The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941 Page: 59
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Nolan's "Lost Nigger" Expedition of 1877
normal hurried travel would place the dry camp of the first
day out north of the present Meadow, Texas, in the south-
eastern portion of Hockley County.
It was at the end of the second day out, July 27, that ex-
haustion came which brought the pursuit of Indians to an end
and substituted instead a frenzied search for water. The trail
led generally northwest and was in the vicinity of the present
Sulphur Draw across Hockley and Cochran Counties.18 The
line of march led across the present Texas-New Mexico bound-
ary into southeastern Roosevelt County, New Mexico, and stopped
near Lingo at a mound rising some fifty feet from the plain-a
veritable landmark, known yet to all as "Nigger Hill." Men
had been dropping from the ranks all that insufferably hot July
afternoon. Throughout the day not one drop of water relieved
any man's thirst. Late in the afternoon Captain Nolan, way-
worn and haggard, called a halt. "Look," he said to Harvey,
"I have twenty-five men prostrated. Look at your own men,
suffering the tortures of the damned. . . . If this keeps up
much longer, we will each be dethroned of his reason, and
be a wandering lot of maniacs until a merciful death relieves
What is the evidence which tends to mark Nigger Hill as
the one spot in all that spaciousness of Plains as the end of
the trail in the search for Indians ?20 The trail started northwest
from Laguna Rica; on the second day it had run northeast,
turned west, then northwest, west again, and finally southwest,
and "the blue sand-hills were in plain view" as the command
stopped. At the point of halting Cook said, "We knew that they
[the Double Lakes] must be at least fifty miles to the south-
east."21 The King account says that the Double Lakes were
-iThe trail was north of and roughly parallel to the present Sulphur
Draw. Such a routing is given because the trail went across gently un-
dulating country generally northwest from Twin Lakes. Had the travel
been south of Sulphur Draw, an extensive sand dune region would have
been encountered; this is contrary to the evidence. See map accompanying
W. T. Carter, Reconnaissance Soil Survey of Northwest Texas (Washing-
ton, 1922), for the limits of this dune region along the Yoakum-Cochran
1'Cook, The Border and the Buffalo, p. 268.
"oA good geographical description of the area considered in this study
will be found in Frank Bryan, "A Review of the Geology of the Clovis
Finds Reported by Howard and Cotter," in American Antiquity, IV,
2Cool, The Border and the Buffalo, p. 267; Captain Nolan says: "We
were now in the immediate vicinity of the Sand Hills . . . up to this time
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941, periodical, 1941; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/m1/67/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.