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: 498
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498 GREAT STORMS AND VAST DIS.TRUCTION.
in tremulous expectation; Cllicago that has risen twice froin ashes
to finer and more secure architectural proportions, and Calcutta,
whose existence has been marked by three beginnings, are all expressions
of the same splendid pertinacity with which the people of
Galveston are already animated and from which will certainly appear
a new and grander Gulf city offering to the menaces of nature
a richer challenge.
A GREAT BREAKWATER.
"It was no accidental selection that caused Galveston to be
built as it was upon a low island whose approach from the sea
offered no harbor to ships and to whose low, sandy shores the products
of the State of which she is the metropolis came only by
artificial and difficult channels. The sweeping curves of the Gulf
of Mexico reach its northern apex at or near this point, and it is
there that the ships seeking the nearest approach to the cotton
fields of Texas came, while the bay itself is as nearly as possible
the average centre of industrial life in the State. The bay was
never a harbor. To those who are familiar with the Jersey coast
the situation of Galveston is easily presented.
"Just as part of the land has reached out into the sea and
swinging around in different directions the points came in touch
and raised a breakwater which, gathering sand and pebbles, became
the beach at distances of four to ten miles from the mainland,
leaving interior bays, with shallow inlets connecting them with the
ocean, Galveston island was formed.
THE SWIRLING TIDES OF THE GULF.
" If the visitor to Barnegat or even to the Inlet end of the
island at Atlantic, will recall how a narrow channel of tidal water
reaches back to the sedge fringed bays that extend from Sea Girt
to Cape May, and quadruple the width of those interior waters, he
will have a fair idea of the position and surroundings of Galveston.
Across Galveston Bay the railroads make their approach over eight
to fifteen miles of tracks supported by piling.
"The waters of the bay are indeed navigable and through its
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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/m1/556/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .