1830 Chapters
Medium 9781574416510

11. Not Your Typical Southern Belles

Edited by Deborah M. Liles and Angela Boswell University of North Texas Press ePub
Medium 9781574412130

Part V. Crossroads

A. C. Greene University of North Texas Press PDF

An Inspector's Report

IN 1858 Goddard Bailey, Special Agent for Postmaster General Aaron

V. Brown, inspected the transcontinental mail systems, including the route across the Isthmus of Panama. After that, he was on the first Butterfield stage going from San Francisco to St. Louis, and his report on the line is of interest.'

"The establishment of a regular and permanent line of communication, overland, between the Atlantic States and California being a matter of general interest, some desire may naturally be felt to know how far the enterprise recently inaugurated under the auspices of your department has succeeded," Bailey wrote. "I am induced, therefore, to reproduce somewhat in detail, the notes I took while accompanying the first mail sent from the Pacific under the contract with the Overland Mail Company."

Pointing out that the stage, in San Francisco, started from the

Plaza shortly after midnight on September 14, he says he arrived at

Tipton, the Missouri terminus of the Pacific railroad, at 9:05 A.M.,

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Medium 9781574416312

9. Simply cannot Control Himself

Bob Alexander University of North Texas Press ePub

ASSUREDLY THE GRIM REAPER HAD NOT BEEN ASLEEP during that first month of eighteen-hundred and ninety-two: Not in the Big Bend Country, Company D's territory. Subsequent to slick undercover work, Diamond Dick St. Leon, the former-Ranger, had infiltrated and ingratiated himself with a nasty gang of Mexican ore thieves at Shafter. Surreptitiously, after talking with Diamond Dick, Corporal John Hughes and Private Lon Oden knew where to take a tactically advantageous position on that twelfth night of January. St. Leon would be acting as the rear guard for the gang's pack-train of stolen ore, treasure being shipped under the cover of darkness from Shafter to the Rio Grande—and across. Unbeknownst to Matilde Carrasco, José Villeto, and Quinlino Chaves they would never see or feel the warmth of Big Bend Country sunshine again. The ambush—law enforcement interdiction—had been blueprinted with buckshot perfectly. Whether or not the challenge to throw up hands and surrender was hurled before or after the Rangers’ shotgun blasts is somewhat irrelevant now, certainly not of any concern for Villeto and Chaves—they were sledgehammer dead. During the initial gunfire Carrasco had been wounded and might have survived had he not opted to fight a little longer. Apparently it had not even dawned on the cleverly duped Matilde that Diamond Dick was really not his friend. So, almost effortlessly when Carrasco repositioned himself to pop a few caps at the two suitably concealed Texas Rangers: “St. Leon rose up and shot him between the eyes.”1

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Medium 9781574414677

18. Pangs of Sorrow

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF

18

PANGS OF SORROW

J O N E S A LWAY S H A D a fragile constitution. His health problems were a periodic problem, and he suffered frequent attacks of what was termed “derangement of the liver.” In January and February of 1881, he felt rather good and even put on a few pounds. However, on March 6, his family doctor, W. A. Morris, was called to the Jones’ Austin residence.

The general was in severe pain and suffering from nausea, having been ill for about a week. The doctor diagnosed him with acute hepatitis involving the stomach. The next morning Jones was resting easier, but at noon was seized with “severe rigor,” experiencing vomiting and pain across his stomach and liver area. By evening, those symptoms had abated, although they returned again on March 8, then abated again that same evening.1

Over the next week and a half, Jones’ gastric distress continued, and he was unable to eat, experiencing periodic “nervous shock.”2

Despite Jones’ absence from the office, the work of the Frontier Battalion continued, and Jones’ clerk, Henry Orsay, stepped in until Jones could return. Captain Baylor reported he had “discharged nearly all my men,” stating some wanted to go to the mines in Colorado and “some got on a drunk.”3 In Arrington’s Company C, at least eight men were suffering from mumps, while in Nevill’s camp “my men are all sick with severe

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Medium 9781574412659

38. Telegraph

Jacques D. Bagur University of North Texas Press PDF

38. T elegraph

Communication in early Texas was slow and depended on transmission by word of mouth or by printed materials such as newspapers.

Newspapers from outside the region were generally received in Jefferson by stagecoach and steamboat, sometimes weeks after they had been published. The telegraph offered the first technology for near-instantaneous transmission of information. In reviewing the advantages of the telegraph, the March 5, 1853, Texas Republican pointed out that one of its primary uses would be to obtain up-to-date information on the volatile cotton market. Merchants in interior towns like Marshall wanted to buy cotton but were deterred from doing so because they did not know the current market prices. Purchases under such circumstances were risky.

New York and New Orleans were connected by telegraph by way of Mobile in July 1848. In January 1853, the contractors T. C. H. Smith and George Ward proposed a line from New Orleans to Shreveport,

Marshall, Houston, and Galveston. Stock subscriptions were being taken for the line between New Orleans and Shreveport in April 1853.

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