Seaports of the World
United States: Texas
San Antonio Daily Light
San Antonio, Texas
October 10, 1890
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS
Gem of the Texas Coast
The completion of the ship channel at Ropes Pass will make it the greatest DEEP WATER PORT bordering on the Gulf of Mexico. The settlement of the rich country surrounding Corpus Christi is proceeding at an unprecedented rate. The soil is inexhaustible and is capable of producing three crops of some products per year! This charming sea-side city enjoys the double distinction of being the most superb
WINTER AND SUMMER RESORT
in North America, and it requires on great power provision to see it the home of 50,000 prosperous and intelligent people within the next two years.
AUCTION SALE OF LOTS
The grandest sale of magnificent Business and Residence Lots that has ever been advertised in the Southwest will take place in Corpus Christi on
OCTOBER 22, 1890 ON THE CLIFFS
The picturesque young city adjoining Corpus Christi, where the Alta Vista Hotel, a beautiful three-story resort is now being built, to cost
when completed and furnished $125,000, besides many handsome cottages that have also been contracted for and in course of construction, and surrounding which you can buy a lot at your own figure.
An order for seventeen miles of shade trees has been placed with the largest nursery in the country, and in a few months this charming young city, with its broad graded streets and ocean drive and a rapid transit railway on its west and 150 square
miles of dancing waves to the east will present a picture beautiful to behold.
TERMS—One-Third Cash, Balance in 10 Years.
REGATTA ON CORPUS CHRISTI BAY!
On the 22d October, the day on which the auction sale of lots is to occur, will be held a regatta directly opposite The Cliffs, in which the fasten sailing vessel that ride the salty waves will take part, under management of Captain C. H. Butts.
February 16, 1889, The American Settler
London, Middlesex, United Kingdom
United States Custom House Report
The statements of the Custom House officials at El Paso from 1882 to 1888 inclusive show that the ore, bullion, and silver coin imported from Mexico is gradually on the increase. In 1882 the amount imported was valued at $313,753; in 1883, $1,084,275; in 1884, $3,066,788; in 1885, $9,860,301; in 1886. $13,749,974 ; in 1887, $13,636,444; in 1888 up to June 30th, the end of the fiscal year $13,967,142; The value of merchandise imported from Mexico in 1882 was $184,465; in 1883; $817,279; in 1884, $679,820; in 1885, $559,997; in 1886, $623,890; in 1887, $492,805; in 1888, $401,021.
Most prominent of all the importations in the above list stand those of silver coin, bullion and ore. The silver coin and bullion may be regarded as finished products when they reach the United States, but the silver ore furnishes labour for a great number of men and also helps materially in the treatment of the refractory ores mined in the southwestern part of the United States. The importation of silver ore has steadily increased for several years past, and has come to be a very important factor in the industrial interests of El Paso and other places.
The value of the silver imported in 1888, however, exceeded the value for 1837 by $700,000, or nearly 25 per cent.
The number of cattle and horses imported for breeding purposes is large, and shows the favour in which Mexican stock is held for crossing with high grade American stock. There is not a very heavy demand, however, for Mexican cattle and horses for other than breeding purposes.
In the importation of breadstuffs, however, there has been a pretty steady diminution for several years past. The importation of fruits, especially grapes and oranges, has grown to comparatively large proportions. The oranges are sent from the southern part of Mexico, but the grapes are the product of the Rio Grande valley, being raised within a few miles of El Paso.
In many of the articles there are large fluctuations in successive years which are not eisily accounted for. The totals for the last three years are remarkably close to each other in amount, the falling off in one article being compensated for by the increase in another.
Port Arthur, 90 miles east of Houston on the gulf coast of Texas, is the namesake of Arthur E. Stilwell who platted the 1895. He envisioned Port Arthur as a resort, as a port City and as the terminus of the railroad he would eventually build linking Port Arthur to Kansas City.
John W. "Bet-A-Million" Gates, gained control of the Stilwell interest and built a rice mill in Port Arthur in 1900. He spent $1.4 million to dredge the Port Arthur ship canal then ceded it to the federal government for one dollar.
This transaction was completed by Congress' designation of Port Arthur as a port of entry, and by 1914 it ranked as the twelfth largest port in the United States and the second largest refining port. Today Port Arthur is the home of three major refineries and still the important terminus of the Kansas City Southern railroad.
The French sailor and pirate Louis-Michel Aury served in the French Navy and on French privateers until 1810 when he had accumulated sufficient funds to purchase his own vessels. In 1813, he was given command over the Grenadine Republic's privateer schooners during which time he successfully ran the Spanish blockade of Cartagena. In 1816, Jose Manuel de Herrera, Mexican rebel envoy, proclaimed Galveston a port of the Mexican republic, made Aury commissioner, and raised the rebel flag over the port city on September 13, 1816.
