and suffi- 
ciently commodious for all purposes of navigation, but the in- 
let is shallow, and its entrance bordered by mud and other 
obstacles for some distance. Steam boats of considerable 
burden have passed over it, and ascended some distance 
up the Sabine River. Into this lake, fall the Sabine and 



Neches rivers, on whose banks are found vast quantities of 
fertile and valuable land. 

Proceeding westward, the next harbor that attracts our 
attention is Galveston Bay, the largest, and, at present, most 
important one on the coast. The long and narrow island of 
Galveston lies directly in front of the western division of the 
bay, while the eastern section, or the other side of the inlet, is 
subtarded by a peninsula of the main land. Between the 
eastern extremity of Galveston island, and between that and 
Pelican island, is the harbor of Galveston, with a depth of wa- 
ter varying from fifteen to eighteen feet, and extending several 
miles up the bay. The principal entrance into the harbor is 
at the eastern extremity of the island, and, except during 
the prevalence of north winds, will admit the entrance of 
ships of the middle class. The passage is of considerable 
width, and when the light house, authorised by Congress, 
shall be completed, will be navigated with little^f any cttfKcul- 
ty. The navigation of this bay by steam boats, passing from 
Galveston to Houston, is unobstructed, except at Red-fish bar, 
which passes quite across the bay near its centre, and on 
which the water is shallow, especially when in the fall or 
winter the north winds prevail. At such times boats frequently 
find themselves aground, and their only remedy is to wait till 
a change of wind shall bring back to them a depth of water 
sufficient to bear them over the bar. At the western extremity 
of Galveston island is another pass into this bay, said to admit 
in its channel vessels of burden. Here, too, in front of a small 
island, is said to be a good harbor, and on the island has been 
laid out a town called San Louis. It is thought by some that 
this place possesses advantages superior to Galveston. Of 
this, however, we are not prepared to judge. 

The head of this bay, extending a considerable distance 
northward into the interior, forms the estuary of several small 
creeks, the principal of which is the river San Jacinto, which 


though but an inconsiderable stream, will be ever memorable 
in Texian annals, for the battle on its banks, which decided the 
fate of empire, and inscribed the name of a new-born nation 
indelibly upon the tablets of history. ^ 

The extreme western arm of this bay extends nearly to 
the mouth of the Brazos river, with which it has been con- 
jectured it might be properly united by a canal. Such schemes 
however would not at present be productive of any material 
benefit. Till, from the extent of settlements, and the surplus 
of agricultural products, shall fail to find a domestic market, 
the natural outlets and harbors of the country should satisfy 
the desires of the public. The time will no doubt come, and 
that ere many years pass by, when improvements, now 
scarce imagined, will not only be devised but executed, f and 
the people rejoice in advantages of which their ancestors had 
scarcely conceived. 

Still further westward, and bounding the whole southern 
border of Matagorda and Jackson counties, is the large and 
beautiful bay of Matagorda. Into the eastern part of this feay 
falls the Colorado river, while further west a projection of the 
bay northward into the interior is called Trespalcios bay, and 
at its western extremity another large projection called Laba- 
ca bay, becomes the estuary of the Labaca river. Passa Ca- 
vallo, the inlet to Matagorda bay, is said to have tenor twelve 
feet water on its bar, and the harbor within to be safe, with 
four fathoms water. Most however of the area of this bay, 
like much of the waters on the southern coast of North Am- 
erica, is very shallow. The average depth of its waters, from 
the inlet to the mouth of the Colorado, being not more than 
seven or eight feet. And the vessels which can pass over 
this shoal water, cannot approach th mouth of tho Colorado, 
being obliged to Discharge their cargoes for this point by means 
of lighting, or still more inconvenient methods. Like diffi- 
culties exist at the mouth of the Labaca, where the water is 
equally if not still more shallow, Neither of these rivers, it 


is asserted, admit at ordinary high tides vessels drawing more 
than three and a half feet water. 

On the eastern bank of the Colorado, where it enters this 
bay, stands the town of Matagorda. It has been settled for 
some time, contains a considerable number of inhabitants, and 
enjoys a respectable share of commerce with the interior. 
Here is a respectable school for English and classical scholars, 
taught by the Rev. Mr. Ives, of the Episcopal church, who 
also labors as a missionary among the people. On Labaca 
bay are Linville, Cox's Point, and Dimmitt's landing, all new 
towns, of whose prospects the stranger can form no very ad- 
equate judgment. Some of these towns, however, are said 
to be the nearest navigable points on the Gulf of Mexico to 
the new city of Austin, from which goods may be transported 
to that place in a shorter time and at less expense than 
from any other maritime town. Probably some of the towns 
on this bay may, in a few years, acquire much commercial 
importance, though at present it is difficult and perhaps impos- 
siye to decide which of them embodies the greatest advan- 

Still further west at the mouth of the river, formed by the 
junction of the Guadaloupe and San Antonio, and apparently a 
mere widening of its mouth, is Espiritu Santo Bay, separated 
from the Gulf by the Island of Matagorda, at the extremities 
of which are inlets to this bay. As yet it has not been much 
used in navigation or for commercial purposes, as no towns 
are found upon its shores even at the estuary of the river 
emptying into it. Some distance up the Guadaloupe is the site 
of an interesting new town called Victoria, which bids fair to 
become respectable for commerce and other advantages. 

South-west from the preceding harbors, and extending 
considerably inland, appears the Bay of Arajisaso, or Aransa- 
zua, the third in size in the republic, and deeper than any ot 
them. Vessels drawing seven feet water find an easy entrance, 
and the harbor affords a very secure haven. It is dotted with 


islands, and abounds with fish and turtle. An arm of this bay, 
called Capano bay, is separated from the rest by a peninsula 
nearly dividing the whole bay in the centre, called Live Oak 
Point. At the cape, formed by this peninsula, is a town cal- 
led Aransas, nearly opposite to this on the eastern border of 
the bay is Lamar, and at its head on the north the town of 
Capano. Several small rivers empty their waters into this bay, 
along whose streams it is probable there is much good land 
well adapted to the cultivation of the sugar cane. 

Still further south and west, receiving the waters of the 
Nueces river, is Corpus Christi bay, of the particular advan- 
tages of which little information could be procured. The in- 
terior and western projection however is called Nueces bay, 
and seems to be merely a widening of the mouth of the river 
of that name. The lands on this river are represented to be 
as fertile as any in the republic. 

RIVERS. Red river, which separates Texas on the north 
from Arkansas in the United States, rises among the highlands 
near the great Rocky mountain chain, about 103 W. Long, 
from Greenwich, and 33 N, L., and runs a course due east 
nearly the whole breadth of Texas, declining towards the 
south as it approaches the eastern border, and, finally, pours 
its current of turbid and reddish colored waters into the Mis- 
sissippi in the state of Louisiana. It is navigable at this time 
for small steam boats for a considerable distance above Shrieve* 
port, the exact point where it becomes incapable of this ad- 
vantage being not certainly known. Nearly its whole length 
may probably afford facilities for the passage of batteaux and 
flat boats, in taking to the lower country the products of its 
banks, which are believed to be every where extremely fertile. 
The waters of this river, and the alluvial lands along its banks, 
are deeply tinged with a color mostly resembling the red ox- 
ide of iron, to the presence of which substance this peculiar^ 
ity is generally attributed. Hence its name. 



The SABINE river rises in the north-eastern part of Texas, 
and running some distance in a south-western direction, 
changes its course to almost due south, forms the boundary 
between this republic and the United States. It waters an 
extensive and well timbered country, and is navigable for 
steam boats a considerable distance from its entrance into 
Sabine lake, though how far boats may ascend with safety has 
not probably been accurately tested. 

" Passing westward from the Sabine, the next river we meet 
is the NECHES, which rises near the Red river, and running 
in a south-eastern direction, falls, like the Sabine, into the Sa- 
bine lake. Like most other rivers of this country, its bed is 
bordered by broad alluvial bottoms, subject to occasional inun- 
dations, from which, however, no injury occurs, as the waters 
soon retire to the bed of the stream, and leave a rich deposit 
behind them. The channel is deep but narrow, navigation by 
small steam boats sixty or eighty miles from its mouth, and of 
batteaux much farther. 

Next in order, proceeding westward as before, we approach 
the TRINITY, which, like the Neches, rises near the Red 
river in the north of Texas, and running in a south-eastern 
course, empties its waters into the north-eastern part of Gal- 
veston bay. Its length has been estimated at six hundred and 
fifty miles, but it is probably much longer. It passes through 
a fertile and beautiful region, now rapidly filling up with in- 
habitants, and abounding in iron, coal, and some other valuable 

This river is navigable for steam boats for a great distance 
from its mouth, and some confidently believe that they may 
ascend five hundred miles by water. The banks are steep 
and high, and hence not likely to suffer by inundation. Much 
of the land in eastern Texas, between this river and the 
Sabine, except the river bottoms, are represented as being 
similar to the high lands in the western district of Tennessee 
and northern Mississippi good farming and cotton lands. 


though less productive than the better portions of southern 
and western Texas. 

Several new towns have been lately established at different 
points on this river, which are rapidly filling with inhabitants. 
Perhaps no part of the republic is more rapidly settling than 
the country upon and near the Trinity river. 

The BRAZOS, one of the largest and most important rivers 
of this country, rises in the north-western part of Texas, and 
meandering through a very extensive region, and, running by 
estimation, 750 miles, falls into the Gulf of Mexico. The 
general direction of this river is south-east, and its waters, 
like those of the Red river, considerably tinged by the oxide 
of iron. This is much more apparent at some times than at 
others, probably owing to the greater rise of particular 
branches at different seasons. In its course it receives the 
waters of many tributaries, the largest of which is the Navo 
sato, coming from the north-east. 

The most remarkable branch of this stream, however, is 
called the salt branch, flowing from an extensive plain deeply 
impregnated with mineral salt. In times of very wet weather, 
this plain is said to be covered with water, which, in flowing 
off. carries with it salt enough to render the waters of the 
whole river quite brackish. At this time the waters deposit a 
fine red clay, which, to the touch, resembles soap, and is very 
adhesive. This clay evidently contains salt, and probably 
iron. In very dry weather, it is said, this temporary lake 
dries up, and the whole plain is frosted with particles of crys- 
tallized salt. Except when this salt branch is high, the 
waters of the Brazos are free from appearance of salt, and 
fitted for all the purposes to which river water is applied. 

The country through which this river flows, especially its 
wide bottoms, is remarkable for the exceeding beauty of its 
form and undulations ; and for fertility is surpassed by no por- 
tion of lands on the globe. It was during the last winter 


literally the granary of Texas, and but for the abundance of 
corn produced along its banks, it is difficult to conceive how 
the thousands of emigrants and travellers that visited the 
country, could have obtained subsistence. For sixty or eighty 
miles from its waters, innkeepers and others told of going to 
the Brazos to procure supplies of corn and bacon. 

In rare instances the bottoms of this river have been over- 
flowed, and much damage done to crops, fences and stock. 
One instance only has been related to the writer, and it is 
hoped that like disasters will be unheard of hereafter. 

Like most other streams of this country, the Brazos is ob- 
structed by a bar at its mouth, composed of a bank of sand. 
Over this bar vessels drawing more than six feet water cannot 
pass. Within the bar is a good and safe harbor, and the river 
is navigable for steam boats certainly as far up as Washington, 
and probably will be so much farther. At present, however, 
they have a perfectly good market for all the productions of 
the soil, at their own doors, and need neither ships nor steam 
boats to convert the fruits of their fields into money. The 
banks of the river, for a great distance from its mouth, are 
dotted with towns and villages, some of which being burned 
during the war with Mexico, are now rising from their ashes, 
though not without marks of the ruin they suffered. 

The COLORADO, the next river west of the Brazos, is the 
second river in size in the republic. It rises in the extreme 
western part of the country, one of its principal branches 
heading about 104 west longitude, and less than 30 north 
latitude, which, running thence in a north-eastern direction 
among the Cordilleras, unites with the Pasigona, and, turning 
with that to a south-eastern course, meanders through the 
heart of the country, and falls into the eastern part of Mata- 
gorda bay. Its length is estimated at about six hundred miles, 
though others think it is considerably more than that, 


This river would probably be navigable for steam boats 
very nearly to the falls above Austin, but for a raft of timber, 
composed of flood wood, that obstructs its channel a short 
distance above Matagorda. This raft will probably soon be 
removed, and vigorous attempts made to improve the naviga- 
tion of the stream, especially since the seat of government has 
been located upon its banks. By those who have traversed 
its length from Austin, downwards, in a periogue, the stream 
is represented as containing very few obstructions, and those 
capable of easy removal. Several gentlemen of experience 
in river navigation, expressed a confident opinion, that for a 
part of the year at least, steam boats might visit the upper 
Colorado, if not land in Austin itself. 

The banks of this river and the adjacent lands, abound in 
beautiful and valuable timber, as well as frequent level and 
exuberantly rich prairies. Live oak, and various other kinds 
of that valuable timber, cedar, ash, hackberry, elm, musquit, 
etc. are found in almost every direction. The peccan tree in 
particular, appears to flourish here in high perfection. One 
was declared by a gentleman of high character, though many 
others as large were in the neighborhood, to have produced 
twenty-five bushels of that delicate nut in a single year. 

The River, or Rio, GUADALUPE rises in the hilly regions of 
the north-west of Texas, and running south-eastward in a 
clear and beautiful stream, it receives several tributaries, and 
uniting with the San Antonio, falls with it into the Aransaso 
bay. The waters of this river are represented as very trans- 
parent and beautiful, and the alluvial bottoms as extensive 
and fertile. Its width is seldom sixty yards, but it flows 
through a beautiful and well-timbered country. 

Thfi SAN ANTONIO has its eourooo among tlno mountains 

north-west of Bexar. it is formed of the united waters of 
innumerable springs, which, issuing from the sources in the 


rocks composing the bases of the mountains, unite their spark- 
ling rivulets into one clear transparent river, which flows off 
gaily with a rapid and noisy current over a bed of limestone. 
Derived almost entirely from these sources, it is not subject 
to great changes nor considerable freshets. Its width is in- 
considerable, though of the depth of ten or twelve feet, and 
abounds in cascades and rapids, well adapted for mill seats 
and hydraulic purposes. 

This and its other branch, the Guadalupe, are both repre- 
sented by one writer as navigable for canoes nearly to their 
sources. How this consists with their course among hills, 
and their adaptation for machinery, we do not clearly discover. 
After flowing a considerable distance in a nearly eastern di- 
rection, it forms a junction with the Guadalupe, and its waters 
are soon after lost in the waves of the Aransaso. 

The NUKCES rises in the highlands of the Guadalupe moun- 
tains, and running in a direction but little south of east, emp- 
ties its waters through the Nueces bay into the bay of Corpus 
Christi. The lands on the banks of this river are said to be 
surpassingly fertile even for Texas, abounding in excellent 
timber, of which the peccan forms a large proportion. The 
bottoms are extensive, sufficiently elevated for cultivation, and 
productive beyond calculation. It is presumed that in some 
few years sugar will form the great staple of this region. All 
the lower parts of the Nueces may be navigated by keel and 
fiat boats, and probably to some extent by steam boats. 

At some distance from the Nueces, and at the extreme 
south-western border of Texas, is the Rio GRANDE, Rio BRAVO, 
or Rio DEL NORTE, for it is called by all these names, and, as 
its name indicates, one of the largest rivers falling into the 
Gulf of Mexico west of the great Mississippi. 

It has its sources far north and wst among the Rocky 
Mountains, one branch heading on the eastern and another on 
the western side of one long range of these mountains. 


Though the war between Mexico and Texas has not been 
formally terminated by a peace between the two nations, this 
river has by a kind of tacit agreement, become the boundary 
line that divides them. On the south and west side are found 
numerous villages and hamlets of the Mexicans, who dwell 
in peace and security in their habitations, and on the other 
range the settlers, hunters, and surveyors of Texas, who, 
without interruption pursue their various objects. 

The extreme northern sources of this river extend as high 
as 38 N. L., and, after a long course in a south eastern di- 
rection, fall into the Gulf of Mexico, to the south of Corpus 
Christi bay. This river is navigable for ships of 'considerable 
burden for some distance from its mouth, and should the war 
between Texas and Mexico soon cease, it is probable that its 
facilities for steam boat navigation will be tested, and may 
extend several hundred miles into the interior. 

The extended region between the lower parts of the Nueces 
and the Rio Grande is but little known. From the fact that 
few tributaries fall into either of those streams from this part 
of the country, it has been inferred that it consists principally 
of dry elevated prairie, a conclusion but feebly supported by 
the premises. It would seem quite as probable that it em- 
braced extensive marshes and lakes, which receive and retain 
the waters that fall upon them, as that they are elevated ; for 
in that case the waters from the clouds and springs would 
both naturally descend the declivities and find their way to 
these rivers. 

In connection with this notice of the rivers of Texas, it is 
proper to mention that there are also scattered through the 
republic many interesting creeks and smaller streams, some 
of which are remarkable for being navigable almost to their 
sources, and others for other causes. 

Among the former may be mentioned the San Jacinto and 
the Buffalo Bayou, which are constantly navigated by steam 


boats even to the forks of the latter at the city of Houston, 
although for several miles below that place, it is so narrow 
that large steam boats find it difficult, and sometimes impos- 
sible, to turn themselves round in the stream. This whole 
bayou rather resembles a crooked canal with high and wooded 
banks, than a natural stream. 

Caney Creek is remarkable for a vast cane brake, without 
any portion of timber, which lines its banks. This cane 
brake, till the hand of white men violated its uniformity, ex- 
tended from within twelve miles of its mouth to near its 
source, a distance of seventy-five miles, and from one to three 
miles in width. This broad sheet of cane is bordered on both 
sides by heavy timber. 

Oyster Creek, which arises in the alluvial lands of the 
Brazos, and runs parallel with it, meandering through its bot- 
toms, is bordered with considerable quantities of cane brake, 
most of which however is mingled with timber. 

The Labaca is a handsome rivulet, flowing through a fertile 
region, and almost hidden by a dense growth of valuable 
and lofty timber. To these might be added the San Bernardo, 
Aransaso and others. 

There are few lakes in the whole republic, and these ge- 
nerally of no considerable extent or importance. A few are 
found near the sources of the Guadalupe and on some of the 
branches of the Red river, but they are not felt to be impor- 
tant. In the central part of the region of San Patricio, di- 
rectly west of Padre island, there are several lakes of some 
extent, whose waters are so impregnated with salt, that it is 
constantly crystallizing by solar evaporation. The cubes that 
form upon the surface by the least agitation of the water, are 
made to sink, and, on the bottom, they agglutinate and form a 
thick crust of the purest crystal salt, which may easily be 
collected in any quantity, and for every purpose. 

Still this abundant supply of that necessary article is here 


of little importance, as at the Padre island above mentioned, 
in its whole length from near Matamoras to Corpus Christi, 
furnishes inexhaustible supplies of salt formed by solar evap- 
oration, to all who choose to gather it at the water's edge, so 
as to require no expense of land transportation. Surely to 
Texians salt should not be expensive to whom it is furnished 
in creeks, lakes, and islands, in the interior and on the coast. 




Texas one of the healthiest regions of America. Causes of the winter 
'Northers' their arid character and general influence. The Gulf 
breezes constant visitants throughout the summer. Prairies conducive to 
health. A residence in Texas highly favorable to Consumptive patients. 
Several remarkable cases of cures known to the writer. The Soil of 
Texas not excelled by any other portion of the Globe. Live oak trees. 
Grape Vines. A vineyard soon rendered profitable. Musquik tree 
Its suitability for hedges. All the fruits peculiar to the temperate zone 

will flourish in Texas. 

CLIMATE. In this department of a description of Texas, 
there is some danger of either misleading the mind of the 
reader, or of giving but an imperfect delineation of real facts. 
Like every other portion of the globe, the climate of this coun- 
try possesses certain advantages, against which, however, are 
to be set off some drawbacks and inconveniences.' 

Whoever would represent it therefore as being entirely free 
from all the evils attendant upon the cold climates of the North, 
of the hot suns between the tropics, and the rapid changes of 
the temperate zone, would be justly chargeable with extrava- 
gance, if not with misrepresentation. Those on the other 
hand, who would assert that either of these difficulties existed 
here in a degree as considerable as they are found to do in 
tropical, temperate, or high northern regions, would do great 
injustice to the character of the country. While, therefore, 
we reject all exaggeration of the blessings of our climate, we 
would equally shun all improper depreciation of its merits, 


Though this republic boasts not of the character of a 
Mohammedan paradise, enjoying all the delights of perpetual 
Spring, and perpetual Autumn, when fruits and flowers mingle 
their odors in continual fragrance and profusion ; it does claim 
that no part of the continent is more favored by the blandness 
of its breezes, the pleasantness of its temperature, the bright- 
ness of its skies, or salubrity of its atmosphere. Varying ac- 
cording to its latitude and elevation in the degree of its heat 
and cold, some parts bordering nearly upon the tropics, while 
others pass considerably into the temperate regions. None of 
it however is either so elevated, or so far from the equator, as to 
feel the rigors of a snowy winter, or lose the advantages of 
the great southern staple, the cotton crop. 

" The whole country, consisting of one vast inclined plain, 
with a southern exposure, the beds of whose streams are deep, 
with high banks entirely free from marshes, and from stagnant 
or putrid water, and most of the country open prairie, over 
which the breezes blow with the freedom of ocean winds, it 
enjoys an exemption from causes of disease scarcely exampled, 
and a freshness of the air no where surpassed. This inclina- 
tion to the south drains the country of its superfluous waters, 
presents its whole surface to the sea breezes as they come 
from the Gulf of Mexico, and render the climate several de- 
grees warmer and better fitted for tropical and southern crops 
than a northern exposure could do. 

Though in the lower latitudes the heats of summer must 
be considerable, ranging as high as average of 85 Fahrenheit, 
it is believed by good judges that this is in no degree injurious 
to health, except in the vicinity of dams, swamps, or other 
local causes of disease. It will probably be found upon the 
fullest investigation, that southern climates, unless in the 
neighborhood of decaying animal or vegetable substances, are 
quite as favorable to health and longevity as any other parts of 
the world. In them it is true decomposition of bodies is more 
rapid, and hence their influence upon the atmosphere is more 


severe than where this process is gradual. Exempt from such 
sources of disease, and little subject to pulmonary affections, 
there is much reason to expect Texas will continue as she is, 
one of the healthiest regions of America. 

In most parts of Texas the only seasons which can be 
regarded as cold, continue but for a day or two at a time, while 
the north or northwest wind blows freshly over the plains. 
At these times but little ice or frost is found, even when they 
are the most severe, which disappears upon the first exposure 
to the rays of the sun or influence of a southern breeze. 

The source of these winds here technically styled North- 
ers, is the highlands or mountains at the sources of the Red and 
Grand river, which, being much more dense than the rari- 
fied atmosphere of the more southern and lower regions, rush 
. down the gentle slope over the smooth prairies, and become 
dispersed among the vapors that rise between the tropics. 
The change produced by them in the atmosphere here is sen- 
sible and very sudden. They seem to be quite arid, and to dry 
up all moisture of the skin, and induce an exceedingly rapid 
evaporation of such waters as have previously fallen from the 
clouds. Their effects however are seldom injurious, and in 
general they tend much to the purification and salubrity of the 

Immediately following these, for they occur only in win- 
ter, ensues either a season of calm, sunny and pleasant wea- 
ther, in which the ploughman finds a convenient season for fal- 
lowing his lands, or soft southern winds more resembling those 
of a northern summer evening than of winter's severity. 

In even the severest of these northers, cattle seem to re- 
quire no other shelter than the protection of a neighboring 
grove, and often disregarding that, they are found feeding or 
resting upon the open prairie. 

From March to October may be regarded as the Texian 
summer, between which months the weather is warm, vegeta- 
tion grows with vigor, and all kinds of crops are brought to 
perfection. During this season comparatively little rain falls. 


though in most seasons showers are of frequent occurrence, 
and the heat of the plains produces such a rarefaction as in 
turn induces a fresh and almost constant sea breeze from the 

From the openness and evenness of the surface of the 
country, this breeze is felt far in the interior, a circumstance 
which distinguishes Texas from any other country. So 
strong too is the current of these winds, that writers, whether 
clerks or authors, would do well to have their papers well se- 
cured, lest they should be widely disseminated even before 
publication. With few and slight intermissions from calms or 
winds from other quarters, these last throughout the summer, 
and are represented by the residents of the country as being 
delightfully pleasaiit, refreshing and producing a gentle exhil* 
aration of spirits. 

Among other reasons why the climate of Texas has proved, 
and will continue to be less exposed to summer and autumnal 
fevers, than most other countries, is found in the number and 
extent of her prairies. Wherever the new settler in Ken- 
tucky, Tennessee, Alabama, or elsewhere, has entered the 
dense forest, broken in upon the vegetable accumulation of 
centuries, and stopped at once the absorbing action of all the 
foliage, the consequence has invariably been intermittent or 
other more malignant fevers, marking the progress of improve^ 
ment by the pale countenances, weakness and death of the 

From these and such disasters, the emigrant to this coun-- 
try, except those who invade the timbered bottoms, are almost 
wholly exempt. Settling himself upon the rich prairie, and 
turning all the vegetable matter upon his land under the fur- 
row, no malaria arises from decayed and decaying masses of 
leaves, timber, and souring sap of myriads of trees. The 
settler and his family enjoy entire health, and can gather the 
first year of their residence upon the soil, a generous reward, 
of their toils. 


Even the bottoms of the rivers, which are covered with 
cane and lofty timber, though less healthful and salubrious 
than the prairies, are not subject to diseases of such malig- 
nancy and mortality, as frequently visit the new settlements 
along the southern rivers of the United States. The reason 
for this is found in the fact, that these streams seldom over- 
flow, and when they do, the waters soon subside, and leave 
no pools or marshes to putrefy and exhale contagion round 

As, however, diseases have to some extent pervaded among 
and in the vicinity of these forests, it has been conjectured 
that their presence, especially when clothed with the long or 
Spanish moss, (Tillandsia Usneoides*) is productive of a state 
of the atmosphere unfavorable to health. Probably however, 
the true cause is found in the effect of deadening, or other- 
wise killing the timber, whose foliage had previously absorbed 
or decomposed the infectious ingredient of the air. If this 
latter opinion be correct, even the little disease found along 
the bottoms of the streams may be expected to disappear, as 
the settlements become dense and the lands are cleared. 

Another temporary cause of disease, is the use, for domestic 
purposes, of the water of rivers and creeks. Many of the 
late emigrants settling in the level parts of the country, 
being without natural springs, are induced to use for every 
purpose the water of the nearest stream or bayou, though of a 
quality far less desirable than well water. This source, if 
such it be, of sickness, is removeable at the will of the people, 
as water of a fine character can usually be found by digging 
to a moderate depth, 

* This parasitical, or rather aerial plant, is not properly a moss, as t has 
a small but perfectly defined flower and pericarp, with numerous small seeds, 
to each of which is appended a tuft of a substance resembling fine sea island 
cotton, by the aid of which, it is presumed, the winds disseminate it through 
the forest. From a careful examination of facts, it is nearly certain that its 
roots merely sustain it in its position without giving it any nourishment. 


It is asserted by persons of high respectability, that pools or 
other stagnant waters are never covered with the green slime, 
which is so common and so offensive in most of the ponds and 
sluggish streams in many parts of the United States. In all 
the undulating region, and especially in the mountainous part 
of Texas, springs of limpid and cool water are very frequent ; 
so much so that no part of them need suffer for excellent 
drinking water in any season of the year. Facts like these 
must satisfy the most incredulous, that in point of pleasantness 
of temperature and general salubrity, the climate of Texas is 
as inviting as that of any other country. 

In the opinion of respectable physicians and others, a resi- 
dence in this country would be as likely to mitigate or relieve 
pulmonary and consumptive affections, as any part of the 
South of Europe, or of the West Indies. Several striking 
cases of entire relief from these diseases are stated by per^ 
sons of the highest intelligence and character.* 

One of these is a gentleman, whose name as a patriot and 
statesman, holds a distinguished place in the history of Texas. 
He states that when he left his former residence in the United 
States, his frame was wasted to a skeleton, his strength was 
gone, and he was regarded by his friends as in the last stages 
of consumption. Since that time he has fought the Indians 
and Mexicans in various campaigns ; suffered in common 
with other Texians the evils attendant upon flight, exposure 
and exile ; but now, in the enjoyment of vigorous health, ex- 
ercises a powerful influence over the councils of his adopted 

Another instance is of a physician, who had spent several 
years in France, and found no advantage from the celebrated 
salubrity of parts of that country. By the advice of the Texian 
minister near that court, he came about a year since to Texas, 
and has so far improved in health, as to look forward with fair 
prospects of final and complete restoration. 

Numerous other instances are related by the subjects of the 


disease themselves or their immediate relatives, who, from 
pining and despairing weakness, accompanied with bleeding 
of the lungs, no\v enjoy a health apparently as sound and 
vigorous as any others. 

SOIL. In relation to the character and productions of its 
soil, perhaps no country offers a greater variety that is valu- 
able, a larger proportion of that which is fertile, or any 
that can surpass some of the bottoms and level prairies of 

In its different portions are found almost every variety, in- 
cluding alluvial, level, undulating and mountainous, which 
latter portions are all of secondary formation, the debris of 
whose rocks, as well as other parts of the elevations, form what 
are called calcareous and most valuable land, embracing 
sandy, clayey, rocky and pebbly earths, with shades of their 

With few extensive exceptions, Texas is a prairie country, 
whose streams, rivulets and creeks, as well as rivers, in their 
meandering courses, skirt these native meadows with wood- 
land and forests of various width and extent. The causes for 
the absence of timber on these plains, are not found in the 
unfitness of the soil for their production, or the want of roots 
or seeds by which they might be propagated. The true 
reason in most cases is, that from the fertility o.f the growth 
of grass and other herbage, it is so luxuriant, that when in 
autumn, by accident or design, the fire gets into it, it burns 
with a heat sufficiently intense to kill all the young timber 
and underwood among which it grows. In those places 
where the land is poor, and the herbage less abundant, trees, 
whose bark is thick, endure the fire and grow into forests. 
Hence it appears, that the absence of timber and shrubbery 
upon a plain, or the sloping acclivities of hills, furnishes no 
indication of its barrenness, but, on the contrary, gives evi- 
dence of the prolific character of the ground. 


Seen at a distance from an eminence, these prairies, fringed 
along their sides by the woods and vines that line the banks of 
the creeks, and occasionally studded with the copses of tim- 
ber called islands, either upon the summits of low hills, or 
marking the point where springs arise, wear the appearance of 
fields, meadows, lawns, and woodland, formed by art and in- 
dustry, and exhibiting what would be regarded as the fruit of 
taste and refinement. 

The eastern section of the country contains a larger por- 
tion of timbered land than most other parts, except the cross- 
timbers. Here are found pine, oak, ash, cedar, elm, cypress, 
and other forest trees, extending even to the northern border 
of the republic, affording, it is believed, ample materials for 
all purposes of fencing and building. The soil, though vary- 
ing in character, is adapted both to grazing and agriculture. 
Near the gulf, and for some distance in the interior, as in all 
the southern parts of Texas, the land is well fitted for the> 
cultivation of the sugar cane, as well as for cotton. 

From the little experience yet acquired, the evidence is 
uniform, that the cane here grown is more luxuriant, ripens 
more fully, and developes the saccharine juice in greater per- 
fection and abundance than in most parts of Louisiana. The 
cotton of this region also is said to be finer, more silky, and 
of a longer staple than in most parts of the United States, and 
to command a higher price in market. Certainly some fine- 
specimens of Texian cotton have been shown us, which, if 
they are fair samples of the whole, would justify the forego- 
ing statement. Farther north, cotton must be the principal 
production for exportation, and for this almost every portion of 
the country is admirably adapted. Except along the rivers, 
the north-eastern portion of the country is thought to be less 
productive than other sections, but still abundantly profita- 
ble under the judicious cultivation of skilful cotton planters. 

From the Brazos westward to the Colorado, including the 
Caney and other creeks, the lands in the level region appear 


to partake of similar characteristics, and to resemble each 
other in color, fertility and natural productions. Much of this 
land is of a reddish cast, though darkened by the admixture 
of other kinds of earth and vegetable mould. Some portion 
of salt is believed to be mingled with this kind of alluvion, 
and to that circumstance, and the quantity of nitre evidently 
mingled with it, is attributed some part of its astonishing fer- 

The Guadaloupe, and the streams lying westward of it to 
Neuces, (river of Nuts,) all afford considerable bottoms of 
deep black alluvial earth, well clothed with timber, and ex- 
ceedingly fertile. All the southern parts of this extended re- 
gion are well adapted to sugar cane, and would be found no 
way inferior to the very best sugar lands in Louisiana, and 
much preferable to any which lie above New Orleans. At 
present however it is not desirable that any other considerable 
crop than grain and provisions should be cultivated in Texas, 
as all that can for several years be produced will no more than 
supply the wants of the innumerable emigrants, who crowd 
to her shores from Germany and England, as well as from the 
United States, 

Farther from the coast, and towards the sources of these 
streams, the land becomes more elevated, but still abundantly 
fertile, and fitted to produce, in addition to corn, cotton, figs, etc. 
all the grains and fruits of the temperate zone. In this region 
most of the land, except the bottoms of the rivers, partakes, in 
some degree, of an argillaceous, and calcareous character, 
mixed with a greater or less portion of sand. It is sufficient- 
ly firm for every agricultural purpose, and yet friable enough 
to be easily wrought by the plough. Such soils, it is well 
known in northern parts of the United States, are among the 
very best for wheat, and for apples and pears. It is hence in- 
ferred, that on these grounds these products might be success- 
fully cultivated. 

But theory like this is not the only ground on which to 

LIVE OAK. 107 

rest these conclusions. The experiment has been in some 
degree made, and though in one case the rust lessened the 
value of the wheat crop, it grew finely, and, but for a season 
of rain, just before ripening, would probably have equalled 
the best crops of the kind in Indiana or Ohio. Apple and 
pear trees grow well here, and no reason is known why they 
may not at maturity produce their fruit in perfection. 

From the bay of Matagorda to the western part of Galves- 
ton bay, and into the interior along the banks of the Brazos 
and Colorado, for a distance of about one hundred miles, the 
live oak abounds. Near the sea coast it grows to a great 
size, and frequently exhibits a beautiful shaft of from twenty to 
thirty feet in length. Farther inland it usually throws out its 
large branches near the ground. This tree, the cedar, and 
some others, usually indicate that the soil where they abound 
is in some degree calcareous. 

Among the trees found upon the river bottoms, the largest 
and most majestic is the cotton wood, a species of the poplar, 
(populus elatior, forlasse,) the timber of which is light, and 
has been regarded of little value. Rails made of the heart of 
it however are quite durable, and beginning to be held in con- 
siderable estimation. 

Among the uplands, in addition to the prairies, there are many 
considerably extensive tracts of comparatively open timbered 
land, technically called post oak lands. These are seldom dense 
forests, but rather resemble thickly set orchards. The timber 
is mostly post oak, interspersed with black jack, and an occa- 
sional hickory or elm. The land is usually elevated, fre- 
quently quite level and covered with grass. This kind seems 
to be regarded of inferior quality, though in some places the 
long arid thick grass indicate great productiveness. Again 
there are found elevated ridges of very poor land, upon which 
the grass is thin and of feeble growth, not sufficiently vigor- 
ous to produce a fire that will destroy the young timber. Upon 
these some valuable pine timber is found, but all other trees 


seem stunted and are too small and shrubby for any use but fire- 

Among the elevated lands at a distance from the coast, 
both among the post oaks and on the prairies, are frequent 
patches, some of great extent, nearly covered with clusters of 
indigenous grape vines. Where the fire has not reached these 
for two or three years, they acquire considerable size, and 
produce with astonishing fruitfulness. There are several va- 
rieties of them, most of which are- of fine flavor for the 
table, and would probably make a v aluable wine or raisins. 
Whatever may be their specific qualities, they clearly prove 
the adaptedness of the soil for vineyards. A vineyard of 
much profit might be formed almost at once by grafting choice 
varieties of the grape upon these native roots. 

Perhaps no country offers better prospects, to vine dressers, 
than this. In various places also among the thick shrubbery 
upon the low prairies, and climbing to the tops of the tall for- 
est trees of the river bottoms, are found innumerable grape 
vines, but their fruit seems to be held in less estimation than 
those among the hills and post oaks. 

