The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 51
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Harris County, 1822-1845
The prosperity of the country was continually interfered with
and set back by threats of Mexican invasion; all the able bodied
men were expected to respond at short notice, and equip them-
selves for military campaigns of uncertain duration, while their
business interests were neglected, and in many instances aban-
History has never given an adequate idea of the deadly stag-
nation of business enterprises, in the Republic, nor of the ex-
citement caused both within and without its borders by the Mexi-
can occupation of San Antonio in September, 1842. The frequent
call "to arms," sounded the death knell of many business ventures.
Foreign promoters of immigration societies, as well as friendly
capitalists in the United States, were wary about risking invest-
ments where conditions were so unstable.
The citizens of Houston had not allowed themselves to be dis-
heartened by the loss of the seat of government. It was believed
by many, that the location of the capital at Austin would not be
permanent, that the authority by which it had been removed
thither, might, in a short time, decree its return; these hopes were
temporarily realized in 1842, when a session of congress was again
held at Houston. But, the practical business men did not rely
upon such a contingency; they realized that proximity to the best
cotton growing lands, and to water transportation, constituted the
real basis upon which Houston could be made a city, and the great
cotton market of Texas. With concerted action they encouraged
business by every honorable means practised in larger cities. One
of the first steps taken, was to obtain a charter for a chamber of
commerce, which was done early in 1840, and the spirit of com-
bination begun at this time was systematically followed by Hous-
ton's business men.12
Tn 1842 the merchants offered a prize of a silver cup for the
first five bales of cotton of that year's growth, and a gold cup for
the first twenty thereafter. Both prizes in that year were won by
12The act which granted a charter for the chamber of commerce was
passed by the first session of the Third Congress, and approved January
28, 1840. The names of the incorporators were: Thomas M. League,
Henry R. Allen, William D. Lee, J. Temple Doswell, T. Francis Brewer,
George Gazley, E. Osborne, Charles J. Heddenberg, John W. Pitkin, Charles
Kessler, E. S. Perkins, DeWitt Clinton Harris,-all merchants of the
city of Houston.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/60/: accessed May 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.