Texas Almanac, 1943-1944 Page: 55
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TEXAS INDIAN TRIBES. 55
region was occupied by the Mescalero
Apaches, there was a cave-dwelling stock of
Indians in the Hueco, Chisos, Guadalupe and
other mountain ranges of the region and in
the canyons of the Rio Grande in the Big
Bend. Whether these Indians were related
to the Pueblos has not been determined, nor
is it known definitely whether any of them
were living in this region at the time of the
coming of the first white men. It is prob-
able that these Indians belonged to tribal
stocks living south of the Rio Grande.
Tribal boundaries in Texas were not to
remain long undisturbed after the dawn of
historic times. While white settlement was
slow in this region, it was rapid along the
Atlantic Seaboard, and it was driving strong
tribes westward across the Mississippi. Chief
of the tribes to cross the Texas border were
the Cherokees, Alabamas, Seminoles, Dela-
wares, Kickapoos and Coushattis.
First among the immigrant tribes probably
were the Cherokees, a tribe of far greater
intelligence than the average North American
Indian. Just when they entered Texas from
Arkansas and Northern Louisiana, where they
had been thrust from their homes east of the
Mississippi, seems to be questionable, but it
is a matter of record that their Chief Fields
was in Mexico City in 1822, endeavoring to
obtain title to the lands on which his people
had settled in East Texas.
The Cherokees were given certain squat-
ters' rights by the Spanish authorities finally,
but they wisely continued to seek a written
treaty. With the revolt of the Texans against
Mexican authority, the Cherokees arrived at
an agreement with a committee representing
the temporary Texas government and having
Sam Houston as one of its members. By this
agreement the Cherokees were to receive the
land lying between the Sabine and Angelina
Rivers and north of the old San Antonio road.
This was early In 1836 and prior to the Battle
of San Jacinto. After Texas had established
its independence of Mexico the Senate of the
new Republic refused to ratify the treaty
made by Houston and others.
This action of the Texas Senate aroused
the anger of the Cherokees and there was
friction between them and the neighboring
white settlers. Finally, in 1839, three com-
panies of white settlers Invaded the Cherokee
grounds and drove them out, the tribe mi-
grating northward across the Red River It
was in this conflict, known as the Cherokee
War, that the courageous old Chief Bowl (or
Bowles) was wounded and later shot to death.
This attack was made during the administra-
tion of President Lamar, who had little
patience with the red man. Sam Houston,
who had once lived with the Cherokees in
Arkansas, bitterly denounced the repudiation
of the treaty with the Cherokees and their
expulsion from Texas.
Alabamas and Coushattis.
The Alabamas and Coushattis were among
the other tribes that migrated to Texas at
an early date from their homeland across the
Mississippi. Although never large In number,
they are notable for being the only tribes
that have continued to exist within the con-
fines of Texas. A remant of these tribes,
scattered along the Neches in 1854, attracted
the attention of Sam Houston, who was Influ-
ential in having two square miles of land,
or 1.280 acres, given them for a reservation.
Here in the midst of the Big Thicket the
Indians dwelt with little notice from the
white people about them until about 1927,
when their destitute condition was called to
the attention of governmental authorities by
the residents of Polk County, in which the
reservation is situated.
A federal appropriation was made and
3,000 acres of land bought, raising the reser-
vation to 4,280 acres. The Texas State Board
of Control was authorized to allot to the
Indians certain household equipment and as
a result of these acts the living conditions
of the Indians were greatly improved. The
little band of Alabamas and Coushattis, num-
bering about 250, still speaking the native
tongue and retaining many tribal customs
(although largely Christianized during the
last fifty years), lives today on its reservation
in the eastern part of Polk County.
Seminoles, Delawares, Kickapoos.
Remnants of other eastern tribes migrated
to Texas in the latter part of the eighteenth
and early part of the nineteenth centuries,
notably the Seminoles, Kickapoos and Dela-
wares. The two last-mentioned tribes settled
largely in Eastern Texas among the Chero-
kees and were expelled with the Cherokees
in 1839. Part of the Seminoles came in with
the Cherokees, but a later migration entered
the state from Florida. Part of the Seminoles
were expelled with the Cherokees and a part
of them drifted westward to the vicinity of
Kinney County and a small reservation was
maintained for them for a number of years
near Fort Clark at Brackettville. Most of
these Seminoles eventually drifted across the
Rio Grande. A few Seminoles still dwell in
the vicinity of Brackettville.
Conflict During Civil War and After.
With the expulsion of the Cherokees in
1839 the white people of Texas had only the
plains Indians to deal with, largely the
Comanches. The Karankawas had been
thinned to the point of extinction and driven
southward and the Lipans had retreated
westward, many of them crossing the Rio
Grande. There continued to be forays from
across the Rio Grande for a number of years,
but the line of conflict lay primarily between
the frontiersman and the Indians of the
The Comanches were giving much trouble
in the vicinity of San Antonio and a council
between leaders of the tribe and the whites
was agreed upon, the assembly taking place
at San Antonio. To this meeting, which was
held March 19, 1840, the Indians were to have
brought their white prison ers for exchange
and settlement, but when they appeared with
only one prisoner the whites determined to
hold the thirty or forty assembled warriors
as hostages. A fight ensued, known as the
Council House Fight, in which the Indians
were killed with one or two exceptions.
The council house fight only Intensified the
feeling among the Comanches and in August
of 1840 they made what was probably the
greatest single raid ever conducted by Indians
in the Southwest. Appearing Aug. 5, the
band of 1,000 or more Indians swept down
the valley of the Guadalupe, killing a large
number of persons in the vicinity of Cuero
and Victoria and sacking the town of Linn-
ville, while residents of the town took refuge
in boats on the bay. After several days of
raiding and with 1,500 or more stolen horses
and much merchandise taken at Llnnville,
the Indians started their retreat, but were
overtaken and decisively defeated in the
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Texas Almanac, 1943-1944, book, 1943; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117165/m1/57/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.