Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land is the fifth-most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States, encompassing nine counties along the Gulf Coast in southeastern Texas. With a population of 6,490,180 people as of the 2010 United States Census, the MSA is the second-most populous in Texas after the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. Colloquially referred to as Greater Houston, the 10,000-square-mile region centers on Harris County, the third-most populous county in the nation, which contains the city of Houston—the largest economic and cultural center of the South—with a population of 2.3 million. Greater Houston is part of the Texas Triangle megaregion along with the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, Greater Austin, Greater San Antonio. Houston has been among the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States; the area grew 25.2% between 1990 and 2000—adding more than 950,000 people—while the nation's population increased only 13.2% over the same period, from 2000 to 2007 alone, the area added over 910,000 people.
The Greater Houston Partnership projects the metropolitan area will add between 4.1 and 8.3 million new residents between 2010 and 2050. Greater Houston has the sixth-highest metropolitan-area gross domestic product in the United States, valued at $526 billion in 2016. A major trade center anchored by the Port of Houston, Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land has the second-highest trade export value of all MSAs, at over $84 billion in 2016, accounting for 42% of the total exports of Texas. Metropolitan Houston is home to the headquarters of 21 Fortune 500 companies, ranking fourth among all MSAs. According to the United States Census Bureau, the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan statistical area has a total area of 10,062 square miles, of which 8,929 sq mi is land and 1,133 sq mi is water; the region is smaller than the state of Massachusetts and larger than New Jersey. The Office of Management and Budget combines the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugarland MSA with four micropolitan statistical areas to form the Houston–The Woodlands, TX Combined Statistical Area.
The metropolitan area is located in the Gulf Coastal Plains biome, its vegetation is classified as temperate grassland. Much of the urbanized area was built on forested land, swamp, or prairie, remnants of which can still be seen in surrounding areas. Of particular note is the Katy Prairie to the west, the Big Thicket to the northeast, the Galveston Bay ecosystem to the south. Additionally, the metropolitan region is crossed by a number of creeks and bayous which provide essential drainage during rainfall events; the upper drainage basin of Buffalo Bayou is impounded by two large flood control reservoirs, Barker Reservoir and Addicks Reservoir, which provide a combined 400,000 acre-feet of storage during large rainfall events and cover a total land area of 26,100 acres. Greater Houston's flat topography, susceptibility to high-intensity rainfall events, high level of impervious surface, inadequately-sized natural drainage channels make it susceptible to catastrophic flooding events. Underpinning Houston's land surface are unconsolidated clays, clay shales, poorly cemented sands up to several miles deep.
The region's geology developed from stream deposits formed from the erosion of the Rocky Mountains. These sediments consist of a series of sands and clays deposited on decaying organic matter that, over time, transformed into oil and natural gas. Beneath these tiers is a water-deposited layer of a rock salt; the porous layers were forced upward. As it pushed upward, the salt dragged surrounding sediments into dome shapes trapping oil and gas that seeped from the surrounding porous sands; this thick, rich soil provides a good environment for rice farming in suburban outskirts into which the city continues to grow near Katy. Evidence of past rice farming is still evident in developed areas as an abundance of rich, loamy top soil exists; the Houston region is earthquake-free. While the city of Houston contains over 150 to 300 active surface faults with an aggregate length of up to 310 miles, the clay below the surface precludes the buildup of friction that produces ground-shaking in earthquakes; these faults move at a smooth rate in what is termed "fault creep".
