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Mary M. Standifer

ALFORD'S BLUFF. Alford's Bluff was a cotton plantation and landing on the Trinity River a mile upriver from Sebastopol and seven miles southeast of Trinity in southwestern Trinity County. It was described in 1867 as being "just below Whiterock shoals," which was probably near the confluence of White Rock Creek and the Trinity River. The same report also described it as being located "on the site of the ancient Puebla of Trinidad," which was incorrect. The villa of Santísima Trinidad de Salcedo, on a site later known as Spanish Bluff, was on the east bank of the Trinity River twenty-four miles to the northwest in Houston County.

A plantation owned by George G. Alford was established at Alford's Bluff by 1841. Although Alford moved shortly thereafter to Crockett, in neighboring Houston County, the property appears to have stayed in the family. In 1859 two of Alford's sons, George Frederick and Hulbert Mallory Alford, moved to Alford's Bluff from Palestine, where they had been involved in the mercantile business. Describing Trinity County in the 1867 Texas Almanac, George F. Alford identified Alford's Bluff and Sebastopol as the two shipping points for the county. Cotton, corn, and beeves, he wrote, could be shipped from either place and "landed on the wharf at Galveston in sixty hours." The traveler setting out from either place could reach Galveston in twenty-four hours, Houston in twenty. Alford also observed that Alford's Bluff was noted for its chalybeate springs. With the expansion of railroads in East Texas during the 1870s, river traffic on the Trinity declined, and with it, the importance of Alford's Bluff as a shipping point. Hulbert Alford died in 1864. In 1866, following a disastrous flood on the Trinity, George F. Alford moved his family to Galveston, where he became wealthy as a cotton factor and banker. He died in Dallas in 1910.


George F. Alford, "Trinity County," The Texas Almanac for 1867 (Galveston: W. Richardson, 1866?). Clement Anselm Evans, ed., Confederate Military History (Atlanta: Confederate, 1899; extended ed., Wilmington, North Carolina: Broadfoot, 1987–89). Louis Wiltz Kemp Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County (Chicago: Lewis, 1892; rpt., Dallas: Walsworth, 1976).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Mary M. Standifer, "ALFORD'S BLUFF," accessed August 12, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hva10.

Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Modified on September 24, 2018. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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