History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 31
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fiuiiPOiY 01' TFXAS. at
THE AUSTIN COLONY.
The first immigrants of the Austin colony
arrived in December, 1821, settling on the
IBrazos river at the Bahia crossing, mainly in
what is now Austin county; but many difficulties
and hardsl ips were encountered.
Shipments of supplies from New Orleans
failed to reach them, and they had to subsist
too much on the products of the chase; and
this was dangerous on account of the hostile
During the spring of 1822 Austin went to
San Antonio to report progress, and there
learned for the first time that under the
change in political affairs he would have to
obtain from the Mexican congress a confirmation
of tlhe grant conceded to his father by
the Spanish government, and receive special
instructions relative to the distribution of land
and other details connected with the grant.
This was a sore disappointment. He would
have to travel 1,200 miles by land on roads
infested by banditti and deserters, and lie was
ill prepared for such a journey. Nevertheless,
in ragged clothes and a blanket, he disguised
himself as a poor traveler going to
Mexico to petition for compensation for services
in the revolution, and unflinchingly
started out on the long and perilous journey.
While on his way to the city of Mexico,
with but two persons in company, arriving
at San Antonio, he (Austin) was told that it
was dangerous to proceed without an escort,
for a war party of Comnanches was abroad,
killing every unprotected person who came
in their way; that .bome individuals had been
murdered by them thle day before; and that
lie, with so much baggage, being a valuable
prize, could not possibly hope to escape.
Finding, however, no opportunity of obtain.
ing an escort, and the business of the colony
requiring his presence in the metropolis, lie
resolved at all hazards to proceed on his
They traveled tlhe first day unmolested,
but on the morning of thle second day, feeling
somewhat indisposed, Mr. Austin undertook
to prepare some coffee. There were no accommodations
on tlhe road, and it was necessary
to carry provisions on a pack-horse, and
cook by the wayside. His companions warned
him that if Indians were near they would be
attracted by the smoke. He flattered himself,
however, that by selecting a sheltered
place and making little smoke, it would be
impossible for them to discern it. Besides,
his craving for the coffee was so great, lihe
being afflicted with a bad headache, he insisted
that he must have it at all risks. They
were upon an open plain, and could see many
miles around. At the moment no living
creature was in view but themselves.
The nien in company went to seek the
horses, which had been hoppled the night before
and let loose to feed. The colonel retired
to a little ravine to enjoy his coffee. It
was boiled, and in the act of putting the refreshing
beverage to his anxious lips, lie heard
a sound like the trampling of many horses.
Raising his head, with the coffee yet untasted,
he beheld in the distance fifty mounted Coinmanches,
with their spears glittering in the
morning sun, dashing toward him at full
speed. As the column advanced it divided,
according to the practice previously described,
into two semi-circles, and in an instant he
was surrounded. Quicker than thought he
sprang to his loaded rifle, but as his hand
grasped it he felt that resistance by one
against a host was vain.
The plunder commenced. Every article
of the little encampment, with the saddle.
bags, which he stood upon to protect if possi
RLSIUR Y OA-44 T.P XAS.
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/33/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .