The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937 Page: 33
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The Free Negro in the Republic of Texas
After Goliad, the retreat eastward before the Mexican forces
continued without Fannin and his men, and without the music
of Peter Allen. For nearly six weeks it continued, finally coming
to an end on the San Jacinto. The retreat, of course, left the
settlements defenseless. Every human being that could go, fled
before the prospect of being captured by an invading army whose
reputation preceded it in tales of the Alamo and Goliad. Free
Negroes, black slaves and white masters fled together, rendering
to each other such aid as they could afford. James Richardson's
"habit of entertaining travellers between Velasco and San Luis"
was abruptly interrupted, and although some sixty years of age,
he enrolled in Captain Thomas Bell's garrison at Velasco.23 It
was in this flight that Fannie McFarland, a free negress, lost all
her possessions at San Felipe.24 Many of these Texans never
stopped until they reached the safety of United States soil. The
army itself came to rest on the San Jacinto. On the morning of
April 20, the Mexicans came in sight and on the following day,
the Texans in a surprise attack routed the Mexican army. At
least two free Negroes distinguished themselves through partici-
pation in this action. Hendrick Arnold, who successfully piloted
Colonel Milam into Bexar when he stormed the town, appeared
at the final battle. Arnold was "One of the most efficient mem-
bers of Deaf Smith's Spy Company and an active participan[t]
in the battle of San Jacinto."25
The other free Negro who participated in the battle, Dick, was
like Peter Allen, a musician. "By the effective beating of his
drum . . . This gray headed descendant of Ham carried con-
sternation into the ranks of Santa Anna's myrmidons." On the
occasion of the San Jacinto dinner in May, 1850, "the venerable
drummer" was present "and seemed to live his early days over
County. Memorial No. 11, File 75, April 26, 1838. When a pension was
provided by the State of Texas for veterans of the Texas Revolution,
William T. Austin complained that no provision had been made for
Thomas Stephens and Mark Smith, "who served and did good service in
said revolution, but whose names do not appear in the muster-rolls, for
the reason that they were slaves." Stephens served in the action against
Bexar, and Smith fought at the battle of San Jacinto. Memorial No. 215,
File 84, April 27, 1871.
2This petition is signed by 23 citizens of Brazoria county. Memorial
No. 23, File 75, October 19, 1840.
2"Memorial No. 16, File 65, October 30, 1840.
"Papers of the Third Legislature, Joint Resolution No. 43, File 47.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937, periodical, 1937; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101099/m1/41/: accessed June 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.