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Keelboat reaches "raft on the Colorado"

April
11
1838

On this day in 1838, the keelboat David Crockett, reportedly the first large craft to navigate the Colorado River, arrived at the head of "the raft on the Colorado." Early in the nineteenth century, the river's slow current caused a logjam, or "raft," which by the late 1830s blocked the river ten miles above its mouth at Matagorda. The Crockett, which had averaged more than sixty miles a day, stopped at the head of the raft, where its cargo of cotton was unloaded and carried by wagon to Matagorda. Removal of the log jam in the 1920s caused the development of an enormous delta that reached across Matagorda Bay to the Matagorda Peninsula. In 1936 engineers dug a channel through the delta, but Matagorda gradually became landlocked.

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