The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970 Page: 479
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Revolutionizing the Texas Cotton Trade, 1865-885
at Waverly, of local conditions and advise that, "For several weeks
past our cotton market has been so dull that no sales could be effected.""
Houston merchant T. W. House had operated offices both at the
Bayou City and Galveston during the war and had continued market-
ing cotton by running cargoes through the blockade or sending the
staple to the Mexican border. With the war over and these risks now
gone, House centered his business at Houston. Baring Brothers of
London were pleased that he intended "making shipments of cotton
to our consignment . . . which will have our usual attention .. ."
A Bremen firm assured the Texas merchant that the German company
was "ready to make advance on your shipments of cotton wherever
you wish it.""'
As the decade of the x86o's closed, the manner and movement of
the trade appeared pretty much as before 1861. The cloud of Recon-
struction hovered over the state, but the channels of trade were re-
establishing themselves. The similarity, however, was more apparent
than real, more temporary than permanent. Simultaneous technologi-
cal developments and advancements in communications, transporta-
tion, and equipment, already set in motion in the 1850's, moved now
at an accelerated speed, altering radically the international and na-
tional commodities market and revolutionizing the Texas cotton trade.
Telegraph and cable systems internationalized the trade; fast-linking
freight lines and water carriers and powerful compresses facilitated a
vast national overland movement of the staple; a large migration into
Texas expanded cotton culture and combined with the technological
innovations to foster the growth of interior cotton markets at the ex-
pense of the ports. By the mid-188o's vestiges of the old cotton market-
ing system remained, but in essence it had given way to the new.
Prior to the war most of the communications flowing in and out of
Texas cotton offices regarding the condition of the growing crop, the
expectation of buyers and sellers at home and abroad, and the state
of the market was by word of mouth, or by correspondence and news-
papers. For a short period in the 1850's this information was supple-
mented by telegraphic connections, but the extent of its usage was
'Labuzau and McGar to John Hill, September 2o, 1865; Dean and Co. to W. F. Hill,
May 16, 1866, John Hill Papers (Archives, University of Texas Library, Austin).
'Baring Brothers to House, November 17, 1865; C. L. Brauer und Sohn to House, Sep-
tember 8, 1866, T. W. House Papers (Archives, University of Texas Library, Austin).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970, periodical, 1970; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117147/m1/525/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.