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Object Name Book
Catalog Number 1982.012c.0025
Title Old Quintana
Search Terms History of Old Quintana
Bay Area Council
Scope & Content History of Old Quintana prepared by Bay Area Council
Subjects History of Old Quintana
Bay Area Council
People Sweeny, John
Bannister, John
Date 1956
Notes "Old Quintana"
as prepared for the Boy Scouts of Am by the Bay Area Council. 2-22-56
By Catherine Bannister
(Transcribed as is, from original document, with grammar and spelling errors as seen in the document.)

Sept. 1528(1528) -Cabeza de Vaca and his Spanish Conquistadores had been shipwrecked on Galveston Island and were lost in the Gulf of Mexico with horse-hide boats, when they noticed currents of muddy fresh water. They landed at Quintana, named the river Los Brazos de Dois;"the Arms of God" and then explored south and south westTexas until 1534.

1686 - French Explorer Robert LaSalle , disembarked Colonists at Matagorda Bay,mistaking it for the mouth of the Miss. River. On a land expedition to locate that objective, his second in command, Henri Joutel, recorded the discovery of the Karankawan Indians.

January 1686 a LaSalle took half of the 45 survicors on his ship in an attempt to reach Canada for assistance,but was assassinated in a mutiny, most of the colonists were murdered by the Karankawans.

"Karankawa Indian Tribe"- Probably migrated from Central Am. tp Matagorda Bay- Completely uncivilized - mud hut homes - wore no clothing - hair not cut - rocks and clubs only weapons - fire not known - used offensive smelling fish oil as mosquito repellant - ate grubs, insects, fish, birds and small animals- regarded as canibals due to custom of eating hands and feet of slain enemies, to capture their strength and swiftness- unreconsilably hostile to white man - were savages feared by other tribes, Spanish and colonists."

1817 - Jean Lafitte, buccaneer hero of the Battle of New Orleans, established pirate rendezvous on Galveston Island until dispersed by U. S. Authorities.

1821 - After Mexican independence from Spain, a fort was established and named for General Andreas(Manual Jose' Quintana) a famous lawyer and poet from Madrid Spain, who was deputy minister of Foreign and Internal Affairs under Emperor Iturbide from 1622-1823.

Dec. 3, 1821 - Stephen F. Austin's Schooner Lively sailed past the Brazos on its way from New Orleans to the Guadalupe River.

Dec. 23, 1821- Schooner Lively, instead of landing at the Colorado Riveras instructed, landed immigrants with tools, provisions and seed at Quintana.
Stephen F. Austin appointed Alcalde at Brazoria with jurisdiction over the San Felipe de Austin district.

1824 - Mexican constitutionguaranteed federal or republican form of Government to Anglo-American colonists who became citizens of Mexico.

Sept.-1824 - Thirty Karankawan Indians clashed with 23 Texas Colonists under the command of Randall Jones in the vicinity of Jones Creek, over the murder of a white man. Both sides withdrew after severe casualties.

1829 - Bustamente, vice president of Mexico, headed asuccessful revolution and assumed the arbitrary powers of a Military Despot.
April 6, 1830 Bustamente supported the military garrisons at the Anahuac and Velasco Ports of entry by means of oppressive tributes.

Spring 1832 - William B. Travis and other prominent colonists arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned at Anahuac without trial by civil tribunal. Sailing vessel Sabine ran the blockade at Fort Velasco rather than pay duties and procure clearance from the commander at Anahuac.

A mass meeting of colonists in Brazoria with Col. William H. Wharton as chair-man,passed resolutions reciting the tyrannical acts of Vice President Bustamente, and the subversions of the constitution, pledged their loyalty to Santa Anna, who supported the Mexican constitution of 1824, and advised decisive measures to release imprisoned colonists. John Austin sent to Brazoria to secure reinforcements and artillery

Colonists organized two companies of Infantry and one of Marines,confiscated the Schooner Brazoria, placed the artillery and marines on it and sailed down the Brazos to Port Velasco.

Port Velasco consisted of a central mound of earth used as an artillery platform surrounded by a circular outer wall of tree/ trunks, earth, a ditch and an abatis.

June 25, 1832 - The colonists under Capt. John Austin attacked the Velascon Fort simultaneously with infantry by land and the Schooner Brazoria by sea. The Mexican Fort surrendered next morning to the Texans who fought under the Mexican Flag with the word CONSTITUTION written across it Results of this:
7 killed and 27 wounded out of 112 colonists.
42 dead and 70 wounded out of 250 Mexican soldies.
Capitulated Mexican garrison sent by water to Matamoras.
Colonist prisoners at Anahuac released.

1833 - Bustamente was overthrown by Santa Annawho dispatched five vessels of war to retake Velasco. Col Whartonpersuaded the Mexican officers that the Capture of Velasco was " only a party movement against Bustamente to demonstrate loyalty to the 1824 Mexican Constitution and the cause of Santa Anna".

March 2, 1836 - Independence declared at Washingotn on the Brazos :David G. Burnet provisional President and Sam Houston, commander of the Army.
March 6, 1836 n Fall of the Alamo under Col. William B. Travis at San Antonio

March 16, 1836 - Massacre at Goliad of Col. James W. Fannin and his Texans.

April 21, 1836 - Battle near Harrisburg on the San Jacinto River; Mexican Army defeated; Santa Anna captured and Gen Houston wounded.

President Burnet and his cabinet with the Captured Santa Anna and Mexican officers embarked on the steamer Yellowstone for Galveston after discussing the surrender conditions and treaty preliminaries with Gen. Houston at San Jacinto, but were forced by lack of accomodations to continue on to Velasco.

May 14, 1836 - Two treaties, one public and one secret, signed in Velasco between President Burnet and Santa Anna.

June 1, 1836 - Santa Anna and Mexican officers placed on the Invinciable, a vessel of the Texan Navy, for transport to Vera Cruz.

Helpless to control the inflamatory mob action of 230 volunteers from New Orleans who arrived on the steamer Ocean before the Invinciable could sail, Pres. Burnet ordered Santa Anna to be placed in the hands of the Volunteers.

June 4, 1836 - Santa Anna was landed at Quintana to avoid violence, placed in custody and removed to Velasco.

June 11, 1836 Santa Anna was taken to the neighborhood of West Columbia and confinded in chains at Orizimbo, home of Dr. J.A.E. Phelps.

Sept. 1, 1836 - General Houston was elected President of the Republic of Texas and released Santa Anna. City of Houston was founded one day earlier.

Original or Old Velasco fronted on the eastern side of the Brazos River, and extended from the Gulf of Mexico up to the east Union Bayou, the present intracostal waterway.

The town of Quintana fronted on the Gulf of Mexico and extended up the western bank of the Brazos River from its mouth to the West Union Bayou, the presnet intra-coastal Waterway.

A. All streets were 61 feet wide; lots were 55 x 111 feet and blocks 2220 x 333'

B. Starting with the Gulf of Mexico, streets perpendicular to the river were: Marmon,Jobin, Harwood,Dewey, Kastl,Gulf, Burnett, Lamar,Holley, Bastrop, James, Wythe, Fuller, Austin, Durham, and Bryan.

c. Starting with the Brazos River, streets perpendicular to the Gulf were First thru Sixteenth Streets.

D. Social: Summer resort, rendevous for Patriot troops and refugees with the idea of escaping by sea, should the Mexicans capture Texas; lack of mosquitoes; summer mansions of wealthy planters; excellent boarding houses; Hill House Hotel; pavillion;two-story McKinney proprietor's house: antibellum feudal social system; discreet bathing; churches; slavery; hounds and horses; hunting and fishing sports;Hulk of Dutch galleon in river; final home for retired seamen.

E. Biology: Extremely rare cedar trees-now extinct: cork trees, which now only exist on the southern coast of Europe and northern coast of Africa; salt cedar hedges around each structure to protect against wave action; salt grass plains, wild plums, grapes, figs, sugar cane, vegetable gardens,herds of Deeer and ducks.

F. Economics: Business district along the river opposite the present site of Coast Guard Statlon:Collector of customs:Salt Works;oysters;fishing;seaport pickled beef factory; post office; large warehouse; dance hall; import business exclusive shops; general store; drugstore; flower shop; pool halls; and seven saloons.

1838 - New Orleans Weekly Picayune advertised the New Market Course(Vice president T. J. Rusk) where horse races were held on the largest tract in the Texas Republic, which was located or the site of Dow Chemical Company's Plant A.

1839 - City of Galveston was incorporated by the Republic of Texas.

1843 - About 50 Karankawan Indians (the only survivors) were deported to Mexico, where they vanished either thru intergration with other tribes or massacre by Mexican ranchers.

1846-1848 - The Mexican War ignited from border incidents along the Rio Grande following the annexation of Texas by the U. S. in 1845.

Fall 1848- Spring 1849 - Rutherford B. Hayes, future President of the U. S. visited in Col. Guy M. Bryan's Quintana home.

1854 - The first great hurricane occured.

1856 - The Galveston bay-Brazos River Canal was completed, linking area direct ly to New Orleans and enabling stern wheel steamers of shallow draft to dis-charge cargoes of ice and mfg. art. and to stow cargoes of cotton and molasses at plantation landings all the way up to West Columbia(really East)Capt. Peter Henry Seaborn's ship yards were exclusive west of New Orleans.

April 12, 1861 - American Civil War or War between the States bagan at Fort Sumpter, Charleston. S. C.

Tow Confederate Forts were constructed with live oak foundations and walls, re-inforced with earth embankments. The Quintana Fort was located directly opposite the tip of the Dow Chemical Plant A. peninsular, and has been completely lost thru river erosion. Fort Velasco can be identified as the cedar covered earth embankments about 300 yards north of the new surfside bridge on the mainland side of the intra-coastal waterway.

1862 - Galveston was captured by Union Troops and recaptured during the next year when the United States forces were also repulsed at Sabine Pass.

The Confederate Forts under the command of General Bates ,engaged with an Artillery dual with Fed gunboats attempting to gain entrance to the Brazos River shortly before the close of the War.

Apr. 26, 1865 - Surrender of the Confederacy and Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appoemattox Court House Va.

1866 Texas first free public School was est. in Quintana with Miss Nina Sweeney(Sweeny) in charge under the direction of Mr. Robert Sproll, who had oreviously established an exclusive seminary after his graduation from Oxford University in Cambridge, England.

1867-1874 -"Radical" plan of reconstruction adopted by the U. S. Congress, e established military law and carpet bagger rule. Yellow fever and cholera cholera epidemics were treated by Dr. Mayfield of Quintana.

1875 - Second hurricane forced most of the pop. who had taken refuge in the Seaburn home to evacuate aboard the locally built steamer or schooner,Verbena, whida had been loaded with a cargo of hides and tied to a clump of .alt cedars nearby.

1879- Tow year govt. contract to Canters & Sow from Holland, Mich. ¼ mi. long jetties. Large mats made of timber and vines cut from Jackson plantation were weighted with 100 lb blocks of concrete constructed of beach sand and shell. A temp. railway was built to aid construction.

1886 - Third great hurricane forced still more people to abandon town

1888 - The Lee, Angle,furgerson and Wilson Syndicate continued to work on the jetties. Upon their completion the beach started to build up rapidly with sand.

1890-a Fourth great hurricane.

1891- Unusual home built on piles (piles) by Col. Guy M. Bryan, and named the Air Castle,with the Moses and Stephen F. Austin papers stored in a second floor in a special room. Present town of Velasco was laid out 4 miles above the mouth of the Brazos river, and the village of surfside organized on the site of olf Velasco.

1900 a Fifth great West Indian Hurricane blew steadily for 18 hours, reached a velocity of 135 miles an hour and piled up enormous waves which led to the death of 5000 people in Galveston. Breakers were seen at Peach Point.

1912 - City of Freeport was founded on the West Bank of the Brazos River 2-2 further up the Brazos river from Quintana.

Nov. 1912 - Production began at the Preeoort Sulphur Company's first well at Bryan Mound

Aug. 16, 1915 a Sixth and worst hurricane destroyed Quintana in spite of heroic rescue efforts of Capt. J. P. Stemhart and the men at the Coast Guard Station.

July 3, 1929 - After highway 36 swinging bridge had been constructed on dry land the diversion channel from the Gulf of Mexico was finally dredged into the old Brazos river above Freeport.

March 1940 - Construction started on Dow Chem. Co. Texas Div. plant A.First prod-uction plant began operations ten months later.

1941 - The cummunity of Lake Jackson was founded on the old Jackson Plantation by the Dow Chemical Co.

1942- A U. S. Coact artillery unit was installed on Quantana beach with emplacements for Naval and anti-aircraft guns to protect the strategic Dow Chem. plants from attack by enemy submarines.

Today, Quintana is still alegally inc. town in the State of Texas and the folio wing is a tour guide thru the remains of this historical old community:
A/ South on Pine Steeet in Freeport to levee.
B. Left past Phillips Petro. Co, Freeport Term.
C. Cross Intra Coastal Waterway on swinging pontoon draw bridge.
D. Drive so-east on 8th street within Quintana City limits
E. First dead-end shell road to left is Wythe st.
F. Navigation range markers on left at James St.
G. Turn left off 8th st onto Main shell road which is Holley St.
1. Seaburn burying lot on left-first lot past 6th st.
2. Ernest Seaburn's home on piles - last lot before 4th st.
3. Coveny home with two brick chimneys and dormer windows, between fourth and thirs sts.
4. at the end of Holley turn right on 2nd st. toward Gulf of Mex.
5. First dead lind Alen road to left is lamar st.
6. Second shell road is Burnet st.
7. Cross intersection with Gulf St.,
8. at end of 2ndturn left on Kastle.
9. at end of kastle turn right on extension of first st.
10. World war 2, Coast art. replacements on Dewey Stat intersections with 2nd & Third streets. a approx. one block from shore line before const. of jetties, but now .03 miles from beach.

H. Continue southeast on Eighth past telephone poles on left located at Lamar Strect.

I. Turn left off Eighth onto main shell road with is Burnett Street.

1. Note that Burnett Street is also graded to extend to the right.
2. Two-story Jarvis Hotel w- first lot past Sixth street.
3. Burnett meanders toward Gulf and turns distinctly southeast on Third Street. 4. Concrete foundations of World War II Coast Artillery post headquarters, mess hall and barracks.
5. At the end 'of Third, go left on Gulf Street.
6. Cross intersection, with Second Street
7. At the end of Gulf Street at Jetties, turn right on First Street
8. First street from the right is Kasti Street

J. Continue southeast on Eighth Street parallel to river and perpendicular to Gulf of Mexico.

K. Abandoned railroad coaches on right possibly remain from Jetties construction project, although track has been removed.

L. Present beach is located just beyond Tobin Street approximately as it existed 70 years ago.
Collection John Bannister, W.M. Bannister, W.M. Holland, Jr
Accession number 1982.012c
Other number 1982-12-25
Source John Bannister, W.M. Bannister, W.M. Holland, Jr.
Credit line John Bannister
Lexicon category 8: Communication Artifact
Catalog type Archive
Condition Fair
Imagefile 038\1982012c0025.JPG
Number of images 5.0
Received date 11-10-82