The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 130
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
made of the payment of any fine by these ayuntamientos for their
negligence. It is probable that there was no attempt to enforce
the governor's decree.
VI. Indian Relations.
A very common notion of pioneer life in Texas is that the col-
onists were in constant danger of being exterminated by hostile
Indians. This is scarcely correct. It is true that the early set-
tlers were much annoyed by the great propensity of the Indians
to thievishness. These untutored children of the forest had little
compunction of conscience in regard to appropriating to them-
selves the possessions of others; and the more value they placed
upon an object, the greater zeal they were.willing to bestow upon
its acquisition. Perhaps the dearest ambition of an Indian's life
was to be the master of a good horse, and the Americans often
brought with them a grade of horses much superior to the Spanish
stock. The Indians, therefore, so often yielded to temptation that
the colonists were constantly reminded of their proximity, and this
alone was sufficient to create a feeling of insecurity. But, as a
matter of fact, they felt at first little personal animosity toward the
colonists. It was not until the latter, becoming exasperated with
their thieving, inflicted severe punishments upon them that they
became hostile to any great extent. The most serious trouble ex-
perienced from Indian depredations came after the Texas Revolu-
Another erroneous impression that one usually forms from In-
dian stories that are told of early days is that Texas was filled with
these savages. But, in reality, the total number of Indians in
Texas, even before the coming of the Anglo-American, was rela-
tively small, and after that time they diminished rapidly. Ac-
cording to the estimate made by Morse, the United States Indian
commissioner, there were in 1822 only a little more than forty-five
thousand in the whole country between the Red River and the Rio
Grande-about one Indian for every sixty-seven persons now in-
habiting the same territory.2 Of these, thirty thousand belonged
1 Sowell, Texas Rangers, 5. Also note dates in Willbarger, Indian Dep-
redations in Texas. An old resident of Gonzales, Mr. D. S. H. Darst,
who has lived in the town since 1831, says he never saw a hostile Indian
until after the Revolution.
'Donaldson, The George Catlin Indian Gallery in the U. S. National
Museum in Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian
Institution, 1885, Part II 892.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905, periodical, 1905; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101033/m1/132/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.