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Home Texas Harris County Houston Constitution Bend

Constitution Bend

  Texas Historical Markers
Houston, TX, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 29° 44' 56.797908", -95° 17' 33.460908"
    Texas State
Historical Marker
     Now Houston's famous ship-turning basin, this bend in Buffalo Bayou was named for the Constitution, first steamboat to turn around here in June 1837. At the time, Houston was less than a year old. It was serving as temporary capital of the , which was itself barely more than a year old. According to one story, the town's founders, John and Augustus Allen (brothers), paid the captain of the boat $1,000 to make the trip as a publicity measure. The trading vessel was approximately 150 x 24 x 8 feet in size, with one deck, no mast, a round stern, male figurehead, and a cabin on the deck. The Constitution's trip up Buffalo Bayou was not easy. Lines were run from it to trees and the boat was laboriously hauled forward by windlass. It ran aground twice. At one grounding, famous passenger Thomas Jefferson Chambers (patriot of the Republic) had enough time to visit a friend on shore. Upon their arrival at Houston, 35 of the 150 passengers memoralized the captain for his landmark voyage. The exit of the Constitution was no more graceful than her entrance: she had to back down the narrow bayou until she reached a spot wide enough to turn around. The name of this bend records that event.

This page last updated: 7/15/2008

Constitution Bend Historical Marker Location Map, Houston, Texas