The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 7
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The Texas Norther
Kirby Smith's brother Ephraim, was "drenched with rain and
nearly buried in the driving sand";21 Ethan Allen Hitchcock, a
grandson of the "Green Mountain Hero," had to make, in the
face of the norther, what he called "the most severe ride" he ever
performed;22 Robert Anderson, who later commanded at fateful
Fort Sumter, had his tent blown to pieces by the wind, and his few
possessions were scattered and buried in the sand;28 and David E.
Twiggs, who soon was to be a controversial figure at Cerro Gordo,
got himself a beautiful head cold.2' But despite these sufferings
the men had the norther to thank for sparing them from a worse
fate, for as long as the norther blew, the vomito-the yellow fever-
was ineffectual, and the norther did not subside until after Vera
Cruz had been taken and Scott's army had moved into the
fever-free hills.26 El norte proved to be the master of el vomito.
Not only have historical events been shaped by the norther,
but the Texas character itself has been molded somewhat by
this strong environmental factor. Mary Austin Holley pointed
out that the norther saved Texas from the torpidness of a perma-
nently hot climate which has hampered the energy and initiative
of residents of the southeastern states and of the tropic regions
below the Rio Grande.26 Many immigrants from the north and
from Europe commented with delight upon the exhilarating ef-
fects of the cold northers.27 Native Texans and southern folks took
a dimmer view of these cold waves; one Yankee, appropriately
named Thomas North, upon arriving in Galveston during a
norther was surprised to see the people so bundled up and hurry-
ing so frantically along the streets; the Galvestonians were acting
as if it were thirty below zero, but in fact, it was thirty above.28
Some writers observed that the northers often made the settlers
21Blackwood, To Mexico with Scott, 118-20o.
22W. A. Croffut (ed.), Fifty Years in Camp and Field: Diary of Major-General
Ethan Allen Hitchcock (New York, 1909), 239-240.
23Lawton, Letters of Robert Anderson, 96.
24Croffut, Diary of Hitchcock, 241.
25Scott, Memoirs, II, 430.
28Holley, Texas, 43.
27Carl, Prince of Solms-Braunfels (translator anonymous), Texas, 1844-x845
(Houston, 1936), 35; Frederick Law Olmsted, A Journey Through Texas (New
York, 1857), 4153
28Thomas North, Five Years in Texas ... from January x86x to January 1865, A
Narrative of His Travels, Experiences, and Observations ... (Cincinnati, 1870),
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956, periodical, 1956; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/m1/19/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.