The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942 Page: 329
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Three Types of Historical Interpretation
wove sheets and a tick for a feather bed; and they used gourds
for cups. He acquired a piece of land, and their housekeeping
began. He arrived in Texas twelve years later with all his
possessions, including wife and children and household goods,
loaded on three horses. In Texas, the family lived for many
weeks on deer and other game. He saw no bread for nine
months, until a man who had planted corn with a stick sold
him twenty bushels in exchange for a horse. He ground the corn
in a mortar and sifted it through a perforated deerskin, stretched
over a hoop. Having neither jars, jugs, nor cans, he stored wild
honey in skins. He tells of amputating a man's leg "with a dull
saw and a shoe knife, the only tools we had," he explained. "I
heated and bent a needle to take up the arteries with. I was to
have the management of it, and hold the flesh back, Tom Wil-
liams was to do the cutting of the flesh, Bostick was to saw the
bone, and Kuykendall was to do the sewing. I took his suspenders
off and bandaged the leg just above where we wanted to cut.
I put a hair rope over the bandage, put a stick in it, and twisted
it just as long as I could; then I was ready to begin operations.
When Mr. Kuykendall began to sew it he trembled, so I took
the needle and finished it." Strangely, as we should think, the
patient lingered eleven days after the operation.
Families began life in Texas in wigwams, palisades bound
together with wattles, stuccoed with moss and clay, and roofed
with earth and straw. Jonas Harrison, a man of learning and
culture, wrote Stephen F. Austin from East Texas in 1832:
"Strange as it may appear to those that are in the habit of
handling money, there are in these districts many good citizens
-very good livers-who do not handle five dollars in a year."
Noah Smithwick's first meal in Texas was "dried venison
sopped in honey." He settled in De Witt's Colony in 1827. He
tells how they raised corn without plow or hoe. They burned
cane brakes in the winter. In the spring they punched holes
in the land thus cleared, dropped in the grain, and when the
young cane began to sprout they beat down the tender shoots
with the same sharp stick that had punched the holes for the
corn. Few of the settlers had wheat bread, because they had
no money to buy it with. "Money was as scarce as bread," he
wrote. "Pelts of any kind passed current and constituted the
principal medium of exchange."
Austin announced to his first colonists that he would accept
in payment of fees: "horses, mules, cattle, hogs, peltry, furs,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942, periodical, 1942; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146053/m1/371/: accessed February 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.