The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962 Page: 281
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dictate that he should undertake the balanced scholarly history of
the county. The thesis therefore had to be laid on the documents.
When completed about ten years ago, it was a distinctive objective
study-not a passing thing of the moment.
The years that have intervened between the first writing and this
publication have given opportunity for testing, mellowing, and
seasoning. The amount of additional source material which has ap-
peared has been negligible-splendid testimony to the thoroughness
of the original research.
In putting the spotlight on Rusk County, Texas, Dorman
Winfrey makes the reader aware of the development of an area
long inhabited by man. The Indians found the land between the
Sabine River and the Angelina River attractive and well-suited
for their purposes. By the time of Anglo-American immigration,
the Cherokees were well established and were not willing to
move without a fight. As settlers came by Trammel's Trace, the
Nacogdoches Road, and the Green Grass Trail, the Indians went
on the warpath. Under the leadership of Chief Bowles, the
Cherokees were defeated at the battle of the Neches in 1839, and
Chief Bowles was killed. The region was then open for settlement
and wealthy planters brought their slaves to develop flourishing
plantations. There was sufficient population to want separation
from Nacogdoches County and on January 16, 1843, an act creat-
ing the County of Rusk was approved by the Congress of the
Republic of Texas, naming the new county in honor of Thomas
Jefferson Rusk. The same act provided for the creation of a
county seat named Henderson in honor of James Pinckney Hen-
derson. This period of prosperity from 1839 to 1861 is reflected
in the United States Census of 1850 and 1860. The white popula-
tion by 1850 was 6,012, and the slave population was 2,136. By
186o the population of Rusk County was the largest of any
county in Texas; the white population had increased to 9,670,
and there were 6,132 slaves. The prosperity of Rusk County
began to decline with the burning of Henderson on August 5,
1860, and continued during the War Between the States and
Winfrey shows that Rusk County remained basically agricul-
tural from settlement times until oil was discovered in great
quantities. On October 3, 1930, the Daisy Bradford Number 3
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962, periodical, 1962; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/m1/315/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.