The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 448
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
for its scene characterized the population, which abounded in civic
ideals and local pride. "The beauty and fashion of this city and
vicinity, can vie with any portion of the United States," wrote a re-
porter for San Augustine's Redlander newspaper, after watching Sam
Houston dance the cotillion at a ball given in his honor." Adolphus
Sterne rode over from Nacogdoches in 1841 to attend "Pizarro, per-
formed by a Thespian Society." He said that "several young gentle-
men showed a good deal of Talent in their parts . .. . Mr Slivers and
Col Ochiltree particularly were much applauded, the first as Rolla
and the second as Pizarro. ...."" The streets, cut through virgin
stands of oak, sycamore, and pine, were first streets and alternately
tracks for horseracing, the favorite sport of the Redlanders. John Berry
was commander of the milita thereabouts; pleasure was his contribu-
tion to the town, in the form of a two-and-a-half story emporium,
housing a saloon, a hotel, a ballroom, and theatre.' From the Berry ve-
randas patrons could observe the Saturday races, and perhaps an occa-
sional hanging, in the leafy bower on the square, which not until later
years would be dominated by a courthouse.
All was not sensory pleasure. The Republic saw the founding of
two colleges in the town. One was run by Professor Marcus A. Mont-
rose, a "Scotchman" who was thought of as "peculiar" by the "Natives
of San Augustine." A Nacogdoches man, in observing the eccentric
Montrose, mused- "Go to it my Montrose-gull the Augustin Classic
Parents with your Greek, Latin, and Algebra, but you can not cram
your learning down the -------- of such Ignoramuses as we are in
Nacogdochez [sic]."" The matter of religion was attended to with
speed. The Methodist missionary Littleton Fowler, in the autumn of
1837, arrived in town, preached "four nights in succession," and began
a campaign for building a church. "Praise God," he wrote in his
diary, when, in less than two weeks he had a lot, a board of trustees,
$3,500 cash, and a promise from a carpenter that services could begin
in the new church after the next harvest." Wilderness morals had
worried the faithful since before the Revolution. Already the San
2The Redlander, October 14, 1841.
3Harriet Smither (ed.), "The Diary of Adolphus Sterne," Southwestern Historical
Quarterly, XXXII (October, 1928), 179.
4George Louis Crocket, Two Centuries in East Texas: A History of San Augustine
County and Surrounding Territory From 1685 To the Present Time, (Dallas, 1932), lo8.
5Smither (ed.), "The Diary of Adolphus Sterne," Southwestern Historical Quarterly,
XXXV (October, 1931), 157.
6Dora Fowler Arthur (ed.), "Jottings From the Old Journal of Littleton Fowler,"
'Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, II (July, 1898), 78-79.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969, periodical, 1969; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/m1/402/: accessed July 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.