Among the rich prairies of the upper Colorado, and along 
most of the low prairies near the rivers in the western part of 
this country, we find the musquit tree, a variety of the aca- 
cia, or locust family. Like other trees of this genus its flower 
is papilionaceous, and its fruit a bean, growing like other 
beans in a pod. This bean is said to be quite valuable for hogs 
and cattle, who freely eat it, and thrive upon it nearly as well 
as upon Indian corn. This tree is armed, like others of its 
family with spines, is exceedingly tenacious of life, sprouting 
up from the root, though its whole top has been killed by fire 
a hundred times in succession. 

Its timber, where it can be found of sufficient size, is ex- 
ceedingly valuable for posts or other purposes where hardness 
and durability are required, both of which qualities it possesses 
in a high degree. From all these qualities, it has been suggested 


that it would make a most valuable and durable hedge. Its 
character for this purpose has not been tested, but little doubt 
can exist, that a hedge of it, when once complete, would re- 
quire little labor, be perfectly effectual as a fence, and as per- 
manent as any fence of the kind whatever. 

In the same regions is also found the musquit* grass, a 
plant much resembling the spear or blue grass of the United 
States. It is said to grow quite vigorously, to be highly nu- 
tritious, much sought after by cattle and horses, and to retain 
its greenness and nutritive qualities during the winter. Even 
when frosts of uncommon severity, as is sometimes the case, 
have caused the upper leaves to fade and turn downward, it 
seems to lose neither its flavor nor value in the estimation of 
the cattle, who continue to seek for it and eat it with unabated 
avidity. Certain it is, where this grass abounds cattle lose 
nothing of their fatness and vigor during the winter, and are 
frequently driven up from the prairies at all seasons of the 
year to be butchered and sent to market. 

That portion of Texas which is called the mountainous or 
hilly part, with the exception of the higher parts of the hills, 
is rich and abundantly fitted for the production of grain, hemp, 
grass, etc. The valleys along the streams are believed to 
equal in fertility any part of the United States, and both hill 
and valley to be well adapted to the production of apples, 
pears, quinces, plums, peaches, and every other fruit found in 
the temperate zone. 

This may not unlikely become the granary and hemp dis- 
trict of the Republic, and from its advantages in hydraulic 
power, may well furnish the rest of the people with manufac- 

* Why these two valuable productions should be designated by a name 
signifying musquitoe, is to the writer unknown. They certainly merit much 
more honorable titles, especially as much of the country where they grow 
this insect is almost unknown. 



In giving an account of the soils of Texas, we think pro- 
per to annex the following description of a section of the 
country, which is fast filling up with a desirable population, 
whose prospects bid fair, from the fertility of its lands and 
commercial advantages, to become a most important portion of 
the Republic. The writer's views and conclusions accord 
fully with our own, and they will doubtless be verified in their 
results. It was penned by an intelligent traveller two or 
three years since, who is now, we are informed, a resident 
of the section of country described. 

" Early in April we reached the Trinity, a beautiful river 
\vhich has its source near Red river, and flows through a 
magnificent country till it reaches the bay, near Galveston, in 
the Gulf of Mexico. This region, which has hitherto been 
somewhat overlooked in the great struggle for lands farther 
west, is now attracting much attention, and is among the most 
desirable and important in the Republic. Its rich cotton and 
grazing lands have caught the eye of the planter, and they 
will soon be occupied and form the most valuable settlements 
in the country. 

The Trinity river affords the best steamboat navigation in 
Texas. Boats have already ascended to New Cincinnati and 
Osceola, and can easily go to the Three Forks, in the mineral 
region, some two or three hundred miles above. This is a 
district of remarkable fertility and beauty. That portion of it 
embracing the counties of Montgomery, Houston, and Robin- 
son, is now settling rapidly, and with great advantages and 
facilities for trade and navigation, must remain unrivalled for 
many years to come. The valleys of the Trinity present 
some of the richest soil and most beautiful landscape scenery 
in the south-west. Her rich meadows and high rolling prair- 
ies are uncommonly beautiful ; and no Roman principality, no 
German barony, or English manor, can surpass in beauty and 
magnificence some of the princely estates in this region. It 
affords the best grazing district on earth ; .and wheat, among 


other various products, grows there as luxuriantly as in New 
England or Canada. On one farm, not far from the river, in 
Houston county, may be seen a crop of wheat already har- 
vested, the beginning of June, with rich fields of cotton, com 
and tobacco, rye, barley and oats ranged side by side each 
other, and Irish and sweet potatoes keeping loving company 
together throughout the land. 

Large herds of deer and wild cattle are common. Fish are 
abundant in the lakes and rivers, and thousands of wild horses 
ramble about, and graze upon the surrounding hills and prair- 
ies which overlook the valleys of corn. Sheep do well here 
even upon the prairie grass, and horses, and cattle, and mules 
are raised at least 50 per cent cheaper than in any part of the 
United States. 

Garden vegetables of every description are easily cultivated, 
and yield in the greatest profusion. Many of the fruits of the 
tropics, and those of the north, grow luxuriantly. The fig, 
peach, nectarine, grape and quince are equally prolific, and 
produce excellent fruit. The mulberry is indigenous to the 
country, and the rearing of silk worms will become an easy 
and profitable branch of agriculture. A great variety of ber- 
ries and nuts grow wild and in the greatest profusion. The 
pecan is very abundant. The pawpaw grows wild, and pro- 
duces a large, pulpy and luscious fruit. The orange, lemon 
and pine may be made to ripen with a little care. 

This region of country is eminently healthy. It is beauti- 
fully supplied with springs of the purest water, and the air is 
always fresh either from the mountains or sea. This must 
soon become the resort of rich invalids and the man of leisure 
from the Southern cities, on account of its double charms of 
salubrity of atmosphere and picturesque scenery. The dis- 
covery of the Salinilla Springs, both sulphur and chalybeate, 
must insure a rapid and permanent settlement of this inte- 
resting district 

are in demand here, and can be had, just now, from 


two to five dollars per acre ; but how long will it be before 
they advance to fifty dollars ? Is it possible that lands yield- 
ing two bales of cotton, or two hogsheads of sugar and tobac- 
co, one hundred bushels of corn, two or three tons of hay, 
forty bushels of whe'at and seventy of oats, and five hundred 
ditto of potatoes per acre, and only two days transportation to 
New Orleans, can be worth less than fifty dollars ? Here is 
plenty of timber and good water. The land is high and roll- 
ing, easy and pleasant to cultivate, yielding to the industrious 
farmer an abundant reward for his labor, and producing every 
thing incident to the climate in the greatest profusion, and 
with an ease to the cultivator that would appear incredible to 
people of the northern states, who are accustomed to a land 
of sterile soil and severe climate. 

In addition to all this, there are inexhaustible beds of stone 
coal, limestone and freestone of a beautiful color and texture, 
and easily dressed for building. Some valuable salines are 
found here, which will be sources of wealth to the coun- 
try, and large quantities of salt of superior quality, can be 
manufactured for home consumption or shipped to Galveston 
and New Orleans. 

Some of the pipe-clay in the coal formations, will answer 
well for pottery and stone-ware. Iron is found here, on the 
Trinity, and is said to be very good. The lead mines near the 
upper forks of the river, will be immensely valuable. The 
metal is found as pure and abundant as at Galena and Dubu- 

What inducements are here given to the skilful cultivator of 
the soil ; what prospects of wealth to the industrious mechanic, 
and what a wide and endless field for speculation to the man 
of foresight and business ! If he would carve out his own 
fortune at the expense of temporary sacrifices, in preference 
to fretting away his existence in the slavish occupancy of an 
overstrained competition, let him turn his eyes and footsteps 
to the illimitable 




The varied uses of corn. Irish potatoes indigenous. Two crops of corn 
can usually be obtained each year. Price of corn in 1839-40. Fine 
cotton country. Large crops. Sugar cane its superiority over that of 
the United States. The utility and healthfulness of Sugar. The culti- 
vation of the cane not confined to wealthy farmers. Method of cultiva- 
ting Sugar. Rice can be grown to great profit. Indigo indigenous 
Process of culture its manufacture profitable. Grapes their abun-^ 
dance suitable as an article of trade. Flax and hemp. Tobacco^ * 
Sweet Potatoes their excellence. Garden vegetables^ 

As these are very various, and comprise many things belong- 
ing to different departments of knowledge, it becomes proper to 
separate our remarks into "distinct heads, though it is probable, 
we shall not by that course entirely avoid repeating some 
things already before the reader. 


Of these we have already said much, but conclude on that 
account not to forbear a somewhat minute notice of agriculture, 
as it is, and must probably become in a comparatively short 
time. As they now exist, the productions of Texian agricul- 
ture are very few, and those of the most immediate necessity 
to the husbandman himself, and still later emigrants. While 
all that his most active industry could produce of the single 
article of grain, found a ready market at his own door, and at 
almost his own price, and while the necessities of the newf 



settlers demanded even more corn than the older inhabitants 
could produce, it would have been worse than useless to at- 
tempt the extensive cultivation of those crops which were 
not of prime necessity, or those which to find a market must 
incur the expense of transportation. 

To these causes for the neglect to cultivate sugar, cotton, 
and the more delicate kinds of grain, should be added, that 
the oldest settlers are but beginning in Texas ; that they are 
but just emerging from a war that poured its terrors even upon 
their hearths and firesides, that their roads and means of trans- 
portation are both imperfect, and that mills for the manufacture 
of flour are not yet erected in the country. That under such 
circumstances the comparative advantages of different kinds 
of agriculture should be matter of mere speculation, will not 
be surprising ; that any experiments have been made, and ma- 
ny improvements proposed and in part executed, will show, 
that in this country no difficulties are too great to be overcome, 
and no disasters so great as to repress the spirit of enterprise. 

At present but little else than corn and rye, and very little 
of the latter grain, are cultivated in any part of the country. 
This crop gives bread to the family, fattens their pork, feeds 
their working horses and oxen, and furnishes corn blades, 
usually called fodder, which serve here all the purposes of hay 
in the northern states. Thus this one single article, compri* 
ses nearly all the products of field husbandry throughout the 

Small patches of sweet potatoes, (convolvulus batiatata,) 
cabbages, turnips, which are here surprisingly prolific, and 
Irish potatoes are cultivated as semi-garden crops at almost 
every dwelling. The last named are declared to be found in- 
digenous in different sections of the country, though the na- 
tive plants are believed to be inferior in productiveness and 
quality to those which have been introduced from abroad. 
Early crops of this invaluable root thrive well, but those 
planted late seldom thrive. Turnips retain their leaves and 


freshness and continue to grow through the whole winter, as 
does also the large leafed mustard. 

In some few instances, small fields of rye are seen, most of 
which require to be fed down in winter to prevent too great a 
luxuriance, which, without this precaution, would grow too. 
large and fall down. In some places abundant crops of this 
grain rewarded the labors of the sower. 

The time of planting and manner of cultivating the corn, 
crop differs materially here from what is common in New 
York and the eastern states. Two crops of this grain are 
usually planted in each year; one of them about the middle or 
latter part of February, the other late in June or about the first 
of July. When the young corn springs up it is customary, 
after passing the plough between the rows, to go over it with 
the hoe, though this is done with much less care than is usual 
at the North. After this the plough is almost the only instru- 
ment employed in nursing the growing crop. One or two 
dressings of this kind, being the only attention bestowed upon 
it, suffice to clear it of weeds, and it is then allowed to flourish 
or pine as the season may prove favorable or otherwise. 

Did the planters give that care to the preparation of the 
ground, the weeding and other attentions bestowed upon this 
grain in New England, their products would doubtless be 
much greater. Cultivated as it is, it frequently yields sixty 
or seventy bushels to an acre, though this is greater than the 
average crop. 

From the rapid and continuous influx of emigrants and tra- 
vellers, the price of this grain varied the last winter from one 
to three dollars a bushel, and from the same cause will un- 
questionably remain high for several years to come. When, 
however, the number of producers shall equal or surpass these 
strangers, it is presumed that the article will become so plenty 
as materially to fall in price, when planters will turn their at- 
tention to other kinds of agriculture. 

Of the other grains little need be said here, as their culti- 


ration has hardly been commenced, and the seasons or 
methods best adapted to their production have not been satis- 
factorily ascertained. It is however well settled that in the 
level parts of the country, all the grains except wheat and 
perhaps buckwheat, may be cultivated with entire success. 

In the undulating and mountainous portions of the country, 
all the grains may be produced in abundance, and, it is be- 
lieved, in high perfection. Just as soon as mills shall be 
erected, and a market appear for them, wheat, rye and buck- 
wheat will be seen waving among the hills that bound the 
valleys upon all the rivers of the upper country. 

Notwithstanding the high price of corn, and the difficulties 
attending sending cotton to market, large numbers of the 
planters along the Brazos and elsewhere, are rearing consider- 
able crops of that great staple of the south. That this country 
is admirably adapted to its growth, and to produce it of excel- 
lent quality, needs no other proof than the silken delicacy and 
length of its staple, and the fact that four thousand pounds of 
seed cotton, (more than one thousand pounds of clean cotton, 
fit for spinning) have been obtained upon an acre. 

Though it is admitted that the above is an extraordinary 
crop, it is believed that very much of the bottom lands of the 
Brazos, San Bernard, Caney, and Colorado, will not unfre- 
quently yield three-fourths of that quantity. Such crops, it 
will be perceived, even at low prices, produce a rich reward 
for industry, and prove that for agricultural purposes Texas 
may vie with the most favored portions of the earth. 

It is said v that upon prairie land which is just broken up,, 
cotton succeeds much better than corn, and is more profi- 
table as a first crop. This, if true, is important, and wor- 
thy of being ascertained by clear facts, because the first 
year of a settler's residence is too important to allow him to 
forfeit any of his advantages. 

When the country shall have become settled, and the lands 
subdued by the hand of industry, there is no doubt that cotton 


will be extensively cultivated in this republic, and that Texas 
will be a strong competitor with her parent country in the 
markets of Europe. 

With equal amounts of the material, and of superior quality, 
she will claim the full share of mercantile consideration, and 
hold a rank in commercial transactions equal to older nations,, 
whose territories cover far more extended regions. As yet, 
however, this branch of agriculture is but beginning, though 
several new and large cotton gins have been erected within 
the year, and others are contemplated. 

SUGAR CANE, like most other crops, has heretofore re 
ceived but little attention, and very few and small fields have 
been cultivated. Enough however has been done, to prove 
that all the level parts of Texas, and probably most of the level 
prairies of the western rivers, are capable of producing it in 
abundance and high perfection. Where it has been planted 
along the Brazos, it has grown with a luxuriance and to a size 
unknown among the river bottoms of Louisiana. It is asserted 
also, that a greater length of stalk matures its saccharine juice,, 
and that this juice is richer than is found on the Mississippi. 

The comparative superiority of Texian sugar cane over that 
of the United States, is declared by so many witnesses, and 
those of such high respectability, as to remove all doubt of its 
truth. One gentleman, whose plantation is some distance 
from the coast, the last year planted a small field of cane as 
an experiment, from which in the fall, besides a sufficiency 
for planting again, he obtained an abundance of excellent 
sugar for his family, and a small surplus which he readily sold 
to his friends in the neighborhood. The result of this trial 
induced him to make preparation for considerably enlarging 
his cane fields the ensuing season. 

Not only the bottoms, but rich uplands it is presumed wili 
be found suitable for the cultivation of this noble vegetable. 
Indeed, in soils of equal richness dry uplands will probably 
produce sugar of better quality if not in greater abundance*. 


Of the value of this plant it is difficult for persons unacquainted 
with its culture to form a just conception. For every domes- 
tic animal, as well as for man, it forms a favorite article of 
food ; cattle, hogs, horses and goats feeding and fattening 
upon it with great rapidity. To all of them it seems to be 
equally pleasant, healthful and nutritious. No instance has 
been mentioned (to the writer) in which injury occurred to 
stock from feeding upon it. 

It has been sometimes thought that sugar was injurious to 
the human stomach and teeth. This opinion is now entirely 
exploded wherever the culture of the cane succeeds. There 
the fact is well established, that few if any articles of diet are 
better adapted to remove difficulties of digestion, nourish and 
strengthen the system, or gratify the palate than this. 

So well convinced are most planters of the healthful effects 
of the juice of this plant, that they commonly set apart a small 
field near the house, which their children are permitted to cut 
up and eat at will. If other evidence be wanting upon this 
point, it is found in the effects of the juice, syrup and sugar 
upon the negroes who make it during the whole of what is 
called the rolling season. At this time the cane is gathered 
and rolled, i. e. passed between rollers, by which the juice is 
expressed, and by a boiling process the sugar is crystalized. 
This season is one of peculiarly hard work to slaves, requiring 
the exertion of greater strength, and affording them less inter- 
missions of their toil. 

So far is this however from inducing weakness, emaciation, 
or depression of spirits and sluggishness of feeling, that at no 
season of the year are they so active, healthful, fat and cheer- 
ful as this. Now with them is the season of mirth, songs and 
every species of merriment and gaiety, and their full faces 
become sleek with fatness. 

The opinion has been frequently expressed, that sugar can- 
not be profitably cultivated except upon large plantations, and 
\jdth the expenditure of a large capital. The rolling of the 


cane, and the various operations necessary for completing the 
crystallization of the sugar, and securing the whole product, 
certainly cannot be very conveniently done without consider- 
ably expensive apparatus ; and he that would conduct the 
whole concern by himself in an extended manner, must of ne- 
cessity lay out a large expense. 

Still many small farmers in Florida and other parts of the 
south, are accustomed to grow their own cane, and with mini- 
ature apparatus to manufacture sugar for themselves. Some 
of them who began in this small way have subsequently en- 
larged their operations, and produced large quantities of sugar 
for exportation. It hence appears that this branch of agricul- 
ture is not necessarily the monopoly of the rich, and may 
probably be successfully prosecuted by persons of small capi- 
tal as well as others. It would seem that by an arrangement 
among neighbors, a single sugar mill might serve the purposes 
of a considerable number of persons. Small but well con- 
structed establishments for individual use might be devised, 
and larger ones for companies. By such arrangements as 
these, which are common in relation to cider mills and other 
purposes in the north, it is probable that sugar-making may 
become a common and profitable business among the poor or 
moderately wealthy part of community. At least no insuper- 
able obstacle appears to prevent it. It is hoped that persons 
of enterprise and spirit will soon make these suggestions mat- 
ter of experiment and proof, and thus induce a much more 
rapid and dense population of the level section of this beauti- 
ful country, than could otherwise be expected. 

The method of cultivating this valuable plant, except that it 
needs replanting but once in several years, is in most respects 
similar to that employed in cultivating Indian corn after the 
young grain has come up. In appearance it more nearly re- 
sembles broom corn than maize, and in this country exhibits 
neither tassel, blossom nor. seed. 

When matured the edges of the leaves are serrated and ex- 


ceedingly rough, and, before cutting, the stalks are broken off 
with sticks to prevent their lacerating the hands. The top, 
some part of which is always immature, is cut off, and left 
with the leaves upon the ground. The stalks are then cut close 
to the ground and carried in small bundles, for they are very 
heavy, to the cart or other vehicle which conveys them to the 
mill. A portion, however, of this cane is reserved for either 
planting new fields, replanting the old one, or supplying such 
hills as fail to send up new shoots in the spring. When 
planted, each joint takes root and sends up its shoot, which, 
in due time, matures its sap into a sweet and delicious juice, 
fitted by the mere act of boiling, to become the sugar of com- 

There are several varieties of cane cultivated in the south- 
ern parts of the United States, all of which however are very 
similar in their habits and products. The ribbon cane is so 
called from the bright stripes of purple and straw color which 
pass up and down the stalk, making it beautiful indeed. This 
variety is smaller than some others, but contains a richer 
juice, and is said to be less affected by early frosts. The 
rind or woody part of this stalk is also harder than that of the 
larger kinds. 

The Otaheite" cane is large, with a beautiful pale green 
complexion, is easily ground, and thought by some to be pre- 
ferable to other kinds. Another variety is called the Creole 
cane, probably because found native in some part of America. 
A very small kind of this article is sometimes reared in gar- 
dens as a delicacy, its juice being remarkably sweet and plea- 
sant. The ribbon and Otaheite varieties are those mostly 

Sugar and molasses are not the only forms in which the 
juice of the cane becomes an article of food and luxury. A 
clear and transparent syrup of the color of very white wine, 
and of a consistency less viscid than treacle, is prepared of 
the purified liquor before chrystallization, and preserved to 


mingle with water for a summer beverage, and as a sauce for 
puddings, etc. It is called among the French along the Mis- 
sissippi sero, their method of pronouncing the word sirop or 
syrup. This article is much more delicate than molasses, 
and pleasanter than sugar itself. 

Next to the grains from which breadstuff's are prepared, 
perhaps no article in the vegetable world is more valuable, or 
more universally desired, than the products of the sugar cane. 
It forms an essential ingredient in many of the most important 
medicines, forms a part of almost every delicacy that gratifies 
the palate, and by its preservative qualities becomes the lead- 
ing article in all conserves of fruit, and, to large portions of the 
world, an important part of ordinary diet. 

RICE has not as yet been cultivated to much extent in any 
part of the republic. The reason for this, as in relation to 
most other crops, is found in the state of the country, and the 
want of suitable machinery by which to prepare it for market. 
The soil however of all the bottoms and level prairies is well 
fitted for producing it in abundance. Though not equally 
suitable for this purpose with the lowlands, it is believed that 
profitable and generous crops of this grain may be reared upon 
the elevated prairies and other uplands, 

Of the comparative profit of this crop with others, little 
certain is known ; but while its present price shall continue, 
it would certainly yield to the small farmer liberal compensa- 
tion for the labor and expense of its cultivation. It was sold 
about the beginning of the present year, to the innkeepers of 
the city of Austin, at twenty-five cents a pound. 

It may be cultivated either on lands which can be flooded, 
or as an upland crop, on a limited or extensive scale. It 
is believed that it would yield large crops, and well repay the 
labor of the husbandman. Forming as it does one of the 
cheapest and most nutritious grains, it is hoped that it will 



soon receive such a share of attention as its importance de- 

INDIGO, though not yet one of the agricultural products of 
the country, would seem likely to form in future one of its 
valuable exports. This seems to be indicated by the fact, 
that the indigo plant (Tincloria indigofera) of a very excel- 
lent quality is found indigenous along the way sides in differ- 
ent parts of Texas. From this plant indigo has been made in 
families, and is thought to be superior to that imported. Of 
the value of this article it is not necessary here to speak. It 
is well known that from this product alone the Mexicans for- 
merly received at the single port of Vera Cruz, annually, a sum 
of about three hundred thousand dollars. 

When it shall be fully understood that this was done by 
people little skilled in agriculture, and still less in the art of 
extracting the coloring material and fitting it for use, and when 
it is also known that great improvements have been made in 
the manner of treating the gathered plant and its products, 
gome enterprising and ingenious farmers will be likely, by a 
a judicious attention to the indigo plant, to realize speedy 

It has been estimated that inferior lands in the southern 
parts of the United States, with ordinary care, would produce 
from two hundred and fifty to three hundred pounds of indigo 
per acre, with less expense of machinery and labor than is 
necessary for an acre of cotton. This product at seventy-five 
cents a pound would yield a much greater profit than the 
very best cotton ever cultivated. 

The usual manner of cultivating this plant, is to mellow the 
ground with the plough, sow the seed thickly in drills, and, as 
occasion may require with the plough or hoe, clean out the 
weeds. When at sufficient maturity, the plants are cut with 
a sickle or knife near the ground, and placed in vats to fer- 
ment, by which the coloring matter is disengaged ; the roots 


meanwhile remaining to sprout anew, and in the same year 
produce a second and sometimes a third crop. As by a vigor- 
ous and large growth, a correspondent increase of coloring 
matter does not take place, it is well for the plants to stand 
thick in the rows, and by number alone augment the produc- 
tion of the field. 

The most common method of extracting and preparing the 
indigo for market, has heretofore been to immerse the green 
plants as soon as cut in vats of water, and leave them there to 
ferment, or rot, as it is called. This process may require a 
longer or shorter time, according to the character of the water 
and heat of the weather. When the coloring matter is re- 
leased, of which, experience alone can enable one to judge* 
the water is drawn off, or the plants removed, and the liquor, 
after being strained in order to take out small remnants of the 
plant, is passed into another vat, where it is strongly agitated, 
or, as it is called, churned, for a considerable length of time, 
till certain changes take place in its appearance. When this 
is done, a portion of lime water, or the juice of some very as- 
tringent vegetable, is added to it, and it is left to precipitate or 
settle to the bottom. This being done, the useless liquor is 
carefully drawn off and the blue mass left to dry. When 
afterwards it is broken up, further dried, and enclosed -in skins 
of raw hide, it is fit for market. These packages are called 
seroons of indigo. 

This method of extracting and preparing indigo, is attended 
with several unpleasant and dangerous effects. While under- 
going this fermentation, the vats exhale a fetid and most offen- 
sive odor, at once disagreeable and injurious to health. The 
removal of the decayed plant from the water, and the whole 
subsequent process, is therefore in the highest degree disa- 
greeable and sickening. The consequence is that a very 
large proportion of the laborers employed, become sick, and 
the diseases arising from this source are often malignant and 
very fatal So frequently has this been the case, and so ter* 


rible has been the result in many cases, that very many plant- 
ers in the southern states and the West Indies have discon- 
tinued its production. Hence we are dependent for nearly 
all our supplies of this important dye upon importations from 
Mexico, South America and Bengal. 

If this branch of agriculture necessarily requires such an 
expense of health, and even life, it ought at once to be aban- 
doned, whatever might be the consequences in a manufactur- 
ing or commercial point of view. A few facts however will 
show that this is not the case, and that indigo of the finest 
quality may be produced in abundance, in either a small or 
extended way, unaccompanied with any of the disastrous re- 
sults above named. 

It is now understood, as the result of numerous experi- 
ments, that the coloring matter of indigo can be extracted 
more perfectly, and with less impurities by boiling than by 
fermentation. This practice induces no vegetable decomposi- 
tion or offensive smell, other than the native odor of the plant, 
is productive of no disease or danger, and produces an article 
of a higher quality than is obtained in the former method. 
The boiled liquor requires less churning than that fermented r 
settles more readily, and is sooner freed from the moisture of 
the vat. 

The indigo plant treated in this manner, yields a better, lar- 
ger product, of a purer character, with less labor, and no inju- 
rious effects are produced upon the health of the planter, his 
family or servants. 

This branch of domestic industry requires no expensive or 
complicated machinery, no special skill or preparation, is fit- 
ted to be conducted in a small way or otherwise, and is abun- 
dantly profitable. The only reason why it does not attract 
the attention of agriculturists, is presumed to be, that their 
other crops are too profitable to allow them to think of change. 
To those who shall first revive the culture of this plant, it 


will be likely to prove the source of much prosperity if not of 
independent wealth. 

GRAPES can scarcely be termed either an agricultural or 
horticultural product of Texas. Yet for every purpose of pre- 
serving or the table, they may be obtained from native vines 
to any desirable extent. They comprise numerous varieties, 
from the size of the largest fox grape to the smallest of the 
frost grapes at the north. Their qualities and flavor also are 
as varied as their size, color and clusters. Some are exceed- 
ingly sweet to the taste, and probably contain much saccha- 
rine matter ; others are juicy, with a musky flavor, and others, 
though when first placed in the mouth are rich and pleasant, 
directly after produce a sensation of roughness, accompanied 
by an uncomfortable drawing up of the mouth and lips from 
their astringency. Some of these fruits seem also to possess 
a corrosive quality, exciting upon the lips a stinging sensation 
with a slight soreness. 

From some of these native vines, it is said, wine of great 
excellence has been made, and which might for flavor and 
purity compete with most of the wines of P^urope. Whether 
any of this fruit would be suitable for raisins has not been 
ascertained. Little doubt can exist but that many of them 
might be packed in jars, with chaff or saw dust, and transpor- 
ted to cities and towns at considerable distance, and where 
they would be a luxury indeed. Vines are found growing in. 
great abundance upon the rich timbered bottoms of many of 
the rivers, and on the prairies wherever the shrubbery can 
escape the power of the annual fires. 

Whenever a sandy prairie is found a little elevated above 
the surrounding level one, grape vines spread themselves over 
its surface like the vines of pumpkins in a field planted with 
that production. Though no tree nor shrub is found to sup- 
port them, they grow with great luxuriance, and spite of fires 
continue to grow and spread their branches at great length, 



along the ground. It is presumed however that most of the 
fruit of these vines, lying as it must upon the earth, and cov- 
ered with moist and thick grass, fails to arrive at maturity. 
Were the grass removed, and the vines raised from the ground, 
their fruitfulness would probably be incalculable. 

The most esteemed however of the grapes of Texas are 
found upon elevated lands, of a sandy or gravelly character, 
where they exhibit what may without impropriety be styled 
native vineyards, and produce, except when prevented by the 
burning grass, splendid crops of excellent fruit. These will 
in due time probably become a source of profit to the husband- 
man, as they certainly will of ornament and luxury to the man 
of taste and the lover of fine fruit. With a climate as fine as 
that of Italy, and a soil far surpassing to it, time only is ne- 
cessary to render the fields of Texas as delightful to travellers 
as are now the scenes where once a Fabius fought, a Tully 
spoke, and Cesar reigned. 

FLAX and HEMP are not at present cultivated in this repub- 
lic. Some experiments however have been made, by which 
it would seem that they can both succeed. It is probable that 
upon the bottoms of the streams, flax sowed early would ac- 
quire a competent height and yield a good crop, but whether 
at the present prices of labor, and without machinery, the 
largest crop would be a source of profit, is matter of some 
doubt. In the undulating and mountainous parts of the coun- 
try, hemp would undoubtedly succeed, and when the cultiva- 
tion of cotton shall become extensive, the hemp culture and 
manufacture will be necessary and valuable auxiliaries. 

TOBACCO will grow vigorously in all parts of the country. 
In any place not too wet it would probably produce an article 
of high excellence. It has yet been cultivated only for home 
consumption, and mostly for the individual use of the grower. 
While the demand for grain shall continue so pressing, prob- 


ably little more will be done in this article than is now done. 
Should however peace with Mexico soon transpire, the de- 
mand for tobacco there may induce a considerable attention to 
it here. In nearly all the towns of Mexico it always finds a 
ready market and a good price. 

IRISH POTATOES, for family use, are cultivated with as 
much success as in any other portion of the south. An early- 
crop planted in February generally succeeds, and furnishes in 
April and May a plentiful supply of that healthful and palat- 
able root. If planted later the heat and droughts of summer 
commonly prove too severe, and the production is small and 
of little value. They have been found wild and indigenous, 
in some parts of the republic, but the tubers were small and 
less palatable than those that had been cultivated. Probably 
by careful cultivation this native plant would greatly improve 
and become valuable as a new variety. 

From the causes above alluded to, this article can never 
become an object in this country for commercial purposes, 
except as they are purchased from the northern shippers for 
winter use. It seems a little singular, that though the potatoe 
is a native of the south, and found in its natural state only 
near the tropics, and though in high northern latitudes if left 
without artificial protection it would perish in less than a sin- 
gle year, yet, under the hand of cultivation, it is produced 
above 40 N. L. in higher perfection and excellence than can 
be obtained in its native regions. Is the same fact true of 
other vegetable productions ? and is it in accordance with the 
usual laws of vegetation that plants improve on being removed 
from their native positions ? 

SWEET POTATOES (convolvulus battatata). This excellent 
and much prized root grows in all parts of the country with 
great luxuriance and profusion. They are thought to be pro- 
duced here in as high perfection as in any part of the world. 


They grow to a large size, weighing often seven, eight or ten 
pounds, and sometimes have yielded six or seven hundred 
bushels to the acre. 

Were it necessary to use them for such purposes, they 
would no doubt be excellent for milch cows and beef cattle. 
As it is they may certainly be a very plentiful and cheap, as 
they are a very excellent table vegetable. Every variety of 
them seems equally to flourish, and nearly equally abundant 
in product. 

Garden vegetables of almost every kind, flourish here in a 
degree unknown in most of the northern sections of the United 
States. Beets, parsnips, carrots and other roots, grow large 
and require no protection from the winter. Beans, peas, 
lettuce and other herbs, flourish even to exuberance, and fur- 
nish delicacies at once healthful and luxurious. Tomatoes, 
egg plants, and every variety of annual plants, seem to grow 
almost spontaneously. 

Melons, if protected from grass and weeds, even without 
culture, grow to a large size. When carefully cultivated their 
produce exceeds any thing elsewhere knawn, even Nashville 
in Tennessee not excepted. Of the musk melon there are 
many varieties of great excellence, some of which in sweet- 
ness scarce yield the preference to the sugar cane. 

With a little well directed attention, the productions of a 
common Texian garden might rival the finest exhibitions of 
horticultural success of the older cities of the north. It is 
true, that raspberries and strawberries are not natives of the 
country, but when introduced have shewn that they lost noth- 
ing by their emigration to the land of prairies. Some of these 
were conveyed from Mississippi to the banks of the Brazos, 
in the spring of 1839, and in a few weeks after planting 
sprung up and produced a small quantity of fruit. They have 
since been further removed to Austin where they will prob- 
ably become parents to the fruit beds of many a garden.. 


Whether, then, the object of a garden be ornament or vege- 
table sauces, success is easy, and can only be defeated by 
great want of skill or sheer neglect. Cucumbers, squashes 
and pumpkins, in all their varieties, are as productive as any 
other vines, and need little attention except planting in suit- 
able situations. 




Cattle raised without expense. A well conducted Dairy a profitable busi- 
ness. Horses the country well adapted for raising the finest breeds. 
Wild horae of the prairie. Working cattle easily broken. Sheep 
and goats. English wool growers. Swine their increase. Mast. 
The ground pea. Domestic fowls their increase. Bees a simple 
method of preserving them. Wax and honey an article of exportation. 
Silk worms adaptedness of Texas to the growing of silk Farm- 
ing advantages of the country, etc. 

ONE important branch of husbandry in every country, con- 
sists in rearing and using domestic animals. These form his 
teams for labor, supply him with flesh, milk, butter and cheese, 
and afford the materials for clothing his body and even his 
feet. In most parts of the United States, and in all Europe, 
the expense of rearing and feeding stock is quite expensive, 
not only from the value of the materials consumed, but also 
from the labor of attending and feeding them. With the ex- 
eeption of animals employed in labor, and thus prevented from 
procuring their own subsistence, this is unnecessary in Texas. 
So abundant is the herbage in both woodlands and prairies, 
and so slightly is it affected by the few frosts of winter, some 
of it retaining its entire freshness till spring, and so few and 
mild are the wintry storms, that cattle and hogs need neither 
food nor shelter other than they find for themselves. So lux- 
uriant indeed are some 7 of these natural winter pastures, that 
horses which have become poor from continued labor, on being 
Uirned out and feeding solely on the herbage they find, rapidly 


regain their flesh, and by spring are fitted for again resuming 
their accustomed labors. 

The only trouble and attention necessary to success in 
rearing cattle, is the occasional driving of them to their home, 
and there feeding them with salt or corn, to prevent their be- 
coming wild, and to mark or brand them that the owner may 
be able to distinguish them from others. While thus running 
at large, and being their own providers, many of them will be 
found at any season, not merely in good order, but really fat, 
making excellent beef. As might naturally be expected, the 
cattle are healthy and vigorous, and multiply rapidly. 

A small stock, unless prevented by some special cause, will 
in a few years become large, doubling their number every 
three or four years. It is scarcely necessary to add, that 
butter and cheese may easily become abundant, for, in such 
pastures, cows can seldom fail to be good milkers. Still the 
dairy has not as yet, except in the neighborhood of towns, 
received much attention. One reason for this seems to be, 
that the people feel not the need of this species of profit, and 
another, that strolling at times far from home, their cows are 
often irregular in coming to the milking yard. To whatever 
causes the neglect may be attributed, the want of means to 
produce these rich luxuries, is not one of them. In many 
families, however, milk is ever found in plenty, and butter of 
an excellent quality graces the table at every meal. 

It is doubtful whether cheese has to any considerable ex- 
tent been made in Texas. Why it has not, cannot well be 
accounted for. except upon the supposition that few settlers 
have reached there from the middle and eastern states. Few 
forms of female industry and skill would probably be more 
profitable, than would that which offered to the people of this 
republic a supply of good cheese. 

At present this is a rare and very expensive luxury, and 
cannot be purchased but at exorbitant prices. Even at 


Houston, where there is a direct navigation to New Orleans, 
the retail price is about fifty cents a pound. In the interior it 
is proportionably higher. 

