The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944 Page: 340
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
A slight glance at the geographical position of this route will shew its
entire practicability. Its commercial advantages extending from one ex-
treme of the Republic, to the other, in times of peace, will be incalculable,
in times of war, indispensible. Affording at all times a safe internal com-
munication from one extreme eastern border to the heart of the great
Valley of the Rio Grande-making the extremes, neighbours, and uniting
the whole together as one great family. In time of war, when a superior
marine enemy shall close our ports and blockade our whole coast, we will
have a great high road among ourselves, and a free and undisturbed com-
munication to our great eastern neighbour.
Your petitioners further believe that with the advantages of such a work,
a few steam Frigates adapted to our bays, would render us invulnerable
from any invasion by Sea. If it should please your honorable body to grant
such charter with banking privileges, your petitioners are assured of its
accomplishment, and the introduction of a' large foreign capital, the ad-
vantage of which would be necessary to its completion:-& will be incal-
culable to the present narrow monied means of the Country.
Your petitioners propose as a bonus to the Government, that so soon
as the Bank shall go into operation, to pay $25.000. Say Twenty five
thousand Dollars, and also Two and one half Per Cent yearly, upon the
neat profits arising from the tolls and fees of said work, so long as its
charter shall continue.
They also propose that the Government shall transport forever free of
expense, all soldiers, provisions, ammunitions, and munitions of war, and
also all vessels and transports of War.3
On December 9 the petition was referred to the Committee on
the State of the Republic.4 The next day, Archer, Collinsworth,
James Pinckney Henderson, Thomas F. McKinney, and Stephen
Fuller Austin formed a partnership.
We . . . have and by these presents agree in joint partnership and
interest and bind ourselves together as co-equal partners to be equally
interested in a plan and project of a Banking and internal improvement
scheme, to be called the "Texas Railroad Navigation and Banking Com-
pany" which charter privilege we ask of the Congress of the Republic of
Texas, in the names of Branch T. Archer and James Collinsworth, and
which charter if passed into a law, we obligate ourselves each to the other,
to take in such other partners as may be agreed upon, in manner and form
hereafter to be prescribed, but in all respects to have the same rights and
privileges as ourselves in proportion to the number of Shares by each
On December 13, J. W. Bunton, chairman of the Committee on
the State of the Republic, reported on the petition:
The Select Committee to whom was refered an act to incorporate The
Texas Rail Road, Navigation and Banking Company, have carefully con-
sidered the same, and recommend its passage, with the following amend-
ment: that said bonus of twenty five thousand dollars shall be paid within
3Petition of B. T. Archer and Jas. Collinsworth, undated. Memorials and
Petitions (MSS. in Archives, Texas State Library, Austin). The petition
was apparently written shortly before its presentation to Congress.
5Eugene C. Barker (ed.), The Austin Papers (Austin, 1926), III, 472.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944, periodical, 1944; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146054/m1/389/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.