Brazos and Galveston Railroad

By: George C. Werner

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: June 18, 2020

The Brazos and Galveston Rail-road Company was one of four railroads chartered by the Republic of Texas. The company, chartered on May 24, 1838, had the right to build turnpikes and railroads from the main channel of Galveston Bay to the Brazos River. Capital was set at $500,000 divided into 5,000 shares, and the office was at Austinia on Dollar Point. Subscription books for the capital stock were opened at Houston, where 2,000 shares were offered by W. G. Cooke and Asa Brigham; James F. Perry and George L. Hammeken had 1,500 shares available at Austinia; and the remaining 1,500 shares were to be offered for sale at Brazoria under the direction of Edmund Andrews and Frederick A. Sawyer. The company had permission to use boats, vehicles, wagons, or carriages of any nature, and to improve bays, rivers, and harbors. Congress reserved the right to regulate the rates charged, and in January 1840 amended the charter to substitute canals for turnpikes and to provide a maximum freight rate of 2½ cents a mile per 100 pounds. Men and munitions for the army and navy were to be transported free. In September 1839 the company announced that the route had been changed to run from San Luis Island to Velasco. Some work was done on the new route; 860 feet of a 1,260-foot bridge from San Luis Island to the mainland had been piled by March 1841. However, by September 1841 the company had apparently gone out of the railroad business in favor of a canal connecting Bastrop and Buffalo bayous. In December 1843 Hammeken told Anson Jones that the company had spent about $3,000 and much labor on the canal project. The project failed shortly thereafter.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

George C. Werner, “Brazos and Galveston Railroad,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 28, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 18, 2020