Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 111 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
refused to treat with any one but the President;
but finally yielded, after understanding the powers
of the commissioners.
A line of demarcation was agreed upon between
the whites and Indians, along which, at proper intervals,
trading houses were to be established.
Three points for such houses were selected, which
indicate the general line chosen, viz.: one at the
junction of the West and Clear Forks of the Trinitv;
one at the Comanche Peak; and one at the
old San Saba Mission.
From undoubted data this narrative has been prepared,
the first ever published of this most thrilling
succession of events in our Indian history. It
reflects the highest credit on the three courageous
young men who assumed and triumphed over its
hazards, though sadly followed by the death of the
heroic and much loved Thomas Torrey.
Scenes on Red River
Murder of Mrs. Hunter, Daughter
From the first settlements along and near Red
river in the counties of Fannin and Grayson, covering
the years from 1837 to 1843, the few and
scattered inhabitants were at no time free from the
sneaking savages, who in small parties, often clandestinely
entered the vicinity of one or more of
the new settlers and lay in wait till opportunity
should offer for their murderous assaults under circumstances
promising them greater or less immunity
from danger to themselves. The number of
such inroads during those years was considerable,
and relatively many lives were lost, besides quite
a number of women and children being carried into
captivity. It must seem incredible to those who
have ever lived in peace and security in old communities,
that men, in no sense compelled to
abandon such localities on account of crowded
population, should, with their wives and children,
thrust themselves forward entirely beyond the arm
of governmental protection, or even the aid of their
own countrymen. To such persons thousands of
the hazards thus voluntarily assumed must appear
as the offspring of inexcusable temerity. The idea
of voluntarily subjecting women and helpless children
to the constant hazard of such fiendish horrors,
is appalling to those who are born, live and die in
the older States of our country. All this seems
unreasonable to those around the peaceful firesides
of home, in the midst of population, comfort,
schools, churches, law and government. But the
political philosopher as well as the enlightened student
of American history, meets these tender sensibilities
of the human heart with the stubborn and
all-pervading fact, that had it not been for this
trait in the Anglo-Saxon character, this lofty defiance
of danger and love of adventure, the American
Union to-day would scarcely have passed the
Ohio in its march towards the West. The truth of
this opinion, in a large degree, if not in its entirety,
is attested by the blood of the slain in ten thousand
places west and southwest of the Alleghanies, and
by the heroism, the anguish, the tears and the
prayers of more than ten thousand mothers ascending
to the throne of God pleading for their children
"because they were not." It is a truth the
quintessence of which should ever comfort every
American freeman as one of the great testimonials
by which he enjoys life and liberty, home and happiness
in much the larger portion of this Republic
of Republics, reaching from the Eastern to the
Western ocean, entirely across the New World. Of
all men on earth such a freeman should be a good
citizen, jealous of his rights, as sacred boons, conferred
that he and his fellows might stand forth as
the unfaltering friends of good government
and of liberty, regulated by wise and just
As samples of the horrors referred to, the subjoined
narrative of one of the lesser demonisms
pertaining to our pioneer settlements is given.
In the year 1840, Dr. Hunter and family located
in the valley of Red river, about eight miles east
or below the trading house or village of Old Warren
and several miles from any other habitation. The
family consisted of the parents, a son nearly
grown, three daughters, aged about eighteen,
twelve and ten, and a negro woman. They soon
erected cabins, and the elder daughter married Mr.
William Lankford of Warren, and settled at a new
place. The family were pleased with the surround
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/111/: accessed May 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .