A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas Page: 78
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HISTORY OF NAVARRO, HENDERSON, ANDERSON,
in various parts of the State, and hence the
sedimnents which the comparatively swift
waters of their courses carry down and
deposit in the quieter basins of East Texas a
vary considerably in character. The Red,
Colorado and Brazos rivers rise in the
eastern slopes of the Staked Plains, in
Northern Texas, pass through the Red
(gypsiferous) beds, the Paleozoic rocks,
and the great Cretaceous area in Central
Texas, and finally deposit in East Texas a
sediment composed of these materials from
these regions, in the form of a highly
calcareous red silt. The Trinity rises in
the Carboniferous rocks of Northern Texas,
but far east-of the Staked Plains, and, passing
down through the cretaceous prairies,
become charged with calcareous matter.
Hence its sediments, though often calcareous,
do not have the red color of the Red,
Brazos, and Colorado rivers.
The Trinity river thus geographically
described has an immense valley to drain
that, large as it is, is still estimated as but
about half that of tile Brazos, which scores
an area of 35,000 square miles. The Trinity's
16,600 square miles, however, does
not prevent it from being the most navigable
internal river of Texas. "All the
Texas rivers are navigable," says Mr. Penrose,
"to a greater or less extent, and until
the introduction of railroads an extensive
shipping business was carried on in transporting
the cotton production of the region.
Of course, the amount of freight that could
be carried depends on the high and low
condition of the water. Now, however,
boats rarely go up them for any considerable
distance, as the journey takes a long
time on account of the currents in the
rivers, and, consequently, competition with
tile railroads is impossible. The Sabine
was formerly navigable for three hundred
miles from its mouth, while cotton boats
capable of carrying a thousand bales made
regular trips up the Trinity to Green's
Landing in the northwestern part of
Anderson county. A small steam launch
is also said to have once ascended this
river as far as Dallas."
Now, take from the middle course of
this river, where the timber terminal and
Trinity sands mingle with the prairie black
and green sand as if bent on showing how
much variety could be compressed into
one area, what may be called a star of
counties, with Freestone as the center, and
Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Leon, and
Limestone as its five radiating points, and
there presents itself the interesting territory
under consideration in this volume.
It is a somewhat circular area of a larger
size than most Texans are wont to think,
in their constant familiarity with vast
areas. Its 6,014 square miles of territory
embraces an area nearly two-thirds as large
as Vermont, about three-fourths the size
of Massachusetts, nearly six-sevenths of
New Jersey, over a thousand square miles
larger than Connecticut, about three times
the size of Delaware, and about five times
the size of Rhode Island. Its comparison
with the areas of foreign countries, too,
will occasion no small surprise with many
readers, when they learn that it is nearly
as large as Wurtemburg, San Salvador, or
Hawaii, and larger than Saxony.
But, turning to the individual counties
of this Trinity star, and even their size is
not appreciated: take the two large urban
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Lewis Publishing Company. A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas, book, 1893; Chicago, Illinois. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46827/m1/80/: accessed May 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Palestine Public Library.