The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002 Page: 85
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2oo1 "They Contributed Very Much to the Success of Our Colony 85
Friedrichsburg, June 1 .
Our protectors, Rangers and soldiers, are still resting themselves from
the strains of the great campaign against the Indians, in which the latter
proved to be very industrious. On the Guadalupe twenty miles from here
an American was reportedly shot by Indians and in Sisterdale horses
were stolen. I have just received a letter from Fort McKavett in which I
was informed that in the environs of the fort Indians have frequently
allowed themselves to be seen and have even shot at an express rider. So
what good are these forts? Of what use is the unfortunate policy that has
been brought to bear for several years towards the Indians? It is an
unfortunate policy not only for the Indians, but also for us.
I have for almost nine years dealt with Indians, learned their customs
and character, and have found among these so-called "wild people"
good and bad persons, but never such poor specimens as are to be
found among civilized nations.
My observations of the Indians began in 1846 here in Friedrichsburg
and its vicinity. The area teemed with Indians at that time. The emi-
grants sent up by the Society were almost unprotected; it would have
been easy for the Indians to annihilate us.'5 But they did not. They treat-
ed us amicably, took gratefully what they were presented with, and very
seldom committed excesses. These friendly relations endured for several
years, nobody feared them, and they often camped in our very town.
Often single Comanches even slept in the houses of the settlers.
I can truthfully assert that they contributed very much to the success
and growth of our colony. The Society for the Protection of German
Immigrants in Texas furnished the great number of settlers very sparing-
ly with provisions, which were often spoiled. Meal and corn were full of
worms, the meat being that of half-starved and sick cattle, particularly in
the fall and winter of 1846. The pork and salted meat were seldom
good. A great mortality prevailed and in almost every family the scurvy
raged along with other severe diseases. Many families perished, and I am
firmly convinced that all would certainly have shared the same fate, but
for the Indians, who furnished us daily with fresh deer and bear meat
(though not all of the people could buy, because the poverty of the peo-
ple was too great). They also sold us horses, mules, deer hides, ropes
and other valuable merchandise and kept up a lively and profitable for
us commerce, selling at extremely low prices, and never taking the
money from the town. I wish I could just once see all the horses, mules,
and hides that the Indians sold here in Friedrichsburg assembled in one
' The first settlers arrived May 8, 1846, while Meusebach's peace expedition did not set out
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/m1/93/: accessed November 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.