The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915

British Correspondence Concerning Texas

BRITISH CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING TEXAS
XI
EDITED BY EPHRAIM DOUGLASS ADAMS
ELLIOT TO ABERDEEN1
Private. Galveston Dec. 2d. 1843.
My Lord,
The late accounts from Mexico induce me to address Your
Lordship upon some points which may be of interest if these diffi-
culties should grow into serious heats. Since I have been in this
Country I have been endeavouring to procure some trust worthy
information respecting the suitableness of the Rio Grande for
purposes of Commerce, and therefore if need me, for flotilla opera-
tion.
An intelligent English Mariner of the name of Simpton was
in the Service of the Texian Government, in command of a small
revenue vessel is well acquainted with the Mouth of that river,
and I hope in the course of a few weeks to forward Your Lord-
ship a chart of it, rudely drawn indeed, but upon the general
correctness of which I should be disposed to place reliance. He
is now absent at Corpus Christi, but will bring his papers back
with him, and I shall then be able to select what may be useful.
The river itself, so far as I can learn from persons who have
crossed it at various points as high up as the Presidio Grande
(which Your Lordship will find marked on all the Maps) is ill
fitted for general commercial use, or military transport, being
very shallow in the dry season, and it is said, having rapids, be-
fore that point. All the rivers however, discharging themselves
into the Gulf, vary greatly in their navigable facilities, according
to the season, and I dare say, that in the winter and spring Months,
the Rio Grande would be navigable for a great distance in lighi
iron boats, such as are used in the upper Ganges and Indus. There
is a safe anchorage at it's Mouth called the "Brassos del Norte" fo,-
vessels not exceeding 10 feet of draught, but on the bar itself, there
are not more than 7 feet of water.

1F. O., Texas, Vol. 6.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101064/. Accessed December 18, 2014.