Of the suitableness of the country for rearing horses, of the 
finest breeds and power, with great cheapness, a judgment 
may be formed from the fact, that some of the horses brought 
to this country by the Spaniards in their early settlement of 
parts of Mexico, became wild, and took their place among the 
deer and buftaloes of the prairies. The stock descended from 
these originally Spanish horses, still feed upon the plains of 
Texas. They are called mustangs, and are often found in 
large herds far from the woodland upon the broadest prairies, 
where their enemies can be seen at the greatest distance, and 
-where it would be difficult or impossible to take them by 

Though usually smaller than the bred horses of the United 
States, many of these untamed wanderers of the plain have 
elegant frames, and run with a speed unsurpassed by the best 
trained racers in America. It is true, that the Mexicans make 
a sort of trade of running down the mustangs, and catching 
them by throwing their noose, called the lazo, over their 
necks, by which they are choked and compelled to submit. 

But it is also true, that it is only the more aged and feeble 
of the herd that can thus be overtaken. The stronger and 
more valuable part of the flying troop, are far ahead of the 
unfortunate being whose neck is enclosed by the deadly lazo, 
and are in little danger of its power. Those Mexican horses, 
therefore, which are commonly offered for sale, are no fair 
specimen of the form or power of the wild horse of the 

If then, without any attention to breeding from the best 
stocks, and without any of the nurture which skill provides 
for the young of valuable horses, and exposed to the thousand 
casualties of the forest, these animals not only multiply, but 


frequently exhibit fine specimens of elegance and strength, 
ought it not to be expected, that vviih proper attention to the 
character of sires and dams, and with ordinary care of the 
young, a race of horses may be produced here little if any 
inferior to the admired bloods of Arabia. 

It certainly appears to be no extravagant supposition, that 
within less than half a century, Texas will become as cele- 
brated for noble and generous steeds, as she now justly is for 
her fine climate and luxuriant pastures. 

The following interesting and graphic description of the 
wild horse of Texas, is extracted from " Prairie Sketches," 
recently published. 

" We rode through beds of sun flowers miles in extent, with 
their dark seedy centres and radiating yellow leaves following 
the sun through the day from the east to west, and drooping 
when the shadows close over them as though they were things 
of sense and sentiment. These are sometimes beautifully 
varied with a delicate flower of an azure tint, yielding no per- 
fume, but forming a pleasant contrast to the bright yellow of 
the sun flower. 

About half past ten, we discerned a creature in motion at 
an immense distance, and instantly started in pursuit. Fifteen 
minutes' riding brought us near enough to discover by its 
fleetness, it could not. be a buffalo, yet it was too large for an 
antelope or a deer. On we went, and soon distinguished the 
erected head, the flowing mane, and the beautiful proportions 
of the wild horse of the prairie. He saw us, and sped away 
with an arrowy fleetness till he gained a distant eminence, 
when he turned to gaze at us, and suffered us to approach 
within four hundred yards, when he bounded away again in 
another direction, with a graceful velocity, delightful to be- 
hold. We paused for to pursue him, with a view of catching 
him, was clearly impossible. When he discovered we were 
not following him, he also paused, and now he seemed to be 
inspired with as great a curiosity as ourselves experienced ; 



for, after making a slight turn, he came nearer, till we could 
distinguish the inquiring expression of his clear bright eye, 
and the quick curl of his inflated nostrils. 

We had no hopes of catching, and did not wish to kill him ; 
but our curiosity led us to approach him slowly for the pur- 
pose of scanning him more nearly. We had not advanced 
far, however, before he moved away, and circling round ap- 
proached on the other side. 'Twas a beautiful animal a 
sorrel, with jet black mane and tail. We could see the mus- 
cles quiver in his glossy limbs, as he moved ; and when half 
playfully and half in fright, he tossed his flowing mane in the 
air, and flourished his long silky tail, our admiration knew no 
bounds, and we longed hopelessly, vexatiously, longed to 
possess him. 

Of all the brute creation, the horse is the most admired by 
man. Combining beauty with usefulness, all countries and all 
ages yield him their admiration. But, though the finest spe- 
cimen of his kind, a domestic horse will ever lack that magic 
and indescribable charm that beams like a halo round the sim- 
ple name of freedom. The wild horse roving the prairie 
wilderness, knows no master has never felt the whip 
never clasped in his teeth the bit, to curb his native freedom, 
but gambols unmolested over its grassy home, where Nature 
has given it a bountiful supply of provender. Lordly man 
has never sat upon its back ; the spur and the bridle are un- 
known to it; and when the Spaniard comes on his fleet 
trained steed, with noose in hand, to ensnare him, he bounds 
away over the velvet carpet of the prairie, swift as an arrow 
from the Indian bow, or even the lightning darting from the 

We might have shot him from where we stood, but had we 
been starving, we would scarcely have done it. He was free ; 
and we loved him for the very possession of that liberty we 
longed to take from him ; but we would not kill him. We 
fired a rifle over his head ; he heard the shot and the whiz of 


the ball, and away he went, disappearing in the next hollow, 
showing himself again as he crossed the distant ridges, still 
seeming smaller, until he faded away in a speck on the far 
horizon's verge." 

Among the mustangs, and mingled with them, it is said, are 
often found jacks, jennies and mules. Thege have the same 
origin as the mustangs, and accustomed in a domestic state to 
associate with horses, the same habit continues still. Among 
the Mexicans along the Rio Grande, the rearing of these ani- 
mals has been a source of considerable profit, large numbers 
of them being driven annually towards the United States, 
where they are sold at good prices. This business will prob- 
ably not be less profitable for many years to come than at 
present. The country along the Red River in Louisiana and 
Arkansas, with all the lower parts of the valley of the Missis- 
sippi and Texas, are rapidly increasing in population, and the 
demand for laboring horses and mules must of course continue 
to be considerable. 

It scarce need be urged that sheep and goats would find in 
Texas a situation suited to their characters and habits. Per- 
haps in the lower and level section of the country, sheep 
might not so well endure the warmth of summer as might be 
desired, and consequently their wool might degenerate in qua- 
lity. If this be true the fact remains yet to be proved, and it 
is believed the mutton of sheep fed here, is equal if not supe- 
rior to the very best of that article in any of the states. In 
the undulating and hilly regions, no difficulties like those al- 
luded to are even suspected. No doubt exists in any mind, 
but that upon the prairies, and even in the woodlands, sheep 
would find abundant and suitable food, would be healthful and 
vigorous as in any other country, and produce fleeces as 
fine as animals of the same breed in the most favored districts. 
Nor does this opinion rest merely upon conjecture. A few 
flocks have been introduced into different sections of the 
country, and by their rapid increase, rich fleeces and fine 

136 SWINE. 

flesh, give abundant indications that their introduction will be 
highly profitable to their enterprising owners. One fine flock 
has been driven as far into the interior as Austin. Although 
their arrival was but a few weeks prior to the time the writer 
saw them in the month of January, and though their only food 
was the winter Covering of the prairie, and they, to preserve 
them from the wolves, were herded every night, they, with 
their young lambs appeared to be in good plight, and many of 
them fit for the butcher. It is stated also that several English 
sheep growers are about establishing themselves in the inte- 
rior of the country, with large flocks of some of the best 
breeds of sheep in Great Britain. 

It is doubtful whether, for many years to come, it will be 
desirable for Texas to produce either wool or any articles of 
manufacture for exportation, but there can be no doubt that 
the production of supplies for home consumption of wool, 
hemp, and many other things, is greatly preferable to importing 
them from abroad. Goats would need no other attention than 
what is necessary to prevent their becoming wild, and, by 
their rapid multiplication, would furnish to the owner abun- 
dance of flesh in some degree resembling venison. The only 
considerable difficulty in the way of success, in rearing either 
sheep or goats, is, that wolves are very numerous, and with- 
out these animals are well secured they will be sure to make 
them their prey. This object will be fully secured by folding 
them every night near the house, where these prowlers never 

SWINE, though receiving benefit from the care and occa- 
sional feeding of their owners, can subsist in most parts of 
Texas upon the native products of the country throughout the 
year. It has frequently happened to the new settler to pos- 
sess but little grain, and consequently to be able barely to 
supply that article to his family, his working cattle and horses 
being fed only upon grass. At such times surely the swine 


would be likely to be neglected. Yet, neglected as they are, 
they grow vigorously, and in the spring evince no marks of 
weakness or unfitness for multiplying their numbers. The 
mast of the oak, the hickory, peccan and musquit trees is 
usually abundant in the fall and till late in the winter. The 
musquit grass and several other kinds are nutritious through- 
out this season ; add to which the prairies and woodlands 
produce many nutritious roots of different kinds, which the 
hogs readily find. The native ground pea, though not pecu- 
liar to Texas, or even the southern states, is said to furnish 
much valuable food to hogs and many wild animals. As the 
habits of this plant are not generally well understood it may 
not be amiss to briefly notice it. It comprises several varie- 
ties, differing more in the size of the plant and form of the 
leaf, than in other respects. They all trail upon the ground, 
and have small inconspicuous and scarcely perceptible blos- 
soms, which soon disappear. No fruit, nor even appearance 
of imperfect fructification, appears upon the plant. In attempt- 
ing gently to raise the vines from the ground, they will be 
perceived to adhere to it by small roots or threads in various 
places, which are however easily broken, and seldom loosened 
from the earth. By carefully opening the ground among these 
fine roots, they may be raised unbroken, when it will be found 
that at the extremity of each, and completely imbedded in the 
ground, is one pod or more in which is enclosed a real well 
formed round pea, and perhaps sometimes several of them. 
In their leaf, vine, flower and fruit, they are clearly marked 
with the characteristics of the pea, (pisum) and no doubt par-, 
take among other things, of its nutritive qualities. On these, 
the large sand-hill crane, as it is here called, is believed to. 
feed in winter. 

Where this is abundant it is not wonderful that swine 
should find a comfortable subsistence. In summer, in addition 
to various grasses, and other vegetable food, the prairies are 
thickly sprinkled with several varieties of small snails, whose. 


white shells give to the burned prairies a speckled appear- 
ance. Upon these swine are said to feed with eagerness, as 
do also almost all varieties of birds. Thus, in this country, 
both the animal and vegetable productions conspire to render 
food various as well as plentiful. The rapidity with which 
these animals, if unrestrained, multiply, would surprise those 
to whom the facts had been previously unknown. Some of 
the statements of the settlers have been heretofore noticed. 
Nothing further need be added except to state, that those de- 
clarations are neither denied nor regarded with surprise by 
any of the residents of the country. The only check to this 
prolific fecundity, arises from the occasional straying away of 
a parent sow, whom the wolves are then apt to rob of the 
whole of their progeny, although they seldom prey upon any 
other than young pigs. 

Domestic fowls of every description are raised with the 
greatest ease, and furnish cheap articles of food and other 
luxuries. Geese, ducks and turkeys are natives of the coun- 
try, and range over its surface in countless numbers. Those 
of the domestic kinds, it is presumed, may sustain themselves, 
and find their own subsistence quite as well as the native 
tenants of the forest and the pool. The remnants of grain 
and other food about the barns, houses and fields, together 
with the native products of the ground, will amply nourish 
them, and offer them sufficient inducements to remain at home. 

Chickens are declared to be prolific beyond any known ex- 
ample, continuing to furnish eggs and bring forth their broods 
at all seasons of the year. The earlier spring broods are said, 
in fall, in turn to become parents, and thus increase the ten- 
ants of the yard in something like geometrical progression. 

BEES. (Apis mellifica). If the nurture of these animals do 
not in strictness belong to agriculture, yet that farmer who, in 
Texas, should neglect to furnish himself with both hives and 
swarms, would be justly chargeable with a disregard to both 


comfort and advantage. These valuable and industrious in- 
sects abound in all parts of this country. 

With a region unsurpassed in the number, variety and rich- 
ness of its flowers, and those continuing to yield their sweets 
through nearly the whole year, and in a climate so rnild as 
but partially to suspend the labors of the hive, it would be 
singular if bees were not found wherever th^y could obtain a 
place to deposit their stores. 

It is said that a skilful bee hunter may in almost any sunny 
day, even in winter, trace bees to their dwellings in the forest, 
and consequently obtain honey for every necessary occasion- 
In spring and summer the prairies, throughout their broad 
extent, form one continued pasture of flowers. On these, 
myriads of bees are seen extracting the nectared moisture, 
and loading themselves with pollan, to convey to the parent 
hive and bestow upon the parent queen, or lay up for her off- 

If on earth there can be found, what philosophers have de- 
fined habitual disinterested benevolence and practical patriot- 
ism, it may well be said to be in the faithfulness, industry and 
liberality of the working bee. Regardless of self, and even 
neglecting all means of subsistence when separated from the 
objects of its care, with untiring industry and persevering 
kindness, it feeds the parent guardian of the hive, and watches 
all the wants of the yet feeble and unwinged young. 

In the whole circle of unreasoning nature, perhaps no ani- 
mal can be found whose habits are more curious or astonish- 
ingly adapted to the objects in view, whose labors are more 
gratifying to men, or whose fate is more tragical than are 
those of the honey bee. 

The usual and almost the exclusive method of obtaining the 
fruits of their labor is, by first destroying the lives of the un- 
offending and rightful proprietors, and then seizing upon their 
precious stores. Such cruelty has excited the compassion of 
many a generous bosom, and induced numbers of wise and 


good men to devise methods by which the honey may be 
safely removed, and its owners left unharmed to resupply the 
stores thus rudely taken from them. 

Several different modes have been adopted with more or 
less success The comparative advantages of these it is not 
proposed to discuss. Anxiety however to preserve the lives 
of these valuable insects, and to promote at the same time the 
interest of the farmer, will furnish a sufficient apology for in- 
troducing a short notice of a method practised by several gen- 
tlemen with success. 

It consists simply in a small house, raised some distance 
from the ground upon pillars, into which mice or other ani- 
mals larger than bees cannot gain an entrance except by 
opening the door. The floor of this may suitably be some- 
what inclined toward the door, the better to facilitate the 
washing or other cleansing process. The sides may consist 
of upright plank, which should be seasoned to prevent cracks 
occurring after being put in the building ; and, in addition to 
the roof, there may well be a tight upper floor, to prevent any 
water from finding its way into the house, and also to prevent 
its becoming too warm from the sunshine upon the roof. 

On three sides of this house, leaving the side where the 
door is vacant, there should be erected courses of shelves 
about one and a half or two feet wide, well supported by fre- 
quent and strong planks placed under and between them. 
These shelves may be twelve or eighteen inches apart, and 
the compartments between supporters of any convenient width, 
which would not leave the shelves too weak to support the 
full comb. At occasional intervals small holes should be 
made in the sides of the house for purposes of ventilation, and 
also for places of entrance and departure for the bees. 

The whole being prepared, a hive may be taken at night 
into the building, and laid horizontally upon one of the shelves, 
near to where the bees are expected to go out and in. "\Yhen 
this hive is full, instead of swarming and going elsewhere for, 


a home, the bees will commence filling the spaces between 
the shelves, and thus continue to extend their operations for 

Whoever has such an establishment in operation, will 
scarcely need to be informed that he may enter into this 
house at night, gently brush away the bees from any part of 
their dwelling, and remove with a knife such qualities and 
amount of honey as he chooses. These industrious and un- 
complaining sufferers will soon repair the broken walls, and 
supply the space with beautiful new and richly laden combs. 

By this and similar methods, it is believed that honey may 
be secured to an increased amount, and the luxury and profit 
arising from all the products of the apiary be enlarged, while 
the lives of the little colony are spared. May the fair land of 
Texas ever flow with milk and honey, but let not her sons 
purchase these sweets by the unnecessary destruction of the 
lives of innocent and useful beings. 

From every indication, the flowering fields, shrubs and 
forests, the mild and bland climate where these animals are 
in no danger of frost, and from the abundance of bees already 
here, it is presumed that in a few years Texas will furnish 
large amounts of honey and wax for exportation. In this re- 
spect she might, like the place where the apostle was ship- 
wrecked, be styled Melila, the land of honey. 

SILK WORMS. No experiments have been made in Texas 
in relation to silk, further than to plant a few hundred shoots 
of the morus multicaulis. These were planted on the island 
of Galvestori late in April 1839. They however survived 
and grew to a considerable height that season. That the 
more valuable of the mulberry for feeding silk worms will 
flourish well in Texas is unquestionable. 

In different parts of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, 
where the climate is less favorable than Texas, they succeed 
as fully as their own native tree. Those growing upon Gal- 


veston are entirely unaffected by the last winter, a part of 
\vhich was uncommonly severe. 

In addition to these facts, native mulberries are found grow- 
ing in various parts of the republic. Among all the varieties 
of this tree, none it is thought are more tenacious of life, or 
more easily reared from cuttings or layers than the morus mul- 
ticaulis. In climates similar to Texas few cuttings have 
been known not to vegetate, even when taken from the tree 
while the ripe fruit was seen upon the branches. Whenever 
the cuttings have been taken before the swelling of the buds, 
and placed soon after in the ground, they have usually vege- 
tated with as much certainty as ordinary garden or field seeds. 

Their growth also in the south is exceedingly luxuriant and 
rapid. Several specimens growing in the jtoor pine lands of 
Louisiana were shown to a clergyman, which, in the fall 
after the cuttings were placed in the ground, had reached the 
height of ten feet and some few inches. Another specimen 
in 1835, growing in a garden at Mobile, attained the height of 
twelve feet the year it was planted. In neither of these cases 
was the soil rich, in the latter it was a very loose sand. 

In Texas where the climate is equally favorable and the 
soil much better, it is presumed the growth will be still more 
vigorous. For the cultivation of this tree the upland prairies 
will probably be found admirably adapted. The soil is suffi- 
ciently rich and dry to render the leaves at once large and 
free from the watery character that is objected to when the 
tree grows upon moist bottoms. 

So bland is the climate, so long and favorable the season, 
and so rapid and continuous the growth of this tree, that it is 
presumed two or three crops of worms may be produced in a 
single year. Such it is said can be done in the south of 
Florida, and if that be true, the same can be done in Texas. 

If this country does not within a quarter of a century be- 
come an extensively silk growing region, the only reason will 


be because other branches of industry are so successful that 
no temptation exists to seek for new ones. 

With a climate as favorable as any part of the south of 
Italy, a soil transcending the finest fields celebrated in the 
songs of the Mantuan bard, and a country whose resources are 
undrained, why may not the silk of Texas be equal in beauty 
and perfection with that which forms the purple robe of 

A slight retrospect of the climate, soil and productions of 
this country will be sufficient to show, that its advantages 
over the very best parts of the north are numerous and great. 
There, a very large portion of the summer is consumed in 
rearing and securing sustenance for stock of various kinds 
through the winter. Here, all such labor is unnecessary and 
would mostly be thrown away. There, the winter precludes 
almost ev6ry kind of profitable farming business, being taken 
up in feeding stock, attending to fuel, and like engagements. 
Here, with the exception of those few days when storms pre- 
vent it, the fields are ploughed, fences made, grounds cleared, 
and, before its close, corn and other seeds are in the ground 
and shooting up into green blades. 

Having all the fall and spring, and much of the winter for 
field labor, and free from all the expense of wintering stock, 
the Texian farmer enjoys double the time for successful exer- 
tion that the New Englander does, and is at far less ex 

Surely if men do not succeed in acquiring a competency by 
farming in Texas, it must be because they are either idle or 
improvident. With ordinary health, economy and industry, 
every one who is able to commence a small farm, may in a 
very few years be placed in circumstances of comfort if not 
of affluence. 




Peaches. Rapid growth of the trees. Dried peaches an article of com- 
merce. Apples and pears not much cultivated. "Wild Plums. Al- 
monds can be grown near the coast. Figs, oranges, etc. will suc- 
ceed well. The IN'opal its peculiarities.-^- The hawthorn valuable as 
an hedge. 

BEFORE closing the notices of agricultural productions, some 
notice of the fruits and products of the orchard demand atten- 
tion. It has been already stated that peaches flourish in 
every part of the country wiih great luxuriance. The fruit of 
this tree is often very large, and equal in richness to any 
known in the southern states. Though skill and attention 
might no doubt be advantageous, the trees grow well with no 
other care than a very imperfect protection from being browsed 
by cattle. 

Little or no attention has been paid to grafting them, and 
yet it is believed few gardens of selected varieties would 
afford finer fruit, if we regard either size or delicacy of their 
flavor. So rapid is the progress of this tree from the seed to 
maturity, that it usually produces fruit the third year of its 
growth, and it is said sometimes in the second. 

So easily may this tree be reared, so abundant is its fruit, 
and so easily is it dried incur warm summers and desiccating 
winds, that dried peaches will probably soon become a con- 
siderable article of commerce, and large quantities be ex- 
ported. In this manner peach orchards may not only furnish 

APPLES. 145 

to the housekeeper rich luxuries, but large profits with little 
ox no heavy labor. 

As yet few if any instances are known of the ravages of 
the peach grub, whose attacks upon the roots of these trees 
are so much dreaded in most parts of the United States. In 
several places there are orchards of old trees, which have 
certainly stood many years, and yet bear marks of entire 
healthfulness, having in 1839 produced fine crops of choice 

When amateurs in good fruit shall be at pains to collect 
scions from the best varieties, and by grafting or inoculation 
collect numbers of them together, Texas may boast of as 
great varieties and splendid qualities of this fruit as any coun- 
try in the world. A number of small peach orchards are 
found scattered through different sections of the country, and 
they are rapidly multiplying. A very few years hence this 
excellent fruit will be as plentiful in Texas as apples in New 
England or in western New York. 

APPLES have as yet received very little attention, and little 
is known from experience of the success with which this 
fruit may be cultivated. In the lower and level parts of the 
country, it is doubtful whether the trees would be healthful or 
the fruit mature. In some of the low grounds of Louisiana, 
even where the trees continued to flourish, the fruit became 
so affected by the hot sun as to rot on the south-western side, 
and, consequently, soon decayed and perished. Whether like 
disasters would attend apples here, can be known only by 

Farther from the coast among the elevated prairies, and 
especially the mountainous districts, little doubt exists but 
that apples may be reared with entire success. Here the 
soil is of a character suited to this tree, the land is high and 
the heat less intense. Probably however one object of 
orchards at the north would not be realized in this country. 
There, cider is one of the principal products of this part of 


146 PLUMS* 

husbandry, and may be preserved in perfection several months. 
This is made of apples that ripen late in the season, after the 
weather has become cool, and the season of making it is soon 
followed by severe frosts. Here, these same apples would 
ripen in August or early in September, and hence if made 
into cider would rapidly pass from the vinous to the acetous 
fermentation, and be valuable for little else than vinegar. 

Cider, if made here, would not be easily preserved in a 
state for drinking, and hence of little value as an article of 
commerce. Still so great is the benefit of this fruit in itself, 
so fine for eating and various culinary purposes, both in its 
fresh state and when dried, that an orchard of well selected 
apples, comprising the early and late varieties, those fitted for 
the table, for cooking, for drying, and for preserving through 
the winter, yields an amount of health, luxury and profit 
which it would be difficult to estimate. 

Pears are said to flourish better in low southern latitudes 
than apples. In many respects their cultivation and habits 
correspond entirely with that fruit. Possessing less variety 
of flavor, and, perhaps, less of the saccharine quality than the 
apple, they have not been applied to so many nor so useful 
purposes. Some of the varieties however are delicate and 
melting in their substance, and are delightfully flavored. Like 
apples they have not yet been cultivated in Texas. What 
has been said respecting proper locations for the one, will 
equally apply to the other. They will probably be regarded 
rather as a garden crop than belonging to the orchard. 

PLUMS. Except the native growth of the soil, but little of 
this delicate and pleasant fruit is known to exist in this coun- 
try. Wild plums in great numbers and considerable variety 
are found in many parts of the republic, and most of these, 
like the wild plums of the north, are red, but it is said that 
yellow, white, and green ones have been found. 

One variety growing on high land, and among the timber, 
is called by the people the post oak plum. The trees are 


usually small, but the fruit is said to be good. Among so 
many varieties probably some must be valuable, and might 
improve greatly by judicious cultivation. 

That native plums thus flourish in all parts of the country, 
is sufficient proof that all the improved and cultivated kinds 
may be produced here with success, and probably of the 
first quality. If other methods would not succeed, they 
might be successfully grafted upon native stocks, a method 
which has never been known to fail of success. So nearly 
allied in character are peaches and plums, that where the for- 
mer flourish the latter can scarcely fail to succeed. 

Apricots and nectarines are of the same family, and subject 
to the same laws, as peaches and plums. Nearly allied to 
these, especially in warm climates, are the different varieties 
of almonds, whi-ch would probably succeed well any where 
near the coast. 

Sometimes in Texas as in Florida, and in the southern 
parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the hopes of the 
farmer from his orchard, of every kind of fruit, are cut off by a 
season of warm and moist weather in the autumn, which in- 
duces the trees to vegetate anew, and put forth the blossoms 
which nature had provided for the subsequent. year. The 
following winter frosts of course destroy these germs, and the 
tree for a year remains fruitless. This, however, is not be- 
lieved to occur more frequently, or be more injurious, than are 
late spring frosts in more northern parts of the world. 

FIGS, ORANGES, ETC. Along the coast and in the more 
southern parts of Texas, the orange, lemon, and other tropi- 
cal fruits, may be cultivated with success, and probably be- 
come a profitable part of husbandry. In the interior, and far 
north of the gulf, the trees are liable to occasional injury from 
severe frosts, which sometimes kill all the branches, and for 
several years prevent their fruitfulness. 

Figs and prunes, and* probably olives, succeed in all the 
central parts of the country, and may be produced in any de- 


sired quantities. Of the ?alue of the fig, it is difficult for per- 
sons not familiar with them to form an adequate estimate. 
From the smell and taste of the unripe fruit, it is never eaten 
while immature. When ripe it is perhaps one of the most 
nutritive, healthful and abundant of all fruits. No danger is 
ever apprehended from it in any respect ; nor is it known that 
its effects were unfavorable even to the weakest stomach. In 
favorable circumstances the tree sometimes produces three 
crops in a year, though one full crop is as much as can b 
relied upon. 

It has been suggested that the date-bearing palm might be 
successfully propagated. Of the correctness of this opinion, 
or the value of the fruit last named, nothing definite is known 
to the writer. 

NOPAL, or Prickly Pear, (cactus apuntia). This plant has 
formerly been cultivated to a considerable extent in Mexico, 
upon which to feed the insect which produces the cochineal. 

Its culture probably still continues in some parts of that 
country, but has not been introduced into Texas. Though to 
most persons in the United States this plant is in some mea- 
sure known, some of its varieties, and its great growth in 
Texas, will, to numbers, be entirely new. 

Wherever it is found in the United States, it either lies 
immediately on the ground, or rises but the width of one sin- 
gle joint above it, seldom if ever exceeding six or eight inches 
in height. Here, on the contrary, it often stands erect, send- 
ing forth frequent and large joints, spreading as they rise, 
till they reach a height of ten, twelve or more feet. In this 
form they frequently grow in thickets, said to be impenetrable 
by man ; a fact no way difficult to believe by any one ac- 
quainted with their sharp, rough and rigid spines, and num- 
berless fine but piercing bristles with which they are armed. 

The fruit of this plant seen in Kentucky, Tennessee and 
other parts of the states, is small, long, of a reddish brown, 
nearly the coloui of a ripe gooseberry, of a slightly acid taste* 


but of no value. The fruit of the Texian nopal is of two 
kinds, one of which is pear shaped, and of a scarlet colour 5 
the other longer, and when ripe of a yellowish white. The 
latter kind is in great request in the towns of Mexico, and 
commands a high price. 

It is related in the history of the Mexican revolution, that 
the army of General Toledo, after being defeated by the roy- 
alists on the plains of Bexar, in the year 1813, was preserved 
from famine by the fruit of the nopal. It must have been 
abundant indeed, if it could subsist a considerable army for 
any length of time. It is asserted also that the fruit and 
young leaves of the cactus (it must be before the spines be- 
come indurated,) furnish food to immense numbers of cattle 
and wild horses. It is questionable however whether if it 
were removed, the grass and herbage succeeding it would 
not be of more value. 

Of this singular plant their are said to be twenty-eight vari- 
eties. Most of these are cultivated in gardens, and many of 
them produce beautiful flowers. Only one of these will be 
here noticed. It was discovered growing in an open prairie, 
in a hard pebbly piece of ground. They were usually called by 
gardeners Turk's heads, from some supposed resemblance to 
such a head when covered with a turban. The plant was cir- 
cular, of the size of a large hat crown, one or two inches in 
thickness, with a small cavity in the centre, apparently con- 
taining a bud or germ of a flower. From this centre to the 
circumference it was deeply ribbed with regular elevations 
and depressions. It was thickly set all over its surface with 
clusters of hard and sharp thorns, pointing like rays in differ- 
ent directions, and lying flat upon the surface of the plant. 
In feeling, these thorns resembled fish bones. Cutting 
through the plant, the substance was soft, of a pale green, dif- 
fering but little from the surface. It was moist, and tasted 
much like a turnip taken from the ground after having been 
frozen. The time of doing this was in January. The results 



of such an examination at another season might probably be 
very different. 

A gentleman long resident in the country remarked, that to 
a thirsty traveller in summer the juice of one of those plants 
is abundant and exceedingly refreshing. He stated that the 
juice of the Turk's head in a sultry day, gave much more re- 
lief to thirst than the best water, and that the pleasant effects 
of it generally lasted a considerable time. In dry and sandy 
regions, where springs and streams of water are of infrequent 
occurrence, in the latter part of summer and autumn, this 
plant must furnish to the traveller or huntsman a desirable 

Some persons, from the peculiar luxuriance and height of 
the nopal in these regions, have supposed that it might be ad- 
vantageously used for hedges. As however when cultivated 
for feeding the cochineal insect, it endures not more than 
twelve years, it is doubtful whether its durability would be 
sufficient to render it profitable, if in other respects it met the 
desires of the farmer. This doubt deserves the more regard, 
from the fact, that there are several native trees which pos- 
sess most of the requisites desirable in materials for living 



One of these is a variety of the hawthorn, found growing 
abundantly wherever its growth is not prevented by the burn- 
ing of the grass. It differs but little from the white thorn of 
the northern states, grows to about the same size, is equally 
hardy, and doubtless quite as durable and tenacious of life. It 
is however less spinous, though this may be owing to its being 
found only in dense thickets, where the young branches are 
more tender and pliant. 

Of the value and durability of a hedge of this tree there is 
no doubt. Probably its seed, like that of the other varieties, 
would need to be scalded in order to induce them io vegetate. 

The musquit tree also, which has been previously men- 
tioned is evidently well adapted for the same purpose. The 


enly doubt entertained of the value of this tree for hedges, 
seems to be, whether it would not require too much time for 
it to arrive at sufficient size and strength to resist the progress 
of animals. It is certainly sufficiently hardy, durable and 
rigid for every purpose, and when a hedge is once complete 
would probably be as durable as any other whatever. 

In very many places among the prairies are found plats of 
live oak shrubbery growing together, as thick as any hedge 
need to do. These are believed to grow from the roots of a 
common stock, many of which have lasted perhaps for centu- 
ries. The tops being killed by the burning grass, new shoots 
sprung up from the ground all around the dead stem. These 
being again destroyed, like clusters multiplied around each of 
the former shoots, and, by thus continually spreading, they 
have come to cover considerable areas of ground. Several 
cart loads of considerably large roots have sometimes been 
collected from clearing away one of these patches", and used 
for fuel. 

These shrubs, or the young trees raised from seed, it is. 
thought would form excellent hedges, which would last as 
long as would the native live oaks, whose age no one has 
ever ventured to calculate. The only objection conceivable 
against the latter variety of hedge, is that this tree naturally 
grows to a large size, and its roots extend themselves to a 
great distance through the soil, and would hence for many 
yards from the hedge exhaust the productive power of the 
land,, and lessen the product of crops. 

With such abundant materials for living and durable fences, 
the people certainly need not tremble lest they should not be 
able to protect their green fields and ripening harvests from 
either domestic cattle, or the devastations of wild animals. 
Such fences in their results will be cheaper, and far more 
safe from injury by cattle or winds, than any others that can 
be made. It is hence highly desirable, that the comparative 


value of each of the above articles should as early as practi- 
cable be carefully tested by experiment. 

Will not some of the intelligent and wealthy planters of the 
Brazos or the Colorado, at an early day, commence a series 
of experiments on a subject of such vital interest to the 
country ? 




Tho peccan tree ics largo giuwtii ana aDunuciiu iruit. Usage orange- 
its peculiarities. Cherry laurel, or wild peach. Prickly ash. Wild 
China tree. Spanish persimmon. Cayenne pepper. Great variety of 
wild beans. Vanilla its value and peculiarities. Sage. Wild rye. 
Musquit grass. Gama grass. Native clover. Valuable medicinal 
plants. Mimosa or sensitive plant. Great profusion of flowers, etc.. 

THE account we can give of these must necessarily be imper- 
fect, because we have not only not visited every part of the 
country, and our visit embraced merely the winter season, but 
because such information as could be obtained from books and 
other sources within our reach, is evidently imperfect as well 
as frequently inaccurate. One instance out of many like it 
may illustrate how much inaccuracy often exists in the works 
of writers, whose usual habits of observation and enquiry 
might lead us to expect better things. 

Two writers professedly giving accounts of the history and 
productions of Texas, represent the native cane as an annual 
plant which grows up and perishes within the year. One of 
these has the following sentence : "The sight of a large tract 
covered with so rank a growth of an annual plant, which rises 
to such a height, decays and is renewed every twelve month, 
affords a striking impression of the fertility of the soil." The 
other, speaking of the cane, remarks, " These reeds are very 
slender, and grow to the height of about twenty-five feet in & 


single season, being renewed every twelvemonth." Both 
these writers have resided in Texas, and been familiar with 
other southern portions of America, and how they could ever 
have conceived that the wild cane of the canebrakes was an 
annual plant is difficult to imagine. That its natural history 
is but imperfectly understood, at least by most of even the in- 
telligent portion of community, is very certain. But that the 
reeds continue to live and grow several years in succession is 
matter of every day's observation ; and that at long intervals, 
extending to a period of many years, it produces blossoms (in 

*i.~ f -r clumps, like. thp. blossom of oats) and a grain-like 

seed, is attested by all the older inhabitants of Mississippi and 

Like most jointed plants of the grass and grain kinds, the 
whole thickets of cane died and commenced a rapid decay as 
soon as the ripened seed had fallen to the ground.* Sensible 
of the difficulties growing out of these circumstances, the ut- 
most care will be used to give the best information to be pro- 
cured, and as far as possible to avoid erroneous statements. 

FOREST TREES, SHRUBS, &c. Many of these have been 
already named, and the peculiarities of some of them in part 
described. Most of the others are common to this country 
and many parts of the United States, and hence need little 
description. Among the larger forest trees may be enumera- 
ted the live oak, white oak, burr oak, red oak, jack oak or 
black jack, water oak a beautiful shade tree, post oak, ash, 
elm, hickory, black walnut, peccan, cotton wood, hackberry, 
cypress, yellow or short leafed pine, sycamore or button wood, 
wild cherry, box elder, a variety of the maple, bois d' arc or 

* A full and correct description of this interesting plant, including its 
progress, maturity, fructification, affinities and reproduction, would be highly 
gratifying to the curious and a desideratum to the public. 


osage orange, magnolia, two varieties, linden* or bass wood, 
the locust,* musquit, hemlock or spruce pine,* persimmon f or 
American date cedar, and several others. In one catalogue 
of forest trees, the beech, chesnut, white walnut or butternut, 
and crab apple, are enumerated. Some of the most intelli- 
gent and very early settlers of the country however stated, 
that they had not seen them. In some parts of the country, 
these trees are not found, in others particular kinds are rare, 
but within the limits of the republic all or most of them 
grow to a large size, and for some purposes are valuable. 

Among all the varieties of nut trees the peccan, a variety, 
and probably the most choice variety, of the hickory, is one of 
the largest and most productive. Its trunk is frequently nearly 
three feet in diameter, its branches numerous and spreading, 
and its fruit abundant. Several large trees have been known 
to produce twenty to thirty bushels in a season, which, 
whether gathered for sale or use, or allowed to remain on the 
ground for swine, is highly valuable. The opinion is fre- 
quently expressed that they are for fattening hogs quite as 
good as corn. The timber of young peccan trees is here re- 
garded as the most suitable material for axe handles, and such 
other purposes as require both hardness and freedom from 
liability to break when bent. 

The timber of the burr oak is used for various purposes, 
especially where pliancy and toughness in the green state are 
required, such as hoops for the more delicate cooper's work, 
and the like. 

