Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999 Page: 143
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The Writings of Fannie Amelia Dickson Darden
the name. It seems a pity that the beautiful and
expressive Mexican names for these streams
should be abbreviated. For instance, El Brazos
del Dios (which means the arms of God), is sim-
ply called the Brazos. San Bernardo (named
for a Saint of the Romist calendar) is now only
the Bernard. It is said that the Brazos and Colo-
rado, in some unexplained manner, have changed
names, which seems quite plausible, as the wa-
ters of the Brazos are always red, which is the
meaning of Colorado. The bottom land of these
rivers is unexcelled, and it seems almost incred-
ible to learn of the depth which the alluvial soil
attains. As the car passes swiftly through these
strips of land, that on the Brazos being some six
miles in width, they are encompassed in a growth
of semi-tropical luxuriance, gigantic trees, a
dense undergrowth of great variety, mingled with
a tangled mass of mustang grape and trumpet
vine, which makes it in places impenetrable to
the eye. The extensive and highly cultivated fields
sweep in level plains for miles in extent, and are
now holding forth the promise of abundant yield
in the excellent stand of sugar cane, cotton and
corn which they display.
Herds of cattle cover the prairies, and
look in the distance like various colored agates
Arrived at Houston, and not wishing to
disturb my friends at that late hour, I went to the
Capitol hotel for the night. This is a magnificent
stone building, built by Col. Groesbeck, and the
imposing and highly finished structure would be
an ornament to any city. It is built on the site
once owned by the Old Capitol of the Republic
of Texas, when Houston was the seat of gov-
ernment. One seems to be in enchanted land
while wandering down its long corridors, tread-
ing its marbled floors, gazing upon its frescoed
walls, or being transported to upper regions in
Its elegant adornments and handsomely
furnished apartments are unexcelled, and, verily,
one falls to wondering if the magicians lamp has
been brought into requisition to have transformed
the old building into the new.
Yet tender are the memories of the
former capitol. As a child, how often have I vis-
ited it. There may be seen in real and every day
life the forms of the Fathers of the Republic;
men whose names are coincident with that of
Texas. How often have its walls resounded to
the eloquence of Thos. J. Rusk, John C. Wharton,
Patrick and Wm. N. Jack, Mosely Baker, Rob-
ert C. Williamson, Grayson, Henderson, Wharton,
Lamar and many others, whose names are house-
hold words in Texas. It is to the wisdom of these
early patriots that we are now enjoying the bless-
ings and freedom of this most beautiful land, o'er
which the Lone Star keeps her unceasing vigil
In the old capitol building was held all
the religious services for the first year or two.
Well ordered and attentive congregations, com-
posed of all classes, with a large majority of the
dignitaries of the land, filled the House of Rep-
resentatives each Sunday, and well do I remem-
ber sitting with disciplined attention as the Rev.
Mr. McCullough, first pastor of the Presbyterian
church, delivered his discourse through all the
divisions of firstly and secondly, down to the clos-
ing clauses of ninthly and tenthly, while the lady
opposite in the blue dress and knitted reticule
became so mixed up with the discourse that I
am afraid the impression she made was the more
lasting of the two.
In the old capitol the grand balls of the
seasons were held. Although the capitol of a
miniature republic, Houston held within it all the
dignitaries of office, consisting of a president,
vice-president, cabinet officers, members of
Congress, army officers, ministers from foreign
courts, with their attaches, and at that early day
it could boast of a cultivated and brilliant society.
Most new countries have the reputation of ruffi-
anism. This could not be said of Houston, our
capitol, where were centered the refined and
elegant, the wise and noble of the land, and one
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999, periodical, September 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151407/m1/15/: accessed May 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.