Texas Furniture, Volume One
By Allan Turner
Sam Houston was spitting mad about the wagon load of furniture arriving at his Huntsville home. The stove had no pipe, the bed's canopy and side rails were missing and a bedpost was split, the mirror was shattered and the sideboard was "infamous beyond all things else."
"The veneering is broken and split," Houston furiously complained to the Galveston merchant who sold the items. "Wherever it needed it, and I should say at least 20 places, it has been puttied. ... One end of the sideboard was split for near a foot and filled with wax. I have not told you all, nor is it worth the trouble."
Furnishing a house in mid-19th century Texas, where even short-distance transportation could be treacherous, could pose serious problems. Thousands of early Texas settlers arrived with little more than a trunk, and the items needed to fill their homes - especially those in the hinterland - often were improvised on the spot.
Yet, when it came to furniture, Texas was filled with surprises. Among the frontier settlers were skilled craftsmen capable of transforming native woods into functional, sometimes highly sophisticated, furnishings.
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