The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 161
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De Witt's Colony.
left to set the town on fire.1 Toward morning the fugitives, look-
ing back, beheld a red glow along the western horizon.2 By day-
light there remained of the thirty houses or more that had made up
the little town of Gonzales only two small huts.3
After the retreat, thus begun, had ended about six weeks later
in the defeat of the Mexicans at San Jacinto, and the invaders
had been driven out of Texas, the people of Gonzales returned to
their desolated homes.4 At this point, however, the life of the
settlement began anew. The corporate existence of the De Witt
colony was no longer recognized. The titles of the settlers were of
course respected by the Texan government, and they remained in
possession of the lands that had been allotted to them. But the
remainder of the territory comprised within the limits of the grant
became part of the public domain of independent Texas. Hence-
forth the Mexican was the foreigner, and the Anglo-American en-
tered freely, welcomed by those of his own race who had now taken
possession of the soil.
1 Report of R. E. Handy cited above, page 159, note 3; report of Captain
Sharp, in Foote, Texas and the Texans, II 268. Captain Sharp says: "We
divided ourselves into two parties, one party to commence at one end
of the town the other at the other end and meet. There were some four
or five in each party, and we made rapid work of it. The houses were
principally framed, covered with thin boards split from the oak, similar
to barrel staves. In the course of a few minutes the flames began their
work of destruction, and by dawn every house was burning or had crum-
bled to ashes."
2 Soon after they discovered that the town was on fire they were alarmed
by several loud reports in the same direction. Many at first believed
that it was the Mexican artillery, but it proved to be only the explosion of
some gunpowder in one of the burning stores (TimE QUARTERLY, IV 295).
Mr. Darst says that when the order to leave town was given his family
thought the intention was only to hide in the woods again as they had
done the previous September. They therefore had taken only their bed-
ding and a few other necessary articles. After they were about two miles
out of town, however, they understood that it was a general retreat. He
then went back after one ox and three cows that they had left. While he
was in the town at this time, standing on the place where the residence of
Dr. Jones now is, he watched the explosion of the store that contained
3 See map 4.
SMr. Darst says that when the people began to return they found many
of the old land marks entirely obliterated. In consequence, some persons
settled upon one of the public squares. The citizens naturally objected.
Considerable unpleasantness followed, but finally the trespassers moved
away. They then established themselves about thirty-five miles up the
Guadalupe, and their settlement became the present town of Seguin.
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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/m1/163/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.