THE CITY OF HOUSTON, TEXAS 9
traveller, and therefore when communication was
established with the outside world by water from
Houston, it was looked on as a blessing, since it
saved many miles of difficult and dangerous travel.
The bayou soon became popular and Houston
sprang at once into the greatest prominence as a
receiving and distributing point. It is remarkable
that Houston should have had all those advantages,
naturally, in the early days and then after the lapse
of many years she should still retain them through
the commercial activity and business foresight of
During the first eighteen months of the new
city's existence there was little accomplished aside
from perfecting the plans and arranging the divisions
of Houston, for there was not much more of
a city than a name and some surveyed streets and
lots until late in 1837., By then the town began to
show some life and activity. It is true that the city
was more like a military camp than anything else,
for it was composed largely of tents, with here and
there a small log cabin. 7 During '1837 there was a
large storehouse built at the corner of Commerce
street and Main and at the same time work was begun
on the "Mansion House," Houston's first hotel.
This was located on the corner now occupied
by the Southern Pacific offices.
But it was not until 1838 that Houston took on
genuine city airs. That year an election was held to
decide whether the city should be incorporated or
not. The result was an affirmative vote and the
Young, Samuel Oliver. A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912. Houston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24649/. Accessed April 18, 2014.