"The best journeys are not always in straight lines."
The mission of the Riverport Ambassadors is to actively interact with visitors in order to promote tourism, support businesses and interpret the history of Jefferson, TX.
Some History of Jefferson
Did you know during the time when steamboats docked at the Port of Jefferson, we were known as the "King of Spades"?
Few (if any) stevedores on steamboats in the mid 1800s could read or write. So how could they identify pieces of cargo destined to be unloaded in Jefferson? This issue was solved by stamping a playing card symbol on each piece of cargo, designating the specific port where it belonged. Since virtually every stevedore played cards, they could recognize these symbols. Jefferson's designation was the King of Spades!
Did you know Jefferson was the second wealthiest city in Texas (second only to Galveston) during the mid 1800's?
During this time, Jefferson was a major distribution center. Since it's riverport was located so far inland, it was closer for traders and settlers to journey to Jefferson than other ports like New Orleans or Galveston. This trade brought signifcant wealth to the town.
Even More History
Did you know Jefferson was the location of the first "big name" murder trial in Texas?
In 1877, Abe Rothschild, the son of Meyer Rothschild, a Cincinnati jeweler was accused of murdering Bessie Moore in Jefferson. Ms. Moore was a prostitute he had met in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The first trial began in December 1878. The trial became very notorious. Most of the lawyers in East Texas tried to become involved either on the side of the state for prestige or on the defense for the money to be provided by the Rothschilds. The defense legal talent included a future governor of Texas, Charles A. Culberson, and a United States senator, David B. Culberson. Abe was found guilty in this trial, but a subsequent ruling by the Court of Appeals found irregularities in the trial, declaring it a mistrial. A second trial was held in December 1880. Abe was found not guilty at this trial. Rumor has it that twelve $1,000 bills were lowered into the jury room during deliberations.
Every year during Jefferson's Spring Pilgrimage, a re-enactment of this famous trial is held.