The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 26
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
entertainment, she read aloud, completely without embarrassment,
stopping now and then to spell out an unfamiliar word.
On the morning of the eleventh day out, the boat landed at
New Orleans. The Jameses secured passage in a steamship for
Galveston, the fare sixteen dollars. The boat was crowded, all
passengers bound for Texas, and most of them for the first time.
Some of them were away from home for the first time.
One of the passengers told John James that the great influx of
immigrants had produced a sharp increase in the price of lands
and farm produce in northern Texas, that corn was a dollar a
bushel, and that pork was six and seven dollars per hundredweight.
This man lived at Waco, high up on the Brazos River. He was
taking bacon home to retail in the spring. If the water should
fail to rise, he said, the bacon would be hauled two hundred miles
to Houston, the carriage costing about two dollars per hundred-
weight. Within the last few years the price of cattle and hogs had
At Galveston the Jameses found comfortable quarters in the
Tremont House, a large rambling structure with rooms that
were spacious and airy. Abby wrote home to her children that
their parents had had a delightful voyage across the Gulf, the
Gulf having been much smoother than the Mississippi. She de-
scribed "the company on board" as "a motley crew-hardly a
genteel-looking woman among them." Of the Tremont House she
wrote that it was the best in town, though "everything [was] in
true Southern fashion, at six's and seven's." In the town there
were "some quite pretty houses, almost all of wood, with orange
and fig trees in abundance, and oleanders and bananas so plenty
as to look common." The flocks of turkey buzzards in the streets
and on the common, however, looked strange to Abby.
On his walks through town, John saw beautiful roses--"the
green house kinds." He saw the aromatic Chinese arbor vitae,
oleanders, lemon trees growing from the seed and just opening
into bloom, fine foreign grapes, and an apple tree that was doing
"tolerably well." Tomato plants were ten inches high, and cab-
bages had been out all winter. Jessamine was in full foliage and
dahlias were up six inches, though not much was known about
caring for dahlias. Pineapples were growing in the open ground,
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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/m1/38/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.