The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 263
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History of Fanin County, Texas, 1836-1843
son's Lake near present-day Sumner. He returned to Arkansas
and there married. Some years afterward he came back to Texas
and settled in 1823 or 1824 within a mile of his original camp.6
Clifft, and his wife Abigail, whose former husband, James Gar-
land, had died in May, 1835, were living in the spring of 1836 at
the famous Rocky Ford on Bois D'Arc? Clifft's wife seems to
have been a woman of considerable wealth, having inherited a
number of slaves from Garland's estate.7
The pioneer settlers in the Red River valley were dominated by
a culture that was essentially riparian in its nature. As the ad-
venturous spirit of the frontiersmen drove them to move westward,
they confined their colonizing activities to the banks of the river
and its confluent streams. Two motives prompted them in their
choice of such locations. Building material was more easily found
in the timber fringing the water courses, and the river itself pro-
vided a better avenue for travel than that furnished by wagons
across the uncharted uplands. Thus it was not strange that the
first group of pioneers to settle in Fannin County should use the
river as a means of transporting themselves and their goods from
their homes in the United States to Texas.
This first party, consisting of Daniel Rowlett, of Wadesboro,
Kentucky, John and Edward Stephens of Lamar County, Alabama,
Daniel Slack of Mississippi, and Richard II. Locke of Somersville,
Tennessee, engaged Captain Benjamin Crook, of the steamboat,
Rover, to bring them from Memphis, Tennessee, where they had
assembled in the autumn of 1835 to Jonesboro in the Mexican
province of Texas.8 The voyage was necessarily slow, and it was
not until March 1, 1836, that the Rover discharged her passengers
and cargo at their destination. At Jonesboro they were joined by
Jabez Fitzgerald and Mark R. Roberts, two Tennesseeans, who had
traveled overland with their families through Arkansas and the
5W. A. Neville, "John Emberson, Pioneer," The Paris Morning News,
June 26, 1921.
"Lusk, History of Constantine Lodge, No. 18, A. F. and A. M., Bonham,
7Tewas Reports, V, 229.
8Jonesboro, which was situated on the south bank of Red River opposite
the mouth of Kiamichi, was the first American settlement in Texas. It was
established by Claiborne Wright, a Tennesseean, in September, 1816. In
1836 it was a town of considerable size. Almonte, "Statistical Report on
Texas," in Southwestern Historical Quarterly, January, 1925, XXIX, 209.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930, periodical, 1930; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101090/m1/289/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.