The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958

eorqe J. iddiHgs and the
San Agtouio-San Diqeo ai! Ciie
EMMIE GIDDINGS W. MAHON and
CHESTER V. KIELMAN
BY 1850 the westward surge of the forty-niners to the Cali-
fornia gold fields had thrown into sharp relief the many-
faceted problems that entered into the settlement of the
American West. One of the most troublesome and urgent factors
was transportation across the thousands of miles of wilderness
and desert, through regions inhabited by hostile Indians and
separated by the high Rockies.' While petty quarrels and serious
sectional problems disturbed the period of agitation over the
selection of an overland route through the West, a few adven-
turous men forged ahead of the official procrastinators to provide,
in part at least, the services that were so vitally needed. Such a
man was George H. Giddings, a Texan from Pennsylvania, whose
connection with the San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line lifted him
from a footnote in the nineteenth century history of the United
States to rank among the trail blazers of Texas and the American
frontier.
Giddings was born in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, in
1823. His family was of old American stock that provided ample
precedent in experience and stamina for the useful contributions
he and his brothers were to make to the development of Texas.
A decade before Giddings arrived in the new state in 1846, his
brother, Giles A., had established the family name in the pages
of Texas history by his participation in the Revolution, during
which he was fatally wounded at San Jacinto.2
George H. Giddings' Texas adventures began soon after he left
his Pennsylvania home on December 1, 1845. On the first stage
1William Banning and George H. Banning, Six Horses (New York, 1930), 5-6.
2Eugene C. Barker and E. W. Winkler (eds.), A History of Texas and Texans,
by Frank W. Johnson (5 vols.; Chicago and New York, 1914 and 1916), IV, 1781;
Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston,
1932), 134.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101164/. Accessed July 26, 2014.