Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 2, July, 2000 Page: 87
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Reminiscences ofDilue Rose Harris
(Parts 1 and 2)
In 1898, Dilue Rose Harris, in her mid
seventies and a widow for nearly three de-
cades, sat down with a cheap, school-boy,
Huntingdon tablet and began writing about
her childhood. At the time, Harris lived in
Eagle Lake, at the home of her daughter and
her son-in-law, Sarah and George S. Ziegler
She had spent most of the preceding forty
years at the home that she and her husband,
Ira Albert Harris, built in Columbus.
Had she not bothered to write about
her past, her name would be obscure today.
But because her writings were published, as
"The Reminiscences of Dilue Rose Harris, "
in the Quarterly of the Texas State Historical
Association (now Southwestern Historical Quar-
terly) in three installments, in October 1900
(vol. 4, no. 2), in January 1901 (vol. 4, no.
3), and in January 1904 (vol. 7, no. 3), her
life has drawn the attention of biographers
and her Columbus home has been touted as
a tourist attraction.
However the publication of her remi-
niscences was marred by editorial decisions
to improve her grammar and spelling, and to
omit some data. The omissions led William C.
Davis, on page 384 of his recent book, Three
Roads to the Alamo (New York: HarperCollins,
1998), to erroneously state that Rawson Al-
ley killed Morris Mays in 1834. Davis cites
Harris as his source, but concedes that he
guessed at the names, because, as he put it,
"Harris only identified the protagonists as
Mr A' and 'Mr M"' (see p. 686). Actually,
Harris freely used the names Bell and West.
Her editor substituted the cryptic letters.
The original manuscript of the first
two installments of Harris' reminiscences are
in the San Jacinto Museum of History. In
1993, they were located there by Wolfram M
Von-Maszewski of the George Memorial Li-
brary and put onto microfilm at his request.
He then made the preliminary transcription
on which we base our publication. Because
we have not been able to locate a handwrit-
ten original version of the third installment,
we have elected not to reprint it. What fol-
lows are the reminiscences of Dilue Rose
Harris with all their eccentricities in place.
No hypens except those which she herself in-
Page 1 1833
April 28 was the anniversay of my birthday I
was eight years old and on shipboard at the time.
My Father, Doctor P. W. Rose mother brother
and sister we embarked at New Orleans the
fifteenth of the month for matagorda, texas, were
two-weeks on the gulf of mexico. the captain
name was Denmore. the pilot James Spillman. I
dont remember the name of the vessel, she was
a small Schooner. The vessel was becalmed two
weeks. then astorm arose. and she ran on the
the bar at Galveston Island. we were two days
and nights on the bar. got off the bar. anchord
near the Galveston island. ther had been a fearful
storm raging for twelve hours. the storm ceased
late in the eveing the moon rose full. it was a
splendid sight. the passengers wanted to land,
Captain Denmore would not let them, said if the
wind rose he would go to Harrisburg, a small
town on buffalo bauyo. Galveston island was
asandbar, not a house too be seen. the Captain
said there had been acustom house on the island,
but the custom house had been moved to
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 2, July, 2000, periodical, July 2000; Columbus, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151409/m1/23/?q=nesbitt%2520memorial%2520library%2520journal: accessed May 30, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.