The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

entirely, leaving a broad shell beach. To the South, the water was
shoal, and the surf broke, though feebly, far from shore, but to the
North, the deeper water enabled the surf to dash madly upon the
shore; and, every summer afternoon and evening, the surf would
dash wildly, and with a roar, upon the beach until far into the night.
The mornings usually broke with a perfectly clear sky, but, no
sooner had the sun arisen than great cumuli would attend his
coming, which he would convert into temples of frosted silver of
every imaginable character. A profound calm of some hours would
follow, when the whole bay would be as one vast mirror, unruffled
save by schools of fish seeking to escape a prowling porpoise. About
eleven o'clock, a faint zephyr would fan the fevered brow, and,
from hour to hour, this zephyr would increase until it became a
raging gale, when the whole bay would be converted into a seething,
tumultuous waste of waters, which would also continue long into
the night. Meanwhile, the heavens would be covered with a beau-
tiful mantle of purple and gold. With the approach of night with
a near-full moon, the prosaic, though beautiful, aspects of the day
are idealized, and the tumultuous waves, irradiated by the moon,
are as tens of millions of dancing miniature mirrors, and the tenor
of the surf, near at hand, is accompanied by the deep boom of
the surf dashing upon the coast twenty miles distant.lr
Corpus Christi was the paradise of the sportsman; on land, wild
ponies to be lariated; deer, partridges, turkeys, and, in season, plover
and English snipe; on the water, red fish, sheep-head, trout, pom-
pino and the game but inedible tarpon, seldom caught, however,
because its ivory jaws supplied little holding ground for the hook.
Indeed, fish and game of every kind were so abundant that sports-
men soon wearied of them, and ceased to hunt.
Mocking birds were as abundant as sparrows are with us, and,
in the morning, 'twas a pleasing sight to see them pirouetting from
the top of the shrub, and singing, as they pirouetted, as if in the
abandon of happiness; and, throughout moonlit nights, their songs
were almost incessant-which, sometimes, like the talk of a gar-
rulous man, was rather too much of a good thing when one wanted
to sleep.
But, though so highly favored by a gracious Heaven, Corpus
Christi was not without its troubles and trials; one summer, the
hostile Indians shot up the town,8 and, the next summer, yellow-
17Natives of the Corpus Christi area, as well as those less familiar with it, will
recognize Blair's description as a remarkably accurate one, whose vividness is only
heightened by the author's somewhat flowery pen.
18Blair would seem to be in error about the Indians shooting up Corpus Christi
at anytime during the period 1852-1855, when he was there. See J. W. Wilbarger,
Indian Depredations in Texas (Austin, 1889). With memory faded by the passage
of sixty years, Blair was undoubtedly recalling an incident concerning the

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed April 24, 2014.