The black walnut grows to a great size, and is in some 

* Those trees thus marked have not been found in Texas by the writer, 
but are named in the writings of others. 

t This tree in favorable situations, grows to a great height, and becomes 
quite large, the female, for it is dioacious, producing immense quantities of 
fruit. The timber is firm, solid, not easily split, and highly valuable for 
many purposes of building machinery. 


parts of the country abundant. The timber is firm, fine 
grained and admits of a good polish, and is hence highly 
prized for furniture. In the interior of Texas a large portion 
of the parlor furniture will probably be made from this tree. 
Its timber is equally valuable also for all purposes where du- 
rability, as in posts and fences, is required. 

The Bois d'Arc, or Osage orange, is found in several parte 
of Texas, and in the adjoining parts of Louisiana and Arkan- 
sas. In most places its growth is low and branching, but in 
others tall and straight, presenting a long shaft of valuable 
timber. Of this tree little has been known till within a few 
years, and even now the full character and worth of the tree 
is understood by very few. The following is all that could 
be learned from inquiry. The fruit in shape and appearance 
resembles an orange but is much larger, the seeds are distri- 
buted in the same manner, the leaves and wood also resemble 
the corresponding parts of the orange tree. Of its blossom 
no clear delineation could be obtained. The following, copied 
from the Texas Telegraph, is from the pen of the Hon. Fran- 
cis Moore of Houston. 

" The Bois d'Arc trees attain a remarkable size, and are 
often found four feet in diameter and eighty feet in height. 
The timber of this tree is considered very valuable on account 
of its durability and great solidity. Its fruit resembles 
the orange but is much larger, being often four or five 
inches in diameter. Horses, hogs and horned cattle are very 
fond of it, and find in the forests of Bois d'Arc an inexhaust- 
ible supply of substantial food during the autumnal months." 

The smaller trees and shrubs are very numerous ; to be 
complete, a catalogue of them must be very extensive. Of 
most of them which have come under our observation, or of 
which we have definite information, we shall barely give the 
names by which they are here known, only mentioning the 
characteristics of such of them as appear to be important or 


singular. The following list comprises most of those which 
are well known. 

The cherry laurel or wild peach, evidently a variety of the 
cluster cherry, though a beautiful evergreen ; the wild china 
tree, resembling in its fruit and flowers the beautiful shade 
tree from which it takes its name ; sassafras, willow, chin- 
quapin or dwarf chesnut, black haw, nearly resembling in 
some respects the dogwood ; the water dogwood (cornus flori- 
da aquatica), sumach, willow, common elder (sambucusnigra), 
poison elder, red bud, shrub oak, witch hazel, holly, prickly 
ash or toothache tree, very different from the prickly ash of 
the northern states ; wild plum, bayberry or wax myrtle, 
yawpan or tea tree, moosewood, fever bush or spicewood, 
sweet fern raspberry, whortleberry, bush cranberry, Indian, 
arrow, red haw, mulberry, blackberry, caoutchouc or India 
rubber tree, pawpaw or custard apple, Spanish persimmon, 
wild privet, gum or pepperage, wild rose, green briars, and a 
variety of it sometimes called china briar ; trumpet flower, 
cross vine or tea vine, yellow jessamine, horse chesnut, stand- 
ard and dwarf kinds, the latter with beautiful scarlet flowers ; 
elbow (globus occidentalis), and many others. 

The cherry laurel, or wild peach, is found solely in rich 
bottoms, and is regarded as a sure indication of a most exu- 
berant soil. Its name of peach is altogether inappropriate, 
having no other likeness to it than every other cherry has. 
Like the leaves and kernel of the peach and wild cherry the 
leaf and fruit partake largely of prussic acid, from which they 
derive their peculiar flavor. Its blossoms are disposed in a 
cluster, like those of the common black cherry, and the ripe 
fruit is a small drupe with a black skin, thin green pulp and 
large pit, the latter being scarcely distinguishable from oth%r 
cherry stones. When cultivated as an ornamental tree, it 
forms a beautiful top, and continues through the year of a 
brilliant and glossy green color. Some persons admiring the 
ever fresh verdure and beauty of it, have not inappropriately 



named it gloria mundi. The fruit of this tree is thought by 
some to be valuable food for swine, but it is doubtful whether 
a free meal would not be injurious or deadly to them from the 
effects of the prussic acid. The leaves and twigs of it have 
been known to poison cows which had eaten of them too 

The prickly ash (Xanthoxilum), is peculiar to regions south 
of Tennessee and North Carolina. It does not seem to belong 
to the fraxinus order at all, but bears a cluster of berries in a 
large panicle, which in some degree resemble in appearance 
elder berries. The young twigs are armed with short but 
sharp spurs of thorns, like some varieties of the rose bush. 
As the branch or stem increases in size these disappear, but 
that part of the bark upon which they rested protrudes out- 
ward in numerous dull-pointed projections, causing the surface 
to appear as if thickly studded with large warts. The inner 
bark of this tree when chewed, produces in the mouth and 
fauces a sensation of sharp coolness quickly followed by pun- 
gent excitement, in some degree painful and inducing an inor- 
dinate salivary discharge. It requires sometime to remove 
the effect produced upon the mouth, and little benefit seems 
to be derived from washing it with water or other substances. 
It is said that chewing this bark frequently relieves the tooth- 
ache, (probably only while the irritatkm of the mouth lasts), 
and hence it derives its name. 

The wild china tree b probably peculiar to Texas, or Texas 
and Mexico. At least no such tree has been noticed, it is be- 
lieved, in any part of the United States. Growing in the 
woods, its stem is larger and less straight than the shade tree 
of that name. The bark wears quite a different aspect, but 
tfle berries in winter exactly resemble those of the commoi. 
tree. It is declared that the leaves and flowers differ little if 
any from those of that brilliant and gorgeous ornament of 
southern yards. Whether it will be found valuable or not is 
yet unknown. 


Of the Spanish persimmon, though declared to be an excel- 
lent and highly saccharine fruit, but little clear information 
could be obtained. It seems understood that the tree produc- 
ing it is not large, with leaves more resembling elm leaves 
than those of the ordinary persimmon. The fruit is black, or 
a very dark purplish blue, about the size of ordinary persim- 
mons, but much sweeter. The seeds, and their arrangement 
in the fruit, correspond with those of the more common variety. 
To what class or family of trees these should be referred, is 
left for the future investigation of observers of nature. Much 
might be said of the qualities and- uses of many other of the 
shrubs and vines above enumerated, but enough has been told 
to prove the abundance, beauty and usefulness of many of the 
trees, shrubs and climbing vines of Texas. 

Should any one suppose that all that is surprising and cu- 
rious in this part of Texian productions is included in this 
notice, he may well be informed that scarce a beginning has 
been made even in the names of the branchy trunks that com- 
pose the forest. To appreciate in any adequate degree the 
abundance and variety of the native shrubbery and woodland 
of this country, it is necessary to visit it in April and May, 
when nearly every plant, however modest, lifts its head and 
claims a share of countenance from the sun, the common 
source of light and beauty. Then every lowly bush and tow- 
ering tree puts on a garment of loveliness, and unites with 
myriads of others to send forth a fragrance of mingled sweets 
to regale and refresh the senses of the delighted spectators. 

Of Uie plants, flowers, &c. of this country our limited infor- 
mation enables us to furnish but a very meagre account. From 
neither books, papers or individuals, have we ascertained any 
thing like even a list of the more common and widely diffused 
plants. It is hoped that some of the enterprising and scientific 
physicians of the country will soon commence herbaria, and 
in due time furnish to the public, and especially their own 
profession, a full and well arranged flora of the whole region. 


Among the plants ought perhaps to be mentioned the wild 
cane, of which however sufficient notice has been already 

Here also, growing natively in all parts of the country, is 
the cayenne pepper, called by the Mexicans Chili. Several 
varieties are described, differing perhaps only in the degree 
of their strength. Some of them produce large red pods, others 
small tapering ones like those usually found bottled in vinegar, 
others small round ones, little if any larger than buckshot, and 
some the small yellow pod, believed to be the same variety 
with the most active kind imported from Africa. 

Among the Mexicans, and very many of the settlers from 
the United States, this plant furnishes a favorite sauce to use 
with all kinds of meats, and large portions of it are used in 
various kinds of cookery. It forms in many cities, both at the 
north and south, a very popular condiment, and the amount 
consumed is annually increasing. However great may here- 
after be the demand for this article, the Texians can easily 
meet it with full supplies, and those of the very best quality. 
Tobacco is also indigenous to the country, but no reason it is 
believed can be assigned for wishing it to become an article 
of commerce in this or in any other country. 

Of all the luxuries in which men indulge, the use of tobacco 
is the most artificial and unnatural. It contributes nothing 
towards the support of animal life, its use is an uncleanly and 
disgusting habit, and one to which men have no natural dis- 
positions, nor can they acquire it without repeated efforts and 
persevering exertions. In learning to use tobacco the, indivi- 
dual, with much expense, labor and some suffering, learns a 
habit which is utterly useless, troublesome and expensive to 
himself, and frequently painful and disagreeable to his friends, 
It was well said by a distinguished physician of Kentucky, 
that " the tobacco chewer is an unclean animal." Without 
objecting to it as criminal, we may dissuade from it as foolish 
and unseemly^ 


A great variety of wild beans and peas are found in different 
parts of this country, some of which are distinguished for the 
beauty of their flowers, and others for the uses to which they 
may be applied. One of these, the Erythrina herbacea, has a 
perennial root which throws up from one to six, eight or ten 
shoots, according to its strength. In some cases these shoots 
or stalks arise to the height of six feet or more, some of them 
adorned with numerous glossy and beautiful leaves throughout 
their length; the rest have but one or two leaves each, above 
which, encircling the stalk, are seen frequent rings of deep 
scarlet or rather crimson flowers. When these have per- 
formed their office they are succeeded by fruit pods or siliquae, 
bearing a strong resemblance to the pods of the cranberry 
bean. When ripe the little beans are of a bright scarlet color 
and highy beautiful. This plant is frequently cultivated for 
ornament, and has been named near Nathez the " Pride of 

That variety of the bean called in gardens the clematis or 
virgin bower, so much admired for its fine clusters of blue 
flowers, is quite common along the streams and bottom lands 
of Texas. The flowers of these wild vines however exhibit 
some variety of coloring, some being more deeply and beauti- 
fully tinged than the others. 

Another plant of the bean kind found native in Texas is the 
vanilla, regarded in Europe and America one of the choicest 
perfumes found in the shops of the confectioner. The fact 
that it is indigenous in the- country, sufficiently proves that it 
may be successfully cultivated, and its high price warrants 
the conclusion that the culture would amply repay the atten- 
tion bestowed upon it. The following description we copy 
from a late writer. 

" VANILLA. This curious and very rare vine is about the 
size of a quill, the stem green, glossy and smooth, the leaves 
project by pairs from joints eight or ten inches apart. They 


are large and thick as sheathing paper, succulent and brittle 
and shaped like pear leaves. 

" The vanilla is propagated by planting, or by inserting it 
into the bark of some soft wood tree, always where it is shady 
and humid. It soon attaches itself to the surrounding branches, 
and in three years will overtop the highest trees, suspending 
from its extremity the fruit, which consists of pods resembling 
the common kidney bean. These pods can only be obtained 
by felling the tree which could not be climbed, or by an in- 
strument attached to a long pole. , 

" To prepare it as an article of commerce, the greatest 
attention is required in curing and packing the vanilla. Each 
pod must be separately bound round with thread, but slightly, 
that it may not warp and open. During the process of drying, 
if not perfectly ripe, it changes its color from green to brown 
or nearly black, and exudes on handling it, an oil balsamic, 
and almost insupportably fragrant. The greatest care must 
be taken to prevent the loss of this odour, for if it does not 
discharge sufficiently of its balm it will sour and corrupt, and 
if its emanations are too copious, its virtue is diminished. 
The art of curing therefore lies in avoiding excess either 
way ; and when dry it must be packed so that it may arrive 
at a foreign market in proper order. To secure this point it 
is carefully wrapped up in leaves with honey, to keep a cer- 
tain degree of moisture, in bundles of fifty, and put up in 
wooden boxes. Tin and sealed would be better. 

" The pod of the vanilla contains thousands of small black 
seeds of the brilliancy of jet. 

" This delicious plant is highly esteemed in medicine as 
a perfume and in various culinary arts. Its rich qualities 
may be preserved in spirits of wine, which extracts its resin- 
ous substance. It is in this form that the luxurious in Mexico, 
Madrid, Paris and London, adapt it to a variety of uses ; as, 
for instance, with chocolate, ices, jellies, and various sauces 


and confectionary. That which is perfect frequently com- 
mands double its weight of silver, in some of the Europeaa 
cities and those of Africa. Its price is from three to ten dol- 
lars per pound, but not one of a hundred pounds ever arrives 
in its pure quality." 

Native sage of two kinds is found in various places, equal 
in all important qualities to the garden plant in the States, 
and which may be easily cultivated. Wild indigo has been 
already noticed. It is regarded as equal if not superior to the- 
plant usually cultivated. In many places wild peas of different 
kinds grow in great abundance. During the autumn the vines 
and fruit furnish to cattle and horses abundant and most nutri- 
tious pasturage, nearly if not quite equal to an unharvested 
corn field. To those acquainted with this article these state-^ 
ments will require no confirmation. 

In many of the bottom lands along the rivers, the ground 
bears a beautiful winter carpet of brilliant green composed of 
the wild rye. It appears to be a native variety of that grain. 
Its berry is not large, but the form of the stalk and head all 
mark it as being a real secale cereale. It is peculiarly valu- 
able as a winter pasture, shooting up about the early part of 
November and retaining its freshness till after the spring 
grasses have become abundant. As a pasture it is sweet and 
nutritious, and cattle or horses thrive upon it during the se- 
verest parts of the season. Whether it might not be well to 
sow it for milch cows or horses is worthy of consideration 
and experiment, especially as the increasing numbers of cattle 
seem likely soon to entirely consume it* 

In connection with the above, it seems appropriate to speak 
of the musquit grass, so called perhaps from the musquit tree, 
of which it seems to be a sure concomitant. Although this 
has been previously mentioned, its valuable qualities will apo- 
logise for some further remarks. In answer to a suggestion 
of the propriety of sowing it in fields, a farmer remarked, that 


for this there was no necessity, so readily does it spontane- 
ously clothe the ground once cultivated that the only difficulty 
is to prevent its injuring the other crops. This circumstance, 
added to its vigorous growth, and retaining its verdure and 
nutritive qualities during the winter, clearly indicate its great 
value for pasturage. A wealthy and highly intelligent planter 
of Tennessee, lately on a visit to Texas, was so convinced of 
the excellence of this grass, that he took measures to procure 
the seed to sow upon his own plantation near the city of 

The gama grass also is an interesting production indigenous 
in Texas. In the southern parts of the country, between the 
Guadalupe and the San Jacinto, it frequently occurs in great 
abundance. Perhaps no variety of all the family of grasses 
grows more luxuriously, or produces a greater amount of pas- 
ture in a given space than this. It has been known within 
four hours after being mown, to throw out shoots the eighth 
of an inch long. It is evidently a rich and agreeable pasture 
for horses and all ruminating animals. They eat it with greedi- 
ness, and where it is plenty fatten freely upon it. It is declared 
that it retains its freshness and sweetness throughout the winter 
season, and that in regions where it grows no want is felt by 
any domestic cattle of succulent food. Thus the interior is 
favored with the ever verdant and rich musquit, and the coast 
with the no less durable and nourishing pasture of gama grass. 
If there be one section of North America more adapted than 
others to successful exertion in rearing stock, for driving or 
for beef, that favored spot would seem to be found in this more 
than Arcadia, for here our flocks need not the constant attend- 
ance of the herdsman. 

Two varieties of native clover have been discovered in 
Texas. Being natives of both the climate and soil little doubt 
can exist that they would improve by cultivation. Of their 
peculiarities or value no special account seems to have been 


taken. Future naturalists may investigate their peculiarities, 
but it belongs to the husbandman to test their value to his 

The following, among numberless others, form a small part 
of the root plants valued either for their medicinal or other 
qualities : spikenard, elecampane, angelica, sarsaparilla, gin- 
seng, liquorice, May apple or mandrake, (podophyllum pelta- 
turn), several varieties of the convolvulus, including the pan* 
duratus or man-root; it is believed that the convolvulus jalapa, 
producing the jalap, may be grown here without difficulty or 
expense, snake root, blood-root, (sanguinaria canadensis) wild 
parsnip, (conium maculatum) several varieties of wild onions 
or garlicks, white and black hellebore, and arrow-root, witbi 
numerous others. 

The singular and beautiful plant, from its apparently imi- 
tating animal actions, called the mimosa or sensitive plant,, 
grows spontaneously in many places, and even covering acres 
of ground with its beautiful and delicate verdure and flowers. 
To one unacquainted with its properties, it would seem ex- 
ceedingly strange, while passing over a plat of thick grown 
herbage of this kind, to see it all apparently wilted, as if it 
had been severed from its roots by the scythe ; nor less pro- 
bably would such an individual be surprised, if pausing for a 
few moments, the leaves should again expand before him, and 
display to his view all their original and native beauties. 

So easily is the effect of closing their leaves produced, that 
for some time before the tread of the observer, the planta 
seem to perceive his approach, and, with all the delicacy of 
oriental ladies, veil their faces from his view. The peti- 
oles or footstalks of the leaves have numerous leaflets on each 
side, which, upon being touched, or even slightly agitated, 
rise upward, and meeting at the top, hide their upper surface 
from the view, and expose the paler color of their wide? 
sides, which gives them the appearance of being wilted. 


The flowers of the Texian mimosa are of a delicate pink 
color, much larger and more beautiful than those of the gar- 
den plant at the north. The gentle acclivities from the banks 
of rivers or brooks, are the favorite positions of this peculiar 
and delicate vegetable. 

Several attempts have been made to account philosophically 
for the sensitiveness of this plant, and for retracting its foliage 
in apparent anticipation of the approach of intruders. The 
more general impression seems to be, that the reason for its 
delicate sensibility is yet not fully understood, and that from 
the connection of its roots or stems the effect of a footfall 
reaches many of them at some distance from where it touches 
the ground. Such discussions however are left to the curious, 
who will no doubt find in this plant objects of pleasing inves- 

Flowering and other plants of the prairies and woodlands 
are literally innumerable. At any time from March to No- 
vember, almost the whole country exhibits all the brilliancy, 
variety, delicacy and fragrance of a carefully cultivated flower 
garden. In April and May it has been said the prairies con- 
stitute " a paradise " of flowers. 

If such allusions are chargeable with hyperbole, and per- 
haps savor of irreverence, truth will fully justify the allegation 
that the whole length and breadth of these savannahs are one 
continued wilderness of flowers, beauty and fragrant odors. 
While enjoying the loveliness, and inhaling the delightful and 
exhilarating atmosphere laden with the perfumes of millions 
of flowers, the heart may be allowed innocently to indulge its 
tendency to rhapsody, and pour out its emotions in the lan- 
guage of poetry and imagination. 

Indeed, description to be true, must lay aside her staid and 
measured words, and discourse in the language of impassioned 
feeling and glowing eloquence. Nay, to convey to the mind of 
the mere reader an adequate conception of the richness, extent, 


beauty and touching loveliness of these plains in the vernal 
season, would require a language unknown to earth, and fitted 
to express the risings of more than mortal joy. Here the 
philanthropist and Christian, viewing on every side the works 
and beneficence of his Creator, and touched with a sense 01 
the munificence of Heaven to himself, must feel his heart 
dilate with benevolence, and his soul ready to burst forth into 
songs of grateful praise. 

A very few only of the immense varieties that deck and 
adorn this flower garden of nature, can here be even enumerated. 
Among that few are all the varieties denominated, from the 
starlike radiations of their petals, stellaria, besprinkle the land- 
scape with their yellow, blue and purple flowers. The ane- 
mone of different hues, white, purple and scarlet, lifts its little 
head to the breeze even in January, regardless of the northern 
blasts that may in a few hours bear on its wings the frosts 
that shall dim their fair colors for ever. 

The dahlia, proudest of all the gaudy tenants of the autum- 
nal garden, so much admired and so extensively cultivated, is 
declared to be indigenous in Texas. If so, it is probably the 
only place north of the equator where it is so.* 

Geraniums in great numbers and variety, annual and peren- 
nial, are found diffused through large portions of the country. 
Some of these are said to be delightfully odorous, while others 
are exceedingly beautiful. A single branch, from a root from 
which several shoots were growing, was found in full blossom 
by the writer in the latter part of January, 1840. The flowers 
were of a deep scarlet or light crimson, arranged together so 
as to form a rounded umbel of great beauty and elegance. 
Whether these or the plant possessed any odor the observer 
did not ascertain. Probably these flowers may continue to 
appear in succession for a considerable part of the year. 

* Some doubt has been expressed whether the plant supposed to be the 
dahlia, both in Texas and other southern regions, does not belong to a dif- 
ferent genus of plants, the Reedbeckia. 


Lilies of various sizes and different colors adorn the prai- 
ries, bottoms and woodlands of Texas. Some of these are 
exceedingly small, and are found in blossom among the ear- 
liest of the flowers of spring ; others appear at different times, 
most of them white, though some are yellow, purple and va- 
riegated. By lily is not here understood any of the numerous 
varieties of the Iris family. They also are found in many 
places in Texas, some of which might properly be added to 
the number of those which adorn the gardens of the wealthy. 

The lobelia inflata and cardinalis is found plentifully in 
various places. The lignonia or trumpet flower, with scarlet 
blossoms and an evergreen variety, with flowers of a bright 
color combining the yellow and scarlet. Both elegant climb- 
ers, especially the latter, whose bright foliage in winter wears 
the appearance of the most exuberant freshness and verdure. 

The passion flower, which is so much and so justly ad- 
mired in the northern states and in all Europe, is a plant of 
frequent occurrence in Texas. Different varieties are be- 
lieved to grow in various situations. One very small and 
delicate species has not been cultivated. Like the larger 
variety it is an annual vine springing from a perennial root. 
The leaves are small and rounded, the vine slender, and the 
flowers not larger when fully expanded than a five cent piece. 
The flower resembles the common variety exactly except in 
size and color, the latter being less deeply tinged than those 
of their more gorgeous fellows. Whether all the five or six 
species of this beautiful production of America, to which 
country it is peculiar, are natives of the republic, has not been 

Digitalis of different kinds, wild holly hocks, believed to be 
a large flower of the family columnifera, wild pinks, sarrace- 
nia or side-saddle flower, pond lilies, cypripedum or lady's 
slipper, ground apple, and violets of numerous kinds. 

The above is merely a specimen of what detailed in full 
would fill a considerable volume. It is however sufficient to 


show that the florist may here luxuriate freely and long in un- 
numbered varieties of flowers and plants, without fear of early 
exhausting the materials of botanic inquiry and research. In 
the vernal season and in much of the summer, the prairies 
appear to be covered with a gorgeous carpet of green, em- 
broidered throughout with innumerable clusters and waving 
plumes of flowers, too exquisitely beautiful and variegated 
ever to be mistaken for the production of any other being than 
the Deity. 





Petrified shells found on the elevated prairies. Animal remains disco- 
rered imbedded in the earth. Most of the rocks composed of lime- 
stone. Iron abounds in rocks and in oxide. Coal in inexhaustible 
quantities. Lead ore. Copper mines discovered. Silver mines once 
worked in Texas Gold found. Marble. Singular mass of metal. 
Petrified wood. Salt. Copperas Alum. Sulphur springs, etc. 

'THIS department of an account of Texas, so far as it relates 
to the formation and generic character of the country is sim- 
ple, and would require but little time or room, if the curiosity 
of philosophers were our only object. As however it is in- 
tended rather to be useful to the common reader, and those 
who may wish to emigrate to this country, we shall not be 
specially careful to frame our work to the taste of professors 
and learned amateurs in the science of geology or mineralogy. 
To the practical farmer and mechanic, who is about to change 
his position and find a new place of residence, it is hoped that 
these sheets will convey useful information. 

As will naturally be inferred by every reader who has turn- 
ed over the previous pages, veiy much of the surface of Texas 
is alluvial, and composed of such materials as have either 
been brought down from the highlands by the water courses, 
or driven on shore by the waves of that inland sea the Gulf of 
Mexico. From the latter source is perhaps derived a consi- 

STRATA. 171 

derable portion of the deeper parts of the soil of the maritime 
district, except near the mouths of rivers and considerable 
streams. Even where the lower strata may be composed of 
submarine materials, the upper portions appear evidently to 
consist of earths and other deposits derived from different 
sources. A considerable amount of tenacious and firm earth 
is found upon the surface even near the gulf, and hence could 
not be the effect of the waves, which would cast up little else 
but sand and still lighter substances. Inland also an unusually 
large proportion of the country is made up of the alluvial bot- 
toms of the rivers and smaller streams. 

Of this part of the geology it will not be necessary to say 
much, as all its uses for agriculture are well understood. In 
this region, whether on the bottoms or uplands, stone, either 
pebbles or larger kinds, are seldom if ever found, the soil 
being composed in the bottoms of rich black mould, into which 
decomposed vegetable matter largely enters, and the uplands 
of various materials, embracing, quite often, oyster, muscle 
and other sea shells, partially decomposed, forming a rich 
loam admirably fitted for agricultural purposes. 

Before reaching the undulating region, there are found 
resting upon the even surface of the prairie, eminences or 
mounds, the ascent of which however is gradual and wave-like, 
composed it would seem mostly of shells of oysters, and other 
fish and marine substances, indicating very clearly that this 
part of the country had once been covered by the waters of 
the ocean ; when the animals whose remains form these coni- 
cal hills, by long-continued accumulations, raised these piles, 
whose existence now testifies the former submersion of the 
land. From these elevations, not ever exceeding one hundred 
feet in height, it is said the whole country for thirty miles in 
extent becomes visible. This will at least prove the remark- 
ably level and even surface of this part of the country. 

Advancing from the coast among the undulating prairies. 


frequent appearances indicate that here the waves of ocean 
once rolled, and here the monsters of the deep sported amidst 
the foaming brine. Wherever a slight rain causes a rivulet 
to flow an hour along a descending plane in the road, the de- 
parting stream leaves behind it, upon the black mould, a slight 
deposit of bright white beach sand. Here and there even 
among the hills near the mountains are found numerous sea 
shells completely petrified, among them oyster shells of a 
species which might perhaps be designated as the curvi rostra. 
All the sides of the hills near the city of Austin, seem half 
covered with smooth rounded pebbles, exactly resembling 
such as are found upon the beach of the sea and shores of 
large rivers. Their surfaces being apparently smoothed and 
rounded by attrition, produced by the action of the waves. A 
very large part of the mass of the stony hills of pine and 
stunted oaks below Bastrop, are evidently composed of the 
same kind of pebbles. 

The embedding of large animal remains deep in the earth 
near the latter place, may still further sustain the same con- 
clusion. Such facts can scarce be accounted for, but upon 
the supposition, that the waters of the Atlantic once laved the 
feet of the eastern spurs of the Rocky mountains. 

If then the superficial portions of the level and undulating 
regions of this republic, are composed of deposits, either from 
the ocean, or like deposits from the waters descending from 
the mountains, and bringing with them the decomposed mate- 
rials of their structure, it would seem that they belong rather 
to the tertiary than secondary formations. Whatever may be 
the opinions of men in relation to these portions of the coun- 
try, it seems well understood, that the bases of the interior of 
the country, and the whole of the mountain region, belong to 
the secondary formation. 

In no part of the republic are found either the rough and 
unsightly hills and mountains of precipitous granite rock, 
which give character to the broken surface of much of 


England, and the more mountainous parts of Virginia, as well 
as the rocky and ragged coast of Norway, and the snow-clad 
tops of the Andes. Compared with the mountains of primary 
regions, our highest elevations are gentle hills, and their accli- 
vities but gradual ascents. All the rocks found in our hills 
and mountains are limestone or other secondary rocks, all of 
which upon decomposition mingle readily with earth, and form 
a fine soft and rich food for plants. The triturated remains of 
primary rocks, on the contrary, retain their hardness and seem 
to communicate sterility by their intermixture. 

Hence fact and theory show, that lands where granite and 
other primitive rocks abound are generally poor, and compa- 
ratively so even in the valleys, while in secondary regions, 
even on the hills, and mingled with the stones, the soil is rich 
and usually covered with a verdant coat of herbage, while all 
the arable land, whether high or low is abundantly fertile. 
The same fertility and adaptation to agriculture and pasturage, 
equally applies to tertiary as to secondary regions. In view 
of such facts, in connection with the deep mass of fat soil 
which everywhere abounds in Texas, the intelligent observer 
will be at no loss to account for the peculiar fruitful-ness and 
exuberance of most of this highly favored land. 

In various sections of the undulating country, the most casual 
observer cannot fail to discover, that even in that region the 
mineralogist would find abundant subjects of interest and in- 
vestigation. All the sandy elevations for some miles along 
the road leading from San Felipe to Austin, seemed to consist 
in a considerable degree of oxide of iron and small grains or 
nodules of iron ore. Among the more elevated lands along 
the Colorado, south of Bastrop, the appearances of iron in 
rocks and in oxide are frequent and striking. Little doubt can 
be entertained that in that region iron will eventually be made 
with profit. 

Here, as in most other parts of the world, the Dispenser of 
blessings has exhibited His wisdom and beneficence, by a 



liberal and wide-spread distribution of this most valuable of 
metals. Except in the level region along the coast, perhaps 
nearly every county in Texas possesses more or less of iron 
ore. In Gonzales and some other counties it is abundant, of 
excellent quality, and easy of access. A gentleman skilled in 
the manufacture of this metal, lately visited the localities in 
Gonzales county, and expressed much delight in relation to 
the facilities for working the ore. It is expected that he will 
goon erect extended works for the purpose. 

In another mineral, equally important to almost every indi- 
vidual and desirable for numerous uses, this country is equally 
favored. Mineral coal of excellent quality and inexhaustible 
quantities, is found in many places along the Trinity and Co- 
lorado rivers. From a comparison of the local positions of 
these mines, and the direction of their beds, they may prob- 
ably be found to be parts of the same great mine extending 
quite through the republic, and offering their rich stores of 
fuel to the husbandman, the artist, the manufacturer and mer- 
chant, and to produce steam for every purpose to which that 
powerful agent is applied. Especially will this article be de- 
sirable in the making and working of iron. Is it accident, or 
is it the kind dispensation of Providence, that furnishes those 
two most essential of minerals in abundance, and places them 
within the reach of almost the whole human race ? Among 
the mountains and highlands on the Colorado above Austin, it 
is believed that coal is abundant. If so, it can be easily and 
cheaply floated to Austin and its vicinity in flat boats or keels. 
Most of this coal is said to be bituminous, and to be of various 
qualities, some resembling the Pittsburgh variety, and others 
very like that usually brought from Liverpool. That this is 
bituminous, or that large bodies of such coal exists on or near 
the rivers of Texas, seems to be implied from the fact that 
large quantities of bitumen or mineral tar, not known to be 
produced from any thing but coal, are frequently found floating 
on the Gulf near to or on the coast. If mineral coal of the 


bituminous kind, be not in the country, the existence of this 
bitumen can scarcely be explained. But this difficulty disap- 
pears upon discovering large mines of coal, because bitumen 
petroleum or coal tar, is seen frequently floating upon the sur- 
face of all the streams flowing from the coal region in Western 

A mining company has been lately incorporated by Congress 
for working the coal mines on the Trinity river. The impor- 
tance of this procedure will be appreciated by every citizen? 
near the coast, and especially the citizens of Galveston. 

Lead ore equal in quality to that of Galena, has been lately 
discovered. Its localities and probable amount have not been 
published. That some parts of the hilly country abound with 
it, seems the more probable from the fact that the waters issu- 
ing from some hills of evidently mineral formation, have been 
found to be very injurious and dangerous to those who tasted 
them. The oxide of few minerals is more poisonous than that 
of lead. Travellers and others will do well to be cautious 
how they indulge their appetites to allay even strong thirst, 
when they know the water to be tinctured by unknown mine- 

Copper, nearly pure, has also been discovered near the 
head waters of the Brazos. The mine has not been explored, 
much less has the region been examined in relation to the 
probable success with which it might be sought. 

It is well known that under the government of Spain, silver 
mines were wrought near the San Saba, a branch of the Colo- 
rado, in the then province of Texas. The miners were how- 
ever cut off and murdered by the Indians, and the works 
ceased. Since that time the Mexican Revolution and the 
Texian war of Independence have fully occupied public atten- 
tion, and the place of these mines is now not probably known 
in the whole republic. Much confidence is expressed by 
many, that in that region silver is abundant. On what evi 
deuce that opinion is founded is not understood. That all the 


mountainous region is rich in mineral wealth admits of no 

Near the head waters of the San Saba, and extending some 
distance in different directions, is a range of country, abound- 
ing in siliceous or quartz pebbles. Probably the land is more 
or less hilly and uneven. In such a region the water is pure 
and runs with a rapid current over a pebbly bottom. This is 
by some believed to be a gold region. Specimens of pure 
gold found among the sand in this part of the country have 
been shewn, and some people are anxious to attempt improv- 
ing their fortunes by seeking for this precious metal among 
the pebbles and sand. So slight is our information, that we 
venture not an opinion in relation to the prospect of success 
in such an enterprise. We think however that by a judicious 
application of the plough, hoe, &c., more gold may be dug 
among the prairies and bottoms, than will be gathered from 
the distant hills and sands of the forest. 

Indeed we can at present scarcely wish success to the 
exertions of any who may seek wealth from mines of the pre- 
cious metals. So certain and uniform are the rewards of 
industry in all kinds of agriculture, and so important to the 
country are the products of husbandry, that whatever takes 
one man from the plantation seems to weaken the right arm 
of the nation, and lessen the amount of its available strength. 

In parts of the undulating country, especially near the falls 
of the Trinity, Brazos and Colorado, limestone of a very pure 
and compact character is found in large quantities. The lime 
obtained from burning this stone, is said to be equal in strength 
and delicate whiteness to the very best used in the United 
States. Some specimens of the limestone taken from the 
neighborhood of the falls of the Colorado, were shewn to the 
writer, and to several scientific gentlemen, the last winter at 
Austin. The fracture exhibited a very beautiful variegation 
of color, arranged in waving lines, so as to wear rather the 
appearance of an artificial painting than a natural production. 


In solidity, closeness of grain, and fineness of texture, judged 
of however only by inspecting the rough specimen, it appeared 
to be equal to most varieties of choice marble. It was the 
general opinion that it was capable of a very fine polish, and 
that for all purposes for which such kinds of marble are de- 
sirable, it would be both useful and elegant. The same kind 
of rock is believed to be abundant in the neighborhood. 

Farther north, among the more elevated hills and moun- 
tains, inexhaustible quantities of limestone are found in num- 
berless places. The qualities of this mineral thus profusely 
distributed, are probably various but have not been investi- 
gated. It is no improbable conjecture, that among these hills 
may be found also the water limestone and gypsum (plaster of 
paris), as they are frequently found in near juxtaposition with 
large deposits of common limestone. 

A large isolated mass of white metal, slightly oxidated, but 
bright and shining, has been described as lying near the head 
waters of the Brazos. It is said to be malleable, and some 
persons have supposed it to be platinum. By those who 
tried specimens of it, it was declared to be pure native iron. 
The mass is large, being estimated to weigh several tons. 
What it is, yet remains somewhat doubtful. Whatever may 
be found to be its name, it cannot be denied to be a great 
curiosity, well deserving the attention of chemists and mine- 
ralogists. Without pretending to do more than suggest a 
conjecture, we may perhaps be allowed to ask, may not this 
singular metallic phenomenon be massive nickel ? 

Of this metal we find the following description in the Ame- 
rican Encyclopaedia. " Its color is between that of silver and 
tin ; and when polished its lustre is equal to that of platinum. 
It is malleable, and can be forged into bars when hot, and 
hammered into plates when cold. It is capable of being 
drawn into very fine wire. It is less fusible than iron. It is 
attractable by the magnet nearly in the same degree as iron, 
and becomes itself a magnet by touching, hammering, &c. 


As nickel does not rust, it has a very great superiority over 
steel in the construction of a compass-" This description 
seems exactly to apply in every respect to the metal above 
named, and in no particular is any thing found to show that 
the mass of bright metal on the Brazos and the nickel of the 
books are not identical. 

Several specimens of petrified wood are shewn by indivi- 
duals, which are curious and interesting. Some of these are 
carbonate of lime, and others appear to be composed almost 
exclusively of silex (flint). Among the prairies of the rolling 
or undulating region, the latter variety frequently occurs, espe- 
cially near the Brazos. Several of these were evidently live 
oak, the characteristics of that tree being yet distinctly visible. 
By percussion upon steel they yield abundant sparks, and may 
be advantageously used for procuring fire by surveyers or 
others, who may not be provided with matches. Will not 
such facts fully prove, if proof were wanting, that silex may- 
exist in solution in water, and hence be deposited either by 
uniting with decaying wood and other substances, or in 
masses by itself? 

Salt^ as existing in streams, lakes, and on the island of 
Padre, has been already mentioned. So diffused and so 
abundant is this indispensable mineral, that in many parts of 
the country, besides the sea coast, cattle are entirely indiffer- 
ent to it when offered by their owners. Though no large 
masses of pure crystallized salt have been discovered, it is 
found in springs, creeks and lakes ; crystallized by solar 
evaporation in the latter, and in an extended range along the 
coast of Padre island above mentioned. In the latter place it 
is accessible by water, and may be thus transported cheaply 
to all parts of the country. 

Many other minerals, such as copperas, alum and the like, 
have been discovered, but not, it is believed, in such quantities 
as to awaken much public attention. 

imperfect as this sketch necessarily is, it shows that few 


countries of equal extent are more favored in variety and 
abundance of mineral treasures. 

Sulphur and various other mineral springs are found in all 
the upper regions of the country. One sulphur spring rises 
near the city of Austin, which it is thought will soon be re- 
garded as an object of importance for health and luxury. Of 
the number, qualities and flavor of these waters, however, our 
information does not enable us to speak with accuracy, and 
hence we pass them by. 




The bison, improperly called the buffalo. Deer. Wild goats. Peccary, 
or Mexican hog. Wild hogs. Bears. Racoons. Fox and grey 
squirrels. Jaguars. Leopards. Wolves. Foxes, etc. 

THIS department of our work is copious in materials, and 
needs only patient investigation and faithful description to 
render the field at once interesting and useful. Here as in 
other things the circle of our information is limited, and even 
within it there is reason to fear that the reader will find our 
delineations somewhat imperfect. Without books of refer- 
ence, the aid of men skilled in this branch of science, and 
even without catalogues of the animals of the country, it 
would be singular if we should not pass over some things, and 
perhaps err in others. All that that we can promise here is, 
to endeavor to make our account as full and useful as the 
means within our reach will admit. 

Much the largest portion of the facts here stated are the 
results of our own observation, or the information of persons 
of respectability and intelligence, whose statements embraced 
only what they had themselves witnessed. For the sake of 
order and perspicuity the animals of Texas are classed under 
several heads. 


QUADRUPEDS. Of the domestic animals of this class it is 
not necessary here to speak, as they have received sufficient 
notice in the article upon agriculture. As the largest, and 
perhaps the most valuable of all wild animals of the country, 
the bison, commonly, but improperly called the buffalo, natur- 
ally first claims our attention. This animal has with much 
propriety been styled by naturalists bos Americanus, the Ame- 
rican ox. With the exception of his long woolly hair, droop- 
ing horns, and peculiar hump or projection upon the shoulders, 
he seems to differ in no essential particular from the domestic 
ox. They are by some declared to cross, without difficulty, 
with the common cow, and that the young are not like mules 
incapable of farther increase. 

The beef of these animals, though by some regarded as 
coarse, when fat is tender and well flavored. When salted 
and boiled it is regarded as very fine tasting, much like beef's 
tongue. The hump is said to be specially fine, and to taste 
like marrow. A particular description of the form, size and 
habits of this animal is deemed unnecessary, as his natural 
history is detailed, not only in works of science, but in peri- 
odicals and school books. 

Large herds of these wild oxen migrate annually from the 
mountains and plains of the north and west of Texas, to the 
prairies along the Colorado and other rivers of interior Texas, 
especially where the musquit grass is found. Here is, or 
rather was, their winter pasture, and here, in former years, the 
Camanche Indians followed them to feed upon their flesh, and 
dress their skins for coverings to their tents, clothes for their 
persons, and for articles of trade with the whites. To these 
Indians, it is believed these animals are the sources of almost 
their entire subsistence. Without them, these wandering 
tribes, with no homes, grain, cattle or property, would scarce 
be able to procure food or clothing. Deer and other small 
animals would furnish but small and precarious supplies, and 
the times of scarcity would soon require them to eat up the 


182 DKER. 

last of their few horses. Such a state of things would to a 
Camanche, the Arab of the prairies, be not merely fearful but 

Sensible of these facts, General Burleson, early in the 
winter of 1839 40, made an incursion into the country of 
these savages, drove them from their hunting grounds, and 
then turned vast numbers of the bisons from that region to the 
vicinity of Austin. Between twenty and thirty thousand of 
these were believed to feed upon the prairies near Brushy 
creek, one of the tributaries of the Brazos. Owing probably 
to this circumstance, several Camanche chiefs soon after came 
to the city of Bexar, gave themselves up to the whites asking 
for peace. Numerous however as they seem, it is probable 
that in a few years scarce a solitary wanderer from the herd 
will be to be found in Texas. Before the white man's rifle 
they seem to fly with instinctive dread, or melt away like the 
snows of spring and disappear. 

DEER. But one species of this beautiful tenant of the 
prairies, seems to be found in Texas. Though it might na- 
turally be expected that the elk, with his lofty head and proud 
horns, would find in these regions a home suited to his taste, 
from no one could any knowledge of his being in this country- 
be learned. Of the black-tailed or long-eared deer, it is only 
said they are found about the rocky mountains. Whether they 
ever visit these plains is at least doubtful. The common deer, 
which to an American is too well known to need description, 
is found in all parts of the country, and in numbers fitted to 
astonish the visiter from other countries. His favorite haunt 
seems to be on the broad prairies, where the view in every 
direction is unobstructed, and no enemy can approach unseen. 

The level region, extending from the coast some thirty or 
forty miles into the interior, seems to be the part of the coun- 
try to which the deer are most partial. Though plenty every- 
where, here they are seen in more frequent and numerous 
companies. Their sense of vision from some circumstances 


would seem to be limited to objects at no considerable dis- 
tance, though the correctness of the data on which this opinion 
rests is sometimes doubted. Their power of hearing and 
smelling is certainly acute, and often preserves them from 
falling victims to the rifle of the huntsman. 

It would in most instances be in vain to attempt to approach 
a sleeping buck, while the wind blew from the hunter towards 
his game. The slightest crepitation of dry grass breaking 
beneath the foot, or the faintest odor of human breath or of 
powder, is sufficient to arouse the sleeper from his lair, and 
send him bounding over the prairie with a speed which bids 
defiance to pursuit. Though they are beset by many enemies, 
and when quite young are destroyed in immense numbers by 
wolves, and though they are often made to furnish the tables 
of the settlers with their flesh, their numbers do not seem to 
be sensibly diminished. In the vicinity of dense settlements, 
and immediately around the towns, they are less frequent, but 
elsewhere they are seen in little clusters scattered over all the 

WILD GOATS. In the vicinity of the mountains are at 
times seen large flocks of a small but exceedingly wild and 
fleet animal, supposed to be goats. By some they are thought 
to be antelopes. They differ however from the latter animal 
in the form of their horns which are angular and recurvated. 
They are supposed to have their home in the mountains, from 
which however they descend in winter and feed for the time 
upon the more plentiful and nutritious herbage of the prairies. 
From description they would appear to be less than the ordi- 
nary goat, more slender and elegant in their frame, and far 
more fleet in escaping from danger. 

Their flesh is said to be fine and well flavored, but that it 
is difficult to approach vithin shooting distance of the flocks, 
in which they on the plains are always found. It is asserted 
also that in the mountains the real wild sheep are sometimes 
seen ; but of their peculiar appearance and character no satis- 


factory information could be obtained. That such animals 
inhabit the higher and more remote portions of the Rocky 
mountains, is established upon the testimony of competent 
witnesses ; that they may occasionally visit the mountains of 
Texas would not seem at all incredible. 

If these are the real originals from which domestic sheep 
have descended, the effects of domestication have been won- 
derful indeed. In their native hills, their fine light frames are 
well adapted for climbing rocks and swiftness of flight. Un- 
encumbered by a fleece, and conscious of danger, the moun- 
tain sheep seldom permits the fleetest of his enemies to 
overtake him in the chase. The domestic sheep on the con- 
trary, laden with his heavy garments, and unused to danger, 
seems unfitted for either resistance or flight, and when pur- 
sued by wolves, seldom flees many yards before he stops as 
if he was already beyond the reach of danger. 

It has already been shown that wild horses, or as they are 
called by the Mexicans, mustangs, exist in considerable num- 
bers among the prairies. They are descendants from Euro* 
pean sires, but have become fully established as tenants of 
the prairies, from which they will not be driven till the busy 
hand of the husbandman, encroaching upon every side, shall 
render his possessions too limited; when they will emigrate 
still farther, or submit to masters and become slaves. The 
latter has been the lot of thousands, and many more are annu- 
ally subjected to the same ignoble state. Ignoble, indeed, 
when they are regarded as far beneath their fellows who never 
tasted freedom, and are doomed to greater drudgery with lets 
food and attention. 

In company with the herds of wild horses, are sometimes 
found wild jacks, jennies and mules, originating, like the 
horses, from Spanish stocks ; they still accompany the horse 
as did their sires in a domestic state. 

PECCARY, OR MEXICAN HOG. Persons acquainted with this 
animal state that it differs from a hog in but rery few particu- 


lars. One of these is the gland on his back resembling a 
navel, mentioned below. Another is that his feet are destitute 
of the two hinder toes or small hoofs, sometimes called dew 
claws. The following description of him extracted from the 
Encyclopaedia Americana, is nearly correct : 

" Peccary (dicotyles.) The peccaries bear a strong resem- 
blance to the hog, but are sufficiently dissimilar to justify their 
separation as a distinct genus. The most striking difference 
between them and every other species of quadruped, is the 
existence of a large gland under the skin on the middle of the 
loins. This gland secretes a fluid of a very offensive smell. 
In their habits however they are closely allied to the hog : 
their gait is the same ; they root up the earth in a similar 
manner, and express their feelings by the same disagreeable 
grunt. They are equally susceptible of domestication; but 
from the fetid smell emitted by the gland on their back, they 
never have been tamed to any extent. Their flesh is also 
much inferior to pork in flavor. They are peculiar to South 
America, living in the extensive forests of that country, iu 
hollows of trees or in burrows made by other animals." 

The above extract is erroneous in representing these ani- 
mals as peculiar to South America. They are frequently- 
found in the bottoms of all the rivers of Texas, where the 
timber is large and the place densely wooded. There are> 
other reasons, than the offensive smell of these creatures, for 
their not being often domesticated. A gentleman, residing a 
few miles from Austin, found some young peccaries near his, 
residence, and reared two of them to maturity. They 
were as tame and fond of being near the house as his swine ; 
but exhibited no dispositions to intimacy with them. While yet 
young they would frequently destroy whole litters of pigs, and 
when old and strong enough for the contest, frequently killed 
large hogs. Their destructive propensities finally compelled 
their master to kill them. 

They are active and strong, run with considerable 


and are armed with tusks of great length, which they use in 
fighting with powerful effect. Though they are less in size 
than the common hog, it is believed that no dog can conquer 
one of them. Should one be wounded and induced to squeal 
like a wounded hog, as many of the peccaries as are within 
hearing rush to his aid ; and it behooves man or beast speedily 
to escape by flight or climbing a tree. With their long tusks 
they inflict severe and often deadly wounds. It is asserted 
that no beast of prey ventures to attack a full grown peccary. 

When a hunter approaches their burrow, one of the inmates 
is found standing at the entrance guarding it from aggression. 
From this position he cannot be driven by fright or even 
wounds. When he is shot down another immediately supplies 
his place, and with equal courage maintains his post. When 
he falls another comes, and so they continue to do till all ex- 
cept the very young ones, are dead. Feeding like swine 
mostly upon grass, nuts and fruits, they are not usually apt to 
attack other animals, except when near their burrows or in 
defence of themselves. When they attack they are dangerous 

Wild hogs, descendants of the domestic swine, are said to 
be found occasionally in the woods. They are not very 
numerous, and from the depredations of wolves and other 
animals of prey upon their young, will not probably become 

BEARS, RACCOONS, ETC. The American black bear is the 
only species of this animal known to be found in Texas. 
Great numbers of them are said to have ranged, not barely the 
woodlands but prairies of this country, before they became 
thinned by the settlers. They are still numerous and may 
not unfrequently be met with far from the forest, either feed- 
ing upon the prairie or passing from one forest to another. 
One very large one,' about a year since, was discovered by 
several horsemen upon a large prairie. They pursued her 
though none of them had guns. At length she stopped and 


exhibited a disposition to assail her pursuers, when one of 
them shot her through the head with his pocket pistol. 

They, at the approach of winter, seek for a convenient and 
warm hollow in a tree, where they retire in cold weather, but 
from which they make frequent excursions in pleasant days 
at all seasons of the year. They seldom if ever can be said 
to hybernate. Raccoons are also very numerous, and some- 
times troublesome in devouring the unripe corn of the planter.. 
Like the bear in habits and character, except its diminutive 
size, it usually inhabits the same regions and feeds upon the- 
same kinds of food. Both are too well known to need a par- 
ticular description. 

Fox and grey squirrels are sometimes seen in great num- 
bers among the timbered lands of Texas. At present it is. 
believed that very few can be found in any part of the country. 
This may in part be owing to their migratory habits, and in? 
part toother causes. In February 1839 a storm of rain oc- 
curred, when the weather was so cold that the falling drops 
froze and adhered to whatever they touched. The trees were 
covered with a thick coat of ice, so heavy as to break off a 
large proportion of the branches of most of the forest trees,, 
and the ground was covered for two or three days with snow 
and ice. In this season very many squirrels and other wild 
animals are believed to have perished. 

Animals of the cat family are numerous, and consist of 
several varieties. Some of them are large, fierce and danger- 
ous, but happily are but seldom seen. Those of the smaller 
kinds are more numerous, but from their size and want of 
strength, incapable of much serious mischief. Of the varie- 
ties of this family in America, the Jaguar or American Tiger 
is clearly the largest and most powerful. Some few of these 
have been seen in Texas, and hence are named among its 
animals. The following description given in the Encyclo- 
paedia Americana will furnish a just view of this prince of 
American cats : 


" Jaguar, felis onca. The jaguar holds the same rank 
among the animals of the new continent as the tiger among 
those of the old. On the whole upper parts of its body, it is 
of a bright yellowish fawn color, which passes on the throat, 
belly and inside of the legs into a pure white. On this ground 
the head, limbs and under surface are covered with full black 
spots of various sizes, and the rest of the body with annular 
patches, either with a black point in the centre, or formed of 
small black spots arranged in a circular form. This animal 
is found in the swampy forests of South America, especially 
in the neighborhoods of large rivers, which he swims with 
great ease. 

Of his power of swimming, as well as of his extraordi- 
nary strength, the following circumstance related by D'Azara 
will give some idea. A jaguar, after having attacked and de- 
stroyed a horse, carried his victim to the bank of a broad and 
rapid river, about sixty paces distant, over which he swam 
with his prey, and then dragged it into the adjoining wood. 

Possessed of such tremendous powers, this animal is the 
dread of the inhabitants of the countries he infests. It is sel- 
dom however that he attacks the human race, though he will 
not shun man when he meets him. His favorite prey appears 
to be the larger quadrupeds, such as oxen, horses, sheep and 
dogs, which he attacks indiscriminately, and in the same 
treacherous manner as the rest of his tribe, uniformly sing- 
ling out the last of a herd, as the object of attack. When he 
has made choice of a victim, he springs on its back, and pla- 
cing one of his paws upon the back of its head, whilst he 
seizes its muzzle with the other, twists its head round with a 
sudden jerk, thus dislocating its spine and instantly depriving 
it of life." 

A professional gentleman of the city of Houston, having 
been at Brazoria on business, was returning homeward on 
horseback. While riding leisurely through a piece of heavily 
Umbered land, his eye was suddenly directed to an object by 


the road side. Nearly opposite to him upon a low and large 
branch of a tree, or on the gently inclined trunk of one, for on 
this subject his observation was not very minute, sat a large 
jaguar, crouching downward ,with his head nearly upon a 
level with his feet, apparently in the act to spring upon him* 
At the strong touch of the spur the horse sprung forward with 
a bound, and the tiger at the same instant with a powerful 
leap dashed towards him. The extended paw of the beast 
was seen passing through the air but fell short of its object^ 
and the tiger alighted just behind the horse, which needed no 
more spurring to use his utmost speed. Whether the disap- 
pointed savage made any pursuit does not appear. The 
horseman rode at full speed several miles and saw the foe no 
more. He however retained a vivid impression of the ap- 
pearance of the beast, and lost some portion of the confidence 
he had before indulged in his own heroism. At least he 
seems no way anxious to acquire laurels by contending hand! 
to hand with a jaguar. 

The leopard also (felis leopardus) is a native of this region j: 
though, like the jaguar, very few of them have been seen in 
the country. This animal from description differs in no res- 
pect from animals of the same name in Africa and Asia. Of 
similar formidable size and power, he is equally decorated 
with his numerous and beautifully disposed spots and color- 
ing. As the character and peculiarities of this savage, but 
elegantly formed and marked creature, is well known in 
every country, we forbear a minute description of it. 

The Hon. B. T. Archer, now secretary of war for the re- 
public of Texas, assured the writer, that he had seen the 
skins of two of these animals, both of which must have 
been very large. The latter at the time he saw it had 
just been stripped from the yet warm carcase of the beast, 
which lay before him. After the skin had been sometime- 
taken off, at the suggestion of a bystander the body was 
weighed, and found to be of between three hundred and fifty 


and four hundred pounds weight. In coloring and beauty of 
its spots, that skin was by far the most elegant of any thing of 
the kind he had ever witnessed. He was anxious to purchase 
it, but the owner declined parting with it at any price. This 
occurred on the Chocolate Bayou in the year 1831. 

Panthers, or, as they are called by naturalists, pumas, are 
occasionally found in this country. They seem however to 
attract but comparatively little attention, and their name seems 
to excite no terror. So plentiful is wild game, and so few are 
the inducements to prey upon the possessions of man, that 
little is heard of their depredations. They are, however, 
wherever found, a powerful, dastardly and dangerous acquain- 
tance. No instances have been related to us of their having 
ever dared to molest any of the human family in this country. 
As the republic becomes filled with settlers, and the forests 
disappear before the axe of the white man, these animals will 
probably soon abandon the territory. A detailed description 
of animals so well known is deemed unnecessary. 

Belonging to the same great family, but much smaller, the 
ocelot, here usually called the leopard cat, is another native of 
Texas. Like the leopard, clothed in a splendid garment of 
many colors, its elegant exterior contrasts strangely with its 
cruel and blood-thirsty dispositions. Though, from its small 
size and want of strength, it preys only on small animals, it, 
equally with its larger fellows, delights in blood and the wan- 
ton destruction of its prey, even when not excited to it by 
hunger. Except in its size, this beautiful little animal seems 
to differ very little from the leopard, equally beautiful, active, 
ferocious, and incapable of gratitude, its elegance of structure 
and clothing only more strikingly contrasts with its savage 
propensities. It is now becoming scarce, and the skins are 
in demand nearly as much for their rareness as for their 

The wild cat, which is also frequent and well known 
in the United States, is considerably numerous in Texas. 


Some of them are large, and prove a dangerous species of 
game to dogs, whom they often beat off and seriously wound. 
They are not regarded with dread by man, but are rather con- 
sidered a favorite species of game, the killing of which ex- 
cites no compassion. 

Pole cats are sometimes, though rarely, found. These are 
the principal varieties of cats, and some of these it is hoped 
will not long continue to infest the country. 

Wolves of two varieties are quite numerous. The larger 
kind vary in color from a light gray to a dull black. In no 
respect do they differ from the same kind of animals in more 
northern regions, except it be in their ferocity. Here no 
severe winters and deep snows deprive them of the power to 
obtain game in every prairie and forest, and hence they are 
never impelled by severe famine to unite in droves to attack 
travellers or the houses of settlers. Their companies are sel- 
dom numerous, and they always keep at a very respectful dis- 
tance from the place where they hear the bark of the watch 
dog. They prey mostly upon small animals, including deer, 
sheep, pigs, rabbits, and the like, and feed greedily upon the 
carcasses of horses and cattle that have died from disease or 
accident. The prairie wolf is a much smaller animal, almost 
always of a dark brown color, approaching to black. In all 
their habits as well as form, they are very nearly similar to 
the larger kind. Less dreaded by the settlers, they seem to 
be less cautious of approaching the farm yard, but never ven- 
ture to invade the domains guarded by the settler's dog, though 
their varied, and to strangers fearful cries, salute the ears of 
sleepers in the country at all hours of the night. Where no 
guardian of the hours of rest, like the faithful dog, keeps 
them off, sometimes they venture near to houses and even 
towns in search of food, as is evinced by the following cir- 

On a cold morning in winter, while the seat of government 
was at Houston, a countryman drove in just before day with 


the flesh of a beef he had killed for market, and stopped his 
Waggon and horse under a tree near the market house. Suf- 
fering from the cold, he went to the house of an acquaintance 
to procure fire with which, as was customary, to make a fire 
of logs in the open air. While he was absent for this purpose 
the wolves came, robbed his waggon of the beef, and dragged 
it away into the forest. He procured assistance, and pursued 
the thieves by their trail, along which they found fragments of 
flesh at frequent intervals, showing that the rapidity of their 
flight did not prevent the prowlers from eating as they ran. 
The pursuit was however vain, and the countryman, with 
plenty of customers, butchered in this instance with no other 
profit than the instruction that robbers are not to be trusted. 

Foxes also, though but one variety has been named, are 
said to be numerous. That they are found here is evident, 
but the fact of their being very numerous seems somewhat 
doubtful, from the circumstance that they are seldom men- 
tioned, and equally so from the rapid and unchecked multipli- 
cation of domestic fowls. But like other animals of their 
tribe, they are very cowardly, seldom risking their safety by 
a near approach to the dwellings of man. 

To these must be added opossums, rabbits of two species, 
field rats, supposed to be natives, moles, and a kind of rat or 
mole resembling the former, but burrowing in the earth like 
the latter. Several other small quadrupeds also inhabit the 
forests and prairies, of whose names and natural history we 
have no distinct information. 




Eagles. Prairie hawks. Fish hawks. Owls. Buzzards, or rultures. 
Swans. Cranes. Geese. Ducks. Turkeys. Red birds. Wood- 
peckers. Starlings. Prairie hens. duails. Pheasants. Orioles. 
Turtle doves. Larks. Birds of Paradise. Mocking birds. Paro* 

quets, etc. FISHES. Red fish. Sheepshead. Trout. Perch. 

Mullet. Drumfish. Crabs. Oysters, Clams. Muscles, etc. 

THE ornithology of Texas furnishes an extended list of the 
feathered tribe, though it is doubtful whether more than one 
or two of them are peculiar to the country. Several of them 
are however uncommon in different portions of the United 
States, and are subjects consequently of curiosity to many 
emigrants and visiters to this region. 

As usual we place first in order the eagle, (falco) tribe, as 
by some strange taste they have been regarded as the noblest 
of the feathered race. It is conceded that like many cele- 
brated heroes, they are treated by the other tenants of the air 
with that deference which their talents for destruction pro- 
duces, which in most cases is the sole basis of their fame. 
Of these birds the following varieties have been distinctly 

The bald eagle, (falco leucocephalus) though the specimens 
noticed by the writer appeared to be much smaller than simi- 
lar birds he had been accustomed to see on the banks of tt*e 
Ontario and Erie, and the Mexican eagle, still smaller. The 



most curious to the writer of all these, is the prairie hawk, 
equal in size to the largest hawks in the United States, of a 
light brown color above, and a grey approaching to white on 
the breast. He seems to dwell exclusively on the prairies, 
over which and near the ground he floats with the apparent 
ease and lightness of a swallow, sometimes leisurely rising 
to a gentle elevation, and again descending with a motion re- 
sembling the swell and depression of a gentle wave of a lake. 
While thus seeming to sail in sport and joy, with eagle eye 
he watches for the low perch of a sparrow or lark, or for the 
nestling place of a field mouse or frog. If his game be dis- 
covered, his whole demeanor is at once changed. Instead of 
the easy and gentle movement before observed, he darts with 
the swiftness and aim of an arrow, and quick must be the 
spring, and rapid the flight, that can elude the grasp of his 
talons. If the pounce be successful, he bears his prize to 
some convenient hillock, or smooth plat of the prairie, and there 
alighting soon devours it. If, however, his prey be able to 
avoid his clutch, and one or two succeeding attempts, he 
abandons the pursuit, and resumes his apparently careless and 
undulating swing along the even surface of the plain. 

All the varieties of hawks and owls common in the United 
States, including the small one known as the sparrow or 
pigeon hawk, are found in all parts of the country. Along 
the coast the fish hawk is occasionally, but not frequently, 
seen suspended over a bay or the mouth of a river, almost 
without motion, or any change of position, gazing with intense 
scrutiny into the water below. Should he distinguish clearly 
the object of his searching gaze, with wings and body so 
arranged as in front to resemble the edge of a board, he de- 
scends with the velocity of thought, accompanied by a noise 
produced by the rapid division of the atmosphere, which may 
be heard many yards into the water, from which he soon 
brings up, not in his beak, but talons, his finny prize. Even 
the trout, the most nimble and wary of the tenants of the 


stream, which can seldom be struck by the fisherman's spear, 
can rarely escape the fish hawk's plunge. 

Buzzards or vultures, of two kinds, every where abound ; 
crows, ravens, blackbirds, jays, red birds, some with tufts 
upon their heads, and others of a smaller kind without them ; 
starlings, the red-winged and others ; prairie hens, nearly re- 
sembling pheasants ; quails, here frequently called partridges, 
pheasants, rice birds, pigeons, turtle doves, ortalans, robins, 
snipes, plovers, larks, which, even in winter, from the branches 
of a tree, or from some little hillock on a prairie, full oft regale 
the traveller with their brief but sweet notes ; blue birds and 
mocking birds, well deserving, by the sweetness of their 
notes, and still more by their night song, the title of the 
American nightingale, are found in immense numbers ; various 
kinds of woodpeckers, from the large woodcock (picus princi- 
palis) to the little chickadee, with its head tufted with black ; 
sparrows, wrens and swallows, of every description, some of 
which even in mid winter are seen sporting over the prairies ; 
orioles or hang birds, with their bright plumage, paroquets 
and whippoorwill, give variety to the list of birds ; cranes of 
many varieties, such as are called by the popular names of 
sand hill, whooping, white, blue and tufted ; swans, pelicans, 
king-fishers, water turkeys, gulls, etc., partaking more or less 
of the aquatic character, are numerous beyond calculation. 

Wild geese are at times in winter and early spring, seen 
feeding upon the young grass of the prairies in immense num- 
bers. Wild turkeys are also very numerous, and the traveller 
when stopping at a solitary log house, far from any appearance 
like refined luxury, may likely be surprised and gratified to 
find his meal to consist of a delicate wild turkey, or goose, 
and well prepared venison. Brant, a smaller variety of the 
goose, ducks of many kinds, including canvass backs, and 
many other water fowl, frequent all the shores and streams of 
the country. 

Several gentlemen mentioned to the writer another but 


somewhat rare bird, which they supposed to be a variety of 
the bird of paradise. It is about the size of a jay, but some- 
what longer, with beautiful proportions; its colors are ele- 
gantly variegated with yellow, blue and purple, of very 
delicate character, and passing into each other by impercep- 
tible and glossy shades ; its tail is long, and its song exceed- 
ingly fine. This description, however, is made from seeing 
the bird on its perch in a wild state, and hence not scientific- 
ally accurate. The peculiar long tail feathers of this bird, 
apparently exactly like those of the bird of paradise, induced 
the opinion that it belongs to that species. 

It is presumed that the above enumeration omits very many 
of the birds that are found here, but it is probably sufficient 
for all the purposes of a volume like this, which is intended 
rather to furnish information of practical utility to emigrants, 
than of curious knowledge to the learned. 


Th bays along the coast and the rivers of Texas, are 
well supplied with fish of various kinds, some of which are 
regarded as excellent and valuable for the table. Redfish 
bar, near the centre of Galveston bay, received its name from 
the abundance of that kind of fish which are found near it. 
They are very numerous in all the bays and mouths of the 
rivers, are fine flavored and delicate, and often weigh forty or 
fifty pounds. Catfish of three varieties, are said to be taken 
in the streams in great numbers. Many of them grow to a 
large size, the largest weighing from sixty to ninety pounds. 
The very large are however less delicate and less esteemed. 

The following are the names here applied to several va- 
rieties of fish very commonly taken, viz. buffalo, sheepshead, 
trout, a sea-fish but of the salmon species, pike, mullet, perch, 
flounders, drum-fish, suckers, croakers, and other fish common 
in the southern parts of the United States. There are two 


kinds of fish here called gar, or bill-fish. They grow to a 
considerable size, and have a long narrow mouth, in some 
degree resembling the beak of a bird, which is armed with 
strong pointed and sharp teeth. The larger of these is called 
the alligator gar ; it is armed with scales, and in appearance 
is so similar to the alligator as when first seen to be often 
mistaken for one. Both of these are utterly worthless for 
food. The only use to which they have been profitably put, 
was to nail the skin of one upon the mould board of a plough 
to turn over the furrow, in which place it will last several 
months. Eels are plenty in fresh waters, and are by some 
relished as a rich delicacy. It is asserted also that among 
the head waters of the San Antonio, the spring water trout 
(salmo fontinalis) are common. These are very rare west of 
the Alleghany mountains, and it is believed have not else- 
where been discovered. 

The crustaceous fishes, such as the crab, craw-fish, shrimp, 
and stingaree, which latter appears to be merely a variety of 
the horsefoot, having like it a hard pointed member of some 
inches protruding from it. This is by some denominated a 
sting, and a wound from it is regarded as dangerous, if not 
fatal. Shell fish, such as oysters, clams, muscles, various 
kinds of small sea snails, star-fish, sun-fish, and numerous 
small bivalve kinds are found along the coast. 

In the sand adjacent to the city of Galveston, it is asserted 
that clams of large size and excellent quality have been col- 
lected. The whole coast, wherever the mouth of a stream 
forms a suitable soil for their reception, oysters are found in 
great abundance. Indeed they are one of the cheapest articles 
of food sold in the markets of the coast. It is contended by 
some that in flavor the oysters of this region are less highly 
flavored than those of the northern Atlantic cities, while 
others affirm that they are fully equal, if not superior, to them,, 
NOJI nobis ***** co.mponere lites. 





Alligators simple method of destroying them. Land tortoises. Sea 
tortoises valuable for food. Rattle snakes remedies to cure their 

bite. Black snakes and bull snakes, etc. not venomous. INSECTS. 

Large spider. Centipede, Scorpion. Musquito. Red bug. Horse- 
fly. Ants. Sand fly, etc. 

UNDER this general term are included a great variety of ani- 
mals of very different habits and character. As however this 
is as convenient an arrangement as any other, we shall en- 
deavor to notice as fully as necessary the animals of this class 
known to exist in Texas. 

The largest and most dreaded of all animals of this class, 
either in Texas or elsewhere, is the alligator, or American 
crocodile. They evidently belong to the Saurian family, of 
whose immense size and power no other evidence remains 
than a few fossil skeletons. And these, from the situation 
and state in which they are found, must have lived long 
anterior to the existence of the human race. In almost every 
river and creek or bayou, these animals find a home and a 
place in which to seek their prey. In the water, a full grown 
alligator of fifteen or twenty feet long, would be a dangerous 
acquaintance to a swimmer, whether man or beast. Here 
they move with ease and celerity, and few land animals could 


long elude his pursuit. Even fishes are believed to become 
his frequent food, and it is understood that tortoises and other 
sluggish moving animals are his ordinary repast. Out of the 
water he is probably no less voracious and greedy of flesh, 
but here his movements are slow, awkward and unwieldy. 
In a straight course, after a short time, he can move with 
tolerable activity, but cannot turn round without making a 
considerable circuit, and taking up some time. At such times 
they may easily be destroyed. 

A gentleman, while passing through his plantation, found 
an alligator of a large size, apparently passing from a pond 
towards a neighboring stream. At the approach of the man 
he raised his head and hissed loudly like a goose. With a 
heavy hand-spike the gentleman struck him just where the 
head unites with the body, and dislocated the spine. 

They grow to a great size, and are often quite destructive 
to dogs, hogs, deer, and even calves, which go into the water 
to relieve themselves from heat, and some of them to escape 
the persecution of flies and other insects. They are covered 
with a shield of strong and closely fitted scales, which, on 
many parts of their body, is impenetrable by a rifle ball. It 
is thought however that their numbers are rapidly diminishing. 
They may be readily extirpated from many of their haunts by 
a very simple process, which was found to be an effectual ex- 
periment, by Col. R. of Florida. 

Finding several ponds upon his plantation infested by alli- 
gators, and that they seemed likely to destroy all his swine, 
he commenced watching for and shooting them. Though he 
thus killed large numbers, no sensible diminution of them or 
their depredations was observed. He then went to a neigh- 
boring blacksmith, and ordered several hooks of large size, in 
the form of fish hooks, to be made with a chain a foot and a 
half long attached. To these chains he tied ropes for his fish 
lines. Baiting each of his hooks with a bird, squirrel, or 
other flesh, he placed it on a piece of bark, shoved it out from 


the shore, and tied his ropes to trees. Shortly after all was 
still, a large alligator showed himself above the water, and 
smelling the bait immediately swallowed one of the hooks. 
Feeling the point of the hook in his flesh, with instinctive 
quickness he sought the bottom of the water, when he soon 
drowned, and was drawn ashore dead. In two days the pond 
was cleared, and rendered a safe retreat for domestic animals 
from the heat of the sun. The like course soon removed all 
difficulties of this sort from the plantation, and needed not to 
be renewed till the end of two years. 

As in the extensive swamps and lagoons of Florida, they 
are secure from pursuit and do multiply in great numbers, it is 
probable that they can much more easily be extirpated in 
Texas than in that country. Several other varieties of the 
lizard, all of them small and harmless, are found in all parts 
of the country; especially that beautiful and sprightly little 
one the chameleon, is very common and much admired. To 
this same class should be referred another curious and lively 
little animal, usually called the horned frog. That they are 
not frogs is clear from their never leaping, but running quite 
rapidly, and from their having, like other lizards, a tail. They 
are of a light grey color, seem covered over with small pro- 
jections from their skin, and two small projections or horns 
upon the front part of his head. From the latter circumstance 
they derive their name. 

Tortoises of various kinds are found in this country. The 
small spotted land tortoise, with a hinge in its under shell, 
would probably be very numerous on the prairies but for the 
frequent burnings of the grass, which are too hot for it to sur- 
vive, and too rapid in their progress for it to escape. The 
empty shells and little skeletons are often found. 

The gopher, or mungofa, a large land tortoise, which bur- 
rows in the earth like a ground hog, is also not uncommon. 

Numerous fresh water tortoises, of different kinds, inhabit 


the rivers and bayous. All or nearly all of them are believed 
to be excellent food. 

But the largest and most valuable of all this tribe of animals 
is the sea or soft-shelled tortoise, which are abundant in and 
about Aransaso bay. They are very numerous, grow to a large 
size, and may be conveyed alive to any required distance. It 
is unnecessary to say, that their flesh is a great luxury, espe- 
cially when prepared in that most savory form, turtle soup. 
Such a dish, fit for London aldermen, may be cheap and ordi- 
nary food in the south and west of Texas. 

Few countries as recently settled by white men are as free 
from serpents as this. This fact may be attributed in part 
perhaps to the power of the fire that burns the prairies, and 
destroys all that cannot fly from its approach ; and in part to 
the fact that the structure of the country affords them few 
hiding places. Still there are several varieties of serpents in 
Texas, some of which are venomous, and whose bite, if not 
healed by appropriate remedies, would be often fatal. 

The rattle snake, if not the most venomous and dangerous 
of any of the serpent race, is believed to be more so than any 
other in America. The hooded snake of Asia may possess a 
more full poison, whose quick action is seldom cured ; but his 
residence is limited to the eastern world. Rattle snakes are 
sometimes found here of size, and possess fangs propor- 
tioned to their growth, some of them not less than half an inch 
long. Horses and cattle are sometimes bitten by them and 
killed. When the bite takes place in the presence of the 
owner, the life of the animal may in most cases be saved. To 
men, but for the use of remedies, many of which are effica- 
cious, their bite would perhaps be uniformly deadly ; by their 
timely application, however, all danger, and nearly all incon* 
venience, is prevented. 

