Cotton Bales
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Cotton Bales, Keelboats, and Sternwheelers

A History of the Sabine River and Trinity River Cotton Trades, 1837-1900

A book that utilizes primary sources to trace the steamboat cotton trades of the Sabine and Trinity rivers has been long overdue, and Cotton Bales, Keelboats, and Sternwheelers does just that. Beginning in October, 1837, when the 3rd U. S. Infantry blew up and cleared the Sabine River of logjams and obstructions, the first sternwheeler, the 133-foot Velocipede, steamed all the way to Pendleton, Sabine County, and back without suffering any mishap. During the 63 years between 1837 and 1900, Cotton Bales traces the voyages of 84 steamers, many of which eventually sank in Sabine's murky depths.

The most famous of them, Uncle Ben, was also a cottonclad Confederate gunboat at the Battle of Sabine Pass, and Cotton Bales explains all activities of the Sabine's Confederate fleet. In 1857, Uncle Ben traveled the 800 river miles to Belzora, near Tyler, Texas, and brought down 3 loads of 1,000 bales of cotton on each voyage. The Confederates scuttled the gunboat Josiah Bell south of Orange, but its powerful engine powered equipment in Lutcher and Moore's Upper Sawmill for 50 years thereafter.

Perhaps of especial interest to the descendants living in the Orange vicinity today were the steamboats Dura, Capt. Tom J. Davis; R. E. Lee, Capt. J. J. Jordan; Una, Capt. Wiley Phillips; Charles Lee, Capt. Charles Davis; L. Q. C. Lamar, Capt. H. T. Davis; and the Emily P., Capt. W. D. Bettis. The book also includes many steamers used only in the logging industry. The boats sailed interchangeably in both the Neches and Sabine Rivers.

Steam boating on the Trinity spanned a much shorter time period than that on the Sabine, but the cotton bale volume was greater. As many as fifteen steamers at one time scoured the Trinity River landings for cotton in 1871-72, but the trade ended abruptly in 1874 due to rail competition. Cotton Bales covers the voyages of 104 sternwheelers on the Trinity from 1838 to 1894, including two voyages of the H. A. Harvey and Job Boat No. 1, each of which went all the way to Dallas. The L. Q. C. Lamar, mentioned earlier, was the last large sternwheeler to sink in Trinity in 1892, nine miles south of Liberty.

Cotton Bales truly recovers a memorable time span in East Texas history, when rural settlers, upon hearing the boat's whistle around the bend, knew that mail, passengers, and new merchandise were arriving in town and honeymooners would soon be sailing for Galveston.

Link to Amazon

This book was originally published in 1995 and has recently been published on Amazon in three formats: Kindle eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BLCJMNM3

The following is the table of contents and the index of the book, with page numbers from the printed books,

Table of Contents

Forward 2
Table of Figures 6
To the Reader 8
Part 1--Sabine River Trade 9
Chapter 1--The Sabine River's Physical and Economic Background 9
  
Endnotes--Chapter 1 22
Chapter 2--The Matchless Sabine River 24
  
Endnotes--Chapter 2 31
Chapter 3--The Sabine River's Antebellum Sternwheelers 32
  
Endnotes--Chapter 3 68
Chapter 4--The Sabine River's Confederate Steamers 75
  
Endnotes--Chapter 4 95
Chapter 5--Sabine's Post-Bellum Cotton Trade 98
  
Endnotes--Chapter 5 120
Chapter 6--Decline of the Sabine River Steamboat Trade 124
  
Endnotes--Chapter 6 149
Chapter 7--Sabine River Trade Conclusions 152
Riverboat Ads and Photos 155
Part 2--Trinity River Trade 172
Chapter 8--Trinity River's Physical and Historical Background 172
  
Endnotes--Chapter 8 179
Chapter 9--The Trinity River 180
     
Endnotes--Chapter 9 189
Chapter 10--The Earliest Trinity River Steamboats 190
  
Endnotes--Chapter 10 208
Chapter 11--The Trinity River and the Prosperous 1850's 212
  
