My new book, The Galveston-Houston Packet: Steamboats on Buffalo Bayou, tells the story of one of the vital early transportation routes that shaped the development of Texas. Most people imagine the settlement of the American West as signaled by the dust of the wagon train, or the whistle of a locomotive, but during the middle decades of the 19th century, though, the growth of Texas and points west centered around the 70-mile water route between Galveston and Houston. This single, vital link stood between the agricultural riches of the interior and the mercantile enterprises of the coast, with a round of operations that was as sophisticated and efficient as that of any large transport network today. At the same time, the packets on the overnight Houston-Galveston run earned a reputation as colorful as their Mississippi counterparts, complete with impromptu steamboat races, makeshift naval gunboats during the Civil War, professional gamblers and horrific accidents.
The Galveston-Houston Packet runs to 143 pages, and includes endnotes, bibliography, rare photos, two original maps, and an appendix listing dozens of boats that ran on Buffalo Bayou. The Galveston-Houston Packet: Steamboats on Buffalo Bayou will be available for purchase soon. Check back here for ordering details, and on my Public Appearances and Talks page for book signings and related events.
For additional material on Buffalo Bayou steamboat, try these links: