Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 145 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
fant sons who fell in a struggle against a monster
tyrant, contending for those sacred principles which
are dear to every American bosom."
2. "The memory of Cols. Travis and Bonham:
Martyrs in the cause of Texian liberty. We are
proud to say that this spot of earth gave them
birth; and that here they imbibed those principles
in the maintenance of which they so gloriously
3. By James Dorn: "James Butler Bonham,
who perished in the Alamo
a noble son of Carolina.
May her sons ever contend for that soil on
which he so nobly fought and died."
Throughout the State similar meetings were held,
and hundreds of Carolina volunteers hastened
to Texas, to save the land for which Travis,
Bonham, Bowie, Martin, Crockett and their comrades
died. Bowie, by name, shared in the eulogies
pronounced, as did also Crockett. Each name is
dear to Texas; but no name in the splendor of
manhood and chivalrous bearing can ever eclipse
that of James Butler Bonham.
Benjamin R. Milam.
The career of this chivalrous martyr to Texian
liberty possesses romantic interest from its inception
to its close.
Born in Kentucky about 1790, of good stock and
reared in that school of republican simplicity and
unbending integrity so characteristic of a large element
of the people of that (then) district in old
Virginia, he entered upon man's estate, fortified by
sound principles of right and never departed from
them. He inherited the love of enterprise and
adventure, and among such a people, in passing
from childhood to manhood, this inheritance grew
into a passion.
In early manhood he was a daring soldier in the
"war of 1812," and won both the admiration and
affection of his comrades. In 1815 he and John
Samuel, of Frankfort, Kentucky, took a large shipment
of flour to New Orleans, but finding a dull
market, he and two others chartered a schooner and
sailed with the flour for Maricaibo.
On the voyage the yellow fever appeared in its
most malignant form, carrying off the captain and
nearly all the crew. A terrific storm disabled the
vessel. The adventure proved a total loss. The
survivors were finally conveyed to St. Johns, N. B.,
and thence to New York. Milam ultimately reached
his Kentucky home.
We next find him, with a few followers, in 1818,
on the head waters of the Colorado, trading with
the wild Comanches. It was there that he first
met David G. Burnet, afterwards the first President
of Texas, then among those wild men of the
plains, as has been elsewhere shown, successfully
striving to overcome the threatened inroads of
pulmonary consumption. They slept on the same
blanket among savages, few of whom had ever seen
an American. The closest ties of friendship speedidly
united them in the warmest esteem, never
to be severed, except in death. It was a beautiful
affection between two noble men, whose souls,
dedicated to liberty and virtue, were incapable of
treachery or dishonor. They separated to meet
again as citizens of Texas.
Returning to New Orleans in 1819, Milam sailed
for Galveston Island and there joined Long's expedition
for Mexico, in aid of the patriots of that
country. Milam, however, sailed down the Mexican
coast with General Felix Trespalacios, and a
small party, effecting a landing and union with
native patriot forces, while Long marched upon La
Bahia (now Goliad), Texas, and took the place, but
in a few days surrendered himself and fifty-one followers
to a Spanish royalist force. They were
marched as prisoners to Monterey, whence Long
was conveyed to the city of Mexico. When he
reached there the revolution, by the apostasy of
Iturbide from the royalist cause, had triumphed.
Long was then hailed as a friend. Trespalacios,
Milam, Col. Christy and John Austin (the two
latter having sailed with them from Galveston),
arrived in the capital about the same time. Everything,
to them, wore a roseate hue and they were
the recipients of every courtesy. It was soon determined
by the new government to send Trespalacios
as Governor of the distant province of
Texas. That personage, however, became jealous
of the influence of Long and basely procured his
assassination. This enraged Milam, Christy and
Austin, who had fought for Mexican liberty in several
battles. They left the capital in advance of
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/145/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .