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No thank you, I am not interested in ing. The heavy traffic alarmed environmentalists who noted growing pollution in the area and others who believed the Channel Industries Mutual Aid, formed inoffered insufficient protection in case of accidents along the waterway. Support the Handbook today.

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Prior to Houston's offer, no substantial contributions had ever been made by local interests, but since then no project has been adopted by the national government without local contributions. Petroleum also led to the industrialization of the waterfront, for the long, protected channel with its nearby crude oil supplies proved an attractive location for oil refineries. In they organized the Buffalo Bayou Ship Channel Company to improve the channel, and in they persuaded Congress to make Houston a port of delivery.

Impatient at the slow progress, Mayor Horace Baldwin Rice led a delegation to Washington to present the "Houston Plan," which offered to pay one-half of the cost of dredging the channel to twenty-five feet. At the time 90 percent of all poisonous cargo traveling by water passed through the channel, which remained only feet wide and forty feet deep at its maximum. Congress also approved a depth of twenty-five feet and the location of the terminus at Long Reach, now the Turning Basin.

After the interim of the Civil Warthey renewed their efforts. The Port of Houston was the first in the nation to introduce container shipping.

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The Houston Ship Channel, one of the busiest waterways in the United States, achieved its earliest ificance as a link between interior Texas and the sea. In an ocean-going vessel, the Merry Mounttook the first shipment of cotton directly from Houston to a foreign market, thus inaugurating a trade that made Houston the leading cotton port in the United States within a decade.

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In the postwar years the port also became a major shipping point for midwestern grain. Still, because of inadequate appropriations, this effort brought few improvements. Although the Great Depression briefly interrupted the progress, the Port of Houston ranked third in the nation in the amount of tonnage carried on the eve of World War II. The war suspended normal shipping activities, but gave further impetus to the industrialization of the waterway.

After receiving assurances that the facilities would be publicly owned, Congress accepted the offer. All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

Initially, citizens of Houston took responsibility for clearing and maintaining the winding route to the sea. By nine oil refineries operating along the channel contributed to the channel tonnage. The first ocean vessel arrived there September 22, Although Morgan is sometimes called "the Father of the Houston Ship Channel," he soon shifted his attention from ships to railro, and his line abandoned the route in The United States government purchased his improvements in and thereafter accepted primary responsibility for the channel.

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Even after railro and later automobiles diverted traffic, the route remained an important transportation artery for bulky goods. By the s 4, ships flying the flags of sixty-one nations passed through the channel annually.

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Jesse H. Jones arranged for the sale of the bonds, and the dredging began. Support Texas History Now. Houston Ship Channel Marilyn M. Sibley General Entry. Goods destined for the interior came upstream, and visitors and immigrants made the route one of the most traveled in Texas in the prerailroad era. It was completed on September 7,and celebrated with great fanfare in the city.

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Desiring to bypass Galveston, Morgan bought the Bayou Ship Channel Company in and within two years dredged a channel from Galveston Bay to the site of present Clinton near Houston. Because of shipping conditions during World War Iits deep water development was delayed until after the war. Two synthetic rubber plants were located near the channel while the war was in progress, and after the war the channel became a center of the petrochemical industry. At Galveston cargoes were transferred to seagoing vessels and thence to market.

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In addition to increasing the demand for customary petroleum products, the war inspired the development of synthetic rubber based on a byproduct of petroleum. It traces its origin to early trade on Buffalo Bayou, which he on the prairie thirty miles west of Houston in the extreme northeastern corner of Fort Bend County and runs southeast for fifty miles to the San Jacinto River and then into Galveston Bay.

Recognizing the potential of the stream, the brothers John Kirby and Augustus Chapman Allen laid out the town of Houston at the head of on Buffalo Bayou in The first steamboat, the Lauraarrived there on January 22, As the waterway proved to be the only one in Texas that was dependably navigable, planters over a large area brought their cotton to Houston to be shipped by barge or riverboat to Galveston, the best natural port in Texas. Oil, which had been discovered in Texas dating in Houston Texas channel islands in the twentieth century, increasingly rivaled cotton as the most important cargo on the channel.

In the late s Houston merchants chafed at the policies of the Galveston Wharf Company, which controlled Galveston harbor, and attempted to reach the sea without going through Galveston. The city fathers established the Port of Houston on January 29,and the following year the Congress of the Republic of Texas granted the city the right to remove obstructions and otherwise improve the bayou.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers surveyed the channel and recommended a width of feet and a depth of six. Thecombination of industry and transportation facilities, including a network of railro, trucklines, and interstate highways, influenced the National Aeronautics and Space Administration see LYNDON B.

Congress approved a project to widen the channel to feet from Fidelity Island to the turning basin inand in army engineers recommended that the entire channel be deepened to forty feet.

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New plans to widen the channel were proposed, along with further new industrial tracts and petrochemical projects, but remained to be implemented. Growing foreign trade and new industry boosted the port to second in tonnage in the nation inand from then until it customarily ranked second or third.

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Published by the Texas State Historical Association. After Texas entered the Union, free wharfage was given to boat owners who contracted to keep the channel clean.

Between and some vessel casualties were recorded, and in the s and s the channel received increasing attention from a series of oil spills, explosions, and collisions between tankers, freighters, and barges. Houston Congressman Thomas H. Ballafter becoming a member of the Rivers and Harbors Committee inwon increased appropriations for the project. The Texas legislature passed a bill enabling Harris County to establish a district. Marilyn M. Texas MonthlyJulyMay The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.