The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 234
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The balls of those days, when held in the city, were grand
affairs. Mrs. Harris has described one of them which took place
on the second story of another hotel in Houston. Half the men
who were candidates for office in the election of 1838 were
present, and the ball was formally opened by a glittering grand
march or promenade, led by President Houston, who was followed
by Vice-President Lamar and his staff. As young ladies were scarce
in the town, the girls of fourteen and younger who were per-
mitted to join in these dances inspired an additional tone of
gallantry and liveliness.56
This spirit was also evident in the theater crowds at the Corri
Theater adjacent to the Mansion House. In San Augustine, an-
other inn, the $12,000 Berry Hotel, included a theater of its own
in the ballroom which was "equipped with dressing rooms and a
stage.""'7 But the enthusiasm at the Corri Theater was not always
divorced from scenes of danger. One of these scenes is vividly de-
scribed by Mrs. Harris, who as a girl of fifteen attended the
theater on the night in October, 1838, when General Houston,
upon his entrance into the city, was met at Green's Bayou by the
famous Milam Guards. Among these guards, with their white
uniforms trimmed in blue, many of the young girls who were
at the theater had sweethearts, and it must have been with an air
of excitement that they watched General Houston and his escort
enter to take their seats. Soon, however, another drama of the
audience was in store for them. All the front rows had been oc-
cupied by the gamblers and rougher element of the town. When
the manager, Henri Corri, came out upon the stage and asked
these men to give up their places to the orchestra there was an
outcry of refusal. Corri then threatened to call the police, but
when the sheriff came in and asked the soldiers to help him disarm
and arrest the offenders, fists flew and chairs were overturned.
At this point President Houston arose and announced that he
and the ladies and children would take the back seats instead.
One of the gamblers, suddenly ashamed, protested gallantly that
if their money were returned they would leave the theater, as
THogan, A Social and Economic History of the Republic of Texas (Ph.D. dis-
sertation, University of Texas, 1942), 26.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/259/?rotate=90: accessed February 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.