The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898

92 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.

REMINISCENCES OF AUSTIN AND OLD WASHINGTON.
J. K. HOLLAND.
Texas has an unpublished history, as interesting as it is real, hid-
den within the dusty leaves of the past, which should be recovered
and perpetuated by the State at any cost; for without it the early
life of the young Republic and the State will never be seen exactly
as it was. Much of it is to be found in the memory of the sur-
vivors of that time, and there are lying scattered in waste places
many of its fragments in written material which could be had for
the asking, or at any rate for a very small consideration. But the
opportunities to preserve it that now exist will soon be lost, for
the old Texans are fast passing away, and old letters and journals
are being continually thrown aside or destroyed as waste paper by
owners who do not appreciate their,.historical value. With the
burning of the old capitol in 1881, the people of Texas have to de-
plore the loss of valuable archives and public documents containing
information relative to the leading men and events of its history,
which can never be fully reclaimed.
When I first knew Austin, during the '40's, it was a little country
town on what was then the Texas frontier, and had only a few
hundred inhabitants. Those were the log cabin days of the Repub-
lic. General Houston lived in one of the Austin log cabins, which
he called his wigwam, and up and down Congress avenue on either
side were scattered others in which were located the headquarters
of the various departments of the government. At that time houses
in Texas had no parlors. There were "groceries," so-called, in
which liquor alone was sold, but there were no "saloons." The
country was without railroads, or even buggies; but some old rickety
stage coaches plied irregularly between San Antonio and Houston
by way of Austin, and the passenger who traveled in these had to
work his way by carrying a fence rail on his shoulder for long dis-
tances and helping to pry the vehicle out of mudholes, in order to
reach his destination at all.
The Bastrop highway ran along where Pecan street now is. The

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101009/. Accessed April 21, 2014.