The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 131
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De Witt's Colony.
to the Comanche tribe, who roamed as far north as the sources of
the Missouri, and of whom there must have been only a part in
Texas at any one time.1 The other so-called Texas tribes were
comparatively small and weak even in 1822, and after that time,
during the colonization period, many of them almost disappeared.
For instance, the Cocos, whose number in 1819 is estimated at four
hundred, were by 1834 reduced to about a dozen scattered families.
The Karankawas, who were never numerous, consisted in 1834 of
some ten or fifteen families.2
Only the Comanches, therefore, could have mustered a compar-
atively formidable body of warriors, and this they never did for
two reasons. In the first place, they recognized no regular chief,
but moved about the country in small bands under minor chief-
tains. Secondly, they depended upon the chase for subsistence,
and large bodies would have found it difficult to maintain them-
Because the Indians moved about in such small bands the colo-
nists were usually ignorant as to the tribe to which they belonged.
It is difficult, therefore, to generalize concerning the tribes with
whom the colonists in different sections of the country had to deal.
All of the natives were usually spoken of indiscriminately as "In-
dians." But, from some accounts in which tribal names are men-
tioned and from a knowledge of the location in general of the
Texas Indians, it appears that, of the thirty-odd tribes that inhab-
ited Texas at various times, the principal ones with with whom
De Witt's colonists came in contact were the Comanche, Karan-
kawa, Tonkawa, Waco, Tawakana, and Kechi.
Juan Antonio Padilla, in his report on Texas Indians made in
1819, classifies them as peaceful and warlike. Of the six tribes
mentioned above he includes in the first category the Kechi tribe;
in the second the Comanche, Tawakana, and Tonkawa. The Karan-
kawa and Waco tribes are not given in the enumeration.4
2 Compare the report made December 27, 1819, by Padilla, Memoria
sobre los Indios infieles de la Provincia de Texas (MS., Austin Papers),
and the report made by Almonte in 1834, Noticia Estadistica sobre Tejas,
in Filisola, Memorias para la Historia de la Guerra de Tejas, Appendix,
sAlmonte, Noticia Estadisticc sobre Tejas in Filisola, Memorias, etc.,
II 549-550; David G. Burnet's report in Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes of the
United States, I 231.
" Padilla, Memoria sobre los Indios infieles de la Provincia de Texas.
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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/m1/133/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.