Heritage, Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 1990 Page: 15
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
These breakthroughs in transportation
that continually alter our perception of
time-distance relationships tend to
overshadow the most humble, yet possibly
the most enduring and useful of
transportation improvements, that of
changes in road building and design.
income, was slow to gain acceptance. At
first the highway was seen as an expression
of authority. It was not considered a public
road, but as the Camino Real, the Royal
Road of the King, as was the origin of the
Old San Antonio road near Bastrop, a new
form of space designed not for the public,
but for the movement of government
troops and royal goods. Highway robbery
was thus an affront to authority.
Others saw the road as increasing an
area's dependency by draining it of its
physical and human resources, or perceived
any government powerful enough
A wagon train about to depart from the once-thriving seaport of Indianola, since destroyed by a hurricane in the late 1870s.
In the infant stages of Texas' road development,
the image of Texas was that of
a state without a beginning or an end, a
world of perpetual passage. Texas was a
wilderness, a chaos of space that was virtually
untouched by the emigrant hand. According
to John Stilgoe in his book Common
Landscape of America, 1580 to 1845, it
was "the spatial correlative of unreason,"
an unreason that was to be pacified by the
road that gave this unruly wilderness order
and symmetry, and Texans a new view of
their state. European emigrants coming
from a mature road system had little training
in wilderness travel or experience of
wilderness roads, and thus often depended
on guides such as Jose Polancio, whose
grave lies at Guadalupe Pass, for direction.
The term 'highway' comes from 'highroad'
since the road was built above the
adjoining land thus offering a view of the
surrounding area. The idea that highways
built at public expense increased an area's
wealth, and enhanced an individual's
The first established rail link between San Antonio and Austin on February 16, 1881 reduced this journey
to around three hours and was to end stagecoach service by 1882.
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.
Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 1990, periodical, Autumn 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45429/m1/15/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.