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: V
^g~t ^ ntrobuction i i
BY RICHARD SPILLANE.
[RICHARD SPILLANE, editor of the "Galveston Tribune," was chosen
by the Mayor and Citizens' Committee to seize any vessel in the harbor and
make his way as best he could to such point as he could reach, so as to get
in touch with the outside world, tell the story of the tragedy and appeal to
mankind for help. He crossed the bay during a squall, the little boat in
which he sailed being in imminent danger of swamping, having been stove in
during the hurricane. He reached Texas City after a perilous trip, then
made his way over the flooded prairie to Lamarque, where he found a railroad
hand-car. With this hand-car he managed to reach League City, where
he met a train coming from Houston to learn what fate had befallen Galveston.
On this train he reached Houston, where after sending messages to
President McKinley and Governor Sayers, he gave the news in detail to the
newspapers of the nation.]
N THE world's great tragedies, that of Galveston stands
remarkable. In no other case in history was a disaster met
with such courage and fortitude; in no other case in history
were the people of the whole world so responsive to the call for
help for the helpless.
There prevails a belief that Galveston is subject to severe
storms. That is a mistake. There have been heavy blows, and
there have been times when the waters of the bay and the Gulf
met in the city's streets, but the storm of September 8, 1900, is
without parallel. The best proof of this statement is furnished
by the old Spanish charts of three hundred years ago. They contain
as landmarks of Galveston Island the sign of three great
trees-oaks-that stood three hundred years ago in what is known
as Lafitte's grove, twelve miles down Galveston Island from the
city. These oaks withstood the storms of three centuries. The)
were felled by the fury of the storm of September 8.
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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/m1/8/ocr/: accessed October 23, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .