76 A THUMB-NAIL HIsTORY OF
between the people of Texas and the outside world,
and in later days it has been made the basis for adjusting
fair and equitable freight rates over the railroads.
Aside from its importance as a freight carrier
for Houston, it is important in regulating
freights for the entire Southwest, and that fact
creates interests in the bayou in territory remote
from Houston. Really Buffalo Bayou should have
pages devoted to it instead of this, necessarily, brief
A year after Houston was laid out as a "city,"
the first steamboat, the Laura, came up here from
Harrisburg, though she had a terrible time in accomplishing
the passage from Harrisburg to Houston.
The Laura seems to have cleared the bayou
of so many obstructions that after that several
steamboats and sailing vessels came here and soon
there was a regular service established between
Houston and Galveston, which continued for some
years after the war, the railroads finally destroying
the passenger business, and since then the immense
traffic, amounting to millions each year, has
been done by means of barges.
During the latter years there were some magnificent
steamboats engaged in the Houston-Galveston
trade, the two most magnificent ones being the
"Diana" and "T. M. Bagby," sister boats which
compared favorably with any of the famous Missisippi
river boats. They were each 170 feet long,
82 feet beam and five feet hold and were furnished
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 September 23, 2014.