A number of tropical storms and hurricanes have hit the area, including: 1900 Galveston Hurricane, which devastated Galveston and was the deadliest natural disaster in United States history, killing between 8,000 and 12,000. Hurricane Carla, the most recent Category 4 hurricane to strike Texas until Harvey in 2017. Hurricane Alicia, which struck the area as a Category 3, was at the time, the costliest Atlantic hurricane. Tropical Storm Allison, until Harvey, brought the worst flooding in Houston history and was the first tropical storm to be retired. Hurricane Rita, which triggered one of the largest evacuations in United States history in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Tropical Storm Erin, a minor tropical storm that struck Texas, but brought severe impacts to Oklahoma. Hurricane Ike, which brought devastating storm surge to the coast and wind damage into the city. Hurricane Harvey, which brought devastating flooding that resulted in excess of $100 billion in damages to the region; as defined by the Office of Management and Budget, the m
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Houston is the most populous city in the U. S. state of Texas and the fourth most populous city in the United States, with a census-estimated population of 2.312 million in 2017. It is the most populous city in the Southern United States and on the Gulf Coast of the United States. Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, the fifth most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States and the second most populous in Texas after the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA. With a total area of 627 square miles, Houston is the eighth most expansive city in the United States, it is the largest city in the United States by total area, whose government is not consolidated with that of a county or borough. Though in Harris County, small portions of the city extend into Fort Bend and Montgomery counties. Houston was founded by land speculators on August 30, 1836, at the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou and incorporated as a city on June 5, 1837.
The city is named after former General Sam Houston, president of the Republic of Texas and had won Texas' independence from Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto 25 miles east of Allen's Landing. After serving as the capital of the Texas Republic in the late 1830s, Houston grew into a regional trading center for the remainder of the 19th century; the arrival of the 20th century saw a convergence of economic factors which fueled rapid growth in Houston, including a burgeoning port and railroad industry, the decline of Galveston as Texas' primary port following a devastating 1900 hurricane, the subsequent construction of the Houston Ship Channel, the Texas oil boom. In the mid-20th century, Houston's economy diversified as it became home to the Texas Medical Center—the world's largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions—and NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located. Houston's economy has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing and transportation.
Leading in healthcare sectors and building oilfield equipment, Houston has the second most Fortune 500 headquarters of any U. S. municipality within its city limits. The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled. Nicknamed the "Space City", Houston is a global city, with strengths in culture and research; the city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. Houston is the most diverse metropolitan area in Texas and has been described as the most racially and ethnically diverse major metropolis in the U. S, it is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than 7 million visitors a year to the Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and offers year-round resident companies in all major performing arts; the Allen brothers—Augustus Chapman and John Kirby—explored town sites on Buffalo Bayou and Galveston Bay.
According to historian David McComb, "he brothers, on August 26, 1836, bought from Elizabeth E. Parrott, wife of T. F. L. Parrott and widow of John Austin, the south half of the lower league granted to her by her late husband, they paid $5,000 total, but only $1,000 of this in cash. They lobbied the Republic of Texas Congress to designate Houston as the temporary capital, agreeing to provide the new government with a capital building. About a dozen persons resided in the town at the beginning of 1837, but that number grew to about 1,500 by the time the Texas Congress convened in Houston for the first time that May. Houston was granted incorporation with James S. Holman becoming its first mayor. In the same year, Houston became the county seat of Harrisburg County. In 1839, the Republic of Texas relocated its capital to Austin; the town suffered another setback that year when a yellow fever epidemic claimed about one life out of every eight residents. Yet it persisted as a commercial center, forming a symbiosis with Galveston.
Landlocked farmers brought their produce to Houston, using Buffalo Bayou to gain access to Galveston and the Gulf of Mexico. Houston merchants profited from selling staples to farmers and shipping the farmers' produce to Galveston; the great majority of slaves in Texas came with their owners from the older slave states. Sizable numbers, came through the domestic slave trade. New Orleans was the center of this trade in the Deep South. Thousands of enslaved blacks lived near the city before the American Civil War. Many of them near the city worked on sugar and cotton plantations, while most of those in the city limits had domestic and artisan jobs. In 1840, the community established a chamber of commerce in part to promote shipping and navigation at the newly created port on Buffalo Bayou. By 1860, Houston had emerged as a commercial and railroad hub for the export of cotton. Railroad spurs from the Texas inland converged in Houston, where they met rail lines to the ports of Galveston and Beaumont.
