Southwestern Historical Quarterly
This book has been so painstakingly researched that should a needle
be mentioned, the reader can be reasonably certain the author has a
document for it. The book deals with correspondence between Horace
Dickinson Taylor and his relatives-so many of them, in fact, that the
reader becomes somewhat confused by all the names. Ellen Robbins
Red has thoughtfully provided a cast of characters, however, as well as
genealogies for the families.
In 1838 Horace Taylor arrived in Independence, Texas, to work for
his brother Edward. When trouble with Mexico caused the Mier expe-
dition to be formed, Horace joined it as a private, serving from Oc-
tober, 1842, until January, 1843. He then returned to Independence to
work as a part-time surveyor. Horace heeded the written advice of one
of his sisters to visit South Carolina, staying there from 1845 to 1848.
Upon hearing that his brother Edward was moving to Houston to start
a cotton-commission business, Horace agreed to return to Texas to
work for him.
Horace's early Texas correspondence is interesting for its descrip-
tions of life in Houston. He spoke of yellow-fever epidemics and de-
scribed Texas northers so cold that parishioners of the Presbyterian
church were forced to wear blankets over their clothes while attending
services. Unfortunately, this correspondence ceased when Horace mar-
ried in 1852.
In January, 1859, Horace formed a partnership with Thomas Bagby
to establish a cotton-commission business. Both the business and the
city of Houston survived the Civil War without too much inconve-
nience, and both began to prosper at the end of the hostilities.
In 1866 Horace was elected mayor. Under his administration the
streets of the city were improved and given names, and the Houston
Direct Navigation Company was formed to dredge Buffalo Bayou,
making it navigable from Houston fifty miles to the Gulf.
Red gives much credit to Horace and men like him for the growth
and progress of the city on the bayou. She says, "That Houston is now a
great city and a world port is due to the tireless efforts of its citizens,
from that day to this" (p. 169). Her book supports this premise.
Galveston VIRGINIA EISENHOUR
The Pueblo de Socorro Grant. By Katherine H. White. Introduction by
C. L. Sonnichsen. Illustrations by John O. West. (El Paso: Katherine
White Memorial Trust, 1986. Pp. xx+166. Preface, introduction,
maps, illustrations, appendix, notes, bibliography, index. $16.50.)
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101211/. Accessed January 30, 2015.