The Story of Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel Page: 4
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'Buffalo 'Bayou and Houston Ship Channel, 1820-192o
establishing a modest service between New York and
Houston. In this they were unsuccessful but they did
succeed in interesting the Southern Steamship Company
in establishing what soon became a Philadelphia and
Houston service in which is now employed eight modern
cargo vessels-and which fleet is to be further increased.
After we entered the World War it appeared for a
while that the service would be discontinued by the Company's
vessels being withdrawn for trans-Atlantic service
by direction of our Government. The officials of the
Company, assisted by J. S. Cullinan and Thos. H. Ball,
pleaded our cause so earnestly and effectively that the
order was withdrawn and the service permitted to continue.
It was indeed an important and critical period for
our new Port.
The history of the past one hundred years is, to a considerable
extent, a story of the development and progress
of transportation. The steam engine, the electric motor,
the internal combustion engine, the telegraph, the telephone
and the radio are, of course, each and all instrumentalities
of transportation of people, property and
sound, and our industrial growth is largely the result of
the progress and development in transportation.
After reading the historical part of the story which
follows, the reader, it seems to me, will understand better
and reason for the remarkable spirit of courage, confidence
and co-operation which has characterized this
community in all matters relating to the Ship Channelas
I see it, it was literally because of the "faith of the
fathers" handed down to the succeeding generation, and,
in the story, it is unmistakably shown that the "faith of
the fathers" was founded on fact and not on fancy.
In my several years of Port service I was officially
associated with citizens whose character, courage and unselfish
devotion to the public interest have been an inspiration
and a blessing to me, for which I am profoundly
grateful and I hold them one and all in affectionate
esteem and regard.
The railroads are all important to Houston and I
want to record here that the constructive and sympathetic
interest of Horace Booth, J. S. Pyeatt, W. R.
Scott, John A. Hulen, F. G. Pettibone, C. N. Whitehead
and W. G. Choate, as representatives of the various
carriers, were of inestimable value to the Port Commission
in laying the foundation for, and in the organization
of, the existing neutral switching service along the
water front, and which I regard as being of tremendous
local industrial importance and which I hope may never
In examining the historical data which has been
made available, I found peculiar interest in observing the
various characters, and the parts they played, as they
respectively appeared upon the stage:
General Sidney Sherman, a hero of San Jacinto, who
unmistakably visioned the future, and who at his own
expense ordered, in 1846, a survey of the waterway.
B. A. Shepherd, the founder of the First National
Bank, who was, at an early day, President of a company
which operated several steamboats.
Commodore Morgan, whose activities are related in
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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/m1/6/: accessed September 23, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; .