Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 386 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
the compass being their only guide, or, if haply pre
ceded by some comrade, they followed his footstep
by means of the notches he had cut in trees. Th
roads were almost impassable in rainy weatherand,
as there were no bridges, many an anxiou
hour was spent at the fords. In traveling, pistols
bowie knives and a gun across the knees, wer
necessary to afford protection against man an<
beast. Their avocation was, indeed, a perilous one
but when have the sons of commerce been deterre(
by peril? They have braved alike the terrors of th4
Barcan desert and the icy North, nor have theJ
feared to go among any savage people or travel an)
foot of earth. Prominent among the pioneer merchants
of Texas was the subject of this memoir,
Cornelius Ennis, born in 1813 in Essex County
(now Passaic County), New Jersey. Mr. Ennis'
great-grandfather was Mr. William Ennis, who
came from the north of Ireland in the latter part of
tile seventeenth century, and settled in Bergen
County, New Jersey, with his wife (nee Miss Hannah
Brower). Mr. Ennis' mother was a Doremus,
of Knickerbocker stock, from one of the original
Holland families that settled in this country.
After receiving as liberal an education as that
State then afforded, he went to New York in 1834,
and obtained a position in a drug store, and three
years later began a trip down the Ohio and Mississippi
rivers in search of a desirable location.
Traveling on the Mississippi he met a great number
of people from Texas, going to Canada to
join the patriots around Toronto. All were enthusiastic
concerning the agricultural and business
opportunities afforded by Texas. These recitals
together with stories of the gallantry and courage
of the victors in the War for Independence, fired
the imagination of the young merchant-and he
determined to make his home in the Republic. He
returned to New York in May, continued in business
there until January, 1839, and then purchased
a stock of drugs and medicines and embarked on
the schooner " Lion " (Capt. Fish commanding)
He found Galveston very sparsely settled, without
a hotel or wharf, and proceeded to Houston,
then two years old and the capital of the Republic.
Here he immediately established himself in business,
purchasing a lot on Main street, where he
built a storehouse. In November of the same
year he formed a partnership with Mr. George W.
Kimball, and extended his business to general
merchandise. This connection continued until
1842, when Mr. George W. Kimball and family took
passage to New York on the brig " Cuba " (Capt.
Latham), and were lost at sea in a gale off the
Florida coast. Mr. Kimball had with him cotton
is and funds to be invested in the business at House
ton; but this loss served only to further develop
-the energy and courage of the surviving partner,
s and the business continued to prosper.
, The first cotton received at Houston was in Jane
uary, 1840, and came from Fort Bend County.
d Previous to this the merchants of Columbus and
, Brazoria controlled the crop. Cotton was hauled
to market in wagons which were very much delayed
eby rains, there being no bridges across streams and
7 the roads in a miserable condition. That received
r at Houston was ferried across the bayou at the
foot of Main street, and later at the foot of Com,
merce and Milam streets where the iron bridge now
stands. The firm of Ennis
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, 1880~; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/386/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .