t was clear the Civil War was over in April-May of 1865. Many Confederates left the country. There were Confederate communities in many of the ports that traded with the Confederates. St. Georges, Bermuda and Nassau in the Bahamas each had Confederate communities. Halifax, Nova Scotia had a Confederate expatriate community led by the former Captain of the C.S.S. Tallahassee, John Taylor Wood who founded a successful business there. Some Confederates settled in and around Havana, Cuba as represented by the McHatton family. Alexander McHatton is shown to the right. He and his wife Eliza left their cotton plantation, Arlington, in Louisiana for Texas and then into Mexico and finally to a sugar plantation in Cuba. The plantation, called Desegano, was located in the Matanza district on the northern coast of Cuba about sixty miles east of Havana. "How prosperous and rich Cuba was in those days!" Eliza McHatton remembered later, "How animated and gay! We arrived when it was at the very acme of its opulence, when fairly drunk with the excess of wealth and abundance." One other big change from the American South beside the major cash crop and the local language was that the domestic servants were Chinese. Blacks, as before, worked the fields. One rebel observed:
"The Chinese when once acclimated and accustomed to the routine, were docile and industrious; they could not stand the same amount of exposure as an African, but they were intelligent and ingenious; within-doors, in the sugar factory, in the carpenter-shop, in the cooper-shop, in driving teams, they were superior to the negro." Cuban "negroes," were perfect for the dreary, mindless, bloody work of cane harvesting"
But things in their new plantation paradise did not work out:
"During the latter years of our residence," she (Eliza McHatton shown on the left) complained, "[t]he gradual emancipation of slaves was enforced, the importation of coolies prohibited." Even more dangerously, the Chinese in Cuba had become vital participants in a series of multi-racial anticolonial struggles against Spain, each of which seemed ardently anti-racist. "A few years later," Eliza remembered, "we left the island forever."
Honduras was another location where Confederates went to seek a new life that might incorporate much of what they had in their former plantations. Colonel Watkins, Major Goldsmith of Georgia and Major Malcolm of Kentucky obtained grants of more than 150,000 acres in the vicinity of San Pedro, situated about fifty miles interior from the port on the Bay of Honduras named Omoa. About sixty fellow southerners all from Georgia, joined them in the beautiful valley area of the grants. More settlers from Georgia and some from Alabama joined the settlement so that the number reached the two hundred mark in just months. The San Pedro settlers introduced the first mills and farming implements known to the country. But the San Pedro colony did not thrive. Whether due to the superior attractions offered by British Honduras, to the hostility of native, insect, and disease, or to internal dissension, only a few of the southerners remained longer than a year. Most of the disillusioned returned to their old homes in the United States.
During the eighteen fifties owners of large quantities of land in the British colony kept on display in New Orleans and other southern cities sugar cane and other products grown on Honduran soil. After the British Honduras lands had been denuded of the mahogany forests, the woodcutting companies became willing to dispose of them to planters. The sugar planters of the United States seemed to be the logical purchasers. Furthermore, it was to the interest of the merchants in British Honduras and the United States, especially to those of Belize and New Orleans, to promote southern immigration to the British colony. Confederates looking for a new land to live, remembered this and began to look into British Honduras.
British officials in British Honduras were telling Southerners - "We want some of your practical and active Southern men to come to this Country and settle it up." They were told that if they would do so, "so soon as they are strong enough for self Government, we will give up the Country to them, as the policy of the English Government now is to lessen the number of her Colonies, as they create the necessity for too large a Military force for their protection."
Southerners were also attracted to British Honduras because of generous terms offered by large land companies which offered large tracts of fine sugar and coffee land at prices ranging from 25 cents to five dollars an acre. They even offered 100 acre tracts in the northern and western parts of the colony, free to any able bodied immigrant.
A New York company, subsidized by a mail contract with the British Honduran government, began steamship service between New Orleans and Belize providing plenty of room for passenger and freight traffic that further encouraged colonists. Eighty to a hundred immigrants from the American South traveled on the steamers every two weeks to Belize. At one point, the U. S. Consul estimated there were more than 1200 colonists from the South in British Honduras. The British Honduras colonists were from many parts of the South. Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia were frequently represented. Many of the colonists had held high positions in the Confederate army.
A Reverend B. R. Duval of Virginia purchased a large tract of fertile land for himself and adjoining tracts for those who might join him on the San Pedro river. He named his settlement New Richmond. He planned to name the colony he hoped would form around it Confederate County. General C. J. McRae of Mississippi and his brother, the former Governor of Mississippi, John M. McRae became neighbors of Duval and joined the settlement. The American Consul estimated as many as 300 colonists were in the San Pedro locale.
A Texan rented some land on the Belize River for $300 a year. He grew almonds, cocoanuts, guavas, limes, oranges, and tamarinds. He had 300 cocoanut trees. Settlers from Louisiana purchased large tracts of land on the New River, some eighty miles from Belize for sugar plantations. Among the purchasers were Captain Beauregard, brother of the creole general; Benjamin, brother of the Confederate secretary of war; Dagle, Doirn, Doughty, Price, and others from Louisiana. On the Mullens River, eighteen miles from Belize, were several planters; on South Stann Creek, forty or fifty
miles south of the capital, were some; on the Moho River thirty families settled; on the Mannatee in a circuit of five miles were twenty-two other family groups. Moreover, in the summer of 1868 most of these newcomers were doing well.
Something changed because by 1869, all the traffic on the biweekly steamers was going back to New Orleans and then to their former locales.
Three thousand Confederate officers went to Brazil. The government of Brazil encouraged the Confederates to settle there to help them develop their new cotton industry. Brazil estimates 20,000 Southerners eventually joined the officers. There they established several American colonies including one named New Texas. Remnants of two persist to this day. One, known as Americano, exists as a town about 50 miles east of Belem in the state of Pará. Another, known as Americana, is located in the state of São Palo about 90 miles northwest of the city of São Palo . Descendants of the latter are known as Os Confederados - the Confederates, gather four times a year to recognize their origins. They eat fried chicken, cornbread, sweet-potato pie and watermelon. When they speak English, instead of their native Portuguese, it comes out in a molasses thick southern drawl.
Other Confederates left for Mexico. Some stopped at Monterrey, only a hundred and fifty miles from the Rio Grande; some chose Saltillo, now the capital of Coahuila, and once also the capital of Texas; some preferred the centuries-old mining town of San Luis Potosí, still further toward the center; a few selected Jalisco, far to the west of the imperial capital; others halted at Jalapa, not far inland from Vera Cruz.
A Colonel Mitchell, a Methodist preacher from Missouri, leased for ten years a 5,000-acre hacienda in the beautiful valley of the Rio Verde, midway between Potosí and Tampico.
The two most important centers of Southern settlements were near Cordova and in the Tuxpan region. The Tuxpan site extended up from the mouth of the Tuxpan River for a distance of thirty miles by direct line. The tracts of land upon which the several settlements were made lay on well-drained hillsides, perfect land for coffee, sugar cane, corn, and fruit farming. The Tuxpan settlements numbered about a fifty families in 1869.
The other large settlement was in what is known as the Cordova district and centered around a town named for the Empress of Mexico, Carlotta. It was estimated there were 500 families in the colony. Cordova is in the state of Vera Cruz and is about 92 miles west of the city Vera Cruz.
General James E. Slaughter and Captain Price, son of General Sterling Price of the Confederate army, went into the rich timber belt between Córdova and Orizaba and put into operation a steam sawmill. General Shelby and Major McMurtry operated a stage between Paso del Macho, the terminus of the Vera Cruz railroad, and Orizaba, and secured a concession to transport iron and other railway material to Mexico City. General Stevens, one of General Lee's chief engineers, and Superintendent Norris, formerly with the New Orleans and Jackson railroad, found employment on the project which sought to connect Mexico City with the port of Vera Cruz.
Most of the colonists were trying to make various plantations work. In the beginning prospects looked bright. The fertile soil and the equable climate pledged cooperation in the production of two crops of corn, cotton, tobacco, and sugar cane; and coffee, vanilla, and other products would grow with a minimum of labor. Equally as encouraging was the prospect of a cheap labor supply provided in Mexico's system of peonage, a form of slavery in disguise. Under the system the laborer found it practically impossible to prevent falling into debt to the master or patron, with whom he must remain until the obligation was paid. As a result, the original contracts, which were to be for a term of not less than five nor more than ten years, became obligations for life in a majority of cases. Moreover, when a laborer died while in debt service to a patron, the latter became the guardian of the former's children, who, until they attained their majority at the age of twenty-five, were to remain with the master under the same conditions agreed to by the father.
The bright prospects soon were dulled first by the colonist themselves. The leaders took up the best land for themselves or held them for late arriving friends. This caused friction with the subsequent arrivals. Adding to dissatisfaction were the departure within a year of leaders. These were people of influence and position back home that were the cause of many a colonists to even come to the colony due to the advice and example of these leaders. Add to all this the natural problems brought on by the rainy season. Not only the relentless torrential rain but also the tropical diseases, fevers and dysentery that followed it. Mexico was a land without much medical assistance, thus to get through this period was a misery of its own. These situations all worked to discourage the colonists.
The military and political situations also began to work against the colony. The refusal of the opponents of the imperial regime to recognize the validity of the confiscation measures which had placed the southeners in possession of their lands was a problem. Whether acting on principle or subterfuge, liberal leaders, sincere or professed, organized bands and attacked the communities to which the newcomers had moved. The attack on the settlement of Omealco, situated about thirty miles from Córdova, at daybreak on the morning of May 15, 1866 is one example. The following is from John Lane a Texan who was one of the victims:
the descent was made by a nondescript band of liberals
--a loosely-used term to characterize any opponents of
Maximilian and his conservative supporters--under the leader-
ship of General Figarro, who was "slashing around, eating and
drinking at the expense of his noble friends, the American colon-
ists, whom he so loved that he made an appointment to speak to
them at some public place upon condition of affairs, upon the
good wishes and intentions of his [the liberal] government
towards them, and upon topics of mutual interest." When the
colonists had assembled and were waiting, Figarro's troops sur-
rounded and made them prisoners. After rifling their pockets
of their lean contents and seizing their available property, chiefly
agricultural implements and live stock, and disposing of it for
their own uses, they marched the prisoners over mountain and
valley, desert and stream, from ranch to ranchero, until their
shoes were worn from their feet, their patience and strength were
exhausted, and their colonial hopes and aspirations vanquished.
On one occasion the prisoners thought they were drawn up to be
shot; but in the end they were spared--the victims thought by
some timely gunshots near by.
The Omealco victims came upon Joseph Soublet, a creole from New Orleans, who entertained and furnished them food and transportation from his ranch off Bianco Bay. The colonists were then given from Figarro's to General Garcia's command; the latter was generous enough to provide civilized treatment and transportation to Vera Cruz, which most of them reached hatless, shoeless, and penniless. They then worked for transportation home to the United States.
There were other raids upon other settlements and haciendas which the southerners occupied in the region within the thirty or forty mile radius extending from Cordova.
This trouble might have been avoided had the aggressive newcomers waited until the Maximilian government was able to afford military protection in the occupation of the lands to which it had given legal title. Of course, as events turned out, the Maximilian government never became able to furnish the physical protection to its new immigrants from the Old South; nevertheless, the delay would have postponed the raids.
The rainy season, its subsequent fevers and disease and the raids of the Mexican malcontents, and the defeat of the Imperialists by the Juaristas, all caused abandonment by most colonist families. These forces plus a general lack of faith, in whatever Mexican government seemed to be in control, to establish order and security in Mexico were primarily responsible for the abandonment of the Córdova settlement. Thus, by late January, 1867, after only a little more than a year, a maximum population of five hundred southern colonists had been reduced to two families.
Among the colonists who came to fight for Maximillian and live in Carlotta was General Magruder and the Governor of Texas, Pendleton Murrah.
Back in Texas, the Lieutenant Governor, Fletcher Stockdale, became the Governor of Texas until Federal authorities got organized. Fletcher Stockdale was Irish; his father, Thomas Stockdale, was born in Ireland. Fletcher Stockdale was a Texas State Senator before the war. He served as Texas' Governor until the Federal appointed Provisional Governor could get to Texas. The town of Stockdale in Wilson County is named for this little known Governor of Texas.
< Fletcher Stockdale
On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger, under the command of Irishman General Phil Sheridan, arrived in Galveston to begin the Federal occupation of Texas. His first act was to proclaim the emancipation of the slaves. He also brought the information of Celt A. J. Hamilton's appointment as Provisional Governor until elections could be held. President Abraham Lincoln appointed Hamilton, a former Texas legislator, because of his Unionist views, in November of 1862. Hamilton was not able to get to Texas until June 22, 1865. A. J. Hamilton's Secretary of State was James Hall Bell, son of the founder of Columbia, Josiah H. Bell and his wife, the former Evelyn McKenzie.
Hamilton, as the Provisional Governor of Texas, called a convention to organize a government by the people under the United States government. This meant a Texas State government that would adopt laws conforming to the abolishment of slavery and the repeal of all laws of the Confederacy. After the convention convened, Hamilton realized he had a serious problem. The men elected to the convention were, for the most part, secessionists who would not compromise.
A. J. Hamilton >
Men like John H. Reagan appealed to the convention to face reality and conform to the Federal system. Reagan wrote from a Federal prison where he was still being held as a former member of the Confederate Cabinet. In his letter he described what he thought was the best way for Texas to return to the Union and avoid a militarily imposed government:
While the Government prescribes the condition of this return, it authorizes the people of the State, through representatives of their choice, to execute them. It seems to be the object of the Government, in pursuing this course, to secure what it regards as the fruits of victory it has won, and at the same time, to preserve our form of government and the liberties of the people. I know that those who look to the past only, with its sacrifices and losses of principles believed to be true, of property possessed, of national independence sought and of the heroic dead, may say why talk of liberty now, and of equality in the Union? The answer is, that having attempted to secure and preserve these by an appeal to the God of battles, we failed, and they now, so far as it relates to our political restoration, belong to the dead past, where it is the policy of the conquerors to leave them, and we are required to look to the living present and to the future. If it be thought hard to surrender so much, it must be remembered that such is the fate of war, and we must not forget that by the appeal to arms, whether willingly made or not, we staked not only what the Government exacts, but all our rights and property on the result. That we are not required to surrender all is due, not to the laws of war, but to the enlightened and Christian
age and country in which we live, to the liberality of the Government, and to the spirit and genius of institutions. The question as to which party to the contest was right or wrong, or as to whether both were partly right and partly wrong, and as to whether we did right or wrong in staking all on the
fate of battle, were discussed before the war was commenced, and were decided by each party for itself, and failing to agree, they made their appeal to the dread arbitrament of arms. It was precisely because the parties could not agree as to the issues between them that they went to war, to settle them in that way. Why should we now think of reopening the discussion of these questions? What good would come of doing so? Wisdom requires us to accept the decision of battle upon the issues involved, and to
be thankful that no more has been demanded by the conquerors, and to unite frankly, and cheerfully as we can, with the Government in carrying out the policy it has propounded...
The only wise and safe course for you to pursue is to accept promptly, unreservedly, and in good faith the terms and policy offered, and to go forward in the work of reorganization and restoration to the Union. This requires your as sent to great pecuniary sacrifices, momentous changes in your social and industrial system and a surrender of your opinions and prejudices on most important questions...
Reagan's views were not appreciated by the convention, and he lost much personal support because of his effort to help. The convention was to write a constitution for the state that would reflect the Federal view. Other than a few superficial changes, the document they wrote was still the constitution that brought Texas into the Union in 1845. It did contain the three demands Lincoln, and then Johnson, required of the South to rejoin the Union: the abolition of slavery, repudiation of the secession ordinance of 1861, and the abrogation of all Confederate debt and obligations. The Texas Constitution of 1866 was the last constitution of the southern states approved by President Johnson. In August, 1866, President Johnson declared insurrection over in Texas.
< President Andrew Johnson
President Andrew Johnson was Irish. His mother was Mary (Polly) McDonough. Her second husband, who raised Andrew Johnson was, Turner Daugherty. Andrew Johnson married Elizabeth McCardle. She taught Johnson how to read. When the Civil War broke out, Andrew Johnson had already served in the U. S. House of Representative and been Governor of his state, Tennessee. At the time war broke out, he was one of the state's United States Senators. He was the only southerner to remain in the U. S. Senate. Lincoln appointed him military Governor of Tennessee in 1862. He was Lincoln's Vice President in 1865.
THE FREE STATE OF VAN ZANDT
After the war and when Texas was moving towards rejoing the United States, there was in Van Zandt County a separatist movement. A Convention was held within the county which voted to declare the county a free and independent state with no ties to either the United States of America or the defunct Confederate States of America. Among the activists in this movement were two brothers, W. A. "Will" Allen and Handy Allen. The Allens had a highly probable Celtic connection.
General Phil Sheridan learned of the activities in Van Zandt County and dispatched troops to stop the revolt. The "soldiers" of the Free State of Van Zandt knew they were coming and awaited their arrival in an ambush in a heavily wooded area on the main road into the county.
The Union force dispatched to Van Zandt County was composed of two parts, the main force and a large advance group riding several hours ahead of the main force. The "Army of Van Zandt" surprised the advance unit from their ambush. After many shots were exchanged and the Union troops retreated out of the county, the "Army of Van Zandt" rode to Canton the former county seat and now capitol of the free state to spread the news and celebrate their victory over the Union force. As the liquor flowed free and the speeches about having chased the Yankees out of Van Zandt were concluding, the main Union force encircled the town. All the reveling rebels of the Free State of Van Zandt were captured on the spot.
Almost immediately, the Union troops built a wood stockade right in the town of Canton. The captured men were kept under constant guard, but as they proved to be model prisoners and all were shackled, the number of guards dwindled as time went on. Many of the Union troops were returned to their original stations.
One of the Allen brothers had a knife in his boot that was not found when the men were captured. The prisoners made this knife into a file and worked day and night on everyone's shackles until the shackles were one step away from being broken off.
When the rainy season came, the guard force was reduced again. The prisoners were being guarded by the minimum manpower possible. The locals knew the upright poles of the stockade that were set in the hard clay of Van Zandt County would be loosened by the rain. When the guard was out of sight, the prisoners began to work on pulling up certain poles loosened by the continual rain. After several nights of this, the poles were loose and plans were made for an escape. The shackles were broken, the poles lifted and the escape made. The men left in two main groups. One group headed east to the Sabine and Louisiana, the other traveled north to the Red River and the Indian Territory.
Hardy Allen was in the group running east toward the Sabine River. He was killed when these defenseless men were attacked by Indians. Hardy's brother, Will Allen, was in the group working their way to the Indian Territory. This group reached the territory. Will Allen was only a boy during this whole episode, he attached himself to one of the men in his group that had been a doctor in Van Zandt. After a time, the doctor was able to buy supplies and equipment and set up a practice among the Indians. Young Will Allen became his helper and apprentice. Many years later, Will Allen set up his own practice among the Indians. He married an Indian. His wife died during childbirth with their second child. The child survived.
Devastated by his wife's death, and feeling enough time had passed for him to return to Texas, Will Allen determined to return to Van Zandt County. Will Allen brought his "Indian" children back to Van Zandt County and put up his shingle as a doctor. As a doctor, Will Allen, had a certain staus in the community, as a former member of the Free State of Van Zandt "Army", Will Allen was received as a hero. His children were received as the children of the Free State of Van Zandt.
The Congress of the United States was at odds with President Johnson over Reconstruction. Reconstruction was a political term of the period immediately after the war. It referred to the process by which the former Confederate States would be governed and to the conditions on which they would be restored to the Union. This process was controlled by a Republican administration over an area previously, and traditionally controlled by the Democratic Party. It has since taken on a broader meaning describing the entire transformation period of adjustment between 1865 and 1877 when the Democrats were again able to take back control of the governments of the southern states.
How tough Reconstruction was to be on the South was the single largest reason the Congress brought impeachment proceedings against the President (The deciding vote that saved Johnson from being impeachedwas cast by a Celt, Representative Edmund Gibson Ross of Kansas). While Johnson was willing to take forward Lincoln's view of no malice, the Congress wanted retribution. They were determined, for instance, that no former enemy would be a sitting member of Congress. Before the elections were held in the South, there was a requirement put in effect in both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate which required members to take an oath swearing they never bore arms or supported a government hostile to the United States. Congress knew this would take away all the known leadership in the South. That is exactly what they wanted. They feared with the old leadership in place the country would be brought back to 1861 very quickly. Elections were scheduled to be held in 1866.
ELECTIONS OF 1866
< James Throckmorton
J. W. Throckmorton, a Unionist who served with valor in the Confederate Army, was elected Governor of Texas over former Governor E. M. Pease. The Texas Legislature which was elected, was blatantly southern in their views. The legislature restricted the new rights of the Blacks in Texas so that they were not full citizens of Texas with the same rights as other Texans. The Texas Legislature failed to: adopt the Thirteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution; the abolition of slavery, and; they rejected the Fourteenth Amendment, providing civil rights to freedmen. The Texas Legislature did pass new labor laws designed to put the Black Texans back in their former owner's fields. Some of these laws had provisions requiring Black Texans to be "obedient and respectful", they were not to leave work without permission, and would not be allowed visitors while working.
The Texas Legislature elected a secessionist to be one of the state's U. S. Senators, Irishman Oran M. Roberts. Roberts chaired the 1861 Convention which passed the secession ordinance. The other senator elected was Irishman and Unionist David G. Burnet, the former President of the Republic of Texas. He served in the Confederacy during the war. The U. S. Senate refused to allow these men to be seated. The men elected to be the state's U. S. Congressmen were all former Confederates. They, too, were not allowed to be seated. None of the duly elected officials of Texas could take the required oath; they had all supported the Confederacy. In the eyes of Federal officials, Texas was defying the cause for which many of their sons died.
< General Philip Sheridan
Federal authorities declared Texas without a legal government and set up a military government. Celts, and particularly the Irish, were an important part of that military government. General Philip Sheridan was appointed Commander of the Fifth Military District, which included Texas and Louisiana, by the General of the Army, Irishman General William Tecumseh Sherman. The man appointed to run Texas, was General Charles Griffin, a man of Celtic heritage. General Alexander McCook was in command of the lower Rio Grande Valley. He helped organize the Saint Patrick's Day celebration that year. The Mayor of Brownsville was, at this time, William Neale. Before him, Stephen Powers, who had Irish parents, was mayor. Major A. O. Moran, as commanding officer at Fort McIntosh, was Commandant in Laredo. Commander of Union troops in Austin was Major General George Armstrong Custer. He was twenty-six years old. There are many who believe Custer to be Irish on the maternal side. This is, as yet, unsubstantiated.
General Charles Griffin >
Throughout most of the reconstruction period the military was in control of the State. There was good reason for this. Unionists or negroes still could not hope for a fair trial by jury in Texas. The courts were replaced by military tribunals.
There was bound to be trouble. The Texans were a proud people; now they were a conquered people. It did not sit well upon their shoulders. The military tended to be arrogant. Some of the negro units stationed in Texas, taunted the Texans. There were incidents, and always the military had to come down on the side of the Federal view. This emboldened the militant. It was "get even" time for the Unionists who had to leave Texas and come back to find the Confederate government had seized their property, or that neighbors had burned it.
Confederates controlled the courts. Juries and judges consistently sided with former Confederates in legal matters involving Unionists. Griffin ordered local military commanders to notify him of any trials in their area where the proceedings were suspicious. Griffin would then invoke his power to intercede by ordering stays, reversals and freeing prisoners. Griffin took a further move by requiring all prospective jurors to take the "iron clad oath." Governor Throckmorton outwardly advised all judges to comply with General Griffin's request while quietly making a plea directly to President Johnson that Griffin's methods were too agressive.
Sheridan supported Griffin in his military administration of Texas and allowed Griffin to make even bolder moves. Griffin ordered all voters in Texas to be registered. The registration process included the "Iron Clad Oath." This removed many Confederates from the voting rolls. Griffin also afforded blacks an opportunity to register. In July of 1867, the U. S. Congress passed another Reconstruction Act. This one allowedmilitary commanders to disassemble uncooperative state governments from top to bottom, if necessary, and to appoint replacements until the registered voters elected new office holders. In August of 1867, General Sheridan removed the governor, at the urging of General Griffin, and other elected state officials from office. E. M. Pease was appointed Provisional Governor until elections could be held. Pease was a former two term Governor before the war. He was a Unionist. With congressional backing, the Military District reached down to the county levels and removed all who could not take the "iron clad oath." This had the effect of making the Texan well aware he was under martial law, and the small amount of local government allowed was controlled by a Unionist minority. President Johnson did not agree with the agressive moves in Texas and thinking General Sheridan was behind them, had him reassigned. He replaced Sheridan with General Winfield Scott Hancock who shared the president's more moderate view of the reconstruction process.
By removing Sheridan, Johnson really sped things up, because Griffin, as senior officer under Sheridan, took over until General Hancock could arrive. Hancock was not free to quickly assume his new post so that Griffin was able to accomplish much before his arrival. Griffin quickly moved to have wholesale replacements made of elected officials in Texas.
The effect General Charles Griffin had on Texas history has not been fully appreciated. This is partly because he was related to a very unpopular aspect of the history (reconstruction) and also because Griffin was not in command very long.
Galveston, where Griffin had transferred the headquarters of the Fifth Military District, and the whole Gulf Coast was struck in Spetember, 1867 with a virulent Yellow Fever epidemic. Hundreds of people were dying daily. Galveston was without either civilian or military doctors after the first week, all of them having fallen victim to the disease.
General Griffin turned his attention from politics to organize the city and coastal areas to fight the fever. Military officials in Washington D.C. advised General Griffin to leave Galveston, but he responded "to desert Galveston at such a time was like deserting one's post in the time of battle". The general stayed in Galveston, contracted the desease himself and died on September 15, 1867. Fort Griffin, near Albany, Texas, was named for him in 1867.
In 1868 a new convention was called. This time Black Texans were allowed to participate. Only six of the delegates attending the 1868 convention were delegates to the 1866 convention. This was because most of the secessionists boycotted the election of delegates, declaring "Better Yankee rule than Nigger Rule." Still, it was not easy to get a consensus. There were three main groups attempting to influence events and control the convention. One of the groups was composed of Texas Unionists who left Texas during the war. This group was politically called the Radicals. It was led by Edmund Jackson Davis. A second group was the Unionists who remained behind and joined the Confederate service. This group was called the Conservatives, or Conservative Republicans, among its leaders were J. W. Throckmorton and Andrew Jackson Hamilton. The last and smallest group because of the boycott, were the Democrats. These men were secessionists and die hard rebels. Their leader was O. M. Roberts. At one point during the convention, these three groups sought to divide Texas into three states. The U. S. Congress stopped that idea by not even considering the matter. The Federal structure threw its support behind the moderate Conservatives. A new constitution was written that conformed to the view of national Republicans. The team of the Federals and Conservatives began planning for the immediate future of Texas. It appeared the moderate group, the Conservatives, with the support of the Federal military, would make the transition of Texas back to a State of the United States of America quickly and without the invective of either of the other two political groups. But then something happened.
THE ELECTIONS OF 1869
General Joseph. J. Reynolds, a personal friend of General Grant, replaced General Griffin as the Commander of the Texas subdistrict under General Hancock. This change occurred after the convention but before the general election.
< General Joseph J. Reynolds
The candidates for the election of 1869 were: Edmund J. Davis for the Radicals; A. J. Hamilton for the Republican Conservatives; and for the Democrats, the candidate was Hamilton Stuart. All three men had Celtic blood in their ancestry. Sometime before the elections, General Reynolds was insulted by A. J. Hamilton, the Conservative candidate. General Reynolds switched the Federal support to Edmund J. Davis. The Federal support was important because Reynolds controlled the machinery that would run the election. General Reynolds appointed Davis men as the voter registrars. All Black Texans who wanted to, and some who did not want to, were registered to vote. Again the secessionists, to a large extent, stayed away from the polls. The Black vote voted very heavily in the way indicated by the Union officers in control. They were obvious in their support of Davis. Many votes were not counted. Some whole counties were not allowed to vote. On the slightest provocation polls were closed in counties not expected to vote for Davis. General Reynolds declared Davis the winner. When objections were raised and brought to the attention of Grant, who was then President of the United States, he accepted his old friend Reynolds' numbers. Grant turned a deaf ear to claims of vote fraud. Reynolds announced by a general order the term of office of those elected would start before the term would normally begin, as specified by the newly accepted state constitution.
The new legislature ratified both the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and elected Irishman James Winright Flanaghan, and Celt Morgan Calvin Hamilton, the brother of A.J. Hamilton to be the state's U. S. Senators. Morgan was not a Conservative like his brother. He was somewhere politically between the Conservatives and Radicals.
< James Winright Flanaghan
In the elections of 1869, Flanaghan was elected Lieutenant Governor. He never was inaugurated because of his election by the legislature to be a United States Senator. His son, Webster Flanaghan, was one of those few who was a delegate to both constitutional conventions of 1866 and, 1868. Before that, Webster Flanaghan was a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army, a Texas State Legislator, and a Texas State Senator. Webster Flanaghan was the Lieutenant Governor elected after his father. In all of Texas history, a son succeeding, by public election, a father to such a high office is a rarity.
In April, 1870, General Reynolds formally turned over the government to Edmund J. Davis, pictured to the right. Davis then passed legislation he felt was needed to speed the reconstruction process. The Radical majority in the Texas House passed his bills quickly, but there was a block of Conservative and Democratic Senators elected who threatened to hold up these bills. They were put under house arrest and the bills voted on and passed in their absence. The measures Davis felt he needed were typical of an administration not truly elected to power. Their basis was to maintain and extend their power. The bills enacted into law were:
The Militia Bill- placed all men in the state between the ages of eighteen and forty-five subject to military duty, under the personal command of the Governor. Martial law could be declared in any county, and the counties forced to provide all costs incurred, if necessary.
The State Police Bill- provided for a force of 200 men under the command of the Governor and the Adjutant General. They could operate anywhere without having to cooperate with local officials. They could be undercover. They could take prisoners counties other than where they were apprehended for trial.
The Enabling Act- allowed the Governor to appoint offices down to the mayor, district attorney, and public weigher level. Governor Davis used this patronage tool to unique advantage. In Houston, the state's largest city, he appointed Thomas H. Scanlan, an Irishman, to be Mayor.
The Printing Act- created a state controlled press operation. Regional newspapers were selected to print official notices.
When reaction to these measures appeared, the Davis administration moved quickly to take care of it. Morgan Hamilton made speeches questioning the measures. The State Legislature was convened. It declared Hamilton's election invalid, and elected General J. J. Reynolds to replace him even though Reynolds was not a resident or citizen of Texas. Reynolds was nominated by Edmund J. Davis. The U. S. Senate refused to seat General Reynolds stating that Hamilton was entitled to his full term.
Out in the country side the disenfranchisement of the greater population of Texas gave rise to the Invisible Empire of the Ku Klux Klan. Other names by which it is known are, the Knights of the White Camellia, and the K.K.K.. In San Augustine, for instance, membership grew quickly to 200 men.
As a man's horse in those days was as much a recognizable part of a man as his shirt, both horse and rider were draped in the spectral envelope of white cloth to hide a man's identity. When the K.K.K. went out at night to gather and perform, stop and think how they must have looked the first time anyone saw them coming. Usually they came, a dozen or so in number and riding hard; their ghostly robes flowing in the air!
The cities, too, saw the rising of the Klan. The city of Houston had a mass public swearing-in ceremony of more than 300 men who joined the Klan.
NON-MILITARY EVENTS BEFORE, AND AFTER THE WAR
In 1853, Richard King teamed with Texas Ranger Captain Gideon "Legs" Lewis to buy land and increase the holdings of his Santa Getrudis Ranch. Lewis was killed in 1855 and King went on to build the King Ranch. His ranch became so large he had to recruit men to come and work it. Once while on a cattle buying trip to Mexico, King came upon a small village that was devastated by a drought with no end in sight. He made the village an offer- for all of them to move, lock, stock and barrel to work on his ranch. They did. The men from this village and their descendants stayed and worked on the ranch. They were known by the term `kinenos' or King's men. Later the term was applied to other Mexican nationals working on the King Ranch. The King Ranch was a selfsufficient community. Many kinenos worked, married in a church, sent their kids to school, shopped, died and were buried on the ranch.
In 1854, The Texas Governor's Mansion was built. Andrew Jackson's Hermitage was chosen as the architectural model for the home of the Texas governor. Temple Houston, son of Sam Houston, was the first child born in the Texas' Governor's Mansion. He was born August 12, 1860.
Irishman Samuel Morse, the inventor, devised a working model of the telegraph. He offered his new invention to the new Republic of Texas in 1836 to help it raise revenues. Morse never heard from Texas; his letter offering the gift was lost in the bureaucracy of the Lamar Administration. In 1860, Morse wrote Governor Sam Houston withdrawing the gift.
George A. Kelly founded the Kelly Plow Company in Jefferson, Texas in about 1860. In 1863, he built the plant four miles west of Jefferson. The area became known as Kellyville. It was the first plow company in the American Southwest. Kelly's plow was known as "the blue Kelly" and there was hardly a farm in East Texas that did not have a "blue Kelly" plow. Besides plows, the company also manufactured stoves and cow bells. Kelly moved to Longview after a fire destroyed his plant in 1880.
Robert W. Loughery, a first generation American and Texan of Irish parents, was an influential newspaperman during and after the war. He began his career working on a paper in Jefferson. He was most noted during the time he owned and edited the Marshall Texas Republican. From that pulpit he exhorted the Confederacy to attack and bring the war to the North. At the peak of his career, Loughery owned newspapers in Marshall, Jefferson, and Galveston. He started the Galveston Times in 1874. Even in his retirement Loughery was active, serving as U. S. Consul in Acapulco, Mexico.
George Washington Baines came to Texas in 1850. He organized the first Baptist church in Marshall, Texas; and was editor of the state's first Baptist newspaper (1855), the Texas Baptist. His grandfather (George Baines) came from Ireland. G. W. Baines' mother was Mary McCoy. In 1861, George Washington Baines was President of Baylor University. His son, Joseph Wilson Baines, was the Secretary of State of Texas from 1883 - 1887. He was the father of Rebekah Baines who married Samuel E. Johnson. Their son was Lyndon Baines Johnson the 36th President of the United States.
< George Washington Baines
Edmund McIlhenny was a self made man from New Orleans. In 1862 he fled to his wife's family home on Avery Island off Louisiana to escape the Union forces of General B. F. Banks. In 1863, when Union forces landed on Avery Island, the McIlhenny family escaped to Texas. During his time in Texas, Edmund McIlhenny discovered a special mexican pepper, the seeds of which he brought back to Avery Island after the war. McIlhenny was able to grow the pepper on the island, and he incorporated the pepper in a sauce he called Tabasco Sauce. Three generations of McIlHenny's have continued to manage the business of making Tabasco Sauce, one of the standard condiments on a Texan's table.
Edmund McIlhenny >
Sam Houston died in Huntsville, Texas on July 26, 1863.
James Wiley Magoffin, in May, 1866, was given carte blanche by Governor Hamilton to reorganize El Paso County government.
William Carey Crane was of both Irish and Scotch heritage. Delaney and Moore are paternal family names of Crane. His mother was a Campbell. William Carey Crane helped to organize what is today Baylor University. He was its President for 22 years, 1863-1885. Crane was the first president of the Texas State Teachers Association. He also helped create Texas University, and Sam Houston State University.
< William Carey Crane
Robert Emmet Bledsoe Baylor, for whom Baylor was named, has a Celtic connection as evidenced by his first two names (Robert Emmet was a famous Irish patriot). R. E. B. Baylor and fellow Celts Kenneth Anderson, and William Carey Crane helped found the university. R. E. B. Baylor was an uncle of the Confederate General John Robert Baylor. R.E.B. Baylor >
Thomas Affleck, Scottish born, was a renown researcher and writer on agriculture and horticulture. He landscaped both the Texas and Louisiana Capitols. His home, which he called Glenblythe Plantation was located in Gay Hill, Texas.
Thomas S. Milligan was the first elected Sheriff of Mason County. He was killed by hostile Indians while serving as Sheriff. His grandson, Allen Thomas Murray was Sheriff of Mason County 60 years later (1924). He also was killed in the line of duty.
John G. O'Grady was the Postmaster at Boerne, Texas during the war. He helped organize Kendall County. He operated an inn at Boerne known as the Kendall House. A brother, Robert Emmet O'Grady and their sister Alice purchased the Argyle Hotel in what is now Alamo Heights, San Antonio.
They purchased the hotel on Saint Patrick's Day, 1893. The hotel was owned by a Scotsman named Patterson. The hotel was practically an institution in San Antonio in the years after the war. It was once the home of Hiram Walker, who was the son of William Walker a survivor of the Magee Expedition of 1813. Walker's ranch was the basis for the Alamo Heights development. The Argyle continued as an institution under the O'Grady's. Robert O'Grady served as Mayor of Alamo Heights 1922-1940.
It was in Morrison's Old Corner drugstore in Waco, Texas that Dr. Pepper was invented.
Adelaide McCord was born in Nacogdoches, Texas. She grew up to be beautiful and much admired and photgraphed woman. In 1856, she married Alexander Isaacs Menken. Though she married many times after that she always retained Isaacs Menken as her last name. She was a published poet (both in the United states and Europe). Charles Dickens was her editor. She was also an actress. She appeared in stage productions in New York and Philadelphia. Her most famous role was that of Byron's Mazeppa a performance of an athletic, dramatic type suited to her fine physique. She displayed much of her physique in the production's most dramatic act. In that act she is strapped to a running horse in a loose fitting tunic over flesh colored tights. She would often interrupt a performance with a speech in support of the South. She was arrested in Baltimore for her outspoken support of the Confederacy. She appeared at the Gaieties in Paris and other reknowned stages in Europe.
< Adelaide "Adah" McCord, Isaacs, Menken
Her greatest claim to fame was that she married the King of Würtemburg, Germany. Her marriage was morganatic meaning that since she was not of royal blood, she had no rights to title or inheritance rights to title or property. Despite this, she was known as the Queen of Würtemburg. Her influence was said to be considerable in the principality. The King died and Adelaide went back to the stage. She collapsed at the height of her career in 1868 onstage in Paris, France. She was only 33 years-old. She died shortly afterward of tuberculosis. She was buried in Perela Chaise cemetery in Paris. Her remains were later removed to the Hebrew cemetery of Mont Parnesse. In life, Adelaide identified with the Hebrew heritage of her mother and changed her name to Adah. Thus, Adelaide McCord was known throughout her career as Adah Isaacs Menken.
In 1861, the capitol of Missouri was located in Marshall, Texas. It was moved there by then pro-Confederate Governor Claiborne F. Jackson who believed his state was about to be invaded by Union troops. Jackson originally located the Missouri Capitol in another Texas town, Jefferson, but soon moved to Marshall because there was a sizeable Missouri colony of Confederates located there. The Confederate Capitol of Missouri remained in Marshall until after the war.
The best known Texas trail is probably the Chisolm Trail. The trail was originally not in Texas, and the man it is named after, Jesse Chisolm, of Scotch and Cherokee ancestry, was not from Texas.
< Joseph McCoy
The story begins with Irishman Joseph McCoy, one of the founders of Abilene, Kansas. He built the railroad yards and cattle pens in Abilene, which were located on the east-west railroad. The railroad was already through that part of Kansas moving out west to connect with construction moving from the west. McCoy reasoned that if cattlemen wished to get their beef to market for the most money, they could feed them enroute, along a trail to his pens where he would buy them and send them east, and eventually west. Jesse Chisolm owned the largest ranch in Oklahoma, and was one of the first to drive cattle to the Abilene pens in 1867. Jesse Chisolm is pictured to the right.
McCoy went into Texas, set up a base in Fort Worth. He established cattle trails to Fort Worth, and then one from Fort Worth to the trail Chisolm had made from Oklahoma City area to Abilene, Kansas. The overall trail system picked up the name of Chislom, and within the year (1868) was known as the Chisolm Trail. In the two decades after the Civil War, millions of Texas cattle were moved to market over this trail.
Another trail was the Goodnight-Loving Trail from Fort Belknap, Texas to Fort Sumter, New Mexico. Goodnight was later partners with John Adair, an Irishman from Rathdair, Ireland. Together they founded the JA Ranch in the Panhandle, the first major ranch there. The ranch eventually had a herd of over 100,000 cattle roaming on more than 1,000,000 acres. Goodnight invented the chuck wagon.
In 1874 in Lavaca County, a county pioneer and the richest man in the county, Washington Green Lee Foley, died at the age of 96. from the 1830s through 1874 he had a plantation near Halletsville, Texas (about halfway between Houston and San Antonio). "Ole Foley" as he was called had as many as 12,000 acres and over 120 slaves at one time. He raised corn, cotton, potatos, cattle and hogs. He had his own Cotton gin, mill, and blacksmith shop. He had his slaves make clothes for his family and his slaves from his cotton with spinning wheels. Foley and his wife Sarah had five sons and two daughters. The daughters were Elizabeth and Sophie. The sons were Arthur G. who was killed in the Goliad Massacre, Sterling Tucker who fought at San Jacinto, James R. who was killed by indians after Texas Independence. Two other sons, Hiram Stewart and Mason never married. All at one time or another were members of the Texas Rangers. The last two, Mason and Hiram Stewart were known to have had relations with females slaves resulting in children. In 2013, DNA testing identified many of these children and their desendants. The family, white and black held a reunion on the old plantation grounds where Ole Foley, Sarah and Mason and Hiram were buried. They had another one in 2014 that doubled the number of attendees.
CELTS IN TEXAS AFTER THE CIVIL WAR
Irishman Francis Moore, the first mayor of Houston, published a newspaper in Houston called the Houston Telegraph. He published it under five different governments: Mexican, Texas Republic, the State of Texas, Confederate, and after the Civil War under the military government administered then.
Harriet Moore Page Potter Ames -
Harriet Moore, the daughter of a different Francis Moore who lived on Chocolate Bayou, lived a difficult life. In 1866 much of it was behind her when she married a man who loved her deeply, Judge Charles Ames. Together the couple had thirteen children. Harriet Moore's earlier life was not easy. Harriet Moore married, for the first time, when she was seventeen years old. That was in 1829 when she married Solomon C. Page. They were married "in bond." He turned out to be an inveterate and compulsive gambler. Often he sold the couple's few possessions for his next bet. The Pages settled for a time in New Orleans. After the arrival of two children, Joseph and Virginia, Harriet found it necessary to find a means to sustain the family. She opened a small dress shop in New Orleans. Overworked, she came down with yellow fever and was treated by Doctor Anson Jones, who would be the last President of the Republic of Texas.
Harriet's father became ill in 1835. Solomon agreed to move the family back to Texas where Harriet could be close to him. The family moved to Houston. While she was gone, during one of her visits to see her father, her husband lost all of their furnishings and provisions in a card game. Her father learned of the incident and asked his daughter and her children to come live with him. He offered to provide her with a half section of his land and twenty cows if she would leave her husband. Harriet thanked her father for the generous offer, but told him she would try again to make the marriage work. Not long after, Harriet gave her husband some of the money she had earned from her business to buy food for the family. Six days later he returned without the food. The next day he left to join the Texas Revolution.
Solomon Page left his wife and children without food or provisions. The family ate what nature provided and what neighbors offered them. Her family in the person of her brother, John D. Moore and his wife, Martha provided assistance to Harriet. Harriet later moved to Brazoria, but left soon in the Runaway Scrape. During her flight, she was befriended by the Secretary of the Navy of the Republic of Texas, Robert Potter. He took Harriet and her two children aboard his flagship, the Flash, to Galveston. While in Galveston harbor, Harriet heard the news of San Jacinto. The joy in that news was quickly overshadowed when her daughter Virginia became seriously ill and died. Soon after, Robert Potter placed the family: Harriet, and Joseph Page; along with Harriet's sister Martha Moore, aboard the American ship, the Pocket. The Pocket had been taken as a prize by the Texas Navy. Potter was away from Galveston attending to business of the Republic, when Solomon Page visited his wife aboard the Pocket in Galveston harbor. He told his wife her behavior in accepting the hospitality of Potter was causing a scandal. He asked her to leave the ship and go with him. Harriet refused. The incident caused Potter to promise Francis Moore he would take the two women and the children to their grandmother in Kentucky. The Pocket left Galveston for New Orleans in the summer of 1836.
Not long after they were in New Orleans, Harriet and Martha, together with little Joseph Page were hurriedly shuttled aboard a steamer. Potter told them he was taking them to Kentucky. He explained the rush was because of a yellow fever epidemic breaking out in New Orleans. Harriet soon learned the steamer's destination was somewhere up the Red River, when she complained to Potter, he told her he could not let her go. He declared his love for her and asked her to marry him. She told him she was already married, and not divorced. Potter convinced Harriet that since she and Solomon Page were never married by a priest as required in 1829, she was never officially married. Harriet then agreed to marry Robert Potter. The two were married "in bond" before a Shelby County Justice of the Peace in September of 1836. The marriage was to be formalized later by clergy.
Harriet Moore Page Potter's life at Potter's Point on Lake Caddo in East Texas was that of a frontier woman. More than once she found it necessary to hold of Indians with a gun. She became pregnant, but lost the baby when she fell running to a call of help from her son Joseph. There was another pregnancy, resulting in the birth of a daughter, Lakean Potter.
In 1841, Robert Potter again entered the political arena. He was elected a State Senator from Shelby County. In the campaign, Harriet learned something about Robert Potter she did not know. He was married before, and if that were not startling news, she learned Potter had attacked two men Potter believed were seeing his wife. Potter personally castrated these men, one of whom was a Methodist minister. At the time Potter was a State Representative in North Carolina. So outraged were the citizens of North Carolina at Potter's attack on the two men, they changed the law against "maiming", which popularly, in his case, was called "potterizing", to be punishable by death without benefit of clergy.
Since it was after the fact, the law did not apply to Potter. Robert Potter was re-elected by his constituents who believed in the unwritten law. In 1834, Potter was expelled from the North Carolina legislature for cheating at cards. Not long thereafter he appeared in Texas.
In 1841, State Senator Robert Potter sponsored a bill making a marriage legal in Texas if performed before a Justice of the Peace and without benefit of clergy. This was to please his wife who had been after him since their appearance before the Shelby Justice of the Peace to formalize their marriage before a clergyman.
Potter told his wife they could not go to a church to formalize the marriage, because he had claimed being married when he filed his land claim in 1836. If he brought attention to the fact there may be a question as to whether he was properly married at the time of his claim, he might lose the land. Potter told his wife his bill would legitimatize their marriage and protect the land claim and inheritance rights of her and the children. The bill was passed.
A son was born to Harriet and Robert Potter in February of 1841. There were now five in the family; Robert and Harriet, and the three children; Joseph, Lakean, and John David Potter. The campaign rhetoric from those opposed to Potter raised the issue of the legitimacy of Potter's land claim. A neighbor, William Pinckney Rose, who supported another candidate in the State Senate race, brought the matter to the attention of the State Land Commission. Potter, while attending to State duties in Austin, kept the investigation on the back burner.
State business was not all Potter was attending to while in Austin. Potter was busy seeing married women, namely the wife of the Secretary of State James S. Mayfield, Sophia Ann; and the wife of the Secretary of the Treasury John G. Chalmers, Mary W. Chalmers.
After the legislative session was over in Austin, Potter returned to Shelby County with a little surprise for his political enemy, Rose. He had a warrant for the arrest of his troublesome neighbor. He also carried a proclamation from President Lamar asking citizen's to assist Potter in bringing Rose in.
Rose was a Regulator in the Regulator/Moderator feud in Shelby County. He was accused of several murders, among them was the murder of John B. Campbell of Panola County. Potter was a Moderator, and eager to use any means to remove Rose, as he would a thorn, from his side. Rose was aware of events and evaded being found. The first night Potter was back in his home, Rose and nine henchmen surrounded Potter's cabin. Harriet woke up, investigated, and told her husband the house was surrounded by men with guns. She told him they were going to have to fight or die. Potter jumped from bed, grabbed a shotgun and bolted out the door. He headed for the lake adjoining his property. Potter had a reputation as an excellent swimmer. Potter made it through the ring of men. Those that fired their weapons missed him. When Potter got to the edge of the lake, he dropped the shotgun and dove in. John W. Scott, Rose's son-in-law was the first man on the spot. He picked up Potter's shotgun. When Potter came up for air, Scott shot him in the head, killing Potter.
The problems between Rose and Potter were deep seeded. Besides the Moderator/Regulator feud there was a possibility Rose coveted the nice spread Potter had by the lake. Harriet, as the only witness to the murder of Robert Potter, felt she had to lay low and not immediately contact the authorities. When she felt she could do something, she disguised herself as a Mexican on a wagon and made her way to the authorities. The children were left in the care of a friend at the cabin. The friend, who had gotten to the cabin unseen, dressed like Harriet to convince the Rose's she was still there. This was necessary because the road from her place to the law went by the Rose place. Harriet was successful in filing charges against her husband's murderers, all nine men were taken into custody. Unfortunately, the whole episode became another part of the Moderator/Regulator struggle. Big time lawyers came into the case on behalf of Rose and his men, Thomas Jefferson Rusk and his law partner James Pinckney Henderson. They were able to get their clients released. The release was based on the terms of Robert Potter's will. The will was devastating to Harriet. The will referred to Harriet as Harriet Page, other items in the will led the judge in the case to believe she was not Mrs. Robert Potter. Since the charges were filed by Mrs Robert Potter, the judge had no recourse but to release the nine men.
Harriet's nightmare was not over, from the will she learned Potter left most of his property to Sophia Ann Mayfield and Mary W. Chalmers. If that were not enough, when she got back to the cabin by the lake, she learned Lakean tipped a boiling vat of hot lye over on herself, was scalded and died. Harriet broke under the strain of it all and asked her friend to show mercy and to please kill her. It was at this point of despair in her life that Charles Ames stepped forward. He told Harriet that he had always loved her, and would like to care for her and hers. As was stated in the beginning of this story, they were married and had thirteen children of their own. Charles Ames became a prominent man as a judge in Cass County. Harriet outlived her last husband. At the age of 83, she wrote her life story. It was published and is the basis for her story as presented here.
The story of Harriet has touched many people. Ames' role in Texas history is known primarily through her own memoirs, which she wrote at age of 83 while living her final years with her youngest daughter in New Orleans. Although her autobiography has never been printed, her trials as a 19th-century woman became known through a successful historical novel written in the 1950s by Elithe Kirkland called Love Is a Wild Assault.
Though she died and was buried in Covington, Louisiana, there is a monument to her memorylocated at Potter's Point on Caddo Lake>
Rick Nolan -
In 1866, Francis Moore's editor was W. P. Doran who provided much of the reporting of the Battle of Sabine Pass. One of the tragic news stories right after the war was a cholera epidemic that hit Houston. During the cholera epidemic of 1866 the population of Houston was in a panic. They learned to live with one killer that made annual visits to the city, yellow fever. In 1866, there was another one. Rumors were rampant of healthy men dropping dead in the street. Everyone watched his neighbor closely for any symptoms. The disease was spreading all over Houston.
All this is background information for a story told by S. O. Young in his book about early Houston and Houstonians. This Irishman did little in the way of contributing to the Celtic connection to Texas history, but the story is amusing and provides a break in the dry recitation of facts.
There was in Houston, at the time of the cholera epidemic of 1866 a young and irresponsible Irishman. His name was Rick Nolan. Rick worked for the undertaker in Houston. One day after a burial, the undertaker told Rick to take the horsedrawn hearse back to town Rick had done this often, and just as often he would race the mare, hearse and all, on the road into town. On this particular day, just outside the gates of the cemetery, he was stopped by a bum who asked for a ride into Houston. Rick told him he could not take him; the undertaker did not allow it. The bum offered Rick some money and said he would hide in the hearse. Rick said he would do it if the bum laid down in the hearse and stayed from view. The deal was struck and Rick Nolan headed for town with his passenger prone in the hearse. As he got closer to town, he decided to pick the pace up a bit. The mare, thinking he wanted to race, bolted forward. A cantor quickly became a full scale gallop as Rick, the mare, and hearse, bolted toward Houston. Rick's passenger tried to get out. The door of the hearse was latched from the outside and the "man" inside was desperately trying to get out. To the onlookers it appeared to be "an apparently crazed mare dashing for town, having in tow a dilapidated hearse containing a "dead" man frantically trying to escape." "Everybody who saw the thing concluded that the horse and hearse were galloping through town because a dead man revived, and Rick and the horse were trying to get away in terror."
Down Main Street, they went. Just as the spectacle got to the heart of the city, the bum kicked the door open, tumbled, and rolled through the street. When he picked himself up and started to walk unsteadily toward the sidewalk, people fled from him in horror. Doors and stores closed right then! The bum was regarded as a dead cholera victim and, therefore, a walking pile of cholera germs. Some citizens were prepared to shoot "him", or it, and have young Rick take the body back to the cemetery and stick him back in his grave. Soon the truth was out, and so was young Rick Nolan from his job at the undertaker.
Dick Dowling -
One of the first organized efforts to look for oil in Texas involved Confederate war hero Dick Dowling. After the war, Dowling went back to Houston and again operated his saloon, the Bank of Bacchus. It was a greater success after the war than before. Dowling's fame drew in the customers. With his profits, Dowling engaged in a number of business propositions. One of them was looking for oil. In 1866, Dowling signed agreements with a John M. Fennerty to acquire the mineral rights of land in Texas. Other people involved were J. Riordan and P. MacGrail. Through signed agreements, the enterprise leased property in: Liberty, Hardin, Polk, Harris, Tyler, Jefferson, Clay, Young, Cooke, Angelina, and McLennan counties. There is no record of the results of Dowling's oil venture. Dick Dowling also invested in a brick making machine, a Galveston warehouse, the Houston Gas Light Company, the Houston Railway Company, and a small steamboat, the Job Boat No.1. The railway company was a streetcar company which had a contract with the city of Houston. Dick Dowling was also a stockholder of the Houston & Harrisburg Turnpike Company. This company was chartered to build an eighty foot roadway to Harrisburg, and then on to San Jacinto.
Dowling was also a family man and a practicing Catholic. He and his wife tried for many years to start a family. Three boys were born to the Dowlings. They all died. Benjamin Richard died in 1862, three years old; John Martin lived only five days before he died; and William Augustin lived a year before his passing in 1864. The young Irish couple had two more children. Felix Sabine Dowling, a boy named after the battle and a local priest, and a girl named Mary Annie. The little girl was still an infant of about three weeks when another epidemic broke out in Houston.
Dick Dowling, the hero of Sabine Pass, was a successful Houston businessman in 1866 when he attended an event in Dickinson in April of that year for an insurance company along with several other Confederate veteran leaders.
< the picture to the left is the last known photograph of Dowling shown here with his wife Annie at the event.
The cholera epidemic of 1869, in Houston, was very devastating many Houstonians lost their lives. Among them was Richard Dowling, the hero of Sabine Pass. Dick Dowling was only twenty-nine years old when he died. There was no time for proper ceremony during the epidemic. His grave was unmarked save for a single cannonball, a symbol of the battle.
Many years later, memorials were built to this man. The first was raised in Houston, in 1905. It was the city's first monument to an individual. The state's largest city, Houston, chose an Irishman to honor with its first public statue. Another statue of Dick Dowling is located at the site of the battle. The monument is in the Sabine Pass Battleground State Historical Park. To see the statues of Dick Dowling use this link>
Mollie Bailey -
Mollie Bailey, who entertained Hood's Texas Brigade in Virginia during the war with side duty as a nurse and spy, brought the circus to Texas after the war. Before that she and her husband, James H. Bailey, the son of a circus owner operated a Mississippi River showboat. James Bailey was called "Gus." Her husband was best known for his writing of the song, "The Old Gray Mare She Ain't What She Used To Be." Gus and Mollie stole some equipment and horses from Gus' father and put together a show.
When they came to Texas, they called their circus, "The Bailey Circus - a Texas Show for Texas People." The people who put up and put on her show were almost exclusively Texan. After her husband's death, she kept on with the show. Her circus grew until she had 31 wagons in caravan working a circuit through East Texas towns. Her circus performed for more than 40 years and became an institution of
East Texas. The price of entry was always the same through all the years, 35 cents for adults and 25 cents for children. Confederate veterans always got in free. On occasion, her circus made other towns such as Somerville, Sealy, Wharton, and Bay City. She owned a vacant lot (about 100) in every town she played.
< Mollie Bailey
There was a song in Texas during her day that went:
It was cotton picking time in Texas
And the leaves of all the trees were golden brown
The children and the old folks all were happy
For the Mollie Bailey Show had come to town.
When Mollie's show was elsewhere, Mollie allowed, and encouraged her vacant lots to be used for community events and as ball parks for the children. The Mollie Bailey Circus was the first to show Texans the moving pictures that later became the movies.
In San Antonio after the war, Irishman George Washington Brackenridge, who was in the Union service, built up a successful business in cotton. He became president of the cotton exchange, and organized a bank, the San Antonio National Bank. His Confederate brothers, Robert J. Brackenridge and John Thomas Brackenridge, were officers in his business. G. W. Brackenridge went on to be the President of the San Antonio Water Works and of the school board. Later, he was appointed a Regent of the University of Texas. Brackenridge Hall, a dormitory on the campus was named for him. Brackenridge's homesite in San Antonio became a part of the campus of Incarnate Word College when he sold the property for the establishment of the school in 1897. Before his death, George Washington Brackenridge created the first philanthropic foundation in Texas, the Brackenridge Foundation. Brackenridge Park in San Antonio is named for him.
< George Washington Breckenridge
His sister, Mary Eleanor Brackenridge, pioneered many women's organizations including: the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and the Women's Voters League. Robert J. Brackenridge lived in Austin and was active in community affairs. His personal efforts in the bond campaign to build a hospital in Austin led the citizens there to name the hospital after him.
In Charleston, South Carolina in the early 1840s, Caroline Spann, the granddaughter of Elizabeth Buchanan and Michael Crowley and daughter of Eleanor Crowley and Charles Spann, married a widower, William Rice who had a very young son. Not many years into the marriage she was a widow. Most of her famliy had migrated to Texas from South Carolina and so she arrived in Texas in 1845 with her step - son. Caroline Spann Rice was drawn closer and closer to her church. She did volunteer work, helped to teach the children, ministered to the sick and assisted the priests as she could. By 1866 she was being considered for a position in a religious community of women who would help teach the children of Texas in church as well as public schools.
In an impressive ceremony conducted on November 27, 1866, Caroline Spann Rice became the first Texas subject of a non-cloistered congregation when she was invested in the Sisters of Divine Providence taking the name, Sister Saint Joseph.
William Black, the Scotchman, who was both an infantryman and a sailor for the Confederacy, spent his last days in the war on a blockade runner. He brought his knowledge of the cotton business home with him and established himself in the cotton business. Black eventually became an executive on the Saint Louis Cotton Exchange. Many years later, William Black was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of establishing an exchange of his own, the Wool Exchange.
James Honco, an Irish born merchant in San Antonio, built a very profitable business after the war and became a
Martha McWhirter founded a successful woman's liberation movement in Belton, Texas in 1866. Some said it was a religious order. What it really was, was a shelter for abused women. Mrs McWhirter publically declared a woman living in an unhappy marriage could leave her "unsanctified" husband and join her Order of Sanctification Sisters. The order sold "sanctified" butter and milk, stove wood and laundry services. Later the order operated a laundry, provided nurses and worked as servants. In 1891 Mrs. McWhirter moved the order into operating a hotel in Bell County.
< Martha McWhirter
B. S. Fitzgerald was the first president of Baylor Female College in 1866. The college was the oldest women's college west of the Mississippi River. It is now the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Belton, Texas.
Steve McBride, a freed slave, together with Jim Shankle, another former slave, teamed to buy land after the Civil War. Together they owned as much as 4,000 acres in Newton County. McBride established McBride College at Shankleville, Texas. The college existed for 26 years.
Alex McGowan founded an iron foundry in Houston. It was Texas' first heavy industry. Alexander McGowan was elected Mayor of Houston in 1867.
Thomas Griffith, in 1868, began designing the Waco Suspension Bridge. Until its construction in 1869, Captain S. P. Ross operated a ferry across the Brazos at Waco as he had since 1860. When the Waco Suspension Bridege was completed it was the third longest bridge in the world. From Waco, Griffith went to Brooklyn where he built the famous Brooklyn Bridge. One does not have to be an engineer to see Griffith applied much of what he did at Waco, in Brooklyn.
In 1868, Captain James H. McGarvey, one of the nautical leaders of the Battle of Galveston in 1863, captained Dick Dowling's small steamboat, the Job Boat No.1, up the Trinity River to Dallas. The steamboat, Job Boat No.1, was the first boat to reach Dallas on the Trinity River from the south.
Philip Crosby Tucker, Jr., son of the former Mary McCloskey, introduced the Scottish Rite to Texas in 1867. During the war he was on General Magruder's staff.
Doctor A. J. McKinnon of Magnolia Springs, Texas introduced the Laconte pear to Texas.
General John Bankhead Magruder died in Houston in February, 1871. He was buried in Houston's Masonic Cemetary in a plot donated by friends. Galveston officials then contacted the family and asked that his body be buried in Galveston and that a suitable memorial would be provided. Magruder's body was exhumed and placed in a vault in Galveston's Broadway cemetery while efforts were made to raise funds for a memorial. A bad depression during the period 1873- 1880 caused the body to remain in the vault at the city's Broadway cemetery. Finally, in 1885, funds were sufficient to erect the memorial in the Trinity Episcopal Cemetery (where Magruder had Lieutenant Edward Lea buried) with funds raised by the United Confederate Veterans, Camp Magruder (Galveston).
General Magruder..............................................................Galveston Memorial >
Saint Edwards University in Austin began, in part, by a donation from Mrs. Mary Doyle in 1872. The school was founded by the Congregation of the Holy Cross, the same Catholic religious order that founded Notre Dame University. The school's first boarding student was Henry McCarthy. The school's main building was designed by Irish born Nicholas Clayton.
Nicholas Clayton was the man most responsible for the remarkable buildings found in Galveston, Texas. Clayton's work includes the Tremont Hotel, the Bishop's Palace, The "Old Red" Building, The Sealy Mansion. He was involved in the design, construction or remodeling of many, many churches including: St Patricks, St. Mary's, Sacred Heart, First Presbyterian, Eaton Chapel of Trinity Episcopal, Grace Episcopal, Temple B'Nai Israel, St. Mary's University, St. Mary's Cathedral in Austin, Sacred Heart Cathedral and Ursuline Academy in Dallas, Annunciation Church in Houston and many others through out the state and in Louisiana, Florida and other states.
< Nicholas Clayton
Nicholas Clayton designed buildings, on the top left is the Ashbel Smith Building at the University of Texas Medical Center in 1891, at the right is another view today, the building is called the "Old Red" by locals, faculty, staff and students. Below is the Bishop's Palace. All are in in Galveston
East side view of Bishop's Palace >
Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas was founded in 1872 and named for Methodist Bishop William Paul Quinn pictured to the left. Originally the school was established in Austin by the African Methodist Episcopal Church. It was moved to Waco in 1877. The college had its major growth under President Dr. L. H. McCloney. In 1990 the college moved to occupy the buildings of Bishop College in Dallas when that college failed. Bishop Quinn served 30 years as a missionary in Africa for the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Another school founded by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, is Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. Wiley was the first college in Texas for Blacks. Its first President was the Reverend T. C. Moore, the first Black to be President of the school was the Reverend Isaiah B. Scott. The college's library was the first Carnegie Library built west of the Mississippi. Andrew Carnegie was a Celt.
James Milton Carroll, a Baptist minister, was President of both San Marcos Academy and Howard Payne University. He was best known for a sermon he delivered at camp meetings throughout the South entitled "The Trail of Blood."
Lawrence Joseph Hart, whose mother was Anastasia Hurley, became a prominent business man in San Antonio. He helped organize the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. He is known as the "Builder of Saint Mary's Street."
In about 1885 Jessie Andrews became the first woman registered at the University of Texas, she later became its first female teacher as well.
The Mayor of San Antonio during the years 1875-1879 was an Irishman, James Henry French.
In 1876, William Jesse McDonald started a career in law enforcement as a deputy in Wood County. McDonald eventually became a Special Ranger, and a U. S. Marshal. He was responsible for driving the infamous Brookins Gang from Hardeman County. McDonald became a Texas legend for his work along the "Cherokee Strip." William McDonald served as a personal body guard for two U. S. Presidents when they visited Texas. Both these Presidents had an Irish connection; Teddy Roosevelt came to Texas in 1905, and Woodrow Wilson in 1912. It was Wilson who appointed McDonald a U. S. Deputy Marshal.
< William Jesse McDonald
William Johnson McDonald, who was raised by the Reverend J. W. P. McKenzie of McKenzie College, became a wealthy man through his businesses as a lawyer and banker. He left money to the University of Texas to build an astronomical observatory. McDonald Observatory was the result. The land donated for construction of the McDonald Observatory on Mount Locke came from the U Up U Down Ranch, which at the time, was controlled by Violet Locke McIvor.
L. W. McCune, who had an Irish and a Scotch parent, was, in 1875, the leader of the Farmer's Alliance in Texas. In 1886, he was the National President. The Alliance became a founding part of the Populist party. McCune, Texas is named for him.
Richard Montgomery Swearingen, whose mother was Margaret Connor, helped establish the National Board of Health in 1878. He was appointed Texas State Health officer in 1881.
Jefferson Davis was offered and declined the Presidency of Texas A&M College in 1875.
J. S. Daugherty helped to found Eastland, Texas with Charles Connellee. He also helped create the Texas State Fair.
The first ice factory in Texas was built in 1875 by two men in Jefferson, Texas. Today they are known only by their last names, Boyle and Scott.
Bishop Alexander Garrett from County Sligo, Ireland arrived in Dallas to be the first Missionary Bishop of the North Texas Episcopal church. Later, Bishop Garret was the Presiding Episcopal Bishop in the United States.
J. J. Sweeny converted his pawnshop into a jewelry store in Houston in 1875. Business went well and he became a jeweler to the carriage trade. He opened shops in several other areas. This Irishman's name is, today, found in jewelry stores in malls all over Texas. The Sweeny Clock which stood on the corner outside his shop, stands today in the Theater District in Downtown Houston.
In 1877, William Foley, an Irish immigrant, opened a small dry goods store in Houston. His two nephews, Pat and James Foley helped him. They learned the trade from him. The two brothers started their own business as the Foley Brothers. Their business grew and they were successful. The Foley's department stores in Texas today has their origins in these three Irishmen. At one time, Foley's was Texas' largest department store. Today they have been absorbed by Macy's.
A troop of 60 negro troops of Company A, 10th U. S. Calvary and 22 buffalo hunters, in July 1877, departed Fort Concho in early July in pursuit of Comanche Old Black Horse and his band who were raiding settlements. They were led by Captain Nicholas Nolan. The Indians eluded them and drew them farther and farther into unsettled country. The waterholes the buffalo hunters, acting as scouts, found were dry. The buffalo hunters left the troop and went out on their own when Nolan would not give up the mission. The army soldiers pushed on. Only by drinking the blood and urine of their horses were most of them able to reach an old supply base and save their lives.
Lydie Starr McPherson, in 1879, founded and published the Sherman Democrat, the only woman in Texas to own and publish a newspaper up to that time.
Patrick Dunn brought cattle to Padre Island in 1879. His cattle were still a part of Padre Island as late as 1926. In 1927, the first causeway built to Padre Island was built and named Don Patricio to honor him.
The first mineral water well in Mineral Wells, Texas was dug by the Lynch family in 1879. They sold it commercially as "Crazy Water."
This is a picture of Mineral Wells during a Woodmen Convention in 1911,
note the sign on the walls
Fletcher Davis, known as "Uncle" Fletch in Athens, Texas invented the hamburger in the 1880's. He introduced it to the world from a sandwich stand in the midway at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. Athens remembers Davis with an annual Uncle Fletch Home of the Hamburger Cook-Off that has been held since 1984. Fletcher Davis is pictured to the right.
Abner Pickens Blocker devised the XIT brand in 1884. Blocker's mother was Cornelia Murphy. The famous ranch took its name from the brand. The unique brand was developed to discourage cattle rustlers. It was considered impossible to alter the XIT brand. The syndicate that owned the ranch was contracted to build the capitol of Texas buildings. The land that became the XIT was their payment. The XIT Ranch covered 3,000,000 acres over 10 panhadle counties.
Charles Judson Crane was Commandant of Cadets at Texas A&M in 1882. He was the son of William Carey Crane.
The Pecos cantaloupe became a national delicacy due to the marketing and efforts of D. T. McKee and his partner, Madison L. Todd in Pecos.
H. S. Campbell and a partner started the Matador Ranch in 1878. The ranch, located in Motley County, was large enough to have its own Post Office with Lizzie Campbell, wife of H. S. Campbell, as Post Mistress. She served until 1911. The Ranch eventually grew to encompass 435,722 acres. The Matador Ranch made popular the use of the windmill to pump water. The ranch was sold to a syndicate of Scottish investors from Dundee, Scotland.
Robert Sealy was raised on an estate near Cork, Ireland. He married Mary McCarthy. His two sons, George, shown on the left and John Sealy, shown on the right, came to Texas and grew to become very successfull bankers who became important investors and developers of the port at Galveston. As a result, both brothers were also involved in the railroad and cotton business. The brothers also had a controlling interest in Galveston's utitlities. George Sealy and his wife, noting that the oleander was indigenous to the island, promoted its planting on the island and the name Oleander City. John Sealy gave much of his money to fund a hospital for Galveston that today bears his name. The location of a hospital on Galveston Island did much to bring to the island another important facility, the University of Texas Medical School. The Medical college, the first located west of the Mississippi, was authorized in 1881, but was not actually a fact until after John Sealy bequeathed the funds for the building of John Sealy Hospital in 1889.
The children of John Sealy, John Sealy, Jr., and Jeannie Sealy Smith, have through the Sealy and Smith Foundation, presented over one hundred and ten million dollars to the hospital.
The Mayor of Dallas, 1885-1887, was Irishman John Henry Brown. He served on General Ben McCulloch's staff in the Civil War. After the Civil War, he was one of the Confederates who served with Maximillian's forces in Mexico.
Henry Arthur McArdle was born June 9, 1836 in Belfast, Ireland. He immigrated to the United States. Henry McArdle served in the Confederate Army on Robert E. Lee's engineering staff. After the war he came to Texas as an instructor of engineering and art at Baylor University. McArdle's art made him famous. He left Baylor to open a studio in San Antonio. His painting of the Battle of San Jacinto hangs in the Texas Senate chambers. Another painting showing the settlement of Texas by Americans hangs in the Texas House of Representatives. Henry Mcardle's works reflect an attention to detail and historic authenticity. McArdle interviewed many Texans and Mexicans to insure accuracy in the detail of the pictures. Among the Mexicans he interviewed was General Santa Anna.
< Henry A. McArdle
Mary Margaret Healy Murphy's husbands career was proceeding very well. Besides having a successful law practise and the 4,000 acre fertile cattle ranch, John Barnard Murphy was elected a Justice of the Peace and then the District Attorney of Nueces County. In 1875, Mr. Murphy was elected to the First Constitutional Convention of 1875. Soon after he was appointed a judge. Judge Murphy's success allowed his wife to continued her charitable ways, feeding and clothing the poor. The Murphys adopted two children and took in several others. The adopted children were educated at the Murphy's expense in a private boarding school, Saint Joseph's Academy in Lockport, New York which was operated by the Belgian order, the Sisters of Saint Mary of Namur. Both children, girls, came back to Corpus Christi having graduated with honors and entered a convent of the Order of Sisters of the Incarnate Word. One taking the name Sister Bernard Murphy and the other taking the name Sister Mary Agnes Murphy. John B. Murphy is pictured to the right.
The Murphys sent the children out of Texas for a Catholic education as there were no Catholic schools in Texas. John B. Murphy petitioned the Bishop of Texas, fifty year old Jean Marie Odin, to send nuns to Texas to open a school for the state's Catholic children. Bishop Odin agreed with Mr. Murphy's idea and together they worked to find an order of nuns willing to come to Texas to teach the Catholic children of Texas. John B. Murphy wrote and campaigned the Sisters of Saint Mary of Namur in Belgium. He was successful.
Unbeknownst to Margaret Mary Healy Murphy, her younger sister, Jeannie Healy, who had stayed behind with the Barry cousins in Ireland, followed the plan her father announced to Margaret Mary in 1845. She attended the convent school in Belgium and then joined the Belgian order years earlier and was among the sisters sent to Texas to help staff the school. She had taken the name Sister Mary Angela. The school was set up in Waco, Texas and became Sacred Heart Academy.
< John and Margaret Murphy
Sister Mary Angela became the Mother Superior of the Waco community of the Sisters of Saint Mary of Namur.
