The Story of Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel Page: 9
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'Buffalo 'Bayou and Houston Ship Channel, 1820-1926
January 22nd, 1837, which came from Columbia, on the
Originally what is now known as "Morgan's Point"
was Clopper's Point. Col. James Morgan, a prominent
early Texan acquired this some time prior to the Battle
of San Jacinto, and it was better
known, after his residence near
there, as "Morgan's Point." A
"Mr. Ryder, an Engineer, is said
to have lived alone on the extreme
end of Morgan's Point in 1822."
In the year 1846 Engineer
Geo. Stealey made an examination
and survey of the waterway
from Bolivar Roads to Harrisburg
and his report to General
Sidney Sherman closes with the
recommendation that the head
of navigation for steam oceangoing
vessels be located at Harrisburg.
This original report is in
the possession of the descendants
of Gen. Sherman, among whom Main
is a grandson, the Hon. Clarence
Kendall, now Assistant U. S.
On October 9th, 1866, the Houston Direct Navigation
Company was incorporated and was invested with
authority to improve the navigation of Buffalo Bayou,
and by the terms of its charter was obligated to
"within six months have on the waters of Buffalo Bayou,
Galveston Bay and Harbor a sufficient number of steamers
and barges to meet the demands of Commerce," and
that it should "be subject in transportation of freight to
the laws applicable to common carriers." The company,
from January 1st, 1869, to September 30th, 1881, transported
through Buffalo Bayou
1,985,806 bales of cotton. Its incorporators
in 1866 were C. L.
Longcope, P. J. Willis, J. H. Sterrett,
William M. Rice, T. M.
Bagby, J. R. Morris, S. L.
Hohenthal, E. H. Schmidt, H. L.
Allen, A. Sessums and L. J.
Latham. Its old wharf on the
north side of the Bayou, and
immediately east of San Jacinto
Street, was probably erected in
the early '70's. Capt. William
Christian, still living, served as a
Director in the early seventies.
The City backed the enterprise
it is said, with a contribution of
1876 $200,000.00, and had the Channel
surveyed by Hugh Rice. On
April 4th, 1867, a committee was
appointed to draw up a memorial asking that Houston be
made a port of delivery, which was granted July 14th,
1870. The City Council also appointed, on April 18th, 1867,
a committee of six citizens to recommend a plan for the
"building of a ship channel." The names of the citizens
were: Jos. R. Morris, Wm. A. Van Alstyne, T. E. Cowen,
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Farrar, R. M. The Story of Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel, book, 1926; Houston, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46820/m1/11/: accessed October 1, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; .