Letters from an Early Settler of Texas by William B. Dewees,
compiled by C. Cardelle
Most of the material relates to the area of Red and
Brazos rivers. In September 1822, a 1000-plus party of Camanche (sp)
came to the Brazos River and brought dried buffalo meat, deerskins, and
buffalo robes to trade for beads, sugar, etc. They seemed to have the
Mexicans under their control because they made the Mexicans stand back
whenever the Americans wanted to trade (p. 36).
Comanche Bondage: Beales's Settlement and Sarah Ann Horn's
Narrative, by Carl Coke Rister
The book presents first a summarized history of the
Dr. John C. Beale's Dolores Colony on Las Moras Creek confluence with
the Rio Grande, then the narrative of the captivity of Mrs. Horn and her
children by a Camanche (sp) group. This group attacked the members of
the colony on April 14, 1830, while they were on their way to the Texas
coast with the intention of returning home. The colony lasted one year
and was a deep disillusionment. In fact, the Dolores colony had been
attacked before by the Camanche (sp). Mrs. Horn indicates that the
attack was one of the main determinants of their final decision to leave
the area. The captivity narrative includes interesting cultural
information on Comanche daily practices, as well as practices relating
to medicine, childbirth, menses, and the chores of women (pp.188-198).
Most of the environmental information confirms the reports of William
Kenedy (see below). Mrs. Horn, however, states that one of the reasons
their crops failed was the fact that in many places the land around La
Moras Creek was covered with leaching salts (p.119).
Texas, by William Kenedy
Settlement of Villa de Dolores on the Rio Grande at
Las Moras Creek. Flora noted include live oak, white oak, elm on Las
Moras Creek. Stream dried up in hot seasons. Villa de Dolores on the
left bank of stream. Shawnee hunted beaver for pelts on the Rio Grande.
Beaver also on Las Moras & lots of fish. Colonizers left June 17,
1833. No other natives mentioned.
The Evolution of A State or Recollections of Old Texas Days, by
Important information on Native Americans, especially
Comanche. Not fully applicable to Amistad. Confirms leadership of Lipan
'chief' Castro in 1838. Mentions his son Juan Castro. Use of sumac
leaves for mixing with tobacco leaves for smoking is described (p.
Diary of Gustav Dressel, Texas History Center Film
In general, not applicable to Amistad NRA, but
discusses Cushadees, Bidais, Caddas, Alabamas and Lippans (sp) trading
skins and game for lead, powder, cotton, and blankets. Dressel had
partnership in a shop which sold cotton and beads to Natives, often in
exchange for skins and medicinal herds such as sassafras and
sarsaparilla (frames 30-31). Cushatees (sp) hunting bear on the Brazos
during these years.
Personal Narrative of Explorations and Incidents, by John Russell
Bartlett (Boundary Commission)
Lipan stated to range from Zacatecas to the Colorado.
They remain in the Bolson de Mapimi in winter. He saw "Indian sign" near
the Pecos but no natives.
Eagle Pass, Life on the Isthmus v. III, by Cora Montgomery
General and mostly pedestrian information about life
at Fort Duncan in the 1850s. Description of physical appearance and
some activities of Seminole chief Wild Cat. Wild Cat was accompanied by
his cousin Crazy Bear and the interpreter Gopher John, a full-blooded
black individual. The author states that Wild Cat traveled the border
area for over six months to convince other Native groups to cease
hostilities against settlers (pp. 73-76). The author commented that Wild
Cat "might be converted into a permanent and powerful safeguard if the
government would assign his band a home and rations" (p. 119). She also
stated that "[T]he Indians have no longer homes or families in the wide
band of unsettled country that borders the whole length of the navigable
current of the Rio Bravo down to its mouth" (p. 141). Later she
commented that the Mexican authorities had signed a formal treaty with
the Seminole. She stated: "A beautiful location about thirty miles above
Eagle Pass was assigned to this people (Seminole) after converting them
one and all into full and entire citizens of the 'golden republic' by a
quick, simple and satisfactory process of naturalization rather
peculiar to Mexico" (p.145). The Seminole were aided by some Lipan.
