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: 238
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238 THRILLING NARRATIVE Dr EVE-WITNESSES.
who had lost their lives or their homes. On Sunday afternoon I
took a walk out Tremont avenue to inquire as to the safety of
some of my friends who lived on that street, and after making a
few visits proceeded to the beach to witness the destruction that
had taken place in that neighborhood.
"Of course it has been told by several how everything had
been swept off the face of the land in that direction, but I could not
help noticing the large number of colored people with their baskets
and shawls searching through the ruins of what had been the finest
homes in Galveston for bric-a-brac, silver and other articles of
value. I stood for some time, amazed that they could have the
audacity to do what they were doing, but as nobody seemed to
interfere with them or question their right, I passed on as every
one else did, simply feeling astounded that people could be so inhuman
at such a time. I saw one colored woman who had filled her
basket and was returning to the city when she met one of the
unfortunate owners of the property, who, by the merest chance,
noticed sticking out of the woman's basket some article that she
was able to identify as her property.
CURSED FbR INTERFERENCE.
"She called upon the darkey to give up the article, but she
declined to do so, taking the position that in such times it was
anybody's property. Fortunately for the rightful owner a gentleman
friend happened to come along during the controversy, and,
hearing the nature of it, forcibly took the basket from the woman,
who was even then bold enough to stand cursing the man for his
interference. I did not see any parties mutilating or robbing the
dead, but I met several others in Galveston who had.
"I left on Tuesday morning, being fortunate enough to get
passage on a schooner that carried me to Texas City. From there
I caught a train to Houston. All day Monday in Galveston it
seemed to be one continual procession of bodies, which were being
carried in wagons, drays, fire ladders, and every other imaginable
conveyance. Some of the bodies were minus heads, arms or feet,
which, added to the advanced stage of decomposition, not only
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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/m1/292/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .