The Dairy of Clinton Harrison Moore

Typed and Edited by:
Larry and Kathryn Priest
15839 Cedar Bay Drive
Bullard, Texas 75757
(903) 825-7281
Home page of Larry and Kathryn McAda Priest

This diary was discovered while doing genealogy research on our families. It is transcribed from a hand written copy presented to Larry Priest by his cousin Martha Wren Durham Michel of Houston, Texas. It was first probably printed in 1904 in the Prescott, Arkansas newspaper and then again at a latter date which is unknown. Clinton H. Moore is the Great-Grandfather of Martha Wren Durham Michel.

Note: Any words in { } are those of Larry and Kathryn Priest. These were added for clarity. Any words in ( ) already existed when we received the article.

The following history of the travels of Clinton H. Moore has been submitted to us by his son for publication. It is written by Mr. Moore in rather diary form, and is quiet lengthy. We believe it will be read with interest on account of its antiquity rather than its literary merit, yet for one in that day with the meager education of the early times it is exceedingly creditable.

Clinton Harrison Moore moved permanently to Arkansas in 1875. He married Mary Ann Robinson on October 23, 1845. He was the brother of A. Carrol Moore and Dempsy P. Moore. The Father of Martha Clemtine Moore Kizer. He was county surveyor of Nevada County, Ark.

This was copied from the newspaper that first published the diary of Clinton H. Moore in 1904.


We left McNairy County in the western district of Tennessee on the 10th day of March 1839. The party consisted of W. C. Moore, George Moore, Robert Martin, Angelina Martin and Betsy Moore, the last which is my sister , the first my brother, the second my uncle, the third my brother in law, whose family lived 9 miles west of Purdy, and myself. But I will assure you that it was with much reluctance that I left my father and mother with whom I had lived so long, and I felt on this occasion a feeling that I never shall forget as long as I live. When my father bid me adieu he gave me some advise I never shall forget. It was a considerable shock for me to leave a country where I had lived for six years in prosperity and peace, and where I had the good will of everybody that knew me. Not withstanding all this, on March the 10th we started for the Republic of Texas. The day was beautiful and the sun shone with all its accustomed beauty, and all things seemed to indicate that we would have success. We traveled 5 miles this day and encamped in good order. The morning of the 11th was also fine and we passed the house of Mr. Ward, who was the head of a very respectful family. Here we were well quarted. I never shall forget the hospitality of this man. After inviting us in he also invited us to take a horn with him, and observing at the same time that it might be a long time before we would have the pleasure of drinking with him again, of course we did not refuse on this occasion.

This day we crossed the Hatchie River, which is about 50 yards wide with high banks, and its water is always muddy. Its banks are beautifully seated with various kinds of timbers. It runs a north west course and discharges into the Mississippi. This day we traveled 15 miles and passed through the town of Bolivar. This town is situated in the center of Hardeman County and is a thriving place with a population of about 500.

The morning of the 12th we started at 6 o'clock from one Mr. Todd's where we spent the night before. This day we passed some beautiful farms and land appeared very good and lay well. The growth was post oak, black oak and hickory. We traveled 16 miles.

The morning of the 13th was cloudy and seemed to indicate rain. We started in good order and about 9 o'clock passed through Sommerville, the county seat of Fayette County. This is a splendid place with some magnificent buildings and contains about 1000 persons. About 11 o'clock it thickened up and became very dark and there was the appearance of a mighty storm. We made ourselves in readiness to guard against it. The thick gloom was dispersed by the winds of heaven and the clouds soon passed by but it was succeeded by another cloud and the artillery of heaven broke forth in loud claps and at 12 o'clock the rain began to fall. The balance of the day was wet and the night disagreeable. We traveled 18 miles this day.

The evening of the 14th the heavens were with scattered clouds and the wind blew violently from the north. We started this morning at 7 o'clock.

The morning of the 15th was a fine morning. It was with pleasure that I heard the notes of the birds which called for her mate in notes too plain to be misunderstood. Spring time was near for we saw that the maple of the swamps has already put forth its blossoms. On the night of the 15th we encamped in 2 miles of Raleigh, the county seat of Shelby County, after traveling 18 miles we started the following morning and passed through Raleigh. It is nicely laid off and contains 350 inhabitants. There is a steam mill at this place in which is exhibited some of the ingenuity of man. The place is situated on the Wolf River. The river is about 45 yards wide with a deep channel.

We arrived in Memphis about 1 o'clock. This town is on the banks of the Mississippi. The town contains 2500 inhabitants.

Memphis is the most commercial point in Tennessee. There were several steam boats landed there while we were encamped, two of them being the John Randolph and the Asia. The John Randolph is the largest boat that plows the river. We crossed over at 6 o'clock on the morning of the 16th into the state of Arkansas. The Mississippi River is about a mile wide at Memphis and runs a south west course. Its length is about 2006 miles. After receiving countless streams it discharges its waters into the Gulf of Mexico. This is one of the greatest commercial rivers in the world. It is said it received its name from the Aborigines, which in their language signifies the Master of Rivers. We traveled 10 miles and came to Marion, the county seat of Critenden County.

The National Road runs a west course and a levee runs 28 miles and is 30 ft. wide, and it was made by an appropriation of the Government. On the morning of the 17th we started at 6:30. This morning we saw six deer pass the road before us, but we were unable to get a shot. This bottom is 42 miles wide including the bottom of the St. Francis. We traveled 10 miles and came to Black Fish Lake. The lake is 150 yards wide and has to be ferried. Here we fell in with other wagons that were going across the swamp. A short time before we came to Black Fish Lake, a swamp pilot by the name of Roberson, who made a business of piloting people across the swamp, offered his services and all the company agreed to make him up $6.00 to pilot us 12 miles to the other side of the St. Francis. This extensive bottom is the habitation of bear, deer, and turkey and is but thinly settled. the soil is remarkably good, but does not possess the advantage of spring water, and is very sickly, but doubtless some day will be thickly inhabited. The principal timber in this county is ash, elm and different kinds of oaks. This is the native country of black birds and crows. They are to be seen in large droves here.

On the morning of the 18th we left the old road and took our course through the woods and cane breaks, but of all the days I ever experienced in my life this stands foremost. For many times we were forced to wade through mud and water up to our waists. But we survived all the difficulties and traveled 11 miles, which put us out of the bottom this day, 8 miles from where we encamped and crossed the St. Francis. This river heads in the state of Missouri and after running many miles empties in the great Mississippi. It is 150 yards wide with lofty banks. On the night of the 18th we encamped near a Mr. Stones where we had to give a dollar for corn.

We made an early start. I got up early and heard the roar of distant thunder rumbling in the west. And at 12:00 it began to rain in torrents while lightening flashed and the thunder rolled from east to west and from the north to south. Late in the evening the rain ceased and we sent out four hunters. I was one of the four, but we all returned to camp without killing anything. We traveled 18 miles this day and encamped in Langa swamp. The Langa is a river about 40 yards wide and empties into the St. Francis. This morning old Mr. Castleberry left us, a man that had came through the swamp, and also a Mr. Smith and the swamp pilot. The rain commenced again and rained hard all night, and the next morning we found ourselves surrounded by water on every side. I awoke in the night and heard a tremendous storm rising. I immediately examined to see if there was any dead timber near our tent but found none. But the lofty swamp oak bowed its head on the morning after the rain. We made an early start and traveled 16 miles, many of them we had to travel altogether in water as all the low grounds were in float this day and the day before we traveled in the county. St. Francis is very extensively laid off, but thinly settled. There is only 5 miles of high land from Memphis to the White river, a distance of 92 miles. We passed through some small praries. From St. Frances County we passed into the County of Monroe. On the 21st we traveled 17 miles. We passed through some low flat country. There was one thing that took place this day that was right diverting.

We had traveled hard all day and late in the evening Robert Martin went ahead of the wagons in order to take a hunt. He had not gone more than a half mile till he came running back like the old boy himself was after him, yelling every jump. I approached him in great haste and all the occassion of his fright he said was that he had seen a bear cross the road. We put our dogs on the track, but they never took it. It clouded up in the evening and at night it began to rain. It rained all night and all day and the next.

The morning of the 22nd we continued our journey and after traveling 4 miles came to the White River. This river is 180 yards wide. It rises in the state of Missouri and discharges it waters into the Arkansas. It is navigable to the mouth of the Black, 250 miles. The water of this river is clear only when it is made muddy by continued rains or melting snow. We traveled 15 miles and encamped at the edge of a grand prairie at the house of Daniel Wolders, who had formerly lived in McNairy County, but getting some what behind he had imigrated to this country in the fall of 1828. Since he has been there he has made a considerable rise as he is a man that has a large stock. As before stated, on the night of the 22nd we encamped in the grand prairie. This was a grand and majestic scene, where the vision was only bound by the horizon, and the timber that spotted it appeared like a distant cloud. On these extensive plains are fed the buffalo and deer unmolested by the noise and appearance of man, and only occassionly by the Red man of the desert, who with delight and pleasure bring down the gigantic buffalo as their prey. But alas, these days are passing away. The enterprising storm of civilization has arisin in the east, from whence it has wafted by the winds of Heaven till it has reached the extensive plains of the west.

On Saturday the 23rd we started into the grand prairie. This prairie is 27 miles wide the way the road runs and 150 miles in length, extending from the head waters of the White River to the Arkansas. We traveled all the way through the prairie without seeing any game except that of the small kind, such as ducks, wild geese, pelicans, and prairie hens. The prairie is scattered with post oak, black oak and some hickory and some of the land is good. There is a stretch of 20 miles between some of the houses here. We made a good travel this day and went 20 miles and encamped at one Mr. Harris 7 miles from the edge of the prairie. Corn was $2.00 per bushel.

Sunday, the 25th we arrived at Little Rock. This place is situated on the southern bank of the Arkansas River on a beautiful bluff, and is a thriving and prosperous place. It is one of the most beautiful places I ever saw. It is handsomely laid off, elegantly built, and to its splendor and beauty the female inhabitants with their delightful presence graced the streets enrobed and adorned in all the pomp and splendor of an Eastern Queen. It revived and animated my youthful heart and it was with much reluctance that I left the place. The river at this place is about 320 yards wide with high and fertile banks. The population of Little Rock is about 3,000 souls. The country west of Little Rock is broken and with good springs and several creeks cross the road with their water as clear as crystal, filled with the best of fish, but the land is very poor.

On the 26th we traveled 18 miles through a tolerable good country. The timber is principally black oak, pine, dogwood and chincapin. The country is broken and rocky, some knolls are altogether covered with white flint rock.

From Monroe County we passed to Pulaski, Little Rock is the county seat and also the seat of Government.

On the 25th of March, John Hill left us bound for Johnson County. He fell in with our company at the Black Fish Lake. I found him to be a very fine agreeable fellow and his wife also deserves much praise.

There was one thing which took place on the night of the 24th that I failed to mention. About 2:00 I awoke and heard a tremendous noise and the dogs were barking, and raced off very rapidly. We long heard the sound of their feet till it was lost in the distance. Three of us were ready in a short time to follow, hoping that we would overtake them at the first house, but to our surprise did not. The night was beautiful and clear. I turned back to camp, while W. C. Moore and W. P. James followed and about 10:00 next morning over took them after traveling about 18 miles.

On the night of the 26th we encamped on the bank of the Hurricane, a small creek, after traveling 18 miles. This night we encamped with one Mr. Stewart and a Mr. James who lived in Lavare County.

From Pulaski County we passed into Galena and on the 27th passed through the county seat of this county. This place has only been organized about 2 years. It is situated in a very nice place, on a high pine ridge. Its population is about 100. Two miles west of Benton runs the Sabine River {Saline River}. This is the most beautiful river I ever saw. It is 50 yards wide with a gravel bottom. The water is clear and beautiful and finely stocked with fish. We traveled this day 19 miles and encamped on Wolf Creek. The evening was cloudy and seemed to threaten rain.

On the 28th we made an early start. We had not gone far before we met three Indians and a Negro. I inquired of the negro where they were going and he said that they were going to the Chickasaw Nation to see their relatives. And that they were Chiefs of that Nation. We traveled 16 miles through dreadful showers and encamped at a Mr. Blakeleys.

The morning of the 29th we pursued our course and soon entered what we called the 12 mile stretch. This 12 mile stretch is on top of a mountain which is drained by several creeks and is remarkable on account of so many travelers having been killed there. About 12:00 we came to a large creek that heads in the mountains and runs into the Wachita {Ouachita River which is pronounced wa-sha-taw}. After we crossed it I saw a monument erected to the honor of the dead. His grave had the appearance of not being long done. And by inquiring into the matter I found out that he was a traveler that was passing this way and was killed and $1300.00 taken from his pockets. The name of this gentleman I never heard nor the mans name that killed him. It was so dim on the monument that I could not accertain. But even where the murder was committed bore a gloomy aspect. One Mr. Jackson and his company of trappers who happened this way were the first that found him. They were all taken into custody susposing them to be the murderers. And it was a long time before they established their innocence. It appeared that it was a young man that lived in this county. He was apprehended and put in jail but the same night he made his escape. Mr. Jackson of whom I have spoken was a native of Missouri.

We next came into Warm Springs County {Hot Springs County}. In this county is one of the greatest curiousities that is in the state of Arkansas, or perhaps in the world. This is the Warm Springs about a hundred in number, varying in heat, some warm enough to scald a hog while in the middle of that there is a spring that is too cold to be agreeable to drink. This spring is on the east side of the Wachita. The Wachita is 125 yards wide and empties into the Red River.

On the 29th we traveled 16 miles and encamped on the bank of the Bio Delee. It had rained for the last 2 days and nights, and it was thought advisable for us to stop here and spend the evening in hunting so the water might go down, to which we agreed. Three of us left the camp in the evening leaving one to guard. We hunted till night and returned to camp without killing but one deer and this one was killed by W. C. Moore. George Moore shot several times but killed nothing.

Deer was plentiful so we made a morning hunt and wounded several turkeys but killed nothing. About 8:00 we left the tomb of the dead. A sad feeling passed over my mind while we encamped on this horrid spot. But he now sleeps with the cold and silent mansions of the dead. It is said that travelers often turn aside to drop in sorrow for their fallen friend.

We crossed the Caddo, a small river about 50 yards wide. The lands and banks of this river are very fertile. This country was settled by the French shortly after the American Revolution. The Caddo discharges its waters into the Wachita. We traveled 16 miles away from the Warm Springs County.

Here we were told by one Mr. Howlen that we would be obliged to cross the Red River at Nackatosh {Natchitoches, Louisiana} which was contrary to our expectations. For we intended to cross at Fulton {Fulton, Arkansas}. He said to cross there we would be obliged to go to the Country of the Cadoes, a tribe of Indians that are now hostile to the people of Texas, and he said to prevent damage we had better go the lower route to which we all agreed. We traveled 16 miles, killed a turkey and encamped.

Monday morning April 1st was a beautiful clear morning. It was with great delight that I heard the harmonious songs of the delightful spring birds as they welcomed the new month in. Vegatation seemed to flourish. We started at 10:00 and came to the bank of the Little Missouri. The river is 55 yards wide and runs an eastward course and empties into the Wachita. The face of the country is poor, but some good bottom land. Timber is principally pine, ash, mulberry, black walnut and poplar. In the evening we came to the Rabbit Prairie which is 3 miles in width and I know not how long. This prairie has some very good land, some of which is tended by the inhabitants of its skirts. We caught 4 rabbits and encamped.

Tuesday, April 2nd we left the rabbit prairie and traveled over some of the best land that I had seen in Arkansas. This land is of a red color lying on still clay and thickly cemented with gravel. This land produces good wheat, corn and cotton, the timber is pine, dogwood, post oak and ash. This is a tolerable good country with some good spring water. From Black County we came to Hempstead County. This place has been settled a century ago by the French, a considerable place of business is here. Although this is represented as a new country it was settled by the French and Spainards about the last of the 16th century. This day we came to one Mr. Trammels, where I saw a quarter moon. He was a Creek by birth but had been raised in Arkansas. After some conversations with him I found him to be a very smart and well disposed man, who was well aquainted with all the country east of the Arrezoan Mountains. He was a horse trader and was here collecting his money.

On the 3rd we traveled 18 miles, and as it was raining we stopped at one Mr. Mayfields. This gentleman invited us into his house and told us to use anything that we stand in need of, and was very friendly toward us and insisted that we should stay and make a crop with him. All this we refused to do. He was of the Choctaw Nation and as there was no house nearer than 16 miles, they had resorted to this place to hunt. They had killed several bear for they hunted nothing else. I was told by Mr. Mayfield that about 2 months before we came there that one of their women died, and desiring to know something of their manner of burying the dead. I made inquiry into the subject. I was told this was a highly esteemed woman and that she was buried with all the honor of the nation. He spoke as follows; "When the grave was finished, they put her in it with all the clothing and furniture she possessed, with crockery, and water vessels and a large sum of money, believing that she will stand in need of them in her passing from this to another world." But the poor Indian has lost all his former greatness. The once Lord of the Soil has been driven away from his native country. His counsil fires no longer blaze. All that he had has fallen in the hands of the white man. On the very spot where once stood his wigwam the white man has built his splendid mansions.

On the 4th we traveled 17 miles and encamped at the house of Mr. Trammel. We crossed today Wild Cat where we had to take a log ferry. This creek of considerable size, it has been leveled by the rains so we were obliged to carry our plunder across on a log and reload.

When we were in the country at the house of one Mr. Mayfield, 18 miles from where anybody lived, we were insisted to take up and live there till fall, when George Moore cooly and deliberately said that if he would find him a little negro to pull the ticks off him, he would comply with his request. The ticks are so numerous in the country as to cover a man in 15 minutes. This raised considerable laughter and the old Judge was offered a stiff drink of grog.

From Hempstead County we passed into Union and LaFayette, both of which are thick settled.

