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place of safety east of the Trinity.  At the ferry were large crowds, all seeking a passage across for the same purpose, with their wives, children, Negroes, horses, carts, wagons, and droves of cattle.  These they were trying to force to swim across the river.[26]

Found Triplett, Neblett and Dobie about to start in an open boat to Morgan's.  I joined them, leaving our horses at Lynchburg.  The wind was ahead, and we were bad oarsmen, having but one man along to assist us.  None of us knew the river except Dobie, and he imperfectly, so we ran on shoals several times; attempted ineffectually to use our sail, and finally reached Morgan's at 11 o'clock at night, having been more than five hours on the water, and sailed a distance of only ten miles.  The steamboat Cayuga, which left Harrisburg about the same time that we left Lynch's, hove to in the stream just as we touched the shore.  Got a bowl of milk and bread at Morgan's, and slept there.

Tuesday, April 5, 1836

The steamboat Cayuga, being bound for Galveston Island, we all proposed going in her, but after various detentions it was announced that she had not wood enough for the trip, and to enable them to wood we must wait here all day, and the boat would start at moon rising.  Triplett, Dobie, Neblett and myself then took the sailboat and crossed San Jacinto Bay, to a piece of land owned by Scott.[27]  Went ashore to examine it.  Beautifully diversified with prairies and islands.  The land rich, but baked very hard.  Returned late to dinner.  Walked with Morgan to see his orange grove, and the new town of Crockett that he means to lay out.  He lives at a place formerly called Clopper's Point, now by the tasteless name of New Washington.  He apologizes for the name by ascribing it to the will of some gentlemen in New York, who have become interested in the new city.[28]

Went to bed, with the understanding that the boat was to start in the night.

Wednesday, April 6, 1836

We were called up this morning at 4 o'clock by Morgan, but the boat did not get off until near 8 o'clock.  In about an hour we met the schooner Flash,[29]  belonging to Morgan -- an armed schooner.  She had the Secretary of the Navy on board, and a number of ladies from the Brazos, whose husbands were in the army, seeking safety in flight.  The steamboat was turned back, to tow the schooner over the flats.  After much difficulty, we returned to New Washington.  In a little while two boats with lugger sails came by with the Texean flag flying.  They were hailed and informed the Secretary of the Navy was here.  They came to, and proved to be Captain Hawkins of the Independence,[30]  Captain Hurd of the Brutus,[31]  Dr. Cowper of the navy, Dr. Levy and some gents. from


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The Diary of William Fairfax Gray, from Virginia to Texas, 1835-1837
Copyright 1997 William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas