INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
mission she went to see him and found her little
Joseph, who, painted and his head shaven excepting
a tuft on the crown, recognized her at a distance
and ran to her overflowing with cries and tears of
joy. She was allowed to remain with him only half
an hour. I draw the veil over the heartrending
scene of their separation.
It was four months before she heard of John,
her elder son, and then she saw him passing with a
party, but was not allowed to go to him. But
some time later, when the different bands congregated
for buffalo hunting, she was allowed to see
him. Time passed and dates cannot be given, but
Mrs. Horn records that "some of Capt. Coffee's
men came to trade with the Indians and found me."
They were Americans and made every effort to
buy her, but in vain. On leaving, they said they
would report to Capt. Coffee and if any one could
assist these captives he could and would. Soon
afterwards he came in person and offered the
Indians any amount in goods or money; but without
avail. Mrs. Horn says: "He expressed the
deepest concern at his disappointment and wept
over me as he gave me clothing and divided his
scanty supply of flour with me and my children,
which he took the pains to carry to them himself.
It is, if possible, with a deeper .interest that I
record this tribute of gratitude to Capt. Coffee because,
since my strange deliverance, I have been
pained to learn that he has been charged with
supineness and indifference on the subject; but I
can assure the reader that nothing can be more unjust.
Mrs. Harris was equally the object of his
solicitude. The meeting with this friend in the
deep recesses of savage wilds was indeed like water
to a thirsty soul; and the parting under such
gloomy forebodings opened anew the fountain of
grief in my heart. It was to me as the icy seal of
death fixed upon the only glimmering ray of hope,
:and my heart seemed to die within me, as the form
of him whom I had fondly anticipated as my delivering
angel, disappeared in the distance."
(The noble-hearted gentleman thus embalmed in
the pure heart of that daughter of sorrow, was
Holland Coffee, the founder of Coffee's Trading
House, on Red river, a few miles above Denison.
He was a member of the Texian Congress in 1838,
a valuable and courageous man on the frontier and,
to the regret of the country, was killed a few years
later in a difficulty, the particulars of which are not
at this time remembered. Col. Coffee, formerly
of Southwest Missouri, but for many years of
Georgetown, Texas, is a brother of the deceased.)
Soon after this there was so great a scarcity of
meat that some of the Indians nearly starved.
Little John managed to send his mother small
portions of his allowance and when, not a great
while later, she saw him for the last time, he was
rejoiced to learn she had received them. He had
been sick and had sore throat, but she was only
allowed a short interview with him. Soon after this
little Joseph's party camped near her and she was
permitted to spend nearly a day with him. He had
a new owner and said he was then treated kindly.
His mistress, who was a young Mexican, had been
captured with her brother, and remained with them,
while her brother, by some means, had been restored
to his people. He was one of the hired guard at
the unfortunate settlement of Dolores, where Joseph
knew him and learned the story of his captivity and
that his sister was still with the savages. By accident
this woman learned these facts from Joseph,
who, to convince her, showed how her brother
walked, he being lame. This coincidence established
a bond of union between the two, greatly to
Joseph's advantage. As the shades of evening
approached the little fellow piteously clung to his
mother, who, for the last time, folded him in her
arms and commended his soul to that beneficent
God in whose goodness and mercy she implicity
Some time in June, 1837, a little over fourteen
months after their capture, a party of Mexican
traders visited the camp and bought Mrs. Harris.
In this work of mercy they were the employes of
that large-hearted Santa Fe trader, who had previously
ransomed and restored Mrs. Rachel
Plummer to her people, Mr. William Donoho, of
whom more will hereafter be said. They tried in
vain to buy Mrs. Horn. Although near each other
she was not allowed to see Mrs. Harris before her
departure, but rejoiced at her liberation. They
had often mingled their tears together and had been
Of this separation Mrs. Horn wrote: "Now
left a lonely exile in the bonds of savage slavery,
haunted by night and by day with the image Qf my
murdered husband, and tortured continually by an
undying solicitude for my dear little ones, my life
was little else than unmitigated misery, and the
God of Heaven only knows why and how it is that
I am still alive."
After the departure of Mrs. Harris the Indians
traveled to and fro almost continually for about
three months, without any remarkable occurrence.
At the end of this time they were within two days'
travel of San Miguel, a village on the Pecos, in
eastern New Mexico. Here an Indian girl told
Mrs. Horn that she was to be sold to people who
lived in houses. She did not believe it and cared
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 July 29, 2015.