Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 146 of 1,110
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HISTORY OF DALLAS COUNTY.
the early historians have overshadowed the
charters of the unfortunate Indians, some
bright gleams occasionally break through
which throw a degree of melancholy on their
THE INDIANS OF NORTHERN TEXAS.
It is said that two classes of Indians principally
occupied, roamed and hunted through
this section of country now known as Dallas
county,-the Tonkawas and the nomadic
tribes. The Tonkawa is said to have been
much more mild-mannered and civilized than
the nomadic. So considerate was Placidio,
chief of the Tonkawas, that it is said he refuse
to join the side of the Union army during
the civil war of the United States, as he
said he "could not fight against Texas, where
he and his tribe had always lived." The
nomadic tribes were inclined to be more
treacherous and warlike. Any one who
seemed to intrude upon their hunting ground
for buffalo, which was their game here when
the white settlers first entered this section,
now Dallas county, was always most ferociously
attacked. As stated, the general character of
all tribes of Indians is the same. Some are
more civilized than others, and of course
there is a difference in their mode and
manner of living. In regard to their personal
appearance, habits, employment, dress, food,
manners, customs and so forth, we give the
following compilation made by one of our
historians. Their persons were generally
tall, straight and well proportioned, their
skins of the well known and peculiar tint.
In constitution they were firm and vigorous,
and capable of sustaining great fatigue and
As to their general character they were
quick of apprehension and not wanting in
genius, at times being friendly and even
courteous. In council they were distinguished
for gravity and a certain eloquence;
in war for bravery and stratagem. When
provoked to anger they were sullen and retired,
and when determined upon revenge no
danger would deter them; neither absence
nor time could cool them. If captured by
an enemy they would never ask quarter, nor
would they betray emotions of fear even in
view of the tomahawk or of the kindling faggot.
Education amongst these rude savages of
course had no place, and their only evidence
of a knowledge of letters was in a few
hieroglyphics. The arts they taught their
young were war, hunting, fishing and the
making of a few articles, most of which, however,
being made by the females.
Their language was rude but sonorous,
metaphorical and energetic, being well suited
to public speaking, and when accompanied by
the impassioned gestures and attended with
the deep guttural tones of the savage, it is
said to have had a singularly wild and impressive
effect. They had some few war songs,
which were little more than unmeaning
choruses, but it is believed they never had any
other compositions which could be called such
or were worthy of preservation.
Their manufactures were confined to the
construction of wigwams, bows, arrows, warnpur,
ornaments, stone hatchets, mortars for.
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Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas., book, 1892; Chicago, Illinois. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/m1/146/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Public Library.