The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932 Page: 2
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
hibitive, and hence cotton culture was confined to a narrow strip
along the coast; this was true despite the fact that the black
land belt of central Texas was by far more productive than the
coast region. The settled area of north Texas produced wheat
and corn in considerable quantities; but the greater part of these
crops found sale at home with incoming immigrants and at the
army posts. When sales to these buyers fell off crops spoiled.2
Negro slaves were confined to east and southeast Texas where
cotton was grown; they were too expensive for use in growing
grain or raising cattle. The absence of slavery in the regions
away from the coast strip caused uneasiness among the pro-
slavery leaders, and the fear that antislavery sentiment might
take hold of northern and western Texas added a political de-
mand to the economic motive in the agitation for a system of
internal improvements which would bring these regions into easy
reach of Gulf ports and would assimiliate all districts of the
state. To the fact that the Texas rivers are for the most part
unnavigable, that the soil of the black waxy prairies rendered
wagon transportation in wet weather next to impossible, and
that there was a political motive for internal improvements in
the dearth of slavery in the interior, let it be added that Texas
was isolated from her sister states, and it is easily seen that her
most important need has always been an adequate transporta-
The Republic of Texas made an attempt to start railroad de-
velopment. The Texas Railroad, Navigation and Banking Com-
pany was chartered when the Republic was just beginning to
function. This was in the fall of 1836, only six years after the
first railroad of the United States was inaugurated. This corpo-
ration was authorized to connect the important Gulf ports of
Texas with the rivers by canals and to construct railroads where-
ever desirable. The capital stock was fixed at $5,000,000 and
after one-fifth of this was paid in the corporation was to have
banking privileges.3 The incorporators were Dr. Branch T.
Archer, James Collingsworth, T. J. Green, T. F. McKinney, A. C.
Horton, A. C. Allen, and Mosely Baker, The charter was granted
2Ramsdell, C. W., "Internal Improvement Projects in Texas in the
Fifties," in The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, IX, 100.
sReport of Attorney-General of Texas, 1870, Appendix A. Gammel, H.
P. N., Laws of Temas, I, 1118.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932, periodical, 1932; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101092/m1/6/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.