The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 38
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
In 1823, Bays was holding services in the town of San Felipe,
headquarters of the Austin colony, when he was arrested by
the Mexican and Roman Catholic authorities for violation of
Article III of the Mexican Constitution, which provided that
the religion of the Mexican nation would perpetually be Roman
Catholic Apostolic and that laws would be enacted prohibiting
the exercising of any other whatsoever. While en route to
Bexar with their captives, the Mexican guard of three soldiers
camped near some springs at the head of the San Marcos River,
where the city of the same name now stands. When two of the
soldiers laid down their guns to get water from the spring,
Bays overpowered the armed soldier, clubbed the other two
with the gun, and made his escape down the river. After
wandering for some time, he came near Fort Bend to the home
of Joe Kuykendall, whom he had known in Missouri. Not only
was he well received, but his benefactor provided him with a
horse and brace of derringers, with which he made his way
back to Sabine Parish, where apparently he remained for many
years. Ultimately, he did move to Texas, became a friend of
Sam Houston, and served as a commissioner in behalf of Houston
to deal with the Cherokee Indians, by whom he was much
beloved and respected. Bays's last years were filled with
sadness; while he was living in San Augustine County, Texas,
some Mormon elders came through the community, and his
wife and oldest son Henry were swept off their feet by their
teachings and followed the Mormons to Utah. Bays died in
obscurity in 1854 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Peter
DeMoss, in Matagorda County, Texas.
While Bays was experiencing turbulent times along the
Brazos, elsewhere in Texas another Baptist divine was preach-
ing unmolested. The presence of Freeman Smalley in the Red
River area was under circumstances in marked contrast to
those of Bays. Born in Ohio and ordained a minister, Smalley
took leave of his regular ministerial work in his thirty-first
year in an effort to relieve his aged parents of anxiety
concerning his sister, who had married one William Newman
and moved west. Years had passed without any word from her
when Smalley, at his parents' request, began his trek towards
the Arkansas territory in a forlorn search. Traveling alone and
following the rivers, he negotiated successfully the Ohio and
Mississippi. Just how much he traveled by water and how much
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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/m1/47/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.