The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 30
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
he had some slaves brought from Africa to Texas in 1836. After
they learned to speak English, they told of their condition in
their native country. One black man said that they were always
at war and trying to seize one another in order to sell to some
trader; in fact, he had caught and sold many a man for a bottle
of whiskey, and finally he himself had been caught and sold.
He said that he was glad of it, for he was better off in every way,
and that if he could get all his family out of Africa he would do so.
A number of Gaines's slaves had been slaves in Africa. James had
long believed that it was futile to try to abolish slavery until men
from "a sense of superior personal gain" should see "the benefit
of superior cheapness in paid labor."
Before John and Abby James left that morning, Judge Buckley
recommended San Antonio as the most desirable place for a
lawyer to settle, and Austin the next best.
The next morning, at four o'clock, John and Abby left Hous-
ton for Austin. As day broke, they could see that their one fellow
passenger was dressed in the common costume, with a white
slouch hat, and that he had "a ready address and a pleasant
smile." He was Ham White, a Virginian who had lived in Texas
since 1833, taking part in all the wars and all the Texas troubles.
Ham said that they would eat breakfast at a house kept by an old
Texan who had taken Santa Anna prisoner. He added that all
houses kept by old Texans were poor. The Jameses, however,
found the little captor of Santa Anna a pleasant host, extremely
quiet and courteous, the breakfast highly satisfactory.
Abby pronounced the ride over the plain that day "very pretty."
Prairie hens sauntered close beside the road and nonchalantly
walked away as the coach rolled by. Tall gray birds as large as
turkeys were seen in abundance. Herds of from five to twenty deer
grazed here and there. All along the way, scattered herds of cattle
were seen.4 At the end of twenty-four miles, the coach stopped for
dinner at a house kept by an old man from Tennessee.
4It was a common remark that cattle paid 33 per cent a year. They were sold
in herds at $6.00o and $6.50 per animal, the herd containing approximately an
equal number of cows, calves, yearlings, two-year-olds, and sometimes three-year-
olds. By buying the whole "brand," the purchaser had cattle to sell the first
year, and his stock increased annually.
Good milkers were not wanted, because they were likely to lose their bags and
thus lose their calves while on the range. In winter it was almost impossible to
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956, periodical, 1956; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/m1/42/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.