The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962 Page: 488
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
John: "There may be rich deposits of metal in these mountains,
but I doubt it, and if there be, we are not the men to find it."
Burr G. Duval, son of federal judge Thomas H. Duval of
Austin and nephew of John C. and Burr H. Duval, the latter
killed in the Goliad massacre, was a cotton broker in Galveston
after the Civil War. The firm was wiped out while he was on a
trip to New York, but there he met his bride, Ella Moss, who
had been born in New Orleans and had moved with her family
to Dresden, Germany, to escape the Civil War. Ella, a portrait
painter of note, had her studio over Tiffany's up town on Union
Square and painted many notables of the day.
Ella and Burr met at a fashionable boarding house frequented
by Southerners in the old Stuart white marble mansion near
Washington Square. Mrs. Henry S. Pitts, their daughter, said,
It created consternation in her famliy when she announced she
would leave a brilliant debut in New York to marry a nobody from
Texas who declared himself penniless at that.
They were married and started for Texas via Niagara Falls, making
a great joke of the fact they had just $50 cash between them, above
traveling expenses. At Niagara, Ella was bewildered to be told they
would have a private railroad car at their disposal for a leisurely trip
My father had been made receiver of the railroad from St. Louis
to Austin. They took a month for the trip, entertained lavishly like
royalty and at Austin gave the last of the fifty dollars to the Negro
porter who had served them.
Pretty soon I was coming along. It was against this background
my father, Burr, undertook the Chinati trip for a sizeable sum. He got
back five months later and I was born in August. From a modest
start given my parents by the mining exploring trip, they went on
The Burr G. Duval Diary reads:
NOTES ON AN EXPLORING EXPEDITION ORGANIZED BY THE GALVESTON,
HOUSTON & SAN ANTONIO RAIL ROAD, THE INTERNATIONAL & GREAT
NORTHERN RAIL ROAD AND THE TEXAS & PACIFIC RAIL ROAD, FOR THE
PURPOSE OF EXAMINING THE MINERAL RESOURCES OF THE COUNTRY
EAST OF THE RIO GRANDE RIVER IN PRESIDIO, TEXAS.
The party is composed of the following persons, viz., E. S. Niccolls,
assayer; E. F. Gray, engineer; Murray Harris, representing the
T. & P.; B. A. Fessenden, representing the T. & P.; B. G. Duval,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962, periodical, 1962; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/m1/546/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.