The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922

Journal of Lewis Birdsall Harris, 1886-181

JOURNAL OF LEWIS BIRDSALL HARRIS, 1836-1842
III
After resting a while my brother and myself concluded to
build a house on the site of the one burned by the Mexicans.
The great difficulty was lumber. The saw mill built by my
father in Harrisburg was burned by the Mexicans, but hearing
that the Sawmill at Lynchburg about 20 miles below, at the
mouth of Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto river, would soon
be started up, we concluded to build of logs and by the time the
mill would be ready we could get our cribs up and roof on and
be ready for the flooring etc. We procured four additional Mex-
icans and axes and started them to cutting down pine trees of
suitable size, and cutting them of the right lengths. It was
amusing to see them use an axe, something they had never seen
before. Of course they spoke no English and we spoke no Span-
ish and everything had to be done by signs, but I soon learned
enough Spanish to be able to get along very well. We were
rather aspiring in our ideas of a house and concluded to build
it the same size and shape of our Grandfathers house in Seneca
Co. N. Y, only not as high, (that was 3 stories,) which is 56
feet long by 36 feet wide, divided into four rooms 22 by 18, and
a Hall thro' the center 12 feet wide. There was not a carpenter
to be had in the country, the nearest to it was an old dutchman
Henry Tushmaker called "Dutch Henry" who was in the battle
of San Jacinto and was wounded with a bullet in his powder horn,
which he always carried slung around his shoulders and exhibited
on all occasions. The ball was a spent ball and remained em-
bedded in the horn where it lodged. We procured Henry to hew
the logs which he did fairly well after they had been scored by
the Mexicans. We finally cleared away the debris of the old
house and set the Mexicans to preparing the foundations. One
of them attracted my attention by getting down on his knees and
gathering a lot of twigs and commenced puffing away at them,
and said "blow blow blow" and pointing to the logs lying around
said, "chop, chop, chop." I found afterwards that he was one

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101082/. Accessed October 23, 2014.