16 HISTORY OF 1'EXA~~~~~~~~~~~ _
politics among them. Nothing would more
inevitably retard the development of the resources
of the country, check immigration,
and in every way thwart the benevolent purposes
of heaven and blast the present sanguine
expectations of the friends of Texas, than
party jealousies and party intrigue.
"The question of negro slavery in connection
with the settlement of this country is one
of great importance, and perhaps may hereafter
present a difficulty. The existing constitution
and laws totally prohibit this worst
of evils. Should this wise policy be abandoned
and Texas become what Louisiana now
is,-the receptacle of the redundant and jaildelivered
slaves of other countries,-all its
energies would be paralyzed, and whatever
oppressions may hereafter arise, either from
abroad or at home, must be endured, for the
country would require a prop to lean upon,
and from necessity would be forever dependent.
Until the beginning of the present century
Texas, as a part of Mexico, lay in comparative
stagnation and was but little known or
cared for, as it was mainly occupied by roving
Indians. The population, other than Indian,
at the opening of the nineteenth century,
is variously estimated at 7,000 to 20,000.
The inhabitants were chiefly Spanish creoles,
besides a few French, Americans and halfbreeds.
With regard to later developments, it is
interesting to read what Mrs. Holley wrote
concerning the Comanche Indians, as follows:
" The Comanches are a noble race of Indians,
inhabiting the country to the north
and northwest of San Antonio de Bejar.
They are a wandering race, do not cultivate
the earth for corn, but depend altether
upon the chase for subsistence. They follow
the immense herds of buffalo which graze
the vast plains, often to the amount of thousands
in one herd. These plains are also
stocked with wild horses," mustangs, " which
run together in droves of many hundreds.
The term mustang is therefore used figuratively
to denote anything wild or uncultivated,
as a ' mustang girl.' The horses are
not natives, but descended from the stock
brought over by the first Spaniards. Domestic
animals, and man himself, become rude
when removed from the associations of civilized
life. The Comanches catch and tame
these wild horses, and, when unsuccessful in
the chase, subsist upon them.
l "The Indians always move on horseback.
Besides the bow and arrows, the usual arms
of the Indian warrior, they are armed with a
long spear, having a sword blade for a point.
A war party of these Indians is sufficiently
formidable. They are headed by two squaws,
who by their shrill voices serve as trumpet'
ers, and have like them various tones, to denote
the different evolutions and movements.
When they descry an object of attack or pursuit,
they dart forward in a column like
lightning toward it. At a suitable distance
from their prey they divide into two squadrons,
one-balf taking to the right and the
other to the left, and thus surround it. Though
fierce in war they are civil in peace, and they
are remarkable for their sense of justice.
They call the people of the United States
their friends, and give them protection, while
they hate the Mexicans and murder them
"The Comanches have one head chief and
many subordinate ones. They hold regular
councils quarterly, and a grand council of the
whole tribe once a year. At these councils
all important matters are decided, and all
prisoners taken for offenses are tried. Their
discipline is rigid. If a hunting party takes
HISTO Y OFTEXAS
Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families. Chicago. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/. Accessed March 10, 2014.