The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 216
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
indebtedness of the ruined firm. By this time, however, he had
definitely made up his mind that he did not like clerking.
A few months later, General Francisco de Miranda was in
New York soliciting funds and sympathy for the liberation of
his native country, Venezuela, from Spanish bondage. Burnet
became greatly impressed with the cause and joined Miranda's
forces, along with the sons of some of the best families of
New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. He was commissioned a
first lieutenant in June, 1806, at Barbados. The little group
fought with bravery off the coast of Venezuela, but the expe-
dition was doomed to failure because the people themselves
were not yet ready for independence." Most of the survivors
of the original party returned to New York. On the return
voyage Burnet narrowly escaped death from yellow fever. Of
twelve men who embarked in the boat, he alone reached the
In 1808, the revolution broke out again with vigor in the
province of Caracas, and General Miranda was placed at the
head of the patriot army. When Burnet received this news,
he returned to Venezuela to join his old commander. Miranda
gave him a warm and affectionate welcome but was so persistent
in urging him to return to the United States that Burnet was
finally persuaded to obey his wishes.4
Returning to his native country, Burnet went to Cincinnati,
where he studied and practiced law for about four years. Then,
seeking a milder climate, his adventurous spirit brought him
southward, and he became engaged in mercantile operations in
Nachitoches, Louisiana. Once again, however, fate stepped in
to interfere with his success in the business world. In 1817
he was severely threatened with tuberculosis, and upon the
advice of a physician, he went into the almost uninhabited ter-
ritory of Texas to live an outdoor life among the Indians.
Burnet lived for some eighteen months among the wild Co-
manches, eating only buffalo and other wild meat, without bread
or vegetable of any kind, sleeping without shelter, and roaming
with the Indians over the prairies. When he arrived in West
Texas, he was so ill that it was difficult for him to mount his
horse alone, but the food, exercise, and exhilarating climate
restored him to vigorous health. Upon returning to civilization,
3Galveston News, December 11, 1870, Rosenberg Library, Galveston.
4A. M. Hobby, "Life of David G. Burnet," Texas Almanac, 1873.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946, periodical, 1946; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146056/m1/249/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.