Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 4, Number 1, January, 1994 Page: 8
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
Zumwalt, who probably was unaware of the problems with the
book, extracts most of the information he presents in this paragraph
from it. Dewees' "letter" dated March 15, 1823 records his arrival at
a settlement of "five or six families" including Jesse Burnam, Gilleland,
and the Kuykendalls on the Colorado River; their receipt of a message
that a ship had landed at the mouth of the river and been plundered by
Karankawa Indians; and the formation of a company of "about twenty-
five" men under the command of Robert Kuykendall to investigate the
incident. Zumwalt probably dates the incident to 1822 because Dewees
states that he had arrived at the settlement "about six months" before
writing the "letter." He lists the settlers mentioned by Dewees, following
Dewees' incorrect spelling of all three names, then adds Dewees and
three other families to the list. He provides no source for the three other
families; but certainly, ample evidence to support the early residency of
the Tumlinsons and of James Cummins (though not the Cummingses)
exists. Fisher, however, is another matter. Zumwalt goes on to describe
all as "members of Moses Austin's original colony," referring presuma-
bly to the colony established by Moses Austin's son, Stephen Fuller
Austin. Indeed Dewees, Burnam, Daniel Gilleland, four different Kuyken-
dalls, two Tumlinsons, and Cummins all appear on the commonly
accepted list of those settlers, now known as "The Old Three Hundred."
The only Fisher on the list is James Fisher. No evidence that he lived on
the Colorado comes to hand (see Lester Gladstone Bugbee, "The Old
Three Hundred," The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Associa-
tion, volume 1, number 1, October 1897).
The Municipality of Colorado, with its seat of justice at Colum-
bus, was created by ordinance passed by the General Council of the
Provisional Government of Texas at San Felipe on January 8, 1836 (see
Hans Peter Nielsen Gammel, compiler, The Laws of Texas 1822-1897,
Austin: The Gammel Book Company, 1898, volume 1, pages 1034-
In the spring of 1823 three young men from the settlement at Burnham's whose names
were Loy, Alley and Clark, made a trip down the Colorado river in a canoe to obtain corn.
On their return they were ambushed at the mouth of Skull creek by a band of Tonkoway
Indians. Alley and Loy were killed by arrows. Clark was severely wounded by seven
arrows but succeeded in swimming to the bank and hiding in a canebrake. Evidently he
made his return to the settlement but the narrative is not clear on that point.
A young man by the name of Brotherton left the settlement that same day
and was captured by the same band of Indians but succeeded in escaping from them after
being shot in the back with an arrow; and he succeeded in reaching the settlement in
a few hours. Immediately, a force of 14 men was organized, who the next morning
surprised the Indians in a thicket on Skull creek, killing 19, only two escaping. None of
the settlers was injured.
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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/m1/8/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.