Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 280 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
hearts as well as upon the pages of the history
the country she loved so well.
Her parents were John M. and Mary (Garne
Ashby, natives of Kentucky. She was born
Shelby County, Ky., March 12th, 1811, and v
the oldest of twelve children. She was united
marriage to Judge Bartlett D. McClure in KE
tucky in 1828. Three children were born of tl
union: Ales, in 1829, John, in 1833, and Joel,
1839, all now deceased.
Joel was a soldier in Terry's Rangers during t
war between the States, and in the charge led 1
Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston at Shiloh was shot
the groin, a wound from the effects of which he die
October 23d, 1870, at the old family residence.
In 1831 the Ashby family and Judge and Mr
McClure emigrated to Texas. At New Orleanm
March 12th of that year, the party took passage o
a ship bound for Matagorda Bay and landed upo
Texas soil the first of May following. The vess<
was caught in a storm and the pilot losing his beal
ings steered into the wrong pass, whereupon the shi]
struck repeatedly upon a bar with such violence tha
all aboard expected every moment to be engulfEc
in the raging sea, but the ship was strong and kepl
afloat until morning, when the passengers and crev
took to the small boats and effected a landing on
the bar. Here they pitched camp and waited four
days, when, the vessel still sticking fast, it was decided
to abandon her to her fate and Judge McClure
and a few companions, at the request of the
rest, made their way to the mainland and went on
to Goliad to get permission for the party to land,
from the Mexican commander, who, according to
the process of the tedious laws in vogue, had to
send a courier to the seat of government before he
could issue them a permit to enter and remain in
the country. They were gone five days on this
mission. The whole party finally landed in boats
about fifteen miles below the present town of Rockport,
but had to camp another week on the beach
for Mexican carts to be brought from Goliad.
They were delayed again at Goliad waiting for oxteams
from Gonzales, as the Mexican carters would
go no farther than the Guadalupe river. The two
families separated and Mr. and Mrs. Ashby settled
in Lavaca County, on Lavaca river, five miles from
Halletsville, Mrs. Ashby dying in that county in
1835, and her husband in Matagorda County,
October 15th, 1839.
Judge and Mrs. McClure established themselves
on Peach creek near Gonzales, in De Witt's colony,
where the subject of this memoir lived almost
continuously during the after years of her life.
There were only twenty-five families in Gonof
zales when they first visited that place. At
this time (1831), the Comanches, Lipans and Ton:tt)
cahuas were friendly, but the Waco Indians were
in hostile and giving the settlers much trouble. In
vas September, the people of Gonzales gave a dinner
in to about one hundred Comanches. The meal was
partly prepared by the ladies of the place. Knowhis
ing the treacherous nature of the red-skins, a guard
in of fifteen well armed men was quietly appointed.
These kept on the qui vive and neither ate nor
he drank while the Indians regaled themselves. No
by disturbance occurred and the Indians, having finin
ished their repast, mounted their horses and
ed departed with mutual expressions of good will.
These friendly relations were terminated a year
s. later, however, as the result of the action of a
s, party of French traders from New Orleans, who
an passed through the country. These traders gave
n poisoned bread to the Comanches, and the latter
el declared war against all whites.
For many years thereafter the country was subp
ject to raids and depredations. In all those stirt
ring times the subject of this memoir displayed a
1 heroism as bright as that recorded upon the most
t inspiring pages of history, and a tenderness ennor
bling to her sex. On more than one occasion her
intrepidity saved the homestead from destruction.
At others she helped to prepare rations for hastily
organized expeditions and spoke brave and cheering
words to the country's defenders. The wounded
could always rely upon careful nursing at her hands
and the houseless and indigent upon receiving shelter
and succor. Ever womanly and true, her
virtues won for her the lasting love and veneration
of the people far and wide andt she is now affectionately
remembered by all old Texians.
In August, 1838,, while riding across the prairies
with her husband, they came across twenty-seven
Comanche warriors. By a rapid movement the
Indians cut them off from the general ford on
Boggy Branch, and they deflected toward Big
Elms, another crossing place two miles distant.
In the mad race that followed she became
separated from her husband. A portion of
the band observing this fact, uttered a shout
of triumph and made a desperate effort to overtake
her. She realized that she must put the
creek between her and her pursuers and accordingly
turned shortly to the right and rode at break-neck
speed straight for the stream. As she reached it
she fastened the reins in her horse's mane, wrapped
her arms around his neck, buried her spurs in his
quivering flank and the animal, with a magnificent
exertion of strength, vaulted into the air and landed
with his fore feet on the other side, his hind feet
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/280/: accessed March 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .