Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 1, January, 1998 Page: 39
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Documents, Letters, Reminiscences, Etc.
ken of and regarded as such by the early set-
tlers; and the facts certainly seem strongly to
indicate that such was the case.
"In 1823," Col. Dewees says, "Three
of our young men had been down the Colorado
river in a canoe to obtain corn. (This corn had
been raised on the river. The manner in which
the ground was prepared, seems a little strange
to the people of the present day; they first burned
off the canebrake, and then made holes in the
ground with a hand spike, where they planted
the corn; the land being very rich, a large crop
was raised in this manner.) The Carankaway
Indians had encamped at the mouth of Skull
creek in Colorado county. They saw the young
men as they returned with their canoe load of
corn, and lay in ambush for them; when they
were sufficiently near the Indians fired upon
them and killed two, a Mr. Loy and Mr. Alley.
Mr. Clark, the only one now remaining, leaped
into the river and endeavored to save himself
by swimming, but ere he reached the opposite
shore, he received some severe wounds from
the arrows. He succeeded in escaping by crawl-
ing into a very heavy cane-brake. Here he lay
all night, being unable to crawl from the loss
of blood. A young man by the name of
Brotherton, had left the settlement that same
evening to go down the river to the mouth of
Skull creek on horseback. Not apprehending
any danger from the Indians, he rode up the
creek quite late in the evening, when he was
surrounded by the savages. Thinking them to
be friendly Indians, who lived in the neighbor-
hood, he still feared not. He had dismounted
from his horse, when an Indian stepped up to
him, and took hold of his gun, as though wish-
ing to look at it. Just then he discovered them
to be a tribe with whom he was unacquainted.
He endeavored to retain possession of his gun,
but the Indian succeeded in wresting it from
him. The Indian attempted to shoot him, but
the gun being double triggered, he was unable
to fire. He threw down the gun, and catching
up his bow, shot Brotherton. The arrow en-
tered his back, doing no material injury.
Brotherton made his escape into the timber, and
in a few hours succeeded in reaching the settle-
ments." Fourteen men started in pursuit of the
Indians, and at midnight arrived at the place
where Brotherton had been wounded. Five of
the number went to search out the encampment
of the Indians. "After finding out the situation
of their camp," says one of their number, "we
returned to our comrades. Here we remained
until about half an hour before day, then pro-
ceeded to the Indian encampment; as silently
as possible, we crawled into a thicket, about
ten steps behind the camp, placing ourselves
about four or five steps apart, in a sort of half
circle, and completely cutting off their retreat
from the swamp. The Indians were up and busily
engaged, apparently in preparing breakfast.
When the light was sufficient for us to see
clearly, we could not see anything of the Indi-
ans. We now commenced talking, in order to
draw them from their wigwams; in this we suc-
ceeded. They rushed out as if greatly alarmed.
We fired upon them and killed nine; the rest
attempted to escape, but had no way to run,
except into the open prairie. We rushed upon
them, and killed all but two, who had made
their escape, though wounded, after the first
fire. The number killed was nineteen. The In-
dians were so greatly alarmed that they did not
even attempt to fire upon us. After the fatigue
of the night and the toils of the morning, being
quite hungry, we entered the wigwams, where
we found plenty of provisions. We made a
hearty breakfast, then loaded our horses with
such things as we found in the wigwams, and
returned to the settlements."
Soon after these Indian troubles, many
settlers came in, and located on the Colorado
river. In 1823, James Commings was appointed
Alcalde. He declined to serve, and John
Tumbleson was appointed. Messrs. Burnham,
Dewees and Wallace are said to have founded
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 1, January, 1998, periodical, January 1998; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151402/m1/39/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.