By 1860, Houston had emerged as a commercial and railroad hub for the export of cotton. Railroad spurs from the Texas inland converged in Houston, where they met rail lines to the ports of Galveston and Beaumont. During the American Civil War, Houston served as a headquarters for General John Bankhead Magruder, who used the city as an organization point for the Battle of Galveston. After the Civil War, Houston businessmen initiated efforts to widen the city's extensive system of bayous so the city could accept more commerce between downtown and the nearby port of Galveston. By 1890, Houston was the railroad center of Texas.

Could you simplify the words spur and inland here. ( I know inland means interior and spur has to do with encouraging, but in context the definitions in my mind are incompatible with the context, presumably, am i right?

I also would be greatful if anybody could tell me what does the phrase ** could accept more commerce** means.

1 Answer 1


The Texas inland refers to the railway inland from Houston, ie further away from the coast.

Spur in this sense has nothing to do with encouraging. It instead follows from the definition:

a thing that projects or branches off from a main body

A railway spur is a secondary railway line that branches off from a main line (in this case, the aforementioned inland line).

'Accept more commerce' means the capacity for business property was increased by widening the bayou system. More land = more depots/warehouses/stores etc.

  • While I largely agree, I suspect that The Texas inland, in this context, refers to the general region through which the railway runs, not specifically the railway itself. Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 16:31

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