Sunday, March 7, 2010

Steam Boats of Note

  • Not well known, but a favorite of mine is the Criterion, the steam boat which brought my family from Nashville, Tennessee, as they began their journey to Texas in 1831.
  • The Red Rover, also out of Nashville, took Sam Houston toward New Orleans in 1829 when he exiled himself. In another blog entry, Sam Houston, is quoted recalling an important spiritual event taking place on that boat. 
  • The third is the packet boat, Yellow Stone, which is most famous for its tenacious way of pushing nearer the headwaters of the Missouri River than any other; but is dear to Texans because she was conscripted by General Houston to cross the Texan Army across the Brazos on April 12th, 1836 . 120' side wheeler for fur trade along Missouri to St. Louis, refitted for Cotton Packet Boat in 1835. Twin Boiler, Cypress and Oak. Two decks. Sailed out of Quintana, Texas, on the Brazos to New Orleans. 6' draw, perhaps 100 tons. After San Jacinto, went to Galveston to get President and cabinet, then, with Houston, Santa Ana and 80 Mexican prisoners. When Stephen F. Austin died, Yellow Stone took his body back to San Felipe. The Yellow Stone notes and the notes regarding steamboats, below, may be found, with even more information at :Steam Boat Yellow Stone Aided General Sam Houston and the Texas Revolution
  • A Smaller boat, the 65 ton Laura, on the Brazos.
  • Cayuga, an 88-ton steamboat with a 6-foot draft, out of Galveston. 1837 renamed Branch T. Archer.
  • A fourth boat, is the Ariel, the first steam boat to come to Texas, brought by Henry Austin, in 1829.
I'll need to find the source for this, but since I am on about rivers... The way I remember the story about the Brazos River getting its name was that a tribe of Apache in North East Texas, near Texarkana, had had more than enough of the Spanish explorers. The Apache chased the conquistadors westward until reaching the river. The Spanish managed to cross the river with the Apache in sight and preparing to continue the pursuit. As the last of the baggage was crossed, the rover rose with a flash flood. The Apache decided not to cross and both parties camped across from each other. The Priest (chaplain) asked the commander to allow him to offer Thanksgiving (Eucharist) to God as salvation had come to them in the flood waters as if being wrapped into the (loving) arms of God, "Los Brazos de Dios." The story came to me in the form of a description of the first recorded Eucharist on Texas soil. I like this version best.

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