The great Galveston disaster, containing a full and thrilling account of the most appalling calamity of modern times including vivid descriptions of the hurricane Page: 168
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168 VAST ARMY OF HELPLESS VICTIMS.
Under the direction of Hughes these hundreds of bodies already
collected and others brought from the central part of the
city-those which were quickest found-were loaded on an ocean
barge and taken far off into the gulf to be cast into the sea.
There were 38,000 people in the city when the census was
taken a few weeks before the flood. After a careful survey of the
desolate field since the storm and flood have wrought their sad
havoc, the conclusion is forced that there were in Galveston 25,000
people, or thereabouts, who had to be fed and clothed. The proportion
of thosewhowere in fair circumstances andlost all is astonishing.
Relief cannot be limited to those who formed the poorer class
before the storm. An intelligent man left Galveston, taking his
wife and child to relatives. He said: "A week ago I had a good
home and a business which paid me between $400 and $500 a month.
To-day I have nothing. My house was swept away and my business
is gone. I see no way of re-establishing it il the near future."
This man had a real estate and house renting agency.
STRIPPED OF ALL THEIR POSSESSIONS.
At the military headquarters one of the principal officials doing
temporary service for this city said: " Before the storm I had
a good home and good income. I felt rich. My house is gone and
my business. The fact is I don't even own the clothes I stand before
you in. I borrowed them."
Now these are not exceptional cases. They are fairly typical.
They must be fed and clothed, these 25,000 people, until they can
work out their temporal salvation.
And then something ought to be done to help the worthy get
on their feet and make a fresh start. Some people will leave Galveston.
It is plain, however, that nothing like the number expected
will go. Galveston is still home to the great majority. Those who
can stay and live there will do so. If the country responds to the
needs in anything like the measure given to Johnstown, Chicago,
Charlestown and other stricken cities and sections, Galveston as a
community will not only be restored, but will enter upon a greater
future than was expected before the storm.
Here’s what’s next.
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Lester, Paul. The great Galveston disaster, containing a full and thrilling account of the most appalling calamity of modern times including vivid descriptions of the hurricane, book, 1900~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth26719/m1/207/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .