Here is an 1846 image of Houston that is part of the collection of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.
You see in the image that there are mountains in the background, that the urban terrain is hilly and that people are fishing in a blue stream.
Houston has many strengths, but the above mentioned things are not among those strengths.
Houston is a hot, flat place and the local streams tend towards brown naturally rather than blue.
One can only imagine what folks thought who came here looking for what they saw in this picture, only to find many mosquitos and an occasional yellow fever epidemic instead.
From the Excellent Handbook of Texas online---
"The city began on August 30, 1836, when Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen ran an advertisement in the....for the "Town of Houston." The townsite, which featured a mixture of timber and grassland, was on the level Coastal Plain...The brothers claimed that the town would become the "great interior commercial emporium of Texas," that ships from New York and New Orleans could sail up Buffalo Bayou to its door, and that the site enjoyed a healthy, cool seabreeze. They noted plans to build a sawmill and offered lots for sale at moderate prices. In the manner of town boomers the Allens exaggerated a bit, however. The forty-three-inch annual rainfall and temperatures that averaged from a low of 45° F in the winter to 93° in summer later inspired Houston to become one of the most air-conditioned cities in the world. Moreover, in January 1837, when Francis R. Lubbock arrived on the Laura, the small steamship that first reached Houston, he found the bayou choked with branches and the town almost invisible"
In time with the invention of air conditioning and the construction of Houston Ship Channel it did in fact become true that Houston could be a cool place of a kind and have direct access to the ocean.
Though it took a number of years for those things to occur.
My wager is that early promoters of Houston could have been clear about what the place was like and still the place would have ended up a big and energetic city as it is today.
We can be up front about challenges ahead and still move forward.
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