January 18, 1846 Article 2


Correspondence of the Picayune


Corpus Christi, Jan. 9, 1846.


The accounts about the “warnings” in this section which appeared to me so incredible, I find were not at all exaggerated.  Few snakes, tarantulas, scorpions and the like are now seen within the limits of the camp, owing to the rigid police which is maintained, the grass, bushes and other vegetation having been cleared away.  We occasionally, however, see stranglers that remain concealed under boxes, floors, old rubbish, &c.  I always take the precaution to shake out my boots well before putting them on, and we never think of walking out for pleasure on the prairies, or among the chaparral brush, on account of the snakes, particularly rattle-snakes, and other smaller reptiles which abound there.  I am collecting and pickling specimens.


The bay is literally filled with delicious fish of numerous varieties, and covered with sea fowl – the pelicans being the tamest species.  Plenty of geese, ducks, snipe, curlews, plover, &c., can be and are shot every day, with no apparent diminution of their numbers.  Parties of officers are out constantly, going into the back country on hunting and adventurous expeditions, or amateur exploring excursions.  They give glowing accounts of the country.  Within a few miles of us there are plenty of deer and wild turkies, and a little farther back they are found in very large numbers, with wild horses, mules, cattle and antelope, and not rarely a leopard, panther, tiger, or Mexican lion is seen.  I have thought repeatedly how you would enjoy yourself here on one of these excursions.  Come over and see us and send along your friends.  As for wolves, they are so numerous and bold that their barking serves for my lullaby every night.  They are attracted by the slaughter-pens but a short distance off.


Next in order is our “natural curiosities” come the Mexicans and Indians, who come in almost daily to trade – the former bringing mules and horses — which the Government still continues to purchase — and the latter skins of various kinds.  No wonder an organized government cannot exist among the Mexicans!  What a “rag-tail and bob-tail,” thievish, cut-throat set of cowards they must be, according to some of the specimens I have seen; but they are all unsurpassed in horsemanship.



Judging by the paper just started here, you would think Corpus Christi is really “a place.”  When the army arrived, two or three houses constituted it; now there are about fity or more, being mostly grog-shops, eating-houses, and gambling establishments for Mexicans, Texans and soldiers.  Not half of these are frame, but canvas.  There are also sores and shops of various kinds, a hotel, billiard room, &c., all lately erected.  Since I’ve been here, I have been  trying to get enough lumber for a floor for my tent, but cannot procure it, so scarce is it, and at $60 per 100 feet even, which is the price.  Beef and venison are cheap, or reasonable – not so very, either, considering the abundance of both — and of course we have the latter at almost every meal.  Potatoes are $5 per barrel, butter 37-1/2 cents per lb., milk 25 cents a quart, eggs $1 and $2 per dozen.  So you see almost everything is very high here.


Among the latest amusements, I will mention a horse race on New Year’s Day, not mentioning the many “scrub” ones, and a duel yesterday – but no one was kilt or wounded, although two shots were exchanged at 12 paces.


Yours &c.,                               S.


Source: The Daily Picayune, January 18, 1846, p. 2, col. 3.

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