The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 27
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Importation of Camels by the United States Government 27
"The elements," writes Porter, "indeed seemed to conspire against
us, and I thought at one time that the animals would certainly
suffer from so long a spell of bad weather, but they ate and drank
heartily in their recumbent position, and when the gale was over
and they were permitted to rise, they looked as fresh as if they had
been on shore . . . unlike a horse (that would be kicking himself
and those around him), the camels kneel of their own accord when
there is too much motion for them."28
Thirty-three camels left Smyrna, of which one died in calving.
Six calves were born on the passage, of which four died. There-
fore, thirty-four camels were landed in Texas at the end of the
On April 13, 1856, Porter put into Kingston, Jamaica, for sup-
plies, where he remained for a week. This visit turned out to be
a difficult one for all concerned, as the heat was terrific and as
many as four thousand citizens came on board in one day to view
the camels. Years previous to this time camels had been used on
the island, but the hoof-and-mouth disease had killed all of them.
Most of the animals had apparently been used in mines, where they
had served with great success.30
The first attempted landing of the camels occurred on the after-
noon of April 29, when the Supply arrived off of Powder Horn,
Texas, three miles below Indianola, having passed through the Pass
Cavallo and anchored about eight miles from the bar. There was
an unusual swell at sea, and this prevented any communication
with the shore. It was not until May 1 that a small boat called
the Fashion came out to get the camels. The transfer was im-
possible, due to the continued bad sea, and Wayne boarded the
Fashion and proceeded on it to Indianola, where he made arrange-
ments to secure other boats and to examine the place of disembark-
ment as a temporary home for the animals.
On the morning of May 2, another attempt was made to transfer
the camels to the vessels alongside the Supply, but this proved
abortive. The Supply was then sent to the Balize, which Porter
28Report, 129. Ibid.
2DReport, 97. Wayne to Davis, at sea, May 5, 1856, en route to New
Orleans. This letter is Wayne's account of the trip.
'OReport, 131-132. Porter to Davis, New York, May 28, 1856.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930, periodical, 1930; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101090/m1/35/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.