Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 113 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
Every conceivable effort was made to track the
Indians, and all proved unavailing. They were
loth to return to Austin to inform the grief-stricken
mother her loved ones were indeed the prisoners of
savages, and would be subject to all the brutal
cruelties and outrages of a captivity a thousand
times more terrible than the pangs of death. The
scene which ensued, when the dread news reached
Mrs. Simpson's ears, can not be painted with pen
or pencil. The wail of agony and despair rent the
air, and tears of sympathy were rung from frontiersmen
who never quailed when danger came in
its most fearful form. The pursuing party was
small. All the names have not been ascertained.
Judge Joe Lee, Columbus Browning and Thomas
Wooldridge, were among them."
Pursuit under the then condition of the almost
defenseless people of Austin was impossible. No
further tidings of the lost children were had for a
year or more. About that time Thomas Simpson
was ransomed by a trader at Taos, New Mexico.
He was finally returned to his mother, and then the
fate of Emma became manifest. Thomas said
" his sister fought the Indians all the time. They
carried her by force-dragged her frequently;
tore her clothing and handled her roughly.
Thomas was led by two Indians. He offered no
resistance, knowing he would be killed if he
" When the Indians discovered they were followed
they doubled, coming back rather in the
direction of Austin. They made a short halt not
far from Hon. John Hancock's place. Thomas
begged his sister not to resist, and told her such a
course would cause her to be put to death."
The Indians then divided for a short time, the
sister in the charge of one and the brother of the
other couple. When they reunited on Shoal creek,
about six miles from Austin, Thomas saw " his
sister's scalp dangling from one's belt. No one
will ever know the details of the bloody deed.
Indeed, a knowledge of Indian customs justifies
the belief that the sacrifice of an innocent life
involved incidents of a more revolting character
than mere murder. In the course of time the
bones of the unfortunate girl were found near the
place where Mr. George W. Davis erected his
residence, and to that extent corroborated the
account of Thomas Simpson. It is no difficult
matter to conceive what were the impressions
produced upon parents then living in Austin by
this event. It is easy to imagine how vivid the
conviction must have been that their sons and
daughters might become the victims of similar misfortunes,
suffering and outrages."
In the language of Col. Ford: " Let the reader
extend the idea, and include the whole frontier of
Texas in the scope, extending, as it did, from Red
river to the Rio Grande, in a sinuous line upon the
outer tiers of settlements, and including a large
extent of the Gulf coast. Let him remember that
the country was then so sparsely populated it was
quite all frontier, and open to the incursions of
the merciless tribes who made war upon women
and children, and flourished the tomahawk and the
scalping-knife in the bedrooms and the boudoirs,
as well as in the forests and upon the bosoms of
the prairies. When he shall have done this he can
form a proximate conception of the privations and
perils endured by the pioneers who reclaimed Texas
from the dominion of the Indian and made it the
abode of civilized men."
History of Castro's Colony.
With the declaration of Texian independence,
March 2d, 1836, all prior colonial grants and contracts
with Mexico or the State of Coahuila and
Texas ceased. Really and practically they ceased
on the 13th of November, 1835, by a decree of the
first revolutionary assembly, known as the consulta.
tion, which, as a preventive measure against frauds
and villainy, wisely and honestly closed all land
office business until a permanent government could
be organized. Hence, as a historical fact, the
colonial contracts of Stephen F. Austin, Austin
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, ; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/113/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .