Newspaper articles about Freestone County, Texas from external sources



By Eric Bonner Wood





This book is composed entirely of newspaper articles published in external newspapers about Freestone County, Texas.  The purpose of the book is to be a primary source reference where one can refer to the original article.

Most people, if you were to ask them, have never been to the tourist attractions of their home town.  They grew up in their hometown, but never went to them.  Maybe my fascination with Freestone County is because I have never lived there.




1) The newspaper titles are in italics.

2) Places in Freestone County or references to Freestone County itself are bolded.

3) The phrase “Special to the [newspaper]” is sometimes left off, since it does nothing to the content of the news and it is so common since the majority of the articles about Freestone County are considered “Special to the News” to the outside news firms.

4) Since the book is not restricted by the columns that newspapers are written in, expect fewer dashes in long words broken up by the end of the line.  I have keep the original end of the lines with poetry pieces.

5) Capitalization has been usually keep as the original.

6) My comments are in brackets.  For example, [Comment].



Recurring Newspaper Columns


            Travel letters were commonly published in the earlier 1840s to 1860s.  These provide descriptions of the terrain and buildings.  The interest in these would subside when the huge distraction of the Civil War arrives and later when railroads make it easier to travel.

            “Mr. Big Hat” and “Cozy Corner”  was popular column where kids and teenagers wrote in from at least 1896 to 1903.   The editor, “Mr. Big Hat”, was suppose to have Piggy and Peggy (a mule) that would eat articles that were not up to the column’s standards.

            Another popular column was the society news.  The early versions of this column focused on the tourists, businessmen, and other town visitors when they arrived at the hotel.  Later versions, shifted their focus to the high society “Beau Monde” (Fine  World) visitors especially on the young unmarried ladies and social events. 

            “The State Press” was a long-running column that listed the news from the various other newspapers in the state.  A similar long-running column was “The Craft” that focused specifically on the other newspapers themselves and their editors.




This work in its entirety is relinquished to the public domain.  This work is intended to be a transcription of original primary sources that are in public domain because of the expiration of the copyright law.  Any part of my transcription may be reproduced, edited, etc. as a basis of research for other works.  I consider this in the public domain for use by any person or entity for any purpose without any fee or charge.  People and entities includes (but is not limited to) libraries, history clubs, museums, genealogy groups, etc.  This work may be copied in its entirety.



for commonly mentioned cities and towns


Town/City                               County

Austin                                     Travis Co.

Bellville                                   Austin Co.

Belton                                     Bell Co.

Buffalo                                    Leon Co.

Cade                                        Navarro Co. (near Freestone Co. line)

Centerville                               Leon Co.

Clarksville                               Red River Co.

Columbia                                 Kaufman Co.

Coolidge                                 Limestone Co.

Corpus Christi                         Nueces Co.

Corsicana                                Navarro Co.

Dallas                                      Dallas Co.

Eureka                                     Navarro Co.  (near Freestone Co. line)

Fallon                                      Limestone Co.

Fort Worth                              Tarrant Co.

Galveston                                Galveston Co.

Groesbeck                               Limestone Co.

Horn Hill                                 Limestone Co.

Houston                                  Harris Co.

Jewett                                      Leon Co.

Keechi                                     Leon Co.

Marshall                                  Harrison Co.

Mexia                                      Limestone Co.

Montfort                                 Navarro Co.

Nacogdoches                          Nacogdoches Co.

Navarro                                   Navarro Co.

Oakwood                                Leon Co.

Oletha                                     Limestone Co.

Palestine                                  Anderson Co.

Personville                               Limestone Co.

Pisgah Ridge                           Navarro Co.

Powell                                     Navarro Co.

Roane                                      Navarro Co.

Robbins                                   Leon Co.

Rusk                                        Cherokee Co.

San Antonio                            Bexar Co.

San Angelo                             Tom Green Co.

Springfield                              Limestone Co.

Tehuacana                               Limestone Co.

Tyler                                        Smith Co.

Waco                                       McLennan Co.

Waxahachie                             Ellis Co.






[This page was left intentionally blank]

NEWS OF 1848


[During The Mexican War (1846-1848)]


[Not sure if article refers to Pine Bluffs, of what would be later Freestone County, Texas or Pine Bluff, Arkansas.]


The Northern Standard (of Clarksville, Red River Co., Texas) – April 22, 1848 – Page: 3




(as some kind friends call her,)


  NOW undergoing repairs, will run as regular packet between Pine Bluffs and the Raft. 

  Having made arrangements with Boats in the Lower Trade, cotton and other freight will be reshipped without delay.  The Captain respectfully invites Planters and Merchants to call and examine the Boat, and satisfy themselves in regard to the safety of freight shipped by her. 

            OLIVER & CHATFIELD

            Agents at Clarksville

            J. J. SMITH

            Agent at Pine Bluff.

  All Cotton shipped on the Victress, will be insured, at the usual rates of insurance, by the undersigned.

            OLIVER & CHATFIELD

Clarksville, Nov. 29th, 1 - (31-tf



The Northern Standard (of Clarksville, Red River Co., Texas) – April 22, 1848 – Page: 4

[Also May 6, 1848 – Page: 4; June 17, 1848 – Page: 4; June 24, 1848 – Page: 4; July 8, 1848 – Page: 4; July 15, 1848 – Page: 4; July 22, 1848 – Page: 4; August 26, 1848 – Page: 4; September 16, 1848 – Page: 4; October 14, 1848 – Page: 4]



A TOWN with the above name, has been laid off upon the west bank of the Trinity river, a high and beautiful bluff, immediately above the south line of Mercer’s Colony, and below all rafts and obstructions to the navigation of the Trinity.

            Navigation to this point is undoubted: a boat having been within 20 miles of it February last, and the river being uninterruptedly good to the Bluffs.

            The Town and the county immediately around, abound with bold springs of purest water.

            The health of the place is believed to be good – there being neither swamps nor stagnant water about, and the families who resided at the place last year having good health.

            North, West, and South, of the Bluffs, for a great distance, is as rich farming land as there is in the world.

            GOOD ROADS, which will not have to cross either swamps or boggy land, can be had to the place from any desirable direction.

            As a point for SHIPMENT OF PRODUCE it has great advantages, there being no bluffs on the west bank of the Trinity, below the obstructions to Navigation, and high enough as a deposit for the produce of the Upper Trinity Country, combining the accessibility and other advantages of this point.  As a point for Mercantile establishment at the present time, it is unequalled in the Upper Trinity region, as the country which should properly trade at this point immense.  The Richland, Chambers Creek and Navasoto County all lies adjacent.  At least 500 bales of Cotton will be shipped from this point the coming winter, and much more would be, but for the difficulty in procuring seed.

            We offer to donate lots to Merchants and Mechan??? who will settle at this point and improve them.

            All persons who may desire to settle at a new place, having every prospect of rapid rise, are invited to examine the locality and purchase lots, which will be sold low.

            A good ferry boat is constantly kept at the place.

                                    W. NICKS ANDERSON,

                                                For Charles Fenton Mercer & Associates     (n5 tf)




NEWS OF 1850



The Northern Standard (of Clarksville, Red River Co., Texas) – Jan. 26, 1850 - Page 4


[NOTE - Modern spelling of the location is Tehuacana Hills.  The hills are located west of Westminister College in Tehuacana in the edge of Limestone county.

  Pine Bluff was town that was located in the southeast corner of Freestone county and was located near the Trinity River.]


The Seat Of Government

To The People Of Texas


The election prescribed by the State Constitution, for a seat of Government

for the next TWENTY YEARS, being about to come on, the undersigned, proprietor

of the locality generally known as Tawakanah hills, begs leave to propose his place for the consideration of the People of the State, and set before them its natural advantages, and the inducements, which he offers for their selection of it, for the Seat of the State Government.

There are several hills known as the Tawakanah hills, but there is one, at the

base of which the subscriber now lives, which by general consent has for a long period been recognized as a desirable locality for a Town, both on account of its extent of unbroken surfaces, the springs upon and around it, the rock with which it abounds, and its convenience to timber.  The hill itself contains an area of some four hundred acres, all of which, except for a reservation of twenty blocks to cover sales and settlements heretofore made, and expenses of publication, your petitioner tenders to the use and benefit of the State, to be laid off in Town lots and sold.  To this, continuing the line of donation across the whole line of his survey, he adds enough more of land to make the quantity of twelve hundred acres, the residue of which, after defining the town lots, being laid off in outlets of from five to twenty acres, and being good farming land, the whole will, it is believed, produce a sum, by its public sale, more than sufficient to cover all expenses of removing the Government archives and fixtures, and the erection of better public buildings than are

now at Austin.

Rock, the gray limestone, lies in abundance, upon and below the surface of the hills, and in addition to its usefulness for building material, makes most excellent Lime.

Cedar, measuring forty and fifty feet to the body in length, and two feet or more through, may be found in large qualities, within two and one-half miles of the place, and at a distance of six miles, upon the Navasoto, there is enough to build cities.  Thirty miles distant is excellent Pine. Post Oak, Elm, Ash, Walnut, Cottonwood &c., are to be found within a mile of the place on the east upon Tawakanah creek and extending thence to the Trinity, thirty miles. To the west, upon Elm and Pin Oak creeks, timber abounds commencing at a distance of two miles, and at four miles, being in dense bodies.  Little skirts of timber upon branches and ravines adjacent are not taken into calculation.

Clay, of the best quality for brick is to be found every beneath the surface.

At the south base of the hill is a large Spring affording nearly enough water to turn  a mill during all the year, which forms the source of Elm creek.  At the east base are two large springs, within three hundred yards of each other, which form the sources of Tawakanah creek, which empties into the Trinity at Pine Bluff.  These Springs, it is believed, would amply supply with water, a population of thousand persons.  In addition to these, however, are ten or twelve more Springs around the hill, and it may properly be added that water is  procured by digging a few feet below the surface, anywhere in the


Of the remarkable health of the place, not a doubt can exist.  The air is pure.  There are no marshy exhalations rising from any portion of the country near it, and every one knows that the hard gray limestone water is pure and salubrious.  In addition to this, the place has been settled for several years, and has proved itself from the experience of the residents, entirely healthy.

The soil of the hill and surrounding region, is of the kind known as black sandy.  It is remarkably lively and productive, and especially adapted to the growth of vegetables, and has a thin red clay foundation.

Pine Bluff, thirty miles from Tawakannah, upon the Trinity River, is the

landing place for this point, and has been accessible for the past fourteen months uninterruptedly.  At the time of writing, a boat is within a few miles of the Bluff. The road to it, from this place, is direct, and at all times excellent, without regard to the state of the weather, and there is not a creek crossing it, during the whole distance.



  Tawakanah, December 14th, 1849.




The Northern Standard (of Clarksville, Red River Co., Texas) – May 4, 1850 – Page 4


Trinity River

The recent arrival of the steamers Jack Hays and Brownsville, from a distance of 650 miles up the Trinity, has brought most encouraging intelligence from that country.  These boats, by the present trip, have brought about 600 bales of cotton belonging to planters who have heretofore always hauled their crops either to Houston or Shreveport, a distance of about 300 miles to either place.   Pine Bluff, the point to which the boats found the navigation quite free from all obstruction, is now settling up with unexampled rapidity.  The neighboring counties lie generally between the parallels of 31 and 32 degrees of latitude, and are peculiarly adapted to the production of cotton, …

            Mr. John R. Rose has just returned from a trip up the Trinity as agent for the Government, to examine the country, and ascertain the most eligible point of shipment of stores and munitions for the supply of the several military posts in northern Texas. We learn that he has given the preference to Pine Bluff, and will recommend that point to the government.  It is situated on the west bank of the river, and is nearly equally distant form Gates’ Fort in Navarro county, Fort Graham in Milam county, and Fort Worth in Dallas county, the greatest distance being only 115 miles, and the roads good to all these posts.  There can scarcely be a doubt that the Government will establish a depot for these posts at Pine Bluff.

                      Galveston News



The Northern Standard (of Clarksville, Red River Co., Texas) – June 6, 1850 – Page 2


Parson Smith in his remarks to the mass meeting on Wednesday, gave a cheering account of the prospects for the successful navigation of Trinity.  He described the banks of the river being very high, with a deep channel.  He says that the obstruction encountered by Mr. Runyon with his Keel boat, from Porter's to Pine Bluff were inconsiderable and could be easily removed, being small rafts that had lodged in the river.   The sides of the bank are overgrown in many places with willow trees, some of which project into the river.  These will have to be cut down and removed.  One peculiarity of the Trinity that will render it superior to almost any river of its size, is, that its channel never changes.  It has no shifting sand bars.  Mr. Smith learned at Galveston that several new boats were building expressly for the Trinity.  We say to our people confidently, “there’s a better day a coming.” – Herald.



Democratic Telegraph and Texas Register (of Houston, Texas) - June 20, 1850 – Page 2


Parson Smith, in his remarks to the mass meeting on Wednesday, gave a cheering account of the prospects for the successful navigation of [the] Trinity [River].  He described the banks of the river as being very high, with a deep channel.  He says that the obstruction encountered by Mr. Runyon with his Keel beam from Porter’s to Pine Bluff were inconsiderable and could be easily removed, being small rafts that had lodged in the river.  The side of the bank are overgrown in many places with willow trees, some of which project into river.  These will have to be cut down.

NEWS OF 1852



The Star State Patriot (of Marshall, Harrison County, Texas)

September 3, 4, 18, & 25, 1852  - Page: 3


Weekly Journal - August 13, 1852



T. T. Gammage               N. H. Wilson

Milton P.O.                   Fairfield

Freestone Co., Texas    Freestone Co., Texas


        LAW NOTICE


  GAMMAGE & WILSON, Attorneys at Law will regularly attend the Courts of the Third Judicial District; the Courts of the counties of Anderson and Navarro, of the Ninth; and the Supreme and Federal Courts of the State.


  Refer to

  Hon. R.T. Wheeler       }

  Hon. Johs R. Jones      } Galveston

  Hon. Robert Hughes      }

  Hon. W.B. Ochiltree       } Nacogdoches

  Hon. Thos. J. Rusk        }

  Col. Jas. McCown        } Harrison Co.

  Col. C.C. Mills         }

  W. P. Hill, Esquire      Tyler

  James Webb, Esquire      Austin


   The Galveston Journal, State Gazette, and Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas), will please copy for one year.


   July, 26 1852 -- n7:1y



The Star State Patriot (of Marshall, Harrison County, Texas)

Sept 9 & 25, 1852 - Page: 2


A friend has kindly furnished us a letter on Freestone County, from which we take a brief extract - in order to show the credence given to Gen. Pierce's letter of denial to the New Boston Abolition sentiments, alleged to have been uttered by him.


     Troy, Freestone Co., Texas.

       September the 4th, 1852


We are in receipt of papers furnishing the most reliable poof of Gen. [Franklin] Pierce's Freesoil traits.  It is now pretty certain, since Gen. Pierce is the Northern man, and not like little Kinderhook Van, but void of Southern principals, that even this portion of Texas will go for Gen. Scott, unless there can be brought to bear more substantial proof to do away with this New-Boston affair, than anything yet brought to light.

After all their efforts to this end, it amounts to a puerile attempt at bluff, with general denials, without saying what should have been said on the occasion, and seemingly leaving the imaginative democracy to supply the omissions as occasions may require, to suit their own views, what he should, or rather what they would he should have said. 



[Notes to help understanding:   Free-soil is an anti-slavery movement and political party.  Franklin Pierce would later become the president of the United States in 1853 by defeating the Whig party’s candidate of General Winfield Scott.  A focal battle ground of the abolitionist and slavery owners would be in Kansas during Pierce’s presidency.  “Kinderhook Van” is a reference to Martin Van Buren, a former U.S. president, born in Kinderhook, NY.] 



Star State Patriot (of Marshall, Harrison County, Texas)

Vol. V., No. 21 - Saturday, October 2, 1852 – Whole No. 229.

Page: 2




   We learn by the Cherokee Sentinel that this body convened on the 20th ult.

   Delegates in attendance:  From Anderson county 18, Cherokee 12, Dallas 1, Freestone 3, Galveston 1, …

   A committee of one from each county was appointed to report permanent officers, a code of rules, and the number of votes allowed each county. … Anderson to have 4 votes, Cherokee 5, Dallas 3, Freestone 2, Galveston 4…


NEWS OF 1853



San Antonio Ledger (of San Antonio, Texas) – January 6, 1853 – Page: 2


It is proposed to establish a new Judicial District to be composed of the counties of Leon, Freestone, Navarro, Robertson, Falls, and Brazos.



Nacogdoches Chronicle (of Nacogdoches, Texas) – May 17, 1853 – Page: 2


Judicial Record.

Table Showing the Names of the District Judge

the Names of the District Attorney


THIRTEENTH DIST. – H. J. Jewett, Judge; R. S. Gould, Attorney; Centerville, Leon Co. – Brazos, Falls, Freestone, Leon, Limestone, Madison, Navarro, Robertson.



Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) – August 27, 1853 – Page: 11




Freestone:   92  Pease;  13 Ochiltree



Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) – Sept. 10, 1853 – Page: 25


EVANS, A. J. – Attorney-at-Law, Waco, McLennan county, Texas.  Will practice in the counties of McLennan, Limestone, Freestone, Falls, Milam and Bell and in the Supreme Court of the State.  Prompt attention given to securing valid, and perfecting controverted land claims.  Office east of Waco Inn.   July 1852   




NEWS OF 1854



The San Antonio Ledger (of San Antonio, Texas) - Feb. 9, 1854 edition - Page: 2


Texas Items


Messrs. Charles T. Friend and Wm. L. Moody, have issued a prospectus for a

paper to be published at Fairfield, Texas, to be called the "Fairfield Republican."  It is to be democratic in politics.  Success to the Republican.



Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - Feb. 13, 1854 edition - Page: 165


[Summary of legislation passed]



An act to authorize the County Court of Freestone County to levy an additional tax for the purpose of building a Courthouse.




Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - Feb. 21, 1854 edition - Page: 178


An act to authorize the County Court of Freestone County to levy an additional tax for the purpose of building a Courthouse.


Section 1.  Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That the County Court of Freestone County is hereby authorized and empowered to levy an additional tax upon the persons and property of all persons subject to taxation in said county of Freestone, for the purpose of building a Courthouse in said county, which shall be assessed and collected as other taxes.  Provided, that the County tax shall not exceed one hundred per cent. on the State tax.

Sec. 2. That this act take effect and be in force from and after its passage.

  Approved, January 24, 1854.



Nacogdoches Chronicle (of Nacogdoches, Texas) - March 7, 1854 edition - Page: 1


[Summary of legislation passed]



38. An act to authorize the county court of Freestone County, to levy an additional tax, for the purpose of building a Courthouse.




Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas)

March 21 & 28th and also April 4, 1854 edition




Hugh McMullen vs. Charles G. Edwards

The State of Texas to the Sheriff of Hill County -


WHEREAS, Hugh McMullen, a citizen of said county of Hill, State of Texas, has this day filed his petition in the office of the District Clerk of Hill county aforesaid, alleging, among other things, that Charles G. Edwards, a citizen of the State of Alabama, being seized in fee simple of a certain league and labor of land, the headright of Henry Ross, lying and being situated in said county of Hill, State of Texas, on Hackberry Creek; that petitioner sent by mail a written proposal to said Edwards to purchase said land, agreeing to give the sum of two thousand dollars for the same; that said proposal or letter was dated October 17, 1853, at Tyler, Smith county, Texas, which said letter petitioner alleges was received by said Edwards, and is now in his (Edward's) possession; and petitioner notified said Edwards to produce said letter or the contents of the same will be proved by secondary evidence.  Petitioner further alleges that said Edwards, by a written obligation signed by himself, (Edwards), and dated November 10, 1853, and sent to petitioner in the form of a letter, by mail, accepted petitioner's offer and promised and agreed to execute a deed of conveyance of said league and labor of land to petitioner, and send the same to Messrs. Whitt & Moody at Fairfield, Freestone county, Texas, to be by them delivered to petitioner, upon the payment of said sum of two thousand dollars and the charges of said Whitt & Moody.  Petitioner further alleges that said Edwards refused and still refuses to comply with his portion of said contract, and that the purchase money is ready in his hands for the completion of the same.   Petitioner having made the affidavit prescribed by law in such cases, has annexed to his petition certain interrogatories to said defendant Edwards, the substance of which is as follows, to wit:  ...



Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - June 10, 1854 edition - Page: 299




BLOCKER & GURLY, Attorneys at Law, Waco, McLennan County -- Will practice in

the counties of McLennan, Falls, Limestone, Freestone and Hill.


B. F. Blocker            24:1y           E.J. Gurly



Nacogdoches Chronicle (of Nacogdoches, Texas) - July 18, 1854 edition - Page: 1






HENRY J. JEWETT, Judge, [city obscured]

ROBT. S. GOULD, District Attorney, [city obscured]



  Freestone:  4th Mondays after [missing]

April and October; one week.



Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - August 26, 1854 edition - Page: 5


We are glad to see that a good to horse hack is to be placed upon the route between Palestine, Fairfield and Springfield.



Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - Sept. 30, 1854 edition




EVANS, A. J. -- Attorney-at-law.  Waco, McLennan County.  Will practice in the counties of McLennan, Falls, Limestone, Freestone and Hill, and in the Supreme Court of the State.  Prompt attention given to securing, valid, and perfecting controverted and claims.  Office east of Waco Inn.   July, 1852.  3-48



Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - October 7, 1854 edition - Page: 52


Texas Rangers.

Inspectors-Times and Places of Rendezvous


DISTRICT III - Inspector Adj't. Gen. Gillett will muster in the volunteers at Cameron, 18th October.  District III, includes the counties of Fayette, Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, Gillespie.  Burnet, Bell, Williamson, Milam.  Falls, McLennan, Coryell, Bosque, Navarro, Limestone, Freestone and Robertson.



[same edition, same page]


Candidate for Captain of Company III


 Charles E. Travis is a candidate for Captain of company three - ordered by his Excellency the Governor, to be raised in the following counties:  Fayette, Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, Gillespie, Burnett, Bell, Williamson, Milam, Falls, McLennan, Coryell, Bosque, Navarro, Limestone, Freestone and Robertson.

NEWS OF 1855



Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - April 21, 1855 edition - Page: 270


Temperance in Freestone - Rev. Mr. James Young addressed the people at Fairfield on the 10th ult., in favor of the Legislature passing a prohibitory liquor law. A vote taken at the close stood 59 for, to 11 against such a law.  It was resolved to secure the election of "high minded, competent and honorable men, to legislative and executive offices--giving preference to those who will advocate and procure the passage of a prohibitroy [sic] liquor-law by the legislature."



Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - May 12, 1855 edition - Page: 292


We learn from the Leon Pioneer that Waco Edwards, an old Texan, a citizen of Freestone county, was killed a short time since by a young man, by the named of Horn.  It seems that Edwards had made some remarks derogatory to the honesty of Horn, which coming to his ears, he rode up to Edward's home, called him out and asked him if he said so and so, on Edwards answering in the affirmative he shot him down in his tracks with a double barreled shot gun.  This is rumor - we do not vouch or its correctness.  Report says that Horn has been arrested."



Deseret News (of Salt Lake, Utah) - May 23, 1855 edition - Page: 5


Elder Benjamin L. Clapp, when last heard from, was in Troy, Freestone Co.,  Texas, and expected to take a company, mostly composed of his relatives, through to Utah this season.



Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - May 26, 1855 edition - Page: 307


A Man Buried Alive in a Well - A most horrid circumstance of this sort occurred a few days since at West Point landing, on the Trinity River, in Freestone county.  A stranger, who represented himself as a well digger, and whose name was afterwards ascertained from a letter to be Wilson, went down to clean out the well of Mr. Gill, a merchant of West Point. -- The well was 60 feet deep and curbed with wood.  Wilson descended in a bucket, and when at or near the bottom stepped upon the curbing, which gave way and kept failing until he was covered to a considerable depth with timber and dirt.  When the curbing commenced falling he caught the rope, but the weight of his body and the falling dirt and timber, broke it.  The curbing seemed to have lodged above him, and left him in a sort of vault.  Every effort was made to rescue him by those above.  He could be heard talking, and urging in the most pathetic accents his rescuers to hasten, as the timber and earth were fast settling down upon him.  Every effort to rescue the poor man was without success, and in a few moments after the falling in of the curbing, the walls of the well gave way and filled it with earth for about 30 feet, literally burying the wretched man alive, and destroying every hope of his rescue.  At the last accounts, our informant says, the body still remained in the well.  What an awful death.  What must have been the feelings of the wretched man as he felt the timber and earth slowly pressing around him, cutting off his breath and pressing out his life, in awful impenetrable darkness, beyond the possibility of human succor.  -- Leon Pioneer

NEWS OF 1856



Dallas Weekly Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - May 10, 1856


The editor of the Pioneer is descanting on an inspiring theme - Man's inhumanity to - hogs.  According to the editor, all the hogs of the flourishing village of Fairfield are mercilessly left without any better shelter from sun or storm than afforded them underneath the Masonic Hall, where they are so crowded as to be uncomfortable, and he fears, unhealthy. In proof of their bad situation, the young ladies of the academy say they "squeal incessantly," and the inference is irresistible too, we think, that they are much bitten by fleas, and haven't room to scratch.  The editor c??????es the changes of these fleas going off on the aforesaid young ladies and church-goers who assemble at the

Hall on Sundays; and conclude that though a great his humane and kind-hearted article by recommending that sheds be built about the lodge, church, and other fit places for such things &c., for the neglected hogs.



Cherokee Sentinel (of Rusk, Texas) - June 28, 1856


Sad Accident - On Saturday morning, says the Fairfield Pioneer, of the 3d inst, a Scotchman by the name of McDaniel, descended the well of Mr. Williams, when

he came in contact with carbonic acid gas which soon ended his earthly career.  He had. however gone into the well the day was taken out breathless.  After he had recovered he boasted that he had taken negroes out of such wells before, and intended to clean out that one.  He recently came to the county, but we did not understand from whence.



State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - June 28, 1856 – Page: 4

[Also July 19 and August 9, 1856 – Page: 1]




TO the possession of the undersigned, Sheriff of Ellis county, Texas, on the 3rd day of May, 1856, a slave, who says his name is Allen, and further says he belongs to John A. Wynn, a citizen of Freestone county, Texas said slave is of a very black complexion, five feet seven inches 1/4 high, supposed to weigh 145 pounds, quick spoken, said slave says he is twenty-eight years old, and left home this Spring about the second week in April, A.D. 1856.  The owner or owners of said slave are requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges and take him away or he will be dealt with according to the law.

   JOHNATHAN E. PRINCE, Sheriff  E. C.

June 7th, 1856    no 42.



State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - July 5, 1856 - Page: 2


The Condition of Texas


               1855 Slaves   1855 Bales [of cotton]

Freestone      2,167            4,517



Cherokee Sentinel (of Rusk, Texas) –

November 29 and December 6 edition, 1856 - Page: 2


Writ of Publication


Thomas A. Scurlock


Julia Ann Scurlock


District Court Cherokee County


THE STATE OF TEXAS, COUNTY OF CHEROKEE : To the Sheriff of said county --



  To Mrs. Julia Ann Scurlock; you will please take notice, that after this notice shall have been published thirty days, I shall issue a commission to take the depositions of S. B. Pharis and William Pharis, who reside in the county of Freestone, and State aforesaid, which depositions, when taken are to be read as evidence on the part of the plaintiff, in a certain suit, now pending in the District Court of said county; wherein Thomas A. Scurlock is plaintiff and you are defendant.

  Test:  Frank M. Taylor, Clerk of said Court.


  {L.S.}   Given under my hand and official seal at office, this November the

           twenty-seventh, A.D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty seven.

           Frank M. Taylor, Clerk


    Issued November 27th, 1856

        F. M. Taylor, Clerk




   Received in office November 28th, A.D. 1856, and handed to the Editor of the

Cherokee Sentinel, same day, for publication.  James T. Bloomfield,

                                               Sheriff C.C.

    By John F. Williams, Deputy

    November 29, 1856                  n50-30d



State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - August 9th, 1856 edition - Page: 4


Serious Charges


...Public Debt Bill...


Resolved, That the Committee just appointed by the House to proceed to investigate the difficulty, touching the Public Debt question, between Hon. Isaac Parker, of Tarrant, ad Hon. Busby, of Freestone, and report all matters relative to same to the House.




State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - Sept. 6, 1856 edition - page 4



     City of Austin, August 7th, 1856


Gentlemen of the Investigating Committee:

The statements which I submit to your honorable body, in relation to a letter handed to me in January last, and the conversation between Mr. Isaac Parker and myself in relation to the Public Debt bill, are as follows:

On Thursday morning, the 23th of January last, in a conversation between Mr. Parker and myself on the Public Debt bill, at his desk in the Hall of the House of Representatives, he advised me to vote against the bill, giving as his reason, the fact that I had taken grounds against it before my constituents while I was canvassing for a seat in the Legislature. - Late on the afternoon of Saturday the 26th day of January, 1856, Mr. Parker came to Mr. Cook's, where I boarded, and asked me to meet him at the Capitol on the next morning, to assist him in writing to some of my acquaintances in Freestone county, to notify them relative to a horse of his that had escaped from him in Austin, which he supposed would pass through Freestone on its way to Anderson county....



State Gazette (of Austin, Texas)

November 12th, 1856 (Volume VIII   No. 14) - Front page


Freestone Democracy.

    Freestone County,    }

    November 11th, 1856  }


Messrs. Marshall & Oldham,


GENTLEMEN-Enclosed you will find $3 for continuance of your valuable paper,

which all must acknowledge is doing yeoman service in the great constitutional cause of the country.

I learn, unofficially, that the Democratic party are near 600 ahead in this Representive District, composed of Freestone, Limestone and Falls.  Limestone about, and Freestone over, 200 ahead!

At Cotton Gin, where the writer votes, and the K[now] N[othing party] stronghold in the District, "Buck and Breck" were five ahead! to the great disappointment and consternation of Messrs. Busby, Wills & Co.  I can assure you K. N'ism is at ebb tide here.

  A political discussion came off at Cotton Gin on Saturday, 1st inst., between Messrs. J. S. Wills and John Manning, (former K.N., and latter Democrat,) which was kept up after night by Dr. J. B. Wills and S. H. Wills, Esq., K. N.'s, and Dr. J. L. Means and Col. Perry, Democrats. -- Some fine speeches were made, and in the writer's opinion, it was a complete Democratic triumph.


       [name or signature missing from paper.  Seems it was not printed.]


[Notes:  K. N. = Know Nothing party]



Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - November 22, 1856 – Page: 1


Freestone Democracy.

Freestone County,

November 11th, 1856



I learn, unofficially, that the Democratic party are near60 ahead in this Representive District, composed of Freestone, Limestone and Falls.  Limestone about, and Freestone over, 200 ahead!

.           At Cotton Gin, where the writer votes, and the K. N. stronghold in the District, “Buck and Breck” were five ahead!  To the great disappointment and consternation of Messrs. Busby, Wills & Co.  I can assure you K. N.’ ism is at ebb tide her.

            A political discussion came off at Cotton Gin on Satuday, 1st inst., between Messrs. J. S. Wills and John Manning, (former K. N., and latter Democrat,) which was kept up after night by Dr. J. B. Wills and S. H. Wills, Esq., K. N.’s, and Dr. J. L. C. Means and Col. Perry, Democrats. – Some fine speeches were made, and in the writer’s opinion, it was a complete Democratic triumph. 




 [About a political rally at Cotton Gin. Original is heavily damaged.]


State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - December 20, 1856 edition – Page: 3


Democracy of Freestone.

  Cotton Gin. Freestone Co. }

  Dec. 9th, 1856            }



Messrs. Marshall & Oldham:


On the 4th inst., the Democracy of Freestone and Limestone had a grand rally and Convention Barbecue in the vicinity of Cotton Gin.

Arrangements being made, committees appointed, &c., a general invitation was

extended to all parties and every body. The sky was quite cool-Terra Firma wrap[p]ed in snow? white icy mantle-a chilling blast blowing down from the north, and thick ??? clustering around and obstructing the rays of the sun.

As the morning wore away, however, the sun burst forth in all his native

Bril[l]iancy, ??? as if by the magic wand of some...



  ... and most elegantly expressed by Dr. T. L. C. Means.  Despite the ????

of the weather, at an early hour, a large concourse had assembled, a large portion of whom were ladies, adding their exquisite grace and matchless beauty to the ??? scene.  The meeting was organized by Dr. T. L. C. Means, moving that John Manning be requested to pre???, which was seconded and carried.  Up-????ing his seat Mr. Manning made some remarks explanatory of the object of the ?????ing, and after music (by a band composed of three Messrs. Church, Wood and ???? of Fairfield, politically opposed to the democracy, and who did great credit to themselves on the occasion,) Mr. W. D. McClure, of Limestone, was introduced, who spoke eloquently for half and hour.  Music …ed, and Col. A. Perry, of Limestone, took the stand ...



NEWS OF 1857





Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - January 24, 1857 edition - Page: 3


      Fairfield, Freestone Co., Texas, }

      January 14th, 1857               }




GENT -- If I may presume upon your acquaintance with me as a Democrat and

a friend, I trust you will spare me a small portion of the columns of the Gazette while I endeavor to set forth my views of the true policy of our party at this time.  The first object of importance is to know where we stand on the merits of the many plans for building our railroads.  I am a railroad man, and desire to see the time when I can come to your city and go to the coast and to New Orleans by Railroad; but I desire also, that the State shall not be involved and her credit ruined perhaps by the selfish scheme of men who are

seeking only to carry out some favorite plan by which they expect to accumulate fortunes for themselves and the party with which they are connected.  I know this is a danger that we are likely to be in a the next session of the Legislature.  A desperate attempt is to be made to control the monies of Texas, so as to build up the fortunes of certain railroad speculators, instead of building the roads themselves.  I am willing for the State to give all the aid she can to railroads.  I am not only willing but desire to see this done.  I

have always been in favor of the corporate system and always expect to be so, but like all monied bodies they must be watched and guarded against.  It is in their power frequently to control legislation.  I believe honestly that they were successful in carrying their measures at the last legislature by means of a lobby influence; otherwise how was it that a bill passed, over the veto of the Governor, giving to Mr. Butler King's road, privileges which no other road in the State enjoyed?  How was it, I ask again, sir, that at first it failed to get a constitutional majority and then, without being changed or altered,

a reconsideration was moved and a constitutional majority voted for it?  I want to see that vote explained.  It never yet has been explained to the people of Texas.  I would be willing to see the State aid railroads so as to get a trunk road and branches to Eastern and Western Texas, and would favor the amendment of the Constitution and make the State a stockholder for one half of the stock, if necessary; but I am opposed to favoritism and to the elevation of any man to a State office who has been connected with the financiering and engineering of the particular views of any private corporation; and believe that the people of Texas have determined to put only such men in office who are known to be advocating the general good of the State without being bound up to the destinies of a particular corporation.

