Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 25 of 894



ity. Harrisburg, grown to be quite a village,
was the seat of justice, and from March 22d
to April 13th, 1836, it was the seat of government,
but abandoned on the approach of the Mexican
army, by which it was burned. The first Lone
Star flag had been improvised there in March by
Mrs. Dobson and other ladies
that is, the first
in Texas, for that by Miss Troutman, of Georgia,
had been made and presented to the gallant Capt.
(afterwards Colonel) William Ward two or three
months earlier. The ladies also, says Mrs. Briscoe,
cut up all their flannel apparel to make cartridges,
following the example of Mother Bailey, in Groton,
Connecticut, in the war of 1812.
In August, 1836, the brothers A. C. and John K.
Allen laid out the town of Houston. The First Congress
of the Republic, at Columbia, on the 15th of
December, 1836, selected the new town as the seat
of government, to continue until the session of 1840.
The government was removed there prior to May
st, 1837. Soon afterwards the county seat was
moved from Harrisburg to Houston, and the latter,
under such impulsion, grew rapidly. This was
one of those enterprising movements at variance
with natural advantages, for all know that Harrisburg,
in facilities for navigation, was greatly superior
to Houston, and, as a town site otherwise, fully
as desirable. But notwithstanding all these, pluck
and enterprise have made Houston a splendid city.
The first sail vessel to reach Houston was the
schooner Rolla, on the 21st of April, 1837, four
days in making the trip of 10 or 12 miles by water
from Harrisburg. That night the first anniversary
of San Jacinto was celebrated by a ball, which was
opened by President Houston and Mrs. Mosely
Baker, Francis R. Lubbock and Miss Mary J. Harris
(now Mrs. Briscoe), Jacob W. Cruger and Mrs.
Lubbock and Mr. and Mrs. Welchmeyer.
The first marriage license signed under the laws
of the Republic, July 22, 1837, by DeWitt C. Harris,
county clerk, was to Hugh McCrory and Mary
Smith, and the service was performed next day by
the Rev. H. Matthews, of the Methodist church.
Mr. McCrory died in a few months, and in 1840 the
widow married Dr. Anson Jones, afterwards the
last President of Texas. She still lives in Houston
and recently followed to the grave her popular and
talented son, Judge C. Anson Jones.
At the first District Court held in Houston, Hon.
Benjamin C. Franklin presiding, a man was found
guilty of theft, required to restore the stolen money
and notes and to receive thirty-nine lashes on his
bare back, all of which being accomplished, it is
supposed the victim migrated to other parts.
Thieves, in those days, were not tolerated by foolish
quibbles or qualms of conscience. There were no
prisons and the lash was regarded as the only available
In 1834 the Harris brothers brought out a small
steamboat called the Cayuga, but the first steamer
to reach Houston was the Laura, Capt. Thomas
Grayson. On the first Monday in January, 1838,
Dr. Francis Moore, Jr., long editor of the Telegraph
and afterwards State geologist, was elected
the first mayor of Houston. He and his partner,
Jacob W. Cruger, early in 1837, established the
first newspaper, by removing the Telegraph from
Columbia. On the 21st of May, 1838, a grand ball
was given by the Jockey Club, in Houston. "The
ladies' tickets," says Mrs. Briscoe, " were printed
on white satin, and I had the pleasure of dancing
successively, with Generals Sam Houston, Albert
Sidney Johnston and Sidney Sherman."
I have condensed from the interesting narrative
a portion of its contents, omitting much of interest,
the object being to portray the outlines of how the
early coast settlements passed from infancy to selfsustaining
maturity. Locally, the labors of this
early Texas girl
now ranking among the mothers
of the land
are of great value.

Fight of the Bowies with the Indians on the San Saba in 1831.

In 1832 Rezin P. Bowie furnished a Philadelphia
paper with the following narrative. It has been
published in several books since. Col. James
Bowie made a report to the Mexican Governor at
San Antonio, not so fall but in accord with this
report. It gives an account of one of the most
extraordinary events in the pioneer history of

"On the 2d of November, 1831, we left the
town of San Antonio de Bexar for the silver mines
on the San Saba river; the party consisting of the
following named persons: Rezin P. Bowie, James
Bowie, David Buchanan, Robert Armstrong, Jesse
Wallace, Matthew Doyle, Cephas D. Hamnm, James
Coryell, Thomas McCaslin, Gonzales and Charles,
servant boys. Nothing particular occurred until

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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. ( accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; .