G.W. Ware

”G. W. Ware, teacher of penmanship in a Dallas educational institution, was in Galveston during the hurricane, He reached Dallas on Tuesday, the 11th and made the following statement:


It was a godsend, the placing of the city under martial law. The criminal element began looting the dead, and the cold blooded commercial element began looting the living. The criminals were stealing anything they could with safety lay hands on, and the mercenary commercial pirates began a harvest of extortion. The price of bacon was pushed up to 50 cents a pound, bread 60 cents a loaf, and owners of small schooners and other sailing craft formed a trust, and charged $8 a passenger for transportation across the bay from the island to the mainland.

Mayor Jones and other men of conscience were shocked at these proceedings, and the Mayor decided that the only protection for the citizens would be to declare martial law, confiscate all foodstuffs and other necessities for the common good, and thus stop the lootings and holdups.

The price of bread was reduced to 10 cents a loaf, bacon was placed at 15 cents a pound, and the price of a voyage across the bay was set at $1.5o a passenger. A book account is being kept of all sales of foodstuffs, and other transactions and settlements will be made at the scheduled rates.

Mr. Quinlan, General Manager of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad, said :

‘It is in such cases as this Galveston disaster that the barbarity in some men is seen. I have seen enough in the last two days to convince me that a large element of civilized mankind are veneered savages. My policy would be to take nobody into Galveston except such persons as are absolutely needed to administer to the distressed. Thousands of residents of Galveston ought to be brought out of there as fast as boats can bring them to the mainland, and establish them in charity or detention camps on high ground, where they can get pure air and water and receive attention which cannot be given to them on the island.’

I hope Governor Sayres will find authority to enforce some such policy. This relief work is going to be an all-winter task. Persons who have lost homes and places of business must be taken charge of until they can properly take care of themselves.”

Reference Data:

The Great Galveston Disaster, by Paul Lester and Richard Spillane, 1900, pages 46-7

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