First News of the Great Calamity--Galveston Almost
Totally Destroyed by Winds and Waves.
Thousands Swept to Instant Death.
THE first news of the appalling calamity that fell like a thunderbolt
on Galveston came in the following despatch from
the Governor of Texas:
"Information has just reached me that about 3000 lives have
been lost in Galveston, with enormous destruction of property.
No information from other points.
"JOSEPH D. SAYRES, Governor."
This despatch was dated at Austin, Texas, September 9th.
Further intelligence was awaited with great anxiety in all parts
of the country. The worst was feared, and all the fears were
more than realized. Later intelligence showed that the West
Indian storm which reached the Gulf coast on the morning of
September 8th, wrought awful havoc in Texas. Reports were
conflicting, but it was known that an appalling disaster had befallen
the city of Galveston, where, it was reported, a thousand or
more lives had been blotted out and a tremendous property damage
incurred. Meagre reports from Sabine Pass and Port Arthur also
indicated a heavy loss of life.
The first news to reach Houston from the stricken city of
Galveston came from James C. Timmins, who resides in Houston,
and who is the General Superintendent of the National Compress
Company. He was one of the first to reach Houston with
tidings of the great disaster which had befallen that city, and the
magnitude of that disaster remained to be told because of his
endeavors to reach home.
After remaining through the hurricane on Saturday, the 8th,
he departed from Galveston on a schooner and came across the
bay to Morgan's Point, where he caught a train for Houston.
The hurricane, Mr. Timmins said, was the worst ever known.
Lester, Paul. The great Galveston disaster, containing a full and thrilling account of the most appalling calamity of modern times including vivid descriptions of the hurricane. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth26719/. Accessed February 28, 2015.