On the 5th we traveled 23 miles passing only one house. We saw a great many deer but killed none. This is a low and piney country, many places where you cannot hear the voice of man, inhabited only by the wild and humble deer and the ferocious and lonely wolf. The keen and penetrating cry of the catamount breaks forth amid the awful silence and repose of nature. This is a dreary wilderness and I longed to pass through it.

On the 6th we struck the state of Louisiana, and encamped at the of house of one Mr. Knox. While I was at the house of this gentleman, he told me that his lady had been on a visit from home and as she returned she was pursued by a pack of wolves, 5 in number, and it was with much fear and rapidity that she made her escape.

When we struck up camp it was about sundown. One of our party failed to come to camp, on account of which we were much alarmed for the evening was cloudy and we imagined he was lost. We blew our horns and about dark, great to our surprise he made his appearance at camp.

On the 7th we traveled 12 miles. In the afternoon there was a dark cloud in the west and in a short time commenced raining very hard and continued during the evening . We therefore got a house from a Mr. Tucker in which we spent the night. After night awhile there was a dreadful storm. The lightening flashed, the thunder rolled, and the winds blew at a tremendous rate, while we heard the dreadful crash and falling of old trees.

From the state of Arkansas we passed into the state of Louisiana. I became somewhat acquainted with an Irishman who was raised a sailor, and had been to most of the commercial towns in the world. He told me that he had been on the island of St. Helena at the grave of Napolian Bonapart. He said the place bore a horrid aspect, over which the willows hangs its lonely head and seems to weep with sorrow for the death and downfall of this great mighty man.

On Sunday we had some bad luck. The bolt of our wagon broke and we were compelled to stop until we could get it mended. So we only traveled 15 miles. In the latter part of the day it began to rain, and by the hospitality of Mr. Grey we were invited out of the drenching rain.

Monday morning April 8th it stopped raining and cleared up. We made an early start and traveled 22 miles. The country here is level with a tolerable good soil, good range and tolerable good water. The timber is pine, dogwood and black oak.

On the 9th we traveled 12 miles and at 10:00 we came to the great Hurricane. The hurricane passed through here in the year 1829. It was one of the hardest winds that ever passed through the United States. It laid the giant oaks level with the ground. Extending eastward it passed through Shelbyville, Tenn. and on into the eastern seas. {I believe this was actually an earthquack. LWP} At 11:00 we came to the Red River. We struck the river 8 miles north of a small town called Comta {Campti, Louisiana}. The river at this point is 125 yards wide with high red banks and a deep channel. It is called Red River from the redness of its waters which are very red. Some of the most beautiful farms that I ever saw are here. The soil is of a dark red and is 40 foot in depth. It never over flows it banks and therefore leaves level fertile bottoms.

Nachitoches is a place of considerable business and is settled by French, Spainards, Americans and Creoles. It derived its name from a small tribe of Indians who use to inhabit the place. But the tribe, by the ravages of war, has long since been extinct. It was settled by the French about the year 1720 and remained in its possession ever since. The Catholic religion is prevalent among these people. They, it appears, have never emerged from a state of darkiness but remain under the power of a Priest.

On the 10th we traveled about 15 miles and encamped one mile west of Nachitoches. This is a fertile country possessing much wealth but the climate is unwholesome.

There was a trading house established at the river in the year 1832, 6 miles northwest from this place. The house was established by one Mr. Caffee, an enterprising Yankee, and was founded for the specific purpose of trading with the different tribe of Indians that infested that country. They carry on the principal trade with the Commanches. I have been informed by a man that lived there 3 years that from the former of those tribes he could purchase a mule with a quart of whiskey anytime.

On the 11th we traveled 16 miles through poor and broken country. Late in the evening I heard the report of a cannon which shook the earth. It was quickly followed by a heavy discharge of cannon.

The roaring of the cannon was like coming together of two hostile armies. This continued until the sun had set. I was very much alarmed at all of this, but was relieved of my fears the next morning, for we had not traveled far before we passed a small Spanish town, and on inquiring into the matter, found they had been celebrating a festival in memory of a distinquished Spainard who fought the battle of his country.

By 12:00 we came in sight of the American flag flying over Fort Jesup. This place is 25 miles west of Nachitoches. There were 300 men here, regulars in the U.S. Army, kept here in readiness to stop the depredation of the Indians in the western part of the United States.

On the 14th we traveled 16 miles and encamped on a pine ridge, and in 5 miles of Sabine {Sabine River}, which is here the line between the United States and the Republic of Texas. Shocking and disgraceful were the takes told me respecting this country. It was that I was going to a land of thieves, cut throats and highway robbers, who had gone from their country to escape the stern hand of justice. But I found this to be false, not being found on the principal of truth. They received us with a spirit of friendship, and with a smile on their pleasant faces they welcomed us. They told us their country was extensive and that the lands were rich, and told us to plant and sow and reap of the plentiful and never failing harvest. And that their daughters were the foremost of all the daughters of Eve, for us to show ourselves and we might have them for our wives, and that we might live in prosperity all the days of our lives, and see this Republic become one of the greatest nations on earth.

Such was the conversation held forth to me when I had come into this good land, after I had drunk of the great Labbin, the waters of which is said by these people cleans from all crime.

From Cleborne Parrish we passed into Nachitoches Parrish and thence to Labbin (Sabine) County in the Republic of Texas.

The Labbin is 75 yards wide and is a navigable stream for many miles. It runs a southeast course and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. When we had traveled 8 miles west of Sabine we came to what is called the red land which is a dark red color, resembling very much the lands of the Red River. The growth on this land, is scrubby hickory, post oak, and black jack on the upland and elm and black walnut on the bottoms. There is some small prairies in this country. They have a good land and blackest I ever saw.

This red land is very fertile, bringing from 1200 to 1500 pounds of cotton to an acre, and is also good for corn, but is very subject to drought. This land of very stiff nature and baked by the sun becomes as hard as stone. Milam is the county seat of Labbin {Sabine} County. It is situated 8 miles from the river, is a small place but is improving fast.

From this county we passed into St. Augustine. On the evening of the 15th we passed through St. Augustine, the county seat of this county. The Spainards had a fort at this place as early as the year 1730. It is situated in a very nice place but it is not laid off very pretty. The houses are of an inferrior kind. It is one of the most wicked places I ever saw. There is a gallows in the eastern part of town where many have drawn their last breath. It stands as a reminder to all those who would transgress the laws of their country. Here was hung the murderer of General Meersham.

On the 14th we traveled 18 miles and also 18 on the 15th.

On the morning of the 17th we came to Nacogdoches, situated 40 miles west of St. Augustine {San Augustine, Texas}. The town is in a beautiful place, surrounded by lofty oaks. This is a place of considerable business and contains about 700 inhabitants. It was court week when I was at this place and the night of the 17th there was a ball given in honor of Capt. Riley and his Guards. I had not been there long till I heard the playing of the fife and the beating of the drum, and in a short time they marched up. When night made its appearance the roll was again called. The moon had just arisen over the eastern hills and their uniforms appeared beautiful and their swords glistened in the moonlight. They were marched into a house and up a flight of stairs which were decarated and adorned in pomp and splendor. The house was called to order and addressed by Capt. Riley. He touched on the difficulties that had so long attended this country. He concluded in the happiness he hope would attend this country in days yet to come. His remarks were brief but suited the times. At 7:00 the ball commenced. The room was large and they carried on two reels at the same time. The music was good and the dancing the best I ever saw. The music and dancing were of a Spainish kind, such as were customary when this place was under the subjection of the Mexican Government . Nacogdoches was settled early in the year 1680 by the Spainish. They kept a garrison here till it was overran by the imigrants to this country, and now they are all banished from this place and their magnificient mansions have fallen into the hands of the white man. Thursday the 18th was an unlucky day for us, for when we were encamped in the west part of Nacogodoches our steers left us, therefore the 18th was spent in hunting them but all our exerctions were fruitless. We had almost given up the search in despair and concluded they were stolen. But returning after dark I was relieved from all fears, for as I rode into camp I saw them there. I was much rejoiced when I saw them for I did not expect to see them any more. But the secret was, they had lost their bell and was near camp all the time.

The country here is level and barren. The land varying, some red, some grey and some black. It is well watered. Beautiful clear branches run across the road with gravel bottoms. The timber is hickory, blackjack and black oak. On the 17th we traveled 16 miles.

On the morning of the 19th we left Nacogodoches and traveled 14 miles and encamped on the west bank of the Authalian (Angelina) river. This river is 45 yards wide and runs a southeast course empting in the Natchez. From this place it takes the name Luon River which empties into the Gulf of Mexico.

On the 20th we traveled 22 miles and encamped on the south side of the Natchez {Neches River}. While I was here I found that the people were much alarmed for this was one of the western frontiers and the most intelligent men of the country were daily looking for the Indians to break out. Indeed they had already killed 18 persons.

On the 23rd we passed many houses that were abandoned and found that all the people that were in the country were gathered together at various places so that they might be able to defend themselves if they were attacked by the Indians. I was not much alarmed, till I saw several houses enclosed with pickets and the inhabitants within. Here I was told that all our horses would be stolen and ourselves killed if we did not keep a sharp lookout. This put us on our guard. This day we traveled 17 miles and encamped in an open place where the grass was good.

Monday morning April 23rd we got an early start and came to Crockett, the county seat of Houston County. Here was about 50 of the Crockett Rangers collected. They were going on an expedition to picket frontier towns.

Here I will relate two adventures that took place in this country in the year 1838, as it was related to me by one of the Rangers. He said that there was a man who had come to this country many years before, and was very apprehensive of danger, and had built his house strong and had lived securely. In the fall of 1838 there were 150 Indians came to his dwelling. He was alone except his wife. They defended their dwelling. The Indians pressed hard against the door, but it being strong they could not enter. Then they began coming up through the floor of the house and as fast as they came in they were killed by these brave heros within. Then they attacked from another place. They commenced coming down through the roof. At length finding all their efforts useless, they retired leaving this brave man and woman in possession of their house and 15 of their number dead at their feet. The other is truely a blood-curdling tale and was told to me as follows.

The times being equally in 1838 it was thought expedient for the inhabitants to gather in groups for their safety. So four families gathered at one house. The men, four in number, had one night eaten their supper and stepped into another room. In a moment an Indian made his appearance and looked through the wall of the other house, and finding that there were no men in the house, he called his comrades on and with their tomahawks and scalping knife came rushing on these helpless women like lions on his prey. In vain was all their screams and cries for their husbands who were in the other house looking on the murder of their wives without even offering to rescue them from the hands of the Indians. Although they were well armed and equal in number, it is said while the Indians were murdering their wives one of them aimed his gun at an Indian but was prevented by his cowardly comrades. After the Indians had killed these women they took all the plunder that was desirable and left the place inhabited by those cowardly dogs, and so ends the tale.

This day one Mr. Strode and a Mr. Nelson fell in with our company. They were from the state of Missouri and were going to travel together. So on the 24th we traveled 20 miles.

On the 25th we broke an axle-tree of our wagon and detained us several hours, but we mended it and traveled 15 miles.

On the 25th we traveled 20 miles and gained the south side of the Trumada {Trinity River}. Before we came to the river we traveled through a prairie about 4 miles wide. Here the humble deer ran with all its accustomed activity, and the extensive plain was dotted with buffalo. After we crossed this prairie we came to a skirt of timber which was on the bank of the Trinadad (Trinity). This river is fifty yards wide and runs a southeast course and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. It is also about 500 miles long, is navigable 350 miles, has high banks and deep current. We came to the banks of this river the evening of the 25th and it was a great river for fish, we tried our luck but caught none. We stayed here till the morning of the 26th, made several hunts for deer but all proved unsuccessful. While I was fishing, I had my hook set out in the bank and there was such a large fish got hold of it that it pulled the pole out of the bank and was making its escape with my hook and pole. I leapt in after it and we had it nip and tuck for a few hundred yards when I got hold of the pole and tried to pull him to shore. We struck a log and he made his escape down the river and I made my way back to camp.

On the morning of the 26th we left the banks of the Trinadad {Trinity River} and traveled through a timber land and a prairie country in all 17 miles and encamped using the greatest precaution for fear our horses would be stolen by the Indians.

On the 27th we came to one of the most beautiful landscapes I ever saw. This was the elevated prairie. When we ascended to its top, I looked to the right and saw it only bounded by the horizon, looking to the left, I saw the timber raised in the air which looked like a cloud dimly seen through the mists of night. On the prairie grows almost every herb of the vegetable kingdom and rose with all its beauty, and by its side the Lily of the Valley seeming to mourn and hang its lovely head, being over charged by the dews of Heaven. As we approached I heard the gobbling of the wild turkey. The deer ceased to feed, threw up his head and tail, apparently much alarmed at the approaching footsteps of man and at our appearance ran off as fleet as the wind that blow over their native land. Here I was delighted in the industrious pursuits of the bee. He would hum from flower to flower gathering his sweet and delicious food and then with pleasure would strike his course to the distant wood.

On the 18th we traveled 18 miles and killed one turkey. On this night we had to use greatest precaution lest the Indians kill us or stole our horses, as we were then 20 miles from any house where white people lived. We therefore pitched our tent as usual and we lay some 15 or 20 paces away, knowing that if we were attacked that the Indians would first fire upon our tent. In the first place that would alarm us and the next fire would be ours. We lay with our rifles close to our sides but I will assure you that sleep was a stranger to my eyes that night. The night passed slowly by, yet we were unmolested.

On the 29th we traveled 20 miles and encamped on the south side of the Brazos. This river is 500 miles long and 80 yards wide. It has remarkable high banks. The river has a sandy bottom and very shallow. It has logs and snags in it which at present prevent it from being navigable. It runs a southwest course and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The country between the Trinidad and the Brazos is a prairie and some timbered country. The timber is principally post oak, and the land tolerable good and the water moderately so. We crossed the Brazos at Washington. This town was founded in 1828 and contains about 450 inhabitants. From Houston County we passed into Montgomery County and from Montgomery into Washington.

On the 30th we made an early start and in a short time we struck those beautiful prairies that lie between the Brazos and the Colorado. Here is doubtless the most beautiful country in the world. Here all animated nature seems to flourish in prepetual youth. The wild horse rest in luxoury uncontrolled. Here you see thousands of cattle feeding at large where the green prairies are snugly bound by the blue vault of Heaven. On the 30th we traveled 20 miles, and on the 31st we traveled 18 miles. Here we left our friends that had come through the wilderness. They stopped at Mr. Madison's who came to the country in 1838.

May 1st 1839 I awoke early in the morning and heard rain falling heavily upon our tent, but it soon stopped. We drove on till 12:00 and stopped in the edge of a prairie to let our horses graze. While we were here the lightening began to play in the north and all at once the clouds shifted from the north to the south and the wind blew with great violence. The tall grass of the prairie waved like a wheat field in June. My horse became frightened, threw his head, struck back his ears and ceased to graze. At length the rain stopped and the balance of the evening was fine. We traveled 18 miles this day and encamped on a large creek that runs into the Colorado.

On the 2nd we traveled 16 miles which took us into the valley of the Colorado. This valley is 8 or 10 miles wide. The river is generally skirted with timber, which is pecan, hackberry, elm, ash and cottonwood. During the 3rd and 4th we traveled up the valley of the Colorado, and at 12:00 on the 4th we came to Bearstrop {Bastrop, Texas}, the county seat of Bearstrop {Bastrop} County. This place contains 500 inhabitants. The Colorado is here 80 yards wide with lofty banks. Many places being covered to its channel by bluffs of solid rock. It has a rapid current with beautiful clear water. When raised by a freshet its waters cover all the lands around. It contains various kinds of fish. It runs a southeast course and empties into the Gulf of Mexico.

On the 3rd we traveled 18 miles and on the 4th 10 miles. This finished our journey which we preformed in 54 days, during which time we were exposed to all sorts of weather. Many times I was drenched by the beating rains. We had to guard against the Indians which were in a very hostile state toward travelers. Yet notwithstanding all these difficulties we safely reached our goal.

There is something in the make up of a man that seems to brace him up in an hour of danger, and move his arm with the strength of a giant. But his days are short and he will soon sleep with his Fathers that sleep that knows no waking at the break of day. Hard indeed seems the lot of the present generation. It is harassed by misfortune and disappointment all the days of their life.

We arrived at Bastrop on May 4th. This place is situated on the Colorado River 175 miles from its mouth, and contains 300 inhabitants. The climate in this country is very pleasant. If it was not for the gales of wind, man would cease to inhabit this country or he would have to be like the birds of night and dare not venture out till the setting of the sun, as the days are warm. By might the wind comes cool, so much that I could very comfortable be under cover. In parts of this country it seldom rains, but the defect is supplied by heavy nocturnal dews. In some parts it rains in great abundance. Here the works of nature show forth in magnificence. We can see it in the north or if we look to the south, to the east or to the west. The power of the Creator is deeply engraved in all the works. But if we are permitted to live we may yet see the desert bloom as a rose and the solitary places be made glad. And yet every time the opening of morning and the decline of evening, tell to man that his temporary existince is short. The first are the joyful days of youth. The attachments of our early days are followed by the meridan of life, then our days of sorry have begun; and then comes the winter of old age when our race is ended and our days are no more.

{I believe that at this point this work becomes a recollection rather than a diary.}

It was the 4th day of May 1839 that we got to Bearstrop. We rented a cabin down from one Mr. White at the place. They were trying a man by the name of Scarboro on a charge of murder. We went to the Court house in the evening and heard the speeches of the lawyers. Although some of them seemed to be well informed, yet they were abrupt, bold and emphatic than they are in the States, these Texas lawyers. I was much interested in the customs of the place for I observed the lawyers and, in fact, all individuals on coming to town dismounted, took a long coil of rope from the horn of their saddles and tied it to their horses necks and thus turned them out to graze in the luxuriant prairie grass. I afterwards learned that this is the general practice through out Middle and Western Texas. This rope is about 40 ft. long and is called a lariat. Some of them are made of raw hide but the best ones are made by the Mexicans out of horse hair. If a horse is wild or if they are afraid of him running away, they stake him out. This is done by driving a stob into the ground and tying the end of the lariat to it. The horse can then feed around the stake at leisure and when the grass is eaten down he is removed to another place.

We had arrived at the end of our journey, but the country did not meet our expectations and it was not long before we found that our calculation had been to great, and that we could never realize them. Provisions were very high and in place of being a good country to make money in, we found it was the best country in the world to spend it in. Hard cornbread baked out of meal ground on a hand mill and tough fat meat was the common food. Here the Colorado is forced to a narrow channel. The eastern bank is 50 or 60 feet high. From its elevation a prairie extends toward the east about 3/4 of a mile, when it terminates a low pine ridge arises from its base. Below the town this ridge runs nearly to the bank of the river. This valley, with luxurant grass bound by green pine hills is one of the most beautiful that the imagination can concieve. In fact, the valley of the Colorado cannot be surpassed in beauty by any country. The soil in this valley is dark black, but with little or no sand in it, and it is remarkable sticky when it is wet and cracks open and is very hard when dry. There is generally a narrow skirt of timber on the river, generally pecan, cottonwood, elm, and some oak. In the breaks the land is gray and sandy. Here low scrubby post oak and live oak generally grow. In addition to this there are some cedar and small patch of pine near Bastrop. This discription will generally hold good in Middle Texas. Water is very scarce. It is called rotten limestone, looks well, but has a flat limey and salty taste.

After staying at Bastrop 8 or 10 days, George Moore and myself concluded that we must raise some corn. A Mr. Haney told us he had some land about 12 miles above there on the river, and there was a cabin on it, and about 4 acres of prairie land that had been broken up with rails enough nearly to fence it. He told us that we might occupy the cabin and have all that we could make. With a wagon, yoke of oxen, a dog and a rifle a piece, we set out. We bought some salt, but could get no meal nor meat, we had a little corn which we parched. This constituted our food. We thought we could kill plenty of deer and antelope for meat, but in this we failed. Although we saw hundreds we killed none. We were both good with rifle, George in particular. We shot at a great many without killing a single one. That day we traveled about 8 miles on the west side of the river. We got alarmed. We were in an uninhabited country. Bands of Indians frequently passed through the country murdering, burning houses and stealing horses. Only the winter before the settlement on the Colorado had been attack by the Indians. Many farmers were killed and a great deal of property destroyed, horses and cattle driven off. No settlers were west of us, we had been following a trail all day and just at dusk we came to a dry creek. Following the channel we found a hole or pool of water. Here we determined to pass the night. We hobbled out our oxen and after eating supper of parched corn, lay down in our wagon to pass the night. But sound sleep was a stranger to our eyes. The disasterous Indian tales that I had heard haunted my imagination and drove sleep from my eyes. But the morning dawned, the sun seem to rise out of the prairie, its golden beams illuminating the landscape, which told us that all was well, our oxen had wondered some distance but we soon found them, hitched up and started again on our journey. The dim trail in the grass led up to the river. We imagined that we were 4 miles of our cabin. We saw a large number of deer on every side and shot several times, but killed nothing. The reason of our failing was we shot too far. The country was level and we were decieved in distance. It is like shooting on water.

We proceeded on about 10:00 came in sight of the cabin. On coming up to it it had a shocking appearance. It was indifferently made with a dirt floor and a low chimney. On examination we found several holes in the door and in the house logs, which lead us to believe that the house had been attacked by Indians. In fact we had been told before we left Bastrop that people were afraid to live there, that Haney himself had left on that account. It lay near the mouth of Indian Creek and there was a ford near where the Indians always crossed in that vicinity. This made it a dangerous place to live. We found the land that had been broken up but looked in vain for the rails. We made considerable search for them but never could find them. While near the creek our dog was attacked by a Mexican hog. The dog came running to us at the top of his speed and the hog close after him, and as it was a dense thicket they were right on us before we saw them. It would have run over me had I not stepped to one side as it passed and discharged my "Betsy" at it. I shot so quick that I missed it. Uncle George shot it though, but it ran to the creek, plunged in and sank. It looked ferocious with its hair turned the wrong way and its tusks sticking out several inches. It looked like it could ruin a man or a dog in short time. It very much resembled a common hog, but was short built. While standing there we discovered bees going into a large tree which grew on the back of the creek. It was the strongest bee tree I ever saw. They worked into the tree in a sluice that looked as big as my arm.

We had been disappointed in our expectations. We found no rails and the place too, had a frightful appearance, which seemed to say that it was a dangerous place to dwell. We now had a consultation to see what would be best to do.

In May 1839 Commissioners were sent from the city of Houston to select a site for the Capital of the Republic, a law having been passed by their congress that it should be located at some more central place in the Republic, about 15 miles above us a low chain of mountains crossed the river. There was a family living near the foot of the mountains by the name of Barton. It was thought that the seat of the government would be located somewhere near Barton's. He lived on the west side of the river. We finally concluded to go to Bartons, thinking that if the seat was established in that vicenity that we would stand a chance to get in some kind of business. The day was clear. The sun had sunk behind the horizon when we started toward the west. We passed several herd of deer, but could not get close enough to shoot. After leaving the creek bottom we struck a prairie which continued till the sun went down.

To our left the prairie extended as far as the eye could see. To the right we could see the timber that skirted the river. Just as evening began to draw the curtain of night about it I saw a grove of timber to our right in the head of a low hollow which led to the river. It was not more than half a mile from the trail in which we were traveling. I proposed that we should go to that grove and spend the night, in that low timbered ravine we would be pretty well concealed from the Indians should there be any in the vicinity. We drove our wagon into the grove, and after eating our supper of parched corn, got into the wagon to spend the night and there spent one of the most sleepless nights that ever passed over my head. We made no fire lest the place of our concealment be found, for in that open country the sign of a fire can be seen for many miles.

Thus we lay down in great alarm. And well we might have been as the sequel to the narrative will show. The night was dark, although clear when we lay down, it was soon obscured by dark heavy clouds that seem to indicate rain. Day dawned but no rooster crowed to tell us its approach. Nothing broke that awful solitude, but the hoot of the owl and the howl of the wolf, but day light opened upon us and we saw no enemy near. Our oxen had wondered for some distance in the prairie, but we soon found them and yoked them up and got back to the trail and proceeded after which shower after shower fell on us as we traveled on. At length we emerged from the prairie and got into low scrubby post oak, and ascending a knoll we could see to the northwest of the valley of the Colorado and a low chain of mountains that crosses the river near where Austin now stands. Its blue peaks looked beautiful in the distance and called to mind the scenery of the Cumberland mountains which I had been familiar with in my boyhood days. Preceeding on, our trail began to brighten, and we knew we were drawing near Bartons. About this time two horsemen met us, they, asking us if we had seen any Indians and we told them we had not. On being told that we had come the trail they said we had made a narrow escape, as there was about 60 Indians camped on Onion Creek not far from the trail and that they were very hostile and had the day before killed a company of surveyors. They said if the Indians had seen us they would have killed us.

After descending a long rocky hill we arrived at the Bartons. There were 15 or 20 men there who had come from the other side of the river with the intention of pursuing the Indians. Here I will drop this thread of my history to give some account of the face of the country around Bartons.

He lived at the foot of a low range of mountains that take their rise near where Fort Graham now stands and finally terminate near the head of Trinity River. The mountains was not very high but rugged, covered with large rocks, the limestone rotten. The principal growth is low scrubby cedar. A large spring of water gushed from the mountain, and after receiving the waters of another large spring, runs about 1 1/2 miles and empties into the Colorado River. In the range of mountains and about 3 miles from Bartons there was a ford in the river where the Indians frequently crossed. It was thought that the Indians would cross the river at the mouth of Onion Creek at the ford mentioned. But they got alarmed, broke up their camp and with great haste began to leave the country. By this time the news had got to Bastrop. The company that left Bartons struck their trail near the camp and after winding considerably, crossed the mountain ford. While they were thus winding, two companies of Texas Rangers started in pursuit from the other side of the river, commanded by Capts. Hays and McCullock, both prominent men in Texas history. They struck the trail in advance of the first company, and on the evening of the second day came in sight of the Indians. The Indians thought themselves out of danger, had halted by a bee tree and were eating honey. We, the Texans, advanced, the Chief formed his men for battle, but a discharge of the Texans rifles brought him and several of his men to the ground. The balance made their escape on horse back. They each had a horse laden with ammunition which they brought from the coast, all this fell into the hands of the Texans. They found some papers on the Chief which stated that they were carrying the ammunition to the Northern Indians, preparatory to commencing an Indian war of the frontier of Texas. In this I witnessed the bravery of the Texans. When danger confronts him every man is at his post.

During this time we stayed at the house of Mr. Barton. We two, the old gentleman, his two daughters and two other gentlemen composed the company. We kept our rifles ready for use. We found that Mr. Barton had been attacked by the Indians several times, but always was able to get into his house. He always kept several guns loaded. We learned that he and his son had never failed to drive the Indians off. His occupation was bear and bee hunting. There are plenty of both in this country. About this time Col. Waller with a party of men came to Bartons with authority to select a site for the Capitol of the Republic. They selected a place on the North side of the river, about one mile from Bartons. The situation is beautiful. The river runs against a high bank, a level prairie strikes off for about a quarter of a mile to a sudden rise or low hill covered with post oak timber and again the prairie extends north. To the west the blue undulating peaks of the Colorado Mountains rise in all their majestic beauty before the beholder. Covered with bush-wood, low scrubby cedar and live oak present a scene altogether pleasing. Nothing is more beautiful to the eye of the traveler after coming from the level and uniform prairies of Texas than to come into a country diversified by hills and dales, mountains, creeks and rivers. It is to him like a rock in a dreary land. As soon as the location was made known people began to flock to the place, and in a few days several hundred people had pitched their tents and erected their shanties on the bank of the river. We had been idle about a week when Mr. Barton proposed a speculation. The Commissioners had to build houses for the Texas Congress to occupy in the fall. They were obliged to have logs to build their houses. Barton told us that if we could go on the mountains we could find good cedar logs, for us to cut them down, get them to the river and raft them down to the town. We thought we could make something at it. Indeed we were getting willing to engage in some kind of work that would better our positions, for our fare was poor. We lived most of the time on parched corn. But when we got to Barton's he had a steel mill on which he had to depend, there being but few water mills in Western Texas. Grinding on these mills is the hardest work that a white man ever did. I guess I will abhor them as long as I live. Besides coarse mill, we had some fish we caught out of the river and a small ration of bacon which we got from Barton. We concluded to try our fortune rafting logs. A man by the name of Johnson joined us. He was from Middle Tennessee. He and I set out one morning for the mountains with our axes and guns for no man traveled out in the country without being armed. We rambled about for several hours. The timber that looked from a distance like it would make good logs, we found on close examination would not. We at length got on top of a high bluff that overlooked the river. We found some scrubby cedar on it, and about as good looking as we had seen. Here we made a stand and concluded to cut our trees and throw them over the bluff into the river. We commenced with a good resolution. We chopped down five or six and stopped to rest and on examining our logs more particularly found that they never would be fit for any building. They were so cracked they looked like they would not lay on a fence. We came to the conclusion that if we were successful we could never sell the logs for anything. We finally agreed to abandon the speculation.

Col. Waller was sent by the Government to superintend the laying out of the building of the City of Austin. He brought some fifty or sixty hands with him and put out a proclaimation that he would hire all the hands that he could engage at $50.00 per month, payable in Texas money, of which it took three dollars to make one of current money. Uncle George, Mr. Johnson and myself concluded that we could work with them awhile. We went over and made engagements, and set out on the next morning. Accordingly by next morning we came to the camp where Austin now stands, and I reckon I never shall forget the first meal I ate at that place. There were some 50 or 60 men in camp. Men of several different languages and colors. There were Englishmen, Scotchmen, Irishmen, Dutchmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards, Texan's and Americans. The cooking was carried on by 3 or 4 old Dutchmen on whose clothes, face and hands it looked like soap had never been used in a long time. They were a fair sample of the crowd. We had not been there long before breakfast was announced. The crowd made a rush for 3 or 4 pots that contained the beef. They had some coarse cornbread lying on the ground around the pots. And there were several pots of coffee. We were somewhat backward and stood alone, but soon found that if we stood there we would lose our breakfast. We determined to pitch in. With considerable effort we got to the pots, forked out some meat and commenced eating. We thus learned to wait for no ceremony at the camp, but after that when the horn sounded we were generally the first to get to the big pots.

Next day we pitched our camp three miles north of Austin. There was a grove of post oak there. We began cutting house logs. The timber was so scrubby that we could get them but 16 feet long. We were on the frontier. The Government gave us a musket apiece and some ammunitions and told us if attacked by the Indians to defend ourselves. There were also some 20 or 30 men stationed a half mile north of us under Capt. Hayes. But we put little dependence in them as they passed by our camp daily on their way to Austin and generally returned after night and most of them intoxicated. We were therefore on our guard, kept our muskets loaded and near us. We worked there about 3 weeks. Most of the hands were then taken to Austin to build the houses. Uncle George and I were ordered down to help build. There was a surveyer and 8 or 10 other men engaged in running off and marking the lots of the city. We all had to eat at the same camp. When the dinner horn blew our company beat them to the camp. We pitched in and exerted ourselves to eat up everything that was cooked. We had just finished when the surveyer and his company arrived and behold the dinner was gone. The surveyer being the big - bug, got in a rage. He swore and fought the air, but few words from some of our crowd cooled him down and he waited very patiently till another dinner was cooked.

We had been at Austin one month. I decided to go down to Bastrop and see what Martin and Carroll were doing. I set out early the next morning and traveled on the north side of the river. Late in the evening I came to a farm and house on the bank of the river. I found out that I could not reach Bastrop that night and that there was no other house on that side of the river till I got in the vicinity of Bastrop. They told me I could ford the river here and by following a trail it would lead me to Mr. Hemphill about 2 miles from there. I forded the river, followed the trail and about sundown got to Mr. Hemphills. I got leave to stay all night, hobbled my horse and took up. I found several men about the place and the family quiet socialable. Supper was prepared in the back-wood style, and consisted of meat, venison, beef, some cornbread and honey. When bed time arrived several men and myself spread our blankets and slept in the yard. A thing that is done by most men in that country during the summer months. Next morning I found my horse. He had not gone out of sight. I soon had him saddled. After offering Mr. Hemphill pay for my fare, I set out. I soon arrived at Bastrop and found them all well except Carroll who had chills and fever. R. C. Martin had bought a grocery and had been down to Matigarda {Matagorda, Texas}, bought groceries and had just returned. Stewart McDougal, an old schoolmate, was there. He had come from Eastern Texas and was keeping grocery for Martin. I was surprised to see the alteration in sisters, Angelina and Betsy. The climate had had a mighty effect on them. They had become pale and swarthy, occasioned by the wind and sun in that torrid climate. It is a well known fact that a person of the fairest complexion turns to a tawny color after spending a few years in Western Texas. The system a pecular change. As it seems to be a suitable place. I will here drop a few remarks on the effects of a warm climate on the animal and vegetable kingdom. In those latitudes, man, the noblest work of the Almighty, is stunted. The long continution of heat which prevails there has a tendency to relax his system, and hence we find that debility is the results. This either directly or indirectly lays the foundation of most of the diseases known to man. On this supposition it was that the ancients thought the torrid zone unfit for habitation by man, a fate that held the people till the discoveries of Columbus and the settlement of the new world by the Spanish. Although the torrid zone in some places presents a dense population, it is well known that its inhabitants are inferior in intellect to people who have been bred in more temperate climates. The natives of warm climates have been adulterated by the effects of the climate. They have degenerated and degraded till they are in an uninlighted or barbarious state, they present a weak and degraded spectable compared with the original stock from which they descended. History teaches us that in most wars between Northern and Southern people, that the hardy sons of the North have been victorious. When Rome was taken it was by the Barbarians of the North. The effect of heat is no less remarkable on the animal creation. The English bull dog taken to India soon loses his ferocity. His hair falls off and he is soon deprived of all the sagacity and fierceness that distinguished him in the temperate zone. But its effects on others of the animal creation is invigorating. In those countries flourish the elephant, the largest of the quadruped tribe. The lion, too, the master beast of the forest, and many serpants and reptiles of the largest and most venumous kinds. When we turn to the vegetable kingdom we see effects of similar kind. Most kinds of grain and vegetables that constitutes the food of man grow not at all or in a very languid state. But here nature produces a spontaneous substitute which in some degrees makes up the defeat. In those countries the forests of timber disappear or become very stunned. All of the oak family in those regions, if they grow at all, are mere saplins and unfit for mechanical use. Large arid and extended plains present themselves to view on every side. At noon the torrid zone cattle will hide themselves in the thicket. Deer and other animals will resort to the brushwood and scrubs to break off the heat of the tropical sun. The owl secrets himself in some cave or den till the sun sinks behind the western horizon. Although the horizon appears elevated and the air pure, it is literally filled with insects and the ground turns with ants and other insects, which annoy the inhabitants by day and night. The wind sweeps these countries with almost the velocity of a storm and brings poisonous vapors and fatal maladies on its wings.

I stayed at Bastrop 3 or 4 days. I now began to think about locating my land claim, for the laws of the Republic gave to every married man 640 and to every single man 320 acres for immigrating to the countries of the upper Colorado and the Gaudaloupe was kept by one Mr. Sims about 2 miles from Bastrop. He was the head surveyor of the district, and kept a map of all the country. I examined them and found plenty of vacant land, that the vacant land commenced 3 miles from Austin, and that all the country north vacant and unapproprited country. I resolved to examine the country and if I liked it, make my location there. The weather was clear and dry. We were much surprised to see the river all of a sudden began to rise. It came in a flood, and in a few minutes rose 10 to 12 feet high. It was occassioned, I suspose by a heavy rain at the head of the river. We were horse back and didn't go far till we came to Piney, a creek that runs into the Colorado on the south side. The water was backed up this creek from the river till we thought it dangerous to cross. We attempted to head this stream or rather the back water. We traveled some distance up the stream but its banks were so high we could not ford it. We were also afraid to venture far from the road lest we be discovered by the Indians. We went back to the ford and concluded to cross. We pushed in, and by swimming a little gained the other bank. The dog was spent. We traveled on some 5 miles and came to a house that was picketed. Here we got permission to spend the night. There were several families but I have forgotten all their names. Next morning we proceeded on and towards evening got to Austin. We found Uncle George had stepped on a lathe and had a nail in the bottom of his foot and hurt him severely. He had been on a spree. We reproved him sharpy and he promised to do better afterwards. On the next day we set out to examine the country north of Austin. We took one horse and provisions to last several days. We traveled about 3 miles and passed the grove of post oak where we had formerly worked. We got in to the big prairie that extends to the north. We saw a large drove of antelopes coming towards us. We squatted and they run up about 150 yards of us and stopped. We fired on them and they scattered, but we found one that was crippled. Its thigh was broken and we thought we could catch it. We followed it several hours but couldn't get close enough to kill it. This animal is larger and more fleet than the deer. It is very quick in it sight and smell and it is very hard to get near them on the prairies.

We traveled on till late in the evening and came in sight of the timber of Walnut Creek. We were now very much exhausted. The sun was just sinking over the western mountains which were dimly seen in the distance. The wind which had been violently blowing all day now sank to rest. We were in a wilderness country. We had crossed several trails, some of them we thought to be the trail of wild horses, others we imagined to be the trail of Indians. We became alarmed lest we should be discovered by them. It was impossible for us to reach the settlement unless we traveled the greater part of the night. We saw a thick grove of timber close to the bank of the creek. In this we decided to spend the night. The live oak and underbrush had grown up so thick that it made a very good place of concealment. We used the greatest precaution for fear we should be detected. We kindled up a small fire by which we prepared our supper and then put it out so that no trace of our camp could be seen. The evening had now drawn around it the dark curtain of night and we were left to ponder on the present, the future, and the past. Never did I until this night think of leaving the country. I had gone through considerable hardships, but had kept in good heart thinking that better days would come. And had the idea been presented to me at any other time it perhaps would have made no impression on my mind. But being badly perplexed the mind was easily thrown off its guard, and I consented to things without the due consideration which they should have had. Had it not been for the night perhaps I should never have left the Republic. My condition through life might have been different. On such slender thread sometimes hangs the destiny of man. Left here to our own reflection many things passed in my mind. At length Uncle George opened the conversation. He spoke of the hardships that we had passed through, and of those that we would have to go through if we stayed in that country.

Ever since we had been there we had been in constant dread of Indians. We had lain with our rifles at our side every night. He stated the unsettled condition of the country, that the Mexicans were determined to conquer the country and that the Indians would keep up a continual warfare on the frontier, and it would be perhaps 50 years till it would be in a settled condition. The people, too, were very selfish and unfriendly. He said he thought we could never do any good there and that we had better hunt a more favored land. He said he thought Missouri was a country that would suit us, that it was a new country and one of plenty, and if we could get there perhaps we could find something to do. Carroll had been sick for sometime and dissatisfied with the country and thought it would be a good idea. After considerable conversation, during which time the difficulties of the country were presented to my mind, I came to the conclusion that may be it would be best. So after spending a sleepless night, we left our camp and retraced our steps and got back to Austin in the evening. On that distressing night we came to the conclusion that we would leave the country. We decided that to make the trip by land it would take too long and that it would be best for us to go to Houston and there take water. Go to New Orleans thence up the Mississippi to the Iron Bars and then strike out in the country.

We were not in Austin long before we found several men in the same notion that we were. There was one John Sullivan, a blacksmith, who had come from New Orleans with the expectations of making a fortune at the new Capitol of Texas. He had been at great expense and brought his tools with him. He was very anxious to return. He went back as we went to New Orleans. We also soon fell in company with John C. Grayson, a Mr. Stewart and a Mr. Carter of Madison County, Louisiana. Mr. Grayson came to Texas to build a mill. Stewart was his millwright and Carter his wagoneer. He had a fine wagon and team, a Negro woman and two children, tools and etc. He had hunted all over Texas but could find no mill site and was disquested by the time he had reached Austin that he had resolved to leave Texas.

The wagon that Uncle George and I had brought up there was on the west side of the river at our old friend Bartons. Our oxen had died, I borrowed a yoke from Barton, took the wagon to Austin, and then got a yoke from a Mr. White to take the wagon to Bastrop. On the next day we started and on the next day got to Bastrop. Our brother-in-law was much surprised to see us back so soon. We told him that we had concluded to leave the country. To this he objected. He told us that we had been to considerable expense to get there, and thought it advisable for us to stay longer. He also said that we didn't know whether we would like the country or not till we stayed longer. The advise was good but it had no effect on us. God only knows what would have been best. Had we remained in Texas our condition might have been quite different form what it is at present. We might have long since been numbered with the dead. Or maybe providence would have smiled upon us and we might have been rich like many an old Texan who went to the country at that date. It was all the future then, and was perhaps wisely concealed from us. It now stands in the past and we know not what the result would have been. One of us had long since been dead, yet I feel thankful to the Almighty that two of us are still living.

On our arrival at Bastrop we found that 400 men had assembled as volunteers under the command of General Burleson. There was also a squad of Indians of the Lapan tribe under his command. There was about 20 of them. Burleson stimulated them, giving to each of them a blanket, butcher knife and handerchief. They seemed well pleased with the gifts. The intention of this expedition was to drive the Cherokee Indians from a large tract of country in Eastern Texas, situated on the east side of the Trinity River. These Indians were a remanent of the Cherokee Nation and came to the country at a very early date with General Houston. For after he resigned the governor's chair of Tennessee he went to northern Arkansas among a portion of the Cherokee Indians. Here he married the daughter of the Chief. They went from there to Texas when that Country was under the jurisdition of Spain. Houston's wife died and the revolution came on which resulted in the Independence of Texas.

The Cherokee Indians occupied a good country which had long been covered by Texas. They now wished to get rid of the Indians so they could occupy that part of the country. I never could learn that the Cherokee Indians gave any cause for the treatment they received. It was a premeditated motive of the Texans to drive them from their own country.

Next day Burleson set out for the eastern country. They made a considerable display as they passed through Bastrop. Mounted on their ponies, their rifles resting on their saddles, their water gourds and lariats swung to the horns of their saddles, they marched two and two forming a long line. Burleson and the Indians in the head. In this position they marched through town. They struck towards the north east for the hills of the Brazos. In east Texas they were met by Gen. Bush and several hundred of his men. The joined forces and attacked the Indians, killed the Chief and a large number of his men.

{Note: A state historical marker concerning this Indian battle is within 2 miles of my house. LWP}

We went through the Cherokee country as we went west. It was a beautiful country and one of the best in Texas. Since then several countries have been made out of it, Cherokee, Anderson, Rusk, Henderson, etc. some of the best in the state. Next day we announced our retreat. It was on the morning before we left Bastrop that Martin tried again to keep us from leaving but it had no effect. We were fully resolved to leave. Our company was made up and ready to start. The wagon started and it was then with sadness we bid our kin adiew, one of whom we took by the hand for the last time. I here alude to sister, Martha. She left home and went to Texas. She was only about 13 years old. Yet her mind was well matured and she had a knowledge of things surpassing most people of her age. But like all temporal things, her days were numbered. For in about a year after we left she took congestion fever and died. I was in the state of Missouri when news of her death reached me by letter. I was panic struck, it was with difficulty that I held the letter in my hands while I vent to my sorrow by a flood of tears. This occurance bore heavily on my mind for a long time.

We set out and traveled 8 miles and camped by an old Texan. I made a gun swap with him. We left all the stuff that we had carried to Texas with us, excepting our rifles and clothing. I took my horse and saddle. Carroll left his with Martin. I had 2 or 3 dollars. That was all the money that we had. Grayson bore our expenses till we got to Houston. I then sold my horse and saddle for $90.00, after which I settled up with Grayson. We now had money to go on.

On the second day we traveled about 20 miles and camped in sight of Rootersvelt. The weather was warm and dry and we had to use such water as we could find standing in holes in the beds of dry creeks and branches of the above description.

Just as it began to get dusk I went down to the branch inquest of a pool to bathe in, I soon found one and plunged in. I had gotten out and had just commenced to put on my shirt when I heard a voice behind me, low and gentle. I knew it must be the voice of a woman. She was young and neatly dressed. Imagine my confusion as I hurriedly put on my shirt, rammed my legs in my pants and looked around behind me. I could not imagine what she wanted but she soon relieved my anxiety by informing me that she had come after water. It was well stirred up tolerable thick and muddy.

