1856, Houston Tap & Brazoria Railway Company

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1856, "Houston, Tap and Brazoria Railway Company," Blank, un-issued, stock certificate ($100 per share) printed by Crawford & Reynolds, N.Y. (Image: 10 1/4" wide x 6 1/2" high). The Houston Tap and Brazoria Railway Company was chartered in 1856 to run from Houston south into Brazoria and Wharton counties. The railway was approved by the City Council of Houston to connect the municipality with the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway Company. The Texas Legislature gave the city permission to impose a one percent ad valorem tax on real and personal property, as well as a license tax on "Taverns, Groceries, Barrooms, Tippling-Houses, Nine and Ten-Pin Allies and Billiard Tables" in order to construct the railroad. The 6½-mile line opened on October 21, 1856. In 1859 the Houston Tap and Brazoria was extended to Sandy Point. In 1860 it opened to East Columbia, for a total of fifty miles of rail. It was built inexpensively because plantation owners were allowed to pay stock subscriptions by having their slaves build much of the grade. Called the "Sugar Road," the line served the fertile, large sugar plantations on lands originally settled by Stephen F. Austin. During the Civil War, Texas was spared most of the devastation seen in the rest of the South. The fifty miles of track that made up the Houston Tap was torn up to salvage iron needed to manufacture weapons. Economic disruptions resulting from the Civil War and "reconstruction"  impacted the railroad and it was never extended. Certificate is in excellent condition.


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