Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 106 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
resort for Indians and traders. hIere they found a
large party of Delawares.
The Delawares accompanying Eldridge also had
mules freighted with goods for traffic with the wild
tribes, and, among other commodities, a goodly
supply of that scourge of our race-whiskydoubtless
intended for the Delawares found here,
as ex)ected by those witli Eldridge, for at tlat
time the wild tribes lid not drink it.
On the arrival of the commissioner, all became
bustle and activity. The liquor was soon tapped
and a merry time inaugurated, but soon after dark
every Indian surrendered his knife and firearms to
the chiefs, by whom they were secreted. Then
loose reign was given to unarme(d warriors, and
throufghout the niglht pandemonium lrev:ailed accomp)anie,
by screams, hideous yells, fisticuffs,
scratchingi., biting, and all nmanner of unarmed pers
)nal combat, causing wakefulness and some degree
of apprehension among thie white men. Bat no
one was killed or seriously injured, and in due
time, sheer exhaustion was followed by quiet
slumber, the red man showing tlhe same maudlin
beastliness when crazed by mean whisky as, alas!
clharacterizes his wliite brother in like condition.
It required two days to recover from the frolic,
and then Eldridge resumed his march into the
wilds beyond. His instructions were to visit as
many of the wild tribes as possible, and the head
chief of the Comanches
to deliver to them the
words of friendship from their Great Father, the
President, and invite them all to attend a grand
council to be held at Bird's Fort, on the north side
of the main or west fork of the Trinity, commencing
on the 10h of August (1843), where
they would meet duly accredited commissioners
and the Iresident in person to treat with them.
and were shot to death by order of Santa Anna, on the
19th of March, 1843. Thomas, the companion of Eldridge
and Bee on this hazardous mission, a worthy
brother of such men as David and James, was a Santa
Fe prisoner in 1841-42, marched in chains twelve hundred
miles, from Santa Fe to the city of Mexico, and was there
imprisoned with his fellows. lie passed the terrible
ordeal narrated in this chapter, as occurring in the
council of Payhayuco
separated from Eldridge and Bee
at the Wichita village, successfully reached Bird's Fort,
with detachments of the wild tribes, there to sicken and
die, as success largely crowned their efforts to bring
ab,ut a general treaty. John F. Torrey, the only survivor
of the four brothers, the personification of enterprise,
built and ran cotton and woolen factories at New
Braunfels. Floods twice swept them and his wealth away.
At a goodly age he lives on his own farm on Comanche
Peak, Hood County. Honored be the name of Torrey
among the children of Texas!
This fort was about twenty-two miles westerly
from where Dallas was subsequently founded.
At a point above the three forks of the Trinity,
probally in Wise or Jack County, the expedition
lhalted for a few (lays and sent out Delaware messengers
to find and invite any tribes found in the
surroundling country to visit tllem. Delegations
from eleven small tribes responded by coming in,
among them being Wacos, Anadarco3, Towdashes,
Caddos, Keecbis, Tehuacanos, Delawares, Bedais,
Boluxies, Ionies, and one or two others, constituting
a large assemblage, the deliberations of which
were duly opened by thle solemnities of embracing,
smoking, and a wordy intercliange of civilities.
Cap,t. Eldridge alpeared in full uniform, and Bee *
lerformned the duties of secretary. Tlhe council
olened by an address from the I)elaware interpreters,
an(l the whole day was consumed in a series
of (lialogues between them and the wild chiefs,
Capt. Ellridge getting no opportunity to speak,
and wlhen desiring to do so was told by the l)elawares
that it was not yet time, as they liad not
talked enough to the wild men. So, at night, the
council adjourned till next (lay when Eldridge delivered
his talk, whicli was interpreted to the different
tribes by the Delawares. Finally Eldridge
said: "Tell them I am the mouth-piece of the
Presi(lent, and speak his words." Two of the Ielawares
interpreted the sentence, but Jim Shaw refused,
saying it was a lie. The other two conveyed
the language to all. The result was satisfactory,
an(l the tribes present all agreed to attend the
council at Bird's Fort. Returning to his tent,
Capt. Eldridge (leman(ed of Shaw, who was the
leader and more intelligent of the Delawares, the
meaning of his strange conduct, to which lie replied
that thle three )Delawares consi(lered themselves the
commisnsioners, Eldlridge being along only to write
down whatever was clone. IIe also charged that
Eldridge had tleir commission, attested by seals
* Hamilton P. Bee is a native of Charleston, South Carolina,
favorably and intimately known to the writer for
half a century as an honor to his country in all that constitutes
a true and patriotic citizen
a son of the lion.
Barnard E. Bee, who early tendered his sword and services
to struggling Texas, and a brother of Gen. Barnard
E. Bee, who fell at Manassas, the first General to yield
his life to the Confederate cause. HIamilton P. Bee was
Secretary to the United States and Texas Boundary Commission,
1839-40; Secretary of the first State Senate in
1846; a gallant soldier in the Mexican war; eight years a
member of the Legislature from the Rio Grande, and
Speaker of the House in 1855-56; a Brigadier-General in
the Confederate army, losing a handsome estate by the
war, and later served as Commissioner of Insurance,
Statistics and IIstory of the State of Texas.
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/106/: accessed February 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .