The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950 Page: 152
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
point out to anyone acquainted with Texas frontier history that
Indians frequently seemed to hate white men as well, as indicated
by this same desire to kill them "every chance they got." T. A.
Babb asserts that the Comanche did not scalp Negroes, who, ac-
cording to them, had no soul. "However, they would kill negroes
so as to get them out of the way and also to prevent them from
killing any of the Indian tribe."2 Here again one might wonder
whether it was actually such an advanced theological concept as
the Negroes' alleged lack of a soul, or rather the texture of the
scalp-hair, so different from that of Indian or white, which ex-
empted them from this characteristic mutilation. Indians cer-
tainly did sometimes scalp Negroes. Wilbarger gives a somewhat
different picture when he writes: "Very frequently runaway
negroes would join the Indians and render valuable assistance
in fighting and stealing, but their dead bodies were never moved,
nor was a negro ever scalped by them."3 This contradicts Bla-
lack's assertion of the general hatred felt by the Indian for the
Negro, though it agrees with Babb's statement that Negroes were
never scalped. Some more careful examination of the whole
problem is obviously called for.
Relations of any significance between Texas Indians and Texas
Negroes obviously began when slaveholding settlers from the
United States began to enter Texas, bringing along their Negroes.
It should not be surprising that the first evidences of relationship
between Negroes and Indians reveal a feeling of hostility between
the representatives of the two races. A slaveholder would be un-
likely to bring to such an exposed frontier a Negro who was not
thoroughly trustworthy; the danger of his running away to the
Mexicans or to the Indians themselves was too great to be risked.
Negroes on the Texas frontier were unlikely to be working in
gangs under the overseer's lash; they were rather engaged in
cattle-herding, carpentry, corn-harvesting, freighting-the same
sort of jobs that their masters and other white men might be
2T. A. Babb, In the Bosom of the Comanches (Amarillo, 1912), 44. "Kiowa and
Comanches ... positively assert that no Indian was ever known to scalp a negro."
"Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1867-1868" in "Report of
the Secretary of the Interior," House Executive Documents, 4oth Cong., 3rd Sess.,
II (1366), No. 1, p. 499.
3J. W. Wilbarger, Indian Depredations in Texas (1st ed.; Austin, 1889), 412.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950, periodical, 1950; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101126/m1/200/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.