The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 10
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of the northers, it is not surprising that the Texans went in for
peppered foods42 and liquid spirits.'" In 1838 John Hunter Hern-
don was confined indoors in Houston by a severe norther, and
while his friends "for self defense" imbibed rather freely in some
hot toddies and "got a little fuddled," Herndon found sufficient
warmth by reading Tom Paine's fiery ideas."
All of the Texan remedies against the norther could not prevent
a substantial amount of suffering and sickness from resulting from
the intermittent blasts. Many writers record the ill effects of the
northers in terms of such illnesses as pneumonia,45 catarrhal
fever,4" diarrhea,47 jaundice,48 influenza,49 and the common cold.60
And victims of malaria - the old-fashioned ague - particularly
reacted poorly to the northers, turning pale and shaking with
renewed intensity.01 A writer from Anahuac in 1834 noted that
"Children often begin to droop when they [the northers] begin
to blow; and usually revive when a south breeze sets in."2
Occasionally the northers took a death toll both directly and
indirectly. While some writers have exaggerated the number of
persons who have been frozen to death in northers,"8 such disasters
have occasionally occurred. Herndon reported several persons
freezing to death in 1838,"4 Mrs. Willie Lewis reported a mail-
wagon driver freezing to death in the Panhandle in the '8o's,"
42Alexander E. Sweet and J. Armoy Knox, On a Mexican Mustang through
Texas, from the Gulf to the Rio Grande (Hartford, 1883), 126.
48Thomas Hughes (ed.), G. T. T., Gone to Texas, Letters from Our Boys (Lon-
don, 1884), 37-38.
44Andrew Forrest Muir (ed.), "Diary of a Young Man in Houston, 1838," South-
western Historical Quarterly, LIII, 288.
45North, Five Years in Texas, 199.
46 (Anonymous), "The Army in Texas," Southern Quarterly Review, IX (1846),
47Ibid., 449; Roemer, Texas, 234.
48Meade, Life and Letters, I, 36.
4oJoe B. Frantz (ed.), "Moses Lapham: His Life and Selected Correspondence,"
Southwestern Historical Quarterly, LIV, 332.
solbid., 331-332; Smither, "Diary of Adolphus Sterne," Southwestern Historical
Quarterly, XXXIII, 162.
1lRoemer, Texas, 49-50.
52 (Anonymous), A Visit to Texas being the Journal of a Traveler through those
Parts most Interesting to American Settlers ... (New York, 1834), 126.
s8For example, General Sheridan wrote: "... these 'Northers' have many times
proved fatal to the unprotected frontiersman." Philip H. Sheridan, Personal
Memoirs (2 vols.; New York, 1888), II, 326.
54Muir, "Diary of a Young Man in Houston," Southwestern Historical Quarterly,
55Willie Newbury Lewis, Between Sun and Sod (Clarendon, Texas, 1938), 149-150o.
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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/m1/22/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.