As some remedies are not always within reach, and as a 
physician in such cases would frequently be too distant to af 


ford relief, perhaps the naming of some remedies would not 
be improper. One of these communicated by a physician, 
and based upon his own experience, is very simple and pro- 
bably very efficacious. To the freshly bitten surface he ap- 
plied a bright coal, on the end of a burning hickory stick, and 
kept it there long enough to produce a deep blister. This 
was performed about sunset upon a soldier's leg. The next 
day the man marched and did duty as usual. By thus, with a 
small coal or hot iron changing the character of the wound, 
all danger may be at once removed. If immediately on 
being bitten the wound be scarified with a lancet or penknife, 
and any alkali rubbed into it, it will probably be at once re- 
lieved. It would be well withal to drink freely of weak lye, 
or other alkaline drinks, and take a free cathartic. 

The bruized leaves of a plant growing plentifully in the 
pine woods, called the rattle snake's master, is said to be ef- 
fectual in preventing the effects of the poison. Probably also 
magnesia, or other absorbing material, would be likely to be a 
successful application. 

Rattle snake's seldom bite unless provoked, and usually 
give warning of their purpose by a rapid movement of their 
tail, which induces their rattles to hum with a noise some- 
what resembling the buzzing of a nest of disturbed humble 
bees. They do however sometimes become assailants, and 
bite before making their threatening rattle. There is also 
another and much smaller species of this snake, commonly 
called the ground rattle snake. The last are seldom more 
than a foot long, of a yellowish color, and equally venomous as 
the larger ones. The remedies for both and all other ser- 
pent's poison is the same. 

The land and water moccasin, coach-whip, and copper-head 
snakes are believed to be the only other venomous kinds, be- 
sides the rattle snake.* Their bite is little if any less dan- 

* Though the authority upon which the above statements are made is res- 


gerous than that of their more dreaded neighbor, but they can 
more readily escape, and wounds from them are less frequent. 
There are several species of serpents which are not veno- 
mous, have no fangs, and are entirely innocent of any direct 
injury to man. One of these called the chicken snake, is 
very handsome, being finely mottled with bright colors; but 
as he delights to feed upon poultry is no favorite with their 
owners. The bull snake is a large serpent, colored like the 
rattle snake, but the colors are more bright. He is believed 
to be harmless, except for food. Black snakes attain consid- 
erable size, some of which are as agile as the deer. They 
seem to belong to the constrictor family, destroying their prey, 
including the rattle snake, by coiling around it and squeezing 
it to death. A green snake, about three feet long, was descri- 
bed by the Hon. B. T. Archer. Water and garter snakes are 
common. They all feed upon flesh, and are all animals of 
prey. Especially are they terrible enemies to frogs, toads, 
young birds, and almost all small animals. 


Though perhaps without philosophical correctness, we 
shall include under this head nearly all the very small animals 
that require attention, as well as that belonging clearly to that 

One of the most singular, and, to many, alarming insects of 
this country, is a large, hairy and ill-looking spider. His 
color is nearly black, his hairs or bristles cover his whole 
body and legs ; his legs are long, and, when he walks, fre- 

pectable, some doubt exists in the writer's mind as to their entire accuracy. 
There are probably some hissing and spreading vipers, and cotton-mouth 
snakes, if no more, which are highly venomous. The Indians in the south- 
ern U. S. say that the bite of the latter cannot be cured, but this is a mis- 


quently expand to a width of five or six inches. Like all 
other spiders, he feeds upon small animals, which he takes by 
surprise or stratagem. Many stories have been told of the 
fierceness and venom of this insect, but from no person could 
any direct evidence be found that he is apt to bite even when 
assailed, or that the wound he inflicts is either dangerous or 
more painful than the sting of the large white tailed hornet. 
There is much probability in the opinion, that the fears of 
persons have magnified the danger of this creature, from the 
offensive and disgusting appearance it makes. It would seem 
that though not unfrequently found they are not numerous, and 
no instances have been related to us of injury from their at- 
tacks. Spiders of various kinds and habits are found in Texas 
as elsewhere. 

The centipede is another very disagreeable looking little 
being, which is occasionally found here, though probably not 
more frequently than in Florida and some parts of Louisiana, 
As their name implies, they are remarkable for the immense 
number of their legs and feet. They run with considerable 
swiftness, and hide with much dexterity from the light, choos- 
ing to perform their whole labors in the night. They are car- 
nivorous, and very much disposed to meet every assailant with 
fierce resistance. Their bite is somewhat poisonous, produ- 
cing considerable swelling and local inflammation. The im- 
mediate application of cupping, or any like practice, is said to 
remove the pain and difficulty at once. Still they are trouble- 
some insects, especially in log houses and partially decayed 
buildings, where they find convenient hiding places. 

Still another offensive and troublesome little animal is the 
scorpion. This creature is very diminutive, seldom exceed- 
ing in this country one or two inches in length. In appear- 
ance it greatly resembles the crawfish ; his arms are similar, 
his body nearly of the same shape, and his color exactly like 
them. His posterior part is composed of a jointed tail, termi- 
nated by a short strong curved and sharp sting, at the base of 


which is a small cist containing a fluid and highly irritating 
poison. When excited to anger, he turns his head towards 
the object of his wrath, and throws forward his tail like the 
motion of a whip-lash, strikes it with the pointed sting in its 
extremity, injecting into the wound a portion of its venomous 
fluid. The wound thus inflicted is painful, attended with 
swelling and itching sensations. It is not however believed 
to be dangerous, and is easily relieved. These animals have 
been found in most of the southern states, but there as here 
they are rare. 

One found in the cavity of a hollow stick, which was split 
for fuel, at Houston in March last, was a great curiosity to all 
the boarders of a boarding house, very few of them ever 
having seen an animal of the kind. 

With the exception of the bee and wasp families, these are 
believed to be the only venomous insects in Texas. And so 
little dread do these awaken that most of the settlers in the 
country take no precautions against them, and go about their 
fields, stables and out houses barefoot, without any thought of 

Musquitoes, along the coast and in the lowlands, as in all 
parts of Alabama and Louisiana near the streams, for some 
distance in the interior, are numerous and troublesome. Near 
all the streams, bottoms and thick woodlands of this region, 
they are a severe annoyance even to horses and cattle, and 
no one would think of sleeping without his musquitoe bar* 
Passing to the undulating region their number diminishes, and 
after reaching Rutersville, they almost entirely disappear. It 
is asserted by some, that near the head waters of the Brazos, 
Colorado, etc., they are unknown, as are also horse flies of 
any description. It is the boast of the settlers in these parts, 
that they are free from the annoyance of any of the blood- 
sucking tribes of insects. 

A very minute little animal called the red bug, is common 
to this country, and most of the southern and southwestern 




states. It is without wings and never visible, till, being filled 
with blood, which it sucks greedily, it assumes the appear- 
ance of a very small red speck, but nothing indicates its being 
possessed of life or motion, except the itching sensation of the 
part. These little animals are very numerous, and inhabit 
every bush, slick, log and tuft of grass, from which they are 
collected upon the clothes of persons walking or riding in the 
woods. When it is suspected that numbers of them have 
attached themselves to children, rubbing their skin with a 
cloth wet with camphorated spirits, effectually dislodges them. 
The same remedy is equally efficacious in removing ticks, 
which, though large enough to be visible, are quite as annoy- 
ing as red bugs. At some seasons of the year the young or 
seed ticks are exceedingly numerous. These little animals 
are furnished with a proboscis or instrument, by which they 
pierce the skin, and adhere to the flesh with such force, as 
either in their removal to leave their head in the wound, or 
lacerate the flesh from which it is removed. The least touch 
of spirits however will make them let go their hold, and then 
the effect of their bite is trifling. 

In all the lower parts of Texas the horse flies, especially 
those with green heads, are numerous and troublesome. They 
bite with such severity that blood exudes from the wound, 
even after the fly has satisfied his appetite and departed. Full 
often after travelling for a day the legs and belly of a horse 
will be found speckled with these small clots of blood, which, 
drying among the hair, feel like small warts upon the skin. 
Such persecution must be very painful and injurious to that 
noble animal. This latter insect is confined however almost 
exclusively to the lower or coast region of country. It is be- 
lieved that as settlements increase, and the tall grass is eaten 
away by cattle, these vexatious insects will rapidly diminish, 
and perhaps become extinct. They are not worse here how- 
ever than they formerly were in Illinois. Other varieties of 
the horse fly though numerous are less troublesome. 


But perhaps tlie most numerous kind of insects found in 
this country is the family of ants. Several different kinds of 
these are found, all of them multitudinous, and to him who 
shall venture to sit or even tread upon their domains, a trouble- 
some company. Every log and decaying tree forms a home 
for thousands of these little creatures, and upon every dry 
prairie numerous elevations are formed by their industry. 
Some of these are broad, covering many square yards of 
ground, which by their influence is rendered entirely useless. 
This sterile spot is moreover constantly enlarging, and no 
person except in the coldest part of winter can venture near 
it with impunity. No method has, it is believed, been sug- 
gested, by which to break up these large ant beds, or check 
the increase and depredations of their inhabitants. As they 
are known to feed upon grain as well as flesh, might not the 
seed of poppies be as destructive to them as it is to house 
crickets ? And would not the burning of heavy piles of brush 
or logs upon these subterranean cities, either dislodge their 
defenders, or, at least, greatly lessen their number and check 
their operations ? 

Sand flies are said in some places to be troublesome from 
their numbers, almost blinding the traveller by nearly covering 
his face and getting into his eyes. Cantharides or Spanish 
flies commonly used for blistering, and sold in all parts of the 
United States for that purpose, are here very common. They 
are entirely harmless except when crushed upon the skin, 
which, unless prevented by careful washing, produces a blis- 
ter. The common house-fly, the fly whose larvae are so offen- 
sive in flesh or cheese, butterflies of many kinds, fire-flies 
and grasshoppers, need no description or notice. Wasps of 
the various kinds common in the United States are numerous, 
but not generally very troublesome. The long red wasp and 
small yellow wasp are very destructive among the ripening 
grapes of a vineyard. 


Great numbers of crustaceous little animals, sueh as beetles 
and the like, abound, with all the varieties of insects belong- 
ing to dry and warm climates. To give even a list of the 
zoology of Texas would enlarge our work beyond its pre- 
scribed dimensions. We have shewn enough for all the use- 
ful purposes of the emigrant and husbandman. 




Jasper, San Augustine and Nacogdoches are situated on the Neches 
river and its branches. Anahuac, Liberty, Alabama and Cincinnati 
on the Trinity. Galveston, Bolivar and Austinia on Galveston bay. 
Harrisburg and Houston on Buffalo bayou. Velasco and duintana at 
the mouth of the Brazos. Braznria, San Felipe de Austin and Wash- 
ington are old towns on the Brazos. Matagorda, Columbus, La 
Grange, Rutersville and Austin on the Colorado. Victoria and Gon- 
zales on the Guadalupe. Linville, Cox's Point and DernilPs Landing 
on La Baca Bay. Goliad and San Antonio de Bexar, both ancient 
Spanish towns on the San Antonio. 'Aransas, Larnar and Copano on 
Aransasa bay. S$n Petrucio on the Rio Grande, etc. CURIOSITIES, 

A strictly correct account of the cities and towns of Texas 
is difficult to obtain. So rapid the progress Q settlements, 
and so sudden the rise and enlargement of towns, that what- 
was yesterday truth becomes to-morrow a tale of the past of 
w.hat is now materially changed. Three years since the island 
of Galveston was a naked bank of sand, covered only with 
coarse grass : it is now a commercial city, noisy with the 
hum of thousands of busy men, and laden with the productions 
of half the globe. In July last Austin presented to the view 
an open prairie, with here and there a live oak spreading its, 
broad foliage to the unobstructed breeze^ or a clump of shrub- 
bery gave variety to the landscape. Now it is the seat of a 
nation's authority, the residence of its functionaries, and pre- 
sents to the eye of the traveller hundreds of dwellings of man, 



How then shall we attempt to inform our readers of the 
present, without feeling that before our statements meet their 
eyes, numerous changes will have come over the scenes of 
which we speak. It is a pleasing reflection, however, that 
all these changes are of one kind, and all tell of advancement 
in all that is desirable in a new and half settled region. Over 
other changes humanity must weep, but these are like the 
changes from the first faint beams of morning to the bright 
effulgence of full blown day. 

In order to give something like arrangement and form to 
our notice of the towns of the republic, it is proposed to com- 
>mence at or near the mouths of the several rivers, beginning 
at the Sabine, and going upward, name all that are found on 

SABINE CITY, is situated on the west side of the pass or 
inlet from the Gulf of Mexico to the Sabine lake. It is a new 
town, lately laid out, and consequently not much known, nor 
containing many inhabitants. It is regarded as being very 
advantageously situated, and lots are sold at good prices. 
When the boundary line between the United States and Texas 
shall have been determined, and the lands along the Sabine 
and Neches rivers settled, it is expected that this must become 
a place of extensive trade. Farther up the river are seen the 
names of Princeton, Salem and Belgrade, in the county of 
-Jasper. Still ascending, the traveller arrives at Milam, Ta- 
naha and Shelbyville, the latter the county seat of Shelby 

are situated on the Neches and its branches. 

Jasper is the county seat of the county of Jasper, and is 
situated upon Sandy creek. 

San Augustine is a new and thriving town situated on the 
Zavala creek, where it is crossed by the principal road from 
Natchitoches in the United States to San Antonio de Bexar. 


It is the first considerable town the emigrant reaches after 
entering the republic. It is thought that the Sabine may be 
rendered navigable to within twenty or twenty-five miles from 
this place. 

Nacogdoches is an old Spanish town, situated on the San 
Antonio road sixty miles west of the Sabine, near one of the 
branches of the river Augustine. Most of the Spanish and 
Mexican inhabitants have left it, and it is becoming an English 
town. It suffered much, not only in the Mexican revolution, 
but also in the present war of independence. It is however 
fast recovering from the effects of those disasters,, and is now* 
a pleasant if not a delightful residence. 

TERAN, BEVIL PORT, ZAVALA and MENARD, are new towns 
in this same range, whose prospects cannot now be deter- 

CINCINNATI and ALABAMA, are situated on the banks of the 

Anahuac is at the mouth of the river, is an old town which 
was long neglected, but now bids fair to become important. 

Liberty, the next place above Anahuac, is progressing, and 
as the county above becomes settled, will evidently increase 
in population and business. The rest are new towns at dif- 
ferent points, and have considerable trade with the surround- 
ing country. 

At Alabama a female school is established, and the popula- 
tion is rapidly increasing. Steam boats have already ascended 
to this point. This town and Cincinnati are in the coal region. 
Other valuable ores are also found in the same section. The 
region of country near the Trinity is now rapidly settling with 
planters and mechanics, the effect of which upon these towns 
will be to cause a considerable increase of business and 



and NEW WASHINGTON, are all situated on different parts of 
Galveston bay. 

The most important commercial town of these and of all 
the towns of Texas is Galveston. This city is now the prin- 
cipal entrance by sea to the republic, and the principal depot 
for commercial purposes and all national naval property. It 
contains as yet few public buildings, but several will soon be 
erected. A presbyterian church is progressing, a light house 
will soon be commenced, and probably several buildings for 
the use of the county and the government. Its present popu- 
lation is estimated at about two thousand. 

All these towns except Galveston and Bolivar, are on the 
western shore of the bay. 

Austiriia is at the eastern extremity of a projected rail-road 
from Galvestcm bay to the Brazos river. They are all new 
and their destiny as yet unfixed. 

on the Buffalo bayou ; the two former old towns. 
Lynchburgh seems to be at a stand. 

Harrisburgh was burnt by the Mexicans in the late or 
rather present war, and has not been rebuilt ; the proprietors 
however are endeavoring to revive it, especially since the in- 
corporation of a company to make a rail-road from that point 
to the Brazos. 

Houston, the late seat of government of Texas is a con- 
siderable and growing town, at the extreme head of navigation 
on the bayou. It enjoys a quite extensive trade with the 
interior, especially the settlers on the Brazos. Though its 
growth seemed to be slightly checked by the removal of the 
seat of government, it still continues to grow, and houses are 
in progress of erection in every part of the city. A presby- 
terian church and an academy, with the court-house and the 
former capitol, are its present public buildings. It contains 
one good school and another is commencing. Clergymen of 
several different denominations reside in the city, and some 


of them are devoted solely to the work of the ministry. The 
population is estimated at two thousand. Two newspapers 
are published here, one of them daily the other weekly. 
Probably it ought to rank as the second most important town 
at present in the republic. 

MONTGOMERY, the county seat of the county of the same 
name, is situated on a small creek tributary to the San Jacinto. 
Of its advantages other than those derived from its judicial 
relations, no information is possessed. 

LIVERPOOL is a new town at the intersection of the pro- 
jected rail-road between Galveston bay and the Brazos, and 
the Chocolate bayou. It is a point nearly central between 
the two terminations of the road. 

VELASCO and Q,UINTANA are situated on opposite sides of 
the mouth of the Brazos river. Both of these towns possess 
considerable trade with the interior, and are delightfully situ- 
ated for summer residences. An ever fresh sea or land breeze 
mitigates the heat and refreshes the spirits. The river and 
sea furnish abundant supplies of shell and other fish, while 
sea bathing contributes equally to luxury and health. The 
accommodations are excellent, and the comforts to be enjoyed 
are manifold. Should steam boat navigation on this river be 
soon resumed, as it can scarcely fail to do, these towns would 
seem to enjoy fine opportunities for commerce by sea and land. 

TIN and WASHINGTON, are old towns on the Brazos, all of 
them having existed previous to the present war. 

As long since as the year 1831, Brazoria was regarded as 
being one of the most growing and important towns in Texas. 
And for many years since it was considered the door through 
which emigrants to Texas must, find their way to the country. 
For some cause, probably the difficulty of passing the bar at 
the mouth of the Brazos, it has not succeeded according to the 
expectation of its friends. It is however a pleasant town, 


beautifully situated upon a handsome elevation on the west 
bank of the Brazos, fifteen miles by land from its mouth. It 
is the seat of justice for Brazoria county, and is surrounded by 
a fertile and beautiful section of country. It will probably 
never be a commercial city, but an interesting and pleasant 
county town. One reason why this and other such towns are 
slow in growth, is that land is so easily obtained, and its cul- 
ture so profitable, that mechanics and professional men often 
prefer residing upqn farms at a little distance, to remaining in 

Columbia is at some distance above Brazoria, on the same 
side of the river. It does not at present seem to advance 
much in population or business. 

Richmond is a small town deriving most of its importance 
from being the seat of justice for the county of Fort Bend. 

San Felipe de Austin was burned in the spring of 1836, by 
the Texian troops under the command of Gen. Houston, at 
the approach of the Mexican army under Santa Anna. Whe- 
ther this was done by the order of Gen. Houston, is matter 
of dispute between him and Col. Baker who set the fires. 
Since that time it has been partially rebuilt, though in a very 
indifferent style. The town is beautifully situated upon an. 
elevated and fertile plain, admirably adapted for gardens and 
the cultivation of either trees or field crops. The country 
about it is beautiful, exhibiting, in close connection, elegant 
undulating prairies, rich level bottoms, and, in some direc- 
tions, dense forests. The river is here navigable for steam- 
boats, and thus offers every inducement to enterprise. To all 
this the mere shells of houses, hardly equal to comfortable 
barns at the north, without school houses or churches, pre- 
sents a striking but unpleasant contrast. But will this long 
be the fact ? It is presumed that it will not. Very soon 
these houses will be superseded, and good substantial dwel- 
lings erected in their stead ; the school house and the church 


shall appear instead of the billiard table, and the congregation 
of worshippers instead of idlers about the dram shop. 

Washington is situated in a large bend in the Brazos, about 
fifty miles above San Felipe. It seems to have been expected 
that it would become the seat of government. It is the county 
seat for Washington county, and is said to contain an excel- 
lent academy, taught by a competent and able teacher. It ia 
in the midst of the fertile lands of the Brazos. 

LAM and FRANKLIN, are new towns on the same river, ex- 
cept the last, which is on one of its tributaries. 

Bolivar is situated at the western termination of the Gal- 
veston bay and Brazos rail road. Its success or failure must 
depend greatly upon the results attendant upon the rail road. 

Nashville is said to be a very growing town, but its statis- 
tics have not been obtained. It is situated in Milam county, 
below the falls of the Brazos, near where the San Andres 
empties into that river. 

Franklin is at some distance eastward of the Brazos, and 
the seat of justice for Robertson county. So new are these 
towns that definite information concerning them is difficult to 
be obtained. Farther up the Brazos no towns have yet been 

TROP and AUSTIN, are the towns on the Colorado river. 

Matagorda is situated at the mouth of -the Colorado, has 
been long settled, and enjoys a considerable trade with the in- 
terior. Owing to the raft in the river which obstructs its navi- 
gation, this town has not derived so much benefit from the 
trade of the upper country as might have been expected. 
Should these obstructions be removed, as it is thought they 
soon must be, the trade of this town will no doubt rapidly in- 
crease, arid its population' and resources be proportionally 
enlarged. Eventually it must become a place of considerable 


size. It now contains a respectable academy, taught by a 
clergyman of the episcopal church. 

Columbus and Lagrange are situated far up this river, not 
very far as is supposed from the head of navigation, which is 
however doubtful, and just beginning to attract notice. Till 
the river can be the channel through which goods may ascend 
into the country, these towns cannot acquire very much im- 

Rutersville has been already so fully described as to require 
little more attention here. Its growth and ultimate advance- 
ment will depend very much upon the success of the literary 
institutions there established. 

Colorado City is perhaps the least hopeful of all the towns 
upon this river. 

Bastrop, named after the baron de Bastrop, is situated upon 
the right bank of the Colorado where it is crossed by the 
great San Antonio road. It is the county seat for Bastrop 
county. It is however but a small town, standing upon a 
beautiful level prairie of considerable extent, the whole of 
which is now enclosed in fences, dotted with farm houses, 
and subjected to the power of the plough. Seen from the 
summits of the neighboring highlands, these regular map-like 
divisions are very beautiful and pleasing, and at the same time 
indicate the prospect of abundance of the fruits of the earth. 
Even the hill-sides in the rear of the town are all laid under 
contribution by the husbandman, and will be compelled, in 
common with the flat ground, to yield from their bosom ne- 
cessaries and comforts to man. 

Austin, situated thirty-five miles above Bastrop, on the same 
river, is, in the strictest sense of the term, a new city, being 
at this hour, June 1st, 1840, less than one year old. In less 
than one short year the solitary wild, and the range of the 
bison, has been transformed into the clustered collection of 
houses ; and the mingled crowd of senators, judges, lawyers 


and soldiers, occupying the late lair of the wolf and tiger. 
But so fully have we before spoken of this city of the wilder- 
ness (see page 62) that we forbear, merely referring our read- 
ers to what they will there find, and the view of the infant 
capital at the beginning of the volume. 

LINVILLE, Cox's Poirf-r, and DEMITT'S LANDING are 
new towns on La Baca bay, an arm of Matagorda bay. They 
are yet small, and probably when one of them shall obtain a 
considerable advantage, in capital or business over the others, 
it may so absorb the trade that the others may decline instead 
of advancing. 

At different points of Matagorda bay, are also found Tres^ 
palacios and Calhoun. The latter was laid off by the govern- 
ment on the eastern extremity of Matagorda island. Of its 
prospects we have no definite information. 

TEXANA is situated a little above the junction of the La 
Baca and Navidad rivers. It is fast increasing in size and 
business. Some think it will become a place of deposit for 
the trade between Austin and the Gulf of Mexico. 

VICTORIA and GONZALES are situated upon the Guada- 
Jupe, and are old towjis and formerly inhabited mostly by 

The town of Gonzales was burned in the late war by the 
Mexicans. It has been partially rebuilt, is the county seat 
for Gonzales county, and will probably soon become respecta- 
ble for numbers, business and wealth. It formerly contained 
a respectable academy, and will not likely neglect the subject 
of education hereafter. 

Victoria is now growing in importance, and improving in 
various respects. A very respectable classical and mixed 
school is established there, and conducted by the Rev. Mr. 
Blair, late of Mississippi. 

SEGUIN is a new town on the Guadalupe above Gonzales. 
Of its advantages or prospects we have no information. 


218 GOLIAD. 

GOLIAD and SAN ANTONIO DE BEXAR are both ancient 
Spanish towns on the San Antonio river, and both celebrated 
for events which have transpired during the yet unfinished 
war of Texian independence. 

Goliad is specially noted as the place of perfidy and mur- 
der, for here the brave Fannin and his men, who had surren- 
dered as prisoners of war, with explicit stipulations, in direct 
violation of the law of nations and of war, and in palpable 
violation of the express covenant of the Mexican commander, 
were murdered in cold blood by order of the president of the 
Mexican republic. This act of infamy, treachery^and base- 
ness, has never been disavowed by the Mexican government, 
and hence is to be written, in deep colors of shame, upon her 
national escutcheon. Henceforth she may be designated as 
the cruel and faithless nation, in whose public acts no con- 
fidence can be reposed. 

San Antonio, much farther up this river was equally ancient, 
fend al One lime, a very populous city, and now numbers more 
than two thousand inhabitants, a large majority of whom are 
Mexicans and Spaniards. The population is increasing with 
astonishing rapidity, the new settlers being almost exclusively 
of English or American origin. In a very short time, it is 
presumed, the English language will be the common and pre- 
vailing language of the city. Here is carried on even now an 
extensive trade with Mexicans, who come from the interior, 
bringing with them some few articles of value, but mostly 
gold and silver, and purchase the goods that are there collected 
from all parts of the world. Most of these pass through the 
hands of merchants in New York or New Orleans. As soon 
as hostilities cease between Texas and Mexico it is expected 
that this trade will be vastly increased, and the city soon 
resume all its former magnificence and wealth. Its buildings 
are mostly of stone with terraced roofs, many of which, when 
this city was taken from the Mexicans, became a place of 
conflict and blood. Very near the city, on the other side of 


the Salado creek, stand the ruins of a strong fortress called 
the Alamo. 

In the fall and winter of 1835 this city, then occupied by 
Mexican troops under the command of General Cos, was be- 
sieged by a body of Texians, composed mostly of volunteers 
and militia. After some time, on the 5th of December, the 
city was assaulted and taken by the troops of Colonel Milam, 
who fell in the engagement. The enemy fled across the 
creek and took possession of the Alamo. Here, though rein- 
forced by a considerable body of troops, after several days of 
severe righting, General Cos surrendered the fortress and all 
its contents to General Burleson, an officer of militia com- 
manding the volunteer forces of Texas. Thus the strongest 
post of the Mexicans in Texas fell into the hands of the troops 
of the new republic. In February following, General Santa 
Anna, the President of Mexico, led in person a strong force 
into Texas by the way of San Antonio. The volunteers, 
whose term of service had expired, had returned home, and 
this important post was left undefended by but about one hun- 
dred and fifty men. With these Colonel Travers took pos- 
session of the Alamo. Here, besieged by two or three 
thousand men for thirteen days, those heroic men fought night 
and day without ceasing, except by short reliefs of one ano- 
ther. On the 6th of March, about midnight, the fort was 
assaulted, and the battle raged with unusual violence till day- 
light, when but seven of the Texians remained alive. Among 
these were Colonel David Crockett, Mr. Benton, and Colonel 
Bonham of South Carolina. They asked for quarter, but were 
informed that there was no mercy for them. Denied any 
hope of life, they continued fighting till they were all butch- 
ered. Colonel Travis, when almost deadfrom wounds and 
loss of blood, was attacked by a Mexican officer. Rallying 
his remaining powers he pierced with his sword the body of 
his assailant, and with him fell to rise no more in time. One 
lady, Mrs. Dickerson, and a servant boy of Colonel Travis, 


alone were allowed to live. Colonel Bowie was murdered in 
his bed, to which he had for some time been confined by dis- 
ease. Thus fell the Alamo a second time into the hands of 
the Mexicans, for all its brave defenders were slain. Well 
might these bloody victors think the time would come when 
they would wish this deed undone, and their hands unstained 
with Texian blood. Few and short the days before, on the 
plains of San Jacinto, the war cry of the Alamo ! Alamo ! 
became the death knell of many a Mexican soldier, and the 
signal of shame, defeat and captivity to the proud president 
of Mexico, and his chief officer arid relative, Cos. 

And will not in future days Bexar be classic ground ? Is 
it not by victory and the blood of heroes, consecrated to liberty, 
and sacred to the fame of the patriots who there repose upon 
the very ground they defended with their last breath and last 
drop of generous blood 1 Will Texiaris ever forget them ? or 
cease to prize the boon for which these patriots bled ? Forbid 
it honor, virtue, patriotism. Let every Texian bosom be the 
monument sacred to their fame, and every Texian freeman be 
emulous of their virtues. 

ARANSAS, LAMAR, and COPANO are situated at different 
points upon the Aransaso bay. 

Aransas is the port of entry for this bay, and is situated on 
the eastern extremity of a long peninsula, between Aransaso 
and Copano bays, called Live Oak Point. This town is im- 
proving with much spirit, is well situated and enjoys a lucra- 
tive trade with Mexico. 

Lamar is situated on the eastern side of the Aransaso on 
point Lookout, and begins to receive considerable attention, 
though a very new town. 

Copano, near th% northern extremity of the bay, is a new 
town, though it has long been a landing place for goods des- 
tined to the interior. It is urged by some to be the best point 
at which to land goods for Lagrange, Bastrop and Austin, and 
to nearly all points on the San Antonio. It seems probable 


that it is as near to Austin as any port on the Gulf of Mexico. 
While goods are transported from the sea board to Austin by 
land, it may perhaps be done as cheaply from this point as 
from any other; but it is certainly desirable that this should 
be avoided as early as possible. 

AVOCA is the name of a new town, laid out at the head 
springs of the San Antonio river. The position of the town, 
the crystalline and cool waters and the scenery, are declared 
to be beautiful beyond any thing known even in Texas. 

REFUGIO is an old Spanish town, on a creek running into 
the bay of Copano. It is but a small hamlet with a few build- 
ings. Its name signifies flight, or a place for the fleeing to 
escape to. Why so called does not appear. 

GRAYSON is a town recently laid off at the confluence of 
the Nueces river and Corpus Christi bay. As the country up 
that river becomes settled much business must be done in this 

SAN PATRICIO, or Saint Patrick, once a considerable town 
on the Nueces, but nearly deserted in consequence of the 
troubles of war. It will probably soon recover from its diffi- 
culties, as all terror from the Mexicans has ceased. 

LAREDO, the only town on the Texian side of the Rio 
Grande, is inhabited by about one hundred Mexicans, who 
seem to have no particular wish to unite with the centralists, 
in opposing the progress of Texian independence and pros- 

SAN Louis, a new, or rather perhaps a contemplated town, 
on the little island of San Louis, in the west pass near the 
western extremity of Galveston island. It is declared, upon 
respectable authority, that the channel on the bar is deeper 
than at Galveston, and the situation fo^jjfade more eligible. 
Persons interested in the town seem confidently to anticipate 
that it will soon rival, if not eclipse, the now prosperous port 
on the eastern extremity of the island. 


In addition to the above, there are in several places in 
Texas prosperous settlements, and some little villages where 
the people find the benefits of proximity without the dissipa- 
tion and expense of towns. Such are said to be found near 
Nacoodoches in eastern Texas, such is Independence, and 
Coin's settlement on the Brazos. These it is believed will 
multiply as the country becomes more densely settled. Such 
places will always be favored spots for schools, and in such 
positions will generally be found the regular ministrations of 
the gospel and its attendant blessings, industry, peace, intelli- 
gence, and a high standard of morals 


Very many things are found in Texas which might appro* 
priately be referred to this head. Several have been noticed 
in the preceding pages, which, with numerous others,, might 
well have formed a separate chapter. The following are 
conceived to be sufficiently interesting to find a place under 
this designation. 

THE CROSS TIMBER is a long range of timbered land, ex- 
tending from the head waters of the Trinity river in a line 
nearly due north to the Red river, a distance of at least one 
hundred miles.* Its width varies from three to five miles. 
It covers every variety of character usual in that part of the 
country, whether river bottoms, intermediate banks or high 
bluffs of the streams, level plains, rolling in gentle elevations 
or lofty and sterile hills covered with pine. In much of the 
level and undulating portion of it no marks, the timber excep- 
ted, show any difl^^nce between the soil there and the adja- 

*The same range of timber continues on the north side of Red river 
quite to the Arkansas, varying there from five to fifty miles in width. The 
account above includes only the part embraced in Texas. That north of 
the Red river is in the U. S. A, 


eent prairie. And yet so distinct and regular is the boundary 
of both, that if the eye of the curious, in surveying it, should 
look along its western border it would appear as strait as if 
formed upon a measured meridian, and been cut out by the 
axe. A surveyor who marked a meridian for forty miles long 
a very little distance westward of it, found that through the 
whole length his distance from this range of forest was un- 

The timber in the different parts of this range varies with 
the nature of the soil. In some places will be found all the 
varieties usually seen in river bottoms, in others those kinds 
usually interspersed among level prairies, again will be found 
the black jack, post and live oak, mingled with elm, cedar and 
the like. 

Various conjectures have been started respecting the origin 
and nature of this singular long and narrow forest. Some 
have supposed that it was the work of art, intended to mark 
the boundary between rival and hostile nations of Indians. 
Nothing definite however has been discovered to show that 
the hand of man ever gave existence or form to it. 

Be its origin what it may, it seems difficult to conceive why 
the scorching flame of burning herbage, that to its very edge 
has for ages destroyed every shrub and tree, should at that 
border cease to rage and allow the forest to stand unscathed : 
or why the seeds that planted this broad parterre of woodland, 
should not have fallen irregularly out and given to both its 
sides a zig-zag and rude irregularity. As it is, may not ima- 
gination conceive it to be an extended park, skirting the 
broad pasture lands of some wealthy patriarch of ancient 
days, whose name, like his body and his ambition, has per- 
ished forever ? 

RANGES OF CONICAL HILLS. In a former part of this 
volume, mention is made of a singular hill or mound on the 
Brazos river below San Felipe. Partaking, in some respects 
at least,, of the same character, though much farther from the 


ocean, are numerous conical and isolated hills along one of 
the branches of the Brazos, and the upper Colorado. Falling 
into the Brazos from the right near the town of Nashville, is 
the San Andres or Little river. It is a small stream running 
through a beautiful country, bordered by numerous level prai- 
ries. From the mouth of this stream to near its source, and 
on both sides of it are numerous hills of considerable height. 
They are so situated as to wear the appearance of having 
been planted in waving lines, at intervals sufficiently near for 
one to be distinctly visible to those next to it above and below. 
They are nearly of the same height, from seventy-five or 
eighty to one hundred feet. The position of each of them is 
upon a plane entirely unconnected with other hills, and the 
surface around them equal with all the rest of the prairie. 
A large proportion of the matter composing them appears to 
consist of stratified lime-stone, mingled with petrified sea 
shells and marine substances. The average distance of these 
mounds or hills is probably about ten or eleven miles from 
each other, and the length of the lines or ranges about seventy 
miles. The water in this region is affected by carbonate of 
lime, and like usual lime water very clear and transparent ; 
the hills are wooded to a considerable degree and the land 
about them fertile. 

Along the western side of the Colorado above the city of 
Austin is a similar chain of hills, differing in no visible respect 
from the former, except that it is a single instead of a double 

For information respecting these curious works of nature, 
we are indebted to the kindness of Gen. Burleson, mentioned 
in the former part of the work. Want of opportunity alone 
prevented a personal examination of at least a part of these 
singular hills, seemingly erected for signal fires by which to 
give notice to the warriors of an approaching and deadly con- 
flict. Will not both the antiquarian and geologist find in them 
objects of deeply interesting inquiry ? 


ALOE. The great American aloe (agave Americana) is a 
native of the south-western portions of Texas. It is the plant 
frequently found in pots, with exceedingly thick fleshy leaves 
pointed with a sharp thorn at the extremity and having smaller 
thorns along the edge. It is a large plant, the stem branched 
and of great height. The flowers have the tube of the corolla 
narrowed in the middle, the stamens longer than the corolla 
and the style longer than the stamens. This magnificent na- 
tive of North America is by no means an uncommon plant in 
English gardens, but is seldom seen there in flower. There 
is a notion, but an erroneous one, that it does not bloom until 
it is 100 years old. The fact is, that the time of flowering 
depends almost wholly on the rapidity of its growth. In hot 
countries it will blossom in a few years ; in colder climates it 
is longer in coming to maturity. The stem which bears the 
blossoms rises from the centre of the leaves, and when the 
plant is in a vigorous state it frequently exceeds the height 
of twenty feet. One in the garden of the king of Prussia was 
forty feet high. Branches issue from every side, and in such 
a manner as to form a kind of pyramid, composed of greenish 
yellow flowers which stand erect, and are seen in thick clus- 
ters at every joint. When in full flower its appearance is ex- 
tremely splendid, and if the season be favorable a succession 
of blossoms will sometimes be produced for near three 

The above description was made from these plants cultiva- 
ted as exotics at the north. Here they would greatly tran- 
scend in beauty and strength all that is seen in northern re- 
gions. It is asserted that in southern Europe they are used 
with advantage for hedges and several other purposes. Here 
they will be splendid ornaments, and why not make them, 
useful ? 





