Texas in 1850. By Melinda Rankin. Page: 171 of 196
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TEXAS IN 1850.
branches of all the large rivers of the middle and western
portion of the State. This part abounds with
excellent manufacturing sites, and will inevitably be a
great manufacturing country.
In many parts of this region, coal of a superior
quality and iron have been found, and it is supposed
that beds of these valuable minerals extend over a
great part of the country. Silver mines were wrought
towards Santa Fe in the northwest, till the works were
destroyed by the Camanches.
Among the natural curiosities of this portion of
country, is the " Cross Timbers," a continuous series of
forests, varying in breadth from five to ten miles. It
appears at a distance like an immense wall of wood;
and from the west such is its linear regularity, that it
looks as if it were planted by art.
Western Texas presents some interesting remains of
antiquity, among which are the old "Missions." Under
the Spanish dominion, each principal settlement
was placed under the government of a military commandant,
who exercised civil and military authority
within the limits of his presidio. At each presidio ws
established a "mission," which generally preceded the
formation of settlements, and was, in fact, the nucleus
around which population concentrated in the wilderness.
The old " Missions," or ancient edifices, whose remains
are yet seen, were of massive stone, and resembled the
feudal castles of Europe. Several of them were erected
by the Spaniards from Mexico early in the eighteenth
century; some of them are co-eval with the oldest
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Rankin, Melinda. Texas in 1850. By Melinda Rankin., book, 1850; Boston. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6107/m1/171/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .