The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 135
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De Witt's Colony.
coast with a view to colonization were to be properly treated by the
Karankawas, who, however, should report all such arrivals to the
commandant at La Bahia.
8. Although it was thought safe to assume that Austin would
approve of this treaty, it was to be sent him for ratification.1
The Karankawas seem to have kept this peace, at least so far as
De Witt's colony was concerned. It is said that about 1836 the
Mexicans began to kill the remnants of the tribe for robberies
and murders, and that then, notwithstanding the treaty, they
crossed the Lavaca and asked the colonists for protection. There-
upon they were distributed among white families as servants.2
Two years later, in 1829, at the suggestion of the political chief,
De Witt attempted to deal in the same manner with the Tonkawa
Indians. He went in search of them, and on April 17 fell in with
three chiefs and a small part of the tribe. He told them the com-
plaints that the people had to make against them for stealing,
showed them the advisability of going to work, encouraged them
to become a "great and good" people, and to that end offered them,
in the name of the political chief, land whereon to settle. He
promised that a subscription should be taken up among Americans
in his own and Austin's colonies, with which to enable them to
buy corn for this year, as it was then too late to plant. He told
them that he thought the Mexicans would donate money enough to
buy horses for them. The Indians seemed pleased, and promised to
call a meeting of their people on the full moon of the next month to
talk it over. Hereupon De Witt reported what had taken place to the
political chief, suggesting that an industrious man be put among
the Tonkawas to instruct them, and that they be assigned four
leagues of land for a town, with the understanding that if they
proved themselves worthy other lands should be given them.8
There is no evidence that these suggestions were ever carried into
effect, but there seem to have been no further hostilities in De
Witt's colony on the part of the Tonkawas.
But it appears that the colonists were not always so kindly
disposed toward the Indians. There are some fragments of evi-
dence to show that occasionally they sought them out for other pur-
poses than to smoke with them the feathered pipe of peace. In
December, 1828, a number of the residents of Gonzales joined
1These terms are summarized from a copy of the treaty in the Bexar
2Holley, Texas (1836), 160.
aGreen De Witt to Ram6n Musquiz, April 25, 1829. Bexar Archives.
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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/m1/137/: accessed May 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.