East Texas Family Records, Volume 6, Number 3, Fall 1982 Page: 3
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EAST TEXAS FAILY RECORDS VOL. 6. NO. 3. FALL 1982
HOUSTON'S pet Indians.9 Some of the papers were addressed to
Chief BOWLES and other Indian chiefs,
And then came the CORDOVA uprising. promising them their lands if they
In August, 1838, it was learned that would join the Mexicans in an uprising.
six hundred Mexicans and Indians under Those letters spelled the doom of the
the command of Vincente CORDOVA and Texas Cherokees. When news of the
Nathaniel NORRIS were encamped on the captured letters spread through Texas,
Angelina River. These actions seemed tempers flared and fears of Indian upto
an armed rebellion against the con- risings were rampant.
stituted authorities. Thomas Jefferson
RUSK of Nacogdoches, Major General of In April of 1839, President LAMAR
the Texas militia, immediately enlisted sent Major B. C. WALTERS with a company
a company of about 700 volunteers to of mounted volunteers to establish a
quell the uprising. General RUSK went fort at the Neches Saline, within the
to the village of BOWLES but CORDOVA limits of the territory alloted to the
and his followers had gone to the Kicka- Cherokees and allied tribes by the unpoo
village in what is now northeastern ratified treaty of Feb. 1836. The
Anderson County. RUSK'S army was then Indian chiefs who met him there warned
disbanded. him not to build a fort on Indian land.
WALTERS, thereupon, prudently withdrew
On October 5, 1838, eighteen members to the other side of the Neches River,
of the Killough family, including began work on a fort and waited instrucmarried
sons and daughters and their tions from the government. The fort was
children, who had come from Alabama to build in haste; it was probably small
Texas in 1837, were brutally murdered and inadequate for defense against a
near the settlement of Larissa, in pre- determined attack by the Indians. The
sent Cherokee County. of course, since place was named Fort SALINE and was
this occurred inside the Cherokee nation abandoned sometime in May, 1839. The
BOWLES and his people were blamed for exact location of Fort SALINE has not
it. 10 This incident so inflamed the been determined but it probably was in
Texans toward the Indians that little the area between HIGHSON and FLAT CREEKS
concern was shown for the Cherokee and near the State Highway 155 bridge
rights in Texas. This time RUSK with over the Neches River.11
250 men attacked the KICKAPOO village
killing eleven men while losing only 35 After abandoning Fort SALINE, Major
horses but no Texans. WALTERS and his troops moved down to the
abandoned Kickapoo village which had
In May, 1839, Manuel FLORES, the been the scene of a battle between the
Mexican Indian agent at Matamoros, Texans and CORDOVA'S Indians on Oct. 16,
started for Texas with a large pack 1838, a few days after the KILLOUGH
train consisting of about 30 men and 150 Massacre, and established a fort there.
horses and mules, most of them loaded
with supplies, ammunition and arms. The action of Chief BOWLES in reFLORES
had been ordered to deliver im- fusing to let Major WALTERS occupy the
portant papers to CORDOVA. Among the Neches Saline completely outraged Premen
were some renegade Cherokees from sident LAMAR. He immediately wrote
BOWLES'S nation. A group of about 20 Chief BOWLES a hot letter advising him
Texans followed the Mexicans and finally that "The Cherokee will never be percaught
up with them on a bluff over- mitted to establish a permanent and inlooking
the San Gabriel River. In an dependent jurisdiction within the inexchange
of gunfire, FLORES was killed habited limits of Texas." The letter
and his men ran away. Papers of great was sent tocBOWLES by Indian Agent
importance were found on his body and Martin LACY who was accompanied by Dr.
they were quickly carried to President W. C. JOWERS, John H. REAGAN and a halfLAMAR
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East Texas Genealogical Society. East Texas Family Records, Volume 6, Number 3, Fall 1982, periodical, Autumn 1982; Tyler, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth38048/m1/5/: accessed May 27, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting East Texas Genealogical Society.