The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 92
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
visions in a country devoted primarily to agricultural pursuits.
It should be mentioned, however, in this connection, that the
years 1838-1839 were marked by ever increasing issues of paper
money, accompanied by inevitable depreciation with a correspond-
ing enhancement of prices." So far as trade relations were con-
cerned these were practically confined to the United States.
There was nothing at this time to indicate the importance that
Galveston and Houston were destined to achieve as shipping and
jobbing centers. With a population of only a few thousand each,
there was hardly one arrival a month of shipping in the port of
Galveston in the year in which the battle of San Jacinto was
fought.? In May, 1837, about forty vessels averaging 100 tons
each, carried on the whole commerce aggregating 48,000 tons a
year, practically all under of the flag of the United States.8 A
correspondent of one of the New Orleans journals writing from
Galveston under date of March 15, 1838, said:
I have just arrived here, and am surprised at the rapid im-
provement of the city. There are generally about thirty sail of
of vessels lying in the harbor,-some going and some coming
every day. There are four steam boats plying between this place
and Houston, namely-the "Sam Houston," "Branch T. Archer",
"Laura" and "Friendship".9
The Houston Telegraph a year later described the state of
affairs in Texas as quite flourishing, with a fair prospect of steady
improvement. Bexar presented a very bustling appearance, while
Mexican settlers were opening up new farms in every direction
around the city.10 The Galveston Civilian portrayed the prospects
of Texas as never half so flattering as in the spring of 1839. Not
only was emigration on the increase, but those coming were not
the idle, vicious, and rapacious speculator, but mostly men who
OFor retail prices in the Galveston and Houston markets, see Appendix,
'That Maillard, 203, exaggerates the population of these two places is
evident from the fact that in 1850 Galveston had only 4,177 inhabitants,
and Houston, 2,396. Barker, Readings in Texa History, 410.
'Kennedy, Texas, II, 407; Christian, as cited, 318.
'New Orleans Commercial Bulletin, March 15, 1838.
"The Texas journal reported a large number of strangers in Houston,
many of whom were in want with no prospect of finding employment
save in the cultivation of the soil, "to which gentlemen loafers always
displayed a singular aversion." Quoted in the Commercial Bulletin, Feb-
ruary 27, March 16, 18, 1839.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931, periodical, 1931; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101091/m1/102/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.