224 IIISTORr OF TEXAS.
the Trinity river they were compelled to halt
ii consequence of an overflow. Before they
could cross the swollen stream the sudden
and unexpected news reached them that Santa
Anna and his vandal hordes had been confronted
and defeated at San Jacinto. that sanguinary
engagement which gave birth to the
new% sovereignty of Texas, and that Texas
was free from Mexican tyranny.
"On receipt of this news the fleeing settlers
were overjoyed and at once returned to their
abandoned homes. The Perker colonists now
retraced their steps, first going to Fort Houston,
where they remained a few days in order
to procure supplies, after which they made
their way back to Fort Parker to look after
their stock and prepare for a crop. These
hardy soIns of toil sent their nlighlts in the
fort, repairing to their farms early eaclh morning.
The strictest discipline was mlailltained
for awhile, but as time wore oni and no Hostile
demonstrations had been made by the Indians
they became somewhat careless and re.Stive
under confinement. However, it was absolutely
necessary that they should cultivate
their farms to insure substance for their families.
They usually went to work in a body,
with their farming implements in one hand
and their weapons of defense in the other.
Some of them built cabins on their farms,
hoping that the government would give them
protection, or that a sufficient number of other
colonists would soon move in to render them
secure from the attacks of Indians.
"On the 18th of May, 1836, all slept at
the fort, James W. Parker, Nixon and Plummer,
repairing to their field, a mile distant on
the Navasota, early the next morning, little
thinking of the great calamity that was soon
to befall them. They had scarcely left when
several hundred Indians (accounts of the
number of Indians vary from 300 to 700--
probably there were about 500), Comanches
and Kiowas, made their appearance on an eminence
within 300 yards of the fort. Those
who remained in the fort were not prepared
for an attack, so careless had they become in
their fancied security. The Indians hoisted
a white flag as a token of their friendly intentions,
and upon the exhibition of the white
flag Mr. Benjamin F. Parker went out to
have a talk with them. The Indians artfully
feigned the treacherous semblance of friendship,
pretending they were looking for a suitable
camping place, and inquired as to the
exact locality of a waterhole in the immediate
vicinity, at the same time asking for a
beet;, as they said they were very hungry.
Not daring to refuse the request of such
a formidable body of savages, Mr. Parker
told them they should have what they
wanted. Returning to the fort he stated to
the inmates that to his opinion the Indians
were hostile and intended to fight, but added
he would go back to them and he would try
to avert it. His brother Silas remonstrated,
but he persisted in going, and was immediately
surrounded and killed; whereupon the
whole force-their savage instincts aroused
by the sightof blood-charged upon the fort,
uttering the most terrific and unearthly yells
that ever greeted the ears of mortals. The
sickening and bloody tragedy was soon enacted.
Brave Silas M. Parker fell outside
the fort, while he was gallantly fighting to
save Mrs. Plummer. Mrs. Plummer made a
desperate resistance, but was soon overpowered,
knocked down with a hoe and made
captive. Samuel M. Frost and his son, Robert,
met their fate while heroically. defending
the women and children inside the stockade.
Old ' Granny' Parker was stabbed and left
for dead. Elder John Parker, wife, and Mrs.
Kellogg attempted to make their escape, and
RIStTOnr OF TEXAS.
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 July 6, 2015.