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: 32
itISTORY OP TEXAS.
ble, was greedily seized. Austin's presence
of mind, however, did not forsake him. He
calmly meditated for a moment what course
to pursue. Assum ng great composure, he
went up to the chief, and, addressing him in
Spanish and the few Indian words lie knew,
declared himself to be an American, and demanded
whether their nation was at war with
the Americans. ", No," was the reply. "Do
you like the Americans?" ",Yes; they are
our friends." "i Where do you get your spearheads,
your blankets," etc., naming all their
foreign articles one by one. "Get them from
our friends, the Americans." "Well, do you
think if you were passing through their
nation, as I am passing through yours, they
would rob you as you have robbed me l"
The chief reflected a little and replied, " No;
it would not be right." The chief then commanded
his men to restore all the articles
taken. Every article came back with the
sarmle dispatch with which it had disappeared,
except the saddlebags. These, which contained
all his money, were indispensable to
the further prosecution of his journey. No
one could tell anything of the saddlebags.
Almost in despair of ever seeing them again,
lie observed in a thicket, at a little distance,
a squaw, one of the trumpeters, kicking and
belaboring her horse to make him move off,
while the sagacious beast would not stir a
step from the troop. The colonel instantly
pursued the female robber, and found his
saddlebags neatly concealed under the saddleblanket
and herself. The whole squadron
then moved off, and were seen no more.
A little circumstance connected with the
above affair is worth mentioning. A Spanish
grammar, which the colonel carried suspended
at the saidle-bow, that he might stulfy it as
he rode aloig, was missing. This book was
afterward found among the Indians by some
traders, and as it had the owner's name on it
a report spread abroad that the colonel had
been killed by the Comanches. This report
reached the ears of his anxious mother and
sister in Missouri, and it was many months
before they learned that he had survived the
Mr. Austin reached the capital in safety,
April 29, 1822, but on account of constant
changes in the government and the belief
that a new law would at length have to be
adopted, it was not until the next January
that his claim was recognized. But even
then, before he left the capital, another
change in the government was made, and he
had to wait about three months longer for
new arrangements. On his return to Monterey
he had to get further instructions from
the commandant general and the provincial
",deputation." He was informed that he
had full powers for the administration of
justice in his colony, he, in the military
aspect, ranking as lieutenant-colonel. He
could make war on the Indian tribes in his
vicinity who molested his colony, could introduce
supplies by the harbor of Galveston,
etc. He was to render an account of his
acts to the governor of Texas, and be subject
to him. Bastrop was empowered to survey
the lands and give title. The name San
Felipe de Austin was given to the capital of
the new colony.
When Austin arrived at the settlement he
found it almost abandoned, in consequence of
his long detention in Mexico, but the news of
his return and the success of his undertaking
attracted settlers in such numbers that by
1824 the stipulated 300 families had arrived,
and they then began a prosperous career.
Although, however, Austin was exact in his
administration of justice and extravagantly
benevolent to the needy, there were many in
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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/m1/34/ocr/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .