Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 22
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TEXIAN STOMPING GROUNDS
eyes rolling, while stunned minds grappled with the mystery
Meantime, up the hill, the owner had awakened, somewhat
refreshed and clearer of head. He sat up to see where he was.
He had good night eyes, but he had to rub them for another
look. Something was wrong somewhere. It was so terribly still.
The stars seemed close, the dark world, so far away. The wagon-
bed swayed gently and softly on the springy sapling tops. The
truth dawned. "God-Almighty!" he yelled in alarm, "I'm going
to heaven! I'm riding clouds in a wagonbed!"
This shout rolled down the hill through the timber and
exploded by the camp fire. When the smoke cleared, all the
Negroes, and many of the whites, were missing. They had
decided to go on home, afoot, and that at night with no loss
Only newcomers and Carpetbaggers camped in the flats by
Cedar Knoll Springs after that. There were some taboos on the
Jefferson Road in the Early Days.
In this matter of superstitious taboos, the honors were about
even between the blacks and whites. In the field of superstitions,
there seemed to be a certain kinship between the two. This
was clearly proven the night Mister Walker broke the Negroes
from crossing his place on their way home from church.
Like all Negro churches, New Zion was on a back road. On
returning home at night, the devout worshippers who lived to
the north could save a mile by crossing by a footpath through
the Walker place. The path led across the branch, through a
width of timber bottom and up a narrow pasture lane to the
back lot gate; thence around the barn and out the front gate.
It was the custom among the straggling Negroes for the first
comers to leave the gates open for those behind, and for the last
to leave the gates as they found them, wide open. Next morning,
all the cows and horses would be outside and scattered from hell
to breakfast, and Old Man Walker would be foaming at the
mouth. In a rash moment at the store one day, he offered to
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/m1/30/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.