Yours, truly,                            T.



Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - March 14, 1857 - Page: 1


Our Lands and Stock


  The Editor of the Pioneer, has been visiting that portion of Freestone county in the vicinity of Butler.  The editor says:

  "Suffice it to say, that that portion of our county offers the greatest inducements to the farmer, who is seeking a home among us, than any other we have yet witnessed.  It is healthy, rich, and romantic.  Good water, and wild game in abundance; and affords a munificent harvest to the planter, to the stock and to the cattle; and it just the place to enjoy "the comforts of a pretty wife and a happy home."

  "A life in the woods for me"

  Butler is a small but pleasant place - containing one dry-goods store, an M.D.'s office, and several work-shops."

  Mr. Hillery Manning has erected quite a tasteful structure for a dwelling.




  [Same issue, same page] 


  Flour is selling at 5 cents per lb. at Fairfield, Freestone county.  Here we pay much more. 




  [Same issue, page #2] 


Our State News


  FREESTONE - A correspondent of the "Pioneer" lectures the citizens of Freestone upon their want of public enterprise.  He says that they have a fine commodious Court House, but hints that it is the only public edifice to boast of.

            "We have the exterior of a fine building, originally designed for the two-fold purpose of a Masonic Hall and Female Seminary, but it has been standing for years in an unfinished condition, and we believe the building erected for a  Male Academy stands in a like condition.  We have also the hall of one church, without stove or chimney; and with our bleak northers piercing through the crevices of the bare walls, it is unfit for use, at least during the winter  month.  Again, some of the "older inhabitants" have told us that in by-gone days, an Artesian Well was being bored in our public square, designed to furnish a plentiful supply of water, pure and tepid beverage, but like our Female  Seminary and Church, it progressed for a time and then stopped."



Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - March 7, 1857 edition



Bidders will state the distance and propose a schedule of departures and arrivals.


 From Anderson, by Kellum's Sulphur Springs, Lee's Vassbaiders?, Wilson's Store,

and Joseph Hinson's to Fairfield, 100 miles and back, once a week.

 Leave Anderson Monday at 6 a.m.;

 Arrive Fairfield Wednesday by 6 p.m.;

 Leave Fairfield Thursday at 6 a.m.;

 Arrive Anderson Saturday by 6 p.m.


6100 from Bonham, by Kentucky Town, to McKinney, 50 miles and back, once a week.




Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - March 28, 1857 - Page: 1


Several wagon loads of sweet potatoes have been purchased in this county to

carry to McLennan, for seed.  Freestone has furnished several counties with produce during the last year, and particularly with corn - Pioneer



Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - April 18, 1857 - Page: 3


Our Advertisers


Runaway negro in Freestone co.  See advertisement Benjamin Mayo, agent offering $150 reward.



Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - May 2, 1857


EVANS, A. J. - Attorney at Law, Waco, McLennan county, Texas.  Will practice in the counties of McLennan, Limestone, Freestone, Falls, Milam and Bell, and in the Supreme Court of the State.  Prompt attention given to the securing, valid, and perfecting controverted and claims.  Office east of Waco Inn.



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - May 6, 1857


  SUNDAY, 3 - Julius Oppenheimer, Palestine; W. T. Mitchell, Henderson county;  . Rose, Galveston; E. Hobbs, Fairfield.


            T. D. HUDGINS, Proprietor



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - May 13, 1857 – Page: 2


[Original is in fragments.  Tried to piece together best as I could.]


Letters from the Junier.

  Horn Hill, Limestone Co. }

         May 2d, 1857      }


 ???  - As you know, I left Palestine on the 30th ult. in company with Hon. John G. Stuart, en route for Waco, for the purpose of attending the State Democratic  Convention.  Thursday night we stopped at the hospitable mansion of Col. Shelby Crawford, where we were well entertained for the night.

The next morning we got an early start for Fairfield - Crossed the River at Bonner' Ferry at about 9 o'clock A.M.  The banks were in a most miserable condition, and it was with great difficulty that we got through at all. At about 11 o'clock we reached Butler, Freestone county - this is a little village eight miles from the Trinity River and fifteen from Fairfield.  The country immediately around is well settled up with thrifty and industrious planters. We got dinner at the house of Mr. Manning, where we received a cordial welcome from the gentlemanly proprietor and his lady.

That evening at 5 o'clock we drew rein in front of Love's Hotel, Fairfield.  This Hotel is one at which the weary traveler may stop with the full assurance that his every want will be promptly attended to, and we would advise all of our friends going that way, to give the Dr. a call.  We called on some of our friends and acquaintances in Fairfield, among whom were the Proprietors of the Texas Pioneer.  These gentlemen have had to struggle with many difficulties in publication of their paper, but are still in hopes that they may yet overcome the prejudices of some and the positive ill will of others.  Fairfield now boasts one of the finest Court-House in the state.  It is built of brick, is

forty-eight feet square, two stories high, well arranged and finished inside, and is surmounted by neatly executed balustrades, running around the entire building.  When we were here before the then Court-House was a 12x16 slab-by, frame concern, squatted down in the centre of the Square.  We noticed many other improvements of an equally substantial character....


[another fragment of the article:]

...we ever saw, reached Springfield at about 1 o'clock.  Here we found a Convention

in sessions, composed of Delegates from Freestone, Limestone and Falls counties.  They had assembled for the purpose of nominating a suitable Democratic candidate to represent those counties in the State Legislature, this work was accomplished by the selection of Thos. P. Aycock, Esq., of Falls County, upon the first ballot.  Mr. Aycock is said to be a young man ...


[another fragment of the article:]


...of Springfield, and we understand that a contract has been let out to erect a Temple of Justice about 400 yards East of the old one, on a beautiful eminence.  It is to be forty-eight feet square, two stories high and will cost about $8,000.




Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - May 16, 1857 - Page: 1


         $150 REWARD

FOR the delivery of the following described negroes, to-wit:  George, about 28

years of age, brown or copper color, 5 feet 8 or 10 inches high, weighs about 150 or 160 pounds, one leg rather short from having been broken.  Larke, a boy about 22 years of age, some little lighter color about the same height round shoulders and heavy built, weighs 165 to 180 pounds, very heavy forehead, when looking at you looks near under the brow, he has a scar on one of his checks, and the bones on the top of one of his feet has been hurt so as to leave some marks.  George and Larke belong to Reuben Manning.

