The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 231
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Logs Reveal Texas Gulf Coast History, 1866-1900oo
throughout the log recordings. There was apparently a local spell-
ing and pronunciation which sounds similar to the French grande
escaille. It is pronounced grande kye and means "large scale."
These particular fish are referred to as tarpon in 1957-
In the 187o's, as described by Captain Mercer, fishing was done
only to secure food. Fishermen used seines and nets, which they
knitted themselves. Mustang Islanders ate flounder, roe, mullet,
and redfish. It was not until a generation later that sport fishing
became popular at Aransas Pass.
Thirty miles away in Corpus Christi, logs reveal that things
were happening rapidly. The town came into being as a trading
post called Kinney's when Easterners discovered that the quickest
route to the West Coast by water in 1849 was via Texas. Thus,
Corpus Christi figured in California's gold rush by becoming a
"starting point for wagon trails."
By the 1870's "swapping" was the line of trade and records indi-
cate that "money was tight." During the Civil War, Corpus
Christi was occupied first by Confederate troops and later by the
Union Army. "Hard money" (gold and silver coins) was the only
accepted payment in the area after the war, and Mexican ranchers
were told "no bueno" when they tried to use Confederate money
given to them by horse traders, "who came to the area and drove
off hundreds of animals." Crude silver bars, worth $50 to $60
each, were made by pouring molten metal into impressions in
sand. These were used by traders from Mexico to purchase
sewing machines, stoves, clothing, clocks, and other items of civ-
Large wagons called prairie schooners were used to transport
hides and other products from inland villages to boats in Corpus
Christi. Three to six yoke of oxen were hitched to each of these
wagons. Oxcarts with two huge wheels followed one another in
long trains as "protection against bandits." Sometimes, the logs
describe, these carts had beds of rawhide inside.
Some records say "Corpus Christi was not considered cotton
country," but log entries describe heavy cotton traffic across the
Nueces River at Borden's Ferry. In 189o Texans were selling
cotton for $1 a pound in gold. Chihuahua freight wagon trains,
carrying six to eight bales of cotton each, crossed the Rio Grande.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/274/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.