History of the regulators and moderators and the Shelby County war in 1841 and 1842, in the republic of Texas, with facts and incidents in the early history of the republic and state, from 1837 to the annexation, together with incidents of frontier life and Indian troubles, and the war on the reserve in Young County in 1857 Page: 23 of 42
This book is part of the collection entitled: From Republic to State: Debates and Documents Relating to the Annexation of Texas, 1836-1856 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the UNT Libraries.
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when they rode back and commenced talking. Reynolds was lying at
the foot of a post oak resting his elbow on the ground. Seekers sat on his
horse with the muzzle of his gun pointing at Reynolds. After conversing a
short time he said they must ride on to reach some place to stay that night and
at the same time, reining his horse around, fired, shooting Reynolds through the
left breast, killing him instantly. Seekers and Wills then ran. In running,
Wills' horse struck a tree, knocking him off and losing his gun, and there they
separated. On information of the death of Reynolds the trail was taken next
morning by Steve Reynolds, Frank Hooper, David Winburn and another. Wills'
gun was found and his trail followed to Lotus', in the direction of Natchitoches
about twenty-five miles from the place of murder. Here Wills was found, and
after some demonstrations of resistance on his part, he surrendered. He was
taken to Matthew Brinson's four miles east of Shelbyville, and there the guard
was increased to twelve men. Parson Blackburn wus employed to erect a gallows
on the square in the town, and the next day the prisoner was conveyed to
the place of execution. He made a full confession of the crime, who had employed
the gang, and what pay was to be received. After which the execution
took place in the presence of a large crowd. Nothing definite was ever after
learned of the man Seekers. Hall's gun was recovered, having been pawned
to pay the ferriage of Seekers across the Sabine.
A writ of arrest of the twelve men who had executed Wills was caused
to be issued by John M. Bradley and John Doyle. The writ was placed in the
hands of Llewellin the sheriff and his deputy Jeff Cravens. They summoned
three hundred men to their assistance and went into camp. The twelve refused
to be arrested, but said they would attend the District Court and submit. The
friends of the twelve men sustained them in their decision, and in two days
enough men were gathered for their protection, and the sheriff was then notified
that they were ready, and if a fight was desired they were prepared. An armistice
of two days was obtained by the Sheriff, and during that time an agreement
was entered into that a committee of twenty-four men should decide the matters
of difference between the parties, and that the committee should be composed of
men belonging equally to both parties, that is to say, twelve men from each side.
They met and after deliberation rendered their decision that the Sheriff Llewellin
and his deputy, together with twenty-three others of the most prominent of that
party were to leave the Republic and never become citizens again. They were
given two months to wind up their business and permitted to return temporarily
on business matters, but could not become citizens. Messengers were sent to
notify them. These were often attacked, some wounded and some had their horses
killed. Instead of leaving the Republic, as they were directed, these men went
to work to raise forces, and at the expiration of the two months they were ready
to commence fighting. It was planned that at the same hour of the night, seventeen
citizens, who had been selected, were to be killed, and afterwards the members
of the committee were to be disposed of in the same way. To raise their
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Middleton, John W. History of the regulators and moderators and the Shelby County war in 1841 and 1842, in the republic of Texas, with facts and incidents in the early history of the republic and state, from 1837 to the annexation, together with incidents of frontier life and Indian troubles, and the war on the reserve in Young County in 1857, book, January 1, 1883; Fort Worth, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2362/m1/23/?rotate=90: accessed May 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .