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Title Across Texas in the early eighties
Author W. H. T.
Document Type Travel Journal
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Typescript, dated Oct. 1928, of an account by W.H.T. of a journey from Shanghai, China, to California, across Texas, and north to Niagara Falls, between Oct. 14 and Dec. 24, 1881. The author, accompanied by his travelling companion, Walter Hillier, who at the time was Chinese secretary to the British legation in Peking, leaves Shanghai on Oct. 14, 1881, for the port of Yokohama. The two Englishmen embark Oct. 26th aboard the "City of Peking" for San Francisco, two of twenty passengers in first-class, with over a thousand Chinese immigrants below in steerage. They spend time in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and then travel on to Yuma, N.M., and El Paso, Texas on the Southern Pacific Railway. Their journey takes them on through Toyah, Wild Horse, Big Spring, Baird, Ft. Worth, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and finally Laredo. Unable to locate Hillier’s brother across the border in Mexico, they sail from Corpus Christi across the Gulf of Mexico to Galveston. The author continues his travels alone, through Oklahoma, and north to Canada via Detroit to see Niagara Falls. The account describes the travelers’ visit to General Stoneham, governor of California, and his beautiful orange groves and grape ranch, and their stay near El Paso with the celebrated contractor Strobridge who had recently completed the Union Pacific Railway at the record rate of four miles a day, and was now working on the Southern Pacific Railway. W.H.T. remarks on the "wild West" of Texas, where the country was still wide open, encampments of Indians scattered about, and buffalo herds still to be found. Other sights described include the old Spanish town of San Antonio, the Alamo, saloon fights, flora and fauna of the landscape, an encounter with bandits, and the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico.
Names Hillier, Sir, Walter; City of Peking [ship]; Stoneham, General; Strobridge
Places Yokohama, Shanghai, China; California, Texas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Yuma, New Mexico, El Paso, Toyah, Wild Horse, Big Spring, Baird, Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Laredo, Corpus Christi, Galveston, Oklahoma, Detroit, Gulf of Mexico, United States; Niagara Falls, Canada; Mexico
Keywords personal account, observation, travel, travelogue, railroad, Union Pacific Railroad, Mexican
Theme Observation, Representation and Cultural Encounters
Culture Area California, Southwest, Great Plains, Northeast, Mesoamerica
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference Ayer MS 3236
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue