A4#elia karr it Cexas, 1856-1868
IT WAS about four o'clock in the afternoon that we came to the Colorado
River. .... Then we mounted a hill, and a scene of unwritable beauty
was before us on every side. Other portions of Texas are lovely as
Paradise, but nowhere had I ever seen such exquisite and picturesque
arrangement of wood and mountains, grassy stretches, and silvery waters,
and crowned hills. From every mouth, there was an instant and spon-
taneous cry of delight.
The city was built on hills, surrounded by a rampart of higher hills,
crowned with the evergreen cedar, and the shining waters of the Colorado
wound in and out among these hills, and then swept grandly round the
southern part of the city. For a minute or two Senor Tomas-as if
compelled by his own innate love of what was picturesque-drew reins
on the top of the hill on which there stood a little church. It was painted
a pale pink color, and did not look inconsistent. It must have been full
of the perfume of the Chinaberry trees, and it stood at the gate of the
town like a visible prayer.
Such was the refreshing enthusiasm with which Amelia
Barr, accompanied by her husband, Robert Barr, and their
two small daughters, entered the capital of Texas in 1856.
Austin was to be their home for ten years. They were to know
it intimately during its happy, carefree pre-war days, through-
out the vicissitudes of the Civil War, and in its humiliation
during the post-war period.
In those days Amelia Barr was an amiable and cultivated
young matron, known to but few. Many years later she was to
become famous as a writer of sentimental novels. In 1913, at
the age of eighty-two, she was working on her autobiography,
which was published in 1914. Aided by her diary and a re-
markable photographic memory, she was able to picture with
great vividness the experiences of the Barr family in Texas.
Of the sixty-one books Mrs. Barr was to write, not one was
half as interesting as the authoress. Her father was the Rev.
William Henry Huddleston, a Methodist minister, the son of
John Henry Huddleston, a sea captain. Most of the early
Huddlestons were either men of the sea or men of the cloth.
Some were explorers. One tradition asserted that an Abbot
Huddleston carried the Host before King Edward the Confessor
and that it was a Benedictine monk named Huddleston, who
found his way up the back stairs of Windsor Castle to King
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146056/. Accessed March 14, 2014.