History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 10
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fISTORY OF TEXAS.
The Gulf Coast is thus described by Prof.
Loughridge, of the United States Census
" The coast of Texas presents features different
from those of any other State, for while
in many other States the mainland coast is
greatly cut up into large bays, extending
many miles inland, it is here bordered by an
almost continuous chain of islands and peninsulas
(the latter having the same trend as
the islands). The Gulf border of this chain
is a very regular line southwest from the
mouth of the Sabine river or lake to near Corpus
Christi, which occupies the highest point
on the entire coast, and thence turns with a
regular curve south and slightly southeast to
The territory east of the timber region and
north of the Gulf Coast, as above outlined, is
a vast open plain composed of gently rolling
prairies and gradual elevations. It is covered
with a luxuriant growth of native grasses
and dotted by an occasional mott of timber,
and extends to the Red river on the north
and the mountain ranges of the west .and
northwest. The water courses and ravines
are usually fringed with a growth of hackberry,
ash, elm, cottonwood, pecan, walnut
and the various oaks.
West and northwest lie the hills and mountain
ranges of the State, which are continuations
of the mountains of Mexico. New
Mexico and Colorado. In the extreme
northwest, bordering Kansas on the south
and New Mexico on the west, is the elevated
table land formerly known as the Llano Estacado,
or Staked Plains. It is now desig.
nated as the Panhandle of Texas, and is
destined to be one of the best agricultural
and stock-raising sections of the State. On
a line north of Austin and San Antonio, and
running in a southwesterly direction, there is
a low range of hills that mark a change in the
topography of the country. Westward it is
more broken and the elevations more abrupt.
The valleys are broad and the lands very
The water surface of Texas is estimated at
2,510 square miles. Of this number, 800
square miles are accredited to the rivers and
smaller streams which drain the State. The
balance consists of bays which lie along the
coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and small inland
Chief among the rivers of the State is the
Brazos, which drains an area of about 35,000
square miles, and is navigable as far up as
Columbia (about forty miles) at all times. It
has its source in the northwestern part of the
State, at the foot of the Staked Plains, and
flows in an easterly direction to Baylor county,
thence southeasterly to Brazoria county, where
it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Following
its bends it is about 900 miles long. The
Navasota river, which has its source in Limestone
county, is its principal tributary, and
drains portions of Leon, Robertson, Madison,
Brazos and Grimes counties.
The westernmost branch of the Brazos has
its source in an extensive salt region,-not
Mr. Jefferson's "Salt mountain," of which so
much was said and sung at the time of the
Louisiana purchase,-but a vast plain of 100
or 2X) miies in extent, charged with mineral
salt and covered in patches with nitre. The
salt is washed out of this basin only by freshets,
through Salt branch, into the Brazos.
The shores of the Brazos are not flat,
though never bold, but undulating and graceful.
The trees of larger growth are sometimes
covered with Spanish moss, as on the
shores of the Mississippi; but these bearded
nondescripts are not so frequent as to give the
Sensation of gloom; nor is there any cypress
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/11/: accessed April 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .