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: 484
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HISTORY OF TEXAS.
sog found themselves a considerable distance
from land when their canoe capsized. Chapman,
being an expert swimmer, made his
way on driftwood and by swimming to the
shore, while Davis and Robinson, being less
expert, sought safety in the branches of a
tree. Davis, younger and more vigorous than
Robinson, secured the best perch, a large
limb which at the juncture with the main
body of the tree formed a fairly comfortable
resting place. Robinson, taking what he
could get, perched on a small limb which in
a short time got, as he said, ' pretty sharp.'
As the day wore on into the night, he asked
Davis to swap seats with him for awhile, but
Davis refused. Davis did not know how long
they would have to stay there waiting for the
waters to go down, and, knowing a good thing
when he saw it, he was inclined to hold on
to it. Urged by cold and fatigue Robinson
kept up his importunities for a swap, recalling
to Davis their friendship, their companionship
in misery, his age, the possibility
of his becoming so benumbed and tired as to
fall off and drown right before Davis' eyes;
but none of these things moved the calloushearted
Davis. He looked stolidly on the
turgid waters, said nothing and continued to
roost high. Finally Robinson said: ' Davis,
I don't know whether we will ever live get
out of this scrape or not, but if we do I am
going to give you one of the all-firedest best
whippings you ever got. If you ain't got
any sense, nor reason nor decency about you,
I'll take it on myself as your senior in years
and your better in manhood, to beat some
" They survived, and the next day along
in the afternoon the water had so far receded
that they could wade out, which thly did,
clambering over logs and drift, and slippery
banks and knolls, until they reached terra
firma. Once on a solid footing Robinson,
though more dead than alive from cold,
hunger, fatigue and loss of sleep, reminded
Davis of the promise. The latter was very
much disposed to ' let by-gones be by-gones'
and tried to make old ' Bit-nose ' forget his
threat with a profusion of promises of refreshments
and friendship ever afterward; but
'Bit-nose' was a man of his word, and waiving
all these things aside he admonished Davis
'to shed his linen,' .at the same time, as he
described it, ' peeling and rolling in" himself.
He thrashed Davis all over the hillside,
' everlastingly walloping the yerth ' with him.
as he afterward said; and everybody believed
that he did it, because Davis never denied it."
Continuing in a reminiscent vein Mr. McCown
said: " The citizens of Milam county
have always been a fairly temperate people,
not given, 1 believe, to over-indulgence; but
men are men the world over, and I reckon the
early settlers of this county liked a ' snort'
of ' mountain dew' or something of the kind
as well as the common run of men in other
places. At any rate the first barrel of whisky
that ever came across Little river created a
wave of excitement that spread to the fatherest
fringe of the settlements, as I have heard
some of the old ones tell, and afforded the
means of one day's solid enjoyment in the
midst of manr-y of genuine hardship and privation.
The liquor was brought overland in a
'carry-all' from old Nashville by a thrifty
Dutchman named Kattenhorn. He made
his first stop in the vicinity of Cameron, at
the big springs just east of that place, that
being, however, before there was any Cameron.
The settlers then were scattered mostly
along the river bottom and on the first tableland
from a mile to a mile and a half east of
the present county seat. As soon as Kattenhorn
got into the settlements with his liquor
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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/m1/520/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .