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Edited by A. RUSSELL BUCHANAN
EORGE WASHINGTON TRAHERN was one of many westerners
interviewed by Hubert Howe Bancroft and his aides in their
search for materials dealing with the history of the West.
By far the most important part of the Trahern dictation
lies in the wealthy California cattleman's reminiscences of his youth
in Texas. In his admittedly rambling discourse Trahern brings back
the flavor of early Texas and adds colorful details to important events
in the struggle for Texan independence and in the Mexican War.
Highlights of his experiences include participation in the Mier
expedition, service with Zachary Taylor's army in the War with
Mexico, and skirmishes with the Indians in the West.
Portions of the dictation dealing with Trahern's early life in
Mississippi and later career in California have been omitted. Certain
brief passages dealing with Texas that are repetitious or relatively
unimportant have also been deleted. Since the document is a dic-
tated account, the editor has made some corrections in spelling
and in the interests of the reader has made a few changes in punc-
tuation and in the placing of paragraphs. The original manuscript
is in the Bancroft Library of the University of California.
I was born in Hinds County, Mississippi, seven miles below
Jackson, on Pearl River, in 1825. .. My father's family was
raised in Greenbriar, Virginia. We have canvassed the question
of descent a good deal; we were left orphans early, and the gen-
eral supposition is it is French. I stayed at the old homestead,
being the youngest, and have never been able to trace it. There
were five children in my father's family; I am the youngest of
five-three brothers and two sisters.
That was in 1839 that I went to Texas. That is the first recol-
lection I have of doing anything or trying to do anything.
You were fourteen years old then? About that.
Now, to what place in Texas did you go? Went first to Texana,
and afterwards my sister came out and brother-in-law, and we
settled at Port Lavaca. ...
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/. Accessed December 18, 2013.