Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 11
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ON THE JEFFERSON ROAD
with the whole camp wild-eyed in alarm and frantically trying
to climb trees, he would sling the chain toward the creek and
sneak to his own fire. If, as occasionally happened, the culprit
was caught, he was bent over a stump and a boot leg applied
where it would do the most good.
When the campers had "visitors," the whole camp would join
in the trick. What was normal meanness would now become
just good, clean fun. Visitors meant anybody from the North.
The more there were in the visiting party at the camp ground,
the greater the fun.
Frequently, a party from the North would buy a light wagon
and team at the port of debarkation, Jefferson, and begin a tour
of the Piney Woods, usually hunting for a possible profit to
themselves as well as for the Republican Party. Some were
gravely worried over the lot of the Southern Negro. Others were
just natural-born reformers. They were out to study conditions
first hand. These were all fair game.
These light-wagon parties were usually well rounded-out as
to personnel. The chance of steamboat travel would bring birds
of strange feathers together. There would usually be one minis-
ter, grave of mien and long connected with the Abolition Move-
ment, a bright young lawyer, with broad political ambitions
based on furthering the Republican Party's cause in a new land,
and as many sharp-eyed men of business opportunity as the
remaining community wagon space would accommodate. They
were bound together by the need for traveling companions in a
strange and very hostile land. They were quite well aware of
their strict legal right to travel at will in a free land. They
were also quite well aware of the fact that, by virtue of being
from the North, they enjoyed a preferred standing with the
nearest carpetbag court of law and order. They were quick on
the trigger when it came to having Southerners arrested for
molesting the even tenor of their reforming ways. They were
grimly determined to "re-construct" the rural region along the
Jefferson Road, and that, largely, at a very personal profit.
Where these visitors were grimly determined to preach and
Here’s what’s next.
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/19/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.