In 1875, a hurricane seriously damaged the Murphy's home which was on the bay. They moved to the bluff area and purchased three homes adjoining. One was set aside to assist the sick and poor among the Euro-Americans, another for the Mexican Americans and the third for Black Americans. The facilty became known as the Mrs. Murphy's hospital for the poor. Margaret Mary opened a clinic and soup kitchen for the needy of Corpus Christi.
In 1880, John Bernard Murphy was elected Mayor of Corpus Christi an office he held for three terms. During his last term he was forced to resign for health reasons in June of 1884. By July 5, he was dead.
In her grief, Margaret Mary Murphy threw herself into another project to help the underprivileged of Texas. She was struck by the homeless Black children that lived aimlessly on the streets, unkempt undernourished and unloved. When she heard the situation was even worse in San Antonio she moved to that city to begin her project.
She purchased property and began to build a school, church and resident dormitory with funds gained from selling a portion of the San Patricio property which all this time was kept by the Murphys and rented out to family. The contracter for building the facility was Mr. E. J. Gallagher.
On September 16, 1888 with the San Antonio A. O. H and other Catholic organizations in attendence the facility was properly dedicated by San Antonio Bishop John C. Neraz. Mrs. Murphy presented the Bishop with the deeds to the property and thus began Saint Peter Claver Mission and school. Father John Maloney agreed to serve as pastor and among the teachers were Alice Egan as Principal and Ellen Cronyn, Annie McNally, Julia and Mary Farley Blanche Haines, Carrie Browne and Bridget McMullen.
Mary Margaret Murphy petitioned to form her own congregation of nuns, the Sisters of The Holy Ghost to staff the school. Her petition was granted. Three of the teachers joined Margret Mary Murphy in dedicating their lives to their church and the mission of educating the Black children of Texas. They were Annie McNally who became Sister Mary Joseph McNally and teachers Carrie Browne and Blanche Haines whose religious names are not available. They were joined later by Bridget McMullen who became Sister Mary Aloyisius McMullen. Mrs. Murphy was conferred the name Reverend Mother Margret Mary Healy-Murphy by Bishop Nervaz. The Sisters of the Holy Gohst was the first religious order of its type in Texas. In 1893, the school had 200 students. A residence building was built. In 1896, Sister Margret Mary Healy-Murphy went to Ireland to seek recruits for her new order. She returned with three postulants; Katie Dignon, Mary O'Brien and Katie Howell who became Sisters: Mary Philomena, Mary Berchmans Bohannon and Mary Rosalia.
Sister Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy, with funds from the sale of the rest of the San Patricio property, purchased a special spot in the former colony James McGloin used to call "Fairy Grove."
< Sister Margaret Mary Healy Murphy
She named the area, Saint Joseph's Ranch. The ranch was the first in Nueces County to have an artesian well. Mother Murphy was helped in her ranching matters by J. G. Kenedy, the son of Miflin Kenedy of the La Parra Ranch.
Sister Margret Mary Healy-Murphy expanded her operations to Victoria, Texas in 1898 with the construction of the Our Lady of Light Convent and the Saint John Baptist Academy for Colored Children. In 1899 the Reverend Mother again travelled to Ireland and returned with nine postulants. One of them, Mary Frances Foley became Sister Mary Peter Claver. The others, all of whom became sisters were: Margaret Bannelly, Bridget Connolly, Lizzie Hughes, Bridget Hughes, Katie Barrett, Katie Flynn, Johanna Cunniffe and Julia Jennings. Four years later the Reverend Mother returned from Ireland with Anna Daly, Annie Connolly, Elizabeth McSweeney and Elizabeth Cogan. With all these dedicated people, the Reverend Mother was able to accept a mission to found Casa de Luna in Oaxaca, Mexico.
In 1887, two nuns from the Congregation of the Sister's of Charity arrived in Houston at the request of Father Thomas Hennessy the pastor of Annuciation Church in Houston. The nuns began a mission that became Saint Joseph's Hospital in Houston. They were assisted in their task by many of the Irish in the Houston community as most of the nuns were from Ireland. The first baby born at Saint Joseph's Hospital was Mary Josephine Kelly in 1888.
Henrietta Cunningham became the first woman registered pharmacist in Texas, in 1888.
That was also the year the new Texas Capitol was finished and dedicated with great fanfare. The placing of the statue of the Goddess of Liberty atop the Texas dome was completed on February 26, 1888. It was cast by J. C. McFarland of Austin. The capitol building was accepted on behalf of the people by Temple Houston on May 18, 1888.
There was a musical marching unit called the McGinty Club during the "Gay Nineties" in El Paso. They wore uniforms and staged mock battles on McGinty Hill. Many a visiting dignitary was greeted by the McGinty Band and their ceremonial cannon when they came to El Paso.
In 1890, there began a teaching career that would touch the lives of many people. Two schools carry his name in Houston, Texas. He was James D. Ryan. James Ryan was black. He worked his way up in the teaching profession, becoming President of the Colored State Teachers Association. He also served as a trustee of Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. Ryan was a very active man involved in diverse activities that gave back much to his community. More than anything, James Ryan was a teacher.
Daniel Baker College in Brownwood was founded in 1890 by Doctor Brainard Taylor McClelland. Dr. McClelland served as its first president. In 1953 the school merged with Howard Payne University. The old Daniel Baker building currently houses the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom. Douglas MacArthur's father was General Arthur MacArthur.
General Arthur MacArthur was commander of Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio in 1890. Lieutenant General Arthur McArthur is pictured to the right. General MacArthur was awarded the Medal Of Honor for his service in the battle at Missionary Ridge during the Civil War. General Arthur MacArthur was military governor of the Philippines in 1900. He helped lay the groundwork for a free independent Philippine republic.
In the 1890's, there was an Irish Texas Ranger in Laredo. His exploits were of such interest that Zane Grey's based many of his first stories on him.
The character "The Lone Ranger" is also said to be based on him. His name was John Hughes.
< John Hughes
In 1891, James McAshan helped found Rice University in Houston, Texas. John Thomas McCants was another Celt who had a hand in the founding of the university.
1893 saw W. C. Connor elected Mayor of Dallas.
That same year also saw the founding of Stephenville College in Stephenville, Texas. The school's first president was Marshall McIlhaney who declared the school officially opened in September of 1893. The school later became John Tarleton College, and is now known as Tarleton State University
The "Gay Nineties" in Texas saw the beginning of a thirty year reign of Republican politics by William Madison McDonald. He was known as "Gooseneck Bill." Bill McDonald was black and a power in Republican politics well into the next century. McDonald was the first Black president of a bank in Texas.
Baseball was in Texas as early as 1867. The first Texan to play baseball on the national level was Anderson Daniel McFarlan, who, in 1895, played in the National League. There are some who argue the point. Others claim Tim O'Rourke as the first Texan to play in the major leagues. O'Rourke was not from Texas, but he did play in the Texas League. "Voiceless" Tim O'Rourke played in the Texas League from 1888 to 1890. In 1890, he was called up to play in the National League. Whichever man was the first Texas player in the National League, he was Irish.
The Houston Babies
The Texas League was not formed until 1887 when John J. McCloskey, shown at the left, brought a team to Houston. The team was called the Houston Babies. For one reason or another, the league did not officially get under way until 1889. McCloskey managed the Houston Babies (that was the name) until 1892. His team won the Texas pennant for Houston his first year and in his last year.
Thomas Francis Brennan, who was born in Ballycullen, Tipperary, Ireland, became Dallas' first Catholic Bishop in 1891. At the time, thirty six year old Brennan was the youngest bishop in the United States. Bishop Brennan's diocese covered 110,000 square miles and 108 counties. Bishop Brennan started the Texas Catholic.
At a public dinner in the Tremont Hotel in Galveston in 1880, General Phil Sheridan tried to take back a famous quote he made about Texas. He told the assembled guests, and former President U. S. Grant who was with him on the dias, about the famous remark:
It was in 1866, and I had just returned to San Antonio from a hard trip to Chihuahua on some Mexican business when I received an order to proceed at once to New Orleans. I hired relays and coaches so I had only to hitch the wagon and go speedily to get to the boat from Galveston. I traveled night and day. It was in August and, need I say, very warm.
I arrived here covered with dust, my eyes and ears and throat filled with it. I went to a little hotel in that condition and had just gone up to the register when one of these newspapermen rushed up to me and said "General, how do you like Texas?"
I was mad and said, "If I owned Texas and all hell, I would rent out Texas and live in hell." Needless to say, that did not represent my true opinion of this magnificent state.
The world championship of boxing came to Texas in 1896. Judge Roy Bean arranged for the Bob Fitzsimmons vs Peter Maher fight to be in his domain. William Barclay "Bat" Masterson, whose mother was a McGurk, escorted Tom O'Rourke to Langtry for the fight. Masterson served as an army scout in Sweetwater, Texas years earlier. O'Rourke carried the $10,000 prize money. Masterson was his body guard. There was only one problem. Prize fighting was illegal in Texas, and the Texas Rangers were in town to see to it the law was not broken. One of the Rangers was Bill McDonald. Not one to be outdone, Judge Bean brought in extra beer. Bean then considered his options. Judge Bean quickly dispatched some men to erect a ring on a sand bar in the Rio Grande River just down from Langtry. He then sold the Texas Rangers on the technicality that the fight was going to be on Mexican territory. When Judge Bean saw they were confused as what to do, he marched everyone out of his saloon down to the river and started the fight. Bob Fitzsimmons knocked out Maher in the first round.
As you can see by this marker placed on the scene, the location was in the middle of nowhere. Maher was Irish born but an American. Fitzsimmons was born in Cornwall, England. His Dad was Irish born.
Corbett gained fame as the man who beat John L. Sullivan and Fitzsimmons for beating Corbett.
Ranger McDonald once said, "No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that's in the right and keeps on a-comin'."
It was Captain Bill McDonald that brought about the Texas tradition of one riot - one Ranger. A Dallas Sheriff sent for Rangers when a large crowd at an illegal prize fight began to get out of hand. He was promised help on the next train arriving in Dallas. When the train arrived, the Sheriff was there to meet it, but only Ranger McDonald got off. When the Sheriff asked where were the other Rangers, McDonald is said to have replied "you got only one riot don't you?"
1896 was the year Robert McCleary established the Texas Magazine. He was editor and publisher of this literary magazine.
In Corsicana, Texas, in 1896, the Collin Street Bakery was founded by a German Baker and a wealthy Celtic custom broker, Thomas McElwee. During the oil boom in Corsicana, McElwee operated a fine hotel, the Opera House. Among his guests were: Enrico Caruso, Will Rogers, and John J. Ringling. When Thomas McElwee died, his widow sold the business to the McNutt family. Today the business at the bakery is run by Bill McNutt, Jr. and his sons, Bill III, and Bob, Jr.. In 1986, four million pounds of fruitcake, the bakery's specialty, was shipped worldwide to every country on the map, except Cuba and Albania. In 1993, more than 250,000 visitors some of them from as far away as Great Britain and Japan. The Collin Street Bakery is the world's largest mail order fruitcake provider.
Golf came to Texas for the first time in 1895. By 1896 the first golf tournament took place in Texas. It was held in Dallas and won by 51 year old J. C. O'Connor.
Mollie Wright Armstrong, whose mother was Elizabeth Neal, was Texas' first female optometrist when she started her practice in 1899 (second in the United States). Mollie Armstrong was President of the Texas Optometric Association in 1923.
INDIANS YET AGAIN
During the Civil War, many Indians took advantage of the fact that so many men were away from the Texas settlements and farms. Families took to "forting-up." The families gathered together at the nearest fort for protection whenever trouble was at hand. They used the frontier forts and family forts such as: Fort Parker, Kenny's Fort, or Moore's Fort. On many occasions, there was no warning of any type and the families were attacked before they could get to a fort. When the war was over, the Union troops did not come to the relief of the settlers on the frontier. For the most part, the Union troops were sent to the Rio Grande Valley as a show of strength to the French. The rest were used as a show of authority in the populated areas of Texas.
Indian Raid painting by Nola Davis
In 1861, the Indians attacked in the Sabinal Canyon area. Bigfoot Wallace was among those attacked, a man named Bryant was injured, and there were several people killed. Among the latter were "Mustang" Moore and the Bandera Tax Assessor, a Mr. Murray. One of the settlements attacked after the Sabinal area was that of Pleasanton. One of its settlers was Eli O'Brien. On the day of the attack, Eli O'Brien was about two miles outside of town when one of his neighbors noticed he was unarmed. The neighbor called to him and told him he should be more careful. O'Brien called back for the neighbor not to worry, there were no Indians in Atascosa County and there had not been any for some time. Not long after, O'Brien stumbled onto the Indians that had just attacked Sabinal Canyon. O'Brien jumped on his horse and headed as fast as the horse could move, back to Pleasanton. O'Brien's horse was a good one, and stayed ahead of the pursuing Indians. The Indians were riding on either side of, and behind O'Brien. The only way open to him was straight ahead.
O'Brien could see the town and felt he would make it, but then O'Brien felt arrows entering his back. His heart sank when he saw directly in front and ahead of him was a large ditch. Not able to turn right or left, O'Brien knew his life depended on his horse being able to make a running jump over the ditch. The Indians saw the ditch and began to yell and whoop to break the rhythm of the horse and make him falter and miss the jump. O'Brien let his horse pace itself as they approached the ditch. The horse cleared the ditch and left the Indians behind. The ditch was right on the edge of town. O'Brien was still riding fast, the arrows sticking out of his back when he rode past the neighbor who had spoken to him earlier. "What's the matter O'Brien, there are no Indians in Atascosa County", the neighbor called as O'Brien rode past. O'Brien recovered from his wounds. He gave his horse the best of care as long as he lived.
In 1862, there were a series of attacks by one particularly bold band of Indians in the Hondo River area. The Texans organized and chased them. The Texans included: Jerry Bailey, Howard Bailey, and members of a McComb family. They were led by Irishman William Mullins. The Texans caught the Indians and were engaged in a protracted fight, getting nowhere, when Mullins stood up and hollered for all the Texans to stop firing. In the silence that followed, Mullins took aim, and with one shot killed the Chief. The Indians left the area.
Kiowas attacked the Eli McDonald family in 1864 near what is now Harper, Texas in Gillespie County. The family home was on the source of the Perdenales river. The Indians killed Mr. McDonald and took his wife Caroline captive. They also took several children including:daughters Mahala and Becky Jane, and three other children of Mrs. McDonald's brother. All the captives were later ransomed by the U. S. Army in Oklahoma.
Five men, including a Mr. Lafferty, engaged a band of Indians on Onion Creek near Brady, Texas. An arrow with a metal point struck Lafferty. It struck him in the head between his skin and skull. The arrow swung around his head. This hard headed Irishman survived the incident.
In October of 1864 there took place in Young County, an incident that came to be called the Elm Creek Indian Raid or the Young County Indian Raid. Several settlers of northern Young County were "forted up" at Fort Belpknap under the protection of the Texas Ranger Buck Barry. Several other families sought simiar protection at Fort Murrah. Among them were the: Duncan, Powell, Matthews and Mullins families.
The families were in the forts because of the activities of Little Buffalo, a Comanche Chief, who united his tribe with a larger force of Kiowas and were attacking settlements. One of the first settlements attacked was the Fitzpatrick's. Most all the family was killed in the attack, those not killed were taken hostage. The hostages were: Elizabeth Fitzpatrick; her grandaughters, three year old Lottie and 18 months old Millie; Mary Johnson; and two of Mary's children; Jube and Cherry.
The Indians attacked other settlements and even laid siege to Fort Murrah for a short time. The settlers found it necessary to stay in the forts for some time.
Mary Johnson was a Negress. Her husband, Britt Johnson, was legally a slave; but he lived as a free man all his life. He "belonged" to Allen Johnson who inherited Britt. Allen did not believe in slavery.
In April, 1865, with support and supplies given by the families of the Fitzpatrick settlement, Britt Johnson rode by himself into Indian territory. He went to find his wife and children and the other hostages.
Johnson had worked at the Clear Fork Indian Reservation and knew many Indians. He was able to locate some of them and obtained their help in finding information about the hostages. Johnson learned the Comanches held a white woman and the Kiowas held some Black hostages. The woman turned out to be Elizabeth Fitzpatrick. Britt Johnson located her and was able to speak to her. Elizabeth Fitzpatrick asked Johnson to sell her large land and livestock holdings back in Young County, to return with the money and pay the Indians a ransom for her and any of the other hostages he was able to find.
After four trips into Indian territory, Britt Johnson successfully returned with Elizabeth Johnson, her grandaughter Lottie, his wife, Mary and their two children.
He was unable to obtain the release of Millie, Elizabeth Fitzpatrick's granddaughter. She had been adopted by a powerful Kiowan chief (Aperian Crow) and was considered part of his family. She could not be ransomed.
In 1865, W. C. Daugherty and George Daugherty were wounded in the Battle of the Frio River against Kickapoo Indians. The battle lasted one and a half hours. When it was over three Texans and six Indians were dead. There was another battle fought earlier in the year with Kickapoos moving out of Texas into Mexico. The Texas state troops of James Ebenezer McCord's Regiment mistook them for a Comanche-Kiowa band that was raiding Texan settlements. In the battle, the 500 Texans moved to flush the band from a woodline and found a very large group of Kickapoos, several hundred in number. It was the largest fight with Indians during the Civil War, and the Indians won it. This battle was known as the Battle of Dove Creek. It took place January 8, 1865 at the confluence of Dove Creek and the Concho River in present Tom Green County.
In 1869, the ranches of four families were located near the western boundary of Wise County. The names of the families were, Clark, Bailey, Ball, and Shira. These families were neighbors on the Texas frontier. They helped one another when there was trouble, or a task that needed several hands. The Ball ranch was, for a time, the steady target of a band of Indians led by "Red Cap." Once, unable to get to horses because they were locked up in a barn, the Indians shot them through holes in the barn wall. During one attack, the Indians captured Mr. Ball's twelve year old son. The neighbors banded together and went in search of him and the Indians. They were unable to find either.
One year later, the boy stumbled home! He had been the personal property of Red Cap, but when the Chief was away, the other Indians continually abused him. When Red Cap left for an extended trip, they sold the young captive to a trader. The trader brought him back to the area of his home and let him go. Meantime, Red Cap, returned to his camp and finding the boy gone, vowed to retrieve him.
The Ball's neighbors, the Baileys, where the parents of Mrs. Ball and the grandparents of the young man. A few months after the boy's return, Mr. Bailey was visiting his grandson. They were in the fields on the Ball ranch about 300 yards from the house. They heard a noise and looked up. They saw 180 mounted Indian warriors led by Red Cap making right for them! The young Ball ran in mortal terror of being recaptured. His grandfather was right behind him, as they both ran for the house. Chief Red Cap was out in front of his band of Indians and in his zeal pulled away from the main group of Indians. He gained on Mr. Bailey and the boy. Red Cap rode past Mr. Bailey and pursued the boy. The next group of Indians did the same, but Mr. Bailey let them have it with his six shooter as they rode past. The Indians stopped to return his fire, Red Cap raced on.
At the house, neighbors Clark and Shira were talking to Mr. Ball. They heard the shots and went around the corner of the house to see what was happening. Imagine their astonishment. There before them riding hard, through their valley and across their fields, were two hundred Indians! Ahead of the large band of Indians they could see the group around Bailey, and they saw Chief Red Cap who was just about to catch the boy.
Bailey had fired all his shots but one. Red Cap grabbed the boy and dragged him back to where the Indians were facing Bailey. Bailey was wounded. He probably could have escaped now that the Indians had what they came for. Still wanting to help the boy, Bailey charged at Red Cap. He aimed his last shot at the Chief's head. Red Cap had to drop the boy to defend himself. He quickly got an arrow off into Bailey's chest, but not before Bailey shot him in the head. They both fell, mortally wounded. The boy was able to make it to the safety of where Mr. Ball, Mr. Clark, and Mr. Shira were firing their rifles at the Indians. The Indians fired back. They were providing cover, while some Indians scalped Mr. Bailey's body. Other Indians recovered the body of their dead Chief. When this was accomplished the Indians left.
AT LAST, THE CAVALRY TO THE RESCUE
A Cavalry Charge by Frederick Remington
As stated earlier, the frontier forts were not manned by U. S. troops after the Civil War. Governor Davis sent small militia groups into the forts and established patrols between them. One of the companies organized was David Baker's Company for the protection of: Guadalupe, Gonzales, Caldwell, and Bexar Counties. Among the 52 men were Irishmen: William Murphy, George McPhail, John Fitzgerald, and a man named Kelly. The Scot, A. J. Sowell, was also in the unit.
Later with the Reconstruction Government in place, the United States Army began a series of expeditions to reclaim the parts of the frontier the settlers were forced to withdraw from, and to seek and punish those bands of Indians that raided the settlers during and after the war. In 1868, General Eugene Carr led one such expedition. Thompson McFadden was his scout. Captain Curwen B. McClellan set out from Fort Richardson with 56 men of the 6th Cavalry. On July 12, 1870 they encountered a war party of 250 Kiowas led by Kicking Bird near the north fork of the Little Wichita River. McLellan fought a defensive withdrawal. Two of his men were killed. Survivors were awarded the Medal of Honor.
General A. McCook commanded Fort Brown in 1871. He reported that Mexicans were raiding cattle herds in Texas and driving them back into Mexico. On the Mexican side of the Rio Grande was a new Commandante. He was General Juan N. Cortinas, who as an impetuous young man, took Brownsville in 1859. In 1871, he was a General in the Mexican Army. General Cortinas provided cover for the Mexican raiders when they got to the Rio Grande. Naturally, he did not do this for free, taking for payment an interest in the sale of the Texas cattle. The raids became bolder after General Cortinas' involvement. Thirty three Mexican raiders burned Nuecestown in March of 1875. Nuecestown was twelve miles from Corpus Christi and more than 150 miles inland from the Rio Grande. Other attacks inside Texas followed. Texas officials asked for U.S. assistance but were told it was a local responsibility. United States troops could only assist if "there was a hostile invasion from Mexico." Nueces County Sheriff John McClure asked Texas Ranger Captain Leander H. McNelly for assistance. McNelly arrived with a company of 48 Rangers and immediately went after the raiders. At Palo Alto on June 12, 1875, the Texas Rangers killed twelve Mexican raiders and recovered 256 head of cattle. General Cortinas made noises. The United States government feared an international incident. The Federal government decided to patrol the Rio Grande and sent a gunboat, the Rio Bravo, with four howitzers, and a 30 pound gun. It also had two powered launches, each armed with a gatling gun.
Captain McNelly, pictured at the left, talked to the commander of the boat and a local U. S. Army Cavalry commander. He told them the only way to really cure the problem was for his Rangers to go into Mexico to the raider's headquarters at the Las Cuevas Ranch. He asked the U. S. officers for their supporting fire. Authorities in the United States Army got wind of the plan and told all U. S. units not to participate. Captain McNelly, in the meantime, led 29 Rangers into Mexico. They mistakenly attacked and burned a ranch close to the Las Cuevas, giving the alarm. The Rangers, learning their mistake, went on to Las Cuevas, knowing the hornets nest was stirred. They had come to do business. When they got to the ranch, McNelly faced 256 men that were quickly assembled, including some rural police. McNelly gave the Mexicans an hour to give up all stolen cattle or he would attack. While he was waiting for the reply, the Rangers camped and ate stew. While he was eating, a U. S. government courier brought McNelly a message from the U. S. Secretary of War, William Belknap. The message advised McNelly to return to the United States. U. S. troops had orders to not aid him. McNelly wrote on the back of the message:
At the front near Las Cuevas, Mexico, November
20, 1875. I shall remain in Mexico with my
Rangers...and will cross back at my own
discretion...give my compliments to the
Secretary of War and tell him and the United
States soldiers to go to hell.
McNelly signed it and handed the message to the courier. He was stubborn, he was Irish. McNelly's people came from County Down. They were a proud people. During the Civil War McNelly was conspicuous for his gallantry in the Confederate Army. He was only seventeen years old when he enlisted. At the war's end he was a captain. He named his only son, Rebel. A quote from Leander McNelly is reminiscent of Ranger McDonald's: "Courage is a man who keeps on ...comin' on."
While proud, McNelly was not dumb. The Mexicans released 75 head of cattle to the Texans and planned to attack the Rangers as they drove them to the river. The Mexicans were being organized by a Mexican General, not Cortinas, but General Juan Flores. Ranger Leander McNelly decided to pull back to the Rio Grande. McNelly sent some men ahead to dig a defensive ditch on the Mexican side of the river. When it was ready the Texans started a cattle stampede toward the river away from the ditch while the Rangers rode for the river toward the defensive position, then stopped, jumped into the defensive trench and ambushed the pursuing Mexicans. General Flores was killed in the initial exchange. The Mexican's withdrew to plan an attack on the small force of Rangers. McNelly then withdrew his men to the other side. When McNelly moved his men, the American military men with whom he had coordinated earlier risked court martial by covering his withdrawal. The U. S. Army officer sent 40 of his men to the Mexican side of the river as McNelly's men pulled back. The U. S. Naval officer provided supporting fire from the Rio Bravo.
< Quanah Parker
In the 1870s, Quanah Parker, son of Cynthia Ann Parker, was Chief of the Quahadi Comanches. The Quahadi were attacking U. S. troops. In an engagement in Blanco Canyon near what is now Dickens, Texas, Quanah was able to capture the horse of Ranald Mckenzie. On June 27,28 and 29, 1874, Quanah led a band of 700 Comanche, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Kiowa warriors against the tiny settlement of Adobe Walls. Adobe Walls was little more than an organized campsite for buffalo hunters. The Indians depended on the buffalo for survival. The buffalo hunters were slaughtering the animals to near extinction. A bill was once considered in the Texas Legislature to halt the decimation of the buffalo stock in Texas. General Phil Sheridan rushed to Austin to protest:
These men have done more in two years, and will do more in the next year, to settle the vexed Indian question than the entire regular army has done in the last 30 years.
They are destroying the Indians comissary, and it is a well known fact that an army losing its base of supplies is placed at a great disadvantage.
Send them powder and lead, if you will; but for the sake of lasting peace let them kill, skin and sell until the buffaloes are exterminated. Then your praires can be covered with the speckled cattle and festive cowboy, who follow the hunter as a second forerunner of an advanced civilization
The legislature heard this and other testimony that stated "Every buffalo dead is an Indian gone", and abandoned the bill. Thus setting the stage for the second battle of Adobe Walls.
ADOBE WALLS II
Adobe Walls had a saloon made of sod operated by Irishman John Hanrahan and a blacksmith shop operated by Thomas O'Keefe. The plan of the Indians was to attack the Texans in the early morning hours while they were still asleep. Tom Hanrahan was warned an attack was coming. A U. S. Army scout, who was married to a Cheyenne, came to Adobe Walls days earlier and told Hanrahan the Indians plans. Hanrahan did not tell the others for fear all the buffalo hunters would all leave Hanrahan and the other merchants with their inventories unprotected. Hanrahan kept a watch.
Sometime before dawn on the 27th he fired his pistol. The hunters, who were all sleeping in their own places came running to see what had happened. Hanrahan told them the cottonwood ridge pole holding his sod roof up had snapped making the loud crack. He asked if the buffalo hunters would help him shore up the roof before the sod came tumbling down on his saloon. The buffalo helpers set to helping. One of them climnbed up to the roof to remove the heavy sod from the roof while others cut timber to shore up the old ridge pole.
The buffalo hunter on the roof saw the approach of the Indians. Dixon described the sight in his memoirs:
Hundred of warriors, the flower of the fighting man of the southwestern Plains tribes, mounted upon their finest horses, armed with guns and lances and carrying heavy shields of thick buffalo hide, were coming like the wind ...
It was in the Hanrahan sod saloon that 29 hunters and the settlement's merchants made their stand against the Indians. The Indians were not just beat by these professional sharpshooters; they were humiliated. The marksmanship and weaponry of the buffalo hunters cost them dearly.
Unfortunately, the raiders left Adobe Walls to take their hurt pride out on any Texan caught in the open as they rode west to safety. Among the defenders at Adobe Walls were: John Hanrahan, Thomas O'Keefe, Billy Dixon, and Bat Masterson. Billy Dixon gained fame during the battle for shooting an Indian off his horse who was more than three quarters of a mile away.
Billy was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for a fight Known as the Battle of Buffalo Wallow in the same year (1874) which took place in what is now Hemphill County.
< Billy Dixon
Colonel Ranald MacKenzie >
Colonel Ranald MacKenzie was Commander of Fort Concho (originally called Camp Kelly) in 1871. General of the Army William T. Sherman was visiting the frontier forts. General Sherman was accompanied by Colonel MacKenzie during an inspection of Fort Griffin. While at the fort, a report came in that Indians attacked a nearby wagon train. That incident started a five year relentless campaign by MacKenzie that pushed the Indians out of Texas or onto reservations. MacKenzie, too, crossed into Mexico to pursue his quarry. He fought a large band of Kickapoos at Remolino, Mexico in 1873. Remolino was 40 miles into Mexico. MacKenzie had 425 U. S. troops when he attacked a combined Kickapoo, Lipan, and Mescalero Apache village on May 19. MacKenzie later fought a combined band of Comanches and Kiowas in Palo Duro canyon on the JA ranch in 1874. MacKenzie's efforts were rewarded when most of the remaining warring Indians agreed to go to reservations. One of the Chiefs leading his people to the reservation was Quanah Parker, the last warrior Chief of the Comanches.
Quanha led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma where there was a reservation. Quanah Parker was provided a house at Fort Sill with 12 rooms and two verandas. From 1875-1878, Quanah Parker represented his people and others of the reservation. He traveled widely, including New Orleans and the Chicago World's Fair. He met presidents McKinley and T. Roosevelt.
Quanah Parker revealed some Gaelic influence, when he visited his namesake town in Hardeman County in 1896. Visiting the town of Quanah, Texas, the Comanche chief offered this blessing:
May the Great Spirit smile on your little town.
May the rain fall in season, and in the warmth
of the sunshine after the rain,
May the earth yield bountifully.
May the peace and contentment be with you and
your children forever.
Quanah Parker never forgot his mother, he advertised in the newspapers of the day for anyone who had information on her whereabouts. In 1908 he heard from J. R. Quinn, son of Ruff Quinn, and learned about his mother's and sister's last days and where they were buried. Quanah Parker asked the Parker family if he could move his mother's grave to be near him. He told them he wished to be buried beside her. In 1909, the graves of Cynthia Ann and Prairie Flower were opened and the remains placed in coffins to be transported to Fort Sill. There they were reinterred close to Quanah's home. Quanah visited the graves often. Two years later, Quanah Parker was laid to rest beside them.
The graves are viewed frequently by the many visitors to Fort Sill who are still touched by the story of the Parkers.
Last Indian Masscre -
It wasn't until 1881 that the last Indian massacre ocurred in Texas. It happened in the area of Leakey, Texas and was called the McLaurin Massacre. Lipan-Apache Indians attacked and killed Kathleen McLaurin and a fifteen year old boy. Kathleen's three children were unhurt. Soldiers followed the Indians and killed most of them.
THE HOUSTON SHIP CHANNEL
There were several key players in making the port of Houston a success. Many of them were Celtic. Much of the early ground work was done by Sidney Sherman, which is why the Loop 610 bridge over the Houston Ship Channel is named for him. Other Celts also played a role.
John Thomas Brady, shown at the left, was a man dedicated to making Houston a premier port city. Brady worked hard to make it a reality. He worked hard for a port and rail hub in Houston that would attract big business to Houston. Brady was the son-in-law of Sidney Sherman. Brady's Island in the Ship Channel is named for him. While Brady developed the rail system to support the port, another Irishman, John Shearn with his Buffalo Bayou Ship Channel Company, worked on improving the channel. Another Celt, Henry F. McGregor, a wealthy a realtor in Houston, threw his support behind the ship channel. McGregor Park in Houston is named for him.
The increased trade to Houston brought by the opening of the passage to the Gulf created a greater need for skilled dock workers, pilots, and others. With the labor force that arrived to fill the need, came the first labor organization to Texas. It was The Screwman's Benevolent Association. It was organized in Houston in September of 1866. More than a third of its membership was Irish.
GOOD GUYS, BAD GUYS AND OTHER GUYS
A who dunnit-
On May 19, 1872, a Mr. Green Butler of Galveston was murdered by unknown parties at his ranch on Clear Creek. There was bad blood between Butler and another rancher, Sam Allen. Suspicion pointed to several men who worked for Allen. They were: Andrew J. Walker, his brother Abner Walker, Tim Hennessey, and Jeff Black. Andrew Walker was arrested and brought to trial. Jeff Black was also arrested as an accomplice. In the ensuing trial, witnesses who testified were shot at in their homes as they slept. Walker was found guilty and sentenced to die. Black was also found guilty, but was given life imprisonment. The other suspects were never prosecuted. Andrew Walker knew he did not shoot Green Butler. One of the eyewitnesses to the shooting was Mrs. Butler, but she could not make out who the killer was. Walker figured the Butlers' let the trial go on hoping to flush out the guilty parties. It was general knowledge the killing of Butler was done by one of Allen's men under orders from Allen. Just who the killer was, was no one was really sure.
Andrew Walker was measured for his coffin as the hanging was scheduled. A last minute appeal stopped the hanging. Not long after Walker was able to escape. He turned himself in voluntarily when told he would get another trial. Andrew Walker was retried, again found guilty and sentenced to hang. Walker was again measured for a coffin, and again, he was able to escape. He was caught and returned to jail. A third trial was held in 1878. Working on behalf of Walker was two time Mayor of Houston, Irish born John T. Brown, and Tim Hennessey, Walker's old ranch buddy on the Allen ranch. Black was released on bond for the trial, but Walker, unable to raise the bond, was kept in jail. Black went back to the Allen Ranch to ask a few questions. He was shot by four people, but survived to make it to the witness chair. While Black was in the witness chair, someone shot at him again. The shot came from the street through an open window. The shot missed Black. The trial was rescheduled. In 1882 in yet another trial, Black was acquitted, and Walker's sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Walker was later pardoned by a Governor of Texas when he was 60 years old. While in jail, Walker met and talked at length with William P. Longley and John Wesley Hardin.
In February, 1875, there were in the county jail in Mason, Texas, five men being held on suspicion of rustling. These men were caught red-handed with cattle belonging to someone else. They were dragged from the jail by a lynch mob and strung up ( The terms "lynch law" and "lynch" come from Irishman Charles Lynch, a Virginia Justice of the Peace, and the manner in which he dispensed justice to Tories during the American Revolution. See Appendix II, 1760). Two of the rustlers were rescued before they died. The whole incident set off a reaction in the community that became known as the "Hoodoo War."
The problem had its roots in ethnic prejudice. The lynch mob was made up of the victims of the rustlers. They were German immigrant ranchers and their descendants; the cattle rustlers were Texas natives. The community at large feared the sudden action by the German's in their midst, and took over the town. The town Sheriff, John Clark, with 60 armed Germans, retook the town and a truce was negotiated. The truce was a shaky one.
Six weeks later, Tim Williamson, a local rancher was "lured" off his property by a Deputy Sheriff and shot by bushwhackers. Things began to heat up again. Scott Cooley, who was Williamson's adopted son, sought revenge.As a child, Cooleys's Irish parents were murdered in front of him by Indians. Cooley was forcibly taken by his parent's killers. He escaped and made it back to the area. Williamson took him in and adopted him. Cooley was never quite right since his experience. He idolized Mr. Williamson. Scott Cooley tracked down the deputy that called on Mr. Williamson the fateful day. Cooley found him digging a well. Scott Cooley shot the deputy six times, and then stabbed the body repeatedly. After that, Cooley scalped the deputy. Cooley then made a circuit of Mason saloons showing of his grisly trophy. That touched off the feud again, and bullets were flying in Mason. In the killings that followed, Cooley was responsible for killing several Germans.
< Scott Cooley
A Ranger company, led by Major John B. Jones, went to Mason and restored order. Cooley, a former Ranger himself, was not actively sought. To compound matters, Cooley began to collect some outcasts who became involved in the feud only for the sport of killing.
Scott Cooley and his men avoided Mason, but kept shooting Germans. One of his sidekicks was Johnny Ringo, pictured to the right. He would later make questionable history in Arizona. Cooley and Ringo were both arrested in Burnet, Texas. Things in Mason settled down when that news got back to town. But, Cooley was broken out of jail by other members of his group and some locals in the Lampasas County area. Cooley's gang continued their activities, adding rustling to killing.
A few months after the breakout, Cooley bought some whiskey in Fredericksburg where he stopped to eat. Fredericksburg was a decidedly German settlement. After a few swigs on the road, he passed into a coma. Scott Cooley died the next morning. With him died the "Hoodoo War" of Mason, Texas.
A Dallas dentist-
In the fall of 1877, A Celt, who was a dentist in Dallas, was playing poker at Fort Griffin, Texas. The card game took place in an area below the fort know as "The Flat." There were several saloons and dance halls located there to separate the soldier from his pay. The most popular was Mollie McCabe's Place of Beautiful Sin. The Dallas dentist was Doc Holliday, shown on the left, and he was playing poker with Ed Bailey. Doc's mother was the former Alice Jane McKay. Bailey was a popular local tough. Holliday was a smoothie who was a sharp gambler and liked to prey on the cowboys, buffalo hunters, skinners, and other frontier types in card games.
During the game, Bailey looked at Doc's discards. Doc Holliday warned him not to peek at them again. Bailey continued to do it now and again during the game. Tension was building between the two. Finally, Bailey put a gun on the Doc. In one quick motion, Doc Holliday raked Bailey with a knife and killed him. The local Sheriff felt he had to guard Doc Holliday from the townspeople as Bailey was well liked. There was talk of a lynching. Big Nose Kate, a dance-hall girl and sometimes girlfriend of Holliday's, overheard a plan to lynch the Doc. Kate went and saddled two horses and put them behind the hotel where the Doc was being guarded by one deputy sheriff. She then set fire to a nearby stable. While the townspeople were distracted fighting the fire, Kate got the drop on the deputy and she and Doc Holiday escaped. Eventually, they landed in Tombstone, Arizona the site of the OK corral.
James Kenedy, the son of Mifflin Kenedy, frequently drove cattle for his father's ranch to Dodge City, Kansas. A bit of a hothead, Kenedy once had a run in with the town marshal, Wyatt Earp, who took him to jail. On another night in the saloon, Kenedy got rowdy and the saloon owner, James Kelly, who was also the town's Mayor, beat young Miflin up. Later that night or early in the morning, Kenedy crept to Kelly's bed and shot the bed full of holes. In the bed was a woman, Dora Hand, whom Kelly had let take a nap. Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson tracked James Kenedy down and brought him back to Dodge City to stand trial for murder.
Jim Murphy rode with bad company, he was a one time sidekick of Sam Bass, the outlaw. Sam Bass was caught because of what Jim Murphy told Major John B. Jones of the Texas Rangers. Murphy told the Rangers, after they caught him, the Bass gang was going to hold up the Roundrock Bank. The Texas Rangers were in Roundrock waiting for Sam Bass to make the withdrawal. An early member of the Sam Bass gang was Robert McKiemie who came from Texas and was known as "Little Reddy", another was Joel Collins.
John O'Higgins was born in Ireland. He came to Texas in 1857. He lived in the Lampasas area. Higgin's Gap is named for him. His son, pictured on the left, was John Calhoun Pinckney Higgins (he dropped the O'). Young Higgins was an Indian fighter and cowboy. While a teenager, Higgins began taking part in cattle drives north into Kansas, working on his father's ranch. Too young to serve during the American Civil War, Higgins remained in Lampasas County for most of his youth, working as a cowboy. During that time he took part in numerous skirmishes with hostile Indians, and took part in the hanging of several cattle rustlers, and was an active member of what was known as the Law and Oder League, organized to battle horse and cattle thieves, and other outlaw activities.
His reputation as a gunman started during the mid-1870s, when the Horrell Brothers, Mart, Tom, Merritt, Ben and Sam, went on a killing spree in Lincoln County, New Mexico after killing five lawmen in Lampasas, Texas. Ben Horrell was killed by lawmen in New Mexico Territory, with the other four brothers returning to Texas. In May 1876, Higgins swore out an arrest warrant for the four Horrell brothers, accusing them of rustling his cattle. However, due mostly to a local jury hearing the case, the brothers were acquitted. This started what would later be referred to as the Horrell-Higgins Feud. Despite the Feuds name, John Higgins was the only Higgins involved.
On January 22, 1877, while in the Wiley and Toland's Gem Saloon, Merritt Horrell began to goad Higgins, who already was angry due to the acquittal of the brothers. This resulted in the two men engaging in a gunfight, in which Merritt Horrell was killed. The three remaining brothers spread word around town that they intended to retaliate against Higgins, as well as against his brother in law Bob Mitchell and friend Bill Wren. On March 26, 1877, Tom and Mart Horrell were ambushed outside of Lampasas, both being wounded but surviving. Although Higgins was implicated, it was never proven. In May, 1877, being sought in the killing of Merritt Horrell, Higgins and Bob Mitchell surrendered to Texas Ranger John Stark, best known for his capture of gunman Billy Thompson the year before. Both posted bond, and were released. Eventually that shooting was ruled self defense.
On June 7, 1877, Pink Higgin's brother in law, Bob Mitchell, Bob's brother Frank, Bill Wren, and another brother in law, Ben Terry, rode into Lampasas. The Horrell brothers and several friends were already in town that day, gathered at the square. It is unknown who fired first, but it is believed that someone within the Horrell faction opened fire on the Higgins faction. When it was over, Bill Wren had been wounded, Frank Mitchell had been killed, and Horrell faction members Buck Waltrup and Carson Graham were killed.
Texas Rangers descended on the town only days later. All three Horrell brothers were arrested, and Texas Ranger Major John B. Jones acted as a mediator between the two sides to calm matters. Less than one year later, Mart and Tom Horrell were arrested in Meridian, Texas for armed robbery and murder. While confined to the local jail, vigilantes broke in and shot them both, killing them. Although never proven, it was speculated that John Higgins instigated the murders. This effectively ended the feud. Sam Horrell was now the only remaining Horrell brother. Sam Horrell moved his family to Oregon in 1882, then later to California. He died there in 1932. Higgins remained in Lampasas County, and in September, 1877, cowboy Ike Lantier was caught by Higgins stealing cattle. When Lantier drew a pistol, Higgins shot and killed him. That shooting was also ruled self defense.
In 1882, "Pink" Higgins arranged to buy some Mexican horses. He made a down payment to a Mexican trader in Del Rio and left to gather some men to herd the horses back to Texas. Higgins and his men crossed over into Mexico at Del Rio to meet the Mexican again, pay him the rest of the money, and pick up the horses. The Mexican was at the appointed place at the appointed time, but there were no horses. Pink Higgins asked what was going on, where were the horse he made a down payment on? The Mexican denied he ever saw Higgins prior to that day. Pink Higgins said "you will never see me again" and shot him dead. A running fire fight broke out that carried to the international border. The result was 25 Mexicans dead, and one dead cowboy.
By the late 1880s, Higgins had moved to the Texas Panhandle, specifically Spur, Texas, and was hired by Fred Horsbrugh to work as a "protection man" for the Spur Ranch. While in this employment, Higgins was involved in several gunfights with rustlers, in addition to lynching several he captured. In 1900, Higgins became involved in an ongoing dispute with fellow range detective and former sheriff Bill Standifer, which resulted in both men being fired in 1903. Standifer is alleged to have threatened Higgins son, Cullin, over a particular case involving Standifer's wife, which Cullin had handled, which possibly sparked the general dislike the two had for one another, and resulted in Higgins telling Standifer that if they met again it would be with guns. However, although that incident did happen, it is unlikely it was the only factor, and in reality the animosity between the two has never really been explained completely. During their time working on the Spur Ranch, they often worked together, and were quite productive. However, Standifer was connected through family to the Horrell brothers, and it is possible that the troubles originated with that.
Standifer had only recently, in 1898, killed a man named Kiggings in a gunfight in Clairemont, Texas. Standifer had previously worked for the Spur Ranch, and was elected as Sheriff for Hartley County, Texas, and after a two year term he once again returned to Spur. Higgins, it is said, had by that time accused Bill McComas, a friend to Standifer, of cattle rustling. Although it is not certain, Standifer evidently believed that Higgins had also included him in this accusation. Standifer confronted Higgins, and when the two began arguing, Fred Horsbrugh fired them both. However, Higgins convinced Horsbrugh to keep him on for another couple of months, until he could make arrangements to move his family. This infuriated Standifer.
On October 4, 1904, Standifer had spoken publicly about settling his differences with Higgins once and for all, indicating that one or the other would be killed. That day Standifer rode out to Higgins house. Higgins saw him coming, and rode out to meet him. Both men were armed, and although it is unknown exactly what was said, Standifer drew his gun as he went to dismount, to which Higgins reacted by shooting and killing him. The shooting was witnessed by Higgins' daughter and brother in law. Ruled self defense, Higgins was never indicted.
By most accounts, Higgins is believed to have killed fourteen men in his lifetime. He died at his home of heart failure in 1914.
Billy the Kid liked to go to Tascosa, Texas where he was entertained by "Frenchy" McCormick. The Kid was known by many names including William Bonney. Most western historians believe Billy the Kid was Henry McCarty. Billy's best friend was a Texan named Tom O'Folliard who was born of Irish parents in Uvalde, Texas.
Billy the Kid above ....Pat Garrett, on far left and posse, with Billy The Kid at Stinking Creek, New Mexico in 1880. Note the deputy at far right holding a gun on Billy's head. The picture on the right is Tom O'Folliard
This photo, recently discovered, proports to be Billy the Kid, Doc Holliday, Jesse James and Charlie Bowdre in Las Vegas, New Mexico in 1879. It is from The Ellison Collection of historical images. It shows Doc Holliday as a badged lawman and the others with the white hankerchiefs identfying themselves as deputies. Greg and Michelle Ellison state that thier research is 99% accurate regarding the individuals in this photo
"Frenchy" was a young Irish girl who ran away from a convent in Louisiana when she was fourteen years old. She was most probably Elizabeth McGraw from all available research. She somehow made her way to Tascosa, Texas where she married Mickey McCormick who ran the livery stable at Tascosa. When Mickey lay dying, Frenchy promised him she would stay in Tascosa to be near him. Tascosa became a ghost town with one resident. Frenchy McCormick kept her promise and remained in Tascosa long after the town had died to be near and care for her husband's grave.
<Frenchy McCormick.....................................Mickey McCormick >
Once when the Billy the Kid was in Tascosa, he challenged Temple Houston, Sam Houston's youngest son, who had a reputation as being good with a gun, to a friendly shooting match. Houston won. On another less sporting occasion, Billy the Kid shot "Mollie Mobeetie" and "Sir George", an Englishman, in the same night while at Tascosa.
< Temple Houston
Pat Garret, an Irisman and former Texas Ranger, tracked the Kid down. Garrett shot him dead in 1881. He escaped after being captured at Stinking Creek in 18180 in the photo above.
........................................................................................................Pat Garrett >
In another incident in the wild and wooly town of Tascosa, John Gough, a Welshman, known as the Catfish Kid, shot a freighter named Fulton because the man complained about not being able to sleep while Gough and his friends were being rowdy. The Catfish Kid died in the penitentiary.
One summer in the early 1880's, Mike Connolly, chief electrician for the Western Union Telegraph Company in Houston, was sleeping in a rented cottage in Frosttown, a suburb of Houston. His landlord, a jealous husband, came home one night to find his wife not home. After spending some time with a bottle, he decided she was in the cottage with Mike. He went to the cottage and tried to break down the door, waking Mike. The landlord, frustrated at the door, pulled out a pistol and shot the lock off. Before he could get into the room, Mike was out the window and down the street. The landlord was in the room looking for the guilty parties. He sent a bullet under the bed and another through the wardrobe. Mike was hiding on a bayou bank and heard the shots.
Mike Connolly realized he was dressed only in an undershirt. He could not go back to his room. He could not stay outside; the moon was full and bright. He worked his way jumping from doorway, to barrel, to box, to fence, to doorway until he got to the Western Telegraph office. Mike went inside and explained to the night operator what happened. He convinced the man to give him his clothes so Mike could go out and get some of his own. Mike never made it past his favorite bar where he went in to tell his friends what happened. One thing led to another and he ended up spending the night in a nearby hotel.
In the meantime, the night operator, minus his clothes, was facing the embarrassment of the office workers coming in to find him in his predicament. Mike Connolly woke up in time to rush over with some clothes. He found the man nearly dying from the fumes that were accumulating as he hid in the battery room. Mike never tried to get an explanation from the landlord; he just sent a drayman over for his things.
To Washburn, Texas, which is located in the panhandle, there came in 1888, a man known as "Old Man Wallace." Wallace must have been a sailor in his youth because he built a wagon with a sail. He rigged a steering system and sailed his wagon about the area. This was before fencing so he had plenty of room to tack into the wind. He would often go on his wind wagon from Washburn to property he owned in nearby Deaf Smith County. After a time it was only a novelty, but that first time, well, that was something else. ............................................... a wind wagon >
Wallace left Washburn in his wagon and soon approached G. L. Browning who was plowing ground with a team of ponies. Browning lived close enough to Washburn to hear about the wind wagon and thus knew what it was when the contraption approached him. Wallace came right up to him and told him the wind was high and he felt he needed some extra weight so he would not turn over. There were no stones around and neither had a sack to fill with dirt. Wallace asked Browning if he would climb in and go to Amarillo with him. Browning said he would. They sailed together toward Amarillo.
Browning said they went so fast, that telephone poles went by like teeth on a fined-tooth comb. Pretty soon they came to Amarillo. Horses and cattle were spooked at the approach of the wind wagon. After he got into to town and parked it, the townspeople came over to stare at a real prairie "schooner."
James Riley Gordon was a noted Architect from San Antonio. Mr. Gordon designed the Capitol Buildings at Phoenix, Arizona, the Capitol of Montana at Helena and the Capitol of Mississippi at Jackson. He was awarded the Congressional Medal for the Texas State Building. He designed many courthouses including the Ellis County Courthouse. It was built in 1890. A building that reminds one of a castle complete with a clock tower, turrets and balconies. Gordon used the traditional cruciform floor plan, but he changed something. The entries are set in the interior corners of the cross instead at the ends of the arms. Gordon recruited skilled craftsmen to assist him with the building. Among them was Harry Hurley who carved the faces of Waxahachie acquaintances on the courthouse facade. One of these faces belongs to a young woman, Mabel Frame, who Gordon was in love with at the time. Miss Frame spurned his love. Gordon had Hurley continue to use Mabel's face around the court house entrance, but each successive image was a little less flattering until it was transformed into a hideous gargoyle.
The courthouse is shown left above and one of the early faces is shown to the left. Upper right is a mosaic of the faces in the courthouse.
James Riley was born in Bastrop, Texas. He became a horse thief. He stole his first horse at the age of 14. As he moved about he changed his name several times: Jack Lyons, Texas Jack, Gold-Tooth Jack and David C. Middleton. He became famous in Nebraska, make that notorious. In Nebraska, he was known as Doc Middleton, horse thief extraordinaire. His reputation was such that a large part of Nebraska was referred to as "Doc Middleton country."
< James Riley aka Doc Middleton
Before leaving Texas, he had been convicted of murder in 1870 and sentenced to the penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas for life. He managed to make his escape in 1870. In 1877 he was caught stealing horses in Iowa and sent to prison for eighteen months. At the expiration of his term he went to Sidney, Nebraska, where he soon got into trouble in a bar fight by killing a soldier deadfrom Fort Sidney. He was arrested, but the sheriff allowed him to escape rather than see him lynched by a mob which had gathered for that purpose.
Middleton next appeared on the ranch of John Sparks, near Fort Laramie, Wyoming. Here he began the work of organizing a gang of outlaws. Doc was nearly six feet in height, dark complexioned with long, black hair and a fierce-looking mustache. He never drank or gambled and was always cool and collected, even under the most trying circumstances.
In 1878 the gang stole forty head of horses and they undertook to run them through to Kansas. They were pursued by a posse that recovered the horses and scattered the gang. Doc got away.
Doc moved to the Niobrara valley in Nebraska. Still up to his old tricks, he was wanted for several crimes. One day an Army posse approached the house. They saw the outlaw and four of his gang evidently on guard. The five outlaws immediately charged the posse. The Army officer, William H.H. Llewellyn, leading the posse drew his revolver. He fired several shots. The first shot struck Middleton in the stomach and the other outlaws fled. Middleton concealed himself in some brush and while the officer was taking a wounded member of his posse to a nearby, ranch a number of the gang had been watching and came and helped Doc escape. Doc and his wife had left home and were in hiding along the Niobrara River. His father-in-law guided the troops and the and posse to their probable hiding place.
Middleton was captured and taken to Sidney to wait for the necessary papers before being conducted to Cheyenne for trial. A number of his friends gathered and sent word that their leader should not be taken from the state. Middleton was tried and convicted in Cheyenne, Wyoming and spent from September1879 to June 1883 in a Wyoming prison.
In 1884, he and a sixteen year old bride (his third wife) moved to Gordon, Nebraska where Doc opened a saloon and was later made a Deputy Sheriff.
In 1893 Buffalo Bill asked him to paricipate in a stunt to publicize his Wild West Show event at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. Middleton was to ride a horse from Chadron, Nebraska to Chicago. Middleton did make the trip, but there was a train ride in between leaving Nebraska and arriving in Chicago. He later moved to Ardmore, South Dakota and then Orin Junction, Wyoming where he opened a saloon. He got into a knife fight at the bar (he was 62 years old) and was arrested. He died of an illness contracted in the jail.
In March of 1866, a detachment of Texas Rangers led by Captain William Scott left Mitchell County. The Rangers entered Sabine County to deal with an outlaw family named Conner. Old Man Conner and his three sons; Fred, John, and William, had for some time terrorized the area. The Conners operated from a camp in a pine forest about 40 miles from San Augustine. When the Rangers entered the forest, the Conners knew they were there. In the gunfight that soon took place, one Conner was dead, Bill, the youngest; and one Ranger was killed, James H. Moore. The rest of the Conners escaped.
SCALAWAGS SKEDADDLE, CAPETBAGGERS PACK UP
In the elections of 1871, the Democrats came back to vote. Despite the fact that Davis people again controlled the polling places, and that entire county votes (Bowie, Brazos, Limestone, and Marion) were not allowed for questionable reasons, the Democrats carried every single seat up for election. The same thing happened in the elections of 1872. Democrats controlled the Texas Legislature. As soon as the legislature was in session, it began to systematically rescind the broad powers given the governor.
Don A. Campbell was elected president of the Texas Senate after the 1872 elections. He died and Webster Flanagan was elected president of the Texas Senate.
In the gubernatorial election of 1873, E. J. Davis lost two to one to Democrat Richard Coke. Davis was not through. Claiming an irregularity in the election laws, he asked the state supreme court to set aside the 1873 election. The State Supreme Court was filled with Davis appointees. They declared the election laws of Texas unconstitutional and invalidated the elections. This had the effect of stopping the Democrats from assuming every office in the state to which they were just elected.
< Governor Richard Coke
In January, when the new terms were to begin, the Democrats went to the office to which they were elected, sometimes with large crowds behind them, and simply assumed the duties of the office. Davis issued a proclamation forbidding the new officials to act, or the new (fourteenth) legislature to sit. He was ignored. There was no one to enforce his view. The State Police were gone. The 1872 Democratic legislature rescinded the legislation that created them.
All over the state, the Democrats assumed their new offices. The drama focused on Austin where the newly elected legislators were moving to take their seats and to inaugurate Coke as Governor. Davis wired President Grant for military assistance. Earlier in the year, President Grant provided troops to overturn a Democratic victory at the polls in Louisiana.
A delegation of Texans went to see President Grant. Among the delegates was Celt James Hall Bell. The President looked at the Texas Constitution and the state election laws. The observers could tell the effort by Davis was seen as contrived by Grant. Grant agreed to not send troops to Texas. Later in the day, Senator J. W. Flanaghan visited President Grant to present
Governor Davis' case. Grant refused to intercede in the will of the people of Texas. Grant wired Davis, ...would it not be prudent, as well as right, to yield to the verdict of the people as expressed by their ballots?
Davis would not give up. The Democrats forcibly took the capitol buildings and prepared for an attack by Davis supporters. On January 15, 1873, a group of blacks were armed by Davis' Adjutant General with weapons from the state arsenal. The Davis people gathered in the basement of the Capitol. The Coke people were upstairs in the same building preparing to start the legislative session. Coke's people knew that the Davis people were looking for any violence to justify invoking martial law to be enforced by the Federal government. When a United States Army officer appeared in Austin, Coke's supporters were assured that was the plan. Coke was able to keep his people in hand, although it was touch and go, there was plenty of provocation. Once, the Radicals placed a cannon in front of the Capitol building. The Coke people had spiked it before hand so they were able to sit and watch the frustration of the Radicals. Davis then called out the state militia's local group, the Travis Guards. As soon as these men assembled, they were surrounded by Democrats. Not in the military sense, they were literally engulfed in a sea of citizen support for Coke. The Travis Guards, as a unit, went over to the Democrats. Governor Davis sent a wire to Grant again asking for federal troops. He was refused. On January 19, 1873, Davis vacated his office. The Democrats again took power in Texas.
In the elections of 1875, Samuel Bell Maxey who was Irish on his mother's side (Bell), replaced Flanaghan as the junior Senator from Texas. Maxey was a Democrat, the first after the Civil War to be elected a U. S. Senator from Texas. In two years he became the senior Texas Senator when Morgan Hamilton was replaced by Richard Coke. Maxey held the senate seat until 1887 when Irishman John Reagan was elected.
< Senator Samuel Bell Maxey
A constitutional convention was called to rewrite the Republican written constitution of 1869. The convention was held in 1875. Among it members were Irishmen: John H. Reagan, John S. Ford, Sterling C. Robertson, Irish born Francis J. Lynch, Fletcher Stockdale, William Pinckney McLean, A. T. McKinney, Lawrence Sullivan Ross, Thomas Lewis Nugent, John Bernard Murphy and many more. Not one of the delegates to the convention that wrote the constitution of 1869 was at the convention in 1875. The new constitution it offered was voted into effect in February, 1876. This document brought back Jeffersonian Democracy the main tenant of which was, the least amount of government was the best type of government. Not forgetting the recent abuses, it seriously limited what government could do. The Governor of Texas was made the weakest executive in all the states of the Union. Legislative office terms were reduced and legislative sessions changed from once a year, to once every two years. The legislature was restricted in the amount of debt it could incur, taxation it could impose, and the use of any credit. The new constitution cut back much of the taxation the Republicans imposed to support a public school system, a road building program, and other social programs. In this the state took a step back to a previous time. But the key items for which the Civil War was fought and necessary for Texas to regain statehood in the United States of America, stayed intact. In other areas improvements were made. The high salaries the carpetbaggers and scalawags gave themselves were cut. Many offices were eliminated; and, some appointive positions were made elective. In one aspect, the new constitution was forward thinking. It called for railroad regulation.
THE RAILROAD, ECONOMIC STEAM ENGINE
The railroads came to Texas in 1876. That year saw the beginning of extensive railroad construction in Texas. One man was responsible for laying more track in Texas than any other. He was A Celt. He had once been a Welsh farmer and came to America and Texas as a Superintendent on a railroad construction crew. His name was Colonel Morgan Jones. He laid track for a number of railroads in Texas including: Southern Pacific, Texas and Pacific; Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe; Fort Worth and Denver City, Panhandle; Wichita Valley, and many small railways particularly in West Texas.
The railroad dramatically changed life in Texas. Towns sprouted up beside the railroad and others died when the railroad by passed them. Farmers were moved to commercial production and a cash system. Before and after the Civil War, the Texas farmer was somewhat of a self contained entity who used the barter system to exchange goods and services. The barter system was gone when the train came to town. The railroad meant access to large markets. Texas and the nation were enjoying a period of prosperity. This prosperity did more to join the Union than did any bayonet or radical rule.
Texas was an agricultural community. The Civil War and now the railroad, changed that drastically. Some of it was for the good; some of it was not so good. Parts of Texas were touched little by either. Farmers in deep West Texas could still do things as they always did. In fact, any small farmer not affected by the railroad could, if he chose to, stay in the early nineteenth century, figuratively speaking - except for one thing. Slave labor was no longer available. A new labor system replaced the old. It consisted of tenant farmers, and sharecroppers.
Basically, the tenant farmers were Texans who could not afford to compete with the bigger farmers made even bigger by the railroad. The sharecroppers were almost entirely the former slaves, the Black population of Texas. A new caste system gradually developed in Texas that brought back some pre-Civil War facts. Blacks won their freedom and the right to vote, but by the mid-1890's the economic situation developed to the point where Blacks were effectively disenfranchised from both. Their vote was strongly limited by "black codes" adopted by the legislature. Their freedom was severely limited. Many were tied economically to a farm they did not own, but where they owed for goods and services provided.
Major McNelly and his Texas Rangers were bringing law and order to the areas of the Rio Grande. Ranger Major John B. Jones commanded the Frontier Battalion of Rangers. They brought justice to West and North Texas. They were supported by the United States Army under Ranald Makenzie. The last Indian battle in North Texas was in June, 1875 , at Lost Valley, where twenty seven Rangers led by Major Jones engaged 100 Indians. The Indians lost. The last battle against the Indian on a large scale in West Texas was in January 1881. Again, the Indians lost.
Governor Richard Coke was re-elected in 1876. He was inaugurated on April 25. In elections held in May, 1876, Richard Coke was elected to replace Republican Morgan Hamilton as U. S. Senator. It was not until December he left the office of Governor to attempt to assume his seat as a U. S. Senator from Texas; and it was not until March of 1877 that he was actually sworn in as U. S. Senator.
Morgan C. Hamilton has the distinction of having been twice voted out of office as U. S. Senator, and yet not having to yield his seat. In 1871, the Texas Legislature elected J. J. Reynolds to replace him, but Hamilton was able to keep his seat. Again, in May 1876, Richard Coke was elected to take his seat, but was unable to assume it until Hamilton's term had legally expired in March of 1877.
When Coke left the office of Governor in December of 1876, Democrat Lieutenant Governor Richard Hubbard became Governor of Texas. Hubbard was of Welsh extraction. He was later the U. S. Minister to Japan (1884). Oran Milo Roberts was elected Chief Justice, William C. Walsh was the Chief Clerk of the Texas House of Representatives. In the Texas Senate, Wells Thompson was elected president pro tempore in the absence of a lieutenant governor.
In 1875, as Chief Justice, Roberts heard the case of Harriet Moore/Page/Potter/Ames against the heirs of Mrs. Mayfied regarding the property of Robert Potter. During all this time, the case was tied up in the courts and Harriet Ames and her family lived at Potter's Point. Chief Justice Roberts ruled that there was significant evidence to question whether Robert and Harriet were ever man and wife and awarded the estate to the Mayfield heirs. The Ames family moved to Cass County where Harriet's husband was the County Judge.
The South, and Texas, still talked and acted like Southern Democrats. Oran Milo Roberts, the die-hard secessionist, was elected to the first of two terms as Governor of Texas in 1878. Roberts was Irish through his mother and Welsh on his father's side.
Governer Oran Roberts
In 1892, Governor Roberts invited sculptor Elizabeth Ney to advise on the selection of a sculptor for statues to be produced for the 1893 World's Fair. Statues of Sam Houston and Stphen F. Austin were to be a part of aTexas presence at the fair. When no suitable sculptor of repute could be found to sculpt the Texas heroes at a price acceptable to the state government, Elizabeth Ney offered to sculpt them at the cost of materials. Today these classic statues repose in the rotunda of the state capitol for all to see.
Governor Oran Milo Robert's Secretary of State was Thornton H. Bowman, whose mother was a Daugherty. During Robert's two terms the University of Texas was established. Roberts more than any one man helped to found both the University of Texas and Sam Houston State University. After Roberts served his two terms he was a professor on the faculty of the University of Texas until 1893. O. M. Roberts was an author and historian. He was the first President of the Texas State Historical Association.
Governor John Ireland
Roberts was followed as Governor of Texas by John Ireland. Ireland's father, Patrick, was born in Ireland. Both these governors terms were austere. After the war and Reconstruction, Texans and the South wanted the least amount of government possible. The truth be known, prosperity made people more interested in being good Capitalists than good Democrats. Ireland's administration saw the erection of the Capital Rotunda in Austin. It was originally going to be made of limestone, but it was Ireland who insisted on the pink granite quarried from Granite Mountain in Marble Falls, Texas. Sixty two Scottish stonecutters were brought into Texas to work the granite.
The fundamentalist churches of Texas grew in post war Texas. The Catholic, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, and Lutheran communities built many churches in the urban areas and a few in rural Texas. The Methodist and Baptist congregations concentrated on spreading the word and less on building structures.
By 1875, the largest number of immigrants in Texas were the Germans followed by the Hispanics. The Irish and Celts, however, continued to play an important part in Texas history in a percentage greater than their numbers. There were a number of reasons for this. The Irish were gregarious and political by nature. Many were successful businessmen and politicians. The Hispanic population, like the Blacks, were victims of the caste system. The Germans tended to be insular. Their political efforts were local in nature except in the Grange and other farm organizations.
The Grange was begun by a clerk in the Agricultural Bureau in Washington D. C.. His name was Oliver H. Kelley. In Texas, the Grange was an important political force. It was not a political force in the sense it organized for political purposes. The Grange's stated purposes were: to improve the home life of its members, to foster social intercoue to the mutual benefit of all, and to provide economic benefits in dealing with the business world.
Grangers were encouraged as individuals to be active in politics. In the Constitutional Convention of 1875, about half the delegates were Grangers. At its peak membership in 1877, the Texas Grange claimed 45,000 members in 1,200 chapters. Most Texas farms, particularly the bigger ones, were a one crop farm - cotton. When things were good for cotton, things were good in Texas. Conversely, when the cotton crop was bad or the cotton market was soft, it affected Texas greatly. In an effort to help farmers through tough times, the Grange opened cooperatives where farmers could purchase needed materials at wholesale prices. This was a cash operation.
Anne McClean Moores (1860-1916) was born the daughter of W. P. and Margaret McClean. She married twice: Charles W. Moores in 1881, and John R. Towler. From 1892 until her death, Anne McClean Moores served as either vice president or president of the First National Bank of Mt. Pleasant, and was the first female president of a bank in Texas.
< Anne McClean Moores
In 1883 and 1884, when the cotton crop was very poor and farmers did not have any cash, the Cooperatives had to close their doors. Not long after, the Grange lost its importance to Texas. It did leave a heritage. Many of the Grange meetings were schools where farmers were taught to farm more efficiently. The Grange was a large supporter of the founding of Texas Agricultural & Mechanical College, now Texas A&M University. The County agent and agricultural extension services also have their root in the early Grange activities.
In 1887, there were two Irishman on the ballot for Governor of Texas. The Republican candidate was Irishman, Archalaus M. Cochran. There was a Cochran who was elected to office that year, but not as governor. He was John H. Cochran. Cochran was elected to the legislature. Cochran had served in the legislature before and had been Speaker of the House. Cochran was Speaker in the 16th legislature (1879). He was again the Speaker of the Texas House in 1893.
It was the Democratic Irish candidate who was elected. That was Lawrence Sullivan Ross. Ross was the only former Confederate General elected Governor of Texas.
Governor Lawrence Sullivan Ross
After serving as Governor of Texas, "Sull" Ross served as the President of Texas A&M until his death in 1898. Sull Ross laid the foundation for what the school was to become. Many of the traditions of A&M began during his tenure.
Miss Madge Williams, a resident of Independence, Texas travelled to Portsmouth, Virginia in 1895. She christened the battleship Texas. Williams was chosen because she was the grand daughter of Sam Houston.
1898 was the year of "..that splendid little war", the War of 1898. William McKinley, an Irishman, was President and a fighter. He was nominated during the Civil War for a Medal of Honor.
One of the units raised during the Spanish American conflict was the Rough Riders by Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt had an Irish connection on his mother's side. The rough Riders were outfitted and trained in San Antonio. Andrew Jackson Houston, the son of Sam Houston, assisted in raising troops for the unit. Among the members of the Rough Riders was Lance Montgomery, son of Doctor Edmund Montgomery and sculptress Elizabeth Ney. Doctor Montgomery was Scottish. Roosevelt's horse, which he rode in Cuba was called "Little Texas."
The Rough Riders atop San Juan hill in Cuba
Sabine Pass was fortified during the war and again an Irishman was involved. Major James B. Quinn of the United States Army Corps of Engineers built two forts in the Sabine Pass area. Neither were ever used as Admiral George Dewey ended the war in short order with his attack on the Spanish fleet in Manila.
1890, another Irishman, James Stephen Hogg was elected Governor of Texas.
James Hogg is to the right in this picture of four Texas Governors
From the left is Fancis Lubbock, Oran Roberts and Sul Ross
James S. Hogg's father, was a Confederate General Joseph Lewis Hogg. The Hogg family immigrated to America from Ireland. James Stephen Hogg's mother was a Campbell. Hogg was the first native born Texan to hold the office of Governor. In 1891, John H. Reagan was elected U. S. Senator, replacing Irishman Samuel Bell Maxey. On the national scene, Senator Reagan was a key man in establishing the Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate the railroads who were abusing their economic power. In Texas, Governor Hogg was able to establish the Railroad Commission to regulate the railroads in Texas. Hogg was able to convince John H. Reagan to resign his Senate seat and become its first chairman. The other two commissioners were L. L. Foster and William P. McLean.
In 1892, Hogg ran against two other Irishmen for Governor. The election was a spirited one as there were many factions. The Republicans split along racial lines. The Black Republicans recognizing they could not elect a governor on their own, supported the Conservative Democrat candidate, George Clark. The Republicans nominated Sam Houston's son Andrew Jackson Houston. Another party, the Populists, nominated Tom Lewis Nugent. Nugent, a reformer, was well respected in Texas politics. The "Nugent tradition", a term used in the late nineteenth and and early twentieth century Texas politics, was a rallying cry for reformers.
The Populist were an outgrowth of the farmers who wanted a stronger political voice. The farmers helped elect Jim Hogg in his first election. Hogg needed to find votes elsewhere to offset the loss to the Populists.
The progressive Hogg, representing the Democrats, won re-election by courting elements of the Black vote. He was able to continue his reforms and progressive programs in Texas.
Caldwell Walton Raines, whose mother was Althea McClendon, was appointed by Governor Hogg as Librarian of the Texas State Library. Mr. Ranes began the library's collection of Texana. He was also one of the founders of the Texas State Historical Assocoiation.
Jim Hogg County and Jim Hogg State Park are named for the progressive governor of Texas, James Stephen Hogg. When James Hogg was dying, he asked that a stone marker not be put on his grave, instead he asked that a pecan and a walnut tree be planted on his grave. He said the "plain people" of Texas could have the nuts to plant trees on their lands. For years the nuts from the two trees were dutifully harvested and distributed by Texas A&M University through the extension service to the people of Texas.
Governor Charles Allen Culberson
In 1894, Hogg was followed by his successor, the more conservative Charles A. Culberson. Culberson was able to defeat Tom Nugent by adopting most of the Populist's planks into his campaign. Culberson was previously Attorney General of Texas for two terms. He was also Governor for two terms, 1895-1899. In 1899 Charles Culberson was elected to represent Texas in the United States Senate, a position he held until 1923.
Governor Joseph D. Sayers
Culberson as Governor of Texas was in turn followed by yet another Irishman, Joseph D. Sayers. Sayers was Irish on his paternal and maternal lines. He was related on both sides to David Crockett. Joseph Sayers was an officer in the Confederacy and was with the Texans at the Battle of Valverde, and in the Bayou La Fourche campaign. Sayer's Lieutenant Governor was James N. Browning, whose mother was Mary Burke. Browning was followed in office by Celt George D. Neal. The Lieutenant Governor before Browning was George T. Jester. Jester was Lieutenant Governor for two terms. Jester's grandfather was Hampton McKinney, who built the first log cabin in Corsicana in 1847. George T Jester's son, Beauford H. Jester, became a Governor of Texas.
The Gay Nineties brought an upbeat end to the nineteenth century. Texas, and the Nation was prospering again. The Irish continued to play a part in the development and history of Texas. The arenas of politics and the military proved fertile ground for the Irish, as did literature and the church. Now there was another arena developing as Americans and Texans found they had time to appreciate objectives beyond work and church. The arts began to be a part of Texas life about the middle of the nineteenth century. The Irish were quick studies in the arts. From the arts evolved entertainment.
Entertainment to some people meant a ballet or a symphony; to others, it meant the theater and sports. It was in the last two new arenas the Irish rose and became prominent, without forsaking their inclination to put pen to paper, to the rhetoric of elected office, the glory of the uniform, or serving their church.