Next morning we left the cabin, striking a prairie, traveled 3 or 4 miles and came to San Phillipe De Austin, situated on the west side of the Brazos River. This place was settled by Austin and his company of 90 men. Austin was an enterprising man. He made up a company of emmigrants in the state of Missouri and moved them to Texas. Having first secured a large tract of country from the Mexican Government, known as Austin Colony. In this Colony the first settlement was made by Anglo-Saxon race and formed a nucleus for other settlements which finally led to the Independence of Texas. The United States is more indebted to Austin for this great acheivement than to any other man. He has been dead many years, but many of his old comrades still survive. I passed through that section of the country in 1852 and saw several of them. One of whom I had some dealings with, and to whom I listened with delight, which he related to me some of the incedents connected with the early settlement of that country. He told that all of them who were living were in good circumstances and some of them rich. He was oppulent, had never married, had lots of Negroes, some of them I thought looked to white, but I found him to be an honorable man.

We crossed the river at St. Phillipe {San Felipe, Texas}. Here we saw signs of the Revolution, an engagement took place here between the Texans and Mexicans. The former being on the east and the later being on the west side of the river. The tops of the cottonwood trees that skirted the banks had been shot off by cannon balls.

The Brazos bottom here is very fertile. The land is of a dark red color. The principal timber is ash, elm, some black walnut, some red oak, wild cherry, with scattering cane. In this bottom we crossed a small creek. The water looked so clear and beautiful that I concluded that I would have a good drink, but found that it was so full of copper as that I only took one swallow and it operated on me like salt. We soon found ourselves in an open prairie about 25 miles wide. We had become very thirsty. About a quarter of a mile to the right a small grove pointed us to a puddle of water. By knocking off a thick green skum we got enough to quench our thirst, but none for our team, we again set out and a little while after night reached a skirt of timber on the head of Buffalo Bayou. Here we found a small seeping spring where we got water. This days travel was through a low white prairie.

Next morning we made an early start and traveled about 25 miles. The country was the same as the day before excepting we were generally in sight of timber and the country was lower.

In the evening we came in sight of pine timber. The tops of evergreen as they stood elevated above the other timbers presents a sight of admiration and wonder to an individual who had resided in the western part of Texas.

At night we struck camp about 3 miles from Houston. This place has been settled for about 4 years and was the seat of the government for the Republic. It was the most flourishing place in Texas. We found a spring near our encampment of the best water I had found in western Texas. We stayed at this camp 2 or 3 days and then moved into the edge of the city. I had a good horse and saddle. I tried to sell them, but soon found horses were a dull sale. I at last found a man that offered me $90.00 for my horse and saddle. It was the best I could do so I let him have it. Grayson could not sell his team easily, but finally managed to get rid of it.

Houston is situated on the head of Buffalo Bayou, about 60 miles from Galveston. At this time there was one boat that ran from Houston to Galveston.

After staying at Houston about a week we got ready, got on the boat and started for Galveston. We left about dusk, the Bayou at Houston has a very narrow channel. The boat was obliged to run slowly for many miles. The boatman frequently stood in the fore end of the boat and with long poles kept it from running against the bluff. Night with its dark curtains soon closed around us and hide the landscape from view. But by day break we got to the mouth of the Bayou. Here it was more than a mile wide and toward the south the gulf spread out into the sea. The adjoining country was not much higher than the sea. Some scattering trees were to be seen. We had not long been on the gulf before we ran a shoal. They made several trials to get over it, but failed. The Capitan said the passengers would have to get out and most of them did. The water was about waist deep. After working an hour or so we got over the shoal and soon came in sight of Galveston. In 1839 it was a small place but considerable business was done there. Several vessels were lying at the wharf. We were told that it would be 3 or 4 days before we could get a passage to New Orleans. The Colombia, a large steam ship was lying in sight. From its mast head the American Eagle with its stars and stripes floated in the breeze. The Texas Navy also lay in sight. It consisted of one vessel and 13 stationed there to protect the town. Late Friday afternoon about the middle of July we got on board the Columbus, and just before the sun went down, under steam and sail, we set out for New Orleans. The Gulf was rough and most of us were sea sick. We, with some others, had taken deck passage and occupied the fore end of the ship. It was a large uncovered space, strongly floored and lightly ceiled about 5 ft. above the floor. I lay down but if I slept any it was but little for the night was windy and the sea rolling high. I recollect of one time of being in a doze and was awaken by a large wave dashing over the top of the vessel into my face. I sprang to my feet and thought every minute would be my last. But the morning dawned and the sun rose in the eastern waters and I felt thankful for the light of another day. At day break we came in sight of Cana, at the mouth of the turbid of the Mississippi joined the clear blue waters of the Gulf. The Mississippi has three mouths by which it discharges its waters into the Gulf. I think it was the middle one we entered. The country here is low not much higher than the water. Some huts were to be seen on the banks, occupied by fisherman I suspose. As we advanced up the river the banks got higher, groves of timber sometimes skirted the banks. In the glades horses, cattle, and hogs were grazing, some cabin passengers shot frequently at the cattle but it was so far to them that they did not seem to notice it. The old logs that lay near the bank were generally crowded with alligators and turtles. As we advanced we came to sugar farms that extended from the river a great distance on each side.

At 10 o'clock we landed at New Orleans. The firing of a little cannon announced our approach. When day light came our vessel was visited by a custom official and we had to pay duty before we were allowed to land. We then unloaded our plunder on the wharf. Our money was nearly consumed. I sold my horse and saddle for $90.00 in Texas money. I had to give $3.00 of it to get current money. So, I got only $30.00 for my horse. It took $24.00 to bring us over the gulf.

We could do nothing now but find a boat going up the river on which we could work our passage. After a long search {we found} a boat that was going to Nashville, and would start in 4 or 5 days. I found the mate, told him our condition and when he learned that we were Tennesseans returning from Texas it seemed to touch him very much. He saw the Capitan about it and in a little while returned and informed us that we could work our passage as far up the river as we wished. We took our things aboard. As we did this we were closely eyed by the deck hands. We were soon ordered to carry freight on the boat. We were several days loading and unloading. The labor was hard and we were all weak Carroll developed chills, Uncle George had been on the decline for some months and we were so weak that two of us could hardly carry a sack of salt.

It was on Sunday night when we came to New Orleans and on the next Monday week in the evening we left. Just before we started I was surprised to find two of our companions on board with us. They were Grayson and Carter. Stewart, had gotten impatient and left on the first boat he could find going up the river.

Grayson said he had sold his Negroes and was ready to start to Alabama. We got up steam and in the evening started up the river. The boat we were on was the "Saulton" and we found her to be a slow runner.

Uncle George started complaining shortly after we started and showed signs of fever. We held consulation and he thought bleeding him would help. Grayson bled him but it did no good. We fixed a comfortable place for him, went to the cabin and got a doctor to come down and look at him. He pronounced it yellow fever. He gave him some medicine and from that time on one of us sat by him day and night. We got to Memphis on Sunday night and stopped there a short time to unload some freight. Here we consulted as to whether it would be best to leave the river. Uncle George was at this time very low, yet he was rational and talked sensibly about it. He said he would rather go on, and we concluded to make the trip to Iron Banks. I took diarrhea as soon as we left New Orleans and by this time had become very weak, but still kept on as a deck hand. Carroll and I took time about setting up with Uncle George the night we left Memphis. A lamp suspended near where he lay. He continued to get worse and tossed back and forth on his bed. Late in the night my eyes got dim-disease and the wont of sleep was fast overcoming me and I was in a gentle doze, when I was aroused by a noise. Opening my eyes I saw Uncle George had gotten off his bed and with a quick step was making for a hole behind him in the wheel-house. As quick as a thought I sprang at him and caught him just before he stepped off the boat. I know not how I got him back to his bed.

The night passed and the morning was a beautiful one. But it brought no relief as Uncle George kept getting worse and we began to doubt his recovery.

About 5 o'clock as we were passing Island No. 8 the fore end of the boat struck a snag. As soon as the fore end struck it went down and it was perhaps another minute before the other end went down. There was a gang of gamblers on the deck and as soon as the boat began to sink they ran to the yawl and cut it loose and started for the shore and most of the deck hands went with them. One of them jump over the guards into the river. He had not more than struck when I followed him. I told Carroll to follow me which he did. I immediately made for the shore which was about 100 yards distant, but the current beat us down a quarter of a mile before I could land. On getting out I saw a large portion of a boat still out of the water. It had sunk till the water was about 3 feet above the deck. All who had not left the boat were upon the hurricane deck.

Carroll, myself and the deck hands took the yawl and went back to see what had become of Uncle George. I was greatly rejoiced to find him above the water, but he was not conscious of the danger he was in and it seemed he could not live long. We got him to shore where he died in about an hour. He tried hard to speak but his words were in such a low whisper that they were unintelligable and thus he breathed his last.

The End