Henry Martyn Robert is far better known today for the rules he introduced for the proper conduct of assemblies than he is for literally lifting Galveston from the nadir of the 1900 Storm.
The letter sent to Texas Gov. Francis Lubbock in August 1862 — perfectly innocent, its author claimed — unwittingly sparked fears of a French plot afoot.
Benjamin Franklin once wrote, perhaps cribbing from the English author Daniel Defoe, that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Had the governor in December 1861 simply suggested burning Galveston to the ground — and left it at that — perhaps things might not have gotten heated.