Southwestern Historical Quarterly
IMPRESSIONS OF TEXAS IN 1860
The following is a reproduction of an anonymous journal of
a trip down the Mississippi, begun in the fall of 1859 from St.
Joseph, Missouri, to New Orleans, Sabine Lake, and thence over-
land to Galveston, Houston, Hempstead, Texas, where the record
was written in May, 1860.
The original, written in a beautiful hand, fills 24 pages, or
approximately one-fourth, of a bound notebook 311 x 20 em. It
is in the possession of the Chicago Historical Society, Chicago,
Illinois, and came through the family of Cyrus P. Bradley. It is
reproduced here with the permission of Mr. L. Hubbard Shattuck,
director of the society.
Very little is known about the author of the journal beyond
what can be concluded from the document itself. He undoubtedly
was a man of some education and wrote his observations in a
pleasing style. The description of the overland experiences from
Sabine Lake to Galveston certainly is a masterpiece, while many
of the impressions of the author illustrate the nature of reports
often current in certain sections of the United States about Texas.
The journal as printed here is a complete and exact copy.
Hempstead 1860 Texas
After a long silence on subjects of every day life relative to
myself, I shall resume the thread of my story at the place of
quitting-that is-on board the steamer "Black Hawk," fast on
a sand bar, lying six miles below St. Joseph, Missouri.
From the time of stranding, we lay powerless for thirty-nine
hours; though communication with the shore was uninterrupted-
via the yawl. Our provisions were getting frightfully low-dimin-
ishing "largely fast" in the eyes of hungry men,-and at last a
desperate party consisting of old judge - editor of the Leaven-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/. Accessed January 28, 2015.