The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 7, July 1903 - April, 1904 Page: 31
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Reminiscences of Early Texans. 31
heard the Indians in a thicket pounding brier-root.* At early dawn
the ensuing morning uncle Robert, leaving the horses in charge of
Judge Wm. Rabb and the Tonkewa chief, led his little party to the
attack. By the morning twilight they were enabled to find a small
path which led them into the thicket and to the camp of the Indi-
ans. When the party got within a few paces of the Indians they
found that but one had yet risen, who perceiving the party, seized his
bow, but before he could use it was shot down by uncle Robert. The
settlers now rushed on the camp and delivered a deadly fire. Nine
or ten of the savages were killed on the spot and but few escaped.
The scalp of one of the slain, taken by Andrew Castleman, together
with his bow, six feet long, was afterwards sent me by uncle Robert.
Notwithstanding 'the severe drought of the season, some corn was
raised in the Brazos bottom. Father was so fortunate as to obtain
enough for our bread from William Smothers, who had settled on
the river a little below the mouth of Caney creek.
In November 1822, father rented his place on New Year's creek
to a Mr. Wheat, and moved back to the Brazos, five miles below the
La Bahia road, where Josiah H. Bell, William Gates and Samuel
Gates were already residing.
In December an election for civil and militia officers was held at
the house of Jos. H. Bell. Bell was unanimously elected Alcalde,
Samuel Gates captain and myself lieutenant. (There was but one
lieutenant elected). Early in the summer of 1823, father and I
went to Natchitoches, Louisiana, for salt and sugar and coffee for
the use of our family. We packed these necessaries on two horses.
When we returned home, a Frenchman had just arrived in the
neighborhood from the Rio Grande with several mule loads of rock
salt which enabled our settlement to supply themselves amply with
this indispensable condiment.
Towards the latter part of this summer a party of Tonkewas stole
a horse from father and several from Mr. Wheat. Father, Thomas
Boatright, my brother Barzillai and myself, pursued the thieves.
For a few miles their trail went northward-it then turned south-
ward or down the country. Suspecting the Tonkewas, and learn-
ing that a portion of the tribe under the chief Carita were some-
'This brier root is common in Texas. It contains a farina as palatable
and wholesome as arrow-root. The Indians extract this starch by pounding
the root and washing it in water.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 7, July 1903 - April, 1904, periodical, 1904; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101030/m1/35/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.