The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973 Page: 182
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
As winter neared late in 1853, with the changing of Texas's guber-
natorial administrations and Bell's departure to the national congress,
the budding but yet unflowered state railroad network struggled to
extend, itself from the Gulf Coast ports of Houston and Galveston,
Indianola and Lavaca, as these towns warred for commercial suprem-
acy and the right to tap the production of interior Texas's agrarian
economy. The state's farm and plantation produce-mainly cotton, but
including cattle, corn, wheat, and sugar cane, aside from the lumber
harvested in virgin timber stands-was concentrated in the Colorado,
Brazos, and Trinity river valleys. Those three principal waterways
and the lesser ones-the Red River, the Sabine, Angelina, Neches, La-
vaca, Navidad, Nueces, and Rio Grande-despite the efforts of various
privately 'chartered companies to improve navigation upon them,
failed to become more than what they had always been, a marginal
means of transporting produce from the interior to the Gulf Coast
steamers for carriage to distant markets. Partly this was owing to the
fact that improvement of railroads, rivers, plank roads, lighthouses,
and buoys-all internal improvements-suffered during Bell's admin-
istration from insufficient financial support and political promotion.
The governor, an economic and political conservative, refused to press
the legislature for adequate state aid to fund the projects, thus leaving
the works to depend primarily upon the capricious money sources of
private enterprise. The private companies did, however, manage im-
provements in the transport systems from rivers to railroads that were
sufficient to insure the continuation of the state's gradual agrarian
and, to a smaller degree, industrial economic growth. As a conse-
quence, oxen, horses, and the wagons they drew continued with the
steamboats, as in the past, to perform their vital roles as Texas's main
commercial movers, although Texans were convinced that the prime
days of the steamboats and the beasts of burden were numbered be-
fore the oncoming inanimate rails of the iron horse.
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973, periodical, 1973; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101202/m1/212/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.