Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/152

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River, and there on May 10 he transferred his cargo to the steamer Fashion under Major Wayne. Four days later Wayne landed the cargo at Powder Point, three miles below Indianola. The animals were in good condition notwithstanding the long confinement—one of them had been on board nine months. "On being landed, and feeling once again the solid earth beneath them," Porter wrote, "they became excited to an almost uncontrollable degree, rearing, kicking, crying out, breaking halters, tearing up pickets, and by other fantastic tricks demonstrating their enjoyment of the 'liberty of the soil.' Some of the males becoming even pugnacious in their excitement, were with difficulty restrained from attacking each other." The Texans were greatly interested in the camels and Porter wrote later to Davis that "perhaps the love of amusements may render the importation of camels in Texas popular if their utility does not recommend them." He meant that the Texans might possibly take to camel fighting.[1]

Less than one third of the appropriation had been expended and Davis determined to send at once for a second cargo of camels. Wayne was again offered command of the vessel, but he preferred to remain in Texas to conduct the experiment. Major Crossman also declined to go. Finally Porter and Heap were sent. Before leaving Porter carried to Davis the "Camel Deck Journal," his letters rejecting the camels offered by the viceroy of Egypt, and some drawings of camels in harness made by Mr. Heap. Porter arrived at Smyrna in November, 1856, where he found that Heap, who had gone on ahead, had collected a number of young camels. The six dromedaries presented by the Sultan had been sent to Smyrna and these with the others were taken on board. On November 14 the Supply again set sail for Texas. On board were forty-four animals: Two Bactrian males; three Arabian males; one Tuilu, cross-bred, male; one Tuilu, cross-bred, female; thirty-seven Arabian females.

The second voyage homeward lasted eighty-eight days and was rougher than the first. For thirteen days at one time the camels were strapped to the deck. But only three died during this voyage and Porter turned over to Captain Van Bockelen, quartermaster at Indianola, forty-one animals in good condition. There were now seventy in the herd, five of the first number having died since reaching Texas.

Meanwhile, during the summer of 1856, Wayne had been testing the value of the camel as a burden bearer. Certain of success, he wanted to breed camels until the herd was large, but Davis wanted to ascertain first whether they would be useful. For a few days the animals rested at Indianola. The Texans refused to believe in their burden bearing capacity, so one day Major Wayne had two bales of hay, weighing 314 pounds each, loaded on one of the males; the spectators were sure that

  1. The documents in regard to the expedition are in Sen. Ex. Doc., No. 62, 34 Cong., 3 Sess. See also Marsh, p. 210.