A Journey Through Texas, by Frederick Law Olmstead
Description of Fort Inge on the Leona. Lipan,
Tonkawa, and Mescalero camp at the head of the Leona. About 100 people
recently brought there by the Indian agent (p. 288-290). Lipan leaders
were Castro and Chiquito. Olmstead refers to an official estimate of
20,000 natives, but thinks only about 12,000 actually present. In July
1856 there were 1,540 people of various groups. Traveled to San Fernando
(Mex). Saw Mescalero, Lipan, Tonkawa, and Comanche. Saw no Native
Americans west of San Fernando. States that the mouth of the Pecos was
still unexplored. Recent campaigns against Lipan who had retreated
there (e.g., the Pecos) had almost exterminated them (p. 451-2).
Notes Taken During the Expedition by Capt. R. B. Marcy
Most of Marcy's notes do not apply to the Amistad NRA
Project. However, his information stresses that many groups traveled
through the Cross Timbers and Red River areas to trade. Reference to a
party of Seminole who had traveled 150 miles to the Texas 'side' to buy
whiskey (p. 70-71). Most of the information provided refers to the
Choctaw and the Chickasaw on the reservation.
Wanderings in the Southwest in 1855, by J. D. B. Stillman
Jacob Davis Babcock Stillman was a New York physician
who visited Texas in 1855 and served as a physician at Fort Clark. His
report includes good environmental information for the areas north and
west of San Antonio. Lipan attacked a settler on the Leona June 30, 1855
(p. 113). Stillman traveled frequently through the areas of Las Moras
and San Felippe (sp) Creeks. Recorded Texas quail, mullet, and
pricklypear on the San Felipe Creek (p. 123). Stated that the mustang
grape grew along all the streams and attained a very large size (p.
123). Recorded outlaw parties of men hunting Native Americans (p.100).
Traveled to the Pecos and to Beaver Lake, a natural lake on the Devil's
River, in extreme Val Verde Co. Recorded prong-horned antelope near
Live Oak Creek 15 miles southward of the Pecos (p. 135). Camanches (sp)
and Apaches in the area of Live Oak Creek and the Pecos in October 1855.
Good descriptions of the flora (pp. 138-139). Stillman states that
there were no buffalo in the area anymore. The Natives had to go hunt
buffalo further to the north. Participated in a battle which took place
near the headwaters of Live Oak Creek. The Natives were well mounted and
had shields, bows and arrows, lances and a few guns. The battle took
place near hill that runs parallel to the creek. On the highest part of
the hill Stillman reported the presence of 'Indian graves' (p. 159-160).
The description of the battle is very interesting because of the tactics
of the attackers. After the battle there were items of apparel and arrow
points strewn over the ground. Stillman states that the troops followed
the tracks of the attackers and decided they were Apache.
On the border with Mackenzie, by Capt. R. G. Carter
Most of the material not applicable to Amistad NRA.
Detailed information on military campaigns against the Comanche, Kiowa,
and Kiowa-Apache, but particularly against the Quahada on the Llano
Estacado and at Adobe Walls. The book includes anecdotal and incidental
information about the army and their families; not much is said about
Native groups. Chapter XVI includes information about General
Mackenzie's raid into Mexico. The raid was led from Ft. Clark but
included troops from several frontier forts (400 men). The military
attacked Native villages near the Santa Rosa Mountains, Mexico. These
villages included Kickapoo, Lipan, Potawatami and Mescalero (p. 431).
The raid aimed at stopping the attacks these groups were making on Texas
settlers. Mackenzie was particularly interested in destroying the home
base of the Kickapoo and the Apache (p. 433). The US troops were aided
by the Seminole (p. 437). It is not known how many Natives were killed.
The author states that apart from the Kickapoo and Lipan villages they
had raided there was another Mescalero village at Zaragoza, Mexico (p.
449). The raid took place on May 19, 1873 (p. 463, see also present
reportFort Clark entry).