Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 4, Number 1, January, 1994 Page: 6
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
Tonkawas) the French called it Habemos. On the 21st they crossed the
river of Canes, (Colorado, about Eagle Lake)."
Joutel's book tells the story somewhat differently. According to
it, on January 15 they came to the "River call'd of the Princess" but "the
River being swollen, we were oblig'd to go up higher." They crossed the
river and came to another river, which Joutel does not name, on January
19. That river, presumably the Colorado, also was too high to cross, so
they proceeded upriver, where, on January 21, they "found a narrow
deep Place, near which we hew'd down a Tree, making it fall so as to
reach from the one Bank to the other, in the Nature of a Plank, and handed
our Baggage from one to another over it. The Horses swam over and
we incamp'd on the other Side." Shortly, they encountered "a Company
of fifteen Savages." La Salle, who had a cursory knowledge of the
language of one band of Indians which Joutel identified as "Cenis,"
determined that the fifteen men were allies and neighbors of the Cenis
who lived in a village nearby "and that their Nation was call'd Hebahamo"
(see Henri Joutel, Joutel's Journal of La Salle's Last Voyage 1684-7,
Albany, New York: Joseph McDonough, 1906, pages 119-122).
In 1822 there were enough citizens of the colony at Burnham's crossing in the
Municipality of Colorado to form a company of 25 men to make a march to the mouth
of the Colorado river to investigate the robbery of a sailing vessel. Among the families
here at that time were the Burnhams, the Gillelans, the Kirkendalls, the Tumlinsons, the
Cummings, the Fishers and W. B. Dewees, all members of Moses Austin's original
On October 7, 1852, William Bluford Dewees, an early settler in Stephen
F. Austin's colony in Texas, and Emanetta Cara Kimball drew up a
contract that specified how the profits from a book they had already
written would be divided (see Bond and Mortgage Book B, Office of the
County Clerk, Colorado County, Texas, page 194). The book was
Letters From an Early Settler of Texas (1852. Reprint. Waco: Texian
Press, 1968). Dewees was the early settler of the title; Kimball was his
collaborator. Despite its title, however, the book did not contain letters,
but rather Dewees' reminiscences contrived into epistolary form,
probably at Kimball's instigation. The pair fixed dates to each of the
"letters" but were not careful enough in doing so to avoid several anach-
ronisms. Serious historians recognized the anachronisms very early on
and concluded that the book was a fake. They were not then aware of
the contract between Dewees and Kimball, which was apparently dis-
covered buried in an obscure volume in the Colorado County courthouse
by Andrew Forest Muir in the 1950s. A book he edited, Texas in 1837
(Austin: University of Texas Press, 1958), contained the first known
published mention of the contract.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 4, Number 1, January, 1994, periodical, January 1994; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151390/m1/6/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.