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: 413
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THE STORM'S MURDEROUS FURY. I 13
thousand times more furious than any the world has heretofore
known. Any attempt to support either proposition is absurd. It
is admitted, however, that the assertion that the island has been
standing since the flood, or is a part of the original creation, is a
theory, and worth no more than any other theory started from a
proper predicate, but Galveston island has been known for more
than 400 years, and has a fairly well-authenticated history since
1542. In 1541 De Soto is said to have landed on the Texas coast
near the island, established a base of operations and penetrated the
interior as far as the present site of the town of San Marcos.
" After his death a part of his exploring force settled on Galveston
island in I542, and constructed some kind of fortifications
to protect themselves from the Indians and Spanish pirates or freebooters.
This was 358 years ago. This undisputed historical fact
proves beyond question that the Spanish pirates and the American
Indians were acquainted with the island before De Soto's men
established themselves. Just how long is not known, but a knowledge
of the island strip may be contemporaneous with the existence
of the aborigines of America that were here during the explorations
of the Norsemen, who made several voyages in the ninth
century, Iooo years ago. In 1585, while La Salle was cruising
around in the Gulf of Mexico, he mentions having lost a man in
the Malign (Brazos) River, and it is therefore very probable that
he touched at Galveston island.
A MATTER OF HISTORY.
"(In 1715, Governor Casparlo Awaya established the Orquisaco
mission on Galveston bay and made a thorough exploration of
the ishnd. In i816 the Mexican envoy to the United States,
General Herrera, and Commodore Ansy took formal possession of
Galveston island in the name of the Mexican republic, and from
that time until now the history of the island is a connected, wellauthenticated
story, and as much is known of its climate, soil,
products, temperature, rainfall, wind storms, etc., as any part of
Texas. At that time the island was much lower than now, much
)f it a mere marsh, entirely unprotected by improvements, and a
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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/m1/471/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .