Three rivers and the Third Coast.

Texas is bounded by water on four sides:  three rivers and the Third Coast.  The Sabine River runs part of the way along the Texas-Louisiana border.  The Red River separates Texas and Oklahoma.  Famously, the Rio Grande marks the frontier between Texas and Mexico.   And then there is the Third Coast, the Gulf of Mexico.

Sabine River.   One of my ancestors, born Robert Thomas, changed his name to James Gaines in 1810, and affixed his new name to the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836.  Well and good.  He also operated a ferry on the Sabine River, and that ferry outlasted the Republic of Texas by many years.  Indeed, the Gaines Ferry continued until 1937 when it was replaced by a bridge.  The site where the ferry once operated is now Toledo Bend Reservoir.

Red River.  There are two Red Rivers in the United States.  (The other one, Red River of the North, runs between Minnesota and North Dakota and into Canada.)  About 1930, my mother and her parents crossed the Texas Red River on a hand-pulled ferry, from Texas into Oklahoma, going to see kinfolks in Anadarko, OK.  I guess ferries run in my family.

Rio Grande.  Did you know that the Rio Grande is also known as Rio Bravo in Mexico?   Paul Horgan wrote a splendid two volume history of the Rio Grande which he rightly called Great River

Gulf of Mexico.  The Gulf gives Texas 624 miles of shoereline, from Sabine Pass to the Rio Grande Valley.  Various theories have been offered to explain how the Gulf began.  One idea is that the Gulf is all that remains of an ancient sea, which once extended nearly to New Mexico.  In any event, the Gulf is now the Third Coast of the United States, and a popular party place for university students on spring break.

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