The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902

The Old Fort on the San Saba River.

137

THE OLD FORT ON THE SAN SABA RIVER AS SEEN BY
DR. FERDINAND ROEMER IN 1847.
ADELE B. LOOSCAN.
Historian Daughters of the Republic.
The identification of old landmarks, and their preservation, are
objects worthy of engaging the interest of all Texans. Exact rec-
ords of their location, their dimensions, and their surroundings as
written down by actual observers are invaluable to the student of
our early history, and in offering the following account of the old
fort on the San Saba river, I hope to elicit further information on
this interesting subject.
The year 1845 witnessed a large emigration from Germany to
Texas, and with a view to gaining an accurate scientific knowledge
of the country, its geological formation so far as possible, and its
agricultural capabilities, an extensive journey of exploration was
undertaken by Dr. Ferdinand Roemer, an eminent German scholar,
which began November, 1845, and ended April, 1847. The results
of this journey were published in August, 1849, at Bonn, Germany.
The book called Texas comprises 464 pages, of which 362 are
narrative, the remainder consisting of notes on the geognostic con-
ditions, and on the flora and fauna observed by the author. There
is besides a large map of the country as then known.
Starting out from New Orleans on board the steamship Galves-
ton on November 20, 1845, Dr. Roemer had already passed one
year and nearly three months in the then unexplored wilds of Texas,
and had reached the neighborhood of the favorite hunting grounds
of the Comanche Indians, when his attention was arrested by a
remarkable feature in the landscape; and, true to the instincts of
the scientist, he made a minute record of what he saw, giving prob-
ably the earliest accurate account of the dimensions of the old fort
on the San Saba river. This account, which is to be found in the
book referred to, beginning on page 308, is translated as follows:
"February 18 [1847]. Our way led us today over many pretty
little prairies, when, after having traveled nearly six English miles,
and not surmising that we were so near our goal, we beheld, through
the mesquite trees in the distance, an object resembling old
masonry. We came nearer and found ourselves before the ruins of

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101021/. Accessed September 21, 2014.