Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 148 of 1,110
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HISTOi Y OF DALLAS COUNTY.
in order to be understood and felt it required
the aid of strong and animated gestures.
The savage Indians have no definite form
of government. What government is established
by those less savage is an absolute
monarchy: the will and command of the
sachem is their law. While his decisions are
absolute and final he sometimes honors the
older numbers of his tribe by calling upon
them for advice and counsel. This is said to
be very seldom, however. One praiseworthy
characteristic of the more civilized and sometimes
of the savage, is that, when one of their
number undertakes to address an assemblage
among themselves, the utmost deference
is paid to the speaker and profound
silence reigns supreme. This characteristic
was so striking to one of the early writers that
he says of them:
"When propositions for war or peace were
made or treaties proposed to them by the
colonial governors, they met the embassadors
in council, and at the end of each paragraph
or proposition the principal sachem delivered
a short stick to one of his council, intimating
that it was his peculiar duty to remember the
paragraph. After their deliberations were
ended, the sachem or some counselors to
whom he had delegated the office, replied to
every paragraph in its turn, with an exactness
scarcely exceeded in written correspondence
of civilized power, each man remembering
exactly what was committed to him, and he
imparting it to the one entrusted in reply to
the propositions or other matters of debate."
The ideas of religion entertained by the
tribes of Indians that circulated through
Dallas county were evidently similar to those
entertained by all the other Indian tribes.
They were said to believe in two Great
Spirits,-a Good Spirit and an Evil Spirit.
They paid homage to both, and like all others
of their kind constructed images after their
conception of their deities. They also were
found to possess a remarkable reverence for
all the great elements of nature, and imagined,
as in the days of mythology, that these forces
possessed intelligence and some great power;
as to the sun, lightning, thunder,-whatever
was mysterious to them,-they with awe
bowed their knee in reverence.
These Indians, the Tonkawas and nomadic
tribes, were very harassing to the earlier
settlers of Dallas county. After they had
been driven from the county they would
often slip in among the settlers and steal their
horses and pilfer and destroy their property,
and when an opportunity presented itself
would murder the citizens.
An instance of their murderous deeds is
recorded as late as 1841. During the fall of
1841, these early settlers had sent a man with
a wagon to a place on Red river, then the
most accessible point to secure what provision
This party was delayed longer than was
expected, and three of the citizens, namely,
Solomon Silkwood, Ramp Rattan and Alexander
W. Webb (now living at Mesquite, in
Dallas county), leaving their crude homes,
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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/m1/148/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Public Library.