The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 4, July 1900 - April, 1901 Page: 76
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76 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
place, and the most lavish of his means for its. advancement. He
was ,also 'an intimate friend ,of mine; but, except in the sympathy
referred to, your ideas seldom harmonized. The papers sent in the
whip handle were -a letter from Captain Teal to General Rusk, and
another from Howell not signed, 'and they were worded more like
military 'orders than suggestions 'of a subordinate and advice from
'an unknown friend. "I am not discouraged atoll," said, Teal.
"You must work he'adwo'rk as well as fight. You must blow up San
Antonio ,and Goliad"; while Howell wrote, ,among otherr sage advice,
"Shonot Santa Anna and his 'officers." I listened Io both communi-
cations with disgust; for 'they were shrieks of the same kind of
unreasoning panic which had set fire to, Gonzales and Sian Felipe.
I had been less imposed ,on than many of my friends by the Mexi-
,can bluster -of the season, which I was even then inclined to put into
'the same category with Henry Smith's threat to carry his conquests
to the walls ,of Mexico, and, though I believed in the possibility of
near danger to Texas, and thought she 'ought to be -warned, I had
no wish to aid in raising the shepherd boy's sham cry of wolf. But
my advice was overruled.
Howell put Teal's letter, with corrected orthography, as well as
his own, into a very minute aned well-disguised back hand. The
whip handle was stuffed, and the courier was started. He was a
young Mexican, who had alreadyy been employed in similar trips,
and was consideredd perfectly trustworthy. He 'went wi th speed, and
without interruption, till he arrivedd near the Nueces, where he fell
into the hands .of Texan scouts, who charged him with being a spy
or an enemy's courier, and searched his equipments in every place
except the right 'one for papers. Not finding them, they threatened
to hang him up unless 'he produced dispatches, whether he had any
or not; and he plead in vain 'o be taken 'to- their general. At
length, to save his neck, he betrayed 'the whip handle. 'Thus the
letters intended for General Rusk went into, the hands of the rough-
est and most ignorant scouts, and copies must have be-en taken by
the first readers, for lone letter went speedily t-o, the press, which it
would never have done through the hands of General Rusk. There
was certainly .one among the scouts 'who was .sufficiently clerical for
such mischief, for he gave the courier an acquittance o'f his charge
by receip'ting t'o him for "one whip." I saw the receipt when it
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 4, July 1900 - April, 1901, periodical, 1901; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101018/m1/90/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.