Endnotes--Chapter 11 227
Chapter 12--The Trinity River's Thriving Post-Bellum Commerce 230
  
Endnotes--Chapter 12 249
Chapter 13--On to Dallas! 253
  
Endnotes--Chapter 13 259
Index 260

Table of Figures

Figure 1 - Ads for Schooners 21
Figure 2 - Ads for Schooners 119
Figure 3 - Steamboat Ads for the Albert Gallatin and Dayton 155
Figure 4 - Steamboat Ad. Galvestonian April 1840. 156
Figure 5 - Steamboat Ads. Sabine Beacon, June 13, 1871. 157
Figure 6 - Captain Andrew F. Smyth 158
Figure 7 - Captain William Wiess 1881. Master Sabine steamboats Alamo & Adrianne. He often took the Alamo all the way to Belzora, Smith County, for cotton. 159
Figure 8 - Sabine Riverrat Houseboats ca. 1920 (Courtesy Dr. Howard Williams Collection, Orange, Texas). 160
Figure 9 - Sabine Riverrat Houseboats ca. 1920 (Courtesy Dr. Howard Williams Collection, Orange, Texas) 160
Figure 10 - Sabine Pass whale, captured March 1910 and towed alive to Port Arthur, Texas for exhibition. 161
Figure 11 - Sabine pilot boat Florida captured and towed the whale. Captain H. C. Plummer. 161
Figure 12 - Circle Booms ca. 1900. Being towed down the Sabine River to Orange, Texas (courtesy Dr. Howard Williams Collection, Orange, Texas). 162
Figure 13 - The H. A. Harvey made the trip from Anahuac to Dallas in 1893. It had hinged stacks which could be lowered in order to pass under railroad bridges. (Courtesy of the C. W. Fisher, Jr. Collection, Sam Houston Regional Lib. and Research Ctr., Liberty, TX) 163
Figure 14 - Steamboat Lucy. Hauled mail, cotton, produce, cattle from Johnson's Bayou, LA to Orange, TX 1905-1915. 163
Figure 15 - Steamer Horatio 1894 (Courtesy of the C. W. Fisher, Jr. Collection, Sam Houston Regional Lib. and Research Ctr., Liberty, TX). 164
Figure 16 - Steamboat Henrietta ca. 1898 docked at Orange, Texas (courtesy Dr. Howard Williams Collection, Orange, Texas). 164
Figure 17 - Steamboat Laura 1870-80 Captain Andy Smyth. Hauled cotton from Bevilport to Sabine Pass and also plied the Sabine. 165
Figure 18 - Snagboat Dallas 1899 (Courtesy of the C. W. Fisher, Jr. Collection, Sam Houston Regional Lib. and Research Ctr., Liberty, TX). 166
Figure 19 - Snagboat Trinity 1911 (Courtesy of the C. W. Fisher, Jr. Collection, Sam Houston Regional Lib. and Research Ctr., Liberty, TX). 166
Figure 20 - Steamboat John Henry Kirby on an excursion voyage to Orange, Texas in 1900. 167
Figure 21 - Steamboat Boreallis Rex 1905-1920 sailed Lake Charles to Cameron on the Calcasieu River. 167
Figure 22 - Lumber Schooners at the Wingate Sawmill ca. 1898 (courtesy Dr. Howard Williams Collection, Orange, Texas). 168
Figure 23 - T. Bancroft & Son Sawmill Employees ca. 1885. 168
Figure 24 - Small Steamboat Dura ca. 1895 used to supply log camps. 169
Figure 25 - Houseboat in which lumberjacks slept ca. 1920 (courtesy Dr. Howard Williams Collection, Orange, Texas). 169
Figure 26 - Gasoway Log Removal Barge operated on the Sabine River. 170
Figure 27 - Steamboat Virginia (Courtesy of the C. W. Fisher, Jr. Collection, Sam Houston Regional Lib. and Research Ctr., Liberty, TX). 170
Figure 28 - Towboats: Guillote, Leonore, and Alamo ca. 1898 (courtesy Dr. Howard Williams Collection, Orange, Texas). 171
Figure 29 - Bark Amphitrite 1898 Sabine Pass lumber dock Slip #1. 171

