Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 295 of 1,110
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HISTORY OF DALLAS COUNTY. 298
seen perched on rail fences talking with ne
gration to this country fiom the North, and
groes several times, and once or twice they the idea somehow gained currency that those
felt in their duty to preach to them. I Northern people were coiningdown here and
don't believe they instigated an insurrection. supplying the negroes with firearms and amIn
fact there was no insurrection. People munitions. People actually held up the
became frightened and almost panic-stricken. wagons and searched them as they entered
, When the town was burned it was a th e tothe town, but nothing was ever found to conday-so
hot that matches ignited from the firm these suspicions."
heat of the sun. Wallace Peak had just fin
In te language of the latter-day historian:
. Things have changed since the events reished
a new two-story frame building, and in
th uppr sy cited above transpired. A generation has
the upper story that day a number of men
passed, the shackles of slavery have )een
were lounging and smoking. Piled up near p
broken and Dallas has grown from a small
the building was a lot of boxes filled with
. .hamlet to a proud city."
shavings, and I think a cigar stump or a
match was thrown into one of the boxes, andOTHER ACCOUNTS.
from that the fire was started, about two o'clock A correspondent of the Dallas NYews of
in the afternoon. Several fires had occurred; July 21 wrote the following:
there was a great deal of excitement about "Some months ago I furnished and you
the apprehended negro uprising; somebody published from tile old Dallas HIerald an achad
to hang; and the three negroes went. count of the burning of Dallas, July 10,
There was a merchant in the town of Hen
1860. Recently you have published several
derson who wrote to a friend here that he interviews with surviving citizens of that
would pass through Dallas on a given date. date in regard to that disaster. Some of
Incidentally in the letter he mentioned the them leave the impression that the calamity
fact that the day when Dallas burned a box may have been the result of the spontaneous
of matches in his store took fire from natural ignition of matches on that hot July day. As
heat and he barely saved his store from burn
I believein no such theory (like Mr. William H.
ing. This incident was cited by those sup
Beeman, then and now a citizen of Dallas and
porting the theory of accidental origin, but a native of Illinois), I beg leave to make pubthe
merchant was denounced for being in lie through the News the letter which follows
collusion with the negroes. It happened that This letter, found as sworn to by two reputa
he originally came from the North and there ble citizens, if Inade public at the time woulc
were threats of lynching hin in case he ap
have rendered the people of north and south
peared in Dallas. His friend wrote to him western Texas desperate. Wiser counsel
to keep away from Dallas, and he did. At prevailed, and to a number of the most intel
that time there was considerable wagon immi
j ligent citizens of Fort Worth the countr
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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/m1/295/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Public Library.