The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 99
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Descriptions of Texas by Stephen F. Austin
by four rivers that are navigable from one hundred to four hun-
dred miles, towit: the Netchez, Trinity, Brazos, and Colorado,
besides a great number of small streams that afford good navi-
gation for a shorter distance; and the abundance of its creeks
and living springs, taken in connection with its topographical
character, probably present more extensive facilities for coloniz-
ing than can be found on the same surface in any other part of
North America. Texas forms an immense inclined plane, the
apex of which is the highlands south of Red River, in which
its rivers have their source; from this summit, to the Mexican
Gulf, the inclination is towards the southeast, and is astonish-
ingly uniform. The surface is beautifully undulating to within
about sixty miles of the sea coast, where it becomes level, and
some parts of the northwestern section is hilly, particularly on
the heads of the Colorado and Guadalupe rivers, though the gen-
eral feature of an inclined plane is observable throughout, for
the hills do not form leading ridges that impede the flowing
waters to the southeast, neither are the undulations greater than
are necessary to render the country dry, healthy and beautiful.
They gradually lessen until they lose themselves in the level
strip that borders on the coast, which is from forty to seventy or
eighty miles wide. The rivers and creeks form very deep beds
with high banks, through this level region, and the tide water
flows up them from twenty to forty miles. The whole of this
tract without exception is entirely free from marsh or lakes,
even down to the sea beach. The soil is of the first quality of
alluvian lands, the banks of the streams are heavily timbered, and
covered with immense cane brakes; between them is level, but
dry and rich prairie. The timbered bottom lands, on the rivers
are from two to fifteen miles wide, a small part is subject to in-
undation, in extreme high freshets, but the floods are not fre-
quent, and owing to the comparative shortness of the rivers
soon subside. The undulating country is timbered, and prairie
land conveniently intermingled, abounding in springs of good
water, and the same may be said of the hilly country on the
Colorado and Guadalupe. The pasturage is surprisingly abund-
ant and luxuriant and is good both summer and winter.
Texas possesses many beds of good iron and lead ore, and it is
said that copper, silver, and gold have been found in small quan-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925, periodical, 1925; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101087/m1/103/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.