The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 35
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A Trip to Texas in r855
At midnight, on February 2 , John and Abby took coach for
San Antonio, driving twenty-five miles to breakfast at a farm-
house on the banks of a river. Mr. Johns, the planter, was a
native of Tennessee. Abby was shown to Mrs. Johns's room where
there was a fire, and John was permitted to join her there. John
observed that in the room there was "a grand bedstead with a
massive cornice & ornamental tester, a great mahogany ward-
robe, and a woman & baby to match." The houses were con-
structed of good logs with solid even floors, built with a center
passage. On the front and sides of the main house were wide
verandas. Beyond the main house were the negro huts, and
across the road there was the beginning of a large cotton shed.
The ride over the smooth road that day was extremely pleasant.
Abby exclaimed at the beauty of the views. John was interested
in the soil, so easily cultivated that it could be broken for the
first time with a team of mules. Once broken, it did not readily
reset with grass, and there were no "civilized weeds." The most
valuable grass was the mesquite, found only in the western part
of the state. It bore a head like oats and was highly nutritive when
ripe. It kept the cattle in fine order all winter long. The Texans
had no need to make hay. At livery stables, horses were fed hay
from New Orleans that had been shipped from the North in
bales. Several kinds of yucca grew along the roadside, some with
trunks higher than a man's head. One specie grew about a foot
high. Two other species, called bear grass, had long narrow leaves
which the natives used for hanging meat.
At New Braunfels the party stopped for dinner. Abby vowed
that if it should be fried bacon and eggs, she would not eat. They
found the place very neat and clean. It was kept by a German who
offered soup, venison, beef, a plain or French omelette, with
plenty of claret and Rhine wine. The soup was served first at
the immaculate table, then the other dishes were presented in
succession. The omelette proved to be an excellent souffle. One
of the party had abstained from dining, thinking, he said, that it
"would be dirty Dutch"; he regretted his decision when he heard
of the excellent food.
There was a German settlement in and around New Braunfels.
Within three square miles there were from seven to eight thou-
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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/m1/47/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.