True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 193
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 193
COL. GEO. BAYLOR.
HE other morning I woke up thinking about the old
Indian trading post that was formerly located down at
the foot of Preston Avenue. From the old post my mind
wandered off to Indians in general and I remembered a story
about them that my friend, Colonel George Baylor, once told
me. It is a good story, too. His brother, General John R.
Baylor, was governor of New Mexico and Arizona, and had the
Indians pretty well in hand, particularly those he had on the
reservation he had established where he made his headquarters.
Colonel Baylor was temporarily with his brother. The two
brothers had a negro servant with them, who was afraid as
death of the Indians at first, until he found that they would
not molest him, and then, nigger-like, he got to showing off
before them and resenting their calling him "Buffalo," which
they did because his head was kinky like the head of a buffalo.
Before long the negro got it in his head that there was no harm
in an Indian and that "Marse John had done subdued 'em."
Then he took advantage of the situation and began to run off
and spend days in the woods, for he was one of the "runaway"
kind of negroes. Both General Baylor and Colonel Baylor
warned him that he was likely to be caught by some Indians
who did not know him and that if that happened he would be
a gone coon. He said nothing, but he evidently thought their
warning was simply to try to scare him and paid no attention
Finally he ran away and was gone for several days. General
Baylor concluded to give him a lesson that would cure him for
all time. He called one or two chiefs in his office and asked
them to take a body of their followers, go out and catch the
negro and give him a good scare. The Indians were tickled to
death at the idea of having such fun and entered into the scheme
eagerly. They put on their war paint, armed themselves with
their knives and tomahawks and set out to find the negro. They
caught him, about five miles away, asleep under a tree. They
tied and gagged him and then held a big war dance all around
and over him. He was scared half to death before they got
half through their dance, but his fear was as nothing compared
to that he felt when they jerked him to his feet and bound him
to a tree with a rope. They whooped and danced and began
piling leaves and brush over him, as though they were preparing
to burn him. When they stood him against the tree they took
the ropes from his legs and merely had one rope around his
neck to hold him to the tree. He could kick all he pleased
and he did a lot of it, trying to keep them from piling the brush
and leaves on him.
Then the chiefs changed the program. They got their young
men to form a line and throw tomahawks at the negro, the object
being to see who could come nearest his head without hitting
him. Finally, when they had him about dead with fright, one of
the Indians, intentionally, threw a tomahawk and cut the rope
Here’s what’s next.
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Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., book, 1913; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/m1/193/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .