The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944

THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. XLVII APRIL, 1944 No. 4
RAILROAD ENTERPRISE IN
TEXAS, 1836-1841!
ANDREW FOREST MUIR
The Congress of the Republic of Texas chartered four com-
panies with the privilege of constructing railroad trackage.
Lack of domestic and timidity of foreign capital prevented the
consummation of any of these schemes, but three made valiant
efforts. The other, the Texas Rail-Road, Navigation, and Bank-
ing Company, apparently had little or no intention of building
a railroad. It seemed primarily interested in establishing a
bank, but apparently its promoters felt that the unpopularity
of financial institutions, current as a result of Andrew Jackson's
policy, made expedient their subordinating their financial am-
bition to the more popular promotion of transportation facili-
ties.2
Early in December, 1836, Branch Tanner Archer and James
Collinsworth petitioned Congress for a charter:
The undersigned Citizens of this Republic, feeling as they should, the
liveliest interest in the welfare and prosperity of their country, by the
suggestions of other patriotic and enterprising gentlemen, most respectfully
pray that your honorable body will grant them a charter privilege for con-
necting the waters of the Rio Grande, by internal navigation and rail
roads, with the waters of the Sabine.
A few remarks upon the importance of this work, its commercial, as
well as national advantages may not be inapplicable at present.
'This paper, in a somewhat different form, was read at the annual meet-
ing of the Texas State Historical Association in Austin, April 23, 1943.
2Recently there was a labored apology for this company. S. G. Reed,
A History of the Texas Railroads and of Transportation Conditions Under
Spain and Mexico and the Republic and the State (Houston, c. 1941),
10-22. It is true that there is no evidence that the company was engaged
upon any illegal enterprise, but it is equally true that there is no evidence
that the company intended building a railroad.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146054/. Accessed September 20, 2014.