214 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
WANDERING JOHN TAYLOR.
W. D. WOOD.
One of the unique characters of Texas was John Taylor, known
as Wandering John Taylor, from the fact that he was constantly on
the move, and seemed to have no fixed abiding place. His home
was said to be in Cherokee county, if a man of his restless roving
habits could be said to have a home. He was a lawyer by profession.
I never heard that he was 'a soldier, or that he fought for Texas, or
that he was a politician or office-holder, or that he ever impressed
in any way his personality on the laws or jurisprudence of Texas;
yet there was about the man 'a strangeness of habit, a mysterious
singularity, coupled with talents of the highest order, and a won-
derful eloquence that entitle him to some recognition and remem-
brance as one of the characters of Texas.
On the meeting of the district court at Centreville, in Leon
county, Texas, in the early spring of 1852, a gentleman on horse-
back, with three led horses, tied head to tail, tandem fashion, packed
with blankets, provisions, and camp equipage, passed across the
public square of the town, rode down to the creek near by, and in
the shade of some trees where grass was plenty proceeded to dis-
mount, and unsaddle, unpack, and stake his horses. 'This was my
first sight of Wandering John. He had a wide range of itineracy,
confining himself to no particular court circuit, and going from
court to court and seeking business in the country by-ways from
the people -at their homes. In traveling through the country, one
would meet him in the must unexpected places. He traveled on
horseback, generally leading from one to three horses packed with
blankets, provisions, and camp equipage. These led horses, I sup-
pose, were gathered in the way of fees for his legal services. In
this style of travel, he would suddenly appear at the county seat, at
the commencement of the -district court; and, as grass in those days
was plenty, and stake ropes and stake pins the order of the day, he
would select some convenient spot, affording grass and near to
water for camp, and there take up his temporary lodging. He would
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101015/. Accessed September 18, 2014.