Southwestern Historical Quarterly
FOLK LIFE IN EARLY TEXAS:
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ANDREW DAVIS
Contributed by R. L. JoNEs
PARENTS AND BIRTH
My father's given name was Daniel; he was of Welch descent.
My grandfather and one brother came to America at an early
date. They both settled in Virginia. My grandfather, whose first
name was John, moved from Virginia to Tennessee when it was
a new country. He settled on Duck River. It was here my
father was born and grew to manhood. My grandfather's brother
moved from Virginia to North Carolina; finally into Kentucky.
My knowledge of my father's family is very limited. My father
kept no family record, and was killed by the Indians before I was
old enough to learn anything of his ancestry.
It is the same way with my father's own family. My father
was an uneducated man; he was not religious; my heart is pained
as I write that fact. But I think a man who writes his own life
must keep two things in view: self-respect and the truth. I desire
to get the solid facts of my life and its connections, though they
may at some points be humiliating. My father was a worldly man;
his happiness was sought in the present and the seen rather than
in the future and the unseen. He was profoundly honest, and
hated a dishonest act or any low, mean thing. He was noble,
patriotic, and brave; he never for a moment, under the most
exciting and dangerous conditions of life, seemed to have the
least sense of fear. It has seemed to me that had he known
something of the sense of fear he might not have fallen a victim
to death just when he did.
I have said he was industrious; he always went to bed early
and arose early; always got up at 4 o'clock in the morning.
The morning that he was killed he arose at his usual hour. He
walked to the back door and called the cook woman, who occupied
a cabin in the back yard. He called up the colored man also that
did the feeding of the stock. My father would never wear boots;
he had a way in the morning of slipping his feet into his shoes
in a slip-shod manner and walking in that way until he had
made the calls as above; then he would slip off his shoes and
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/. Accessed August 28, 2014.