Richmond on the Brazos : a study of economic development on the lower Brazos River



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When the first Anglo-American settlers came to Texas in 1821 their choice of transportation was extremely limited. Those who settled in the Brazos River valley believed their travel and trade needs could be provided by the Brazos, a river which flowed directly to the Gulf of Mexico. This river was not a naturally navigable stream and improvements to correct its flaws continued for many years. The town of Richmond, considered the head of navigation on the river and centrally located in the rich agricultural valley, tended to grow according to the development of transportation sources. The 1850's were peak years of river navigation and economic progress for Richmond, but river transportation declined in the post-Civil War years as the railroads expanded and spread across Texas and into the Brazos River valley. A final effort to establish commercial transportation on the river was organized by the federal government early in the twentieth century. This federal project, begun in 1905, was destroyed in 1913 by a flood which permanently ended all attempts to develop the Brazos River as a navigable waterway for commercial trade.



History, Texas, Richmond (Tex.), Brazos River Valley (Tex.), Brazos River (Tex.), Nineteenth century, Twentieth century