Mexicans in Texas their character, habits, etc. Emigration chiefly from 
the United States and England. Refutation of slanders cast on Texas 
by her enemies. Causes of the neglect of literature in former days. 
Chivalrous character of the Texians. Equality of all classes. Texian. 
females. Log houses. Furniture. Detestable habit of swearing. 
Newspapers, etc. 

THE population of Texas, exclusive of Indians, has been va- 
riously estimated from 150,000 to 200,000. Such however is 
the rapid influx of emigrants, that the above is quite as likely 
to be below as above the truth. Though this is made up of 
people originating from various sources, a large majority con- 
sists of emigrants from the United States. Some three or four 
thousand Mexicans may perhaps be found resident in the 
republic, composed for the most part of that class of them, 
who, being attached to republican principles, resisted the 
usurpations of Santa Anna and centralism, and are now incor- 
porated with the people of independent Texas. Except at 
Goliad and Bexar, these are scattered among the setilements, 
and even at these places the rapid increase of Americans will 
soon leave them a small minority. In point of character for 


intelligence, vigor or enterprise, the Mexicans are far inferior 
to, Anglo-Americans, or any class of Europeans. For the 
most part they are small in stature and of feeble frames. 

They are mostly uneducated in letters, and without ambition 
to excel in any of the arts or accomplishments of civilized 
life. Most of them are expert horsemen, and skilful in throw- 
ing the lazo or noose by which to catch wild horses or cattle. 
They are also skilful herdsmen and make useful laborers in 
taking care of cattle. In their habits they are idle and averse 
to exertion, choosing rather to endure cold and wet, than by 
industry to erect comfortable cabins. In many respects they 
seem to resemble the savages, from whom most of them are 
descendants, and the changes are not always in their favor. 

As soldiers they are regarded by the Texians as being 
cowardly and incompetent, beyond any other professedly 
civilized people. Though perhaps superior in skill and energy 
to the Camanches, and others of the more uncivilized Indians, 
they are thought to be less effective by far than the Cherokees. 
Apparently degraded in their own estimation, and treated by 
their wealthy countrymen as menials, they are destitute of the 
high moral qualities requisite to produce elevation or energy 
of character, or even to preserve them from degrading vices. 
Hence in general their morals are low and debased in every 
respect, and licentiousness is scarcely thought worthy of 

To this account however there are occasional and highly 
honorable exceptions. Among them are some individuals of 
intelligence, literature, refinement and high sentiments of in- 
tegrity and honor. These are composed of the aristocratic 
few, who, possessing wealth and power, seem willing to per- 
petuate these privileges in their own families, and therefore 
take little or no pains to disseminate intelligence or education 
among the people. The language spoken by these people is 
a corrupt Spanish, altogether unlike the pure Castilian, from 


which it differs as far as does the rude dialect of a plantation 
negro from the style of Addison. So far as Texas is con- 
cerned, the English language will evidently soon supersede 
all others. In this the business of the courts is transacted, in 
this the statutes and debates of congress are exhibited, and in 
this the newspapers are published. In this language too a 
very large portion of the population exclusively converse, and 
have their children instructed. These little remains of Mexi- 
can people, habits and language, will therefore soon be swal- 
lowed up and lost, and the Anglo-Texians give character and 
complexion to the whole nation. 

A few European emigrants also mingle with the settlers, 
and in some few places are congregated in little groups by 
themselves. They are mostly from England and Ireland, and 
a few from Germany. Of the former considerable numbers 
are constantly arriving, and most of them passing into the in- 
terior to form settlements for purposes of agriculture. Some 
of these are shepherds, and are bringing with them large 
flocks of some of the finest wooled sheep of Great Britain. 

Near the south western portion of Texas, the region called 
San Patricio or St. Patrick, formerly contained a considerable 
body of Irish emigrants. They became much scattered by the 
Mexican invasion, but have now mostly returned. This large 
and fertile section of Texas must soon become important for 
numbers, and the value of its rich productions of sugar, cotton 
and tropical fruits. 

Where English, Irish or German settlements have been 
formed, the habits, language and manners brought with them 
are still prevalent and distinctly visible. Not only their lan- 
guage, but their dress, their dwellings and utensils, bear the 
marks of their origin. All these however united, with a very 
few from France and other countries, make but a small 
proportion of the people. The United States is the parent of 
almost the whole population of Texas. All parts of that ex- 


tensive country have sent their contributions to assist in mak- 
ing up the mass of the young empire, which though yet but 
in the cradle, is destined to become a power to be respected 
among the mighty ones of the earth. 

Here are met the descendants of the pilgrims, shoots from 
the germ planted by Holland on the banks of the Hudson, the 
hunters of Kentucky, the Virginian stock originating with the 
cavaliers, and many a scion from the ancient Huguenots who 
settled in South Carolina. On this soil they meet as friends, 
forgetting, in their common name of Texian, all their local 
feelings, and making no other distinctions than grow out of 
character and talents. True, the sons of Virginia may some- 
times boast of the greatness of the ancient Dominion, and the 
New Englander of the pious patriotism of his fathers in days 
of stern controversy for liberty and independence ; but no 
rival feelings are awakened. All descended from sires who 
had fought for liberty in other fields, they here shewed that 
they had not forgot these lessons of firmness and heroic ardor 
ia the same cause. 

Still, made up of such motly materials, which has not had 
time to coalesce and unite into a homogeneous whole, no ge- 
neral and uniform character can be ascribed to the people of 
Texas. The new settler in mingling with his fellows, wit- 
nessing no common or uniform manners, customs or language, 
sees no pattern to which he may conform, and hence each 
one retains his own previously formed habits, nor even thinks 
of adopting any model. 

In the intercourse of the people with each other and with 
strangers, there is an observable freedom and frankness which 
makes one feel that he is welcome, while no formal or feigned 
courtesy leads to distrust the sincerity of the reception. If in 
all this there mingle some want of the finished polish of the 
courtier, or sweet toned kindness of expression, it will be 
found to arise from the plain simplicity of truth and disregard 
of form where substance is more valuable, 



It has been objected to Texas that it was the common re- 
ceptacle of thieves, murderers and criminals of every descrip- 
tion, who could escape from justice in the United States. 
Sometimes persons have insinuated that such characters 
formed the mass of the population. Such intimations how- 
ever emanate only from those who have no personal know- 
ledge of the country, or else intentionally misrepresent it. 

That fugitives from justice have frequently made this coun- 
try their city of refuge is undoubtedly true ; but that they are 
numerous or possess influence here is entirely a mistake. It 
would be difficult for a felon here to avoid becoming known, 
and if known his crime would render him an object of scorn 
and contempt to the community. Shrinking from society he 
would be known to few, and even to them it would be his 
privilege to be unknown. But to what new and frontier set- 
tlement will not this same objection apply as well as to Texas ? 
Was not such the fact in relation to Ohio ? Indiana ? Illinois ? 
Arkansas ? and Louisiana ? These are difficulties incident 
to every new country, and it is believed are as little felt in 
Texas as in almost any other new state. Certainly the Ca- 
nadas, and other British colonies, have received more of such 
colonists by far than Texas ever has 

The emigrant removing to this republic, and the visiter who 
mingles with respectable society, will soon perceive that 
among the people are numbered a fair proportion of indus- 
trious, respectable and intelligent persons, whose deportment 
and conversation are marked by dignity and good sense. Nor 
>vill highly intellectual and literary men be found lobe scarce. 
Among men of the different professions, are many not only 
skilled in their own particular departments, but well versed in 
the broader fields of general literature and science. A gen- 
tleman at the seat of government, the last winter, observed, 
that in the republic he found alumni of half the colleges in the 
United States. 

It is not to be denied however, that a large proportion of 


the settlers in the country are composed of the more unlet- 
tered parts of mankind. Most of them have received some 
education, enough to enable to keep their own accounts in one 
manner or another. Still there are very many of them much 
more fond of spending a leisure hour in the forest with dogs 
and gun, than employing it in reading the most interesting 
book. Nor is this fact singular. Long accustomed to reside 
far from towns and places where books can be obtained, and 
by practice becoming skilled to bring down the deer or bear 
with the trusted rifle, he acquires a taste for the sport, while 
his former habits of reading and thought have been broken up 
and forgotten. In this manner the character and skill of many 
a skilful and successful scout in Indian warfare has been 
formed, and rendered effective in repelling these foes and pro- 
tecting the firesides of the settlers. In Texas, the dextrous 
hunter and the Indian fighter have become almost synony- 
mous terms. The frequent incursions of the savages to steal 
cattle and horses, and wherever they were not too well de- 
fended, to rob houses and murder the inhabitants, rendered 
almost the whole population familiar with the natives, their 
haunts and modes of proceeding. Under these circumstances, 
the sagacious and active hunter soon found it expedient to 
acquire skill in pursuit of the savage, as well as in taking his 
game. To this he would moreover be incited by the favor 
and applause freely awarded to the brave and successful pro- 
tector of female weakness and helpless infancy. 

In Indian warfare too, as in all difficult and dangerous avo- 
cations, native character shines out, and courage united with 
skill and generosity find ample opportunities for displaying 
their worth. In few* duties of the soldier is there less pros- 
pect of reward, or of fame than in the pursuit of the wary and 
crafty savage through the forest. Yet in this task, though he 
be but a traveller in that section of country, will the practised 
enemy of the red man volunteer in order to avenge some deed 
of blood, or rescue from captivity some one to him unknown, 


Confident of his skill to catch and keep the trail of the savage 
foe, fearless of surprisal from the objects of pursuit, and from 
long habit conscious of the excellence of his piece and the 
certainty of his aim, he threads the thickets, wades the 
streams, watching every impression upon the sand, either in 
or near the water, and every twig and tuft, for marks of Indian 
foot-prints, traverses the prairies and endures fatigue, hunger 
and cold ; and on overtaking the enemy, at almost any odds, 
attacks, defeats and captivates or kills him, and returns, ask- 
ing no other reward than the spontaneous feelings of the 
grateful hearts of those who had suffered from the predatory 
inroad of these enemies of all white mea. Some of these 
too have, by their success and capacity, been raised to stations 
of high military command, and proved themselves no less able 
and skilful in conducting bodies of troops to victory, than little 
companies of settlers to successful contests with roving par- 
ties of Iixlians. 

Though at their homes and in the forest, these hunter war- 
riors are generally clad in buckskin pantaloons and hunting 
shirts, many of them have been familiar with fine garments, 
and when at court or peblic worship, appear in very respec- 
table apparel. Some of them are professional men or planters 
of wealth, and on emergency can appear with credit among 
the politest circles of the Atlantic cities. Drawn together by 
common interests and common dangers, the learned, polite and 
wealthy, are not in their ordinary dress and appearance, very 
different from their poorer and less iastructed neighbors. 
They are also on terms of familiarity, because they have to- 
gether gathered round the camp fire in times of storm and 
cold, and together fought the Mexicans and red men of the 
forest. Equality in their intercourse together is here very 
practically exemplified. " I served with you at the surrender 
of Bexar; I was with you in the expedition against the In- 
dians on the upper Brazos ; I fought with you at San Jacinto," 
cancels all distinctions,, and tjie highest officer is at once on 


terms of perfect equality with the poorest individual who had 
ever been his companion in arms, and shared the danger and 
sufferings of a Texian tentless campaign. 

Very few of the inhabitants of Texas, with the exception 
of their lands which are not yet available, are in possession 
of wealth or even of enough to preserve them from early want, 
except through the avails of their constant exertions. As a 
consequence of this fact, though there are a few planters with 
large families of servants, nearly every man is a laborer in 
some employment with his own hands. There is no rich and 
lordly class, who, despising industry and labor, treat all who 
are dependant upon the avails of business for support, with 
contempt. Hence labor and industry are respectable among 
all classes, except a very few worthless characters that lounge 
about the towns, and aim by gambling and fraud to filch from 
the young and inexperienced the fruits of their own or their 
parents' industry. This is a most fortunate circumstance, and 
tends greatly to the prosperity and productiveness of the coun- 
try. May this long be the fact, and may honest industry be 
ever honored in this favored land. 

There are a considerable number of negro slaves in this 
country, and their labor is thought to be profitable. The prin- 
cipal reason for this opinion probably is that land is so cheap, 
and cropping so profitable, that very few even poor men con- 
sent to be hired, preferring to work their own lands. Owing 
to these circumstances no one could cultivate a large planta^ 
tion by free labor. This evil will however be gradually 
removed by the continued immigration of settlers into the 
country. Slaves are not sufficiently numerous to perform 
even a small fraction of the labor of the country, and conse- 
quently, labor so far from being regarded as improper or dis 
graceful for freemen, that it is honorable in the eyes of the 
whole community. 

The intelligent farmer, who by the labor of his own hands 
and the hands of his children, cultivates his land, is here a 



man of dignity, and looked upon with as much respect as h* 
whose negroes do his work, while he and his children are 

What has been said of the other sex, will sufficiently in* 
form the intelligent reader of the character and habits of the 
females. A very large share of them in person perform the 
duties of the household, in preparing and cooking food, attend- 
ing to the dairy, preserving cleanliness, and taking charge of 
clothing, in addition to the cares of the nursery. Compara- 
tively few of them have received the advantages of a refined 
education, but they are well versed in all that regards good 
housewifery, which, with good sense, and a courage to despise 
imaginary dangers, constitute some of the most practical virtues 
of a female pioneer of Texas. Not a few of these, and some 
-whose minds have received a much more exalted and refined 
impulse, are more disposed to be useful than showy, have ren- 
dered themselves quite familiar with the use of fire-arms, with 
which upon occasion they have supplied themselves and fami- 
lies with necessary provisions. 

Aware, though honored and cherished with a tenderness 
and affection unsurpassed in any part of the world, that widow- 
hood and other disasters might befall them, they have with an 
energy worthy of the daughters of Sparta, met dangers, fought 
savages, encountered and overcome difficulties, and sustained 
their families in a manner, of which, under other circumstances, 
they would not have thought themselves capable. In the 
towns there are many ladies, whose taste, education and man- 
ners, would grace any saloon in any country. 

The furniture of most of the houses in Texas is of the 
plainest kind that could be constructed on the spot. The 
t ibles are made of such boards as can be obtained, and are 
put together by a mechanic, if one be at hand, otherwise by 
the hands of the settler himself. Chairs are framed with 
round posts and cross pieces, and then covered with the raw 
hides of deer, beeves, etc. Other furniture is usually of simi- 


lar construction, except the beds, which for the most part are 
mattresses of long moss, corn husks, or coarse prairie hay, 
A feather bed is an uncommon luxury in the new republic. 

The houses in towns are some of them well built of wood y 
brick or stone houses are very uncommon. Most of them 
however are merely covered with weather boards, and remaia 
unceiled and unplastered. Some of them of considerable size, 
used as boarding houses, are without chimneys, being warmed 
by stoves whose pipes extend quite through the roof. In the 
country they are for the most part constructed of logs, much , 
like the log houses common in new countries at the north, but 
they are not near so well guarded against cold weather. At 
one house of entertainment kept by a lady,, and which had 
stood for ten years, a guest could discover but one place for a 
window, which was without glass or even sash. Between 
the logs no plastering had ever been done, and between the 
top of the logs and the roof was an open space on both sides 
of the house, and its whole length of about one foot and a half 
wide. At the end next the chimney the weather boarding 
was gone for more than two feet in width. Supper was eaten 
by fire light, as the wind would not permit a lamp to burn. 
From no expression of the lady or her family, did it appear 
that a better house was desirable. So mild is the climate that 
such things are not objects of anxiety. Occasionally however^ 
especially in the older settlements, there are comfortable 
framed houses, and some few of brick. In these are also 
from time to time found handsome furniture, such as pianos^ 
armoirs, bureaus, sofas and the like. The poorness of their 
houses, or the simplicity of the furniture is no ground of com-* 
plaint among even the ladies of Texas. 

Justice demands that before closing our remarks upon the 
society and manners of Texas, we should acknowledge that 
there are several things to deplore. One of these is a very 
prevalent habit of profane swearing. This low and senseless 
vice> which has not the form of an excuse, being entirely 


without temptation, is practised by high and low, senators 
and judges, officers and citizens, masters and their negro ser- 
vants. Whence such a general and extended practice of such 
a vice originated would be difficult to solve, but for the known 
consequences attendant upon a state of war. How men of 
intelligence and talents are induced to adopt it is utterly unac- 
countable, unless we admit that even wise men have a strong 
propensity to foolishness. It is matter of gratification that 
this practice is not universal, many persons of the first talents 
and standing in the republic being, as gentlemen and consci- 
entious moralists, entirely free from it. 

Another very prevailing practice is the drinking of ardent 
spirits. As yet temperance societies have made but compa- 
ratively little progress in this republic. Several have been 
established, and are shedding around them a happy influence. 
Still the work is but begun. The friends of temperance, it is 
presumed, will not pause in their course till the monster's 
power is curbed and his deadly influence broken. Gambling 
in one or two places, is said to be in fearful progress. 

These and some other vices, more or less prevalent in all 
towns, call for the wise action of the legislature, city councils 
and courts of justice. With the co-operation of the people, 
these may do much towards eradicating such noxious weeds 
from society. It is believed however, that in no part of the 
United States is there less pilfering and stealing than in 
Texas. Even in the towns there seems to be no apprehen- 
sion that property will be stolen. An office in Houston, con- 
taining two valuable libraries and many articles of value, was 
habitually left unlocked by the owner, and nothing for many 
months known to be stolen. 

Viewed as a whole, the manners and morals of Texas 
appear to be as free from stain as other new countries, where 
the settlements are made promiscuously from all quarters, and 
especially where the effects of war and the presence of sol- 
diers are experienced, The defects and vices of the people 


are those which are common to all new settlements^ and such 
as uniformly diminish as population and society advance. 
The presence and influence of good men will check profane- 
ness and drinking, and the power of the gospel of Jesus, 
attended by its genial influences, will, it is fondly trusted, in 
due season put these and kindred vices to shame. 

That the Texians are a reading people is manifested by the 
fact that there are now 12 newspapers published in the re- 
public. One of these is a daily paper published at Houston, 
and one or two others are, during the sessions of Congress,, 
semi-weekly ones. In a population so small, and with such, 
imperfect post routes, to sustain so many papers must be a,ck 
mitted to be an astonishing circumstance.. 






Present favorable religious position of Texas. Religious intolerance while 
under the Mexican despotism. The monkish farce of re-marrying its 
infamous tendencies Romanism and priestcraft no longer tolerated. 
Increase of churches. De Kalb College. Unanimity of the different 
denominations. Discussion consequent upon religious liberty. Sabbath 
schools. Large bequests of land for the endowment of schools, etc. 

IN direct connection with the morals of a people, from which 
indeed it cannot be separated without their utter destruction, 
we would speak of religion. By this we would be understood 
to mean the Christian religion, and that exclusively. 

According to the constitution of Texas, as in the United 
States, no religious establishment can ever exist in this coun- 
try, nor any religious test be required as a qualification for 
office. Every one is at full liberty to worship God according 
to his own conscience, and no one is permitted to interfere 
with that sacred and inestimable privilege. No tithes or other 
ecclesiastical taxes are imposed, and no man can be required 
to pay money, goods, services or other thing, for churches, 
church privileges or claims, but according to his own consent 
and contract. 


Such a state of things has been denominated the being with- 
out a religion. So far is this however from being true, that it 
furnishes the very best security for the support and purity of 
true religion, that ever was adopted by political bodies. It is 
true, that in Texas and the United States, religion depends 
not upon the state nor its laws for its existence or support, 
and is therefore also free from the pollutions and impositions 
which interest or ambition in political men, would intrude 
upon her. Left free from the authority of men, and resting 
on God through his word for support and doctrine, she stands 
forth in native simplicity, and will, whenever assailed, be 
found like the sling and stones of the youthful David, suffi- 
cient for every exigency. Did the blessed religion of the 
gospel need the strong arm of human government to sustain it 
against the craft and power of its enemies, we might well 
doubt its divine origin. We are thence prepared to say to all 
its enemies, " it is of the Lord and ye cannot overthrow it." 

It is not our purpose however to argue this question with 
the advocates for an establishment, more than its truth with 
infidels. But we are ready to render cordial thanks to God, 
that in Texas also religion is untrammeled by the state. 

Such was not the religious freedom of Texas while one of 
the states of Mexico. By an article in the constitution of that 
misnamed republic, the Roman Catholick religion was de- 
clared to be established, and that no other should be tolerated. 
The following is sub-section third of the first title of the con- 
stitution of Mexico. 

" 3. The religion of the Mexican nation is, and will be per- 
petually, the Roman Catholick Apostolick. The nation will 
protect it by wise and just laws, and prohibit the exercise of 
any other whatever." 

A professedly Christian and protestant female writer, who 
professes great attachment to religious freedom, in speaking 
of this odious and tyrannical rescript, and the submission to it 
by the Texian colonists, says, " They accepted lands frolfi the 


Mexican government on condition of becoming nominal catho- 
lics, and had sense enough not to quarrel about forms and 
technics. * * * * The introduction of protestant preachers 
was contrary to law, and had it not been so, the contests of 
sectarians would have destroyed the country." 

How far this was to be merely nominal, may be in part un- 
derstood by some facts told by the same writer on a subse- 
quent page. Her words are " once or twice the farce was 
practised upon them of a Mexican padre going the rounds of 
the colonists to unite in lawful wedlock young couples, with 
blooming families to assist at the nuptials, proclaiming his in- 
fallible decree, that no other form of marriage was sanctioned 
by high Heaven." She adds that the colonists usually made 
a frolic of it, while the priest carried off considerable sums 
in the form of fees. 

Yet this was something merely nominal ; matter of form 
and technicality. A slight matter of form indeed, that pro- 
nounces the former married state of the people pollution, and 
their " blooming families " children of shame. A formality 
which from each family took the small sum of fifteen dollars 
in gold for branding them and their children with degradation 
and infamy. 

A matter of mere form which required them to abjure their 
faith, bow down before the host or a crucifix, and thus worship 
a piece of metal or of paste. Such matters of form as would 
have subjected a Jew in the purest days of Israel to death for 
a violation of the second commandment. Yet all this was 
well, wise, prudent and necessary to preserve the country 
from being destroyed by those destructive creatures " protest- 
ant preachers ! ! ! 

How these protestant preachers would have conducted 
their wordy contests so as to have destroyed the whole coun- 
try, she does not inform us. Is it not a great pity these kind 
friends would not again compel poor suffering Texas to re- 
ceive the dogmas, superstition and idolatry, priests and all, of 


Romanism, and thus prevent the sad effects of the labors of 
protestant preachers, with the bibles, schools and colleges, 
which threaten the country with such awful ruin ! 

The state of Coahuila and Texas enacted a statute annull- 
ing this part of the Mexican constitution ; but if they re- 
mained a part of Mexico this statute was of course void, as 
being contrary to the general constitution. Santa Anna in 
enforcing his plan of central government, urged rigidly this 
article of that instrument wherever his power extended. 
Thus, in violation of the constitution he had sworn to obey, in 
contempt of the public feeling and all the inalienable rights of 
man, he attempted to compel the Texians by an armed force 
to submit to a military and religious despotism, and to entail 
the same upon their children after them. 

For resistance to such oppression and violence, and for 
throwing off the yoke of this faithless and cruel murderer, 
and the inquisitorial power of the priests, self-styled pro- 
testant writers in the United States have heaped upon Texas 
and her sons every epithet of scorn and contempt which 
could properly be applied to the vilest plunderers and assas- 
sins. For this they have been denounced as rebels, pirates 
and banditti, even by the professed lovers of liberty and the 
protestant religion. 

If the most flagrant usurpation of power, the wanton tramp- 
ling down of chartered rights, the enforcing of lawless power 
by armed mercenaries, the most cruel tyranny, and the depri- 
vation of all freedom of conscience, will not justify the with- 
drawal of allegiance, can any events transpire that will do so ? 
If all these cannot justify the course of the citizens of this 
republic, is not all resistance to arbitrary power a crime ? 
And is it not a grievous offence against God to desire liberty ? 
Whatever the advocates of unlimited authority may say in 
Mexico, or their apologists in the United States may pretend, 
Texians may thankfully rejoice, that, favored by a good Pro- 



vidence, tlieir independence of Mexico and religious despotism 
is ACHIEVED, and no sophistry of pretended philanthropists, or 
power of Mexico can* deprive them of it. 

Freed from the miserable thraldom of religious tyranny, and 
secured in the enjoyment of entire ecclesiastical liberty, the 
friends of religion and morals have early begun to take mea- 
sures for securing to themselves and posterity the inestimable 
blessings of the gospel, and its natural concomitant, education 
end intelligence. Already have they established a number of 
churches of different denominations, secured the labors of a 
number of devoted and faithful ministers, and in connection 
with several of them established seminaries of learning, which 
are often taught by these ministers in person. 

At Independence, on the Brazos, at Matagorda, and at Vic- 
toria, are such schools, all taught by learned and able minis- 
ters, whose labors, both in the gospel and in literature, give 
pleasing promise of lasting usefulness to the country. Several 
other schools of similar character exist in different sections of 
the country. At Rutersville, two literary institutions have 
been incorporated by congress, and are already in operation, 
under the direction of an able and efficient minister of the 
Methodist Episcopal church. Their prospects for usefulness 
and permanent success are fair and cheering. In eastern 
Texas "a collegiate institution has been incorporated, called 
De Kalb college. This, it is understood, is also intended to 
be a Christian institution, and to be under the direction of one 
minister of the gospel or more. Besides these ministers thus 
engaged in literary pursuits, there are a number more who are 
engaged solely in the work of the sacred ministry. These 
are for the most part, but not wholly, resident in towns. They 
belong to different denominations, each of which, without in- 
terfering with others, takes its own method of disseminating 
its doctrines, and sustaining the influence of the gospel. New 
churches are from time to time organised, and missionaries 
.are seat to supply them with the means of grace. 


Probably few new countries of the same amount of popula- 
tion, have been more favored by the number and capacity of 
ministers than Texas, and yet from various parts of it the cry 
is heard, " Come and help us." These statements fully dis- 
close the fact that the people in a good degree appreciate the 
blessings of the gospel, and hence desire to see the churches 

In nearly all the most considerable towns, the several deno- 
minations are found mingled together ; their preachers meet, 
take part together in the same meetings, and mutually inter- 
change in the use of the same house and pulpit. Yet none of 
the evils so destructive of the country as the afore-mentioned 
writer would represent, are found to accrue. Peace, quiet- 
ness, kindness and good-will, subsist between them all. Is 
not then the suggestion so often made, that the controversies 
of sectarians do more mischief than ignorance and intolerance 
together, a misrepresentation of facts ? Though the discus- 
sions between men of different tenets, may sometimes be con- 
ducted with an improper spirit, the evil is of a very local and 
temporary character, while the light and knowledge diffused 
are permanent and continually extending. Experience, if 
nothing else, should shew these pretenders to exclusive love 
of liberality and freedom, that the evils they mourn over exist 
only in their own diseased imaginations. True religious 
liberty implies the right freely to discuss religious tenets, and 
freely to shew the errors and mistakes of the theories we 
oppose ; and when the over anxious claimants of our charity 
denounce as wrong, the exposure of their errors, there is 
much reason to fear that other causes than love of liberty ex- 
cites their opposition to controversy and uncharitableness. 
Of little value indeed would religious liberty be, which would 
require us to be indifferent to the truth or falsehood of any 
scheme of religion proposed to our acceptance. Because, in 
religious things men are here entirely free, they are fully jus- 


tified by open, manly and clear arguments, to maintain the 
true gospel they preach, and to shew the fallacy of the infi- 
delity and heresy they oppose. 

In connection with the preaching of the gospel, sabbath 
schools, bible classes and the like, are to some extent exerting 
their benign influence in this country. In nearly every place 
where the stated means of grace are enjoyed, sabbath schools 
are found as a matter of course, and in some places where 
the churches are without preaching, the sunday school and 
prayer meeting in part supply the defect. 

There are several new presbyterian churches lately erected 
in this country ; one of these is at Galveston, one at Houston, 
and a third at Austin. Methodist churches also, it is believed, 
have been erected at several different points. Still others are 
in contemplation, and as the country becomes filled up, it is 
believed that it will not be behind most parts of the United 
States, in its attention to the means of moral and religious im- 
provement. The present state of the infant churches, their 
anxious desire to lay broad and deep foundations for eventual 
as present usefulness, the zeal and talents of the ministry, the 
character, piety and efficiency of several of the missionaries 
laboring in different parts of the country, warrant the expec- 
tation that the advance of true piety and sacred morality will 
be steady and progressive. 

The number of churches which have been organised in the 
republic is not exactly known. The Cumberland Presbyte- 
rians more than two years since, organised a presbytery. How 
many ministers or churches are included in it cannot now be 
stated. The Presbyterian ministers in Texas, in accordance 
with a resolution of the General Assembly of 1839, proposed 
to unite themselves and churches in a presbytery, which, for 
numbers as well as character, will be highly respectable. 

On the subject of religion then, as on most others, may the 
friends of Texas exclaim, " Happy republic, happy daughter 


of a blessed mother, like whom she has cast off the shackles 
of provincial government and foreign tyranny, and now exults 
in the fulness of freedom and dawnings of physical, intellec- 
tual and moral prosperity. May the influence of such institu- 
tions and such results spread far, nor cease their expansion 
till Mexico, Guatemala, and all South America, disenthralled 
and illuminated, shall taste the unalloyed blessings of rational 
liberty and pure Christianity. 

On the subject of education and the organization of schools, 
the legislators of Texas have evinced purposes as wise and 
provident as they are liberal and munificent. At the session 
of the congress of 18389, in addition to several acts incorpo- 
rating literary institutions, and making to them large donations 
of land, an act was passed granting to each county in the 
republic three leagues* of land, (to be selected by the county 
surveyor, from any vacant good lands in that county or else- 
where in the republic, at his discretion) to be appropriated 
exclusively for the benefit of common school^. 

The same act required the President to cause to be selected 
out of the public lands, and surveyed, in addition to the above, 
fifty leagues of good land, the avails of which are to be ap- 
plied solely to the endowment, establishment and support of 
two colleges or universities, hereafter to be established in the 
eastern and western sections of the country. These lands 
are not now to be sold, nor rented for long periods. When, 
through the increase of population and enlargement of facilities 
for business, these lands shall appreciate in value, it is in- 
tended that a part of them shall be sold to defray the expenses 
of building, libraries, apparatus, &c., and the remainder to be 
a fund for the ordinary expenses of the institutions. 

* This league and those which follow are Mexican measure, containing 
4428 acres and a fraction over each. It will hence be seen that these eq- 
dowments are large, and will in future be abundant. 



At the last session of Congress, an act was passed to cany 
into effect the former act in relation to common schools ; in 
"which it is provided that, as early as circumstances will per- 
mit, there shall be established in each county in addition to 
the common schools, a central academy or high school, in 
which classical literature and the higher branches of mathe- 
matics shall be taught. By the same law an additional league 
of land is granted to each county, to be applied equally for the 
benefit of said academy and the several common schools. 
The chief justice and his two associates of each county, by 
this act become er-offirio inspectors of schools, and are bound 
to secure proper teachers and visit the schools from time to 
time. Thus attentive are the people of Texas to the best 
interests of the rising generation in preparing for them all pos- 
sible advantages of education. 

These liberal and judicious grants, under a wise direction, 
united with the exertions and persevering labors of the 
churches, will soon place Texas in a favored position in rela- 
tion to schools and public instruction. Already there are a 
number of public and private schools in highly successful 
operation. These, as well as those which will receive aid 
from the avails of public lands, will be continually increasing 
in numbers and respectability, and experience proves that 
public feeling demands that most of our youth shall be trained 
under the influence of not merely moral but Christian men and 
Christian ministers. 

By a law of the state of Coahuila and Texas, professing to 
be free, it was enacted that, in all the towns of the state, 
schools should be " established, the instruction should be uni- 
form, and embrace reading, writing, cyphering, and the cate- 
chism of the Christian religion" the meaning of which last 
article will be understood by recollecting that the Roman Ca- 
tholick was the only religion tolerated. We hope that in very 
many of the schools of the country the great principles of 


Christianity will be taught and exemplified, but not according 
to a catechism sanctioned by Roman Catholick priests. Hap- 
pily all such legislation is now abolished, and the schools like 
the churches, are free from all polluting connection with poli- 
tical relations. 




The Indians of Texas causes of their degraded state, and vicious and 
destructive habits. The Caddo Indians their defeat and dispersion. 
Cherokees civilization, defeat and expulsion of that tribe from the 
Texian territory. Camanches their predatory habits and faithless 
and cowardly character, etc. 

THE Indians still resident in Texas, with the exception of the 
Camanches, are few in number, and consist of the remnants of 
several tribes now dwindled down to so small numbers as 
hardly to be formidable to a hamlet, much less to a commu- 
nity. Whatever may have been their former character for 
war or peace, generosity or faithfulness, the inquirer after 
Indian virtues would long seek in vain before he found one. 
Addicted, with few exceptions, to drunkenness, deception, and 
stealing, they are destitute of every trait of virtuous and 
manly character. Idle from habit and inclination, they de- 
pend for subsistence upon the fruits of the chase, added to 
wha't they can beg or steal. 

The cause which has probably been most conducive of all 
others to this wretched state of degradation is ardent spirits. 
To them as to white men drunkenness becomes not only in 
itself destructive, but the prolific parent of numberless vices 
and crimes. With the loss of property, of friends, of home, 
of confidence, and the means of supplying the wants of a 


family, there is soon superadded the loss of self-respect, and 
all effectual effort for retrieving lost possessions or reputation. 
In such individuals, if principles of virtue ever existed, they 
are first weakened, broken and rendered indistinct, and soon 
lost in entire oblivion of all sense of right and dignity. Thus 
fallen, sunk and hopeless, what shall be expected of the un- 
happy being but squallid wretchedness, disease and death ? 
From such a state as this, how few even among white men 
are ever recovered ? What then shall be expected of the un- 
lettered and debased savage, who has added to his barbarism 
the last low vice that dishonors the human species, and extin- 
guishes the last rays of reason in stupidity and helplessness ? 

In the train of intemperance follow wastefulness, idleness, 
want, nakedness and hunger, as well as the debilitated frame, 
offensive sickness, and depressing lassitude. Suffering from 
cold, weakness and hunger at once, and conscious of being 
justly despised, is it wonderful that the half naked and star- 
ving wretch should endeavour to supply the cravings of nature 
by stealing, or even joining himself to any body of men, civil- 
ized or savage, for purposes of war that would furnish him 
with food? Such things may perhaps explain facts yet to be 

Most of these remnants of tribes are and for years past 
have been at peace with the Americans. They are therefore 
permitted to reside where they please, hunt at will over all 
the prairies, and at all hours visit the towns to sell their 
game, and purchase provisions, ammunition or whiskey. Of 
these privileges they fully avail themselves, and as before 
remarked, full often for the sake of spirits sell their game, 
guns, and even their blankets. In their drunkenness they are 
often no doubt miserably cheated and defrauded of their pro- 
perty, for which wrongs they are utterly without remedy. 
Finding redress from white men vain, can any doubt exist 
that a desire for revenge is aroused, and the purpose of gain* 


ing reparation by violence or stealth deeply formed ? Peace- 
ful as the relations of his tribe and the whites may be, in his 
heart burns the feeling of injury which cannot be extinguish- 
ed. He hears that some tribe of the red men are at war with 
the Americans, and without consulting his chief or making 
known his purpose, he joins the war party in search of plun- 
der and revenge. 

When, as has frequently been the fact, Texas has been 
compelled to make war upon different tribes of these Indians, 
their numbers have been somewhat larger than was supposed 
to belong to them. And when the Indians were driven to 
leave their dead upon the field, individuals of the nominally 
friendly tribes have uniformly been found among them. How 
far this conduct was chargeable upon the tribe is unknown, 
but probably in many cases it was the crime of the individuals 
alone. Still such is the intemperance and abandonment of 
character among them, that no crime or folly can be a matter 
of surprise. 

Though few indeed, to this description of persons there 
are some exceptions of an honorable character. Some few 
are sober and discreet, and by their judicious conduct have 
secured a reputation for worth and integrity. 

