Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 90 of 368
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LOSS OF A MULE.
flowing from granite fountains, and winding, like net-work, in every
direction through the valleys in the mountains-with the advantages of
good timber, soil, and grass, the pure, elastic, and delicious climate, with
a bracing atmosphere-all unite in presenting rare inducements to the
husbandman. It would only be necessary for our practical farmers to
visit this locality: they could not be otherwise than pleased with it. And
were it not for the fact that the greater part of the most desirable lands
lie east of the 100th meridian of longitude, and within the limits of
that vast territory ceded by our government to the Choctaws, it
would be purchased and settled by our citizens in a very few years. As
it is now situated, far beyond the limits of the settlements, and directly
within the range of the Comanches, it is of no use to the Choctaws
themselves, as they do not venture among the prairie tribes, and do not
even know the character of this part of their own territory. They have
a superabundance of fertile lands bordering upon the Red and Canadian
rivers, near the white settlements of Texas and Arkansas, and they prefer
occupying those to going further out. They have thrown aside their
primitive habits, in a great degree, and abandoned the precarious and
uncertain life of the hunter, for the more quiet avocation of the husbandman.
They look upon the wild Indian in much the same light as we
do, and do not go among them; indeed, there is but little in common
with them and the wild Indians.*
In consequence of losing one of our mules last night, we were detained
later than usual this morning. Two of the Delawares went out
at day-light in search of it, but returned in about two hours, not having
been able to strike the track. We had, up to this time, been so fortunate
as to lose no animals. I was, therefore, particularly desirous that the
lost mule should be recovered, and intimated as much to our interpreter,
John Bushman, who had not joined in the first search. At the
same time, I asked him what he thought were the chances of success.
He replied, in his laconic and non-committal style, "I think maybe so
find um-maybe not." I directed him to make an effort, and not
give over the search as long as there remained the least prospect of
* The lands included within the Choctaw reservation, which are not occupied
or made use of by them, are embraced within the 97th and 100th degrees of
west longitude, and are bounded upon the north and south by the Canadian and
Red rivers, being about one hundred and eighty miles in length by fifty in width,
and constituting an aggregate of about nine thousand square miles of valuable and
productive lands, or one thousand square miles more than the State of Massachusetts.
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Marcy, Randolph Barnes. Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan., book, 1854; Washington, DC. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6105/m1/90/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .