Category Archives: Corpus Christi Bay

History of Corpus Christi, Texas

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Map of Corpus Christi in 1887.

Corpus Christi was founded in 1839 by Colonel Henry Lawrence Kinney as Kinney’s Trading Post, or Kinney’s Ranch, a small trading post to sell supplies to a Mexican revolutionary army camped about 25 miles (40 km) west. In July 1845, U.S. troops under General Zachary Taylor set up camp there in preparation for war with Mexico, where they remained until March 1846. Then about a year later the city was named Corpus Christi and was incorporated on September 9, 1852. The Port of Corpus Christi was opened in 1926 and the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station was commissioned in 1941.

Civil War

On Feb. 23, 1861, in a statewide vote on secession, the vote in Corpus Christi was 87 for secession and 40 against, which brought the total vote in Nueces County to 164 for and 42 against. There were many Union sympathizers in the city. Some originally came from the North and some were veterans of the Mexican War.

In the second week of August, 1862, five Union warships under the command of Lt. J.W. Kittredge sailed into Corpus Christi Bay and bombarded the city. Stores and houses below the bluff made easy targets for Kittredge’s guns. The bombardment did considerable damage to the town. Many of the residents had evacuated before the battle. After it was over, people began to return to town. The Confederates, provoked by the attack, then began to take revenge by plundering the homes and property of known Union supporters.

Port of Corpus Christi

The port of Corpus Christi opened in 1926 after culminating efforts that began as early as 1848 to obtain a deep-water port. The Port of Corpus Christi currently is the sixth largest U.S. port and deepest inshore port on the Gulf of Mexico, it handles mostly oil and agricultural products. In 2005 it was ranked as the 47th largest in the world by cargo tonnage.

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