Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed Page: 58 of 119
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[ 34-1 ]
General description of the surface.
Texas is a vast inclined plane, sloping to the southeast, and the greatest
proportion of it is prairie land.
The skirt bordering on the coast, and extending back 75 miles, is very
level, and of the richest quality of land, and is peculiarly well adapted to
the culture of sugar and cotton.
East of the Brazos, and north of this skirt, the country is rolling, but
fertile. West of the Brazos, and 100 miles back of the level strip, the
country is the same-rolling and fertile, and would become a fine stock
and grain country. Beyond this, it breaks into abrupt hills and steppes,
until finally, in the northwest angle, the mountains pierce the regions of
In the broken country, however, the valleys are said to be well watered,
fertile, and healthy.
All the creeks which empty into the Gulf of Mexico have, at some time
or other, been the mouths of some rivers; and, as might be expected, all
the lands in the vicinity of them are of surpassing fertility.*
The 34th parallel is intermediate between the northern and southern
boundary of Texas; and north of that latitude the region is wholly unsuited
to the culture of cot4on, and, from its altitude, approaching the headwaters
of so many of the streams of the West, and -from its propinquity
to extensive and lofty mountains, has a mucl colder climate than our
Southern States; but it is well suited for grain and pasture, and is marked
on Arrowsmitl's map as a country well watered, and abounding in fine
land.t It is believed these remarks apply in some measure to all the
country north and west of a line drawn from the southern extremity of the
Cross Timbers to the mouth of the Puerco.
The map will exhibit these quite as well as any written description. The
sign of the anchor will show the highest navigable point for steamboats
during the seasons of high water, which last usually during four months of'
These points have been ascertailed by verbal communications from gentlemen
of veracity from that country, who state that, at the points designated,
steamboats have actually taken off cotton or other freight.
It will be observed that the Colorado, the Nueces, and Guadalonpe, are
not designated as navigable. This is owing to the obstructions formed by
rafts of timber near theirrmouths. It is said these can be easily removed.
If so, the Colorado would be navigable to the falls, and the other rivers
some 50 or 100 miles into the interior.
The Rio del Norte has been navigated by steamboats to Loredo, but it is'
full of sand bars; and the navigation at present is difficult and dangerousnot
however beyond the power of the engineering art, to adapt it to steamboat
navigation, many hundred miles.
This grand and solitary river, without any important tributaries to divide
* See. Folsom, Kennedy, Bonnel,
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United States. Congress. Senate. Proceedings of the Senate and Documents Relative to Texas, from which the Injunction of Secrecy Has Been Removed, book, 1844; [Washington]. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2363/m1/58/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .