The Trinity River flows from roughly Fort Worth to Trinity Bay in Chambers County. For several years boats navigated the river but never all the way. Several attempts were made to promote the Trinity River as a commercial asset but none were more enthusiastic than the 2-year, 9000 mile, yes 9000 mile, journey of Basil Muse Hatfield. The grandson of a San Jacinto veteran and steamboat man, Hatfield boasted a family that not only had many “Basil Muse’s” but also one of the most famous “Devil’s” in American history. He fought wars in South Africa, South America and China, hunted ivory and mined diamonds in Africa, mined silver in Mexico and even studied with Tibetan Lamas. Or so he claimed. He did find oil in Texas. One of the great characters of Texas, meet Basil Muse Hatfield, the First Admiral of the Trinity, in the latest episode of Wise About Texas.
Crazy Ben Dolliver was said to be touched. Sporting a 6 inch scar from an old sword fight, Crazy Ben circulated around Galveston in the 19th century barefoot, shirtless, and mostly drunk. He camped on the beach and fished for his sustenance. But Crazy Ben always paid for his drinks with Spanish Doubloons. Every now and then he’d sail away from the island and return with more Spanish gold. Where did the gold come from? Everyone knew Crazy Ben had served as one of Jean Lafitte’s crew as a pirate. Did he know the location of some treasure? Nobody figured it out, though they tried and tried. Then one day a ship arrived from New Orleans and Ben left….with some cargo. Hear a true pirate tale in this latest episode of Wise About Texas
The first man to fly a powered aircraft was a Texan named Jacob Brodbeck. History credits the Wright brothers but it’s time to correct the record! Learn about German immigration, a fascinating Texan, and the first airplane flight in this episode of Wise About Texas.
Meet Temple Lea Houston, youngest son of Texas hero Sam Houston and one of Texas’s first great trial lawyers. He was known for his quick mind, a silver tongue, fancy dress and a fast gun. All of those were helpful in the early courtrooms of Texas. He turned down the chance for high political office in exchange for the excitement of frontier justice. He also delivered one of the greatest closing arguments in history. Come to court in frontier Texas and get Wise About Texas.
In the first episode of a periodic series on Texans you should know, learn about the interesting, active and controversial life of General Thomas Jefferson Chambers. Lawyer, surveyor, judge, land baron. Chambers had an entrepeneurial spirit and a nose for a deal. Was he a smart business man or an unscrupulous dealer? No matter what you conclude, he is certainly a Texan you should know!