Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown.

INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.

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a wild horse was killed and we were allowed to partake
of the flesh."
The next day, says the captive lady, they came
to a deep, rapid stream. The mules had to swim
and the banks were so steep that the riders had to
dismount in the edge of the water to enable them
to ascend. They then soon came to the base of a
mountain which it was difficult to ascend. Arriving
at the summit, they halted, when a few of the
Indians returned to the stream with the two little
boys and enjoyed the barbaric sport of throwing
the little creatures in till life would be almost
extinct. Reviving them, they would repeat the
torture and this was done time and again. Finally
they rejoined the party on the mountain, the children
being unable to stand, partially unconscious
and presenting a pitiable spectacle. Their bodies
were distended from engorgement with water and
Joseph's wounded face was terribly swollen.
Water came from their stomachs in gurgles. Let
Eastern humanitarians bear in mind that this was
in the spring of 1836, before the Comanches had
any just pretense for hostility towards the people
of Texas (however much they may have had in
regard to the Mexicans), and that this narrative
comes not from a Texian, but from a refined English
lady, deeply imbued with that spirit of religion
whose great pillars are " Faith, Hope and
Charity." My soul sickens in retrospective contemplation
of that (to the uninformed) somewhat
plausible gush of philanthropy, which indulges in
the pharisaical " I am holier than thou " hypocrisy
at home, but soars abroad to lift up the most
inferior and barbaric races of men!
a fanaticism
which is ever blind to natural truth and common
sense on such subjects--ever the fomentor of
strife rather than fraternity among its own peopleand
which is never enjoying the maximum of selfrighteousness
unless intermeddling with the affairs
and convictions of other people.
Referring to the stream and mountain just described
and the probable time, in the absence of
dates, together with a knowledge of the topography
of the country, and an evidently dry period, as no
mention is made in this part of the narrative of
rain or mud, it is quite certain that the stream was
the Big Wichita (the Ouichita of the French.) The
description, in view of all the facts, admirably
applies to it and to none other.
On the night of this day, after traveling through
the afternoon, for the first time Mrs. Horn was
allowed the use of her arms, though still bound
around the ankles. After this little unusual happened
on the journey, till the three parties again
united. Mrs. Harris, when they met, seemed barely
3

to exist. The meeting of the captive ladies was
a mournful renewal of their sorrows. Mrs. H.'s
breasts, though improved, were not well and her
general health was bad, from which, with the want
of food and water, she had suffered muph. The
whole band of four hundred then traveled together
several days, till one day Mrs. Horn, being in front
and her children in the rear, she discovered that
those behind her were diverging in separate parties.
She never again saw her little sons together, though,
as will be seen, she saw them separately. They
soon afterwards reached the lodges of the band she
was with, and, three days later, she was taken to
the lodge of the Indian who claimed her. There
were three branches of the family, in separate tents.
In one was an old woman and her two daughters,
one being a widow; in another was the son of the
old woman and his wife and five sons, to whom
Mrs. Horn belonged; and in the third was a sonin-law
of the old woman. The mistress of Mrs. H.
was the personification of savagery, and abused her
captive often with blows and stones, till, in desperation
Mrs. Horn asserted her rights by counterblows
and stones and this rendered the cowardly
brute' less tyrannical. She was employed constantly
by day in dressing buffalo robes and deer
skins and converting them into garments and moccasins.
She was thrown much with an old woman
who constituted a remarkable exception to the
general brutality of the tribe. In the language of
the captive lady: "She contributed generally by
her acts of kindness and soothing manners, to
reconcile me to my fate. But she had a daughter
who was the very reverse of all that was amiable
and seemed never .at ease unless engaged in some
way in indulging her ill-humor towards me. But,
as if by heaven's interposition, it was not long till
I so won the old woman's confidence that in all
matters of controversy between her daughter and
myself, she adopted my statement and decided in
my favor."
Omitting Mrs. Horn's mental tortures on account
of her children, she avers that the sufferings
of Mrs. Harris were much greater than her own.
That lady could not brook the idea of menial
service to such demons and fared badly. They
were often near together and were allowed occasionally
to meet and mingle their tears of anguish.
Mrs. Harris, generally, was starved to such a degree
that she availed herself of every opportunity to get
a mite of meat, however small, through Mrs. Horn.
In about two months two little Mexican boy
prisoners told her a little white boy had arrived
near by with his captors and told them his mother
was a prisoner somewhere in the country. By per

Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown.. Austin, Tex.. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/. Accessed September 18, 2014.