Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved.

Search the Journal

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tuesday, September 18th, 1860

To day at 6 a.m. we arrived at Galveston and stoped at the Tremont Hotel and left at 3½ P.M. on the cars and arrived at Houston at 8 P.M. we stoped at the Fannin house. expenses of the day $4.50. weather clear & warm.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Monday, September 17th, 1860

To day Mr. Numson & I left on the Steamer Swan for Galveston and had a pleasant trip down the river & across the bay. expenses $5.50. weather clear & warm.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sunday, September 16th, 1860

To day I remained at Liberty. no incident particularly to record. weather changable and warm.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Saturday, September 15th, 1860

To day we left Brownwood and followed the track of the rail road and arrived at Liberty at 8 P.M. after having ridden 44 miles through the hardest rain I think I ever experienced becoming well soaked. expenses of the day $2.25.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Friday, September 14th, 1860

To day we left Hardin, and after riding 18 miles we ? at the ferry over Pine Island bayou. Thence 9 miles to Beaumont. While there I examined the records touching several land claims. expenses of the day $3.10. weather warm & changable.

According to W. T. Block . . . There were three ferries at early day Beaumont, Tevis Ferry at the townsite of Beaumont, William Ashworth's ferry at Santa Ana, about three miles to the south, and Pine Bluff Ferry (later Collier's), five miles to the north. The latter was the preferable crossing point because of the high land there on both sides of the river. In 1842, Pine Bluff was allowed 3 cents each for swimming cattle, horses, mules, or hogs. Between 1846 and 1848, the crossing fee was still 3 cents per head at Nancy Tevis Hutchinson's ferry at Beaumont and at John Sparks' ferry over Taylor's Bayou. However, the crossing fee at Amos Thames' ferry over Pine Island Bayou in 1846 was only 2 cents a head. . . .

After Jefferson County became a political entity, many pioneers sought to establish ferries, which meant a guaranteed income. Soon John Sparks operated the ferry across Taylor’s Bayou on the dirt road to Sabine Pass. James Chessher owned the ferry across Pine Island Bayou on the dirt road to Woodville, and Brown’s ferry crossed Village Creek.

Many of the earliest county records are ferry licenses, including the requirements of ferry operators. During the 1830s Richard Ballew owned the ferry across Sabine River, several miles north of Orange, and W. C. Beard and William Ashworth owned the Santa Ana ferry (at Mobil refinery). Each was permitted to charge “short ferriage” or “long ferriage” rates. “Long ferriage” at Santa Ana meant traveling 2 miles to high land up Beard’s Bayou. “Long ferriage” at Ballew’s was a 4-mile voyage up the old Sabine River channel to Niblett’s Bluff.

In 1847 the Santa Ana ferry franchise was revoked and passed to Nancy Hutchinson. After Ballew died about 1840, his ferry franchise passed to Ursin Guidry.

During the 1830’s Henry Millard operated the “Pine Bluff” ferry about 3 miles north of Beaumont. After Millard moved to Galveston, his ferry franchise was transferred to John and Person Collier.

The early ferries were allowed to charge a specified fee for a horse and rider, a buggy or wagon, and 2 cents for each head of cattle crossed. Ordained ministers crossed free of charge. Often ferrymen were required to provide food, lodging, and cattle pens, and some ferries were licensed to sell liquor. Each ferryman paid a percentage of his receipts as a county tax. . . .

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thursday, September 13th, 1860

To day we left Sour Lake and rode 15 miles to Hardin while there I examined the records in relation to Mr. Numsen's land claims. expenses of the day $2.40. weather clear & warm.

Texas Day by Day . . . Abolitionist minister lynched in Fort Worth . . . On this day in 1860, abolitionist Methodist minister Anthony Bewley was lynched in Fort Worth. Bewley, born in Tennessee in 1804, had established a mission sixteen miles south of Fort Worth by 1858. When vigilance committees alleged in the summer of 1860 that there was a widespread abolitionist plot to burn Texas towns and murder their citizens, suspicion immediately fell upon Bewley and other outspoken critics of slavery. Special attention was focused on Bewley because of an incendiary letter, dated July 3, 1860, addressed to a Rev. William Bewley and supposedly written by a fellow abolitionist. Many argued that the letter, which urged Bewley to continue with his work in helping to free Texas from slavery, was a forgery. The letter was widely published, however, and taken by others as evidence of Bewley's involvement with the John Brownites in Texas. Recognizing the danger, Bewley left for Kansas in mid-July with part of his family. A Texas posse caught up with him near Cassville, Missouri, and returned him to Fort Worth on September 13. Late that night vigilantes seized Bewley and delivered him into the hands of a waiting lynch mob. His body was allowed to hang until the next day, when he was buried in a shallow grave. Three weeks later his bones were unearthed, stripped of their remaining flesh, and placed on top of Ephraim Daggett's storehouse, where children made a habit of playing with them.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wednesday, September 12th, 1860

To day I left Liberty on the John mule in company with Geo. Numsun & after riding 31 miles we arrived at Sour Lake. expenses $3.35. weather clear & warm. the ride to say the least of it was very unpleasant.