The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993 Page: 394
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Southwestern Historzcal Quarterly
River on Barron's Creek in December 1845. By the following May, set-
tlers began arriving from New Braunfels at the townsite named Fred-
ericksburg. Relations between the Germans and local Indian groups
developed amicably. The native Americans traded meat and bear
grease for manufactured goods. However, the newcomers still felt ill at
ease. One citizen recalled that "several times settlers in Fredericksburg,
while out in their gardens or near their log houses, were shot at with
arows [sic]." In addition, land under contract for further settlements
needed to be explored. Negotiating a peace treaty with the Comanches
in the area became a high priority. The pipe was finally smoked and
gifts were exchanged in the spring of 1847"
During the next two and a half years, more settlers arrived. No fewer
than four expeditions explored routes from San Antonio toward the
west by way of Fredericksburg. With the prospect of increasing num-
bers of travelers passing through the area, the Eighth Military Depart-
ment sent in Captain Seth Eastman with a detachment of the 1st Infan-
try. In December 1848, they set up their tents at Camp Houston "in
the vicinity of the fair grounds." A cavalry unit under the command of
Maj. Hamilton W. Merrill soon joined them.'
Beginning in 1849, many wagon trains bound for California formed
up at Fredericksburg or took advantage of the last opportunity for
hundreds of miles to replenish supplies. Others sought a military es-
cort through the reputedly perilous country from soldiers at the fort,
now renamed for a hero of the battle of Molino del Rey in the Mexi-
Willllam W Newcomb,r , Jr, Geman Attit on the Texas Fontei Fuedrirh Richard Pet (Austin.
University of Iexas Press, 1978), 47, 50-54, 58, 59, LaG1 ange Deutsche Zeltung, Aug. 19, 1915,
quoted in R. L Blcsele, "'The Relations Between the German Settlers and the Indians in lTexas,
1844-186o," Southwestein Ifittoucal Quarterly, XXXI (Oct, 1927), 121 (quotation) (cited here-
after as SIiQ) I'he legend of the Easter fires dates from the time of treaty negotiations Sec
Williham Petmecky, Legendary Tales-Easter Fares of Fredericksburg (4th ed , Fredericksburg: Fred-
crlcksburg Publishing Co , 1963), 11.
'William C. Pool, A Hlisto ical Atlas of Texas (Austin: Encino Press, 1975), 98-1 o 1, Elise Kow-
ert, IlIsto tr Ilomes In and Ai ound Fr eden Icksbug (Fredericksburg: Fredericksburg Publishing Co.,
198o), 181; Robert Pennlger (ed ), Ft edericksbiog, Texas The Fn st Fifty Yeais, trans Charles L.
Wlsseman (Fredericksburg Fredericksburg Publishing Co., 1971), 37 (quotation). Eastman
(18o8-1875) graduated from West Point in 1829. A talented artist, he made numerous
sketches and watercolors of the area while stationed at Fort Martin Scott Of particular interest
to this period is A Seth Eastman Sketchbook, 1848-1849, intro Lois Burkhalter (Austin: Univer-
sity of "Iexas Press, 1961) In the 185os he was stationed at Forts Duncan and Chadbourne in
"Ixas, and he illustrated Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's six-volume study of Indians, pubhshed
between 1852 and 1857. Walter Prescott Webb, H Bailey Ca ll oll, and Eldon Stephen Branda
(eds.), The Handbook o/f Teas (3 vols , Austin: 'Texas State Historical Association, 1952, 1976), I,
539 Hamilton Wilcox Met rill, West Point '38, was breveted during the Mexican War and died
in 1892 Francis B. Heitmnan, Ihstou al Registei and Du tionary of the United States Army Septem-
bei 29, 1789, to Marih 2, 1903 (2 vols., 1903o, reprint, Gaithersburg, Md Olde Soldic s Books,
1988), I, 705.
'Mabelle Eppard Martin, "(California Emigrant Roads Thl ough 'Icxas," SIIQ, XXVIII (Apr ,
1925), 295-296 See also Mabelle Eppard Martin (cd ), "From Texas to Calhfornia in 1849
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993, periodical, 1993; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/m1/452/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.