On the same night one boy by the name of Mingo belonging to Wm. Carter, said negroes were all seen together the next day, they took with them 1 horse and 2 mares belonging to Wm. Carter the horse was a bay.  one of the mares was a sorrel and the other a dun or clay bank color, the sorrel has had a fistula and is crest fallen.  The negroes belong about 5 miles North East of Cotton Gin P. O., Freestone county.  On the delivery of the above negroes one hundred and fifty dollars will be paid a prorata reward will be paid for the horses according to value. 

Address Reuben Manning or Benjamin Mayo, Cotton Gin P. O., Freestone co.,


                  Benjamin Mayo, Agent for

                  Reuben Manning, and William Carter

   April 1857  n35 tf



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - May 20, 1857



 TO HAUL COTTON to Houston or Liberty, for which a fair price will be paid.

 Apply to:

             F. WARD, Parker's Bluff.



Democrat & Planter newspaper [of Columbia, Kaufman County, Texas]

26 May 1857 edition


Texas Newspapers


 There are more newspapers in Texas in proportion, than any other State in the

Union, and consequently more than any State in the World of the same population.

A goodly number of these papers are established on a permanent basis, and a

majority of them are conducted with decided ability.  But many of them are short

lived, and are changing proprietors, editors, name and sometimes locality, once

and twice, and even oftener a year.  Notwithstanding the great number of

newspapers in the State, there seems to be a sad scarcity of names to call them

by.  In other States we seldom hear of two newspapers with the same name.  It

creates confusion in a great many ways.  One paper frequently receiving mails

due the other, &c. - This evil prevails to a great extent in this State.


Thus we have three Gazettes--the State Gazette, at Austin; Liberty Gazette, at Liberty and Eastern Texas Gazette, at Jefferson.


Two Times--State Times, at Austin and Corsicana Times, at Corsicana.


Three Heralds--Jefferson Herald, at Jefferson; San Antonio Herald, San Antonio,

and last but by no means least, Dallas Herald, Dallas, besides the Lavacca

Herald, just demised, and the Daily Herald, just projected at Galveston.


We have three Democrats--the Democrat & Planter, at Columbia; Upshur Democrat

at Gilmer, and Henderson Democrat, Henderson, with perhaps another Democrat in Washington county, if it has not recently died out.


There are two Messengers, one at Clarksville, the other at Woodville.


Two Zeitungs (German), one at San Antonio, the other at New Braunsfel, and

possibly a third at Castorville.


Two Enquirer's--the Lamar Enquirer, at Paris, and Texas Enquirer, at Rusk, and a third with "a slight variation"--the Gonzales Inquirer.


Two Flags--American Flag, at Brownsville, and Harrison Flag, at Marshall.


Three Advocates--Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas), at Palestine; Texas Christian Advocate at Galveston, and Victoria Advocate, at Victoria.


Until recently we had two Texians, or rather one Texian Texan--the Central

Tex(i)an, at Anderson, and the Western Texan, at San Antonio.


And before the "great American party" became defunct we had any number of

"Americans"--The Palestine American at Anderson County; the True American,

Goliad, and other Americans too numerous to mention.  


Among the few Texas papers that glory in the monopoly of a patronymic to

themselves, we may mention the News and Civilian, at Galveston; the Telegraph,

at Houston; Item, Huntsville; Ranger, Brenham; Intelligencer, Austin; Ledger,

San Antonio; Valley, Corpus Christi; Southerner, Waco; Mercury, Seguin; True

Issue, La Grange; Advertiser, Bastrop; Watchman, Lockhart; our neighbor of

the Express, Birdville; Patriot, at Paris; Standard, Clarksville; Republican,

Marshall; Free Press, at Quitman; Sentinel, at Rusk; Star Spangled Banner, at

Henderson; Reporter, at Tyler; Pioneer, at Fairfield and Printer, at Crockett,

and a few others that do not now occur to us.


The newspaper business is over done in Texas.  At least half the country papers

are starving.  The subscription list of most of them does not reach 500, and

unless they are so situated as to command heavy legal advertisements, or job-

work, they go down in six or twelve months.-- Dallas Herald.



State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - May 30, 1857 – Page: 3


  [original has problems with left side]


Rev. Charles Sexton, a printer, barber and layer, died at Fairfield on the ??th ult., after exhibiting symptoms of illness.  The editor of the Pioneer, says he was employed in that office but nothing was ????? of his previous history, further than in ??? statement that he had published a paper in Kansas.


[same issue]


We take great pleasure in noticing the progress of Texas mechanics.  The Fairfield Pioneer in referring to a notice we lately made of the manufacture of a Derringer pistol of fine workmanship by a mechanic of this city, says:

"It is due our excellent gunsmith, Mr. A. L. Davis, to say he can show a specimen that will do credit to any Southern or Northern manufacturer.  We were shown some pistols and a rifle, of his make, which were as good and which displayed as much taste of workmanship as any we ever saw."



State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - June 6, 1857 - Page: 2


Sam Houston on the Stump


The following list appears officially in the Huntsville Recorder; it is from Houston himself:



Fairfield, Freestone Co.  Tuesday June 29




State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - June 13, 1857 - Page: 3



Fairfield, May 22d, 1857


"We are ready now to go to work and will roll up a big democratic majority

for the nominees."



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - June 17, 1857 edition - Page: 4


J.M. PERRY               A.T. RAINEY


Attorneys and Counselors at Law,



Will practice in all the counties composing the Ninth Judicial District, in Freestone, and in the Supreme and Federal Courts at Tyler.

  March 26, 1856            39:1 y








WILL Practice in the several courts of the 9th Judicial District; also, in the counties of Leon, Freestone, Limestone and Cherokee, in the Supreme court of the State, and in the U. S. District courts.  Office, North-side of the Public Square, formerly occupied by Mallard & Alexander.

  July 2, 1854          25-1y









                FREESTONE CO., TEX.

Sept 17, 1856         10:6 m



State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - July 4, 1857


The Eastern Texian and Mr. Green's Views of Convention


What has opened the eyes of that class of politicians, and brought the conviction home to them that conventions are wrong - that they should even abandon their State Convention appointed for the 16th, ins., at Fairfield?  The fact is easily explained.  A nomination by a K. N. convention would be equivalent to a nomination to stay at home; consequently they must resort to other expedients, and chicanery, to break down the party which has been so successful in detecting their schemes, and thwarting their designs.  They must run an "Independent" candidate professing to be "a Jackson Democrat," (save the mark!) yet voting with the opposition when opportunities ...


[K. N. = Know Nothing party]



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas)

July 8, 1857 edition (also appeared September 2 and 16, 1857) - Page: 3



(North-East Corner of the Public Square)

   Fairfield, Freestone County, Texas


This large and popular Hotel, formerly the Walker House, has become the property of, and will hereafter be conducted by A. C. Love, who will endeavor to make it one of the first hotels in the State, by keeping a good table and making his guests an boarders comfortable.

