The Jacksboro Indian Affair of 1871
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE JACKSBORO INDIAN
AFFAIR OF 1871
C. C. SISTER
So bold and devastating were the depredations of hostile Indians
west of the Mississippi after 1865 that the problem of satisfac-
torily adjusting these disturbances was a matter of national con-
cern. Hundreds of people were being massacred along the entire
frontier while others were forced to endure the horrors of "moon-
light" raids and uncertainties of frontier life.' Plans for the
building of transcontinental railways and bringing the East into
contact with the West were held in abeyance until the warlike
tribes of the West were pacified. Even the homeseekers, who were
coming to this region in vast numbers prior to 1861, were reluc-
tant to enter a region where death and destruction of property
awaited their coming.
Such were the conditions in the West when on July 20, 1866,
President Johnson approved an act creating an Indian commis-
sion for the purpose of making peace with all the Indians living
west of the Mississippi.2 Shortly after the commission was formed
it was divided into two sub-committees, one going among the Sioux
and other tribes of the North, the other being sent toward the
South to conclude a treaty with the hostile tribes found there. It
is not purposed to discuss incidents having to do with the work
of the sub-committee sent to the northern tribes since these move-
ments had but little to do with Texas Indian affairs, but it is
highly important to discuss the chief features of the treaty with
the southern tribes because of trouble which later arose in putting
the treaty into effect.
On October 21, 1867, the sub-committee sent to the South con-
cluded a treaty of peace with the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache3
1"So boldly had this system of murder and robbery been carried out that
not less than 800 people had been murdered since June, 1862, men, women,
and children."-Annual Report, Secretary of War, 1869, p. 41.
'W. T. Sherman, Personal Memoirs, II, 412.
1Mooney, in his Kiowa-Apache in the 17th Annual Report of the Bureau
of American Ethnology, pp. 245-253, says that the Apache associated with
the Kiowa and Comanche of this region were not a part of the great Apache
race of New Mexico and Arizona, but had migrated from the North.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117141/. Accessed February 10, 2016.