A LETTER FROM AUSTIN COUNTY, TEXAS - 1859
Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, NC) November 14, 1859
Letter to the Editors of the Observer, dated Hempstead, Austin Co., Texas, Oct'r 7
Myrtle Bridges October 14, 2009
Gentlemen:--I proposed to a great many of my friends on my departure to this country a few
days ago, to give them a statement regarding the cost, together with the best possible routes to this
country. To write to each individual would occupy too much time, so I propose to give them the requisite
knowledge through your paper, from the fact that the most of them are its subscribers.
The prevailing notion of most persons bound for this State--that to prepare themselves with five, seven
or twelve shooters is absolutely indispensable--is all a mistake. The best protection for a man traveling
in this or any other country, is to attend to his own business and let other people's alone. I say this
from actual experience.
Now as to the best route, and the cost. By Montgomery, Ala., thence down the Alabama river to Mobile; from
Mobile the quickest way is to go over by way of New Orleans; thence by the Opelousas and New Orleans Railway
to Berwick Bay; thence by steamship to Galveston; which is some shorter route, but little more expensive.
This is a very pleasant route, and the cost from Cheraw, South Carolina, is $51.20 besides the omnibus fare
through Augusta, Montgomery, Mobile and New Orleans; all of which amounts, together with one's baggage, to
about $2--making a grand total of $53.20. As most of the Carolinians start with enough of good ham, etc.,
to last them to Montgomery, Ala., the eating is a mere nothing until a person gets on the boat, where eating
and fare are altogether.
The other route is to take a steamer direct from Mobile to Galveston. Steamers leave Mobile on the 1st and
15th of each month, and a person will have to leave Cheraw so as to be in Mobile in time to go this route. He
may be disappointed in getting boat at Montgomery, or the boat may be detained longer than he anticipates, and
consequently the other route is the best, from the fact that the route has only five dollars in its favor, under
the most favorable circumstances.
The time of leaving Carolina is the next point. The yellow fever is raging in Houston and Galveston, but is not
considered epidemic in Galveston. The average deaths from the yellow fever in Houston are about 11 per day, and
it is spreading in the interior. I left Houston on the Houston and Texas Central Railway this morning, for this
place, and when we came to Cypress, five had died just previous to our getting there. Five dollars per day is
offered for nurses, but none can be obtained.
This is quite a small place, not as large as Rockingham or Lumberton. I am told that at least two thousand have
left Houston, and nearly the same number Galveston, for the interior. So before you leave, be certain that the
weather is cool. S.M.T.
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