Part 2, Note 18

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It will be remembered that the name Montezuma had been applied to the place where the Atascosito Road crossed the river, a few miles south of the site where Columbus would be established. Several later writers, including, apparently, Dewees himself, equate the site of Montezuma with that of Columbus. Dewees, or some other unknown writer, did so in an advertisement for lots in the town of Columbus that appeared in the Telegraph and Texas Register on June 8, 1837 and on several subsequent dates. No satisfactory explanation for the adoption of the name Columbus has yet emerged. The most likely explanation is, quite simply, the enormous celebrity that had recently been achieved by Christopher Columbus via the publication of Washington Irving's unimaginably popular, fictionalized biography entitled A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus. The book, which was published in 1828, did nothing less than rescue Columbus from obscurity. That it was known in Texas cannot be denied, for the Texas Gazette of February 27, 1830 carried a poem entitled "The Burial of Columbus" that was inspired by the Irving book. As we have seen, Robert J. Moseley, who lived near Dewees when he presumably named the town, had lived in Brazoria when the poem was published in its newspaper. He may have urged adoption of the name.