Aury established a settlement of shacks on the Galveston shores including huts for pirates, a booming slave market, boarding houses for visiting buyers, a shipyard, saloons, pool halls, gambling houses.
By 1817, Jean and Pierre Laffite had built their own mansion "Maison Rouge," and established a stronghold on Galveston and Aury resigned his commission. By 1825 Galveston was designated a provision port by the Congress of Mexico and made a home port for the Texas Navy by 1835. By 1900, Galveston was the leading U.S. port for the export of cotton and the third most important for the export of wheat.
The Galveston Daily News, August 26, 1898
A NAVAL RESERVE COLLEGE
Hon. Friench Simpson Talks on Expansion, Deep Water and Texas Sailors
"HOLD THE PHILIPPINES" HIS MOTTO
Stalwart Advocate of the New American Policy-Hon. Jos. D. Sayers, a South Texas Favorite
Dallas, Texas, August 1
Hon. Friench Simpson, one of the leading democrats of Texas and widely known in south Texas business circles, was in the city yesterday en route to his home from Fort Worth . . . He said to a News representative last night:
. . . "What about the Philippines?"
"Keep all the islands. The flag floats over Manila and Mainila is the capital of the island of Luzon . . . as a Texan, as an American, as a democrat, I want the stars and stripes to float over the islands of the archipelago . . . We need them in our business. In the race for commercial supremacy we need the islands and I do not believe for a moment that President McKinley and the American congress will ever relinguish their grip on the Philippines . . . I lam an expansionist . . ."
"Then you favor the construction of the Nicaragua canal by the federal government?"
"Do I. Well yes. I've been clamoring for the Nicaragua canal for years . . . Cuba and Porto Rico are practically annexed to the United States. Porto Rico we own absolutely and Cuba is certain to be annexed. Well, as American possessions in great coastwide trade will spring up and Texas will, or should, control it. The deep water ports on our gulf coast will be crowded with ships in the coast trade in season and their white suits will dot the gulf. It is coming our way. When you get a good thing, push it along."
"What about the Galveston platform?"
"It is all right. We can get around the platform all right. The men who made it were expansionists, but geographically they were not up to date. According to the new charts and new geographics, the Philippines are in the Western hemisphere and the democratic platform insists that the Dons must get out and off the western hemisphere. The Galveston platform builders are moving up the road in the right direction.
"Next, the American people want a magnificent Navy, one that will sweep the seas and proclaim Uncle Sam absolute monarch of the earth, not a despotic monarch, but the sworn foe of oppression and the torch bearer of peace in all men and civil and religious liberty for all mankind. Now, the American people are going to appropriate the money to build all the lighting machines wfl need to compel the nations of the earth to respect the flag of this republic and to attend strictly to their own business. With a great navy will come a merchant marine that will make the United States mistress of the seas and queen of commerce, and right here again is where Texas is interested, we should be interested in shipping and our maritime ports are certain to be the largest on the coast.
"After the Nicaragua canal has been built there will be millions of capital invested In the Texas coastwise trade. Now, what we need is a state naval reserve college on the line of the agricultural and mechanical college at Bryan. It should be located at Galveston or some other point on the coast. Two years ago and four years ago a bill was introduced early in the session at Austin. I did what I could to secure its passage, but no interest was manifested in it by the people and it was killed.
"Texas' shipping interests are bound to assume mammoth proportions owing to the absorption of Porto Rico, Cuba and other Islands in the West Indies and the certainty that the Nicaraguan canal will be built. We need a state naval reserve college. It takes three months to work over a raw recruit into a well-trained and well-drilled soldier. It takes three years to make a first-class sailor. Today there is no chance for a sailor in the American navy unless he is a graduate from the Annapolis naval academy, which is the finest school of its kind in the world. A naval reserve college would flt our boys for a sea-faring life and they would be turned out as well equipped for servlce on board naval vessels or merchant ships as the lads who are educated at Annapolis. This winter a bill creating a state naval reserve college should be introduced in the legislature and public sentiment should compel the lawmakers to make it a law. In future Texas will have great shipping as well as agricultural and manufacturing interests and now is the time to begin to educate our boys . . . "
In 1837, the 85-foot-long steamship Laura M. sailed from Galveston Bay up Buffalo Bayou to what is now Houston. (Houston's early settlers actually arrived in small boats that sailed up the bayou which connected the city with Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.) The Laura M's trip, in water no deeper than six feet, proved the bayou was navigable and established a commercial link between Houston and the rest of the world.
Like all deepwater ports, the town was plagued early on by the politics of economics when New Orleans' suppliers cut off Houston merchants' credit, then yellow fever wiped out one-tenth of the population. However, the port recovered and by the 1840s, Houston emerged as a commercial center for nearby towns. When Texas joined the Union in 1846, a flow of capital and people to the town built warehouses for storing cotton. Houston developed around the shipping industry which grew into one of the world's major seaports.