During the American Civil War, Houston served as a headquarters for General John Magruder, who used the city as an organization point for the Battle of Galveston. After the Civil War, Houston businessmen initia
Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville or Huntsville Unit, nicknamed "Walls Unit", is a Texas state prison located in Huntsville, United States. The 54.36-acre facility, near Downtown Huntsville, is operated by the Correctional Institutions Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, administered as within Region I. The facility, the oldest Texas state prison, opened in 1849; the unit houses the State of Texas execution chamber. It is the most active execution chamber in the United States, with 559 executions since 1982, when the death penalty was reinstated in Texas; the prison's first inmates arrived on October 1, 1849. The unit was named after the City of Huntsville. Robert Perkinson, the author of Texas Tough: The Rise of America’s Prison Empire, wrote that the unit was, within Texas, "the first public work of any importance". Huntsville Unit was only for white Texans. During the American Civil War, prisoners at Huntsville produced tents and uniforms for Confederate forces at the prison textile factory.
After the Civil War ended, Huntsville Unit was the only prison in the former Confederate States of America to remain. Perkinson stated that the prison became, within the state, the "first racially integrated public institution". Women in the Texas Prison System were housed in the Huntsville Unit. Beginning in 1883 women were housed in the Johnson Farm, a owned cotton plantation near Huntsville. During this time there was some concern that "immoral practices may be resorted to" in regards to the female prisoners; the prison served as the administrative headquarters of the Texas Prison System and the Texas Department of Corrections. In 1974, the prison was the site of an eleven-day siege, one of the longest hostage-taking sieges in United States history. Three armed inmates held several hostages in the education department; the ring leader, had been a porter in the chapel. Cuevas worked in the inmate dining hall. Ten hostages were employees of the prison system: two were educators, one was a guard.
On, the prison chaplain would become a hostage. Four prisoners were held as hostages. On the final day, the inmates tried to escape using hostages as shields. Dominquez was killed in the attempt. Carrasco killed Elizabeth Beseda shot himself. Julia Standley was killed that day. Ignacio Cuevas was executed on May 1991, for her murder. While the prison is the Huntsville Unit, the prison's red brick walls lead to the nickname "Walls Unit." The prison is 160 miles southeast of Dallas and 70 miles north of Houston. The original cellblock had been closed for several years prior to 2011; the electric chair was in a building adjacent to the institution's east wall. When the death row was in Huntsville, it was in the East Building; the warden of the Huntsville Unit is in charge of the maintenance of the Captain Joe Byrd Cemetery, the TDCJ prisoner cemetery. Prisoners from this unit are assigned to maintain the cemetery; the Huntsville Unit serves as one of the TDCJ's regional release centers for male prisoners.
Most male prisoners are released to be closer to their counties of conviction, approved release counties, and/or residences. Male prisoners who have detainers, are classified as sex offenders, have electronic monitoring imposed by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, and/or have certain special conditions of the Super Intensive Supervision Program are released from the Huntsville Unit, regardless of their counties of conviction, and/or approved release counties. Rick Thaler, the director of the Correctional Institutions Division, predicted in 2010 that the Huntsville Unit, which serves as the regional release center for Greater Houston, will remain the TDCJ's largest release center. Throughout the history of the Texas Prison System 90% of male prisoners were sent to the unit for the final portions of their sentences before being released. Starting in September 2010 the TDCJ instead began to use regional release centers for male prisoners; the Huntsville Unit is the location of the State of Texas execution chamber.
The TDCJ houses male death row inmates in the Polunsky Unit and female death row inmates in the Mountain View Unit. Between 1819 and 1923 the method of execution was hanging until Texas authorized the use of the electric chair; the chair– euphemistically called "Old Sparky" was constructed by inmates. Between 1924 and 1964, 362 inmates were executed by electrocution; the chair now resides at the Texas Prison Museum, located on Interstate 45 on the north side of Huntsville which features displays of historical items from the prison system, including shanks and other items confiscated from inmates. On one occasion the prison used a facility below the current warden's office as a death row for women. Emma "Straight Eight" Oliver, the first female death row inmate under Texas state jurisdiction, was sentenced to death in 1949. In 1951 her sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Subsequently the Goree Unit and the Mountain View Unit were used as women's death rows. Inmates scheduled for execution are brought from death row to the Walls Unit early in the afternoon of their scheduled execution.
Unlike other states, Texas prohibits inmates from special meals, because o
A prison farm is a large correctional facility where penal labor convicts are put to economical use in a farm for manual labor in open air, such as in agriculture, logging and mining. The concepts of prison farm and labor camp overlap; the historical equivalent on a large scale was called a penal colony. The agricultural goods produced by prison farms are used to feed the prisoners themselves and other wards of the state, secondarily, to be sold for whatever profit the state may be able to obtain. In addition to being forced to labor directly for the government on a prison farm or in a penal colony, inmates may be forced to do farm work for private enterprises by being farmed out through the practice of convict leasing to work on private agricultural lands or related industries; the party purchasing their labor from the government does so at a steep discount from the cost of free labor. Depending on the prevailing doctrine on judicial punishment and penal harm, psychological and/or physical cruelty may be a conscious intent of prison farm labor, not just an inevitable but unintended collateral effect.
Louisiana State Penitentiary is the largest prison farm covering 18000 acres, is bordered on three sides by the Mississippi River Convicts may be leased for non-agricultural work, either directly to state entities, or to private industry. For example, prisoners may make license plates under contract to the state Department of Motor Vehicles, work in textile or other state run factories, or may perform data processing for outside firms; these laborers are considered to be a part of prison industries and not prison farms. The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which ended slavery perpetuated the concept of penal servitude – i.e. unfree labor as a punishment for a crime. Britain had a long history of penal servitude prior to the passage of the Penal Servitude Act of 1853, used convict labor to settle its conquests, either through penal colonies or by selling convicts to settlers to serve as slaves for a term of years as indentured servants; this type of penal institution has been implanted in rural regions of vast countries.
For example, the following passage describes the prison system of the U. S. state of Virginia in the early twentieth century: "The state prison is at Raleigh, although most of the convicts are distributed upon farms owned and operated by the state. The lease system does not prevail, but the farming out of convict labor is permitted by the constitution. A reformatory for white youth between the ages of seven and sixteen, under the name of the Stonewall Jackson Manual Training and Industrial School, was opened at Concord in 1909, in March 1909 the Foulk Reformatory and Manual Training School for negro youth was provided for. Charitable and penal institutions are under the supervision of a Board of Public Charities, appointed by the governor for a period of six years, the terms of the different members expiring in different years. Private institutions for the care of the insane, feeble-minded and inebriates may be established, but must be licensed and regulated by the state board and become a part of the system of public charities."
In 21st-century Illinois, several prisons continue to run farms to produce food for wards of the state, including the prisoners themselves. The 1911 Britannica reported that the state of Rhode Island had a farm of 667 acres in the southern part of Cranston City housing: "the state prison, the Providence county jail, the state workhouse and the house of correction, the state almshouse, the state hospital for the insane, the Sockanosset school for boys, the Oaklawn school for girls, the last two being departments of the state reform school." There are prison farms in other countries. Canada had six prison farms, where up to 800 inmates did everything from tending pigs to milking cows until they were closed in 2010 by the Conservative government; the Current Liberal government is conducting feasibility studies to determine if the program can be restarted. Films featuring prison farms and forced prison labor: I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang is an award-winning movie released in 1932, which depicted the degrading and inhumane treatment on chain gangs in the post–World War I era.
Hell's Highway Prison Farm Gone with the Wind scenes of Scarlett O'Hara's leased convicts at work in her lumber mills Sullivan's Travels City Without Men Chain Gang starred Douglas Kennedy as a reporter working as a guard to expose corruption and brutality. Cool Hand Luke Papillon Scarecrow Nightmare in Badham County Buckstone County Prison They Went That-A-Way & That-A-Way Brubaker Life O Brother, Where Art Thou? Civil Brand In "Les Misérables" by Victor Hugo, which has had several movie adaptations, the character Jean Valjean is part of a chain gang as part of his punishment for stealing bread. Trusty system Chain gang Tom Murton Care farming Gorgona Agricultural Penal Colony Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Prison § Prison Industries". Encyclopædia Britannica. 22. Cambridge University Press. P. 369. Thomas, Nicki "Prison farms facing execution." Capital News Online. Carleton University School of Journalism and Communication. March 5, 2010. David M
George Beto Unit
The George Beto Unit is a men's maximum security prison of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice located in unincorporated Anderson County, Texas. The unit is located along Farm to Market Road 3328, 6 miles south of Tennessee Colony; the prison, co-located with Coffield Unit, Michael Unit, Powledge Unit prisons and the Gurney Unit transfer facility, has 20,518 acres of land. The unit houses over 3,400 offenders; the unit opened in June 1980. It has the Correctional Institutions Division Region II Maintenance headquarters; the unit was named after George Beto, who served as prison director from 1962 to 1972. In 2008 Perryn Keys of the Beaumont Enterprise said that Beto "has been described as a gladiator’s playground — a hardcore joint as prisons go." That year, Ricardo Ainslie, an author and a professor in the educational psychology department of the University of Texas, said that when he toured Beto with the warden, he was "scared." Joyce King, author of the 2002 book Hate Crime: The Story of a Dragging in Jasper, said that Beto's reputation as a "gladiator" prison stems from the fact that most of its prisoners are in their mid-20s young.
As of that year, some inmates are at the equivalent of a 4th year high school student, a few are near their 30s. King said "The dubious distinction is a warning—gladiators either fight because they must or because they like to." In 2014 Curtis Garland, Jr. a prisoner from Dallas who began a 12-year sentence for family violence in 2012, died of an asthma attack. His family believed. Beto has housing for its warden; the warden housing, in one duplex unit, is a part of three duplexes. One other duplex has housing for the warden of another unit, one is unoccupied as of 2002; the prison places its confirmed gang members in the F Wing. The far southern wing, PTRC, is a pre-release wing; the prison has three unoccupied wings that are kept for emergency overflow. The three wings are old Administrative Segregation Wings from; the only occupied wings are A,B,C,D,E,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,P,T,U,O,X General Population: G1 - G4 Administrative Segregation Transient Outside Trusty Lawrence Russell Brewer, executed in 2011, John William "Bill" King on death row, David Brooks Beto Unit Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
List of prisoners in the Beto Unit - The Texas Tribune
Velasco was a town in Texas, United States, annexed by the city of Freeport. Founded in 1831, Velasco is situated on the east side of the Brazos River in southeast Texas, it is sixteen miles south of Angleton and four miles from the Gulf of Mexico. The town's early history is tied with the Battle of Velasco and the Texas Revolution. Velasco was an important entry point for American settlers in Texas. In 1836 following the decisive Battle of San Jacinto, Velasco was named a temporary capital of the Republic of Texas by the interim President David G. Burnet. In 1837, the final actions of the Battle of Brazos River occurred there. Velasco was located on the Gulf Coast on the east side of the mouth of the Brazos River where present-day Surfside is located. In 1821, the schooner Lively landed at the site with thirty-eight men, the first of Stephen F. Austin's colonists. At the time, Texas was part of Mexico, but Austin had obtained permission to bring American settlers into the area, with the first colonists settling in what is now southern Brazoria County.
Velasco consisted of a single house until 1831, when Mexico set up a customs port there and dispatched troops to help the customs collector. More than 25,000 settlers entered through the port; the town was named for a Mexican general. Velasco was the site of the Battle of Velasco in 1832; the battle was fought on June 26, 1832 between Texas colonists and Mexico four years before the Texas Revolution. The Mexican commander during the conflict, Domingo de Ugartechea, tried to stop the Texans from transporting a cannon up the Brazos River to attack the city of Anahuac; the Texans were led by Brazoria Alcade, John Austin, the schoolteacher and farmer Henry Smith. The Texan militia prevailed over the outnumbered Mexicans. Ugartechea surrendered after a three-day battle, once he realized he would not be receiving reinforcements, his soldiers had run out of ammunition. In 1834, a cholera epidemic reduced the population to 100. After the Battle of San Jacinto, President David G. Burnet made the town the temporary capital of the Republic of Texas.
Government records were housed at Fort Velasco until the first capital of Texas was established at Columbia. General Antonio López de Santa Anna signed the Treaties of Velasco on May 14, 1836 acknowledging Texas independence. Between the Texas Revolution and the American Civil War and Quintana served as summer resorts for wealthy plantation families of the region; the Galveston businessmen Samuel May Williams and Thomas F. McKinney established warehouses and organized shipping at the port. By 1838, a seminary for young ladies, Velasco Female Academy, a school for young men, taught by Oxford graduates, were established. Comfortable hotels were built to accommodate visitors and patrons of the racetrack, located a short distance upriver. A local post office operated from 1846 until 1891. Antebellum Velasco had business houses, homes, a hotel, wharves, a customhouse. Steamboats embarked from the wharves for New Orleans. With completion in 1856 of the first intracoastal canal to Galveston Bay, the town began to decline, as much of its shipping was diverted to Galveston.
During the U. S. Civil War, the port of Velasco was fortified by Confederate troops and eight gun batteries, Union ships were forced to go to New Orleans for drinking water and fuel; the port played an active role in the exchange of cotton for European guns, milled goods, medicines for army and home use. Federal vessels attempted to stop vital trade and fired upon shore defenses and small craft seeking to outrun them. With the ruin of the plantation system after the war and Quintana declined as resorts. In 1875 a hurricane destroyed the old town records. By 1884, Old Velasco's residents numbered only fifty; the new town of Velasco was surveyed and laid out four miles upriver in 1891, when a new Velasco post office was established. The port was opened by the United States Secretary of the Treasury William Windom on July 7, 1891. Over $1,000,000 worth of lots were sold to Midwesterners looking for greener pastures and a seaside environment. By 1892, New Velasco had 136 business establishments and 167 residences, an electric light plant, a planing mill.
Jetties were built by the Brazos River Channel and Dock Company by 1897, the newly dug deepwater port ran to a depth of 17½ feet. Much of Velasco, first owned by John A. and William H. Wharton, was sold to an agent of the English Rothschild family, they planned to establish a great seaport at the site. By 1896 the community had a new lighthouse, several churches, hotels, a national bank, a cottonseed oil mill, cotton gins and general stores, two weekly newspapers. Old Velasco and Crescent Beach could be reached by electric railroad; the population had reached 3,000. Velasco rebuilt enduring fluctuations of poverty and prosperity. By 1914, with a population of 1,000 and only one newspaper remaining, the community had a fish and oyster plant and shipped cattle, cane sugar, syrup; the population dropped to a low of 400 in the mid-1930s during the Great Depression, when the town supported only 12 businesses. The port of Freeport had been built on the Brazos River four miles upstream; the river below the port required frequent dredging.
In 1929, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers diverted the course of Brazos River three miles west, leaving the four-mile segment of the Old Brazos as a stand-alone ship channel. Diversion of the Brazos River and the formation of a tidal estuary de