Index

 A
Ables, Joseph 27, 64
Alexander, C. H. 16, 19, 43, 44, 58, 76, 121, 247, 252
Allardyce, J. M. 27, 132
Allardyce, S. G. 27, 134
Allen, B. 54
Allen, Ben 185
Amiss, William 27, 64
Andrews, N. H. 193
Andrews, W. A. 184
Ansell, Walter 185
Atkins, Charles 185
B
Bailey, F. 185
Baker, S. F. 80
Baldwi, Joe 184
Banks, Nathaniel 92
Barnhart, John 27, 61
Baxter, Charles 47
Beaver, General 182
Belknap, W. G. 33, 34
Bell, E. S. 242
Berg, Jacob 27
Berry, John G. 27, 43, 48, 49, 56, 59
Bettis, W. D. 2, 27, 130
Biscoe, W. S. N. 67
Black, W. B. 117
Blakeman, C. 185
Block, Wesley 147
Boddeker, Frank 185
Boddeker, Joseph 185, 221
Bollaert, William 175, 179, 182, 189, 199, 210
Bondies, George 27, 55, 100, 185, 217
Bone, John 185
Bonnell, George 10, 173
Boothe, Robert E. 46
Border, J. P. 51
Bowen, W. A. 65, 185, 218, 234, 235
Bracht, Victor 11, 172
Bradbury, David 50
Brandenberg, D. A. 27, 45
Brennan, Thomas H. 14
Briggs, J. M. 185
Bristol, William 185
Broadman, H. A. 205
Brown, J. S. 37
Brown, John 27, 61
Brown, Ned 185
Buchel, Augustus 92
Budman, H. A. 185
Bunn, Pearl 27, 130, 134
Burch, C. 83
Burch, Charles 27, 58, 61, 83
Burch, Charlie 60, 102
Burch, E. 83
Burch, Increase R. 27, 61
Burch, Neal 27
Burch, Sherman K. 27
Burch, Sherwood 61, 102, 108
Burgess, Caesar 185, 241
Burk, Sam 185
Burney, R. A. 185
Burr, G. B. 19, 24, 104, 105, 107, 126
Burroughs, J. M. 67
C
Call, Dennis 19, 26, 128, 137, 150
Calloway, Charles 184
Carey, Fielding 27
Carey, Martin 27
Carey, Phil 185
Caswell, Jack 27
Chase, William 185
Chenault, Stephen 27, 126
Christian, Pat 185
Christy, William 185
Clark, Israel 83, 185
Clark, John 185
Clark, Mr. 201
Clements, John 19, 27, 45, 56, 141
Cleveland, J. T. 85
Clough, Bud 185
Coffin, A. W. 61
Coffin, Dr. Abel 57
Collins, B. 185
Collins, Doc 185
Collums, Barney 185
Connell, John 185
Cook, James 184
Cook, William N. 185
Cooper, B. 27
Cooper, B. P. 185
Cooper, P. F. 240
Crane, A. B. 185
Crane, Eugene 185
Crawford, A. F. 67
Crossman, John 27
Crozier, W. J. 185
Cummings, Joseph 28
Curley, John 185
D
Dannell, J. O. 28
Davis, C. 28
Davis, Charles 2, 141
Davis, E. 28
Davis, H. T. 2, 28, 129, 141
Davis, J. M. 28
Davis, L. J. 67
Davis, T. J. 117, 126
Davis, Tom 26, 63, 129, 131, 142, 144
Davis, Tom J. 2, 138, 141, 142
Dawson, H. R. 220
DeCordova, Jacob 11
Delmore, Capt. 28
Dickey, Robert 185
Dillingham, John 83
Doran, W. P. 87
Dorman, John 28, 57
Dorman, Kate 59
Dowling, Richard W. 54
Drouet, Sebastian 185
Dunberry, A. 185
Dwyer, William 185
Dyer, Mike 28, 64
E
Eaton, J. H. 23, 33, 34
Eggert, William 185
Elliott, A. B. 185
Elliott, Colonel 199
Elliott, John 185
English, T. W. 185
Enloe, William 185
Evelt, George 185
Evelt, Joseph 185
Everett, Stephen H. 13, 19
Everett, William 185
Eves, S. B. 197
F
Fairchild, S. 19
Fairchild, S. A. 80
Fallon, George 185
Falvel, L. A. 185
Falvel, Luke 28, 57, 185, 232
Ferguson, James 185
Ferguson, Lee 185
Fichnor, J. C. 117
Flynn, John 185
Forbes, James H. 185
Force, Henry B. 58
Forth, James 185
Foulke, Ed 185
Fowler, Charles 82, 83, 184, 185
Fox, A. 28, 43
Frazier, Robert 28
Fullerton, James 28, 64
Fulton, William 185
G
Gainey, Charles 185
Gainey, Frank 185
Gallagher, Bridget 64
Garrett, William 67
Garrity, Jeff 186
Gayle, Matt 186
Gearing, Charles 223
Getty, J. H. 186
Gibney, John 28
Gibson, J. S. 186
Gibson, Robert 28
Gifford, William 186
Gilmer, Alexander 19, 117
Godwin, G. 28
Gordon, George 37, 41, 155, 185
Goskill, Bud 28, 61
Grace, Byrd M. 185
Graham, James 186
Graham, Major 38
Granger, Ben 28
Graves, Ed 185
Gray, Andrew B. 38
Gray, James 186
Green, A. C. 185
Green, Capt. 15
Greenough, Silas 83
Gregory, Sanford 28, 83, 186
Griffin, W. H. 88
Griffith, J. W. 254
Griffith, Joshua 131
Gripon, A. F. 27, 102, 115
Gripon, Cato 27
Gripon, T. 186
Gripon, Theodore 115
Grisham, John 186
Guinard, William 186
Gulley, A. H. 186
H
Hagood, W. A. 177
Hailey, J. H. 241
Hall, Green 27, 83, 185
Hammond, B. F. 67
Hannah, J. H. 80
Hardin, Franklin 15
Harrell, J. F. 206
Harrington, Jerry 64
Harris, B. R. 67
Hausinger, Charles 27, 56
Havilland, James A. 27
Havilland, James H. 184
Havilland, Sam 185
Havilland, Steve 185
Hawley, G. W. 106
Hawley, George W. 27
Heard, John A. 27
Hemmingway, E. P. 27
Hemmingway, F. P. 27
Henry, Nelson 185
Hershberger, L. C. 107, 126, 140, 184
Hewson, David C. 80
Hibbert, William 185
Hines, R. D. 27
Hogg, James 256
Hopkins, T. 185
Hord, J. 27, 42
Hotchkiss, Augustus 19
Hotchkiss, C. W. 19, 42
House, T. W. 77, 90
Husung, W. C. 254
Hutchings, John 56, 57
I
Ingram, A. 225
Ingram, J. W. 27, 61
Irvin, Harry 185
J
Jackson, Andrew 32
Jackson, R. H. 46
Jackson, Robert 46
Jenkins, William 184, 185, 221
John, N. N. 185
Johnson, A. 27
Johnson, Antonio 83
Johnson, Cave 27
Johnson, Jim 185
Johnson, Sam 185
Johnson, Steve 185
Johnson, William 83, 185
Jolly, George 27
Jones, E. 27, 44
Jones, Ed. L. 185
Jones, Warren 27
Jordan, J. J. 2, 27, 140
Junker, Wilson 27
K
Keating, C. A. 254
Keith, K. D. 77, 82, 85, 86, 95, 104, 120, 250
Keith, Mrs. K. D. 85
Keith, Sumpter 104, 120, 250
Kellie, Isaiah E. 128
Kelsey, D. S. 197, 204
Kennedy, William 11, 172
Kerman, John 185
Ketchum, Abel 27
Kieff, John 185
King, John 185
King, L. 102
King, Lewis 103, 108, 238
Kountze, John 185
L
Lampton, Oliver 185
LaPeyre, Peter 186
Lapham, William 27
Lee, Gen. Robert E. 37
Levingston, J. H. 81
Lewis, John 186
Lewis, Munson 186
Lewis, Robert 200
Liles, J. M. 27, 131
Long, Colonel 182
Loving, Will O. 128, 130, 134
Lutcher, H. J. 117
Lynch, Edward 83, 185
Lynch, John 186
M
Magil, Arthur 28, 59, 72, 185
Magruder, John B. 80, 81
Mansfield, S. 28
Maratta, Frank 28, 186, 243
Maratta, J. H. 28, 112, 243
Maratta, James 186
Marsh, O. M. 77
Marston, Charles 185
Martin, Charles 28
Martin, H. F. S. 28, 133
Mason, C. M. 86, 224
Matthews, H. F. 183, 242, 244
Matthews, J. H. 242
Mauke, William 186
Mayhew, J. E. 185
McCall, James 28
McCall, John 28
McCarty, M. 28
McCarty, Mike 64
McClelland, Joseph 83
McConnell, John 185
McFarland, T. S. 19, 100
McGaffey, Otis 19
McGarvey, J. H. 255
McGarvey, James 184, 185, 236
McGuire, S. P. 220
McKee, A. 185
McKee, A. W. 224
McKee, James 83, 185
McKinney, Thomas F. 15, 183, 202
McKinnon, John 117
McKnight, J. 83
McKnight, W. H. 28
McLean, G. 83
McLean, M. 186
McQuown, S. P. 202, 203
McRae, John 19
Meade, George G. 40
Mellier, H. 28, 37
Menard, Alf 185
Menard, John 186
Menard, Peter 185, 214, 221
Mercer, Bob 185
Merriman, John 46
Miles, Capt. 36
Miller, James 185
Miller, Tom 186
Mintar, Mr. 233
Minters, James 185
Montgomery, James 186
Moore, A. J. 28, 102
Moore, C. H. 117
Moore, F. G. 254
Moore, Green 28
Morrison, John 185
Murphey, J. P. 254
Murray, R. 185
Murray, R. G. 140
N
Nagle, Dick 185
Nagle, John 185
Nagle, Steve J. 185
Neyland, R. A. 46
Neyland, William 24, 28, 61, 67
Nicholson, Andrew 28, 61
Nicholson, L. 28, 61
Noble, J. S. 49
O
O'Brien, John 197
Ochiltree, Hugh 19, 56, 65
Orr, Henry 28
Orr, John 27
Overhue, Augustus 27, 64
P
Packard, Capt. 77
Packard, T. A. 27, 64
Padgitt, W. C. 254
Parsons, J. H. 50
Parsons, Mrs. R. J. 85
Patrick, James 239
Pattillo, George 186
Patton, Moses L. 27, 47
Patton, R. 102
Patton, Robert L. 27
Patton, Robert S. 19, 49
Pavell, A. 19
Pavell, F. 19
Payne, John 27, 185
Peacock, Tom 184
Peake, George 83
Peake, William 27
Pederson, John 47
Pennington, L. W. 89
Perkins, William 186
Peters, S. N. 27
Pettit, W. A. 185, 186
Phillips, Wiley 2, 27, 138, 139
Poitevent, Adolph 113, 114, 186
Poitevent, Jules 27, 113, 114, 174, 184, 185, 223, 237, 245
Pomeroy, George 27
Pomeroy, S. 27
Poole, V. B. 186
Powell, W. J. C. 223
Prather, W. H. 254
Pratt, Julius 27
Price, John J. 27, 64
Pritchard, Tom 186
Q
Quick, Henry 186, 217, 224
R
Rabb, W. P. 27, 147
Ransom, James 185
Read, Abner 85
Redman, John 186
Reed, John N. 185
Reese, Martin 185
Reid, M. 27
Remfrey, J. 185
Reynolds, J. 182
Rice, A. P. 222
Richardson, Joseph 177
Rigsby, David 27
Riley, Dennis 185
Roach, James 115, 186, 245
Roach, John 186
Roach, R. 185
Roach, Shed 186
Robertson, James 27, 61
Roehte, Theodore 27, 55, 100, 217
Rogers, Joseph 185, 237, 255
Rogers, W. E. 27, 102, 103, 105, 106, 114
Rolles, Dick 185
Rose, Wash 184, 186, 234
Rosenbaum, Lee 145
Ross, John E. 190
Ruff, Charles H. 58
Ruff, Otto 60, 73, 76
Runck, C. F. 27
Rusk, Thomas J. 53, 181
Russell, R. B. 117
Russell, Robert E. 55, 71, 80, 95
S
Sable, Zach 83
Samson, F. M. 177
Sanger, Philip 254
Sangster, Bill 185
Santa Ana, Antonio de 32
Scherffius, Henry 77, 95, 108
Scott, David 64
Seale, William 108, 252
Sealy, John 56, 57
Settle, Charles 185
Shaw, Frank D. 185
Sheffers, Aaron 27, 108, 141
Shoemaker, Sam 185
Singer, John 43
Skinner, A. T. 28, 112
Smith, Elias T. 27
Smith, H. Clay 27
Smith, J. A. 177
Smith, John T. 185
Smith, Leon 86, 88, 95, 184, 185, 224
Smith, Major 87, 89, 176
Smith, Mrs. Elizabeth P. 100
Smyth, Andrew 24, 27, 102, 108, 109, 252
Smyth, J. B. 137
Snell, J. J. 19, 24, 28, 107
Snoad, William 143
Snowden, George 186
Spears, Charles 185
Spears, N. Port 185
Spencer, H. H. 216
St. Clair, A. 185
Stafford, J. C. 91
Stagg, Jessie 186
Stamps, John 62
Steadham, S. 16
Steinhoff, Henry 177
Sterrett, John H. 28, 36, 86, 184, 185, 224
Stewart, Hiram 28
Stewart, John 28, 83
Stewart, William 28
Stilwell, Arthur 254
Stockholm, Peter D. 28, 35, 96
Stubblefield, T. J. 184, 185, 239
Summers, John 185
Sweeney, T. C. 185
Swinford, Eberle 28, 117
Swinford, Jerome 28
T
Taylor, Gen. Richard 78, 93
Taylor, James G. 85, 89
Taylor, Joe 186
Tichenor, J. C. 28
Tompkins, R. V. 186, 255
Traylor, J. C. 67
Truitt, A. M. 29, 50, 59, 73
Truitt, Doc 28, 58
V
Van Pradelles, A. G. 177
Vanderventer, D. 186
W
Walker, Carter 186
Watkins, O. M. 82
Watson, Mrs. Samuel 85
Webb, Thomas 186, 205
Weekes, D. H. 186
Weiner, Joseph 177
Westrop, John 186
Wharton, Lt. 90
Wheeler, J. C. 193
White, M. D. 186
White, Seymour 110
Whitfield, J. W. 176
Whittle, T. C. 28, 61
Wiess, Napoleon 28, 83, 100, 104
Wiess, Simon 61
Wiess, William 25, 28, 96, 101, 113, 114, 116, 159
Wildey, J. D. 28
Williams, Dugal 176
Wilson, Andrew 247
Wilson, George 186
Wilson, L. E. 28
Wingate, D. R. 57, 67, 112
Wingate, Rufus 117
Wings, Theodore 83
Wolford, George 28, 144
Wolford, W. W. 28
Wolfson, Leo 254
Woods, John 28, 44
Word, W. W. 85
Words, James 186
Work, P. A. 28, 103
Wright, E. T. 85
Y
Young, Dr. 234

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