Texas in 1850. By Melinda Rankin. Page: 83 of 196

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86

TEXAS IN 1860.

and hickory grow to an astonishing size and height.
The laurels, especially the magnolias, are peculiarly
beautiful, rising with erect trunks to the height of 100
feet, forming towards the head a perfect cone, and having
their dark green foliage interspersed with large
white flowers, frequently eight or nine inches in
diameter.
As we leave the streams the country opens into vast
prairies or savannas, those beautiful plains which are
common in some other parts of the United States. In
the vernal season their beauty surpasses description the
luxuriance of the vegetation presents the appearance
of seas of verdure. The grass, three or four feethigh,
and often overtopped by fragrant blossoms, is waved by
the winds like the rolling billows of the ocean. Without
a tree in sight, except the thick forest which
bounds them, as the beach limits the sea, they stretch
far away beyond the power of vision.
Those immense prairie regions are susceptible of a
high state of cultivation, and their utility is equal to
their beauty.
The climate of Texas is one of alternate spring and
summer, with the exception of a few weeks during the
winter of excessive rains. During this season the prairie
portions of the country are subject to violent winds,
called " Northers," which exhibit a sudden transition
from heat to the most intense cold. They are of short
continuance; their effect, however, is somewhat deleterious
to health, especially to those who are not accustomed
to such piercing blasts.

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Rankin, Melinda. Texas in 1850. By Melinda Rankin., book, 1850; Boston. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6107/m1/83/ocr/: accessed July 29, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .