Saturday, May 09, 2015

This Week in Texas Methodist History  May 10

Littleton Fowler Reports on Excursion to Galveston, May 14, 1838

Littleton Fowler, one of the first three officially appointed Methodist missionaries to Texas, concentrated his efforts in Houston from December 1837 to June 1838.  While Martin Ruter rode several thousand miles during that same period and established societies all along his route, Fowler spent most the time in Houston, the capital of the Republic of Texas.   Fowler secured appointment as Chaplain of the Legislature so he had a reason to stay in Houston, except for the winter recess when he went to Nacogdoches and San Augustine.  

As the legislative session was winding down, Fowler joined some legislators on a steam boat excursion to Galveston Island where developers had begun selling town lots on April 20.  

When Fowler returned to Houston, he wrote his fiancé, Missouri Porter, about the overnight jaunt.  Portions of the letter report “scandalous” behavior on the part of his traveling companions.

Half on board got into a real spree, pulled of[f] all their clothes & hats to linen and pants, bare headed. The boat was a real floating Pandemonaum[sic], its inmates acted as though they were the lunatics of Tofit* that had broken their chains and were sporting in chaotic and maniac wildness. Such was the drunkeness and profane swearing that I was afraid God Almighty would send a clap of thunder from even a clear sky and shiver the boat to atoms. To me the trip was one of pain not of pleasure. This sketch is confidential as the [?] we engaged would not like for me to tell tales out of school.

*Tophet  see 2 Kings 23:10  The place where children were sacrificed to Baal and Moloch.


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