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MORRIS AND CUMMINS CUT. The Morris and Cummins (or Cummings) Cut was made in 1874 to link Aransas Bay and Corpus Christi Bay, and to solve a problem of seaside access from which the city had suffered since its founding. Corpus Christi was established in the early 1840s on Corpus Christi Bay but due to mud flats separating it from Aransas Pass, the city was unable to develop into the dreamed-of western port. As early as 1852 Henry Lawrence Kinney and Benjamin F. Nealqqv secured a charter for a channel running from Saluria to Corpus Christi, but it did not materialize. In May 1854 the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Company was chartered and a dredge bought without results. D. S. Howard entered the scene in 1858 and was probably headed toward success when the Civil War stopped all operations. In June 1871 the Corpus Christi Navigation Company was organized, headed by Richard King. A contract was made with Augustus T. Morris and James Cummins (Cummings), and by 1874 a cut was made linking Aransas Bay with Corpus Christi Bay. On May 31, 1874, the steamship Gussie pulled into the new municipal wharf and a crowd of 3,000 turned out to celebrate. Though this new channel did not solve all of Corpus Christi's navigation problems, it did allow shallow-draft vessels to enter the port. Deep water came to Corpus Christi in 1926 when the corps of engineers completed a deepwater channel all the way from the bar at Aransas Pass to Corpus Christi. The Morris and Cummins cut is still used by small boats passing from Aransas and Red Fish bays into Corpus Christi Bay. It is also noted as a good fishing spot.


Corpus Christi Caller, September 11, 1974. Keith Guthrie, Texas' Forgotten Ports (Austin: Eakin Press, 1988).

Keith Guthrie


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

Keith Guthrie, "MORRIS AND CUMMINS CUT," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 30, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.