Notes and Documents
to Houston. Here we got the first good meal since we left New
York. We left Galveston and steered into Buffalo Bayou shortly
before sunset. It was a beautiful moonlit night. How delightful
it was to stand on deck and let the leaves of the trees on shore
pass between the fingers. About midnight the ship stopped to
take on wood. I shall never forget how glorious it felt to put the
feet on solid ground again. It was also the first time on Texas
soil. After the wood had been loaded, the ship continued up the
bay and at four in the morning we were in Houston. Here we
were met by Gust and Wilhelm Forsgard and Mr. Wettermark
who was in Texas to collect insects for a museum in Stockholm,
also some other Swedes who had arrived in Houston a year earlier.
Some of our party were invited to Mr. Forsgard's home about a
mile south of the city limits, which I learn is now in the heart of
the city. In Mr. Forsgard's home we had a hearty reception and
stayed a few hours. Then again to the city and at one o'clock
we were on the train bound for Brenham.
Houston at that time appeared to be no larger than Round
Rock is today. The railroad between Houston and Brenham was
very bad and it jolted as if we were sitting in an old farm wagon.
Especially defective was the bridge across the Brazos River. The
train moved very slowly and it creaked and crashed so that I ex-
pected that we would fall into the watery deep.
Late in the afternoon we arrived in Brenham where S. W.
Palm, Otto Swenson from Austin, also Johan Israelson and a
wagon from Mrs. Parson met us. We took our baggage from the
train and loaded it on the wagons3 whereupon S. W. Palm and
Otto Swenson announced that supper was ready, which we shared
together. Next morning we were up early. Some of our party
remained with Mr. Forsgard in Houston, namely fifteen man-
servants and two servant girls, and here in Brenham the rest of
the party separated, some bound for Manor and Austin, others
to Brushy in Williamson County.
After a good breakfast our caravan started. All the men must
walk as the wagons were heavily loaded with our baggage and
3In the baggage was a homemade reed-organ, built by J. W. Swahn, one of the
party, and used as his trunk. Later the organ played an important part in the home
devotions of these pious folk. The organ has been placed on exhibit at the Texas
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/. Accessed January 29, 2015.