Notes and Documents
Now here I must state, that Capt. Lewis some years previously
had made a trip from St. Louis Mo. to Santa Fe, with one of the
yearly trading expeditions, that he understood some Spanish and that
therefore he also became acquainted with Gov. Armijo22 of New
Mexico-he, Capt. Lewis, thinking perhaps the expedition being a
failure, or probably might be taken by the Mexicans at large who
were prepared to fight us-he Lewis for half of the goods above his
share and other military store we had agreed with the Gov. to sell
us out, by representing in message or letter to our officers, that all
was right, and we might proceed. We saw him afterwards in San
Miguel, but never could learn much of him thereafter, apparently
he left, afraid to meet vengeance from Americans; nothing definite
was ever heard of the fate of the traitor Capt. Lewis, or his where-
Before I proceed further to describe in the near future our suf-
ferings and relate things so sad and some tragic, painful for me to
recall to memory after so many years I thought it well enough to give
the reader a short sketch of Texas frontier life and some of the
Texas Indians, for but few them have an opportunity to know
anything about these matters.
The Texas pioneer usually settled with his family and relations on
the land granted to him by the Republic of Mexico, those coming
after Texas gained its independence, the land granted them by the
Republic of Texas. All were too remote to settle on, with a chance
of safety, for the early pioneers located the best lands on the various
The early Texan first built himself one or more log houses to
shelter his family and servants; boards split of oak, pine or cypress,
made his roof. The next work was to clear ground and fence it for
a farm. Often his dwelling had only a dirt floor, or a floor of split
logs or slabs, roughly hewn down, but no fence about his house.
The cow pen was the next important improvement, next smoke house.
The farmer usually worked oxen, not only for economy, for they
could live on grass, and cost little, and the Indian would not steal
an ox. The horse had to be stabled and locked up, so that the Indian,
who took advantage of moonlight nights, might not steal him.
Settlers improving their own large grants, of course settlements
were then far apart, often for miles; in travelling each person was
well armed, if I may call a flint rifle and holster pistol good arms-
none other we had then, nor were invented at that time.
When a settler left home to hunt game or make a purchase in a
settlement, he carried along on his horse his arms and provisions to
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed July 30, 2014.