The Texas Almanac, for 1860, with Statistics, Historical and Biographical Sketches, &c., Relating to Texas. Page: 92
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US TEXAS ALMANAC.
lovely scenery, every where bearing traces of marine exuvize, would be induced
to exclaim, The beautiful Atlantis has arisen from the deep ; these broad and fer-
tile plains and valleys, these gently-sloping hills and towering mountains, are
clothed with fresher verdure and have acquired new beauties from the ocean
waves! Every portion of Texas, that has been explored, exhibits evidence
that most of its surface has, at a comparatively recent geological-era, emerged
from the sea. Surf-worn cliffs, three hundred miles inland, and marine shells of
recent species, found in vast beds far from the shore, and at great elevations, in-
dicate that the coast is still gradually rising; but the changes are so slight that
that they are scarcely perceptible.
A traveller starting from any point on the coast, and journeying towards the
centre of the State, beholds a level plain bordering the Gulf, and stretching be-
fore him far as the eye can reach; scarcely a tree can be seen in any direction,
but grassy meadows meet the view, diversified here and there with long mean-
dering lines of low bushes, which mark the margins of serpentine streams or
bayous. As he proceeds he perceives that the plain gradually becomes more
elevated; forests appear at intervals; and at the distance of forty or fifty miles
from the Gulf, the surface becomes slightly undulating, especially in the vicinity
of each large stream. Here, even at the distance of fifty miles from the coast,
marine shells occur at various points along the bays, at an elevation of fifteen or
twenty feet above tide-water. These shells belong chiefly to a species of clam,
(gnathodon cuneatus,) and were evidently deposited when tle waters of the Gulf
extended many miles further inland than at the present day. As the traveller
proceeds still further, he perceives that the surface becomes more and more. un-
dulating, and at the distance of one hundred to one hundred and fifty miles from
the coast, the scenery is diversified with hills of moderate elevation, with
rounded summits. Rocky ledges occasionally appear in the sides of the hills and
along the streams. 'The strata are horizontal, and contain shells entirely dif-.
ferent from those found near the coast; beds of pebbles are also found, contain-
ing fossil wood, teeth of an immense size, and tusks like those of elephants.
These are the remains of the Mammoth and Mastodon, and designate strata of
the TEETIARY ERA. As he proceeds, the hills become higher, and spread out in
broad table-lands. White rocks,,like chalk, appear, intercalated with sandstone,
in steep escarpments. The strata are thick, and contain shells entirely different
from those found nearer the coast. Among them are fossils resembling coiled
snakes, and are often styled by the settlers petrified rattlesnakes. These are
ammonites, and with their kindred fossils, designate strata of the SECONDARY
sEA. As the traveller proceeds further inland, he notices, that the hills at the
distance of two hundred and fifty to three hundred miles from the coast, are more
rugged, the escarpments are more bold and precipitous, and the surface has a
mountainous aspect. The strata here consist chiefly of red sandstone and con-
glomerate, resting upon limestones and variegated sandstones, containing fos-
sils wholly unlike any previously noticed. Some resemble grains of wheat, and
are often styled petrified wheat. These are fusuline, and designate strata of the
PALEOZOIC ERA. At the distance of three hundred to three hundred and fifty
miles from the coast, in a depression in the secondary rocks, the traveller finds a
low, narrow ridge of crystalline rocks, containing no fossils, no signs of strati-
fication. These are primary, or Azoic Rocs-the oldest geological formation
of the State. Thus, in this journey of three hundred and fifty miles, would the
traveler pass over the different formations which chiefly constitute the geolo-
gical structure of the State--commencing with the alluvial sands and clays of
the coast, and traversing successively the Pliocene and older tertiary series, the
Cretaceous and older secondary, the upper Paleozoic series, and closing with
Primary granite-the foundation rock of the State. Each formation, in the re-
gion it occupies, has imparted peculiar features to the scenery.
We will now proceed to notice these formations more particularly, in a re-
versed order, and will commence with the rnmLAnY, or AzoC noCKos. These con-
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The Galveston News. The Texas Almanac, for 1860, with Statistics, Historical and Biographical Sketches, &c., Relating to Texas., book, 1860~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123766/m1/94/: accessed September 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.