True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 134
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134 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
trying to find out why it was called "Constitution" Bend. I do
not remember to have ever found any one who knew. Lately I
discovered the reason, or rather, a possible explanation.
In 1838 Mr. John K. Allen gave the captain of the steamer
Constitution $1000 to bring his boat to the foot of Main Street.
The Constitution was an ocean-going vessel that plied between
Galveston and New Orleans. She had a terrible time getting
from Harrisburg to Houston and after she got here she could
not turn around, but had to back down to a big bend below the
city. There is no record of her having made a second trip, but
it is evident that she gave her name to the bend. Constitution
Bend has been eliminated by a cut-off channel dredged in recent
The Laura and the Yellowstone, the two steamers that had
been in the trade for about a year before then, were small affairs
and could turn with ease. 'Had the Constitution been on to the
trick developed later by the" steamboat men she could have
turned also. The thing was very simple and easily accomplished.
The bow of the boat was tied to the bank beyond the
mouth of White Oak Bayou and then the stern was backed into
that bayou, the bow hauled down stream, and there you were,
as nice a turn as possible. In later years much larger boats
than the Constitution came to Houston regularly and none of
them ever had the slightest trouble in turning.
The Laura, Captain Griffin, was the first boat that ever came
up the bayou to Houston. She arrived at the foot of Main
Street January 22, 1837, and it took her two days to get from
Harrisburg to Houston. Not long after the Laura's exploit the
Yellowstone, Captain West, arrived here, coming through the
West Bay at Galveston, from Quintana.
However, the largest ocean-going steamer that has ever been
to the foot of Main Street was a blockade runner. I don't remember
her name. She came up here during the spring of 1863
and anchored at the foot of Main Street, but afterward dropped
down and discharged her cargo of war munitions near the foot
of San Jacinto Street. There was a big flood in the Bayou and,
the water being very high, she had no trouble either in coming
or getting away. It is possible that Captain Bill Flagg knows
something about this steamer, for he was in the Confederate
navy and had much to do with blockaders and blockade running
during the war.
It is not going to be so very long now when genuine, bona
fide ocean-going vessels will be running regularly to the foot of
Main Street, and it is well to put these pioneer steamers on record
for the use of future historians.
LEFT HAND FISHING CLUB AS CRITICS,
N i'EARLY all the moving pictures bear this announcement:
"Censored by the national board," etc. That, of course,
is to guarantee that no improper shows slip by. I understand
that Houston also has a board df censors, whose duties
Here’s what’s next.
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Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., book, 1913; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/m1/134/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .