The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966 Page: 39
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The Mesquite Tree
whole prairie or country seems like one immense peach orchard."4
A similar observation was made by W. B. Parker, while on an
expedition in 1854 commanded by Captain R. B. Marcy:5
The tree grows singly, and at such regular intervals as to re-
semble a plantation, and so much like a peach orchard that one
cannot divest himself of the idea, in entering a grove, that he
is approaching a house, and involuntarily listens for the watch-
dog's bark or some other sign of human habitation.
So much so is this the case that a sutler of Fort Belknap, relates
a laughable incident ... of one of his teamsters, who one evening,
on the route from Fort Smith, with a load of stores, got behind
the train, and on coming into camp without his team, was asked
where he had left it, "Out in that old peach orchard," was his reply.
Benjamin Lundy, traveling from San Antonio to Monclova in
1847, found large mesquite trees upon reaching the Rio Frio;
on a large tract of land the mesquite "gave the appearance of a
peach-orchard in New Jersey."' Spending the winter in San An-
tonio in 1872, the poet Sidney Lanier described a trip made in
the New Braunfels area:7
Presently I observed the stage-lamps continually light up a curious
sort of bare struggling-twigged shrub that seems to line the road
and to cover the prairie. It is as if the apparitions of all the leafless-
peach-orchards in Georgia were lawlessly dancing past us and about
He was informed that this "bush" was the "mesquit." To the poet
belongs credit for being among the first to record the "singular
spread" of the mesquite. He heard from the old settlers that the
Indians, and then the stock raisers, yearly burned off the prairie
grass, making it difficult for the tree to establish itself. But with
the passing of the Indian and the moving of "most of the large
cattle-raising business to points further westward," the soil was
left free for the invasion.
4"J. C. Clopper's Journal and Book of Memoranda for 1828," Quarterly of the
Texas State Historical Association, XII, 68.
6W. B. Parker, Unexplored Texas (Philadelphia, 1856), 104.
Benjamin Lundy, The Life, Travels and Opinions of Benjamin Lundy (Phila-
delphia, 1847), 96.
?Charles R. Anderson (ed.), The Centennial Edition of the Works of Sidney
Lanier (1o vols.; Baltimore, 1945), V, 192.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966, periodical, 1966; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/m1/57/: accessed May 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.