The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950 Page: 163
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Negroes and Indians on the Texas Frontier
like situation or temperament. Negroes, discontented among the
whites, were too few in number on the Texas frontier to find
adequate companionship among those of their own race; joining
the Indians, however, was a possibility for restless Negroes of
unusual courage and initiative. That they should occasionally
attain leadership among their adoptive people was a testimony
both to these special qualities and to the advantage given them
by their acquaintance with the white man's ways and the English
According to a long-standing and familiar racial stereotype,
the Negro always should have been in "mortal terror of the In-
dians" as a racial characteristic, an evidence of and an essential
element is an inescapable "racial inferiority"; the Negro who
was speared begging for his life would be typical. But, examining
the evidence, one finds that for each such Negro there were ten
like Griffin, Jinny Anderson, Smith, Tom, Jack Hardy, Brit
Johnson and his friends, and the two north of Austin who died
"fighting bravely" by the side of their white companions. The
over-emphasizers of race would make the Indian, on the one
hand, hate the Negro, as a Negro; or, on the other hand, would
insist that the Negro and Indian should be drawn together by
the common bond of a dark skin. The evidence indicates that
the Indian recognized the Negro on the frontier as a representa-
tive, along with the white man, of an agricultural, house-dwell-
ing, hostile culture, and treated him accordingly, and that the
Negro, who, on the frontier, bore the bonds of servitude com-
paratively lightly, felt himself identified with that same culture,
and defended it and himself against the hostile Indian.
The Negro was not, however, even on the frontier, completely
integrated with that culture, and the Negro of exceptional dis-
cernment and spirit, resenting his position in the white man's
cultural pattern, sometimes preferred participation in a less fa-
miliar culture, by which, nevertheless, he could be completely
accepted, to a continuance of a subordinate and segregated posi-
tion in a culture otherwise more sympathetic. The Negro's
occasional attainment of leadership in the Indian society further
denies the naive assumption that the Indian felt any hostility
for the Negro on a racial basis, or otherwise than as a representa-
tive of an alien and hostile culture.
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950, periodical, 1950; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101126/m1/211/: accessed March 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.