The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962 Page: 48
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the state supreme court had declared in 1867 that the "corpora-
tion appears to have been rotten from the beginning."4
Disorganized efforts failed in the intervening years to link San
Antonio to the outer world by railway. The Civil War, state
restrictions on land grants, and the Panic of 1873 were in part
responsible for the limited increase in railway mileage in Texas.
With the repeal of the act prohibiting land grants and with
business recovery, San Antonio could at least reap the benefit of
an 1870 legislative act which designated the city as the objective
of the railroad which had progressed slowly in a westerly direction
from Harrisburg since the 1850's. Believing that a railway was
at last a possibility, Bexar County citizens in January, 1876, voted
$300,000 in bonds "to secure the speedy completion of the line,"
the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio railway.5 In addition,
this railway eventually received land grants totaling nearly one
and one-half million acres. Stock in the company was primarily
in the hands of Northern capitalists."
Known to the public as the "Sunset Route" or the "Pierce
Road," San Antonians credited its extension to the city to the
"indefatigable" Colonel Thomas W. Pierce, president of the
company.' His efforts produced a prevailing optimism and ex-
citement reflected in the local newspapers for weeks in advance
of the arrival date.
The San Antonio Express reported that the "iron horse is daily
nearing us. Already does the shrill whistle of the locomotive
reach our ear, and speaks ... of an enterprise whose .. spirit
of progress has begun to arouse the old, dry bones of the Alamo
City." A curious mingling of confidence and a challenge appeared
in the writer's observation: "The era of prosperity we have for
the last score of years labored to bring about is at last achieved,
though as yet in its merest incipiency. What remains to be done,
is incumbent upon the people of San Antonio."s
aSan Antonio Express, February 2o, 1877.
SBancroft, History of Texas and the North Mexican States, II, 570-571; Louis J.
Wortham, A History of Texas From Wilderness To Commonwealth (5 vols.; Fort
Worth, 1924), V, 217.
6Charles S. Potts, "Transportation in Texas," in Eugene C. Barker (ed.), Texas
History For High Schools and Colleges (Dallas, 1929), 577.
7San Antonio Express, February so, 1877.
Slbid., January 16, 1877.
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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/m1/68/: accessed May 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.