Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 36 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
most inclement winters known to the inhabitants flooding
the coast prairies and causing great discomfort
to the strangers, who, however, feasted
abundantly on wild game, fish and water fowl.
On the 20th Dr. Beales, his servant, Marcelino,
and Mr. Power started to Goliad to see the Alcalde,
Don Miguel Aldrete, and procure teams for transportation,
the roads being so flooded that, although
the distance was only about forty miles, they did
not arrive till the 22d. Returning with animals to
draw their vehicles, they arrived at Copano late on
the 31st of December, having halted, both in going
and returning, at the Irish settlement of Power's
and Hewetson's infant colony, at the old mission
of Refugio. (This colony had for empresarios Mr.
James Power and Dr. James Hewetson, both
well known in the subsequent history of that sorely
The party left Copano on the 3d of January,
1834, and after numerous vexations and minor
accidents, arrived at Goliad, crossed and encamped
on the east bank of the San Antonio river on the
16th, having thus left behind them the level and
flooded coast lands. Dr. Beales notes that, while
at Goliad, " some of the foreigners in the town,
the lowest class of the Americans, behaved exceedingly
ill, endeavoring, by all means in their
power, to seduce my families away." But only
one man left, and he secured his old Majordomo
(overseer or manager), John Quinn, and a
Mexican with his wife and four children, to
accompany the party. He also notes that on
Sunday (19th) a Carancahua Indian child was
baptized by the priest in Goliad, for which the
collector's wife, Senora Cosio, stood godmother.
On the 20th of January, with freshly purchased
oxen, they left for San Antonio and, after much
trouble and cold weather, arrived there on the 6th
of February. A few miles below that place (a
fact stated by Mrs. Horn, but not found in Beales'
diary) they found Mr. Smith, a stranger from the
United States, lying by the roadside, terribly
wounded, and with him a dead Mexican, while two
others of his Mexican escort had escaped severely
wounded. They had had a desperate fight with a
small party of Indians who had left Mr. Smith as
dead. Dr. Beales, both as physician and good
Samaritan, gave him every possible attention
and conveyed him to San Antonio, where he
lingered for a time and died after the colonists
left that place. While there a young Gelman
couple in the party were married, but their names
are not given.
On the 18th of February, with fifteen carts and
wagons, the colonists left San Antonio for the
Rio Grande. On the 28th they crossed the Nueces
and for the first time entered the lands designated
as Beales' Colony. Mr. Little carved upon a
large tree on the west bank -" Los Primeros
colonos de la Villa de Dolores pasaron el 28 de
Febrero, 1834," which being rendered into English
is: "The first colonists of the village of
Dolores passed here on the 28th of February,
1834," many of them, alas, never to pass again.
On the 2d of March Mr. Egerton went forward
to Presidio de Rio Grande to examine the route,
and returned at midnight with the information that
the best route was to cross the river at that point,
travel up on the west side and recross to the proposed
locality of Dolores, on the Las Moras creek,
which is below the present town of Del Rio and ten
or twelve miles from the northeast side of the Rio
Grande. They crossed the river on the 5th and on
the 6th entered the Presidio, about five miles from
it. Slowly moving up on the west side, by a somewhat
circuitous route and crossing a little river
called by Dr. Beales " Rio Escondido," the
same sometimes called Rio Chico, or Little river,
which enters the Rio Grande a few miles below
Eagle Pass, they recrossed to the east side of the
Rio Grande on the 12th 'and were again on the
colony lands. Here they fell in with five Shawnee
Indian trappers, two of whom spoke English and
were not only very friendly, but became of service
for some time in killing game. Other Shawnee
trappers frequently visited them. Here Beales left
a portion of the freight, guarded by Addicks and
two Mexicans, and on the 14th traveled up the
country about fifteen miles to a creek called " El
Sancillo," or " El Sanz." On the 16th of March,
a few miles above the latter stream, they arrived at
the site of the proposed village of Dolores, on the
Las Moras creek, as before stated said to be ten or
twelve miles from the Rio Grande. The name
"Dolores" was doubtless bestowed by Doctor
Beales in honor of his absent wife.
Preparations were at once undertaken to form
tents, huts and cabins, by cleaning out a thicket
and building a brush wall around it as a fortification
against the wild Indians who then, as for generations
before and for fifty years afterwards, were
a terror to the Mexican population on that frontier.
On the 30th, Dr. Beales was unexpectedly compelled
to go to Matamoras, three or four hundred
miles, to cash his drafts, having failed to do so in
Monclova. It was a grave disappointment, as
money was essential to meet the wants of the people.
Beyond this date his notes are inaccessible
and subsequent events are gleaned dimly from other
sources. It must suffice to say that without irri
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/36/?rotate=90: accessed June 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .