The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958 Page: 221
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Giddings and the San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line 221
of the long journey to the Southwest, traveling in a two-horse
sleigh through the mountains with his brother, James J., Giddings
was exposed to the rigors of bitterly cold winter weather that cost
the life of the driver and left the two brothers suffering a con-
siderable period from severe frost bite. When the travelers finally
reached Pittsburgh, they were detained for days by ice in the
Ohio River, but at last they secured passage on a primitive craft,
the Ben Franklin No. 7, bound for New Orleans.8
Misadventure continued to haunt the Giddingses, however, for
both contracted smallpox and had to leave the boat at Louisville,
Kentucky. Fortunately, while the desperately ill George was in a
coma, an uncle, George H. Deming, unexpectedly arrived in Louis-
ville, but so serious was Giddings' condition, that as Deming and
the attending physician sat in the sickroom they began to discuss
what should be done with the body if the unconscious youth were
to die. As the pros and cons of sending the corpse back to Penn-
sylvania were argued, Giddings, who apparently had regained con-
sciousness, mustered his remaining strength to sit up in bed and
yell, "I'll be damned if I'll diel" The physician, who had been
sitting with his feet on a table, thereupon jumped to a standing
position, saying, "Well, I'll be damned if you do diel You've
pulled yourself back to life!" Thereafter both brothers made
rapid recoveries and continued their journey to Texas, financed
by Deming, who was an officer aboard the steamboat that carried
them to New Orleans. In comparison with what had already
transpired, the remainder of the journey was relatively uneventful,
and the two brothers reached Brenham in February, 1846."
Immediately entering the law office of his older brother, Jabez
D., who had settled in Washington County in 1838,r Giddings
began reading for the legal profession. A short time later he
was appointed deputy district and county clerk for Washington
County, in which position he declared he earned the first dollar
that he ever made. The importance of this achievement was
heightened by the relatively simple economy of the time and
place, which was appropriately characterized by one of Giddings'
3Charles Merritt Barnes (ed.), "Memoirs of Colonel George H. Giddings," San
Antonio Daily Express, May 4, 1902.
5Handbook of Texas (2 vols.; Austin, 1952), I, 687.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958, periodical, 1958; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101164/m1/277/: accessed April 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.