Las Sabinas, Volume 29, Number 1, 2003 Page: 18
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
A TALE OF TWO BROTHERS
By Jerry Pennington
Presented in part to the Orange County Historical Society at their March 2001 Meeting
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times....." So begins A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens'
novel about the French Revolution. The same could be said of Orange Texas during the American
Civil War. It was the best of times. Orange was an active port city that had been referred to as a
small New Orleans. On the eve of the war, Orange stood on the portal of economic success. The
population had steadily grown, rail lines and bridges were finally spanning the marsh making
transportation easier, and land was being developed.
It was the worst of times. During the early 1860's the population substantially declined, the rail lines
were torn up for fortifications and the expected economic boom was a bust. Soon after peace was
restored, a major hurricane tore through the city leaving only four buildings standing. Orange had
otherwise escaped the physical ravages of war but was nonetheless destroyed. This fabric provides
the back drop on which the following small section of Orange's Tapestry is woven.
The analogy of history as a tapestry is not original but it is appropriate. Our lives intersect with
the lives of others at different times just as the threads of a tapestry intersect as they are woven in
and out. Sometimes the colors are side by side for a long time----sometimes only for a brief
encounter. Those variations are what create the picture.
History, like a tapestry, is best understood and appreciated by stepping back and looking at the
whole. The individual threads are seen as they relate to other threads to tell a story. Too often we
are taught that history is the memorization of "Important" dates and events. But history is simply
a story-Our story. Too much time spent in counting the threads of the tapestry take away the beauty
and the meaning of the story. History should be accurate and factual so that we do not bend it to our
will but it need not be rote memorization.
The tale before us is actually a story within a story. The main story is about two brothers in Orange,
Texas during the 1860's. They are both young. They are both lawyers. Yet one has a legacy of
fame, fortune and family who remember him. The other is lost and forgotten-no personal history,
no obituary-not even known grave marker.
Some of this information as well as more stories about very old Orange lawyers can be found in
articles in Las Sabinas, Vol, XXV, Book 2, 1998 entitled Lawyers and Lawyering in Orange County
The Secondary story involves you, the supporters of Las Sabinas and local history. It is the story of
how the Tale of Two Brothers came together--of how those who do historical or genealogical
research stand on the shoulders of others who have come before. Las Sabinas is an invaluable tool.
As the story unfolds watch for the importance of Las Sabinas. And now, to A Tale of Two Brothers.
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Orange County Historical Society (Tex.). Las Sabinas, Volume 29, Number 1, 2003, periodical, 2003; Orange, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth312923/m1/22/: accessed September 25, 2022), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Orange County Historical Society.