Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 50
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TEXIAN STOMPING GROUNDS
from the aboriginal agriculture of the area. They were cultivated
by the Indians when the first white men came along. These
varieties included pink, Mexican red, pinto, bayo, Lima, and a
host of others not widely known today.
Cabeza de Vaca, during his six-year enforced sojourn in the
Southwest, observed some crude cultivation of beans and corn.
Coronado found more beans than gold nuggets on his eventful
expedition across the vast expanse of the great Southwest. LaSalle
had beans and corn cached as a future food supply at the time
of his death. The early Spanish missions in the Southwest culti-
vated beans as one of the main sources of food.
On November 11, 1727, Fray Miguel Sevillano de Parades
reported that at the Mission Sefiora de los Dolores, located
in the Rio Grande District, little or no beans, chili pepper,
and other products had been gathered that year. This deplorable
condition was said to be due to the fact that the Indians would
run away at every opportunity and thus no hands would be left
to do the work in the fields.
The Spanish and Mexican settlers copied after the Indians
in the raising and cooking of beans as a main source of food.
Anglo-American settlers soon learned from the Mexican and
"frijole" was added to the English language as "she is spoke" in
Time was when one certain variety of the Mexican bean was
considered rather "unhealthy" for Anglo-Americans in Texas.
This was the small black bean. It was considered quite unsafe
at one time in the early history of the white settlement for a
Texan to even tamper with a single bean of this variety and even
one such bean was known to cause sudden death. During the
fight for Texas Independence, it sometimes happened that Amer-
icans were taken prisoners by the Mexicans. Some prisoners
were massacred on the spot but others were taken to Mexico.
In selecting the prisoners to be shot, the Mexicans used beans.
For every ten prisoners they put nine white beans and one black
bean in a jar, or a sombrero, and then passed the jar or hat.
Unfortunate indeed were those who drew the black beans.
In 1842, the survivors of the ill-fated Mier expedition were
captured in the heart of Mexico. One hundred and sixty beans
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/58/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.