The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922

Journal of Lewis Birdsall Harris, 18S6-1849

What a tumult of ideas floated through my brain as I landed
at the levee of this city connected in my mind with yellow fever
and death for it was here that my father died of that dread dis-
ease and here his remains now rested but where I knew not and
do not know how to look for them. What a busy scene the levee
is, the water front presents all busy loading and unloading in-
numerable steamers, Negroes singing draymen yelling, sailors cry-
ing their sailor cries. All new to me as this is my first visit to
a seaport city and the confusion is enough to drive one crazy.
There are about 2000 drays constantly employed hauling all kinds
of Merchandize to and from all kinds of crafts from immense
sea going Ships and great Mississippi river Steamers to small
boats plying on the river. The landing was so filled with Steam
boats that it was several hours before we could land and then I
had my trunk and valise put aboard of a carriage with one horse
and taken to a Hotel where I found myself in this great city
swarming with humanity and so foreign in all its surroundings
that it seemed like being in a foreign country and for the first
time I felt lonely. My first enquiries were of course about Texas
and the answers were by no means reassuring. The news was
that the Alamo at San Antonio containing Col. Travis Col. David
Crockett and nearly 200 men had been taken by the Mexicans on
the 6th of March and all had been slaughtered, and in a few days
the news came by Col. Fisher that Fannin with his whole force
had surrendered to Santa Anna as prisoners of war and that all
the prisoners had been slaughtered in cold blood by order of Santa
Anna, that the Texans and Houston were retreating before Santa
Anna's victorious army and the people were fleeing from the
country by every means at hand. I found that there was a small
schooner that had been chartered by Wm. Bryan a friend of Texas
and that she would sail for Galveston as soon as a sufficient num-
ber of volunteers would come forward to man her. I immedi-
ately put my name down as one and waited patiently as I could
for the necessary number to be made up, and in the mean time
looked around the city as well as I could, as I suffered intensely
during my whole stay with neuralgia in my face and teeth.


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 30, 2016.

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