The Caddo Indians were even a few years since a consid- 
erable tribe, but in a late war they were beaten by a body of 
Texian troops under the command of Gen. Rusk, and the 
remnant of them dispersed, it is supposed among the Chero- 
kees. After the defeat and dispersion of this tribe, the only 
Indians whose prowess seemed dangerous were the Chero- 
kees and the Camanches. The former of these two tribes 
had made considerable advances in civilization. Their 
houses, dress, furniture, and farms all testified that their native 
pursuits and habits were greatly changed, and that they were 
at least upon the very borders of civilization. In war they 
were evidently more skilful, brave and formidable than either 


any other Indians or even the Mexicans. For a long time 
they observed the strictest neutrality between Texas and her 
Mexican foes, and were regarded and treated as friends. 
Such continued to be the case till after the Mexicans had ap- 
parently abandoned the hope of reconquering Texas. Then 
through her agents she endeavored to induce the Cherokees 
to make war upon their white neighbors. For a time this 
proved unsuccessful ; at length they began to furnish to hos- 
tile tribes rifles, ammunition, and other means of carrying on 
their wars against the people of Texas. Injuries were com- 
mitted by their people against such Texians as visited their 
settlements. Troops were accordingly sent into their neigh- 
borhood, and the commander authorised to treat with them for 
peace. After holding two councils for the purpose of conclu- 
ding a permanent peace, and after a treaty had been arranged, 
the Indians suddenly flew to arms. A battle ensued and the 
Indians retreated. As the troops moved forward in pursuit, a 
man met them from the Indian camp bearing a flag with fur- 
ther proposals. The commander however retained the am- 
bassador, and, moving forward, attacked the camp of the 
enemy, and drove them from it with considerable slaughter, 
taking a number of prisoners. This defeat of the enemy was 
believed to be entirely decisive, and that these Indians would 
leave the Texian territory. One prisoner was released with 
information, that by the restoration of some Texians believed 
to be in the hands of these Indians or their allies, all the other 
prisoners would be set at liberty. The result of this judicious 
and humane course has not yet transpired. 

Thus began and terminated almost at the same time the 
war with the Cherokee Indians. In battle, said an officer of 
the Texian army, they are not merely respectable, they are 
as much to be dreaded as an equal number of men of any 
nation. While thus making advances towards all that con- 
stitutes civilization, and even a knowledge of the gospel, it is 


to be lamented that stern necessity required their dispersion 
and removal out of the country. 

To the above the Camanches appear in strong contrast. 
Without any fixed residence, they have no houses, and dwell 
only in tents covered with cloth or skins and frequently re- 
moved. For these reasons withal they attend to no cultiva- 
tion of the soil, and to most of them bread is an unknown 
article. Feeding exclusively upon flesh, and such vegetable 
productions as the forest and prairie spontaneously produces, 
their whole life consists in the labors of the chase, the remo- 
val of their tents, dressing the skins of their game, or in their 
warlike excursions for plunder and scalps. Living in a warm 
climate and among the prairies, their horses can procure their 
x>wn subsistence, and consequently they keep considerable 
herds of them, always moving, whether individually or in a 
body, on horseback. They ride with ease, and manage their 
'horses with a skill and address of which an Arab might be 
proud. As their dependence for food is on the flesh of their 
game, they very naturally follow the migrations of the herds 
of buffaloes ; and it is said are careful never to kill the females 
with young, or which are followed by sucking calves. In 
cases of necessity they also eat the flesh of horses and mules* 
and almost any other animal which they can capture. 

Addicted entirely to such habits and manners of life, they 
have advanced very little from the rudest state of barbarism. 
Their dress is as imperfect as perhaps any other Indians in 
America, and their disposition to plunder as strong as can be 
found among the savages of any country. Some of them are 
armed with guns and rifles, which they use with tolerable 
skill, but which for want of ability to keep them in repair, or 
for want of ammunition, become frequently useless. Their 
more common weapons are bows and arrows ; the latter, since 
their acquaintance with the whites, generally armed with 
points of iron or steel. These they use with great dexterity, 


and often with deadly effect. In addition to other arms they 
usually carry a long spear, to the end of which is fastened the 
point of a sword, with which to pierce their game or their 
enemies, as the case may be. 

In their war parties, if not elsewhere, their movements ap- 
pear to be governed by well understood and digested rules. 
Whenever they discover an enemy or object of pursuit, deem- 
ed weak enough to be attacked, the whole troop move forward 
towards it at full speed, till within a suitable distance, when, 
as if by some preconcerted signal, they divide to the right 
and left, and moving at unequal rates soon surround their vic- 
tims. Should soldiers, or any other persons of any sex or 
age of their enemies, be thus encircled, their only hope of 
life would be in forcing their way, rifle in hand, through the 
line of Camanches, which is very apt to give place before the 
dreaded contents of that death-doing instrument. Either in 
avowed war, or in their predatory incursions into the settle- 
ments, they seldom make prisoners, seeming to prefer des- 
patching them at once, in order the more conveniently to 
retire with such cattle, horses and mules as they are able to 

Much has been written by persons of taste and of high 
talents for description, of the fidelity and justice observed by 
these and various other tribes of Indians. Without disputing 
the fact, that they may have heard something like what they 
have thus beautifully described, we are required by simple 
truth to remark, that the settler in the new part of the country 
finds in the conduct of the natives no rilling up of the picture 
he had contemplated from the pencil of Campbell or Irvine, 
or any other eulogist of Indians. Though unsullied peace 
had subsisted in all directions, and no cause for war had 
been whispered, the marauding party would enter the fields 
of the husbandman, shoot down or stab his servants or him- 
self, and if they dared burn his house and butcher every mem- 
ber of his family. Nay, though they may have just with. 



joined hands pledged their peace, their next act may be a tra- 
gedyof blood. All this is done for no other reason than their 
desire of plunder, and the consciousness that by their violence 
they will be regarded as enemies and treated as such. 

Instead of the generous, brave and faithful friend, the In- 
dians in practice are found to be thievish, deceitful and faith- 
less cowards, destitute of truth and gratitude ; and equally 
treacherous and cruel. At least such has proved eminently 
to be the conduct of the Camanches. That such is the true, 
unvarnished and unexaggerated character and habits of these 
robbers and assassins can be proved by every old settler in 
the western parts of Texas. 

These Indians for the most part are found between the 
Colorado and the head waters of the San Antonio, to the north 
of Austin and San Antonio de Bexar. From this region, 
though it is quite a broad one, they have frequently extended 
their incursions far down the Colorado, and even across the 
country to the Brazos. For some time however their ma- 
rauding expeditions have been much more limited, as the set- 
tlements have increased, and the danger of being intercepted 
in their retreat has become more threatening. Even the re- 
stricted limits, by which they are now constrained, seem 
likely soon to be much narrowed by the establishment of a 
chain of posts from near the heads of the Trinity river to the 
neighborhood of the San Antonio and Neuces rivers. As 
soon as this is complete it will be nearly impossible for any 
number of them to approach the settlements without being in- 
tercepted and destroyed. Though little can be hoped from 
making treaties with them, it is believed the measures now 
being adopted will furnish to the people effectual and adequate 

The question is asked with earnestness, cannot they be 
reclaimed, and would not the labors of missionaries among 
them be productive of great good ? Though it is admitted 
that the influence of the gospel is mighty even to the pulling 


down of the strong holds of iniquity, it is believed that till the 
savage has ceased to be a mere stroller over the face of the 
desert, the labors of the missionary is likelyto be of very lit- 
tle avail. When once the native commences his field, erects 
his house, and begins to aim at some degree of improvement, 
there is hope for the success of the missionary, and the ad- 
vancement of the savage in all that pertains to moral and intel- 
lectual culture. Till this is begun, strong doubt exists whe- 
ther the savage ear will be open to the law that forbids to 
steal and requires love to all men. It is no doubt exceedingly 
desirable to the heart of Christian philanthropy to reclaim 
these wanderers of the prairie from their wild and savage 
courses ; and full freely no doubt would many a zealous mini- 
ster cast his lot among them for their good were the way 
open, but at present no pleasing prospect of rendering them 
spiritual aid appears. 

This tribe is believed to be quite numerous, but no mean$ 
of determining with tolerable accuracy their real strength can 
be devised. Unhappy people ! Like the rest of the aborigi- 
nes of America, they seem destined to annihilation. Incapable 
of united and skilful action in self-defence or otherwise, and 
obstinately tenacious of their former wild and savage igno- 
rance, they must melt away before their enemies by inches, 
being destroyed day by day in detail. Though this may now 
be called conjecture, a few years will in all probability con- 
vert it into history. As went the thousands of natives along 
the eastern shores of the continent, so even now are departing 
these western red men, and soon their places will no more be 
known. Dark in their countenance, and dark in mental 
vision, still darker seems their destiny. 

Looking back upon the past history of this continent, and 
seeing the extended regions, the sites of mighty empires once 
the dwellings of the red man, whose race is rapidly becoming 
extinct ; and looking forward to the future when not a trace of 
these formerly 'countless millions shall be left, will not the 


spirit of humanity exclaim, and must it be, that all these mul- 
tiplied nations must be destroyed and perish for ever ! Does 
the spirit of enlightened Christianity demand their doom ! Or 
is it fixed among the decrees of the Almighty that their name 
and memorial shall be blotted out ! From whatever cause it 
has arisen the effect exists, and the fate of the red man seems 
written for oblivion. Mourn, however, as we may at the 
prospect of their entire extinction, who will undertake to 
arrest the course of events which so clearly indicates their 
end ? What shall be done to avert their utter annihilation ? 
Can any one tell ? O that mercy from on high might redeem 
and save these fast perishing sons of the forest 1 




Foreign relations of Texas generally favorable. The war with Mexico 
at the present time merely nominal. Considerable trade carried on 
with that country. Policy of Texas pacific. Texas the doorway for 
the trade of the United States and Mexico. 

THE republic of Texas, with the exception of Mexico and 
a few inconsiderable companies of Indians, is at peace with 
all the world. Her independence has been formally acknow- 
ledged by the United States and France, and her minister 
recognised by the secretary of state in Great Britain. Diplo- 
matic representatives of the United States and France are 
now resident at the city of Austin, and a Texian charge de 
affaires is at Washington city. In any direction or from any 
source, no indication of any thing but continued peace appears. 
Whatever clouds seemed for a very short time to dim the 
prospect of entirely pacific relations with one or two nations, 
have disappeared, and no cause for controversy can, it is be- 
lieved, soon arise to produce warlike collision with any of 
them. All the ports of Europe are open to the vessels and 
products of the country, and a commercial treaty of the most 
advantageous character has been lately ratified between Texas 
and the empire of the French. Nothing in her position, her 
commerce, her legislation or relative interests is calculated to 


induce the least interruption between her and any of the sur~ 
rounding nations. From all these circumstances and the 
pacific disposition of her rulers and citizens, Texas has as 
little cause to fear future wars as any other state or nation. 

With Mexico, from whom by her declaration of independ- 
ence, she became finally and irrevocably separated, the war 
commenced for liberty still nominally exists. The Mexican 
government has not recognised the independence of the new 
republic, nor by a peacje made a formal termination of the war. 
Thus with that one country the political relations of Texas 
are warlike. Sometimes nations have retained the external 
forms of peace and amity, while in effect and in all measures 
except actual bloodshed, there was a real and active state of 
war, a " war in disguise." Between Mexico and this country 
this case is reversed, and though nominally at war, no military 
operations or preparations indicate either present or future 
battles. By land and sea a considerable trade is carried on 
between merchants in the two republics, and no attempts are 
made by the public authorities of either to prevent or restrain 

It is no part of the policy of the government of Texas to 
renew the war, or to carry their conquests beyond the present 
bounds of the country. For more territory they have little 
occasion, for greater numbers of Mexican subjects they have 
no desire. To them conquest would be useless or injurious, 
and victories of no other value than the influence they might 
have in inducing peace. The Mexicans on their part, what- 
ever their wishes or pride may induce them to pretend, have 
little prospect of conquering the Texians. The withdrawal 
of their troops from the centre of the country, would put in 
hazard the power of its rulers and the form of the government. 
So many and so powerful are the disaffected to centralism, 
that it requires the utmost vigilance and exertion to prevent 
the bursting out of new revolutions. If the authorities have 
little prospect from active operations against Texas, their 


officers and troops have as little disposition to gain laurels by 
conquering the Anglo-Texians. Indeed it is believed by 
many that it would be difficult to induce an army of Mexicans 
to venture an invasion of the republic. So costly have been 
all their victories, and so bloody and disgraceful their defeats > 
that few men, officers or soldiers, would willingly expose 
their lives and reputation in a descent upon Texas. 

How little expectation exists in Texas of further hostilities 
from Mexico, will be easily understood, when it is learned 
that, by a late act of congress, the whole navy of the country 
is required to be laid up in ordinary except one or two cutters 
employed in the custom house department for the better secu- 
rity of the revenue ; and the whole military force, consisting 
of but one single regiment, withdrawn from the Mexican fron- 
tier and stationed in a range of posts on the northern border 
of the country, to prevent and repel the incursions of the 
savages. Not a single remark or expression by any of the 
heads of departments, member of congress or other citizen, 
indicates any more expectation of war with Mexico than if no 
such nation existed. 

From all this it is evident that for all practical purposes the 
country is in a state of profound peace with all civilized na- 
tions, and no prospect of war threatens to change this auspi- 
cious state of things. 

This state of nominal war cannot probably long continue. 
The advantages to be derived by both nations from free inter- 
course, unobstructed trade and mutual interchange of benefits, 
are too numerous and too palpable to be overlooked or disre- 
garded. Public feeling as well as national interest will com- 
pel the authorities of Mexico to listen to proposals of peace. 
Nor is this prospect founded merely on conjecture. It is 
asserted that a correspondence of a semi-official character has 
been carried on by the diplomatic agents of Texas and Mexico 
at Washington city, having for its object the adjustment of the 
terms of pacification and commerce between the belligerent 


parties. The result of this proceeding, it is confidently hoped, 
will be a speedy peace with Mexico, and her consequent ac- 
knowledgment of the independence of Texas. 

Whenever this is done Texas will become the door through 
which a very large portion of the trade of Mexico and the 
United States must necessarily pass. Her ports, her mer- 
chants and her carriers will receive and transport the goods 
of New-York, Philadelphia and New Orleans, and equally in 
return convey back the cochineal and gold of Mexico. For 
all her bread stuffs and manufactures as well as cotton and 
sugar, a ready market will be found at home, and the produc- 
tions of every country will be offered at cheap rates in all her 
towns. This may be called mere speculation, but it is based 
upon certain facts the effect of which must equal or surpass 
the estimated benefits. True, the currency is in a deranged 
state, and her money depreciated. It is however far better 
than the currency of the United States was at the close of the 
revolution, and such arrangements already exist as necessarily 
must remove this difficulty in a short time. All the political 
and other evils beyond those incident to all nations and 
people are temporary, and must soon disappear, while all her 
advantages are such as may be expected to be as permanent 
as they are valuable. Shadows as well as lights do indeed 
appear as spots in her horizon, but like thin morning vapors 
they will disappear before the brightness of the advancing 


From a slight examination of a map of the world, the intelli- 
gent and philosophical mind can scarcely fail to observe the 
steady and yet rapid extension of the power, influence and 
language of our Anglo-Saxon ancestors. Though originally 
proprietors of merely a part of the island of England proper, 


upon a comparatively cold and barren soil, and though when 
they became proprietors of the whole island they ranked 
among the smallest of the nations of Europe, and though en- 
circled and isolated by the waters of the Atlantic, they have 
literally broke forth on the right hand and on the left, and 
their seed does inherit the gentiles, causing multiplied cities 
to be inhabited. From those who came out from her as colo- 
nies, one vast empire has been formed in the United States. 
In India another vastly expanded power, rivalling in numbers 
the most powerful nations of the earth, still remains obedient 
to the parental sway. The West Indies and Canadas are 
provinces larger than many ancient kingdoms. New Holland 
is fast swelling into empire of vast extent and unknown re- 
sources. South Africa and a large part of South America,, 
are English dependencies. The South Seas, the Mediterra- 
nean, the north-west coast of America and numerous other 
islands of the ocean use the language of our fathers. Texas 
though last is not least among the scions from this small but 
prolific stock. The poet sung beautifully of the places where 
rest the remains of " England's dead." But why speak alone 
of them ? Where rests not the foot, where speaks not the 
tongue and breathes not the spirit of England's living sons 9 
What regions have they not traversed, what wilds not pierced* 
what seas not spanned, and what discoveries not achieved ? 
And still the descendants of Alfred, Canute and Harold are 
carrying forward the car of empire. In the East the kingdoms 
of Persia, the Afghans and their allies, yield to England's 
arms, and the little band of Anglo-Texians have in the West 
conquered their own independence of the eight millions of the 
nation of Mexico. 

Wherever the banner of these sons of freedom floats and 
marks the place of the descendants of Anglo-Saxons, there 
too dwells the government of laws, a system of human rights, 
and security against the exercise of lawless power. Seek the 
country trod by the feet of these freemen t and there too is 


found the school radiating light to all the people, and there too 
arises the temple built by voluntary liberality, and consecrated 
to the service of God, by the unconstrained labors of those 
who enjoy religious freedom. Liberty, protection, education 
and intelligence attend the progress of the race in every land. 
Before their march despotism, religious tyranny, ignorance 
and lawless power, are ashamed and disappear. 

And shall not the spreading and expanding influence of the 
free principles and pure morality of this favored portion of 
mankind still continue to increase ? Who shall say to these 
flowing waves as they move forward, "Hitherto shall ye come 
and no farther ?" Whatever may be the fate of the men, their 
principles will prevail more and more, till, like a mantle of 
light, they shall pervade all nations, and all men feel the 
blessed results of their operation. 

And shall not the independence, the free constitution, wise 
laws and useful institutions of Texas, accomplish some part 
of these happy results ? When peace shall remove all ob- 
stacles to a free intercourse with Mexico, and every city, town 
and village of that nation, shall be visited by and become the 
residence of intelligent adventurers from Texas and the United 
States ; and when spite of opposition from priests and bigots, 
the freedom of religion shall be urged upon the people, and 
the scriptures distributed and read, will not the people learn 
something of the value of knowledge, of the advantages of 
religious freedom, and the hatefulness of priestly domination 
and exactions? Is there not in the breast of man an instinc- 
tive love of liberty, that needs but the torch of intelligence to 
develope ; that as soon as a knowledge of Texian liberty and 
her deliverance from the power and avarice of the priesthood 
becomes general, will demand, in accents not to be resisted, 
a constitution and laws based upon principles like those of 
their sister republics on the north and east ? And can such 
knowledge be long kept from the people ? As well might it 
be asked, can they forbear to see and hear. They must per 


force see and know something of these things, because they 
will hear them from every American they see, and every 
Mexican who steps foot in Texas. The progress of such prin- 
ciples too is onward ; their course is hastened by every 
breeze, and expedited by every event. And dark as the pros- 
pect may at present seem, Mexico herself shall yet rejoice in 
the full possession of rational and universal freedom. 

And shall the light that shines over Mexico be unseen by 
the rest of the Hispanio-American states ? Can the torch of 
liberty blaze around them and not dispel the gloom of their 
dark tyranny ? The very morn that shall arise upon emanci- 
pated Mexico, shall mark the onward march of freedom 
through all the regions of superstition in South America. 

But in the events connected with the settlement and suc- 
cessful struggles of this people, to establish a republic upon 
the principles which characterise the government of the Uni- 
ted States, the Christian philanthropist will trace the opera- 
tions of that Hand that " doeth all things well.'" He will 
discover the beginnings of those events which are to terminate 
in the wide diffusion of the sacred truth of God, the enlarge- 
ment of the church of the Redeemer, the deliverance of thou- 
sands from the captivity of sin, and the erection of Christ's 
kingdom upon the demolished ruins of the empire of anti- 
Christ. Here, but a few years since, Romish idolatry was 
enjoined by the fundamental law of the land ; this law was 
practically enforced by the priests, it was resisted by a partial 
law of a single state; but to check this rising of opposition 
the power of the whole government was concentrated, and 
with an army of mercenaries the president attempted to coerce 
the people into submission to all the demands of this dark and 
iron superstition. This attempt, though resisted by but a 
little, very little community of freemen, was utterly defeated, 
and that little community organised into an independent nation. 
Still, feeble as it was, it is rapidly becoming a strong nation. 
Wherefore was this done ? and by what power save that of 


the Lord, was a little state with less than fifty thousand widely 
scattered inhabitants, enabled successfully to resist the con- 
centrated power of Mexico, led on by its chief magistrate in 
person ? For what purpose was this little company permitted 
to humble the pride of the bloody Santa Anna? For what 
end was the arm of the enemy broken and Texas permitted to 
sustain without opposition her entire independence, and to 
establish a form of government upon the most perfect model 
the world has ever seen ? 

With a map of Texas and Mexico open before him, the 
Christian will perceive that no natural barrier intervenes to 
prevent the most perfect intercourse between the citizens of 
the two countries, while the boundary by which they are 
separated is very extensive. All along the waters of the Rio 
Grande, from its mouth to its source, there will be a constant 
intercourse, and constant communication of views, intelligence 
and thought among the inhabitants. This, nothing on earth 
can prevent. In this intercourse too, there will of necessity 
be a communication of more or less religious knowledge. 
Along this river, as elsewhere, Christians will read the scrip- 
tures, listen to the word of God, and read it in their families. 
Here too they will bestow the scriptures upon such Mexicans 
as desire to read them, without asking leave of the priests. 
Here the pious will distribute tracts and institute prayer- 
meetings, and some of the Mexicans will attend them and 
other places of worship. When these things are done, the 
natural effects of the gospel will be produced. Some of the 
Roman Catholics will be converted, and will persuade their 
friends to read the sacred Word and become acquainted with 
the Lord. Thus the work will spread, and the saving know- 
ledge of divine truth find an entrance into Mexico, the influ- 
ence of which will continue to enlarge, till the country shall 
voluntarily shake off the shackles of Rome, and walk at large 
in the liberty of truth. 

But this is not the only means by which the leaven of the 


gospel will be introduced among the benighted, bewildered 
Mexicans. The influence of civil liberty will cause schools 
to be established in various places, in which the books and 
teachers will from time to time disseminate portions of know- 
ledge on religious subjects, as well as others. Here they 
will hear of the scriptures, and desire to learn for themselves 
the instructions given by God to his people. Bibles and 
religious books will find their way into all parts of the country, 
and some will read them and speak of their contents. The 
proximity of such nations as Texas and the United States 
will produce these effects, and the power of the Holy Spirit 
will follow the labors and prayers of Christians for the salva- 
tion of this people. 

In the achievement of Texian independence and constitu- 
tional government, the intelligent Christian will see the first 
entrance of that wedge which shall rend in sunder the struc- 
ture of Roman superstition in the western world. Small as 
this first opening may seem, every increase of power, and 
every political advantage, every thing that brings Texas and 
her people into view will deepen and enlarge the opening, till 
light, and liberty, and truth, shall find free entrance into the 
very heart of that darkened land. 

That train of events which, under Providence, regenerates 
the people of Mexico, will also carry uncontrollable influence 
into Guatemala and the South American States. True the 
overthrow of the power of the Man of Sin may not be at once 
accomplished. He will struggle hard and long before he 
yields up his prey. In this contest too there may be difficul- 
ties, disasters and suffering, but the event is certain. The 
prophecy has gone forth that the Lord shall destroy this 
" Man of Sin by the, brightness of his coming." 

But the wise Christian will also discover in these events, 
that here is a wide field of labor for the cause of righteous- 
ness in this young and rising republic. Here the institutions, 
literary and religious, of the country, are yet to be formed. 



Here churches are to be gathered, the light of religious and 
pious influence to be held out, the young to be instructed, the 
backsliding reclaimed, and the character of the people and 
nation to be formed. This is to a great extent to be done 
before the full gospel influence of the country can be made 
effectual for the salvation of the Mexicans on their borders. 

How shall all these things be accomplished? Can they 
be so but by the seen and witnessed influence and exertions 
of God's people ? Can Texas be moulded to the form and 
power of the gospel, while Christians keep at a distance and 
refuse to do her good? Texas it is true wants missionaries, 
but she equally wants private Christians to hold up their 
preacher's hands, become parts of the public and the salt of 
the land, and by their example and persuasions illustrate the 
benefits of religion among mankind. They are needed to sus- 
tain sabbath schools, form and lead prayer meetings, circulate 
Christian books, and by their lives and deaths show the power 
of true religion. They are specially wanted to shew to igno- 
rant and prejudiced Mexicans, how much more blessed is the 
influence of inbred piety than the dogmas and pardons of their 
own priests. Here is to be gained blessed conquests of the 
Christian host against infidelity, indifference, ignorance and 
superstition, and christians are invited to come and share in 
the victory. 

Perhaps no part of the world furnishes a field where the 
labor of private christians is more needful or more certain of 
being blessed with success. 




Lands plenty and cheap. Cultivators may all be suited. Caution re- 
quired in purchasing land claims from strangers. Kind of emigrants 
most needed. Prices of provisions in 1839-40. Texas the country 
for farmers. Directions to emigrants removing their families, goods, 

IT is by no means an uncommon circumstance, that travellers 
and persons moving to a new country, discover that owing to 
some want of information or mistake even in small matters, 
they are subjected to much inconvenience if not loss and mis- 
fortune. Conceiving that possibly many persons about to 
start for Texas, may misconceive some things and mistake in 
others to their vexation or detriment, it is thought advisable to 
offer to them the following hints and suggestions, by which 
some at least may receive benefit. 

I. The population of every part of the country is thin, and 
very much land remains unenclosed and unprofitable. Con- 
sequently purchasers for ready pay can obtain farms in such 
places as may suit them at very reasonable prices. In every 
section of the country good land, well situated and productive, 
would sell for from three to five dollars except in the imme- 
diate vicinity of towns and cities. Be the object of the emi- 
grant what it may, he needs not fear that all the desirable 
and is out of his reach. The sugar planter may obtain lands 


suited to his objects, and the grain grower, by choosing his 
place farther from the coast, can find land admirably adapted 
to the culture of bread stuffs. The cotton planter and graziei 
will find all places except a few gravelly hills suitable for 
their business. It may in short be said the land is all before 
them where to choose. 

It is proper here to caution the emigrant about purchasing 
land claims of strangers, especially before he arrives in the 
country. Vast numbers of claims have been fraudulently ob- 
tained from the land commissioners, and still more numerous 
claims, offered for sale in the United States, are forgeries. 
A large number of emigrants from Great Britain arrived last 
winter at Galveston, with their land certificates previously 
purchased, and found them all entirely worthless. Of the 
criminality and baseness of the wretches who thus filched 
from the hands of the industrious poor their earnings, it would 
be impossible to speak in terms too severe. As however 
such frauds are common, and as it would be difficult to ex- 
plain the nature of the differences between good and bad 
claims, the safe course is to forbear purchases, unless it be of 
responsible and well known individuals, till after arriving in 
Texas. Even after arriving here, it may be well for the emi- 
grant to ask counsel of some well skilled friend or of the 
county surveyor. 

II. The kind of persons most needed as emigrants in Texas 
are the cultivators of the soil, and such mechanics as are 
most necessary to the farmer's business. It is not intended 
that others are undesirable or would not be freely welcomed, 
nor that many of them would not succeed well in several pro- 
fessions. But in the present circumstances of the country, 
wheji all the grain which can be reared in it is not sufficient 
to supply the immediate wants- of the settlers and emigrants, 
producers from the soil, nnd they whose labors go to aid them 
in increasing the amount of production, are specially needed. 

To this it may be added that no part of the community are 


so surely or more liberally repaid for their exertions than the 
industrious and skilful dressers of the soil. Every article 
which they can spare meets with a ready market at home or 
at the nearest town. If a single thing can be said to com- 
mand a low price it is beef, though this is as high as it usu- 
ally is in the markets of New England. It would be vain to 
attempt to describe prices at any of the towns. Chickens 
were sold last winter in Houston at fifty cents a-piece, eggs 
fifty cents a dozen, and other things proportionally high. In 
Austin wild turkies were sold at five dollars a pair, corn at 
two dollars a bushel, rice at twenty-five cents per pound. 
Such too is the rapid influx of population that these prices 
will not soon be materially diminished. At such prices where 
all kinds of animals can get their own living, and the soil is 
abundantly fruitful, the farmer with ordinary industry cannot 
well fail to thrive. Such indeed is the productiveness of 
farming labor, that a very large proportion of physicians and 
lawyers are turning their attention to the cultivation of the 
earth as more profitable than any other business. This is 
truly the country for farmers. 

III. Men with young families, especially if they have 
some means with which to make a beginning, can here pro-' 
cure at a comparatively small expense, land enough on which 
to establish his children as they may want it, and secure to 
themselves ample range for cattle, and all the comforts which 
abundance of products in a new country can furnish. It is 
not to be denied that emigrants who remove to this region 
will have to meet privations, and suffer the usual inconve- 
niences of a country unsupplied with mechanics, and but be- 
gun to be cultivated. Many of the luxuries and comforts of 
the old states and cities are not obtainable. The garden, or^ 
chard, poultry yard, and even the house are to be formed 
before they can be enjoyed. Turnpikes, rail-roads and stages 
have not yet become common, and steamboat navigation on 
the rivers is not yet sufficiently regular and constant to affor^ 



much dependence for travelling or transportation, except at 
particular seasons. 

From these and like causes, the settler will find the form- 
ing of an establishment in a new country a business requiring 
exertion, self-denial and perseverance, but these are less to 
be dreaded because they are among the surest means of final 
success and affluence to which men can resort. When life 
and health are preserved, the results of persevering industry 
in cultivating the soil are certain competence and prosperity. 
With the above exceptions in this business there is no risk or 
hazard whatever. While land is cheap then what induce- 
ments are offered to those who would provide homes for their 
children, to make early arrangements for commencing the 
foundation of a certain estate that can neither be burned up 
nor carried off by flood or storm. 

IV. When families remove into the country as adventurers, 
without having previously visited it, they would probably do 
well to bring with them small establishments of furniture, 
cooking utensils, farming tools and tents. By doing this they 
will probably save much expense in tavern bills, and the pur- 
chase of many things at exorbitant prices. They may also 
be prepared at once on finding a location to suit them to com- 
mence preparing a house, enclosing fields and the like. By 
ihis too they may be prepared to travel in any direction in 
their own waggons, find their own lodgings, cook their own 
food, and do it all at little expense. This last is in this 
country a matter to anew settler of some importance. 

In removing from the western and south-western states to 
Texas by land, it is seldom advisable to bring ox teams, not 
only because they travel slowly, but also because they may 
be sold in the states for more than like oxen would cost here. 
Horses for Texas should be firm and able work horses, which 
may be profitably used in field labor. These will always 
command a fair price, and will, if not sold, pay well for their 
feeding. Good ploughs and other implements of husbandry 


are dear and scarce, and emigrants will do wisely to bring 
with them as many as they conveniently can. Good supplies 
of plain clothing also will be found desirable, as from various 
causes they cannot as well be made here. 

Emigrants with families going into the interior, when 
coming by water, would probably do well to bring with them 
substantial waggons, by which to convey their families and 
goods into the country. Transportation as has been stated by 
steamboats for most of the country is precarious and unfre- 
quent, and by land in hired waggons troublesome and expen- 
sive. Stages will probably run the ensuing winter between 
Houston and Austin, but they will necessarily be irregular 
and their charges enormous. As far as possible emigrants 
should be prepared to travel in their own conveyance, at their 
own leisure, and in any direction. 

Supplies of provisions, groceries, and the like, should be 
laid in at. suitable places in the states, in order to be conveyed 
in the cheapest method to the place of destination. All these 
when purchased in new settlements are exceedingly high, 
and sometimes not to be obtained. It would be well also for 
emigrants to start early enough on their route to arrive at their 
place of residence in November at farthest, so as to avoid the 
autumnal rains and bad roads. Travelling and transportation 
become slow and doubly expensive after the winter rains 
have saturated the earth with moisture. 

V. Men of families purposing to remove to this country, 
when circumstances permit it, would do well to come to the 
country alone, visit its different parts, select a position and 
make his purchase of land. Then let him ascertain what the 
wants of his family will be, and the best and easiest mode of 
removal, and make sucii previous preparations as are neces- 
sary. This done, he may send for or go after his family, and 
avoid very many inconveniences and difficulties to which he 
would otherwise be subjected. 


Finally, one of the surest guarantees for success to the 
emigrant, of whatever business or circumstances, is the entire 
banishment of ardent spirits from his house and premises. 
Where these are an allowed guest, no security can be sure to 
prevent their producing disaster to the man or some part of 
his household. Entire abstinence alone gives certainty that 
the insidious poison will never infect one of the favored circle 
where it is practised. On one side is at least doubt, fear and 
hazard of evils worse than the pestilence ; on the other peace, 
confidence, safety and success. By every principle of right, 
and every feeling of affection, and every hope of good to your 
children, admit not the instrument of intemperance within the 
precincts of your home. 



Dear favor'd land ! 

Thick clustering bounties, flowing o'er thy plains, 
Beauteous as flowers, that grace thy verdant hills, 
Fragrant as odors, breathed from Flora's vale, 
Broad as thy prairies, waving in the breeze, 
Rich as thy soil, in full profusion clothed ; 
Who filled thy stores with plenty, corn and oil? 
Who stor'd thy hills with mines and precious ore? 
Who drew o'er all thy face a map, whose lines 
Are streams and rivers bordered wide with woods? 
Who clad thy prairies, hills and shady meads 
In verdant robes, embroidered thick with flow'rs 
Whose tints are various as the bow, and fair 
And lovely as the garden's brightest gem 
Of mingled flowers ? 

'Twas He, the Saviour, moved by love to man, 
And bent on kindness to these western realms, 
With lavish hand outspread these vales, 
And bade the sun and breeze and waters wide 
Their powers unite to grace thee in their course. 

Thus bless'd in soil, in air, and beaming skies, 
In clouds and sunshine ; in the rivers flow, 
In corn and wine, in vale and mountain favor'd ; 
Not less in statesmen grave, in patriots pure, 
And maidens fair and honor'd matrons wise, 
And teachers sage, and holy ministers 
Like seers of old, in purity and fire 
Of sacred love, be thou e'er blest of Heaven, 


By William Cullen Bryant. 

THESE are the Gardens of the Desert, these 
The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful, 
For which the speech of England has no name 
The PRAIRIES. I behold them for the first, 
And my heart swells, while the dilated sight 
Takes in the encircling vastness. Lo! they stretch 
In airy undulations, far away, 
As if the ocean, in his gentlest swell, 
Stood still, with all his rounded billows fixed, 
And motionless forever. Motionless? 
No they are all unchained again. The clouds 
Sweep over with their shadows, and, beneath, 
The surface rolls and fluctuates to the eye ; 
Dark hollows seem to glide along and chase 
The sunny ridges. Dreezes of the South ! 
Who toss the golden and the flame-like flower?, 
And pass the prairie-hawk that, poised on hiirh, 
Flaps his broad wings, yet moves not ye have played 
Among the palms of Mexico and vines 
Of TEXAS, and have crisped the limpid brooks 
That from the fountains of Sonora glide 
Into the calm Pacific have ye fanned 
A nobler and a lovelier scene than this? 
Man hath no part in all this glorious work : 
The hand that built the firmament hath heaved 
And smoothed these verdant swells, and sown their slopes 
With herbage, planted them with island groves. 
And hedged them round with forests. Fitting floor 
For this magnificent temple of the sky 
With flowers whose glory and whose multitude 


Rival the constellations ! The great heavens 

Seem to stoop down upon the scene in love, 

A nearer vault, and of a tenderer blue, 

Than that which bends above the eastern hills, 


Still this great solitude is quick with life. 
Myriads of insects, gaudy as the flowers 
They flutter over, gentle quadrupeds, 
And birds, that scarce have learned the fear of man. 
Are here, and sliding reptiles of the ground, 
Startingly beautiful. The graceful deer 
Bounds to the woods at my approach. The bee, 
A more adventurous colonist than man, 
With whom he came across the eastern deep, 
Fills the savannas with his murmurings, 
And hides his sweets, as in the golden age, 
Within the hollow oak. I listen long 
To his domestic hum, and think I hear 
The sound of that advancing multitude 
Which soon shall fill these deserts. From the ground 
Comes up the laugh of children, the soft voice 
Of maidens, and the sweet solemn hymn 
Of Sabbath worshippers. The low of herds 
Blends with the rustling of the heavy grain 
Over the dark-brown furrows. All at once 
A fresher wind sweeps by, and breaks my dream, 
And I am in the wilderness alone. 







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