The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 314
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
tered into a tentative treaty. The Indians, however, refused to
await the arrival of Captain Boone, who had left Fort Gibson
on September 25, 1844, with Company H of the First Dragoons.
After an absence of six weeks, Boone returned to Fort Gibson
to learn that hostile Comanche Indians had killed a number of
white families and Choctaw immigrants living on Red River.
The Comanches and other Texas Indians continued their dis-
orders, depredations, and kidnapping of white children until
they had run up an appalling score of such outrages. Occasionally
white traders and members of the Five Civilized Tribes were able
to ransom some of these unhappy captives and bring them to
Fort Gibson. ,One of these was a white boy named Thomas
Pierce, who was ransomed by a Chickasaw trader and later con-
veyed to Fort Gibson. Another was a boy named Gillis Doyle,
captured near his home on the Colorado River by Comanche
Indians. He also was brought to Fort Gibson and delivered to
Pierce Butler, who paid to his rescuer $1oo of the ransom and
promised the remainder of the total of $30o as soon as he could
secure it from Washington. These outrages were largely respon-
sible for Butler's visit to Washington in the spring of 1845, upon
which occasion he reported the situation in great detail to the
commissioner of Indian affairs.
The result was that the War Department took steps, and on
September 12, 1845, Thomas H. Crawford, the commissioner of
Indian affairs, issued a commission to Governor Butler and M. G.
Lewis to undertake a fourth mission to the wild Indians of Texas.
A bill was introduced in Congress appropriating $15,000 to
defray the expense of this mission, and the additional sum of
$500 to pay the ransom exacted by the Comanches for the de-
livery of the two boys, Gillis Doyle and Thomas Pierce. This
bill was enacted into law on June 27, 1846.2
In his communication to Butler and Lewis, the commissioner
explained what was expected of them and dealt with the situation
It has been deemed of great importance under even ordinary
2Gillis Doyle had brought to Fort Gibson information that the Comanches had
in their possession about twenty white American boys and four girls, one of whom
was grown and had a child. See Grant Foreman (ed.), "The Journal of Elijah
Hicks," Chronicles of Oklahoma, XIII ,(March, 1935), 70o n.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/408/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.