The "Port of Galvezton" at the Brazos?
Did you know the port of Galveston was
first founded at the mouth of the Brazos River?
The Mexican government authorized such a port in 1825 at the request of Stephen F. Austin, but they did not specify its location. Although Stephen F. Austin initially considered "Isla de San Luis" (Galveston Island), upon examination he instead favored the mouth of the Brazos, which had been a major port of entry for Austin's Colony since 1821. So, the Brazos continued to operate, but as "puerto de Galvezton" until late 1831. This situation was acknowledged by a talented, officious and self-promoting adventurer named George "Jorge" Fisher, who arrived at San Felipe de Austin in May-1830, announcing that he had been named administrator for the "port of Galvezton".
George Fisher had apparently been appointed by the government of Vicente Guerrero in 1829 while he was in Mexico City, but this government was overthrown in the period of Dec-1829 to Jan-1830. Fisher quickly left Mexico in self-exile to New Orleans, before he traveled overland to San Felipe de Austin to declare his appointment.
Fisher convinced Stephen F. Austin and other community leaders of his authority, despite the fact he lacked official credentials, instructions and funds. He promptly made substantial plans, apparently of his own invention, deciding to establish "Aduana Maritíma de Galvezton" on the left bank of the Brazos, with an assistant on "Punto de Culebra" - the northeast end of "Isla de San Luis" (Galveston Island).
George Fisher also published many newspaper announcements in the "Texas Gazette" (the hometown newspaper at San Felipe de Austin), and many of these are shown here, from archives of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
George Fisher also published very specific plans for his customs house, requesting Sealed Proposals for a brick customhouse at the mouth of the Brazos, and lighthouses at both the Brazos and Galveston Island (right). The notice was dated 27-May-1830 at the Bar of Brazos, indicating Fisher had arrived there by this time.
He also issued a "Notice .... to captains, masters, owners and commanders of vessels" about their new duties (below), and instructions "For the information of Navigators who wish to enter the river Brazos" for signals and a pilot (below right). These were also dated at the Bar of the Brazos River.
A narrative report that discusses all of the research on
the several Forts Velasco is available at the link below: