Part 5, Note 58

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Colorado Citizen, January 7, 1860. Nothing is known of the fate of the Sam Houston. Persistent legends hold that boats named the Moccasin Belle and the Flying Jenny also navigated the Colorado River before the Civil War. In fact, an often reproduced photograph (see for example Colorado County Chronicles (Austin: Nortex Press, 1986), vol. 1, p. 67) is said by many to be a picture of the Moccasin Belle and by others of the Flying Jenny. For decades, the Tait family has owned a bell and anchor from a boat that they believe to have been salvaged from the Moccasin Belle by Charles W. Tait. However, no mention of a boat by either name has been encountered in any contemporaneous document. In his landmark article on Colorado River navigation, Comer Clay lumped a boat he called the Lareno in with the Moccasin Belle ("The Colorado River Raft," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, vol. 52, no. 4, April 1949, p. 423). As we will see, this boat, which was actually called the Lorena, did not operate on the river until after the Civil War.