Travelers, and the public generally, will find it greatly to their convenience and pleasure to give him their patronage.

The Stables will be attended to by experienced ostlers, who will give their attention exclusively to the stables.

       A. C. LOVE. Proprietor


            The best and most direct route from the counties of Henderson, Cherokee, Anderson, Panola, Harrison, and all the eastern counties, to Waco and Austin lead through Fairfield.

  May 13, 1857               42: 6m



[This is Andrew Samuel Bonner]


Sunday Delta (of New Orleans, Louisiana) - July 12, 1857 edition - Page: 2


Texas Items


The Texas Pioneer, (Freestone County,) of the 27th ult., says Mr. Andrew S. Bonner sent us, on Monday last, a cotton blossom plucked from his plantation.

He says there were blossoms in his field on Saturday previous.  Mr. Bonner is ahead of all the planters, in this county in this respect, so far as we have heard.

Since the above was written we have received from a friend another cotton

blossom, taken from the field of Mr. John R. Henry of Limestone County.  It was plucked the same day as Mr. Bonner's.  Our correspondent say that the cotton in Mr. H's field looks very fine, being about two feet high from the bed on which it grows, and frequently having from twenty to forty squares on a stalk.



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - July 22, 1857






Thos. P. Whitt, F. J. Taylor, ??? Cockrum, Clabore McGee, Fairfield; Sam Nesbitt, ???; J. B. Streety, Jas. Nesbitt, Freestone County;




Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - July 29, 1857


The present opposition to conventions from the Know Nothing or American party, is too flimsy and too inconsistent with their own recent acts, and the history of all political parties in this country for the past forty years, to require much in reply to their assaults.  But two years ago that party had its secret county conventions throughout the State, to promote their success in all county elections - a State convention, held secretly at Washington, in June, 1855, which nominated a full ticket for State officers, even including Capt. Crosby for Commissioner of the Land Office.  And again, in January, 1856, they held another State Convention at Austin, nominating for all State officers then

to be elected.  In the present canvass, they have held several county conventions, selected candidates for the Legislature, and in that of Harrison county, they nominated Gen. Houston for Governor, and proposed holding a State K. N. convention at Fairfield, on the 13th of June, which was only abandoned at the bidding of certain wily traders, who thought it better policy to let that matter pass, in order that the might play on the harp "of a thousand strings" - "no convention!"



State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - August 22, 1857


Horse Thieves


Henry D. Russel, the murderer of John Blackmore, of Washington County, has

been arrested at Fairfield.  He is about 40 years old.



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - August 26, 1857 edition - Page: 2




Freestone    Runnels: 357; Houston: 242; White: 300; Crosby: 280



State Gazette  (of Austin, Texas) - August 29, 1857 edition - Page: 4


Our Lands and Stock. the West


FREESTONE - The prospects of Freestone county are better than anticipated by our friends some time ago.  Some farmers are making full crops of corn, but there are others who will fail to make more than half a crop.  Cotton looks well and must produce a good crop.  Mast is not abundant, but in some part of Freestone the hogs will not have to be fed on corn.



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - Sept 2, 1857 edition - Page: 4


Nacogdoches and Waco Stage Line


The undersigned take this method of informing the traveling public that they have obtained the contract for a tri-weekly line of four horse Mail Coaches, from Nacogdoches via Rusk, Palestine, Fairfield, Springfield to Waco, and will put the same in operation on the FIRST DAY OF JULY next.  Connecting as this route does, at Nacogdoches, with the Alexandria and Shreveport Stages and at Waco with the Dallas and Austin line Stages; and being too the shortest and most direct route from Red River and Eastern Texas to Austin, gives it superior advantage over any other route from Red River, or Eastern Texas to Austin.  We have procured good NINE PASSENGER Coaches, good teams and shall have none but the best and most reliable kind of drivers on the route.  And hope to receive that patronage which the locality and accommodations of the route justifies. Our days of departure from each end of the route, price of fair, &c will be made known in a short time. 

  The Stage Office at Palestine will be kept at the Osceola Hotel.

     H. M. BLACK


  Palestine, May 27th 1856.          44:if



[same page]



(North-East Corner of the Public Square)

Fairfield, Freestone County, Texas


THIS large and popular Hotel, formerly the Walker House, has become the property of, and will hereafter be conducted by A.C. Love, who will endeavor to make it one of the first hotels in the State, by keeping a good table and making his guests and boarders comfortable.

  Travelers, and the public generally, will find it greatly to their convenience and pleasure to give him their patronage.


The Stables will be attended to by experienced ostlers who will give their attention exclusively to the stables.

   A. C. LOVE, Proprietor


   The best and most direct route from the counties of Henderson, Cherokee, Anderson, Panla, Harrison, and all the eastern counties, to Waco and Austin lead through Fairfield.


  May 13, 1857              42:6m



State Gazette  (of Austin, Texas) - Oct. 15, 1857 edition - Page: 2


A theatrical corps formed from the young men of the place, is playing in Fairfield.

NEWS OF 1858




Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - February 3, 1858 -  Page 2


An Alabamian in Texas

The January number of the Cotton Planter, published in Montgomery, Alabama, has been placed in our hands by a friend and our attention directed to the following paragraph, which appears in a communication from Mr. D. W. Bozeman, of Coosa county.  The paragraph reads as follows:

            “I will now return to Harrison county May 15, 1857.  From this county, I went in a South-western direction to the Trinity River; this portion of Texas, is a poor country generally; the citizens brag on the water, but I think it the most inferior water for use, in the State; it contains iron, alum, sulphur, &c., making it a sour water, which is productive of serious bowel infections.  Lands here are of but little durability, through free while fresh; it will wash, and a Southern sun will kill its production, being sandy and light.  At Pine Bluff, in Freestone County, the Trinity River is a nasty, sickly little stream, of no value to the country for navigation, though ware-houses are standing there for storing Cotton; but the last was transported from that point on wagons, and the ware-houses, no doubt, will rot down before any more Cotton is handed there for boats.”

We propose to notice, briefly, some of the statements made above, as we think they do gross injustice to the portion of Texas, to which he alludes, and without farther ceremony shall proceed to apply the scalpel to his argument:

            1. "This portion of Texas, is a poor county generally,"


[What follows is an lengthy point-by-point argument to the contrary.]


…The steamer Jenkins a few weeks since went up this “nasty, sickly little stream” about 150 miles by water above Pine Bluff, and could have gone much farther had it been desirable. 


[Same issue – Page: 3]


The Trinity is yet very high.  We learned yesterday evening, from a gentleman who crossed the River at Porter's Bluff, a few days since, that it was on a stand at that point.  It commenced falling a day or two at Parker’s Bluff.  The Gov. Pease reached Magnolia on Wednesday last, went up to Pine Bluff on Thursday and returning left Magnolia on Saturday morning for Galveston.  The Jenkins came up as high as Hall’s Bluff, and getting a load of Cotton, she left for the coast on Saturday morning last.  The Grapeshot is hourly expected up.  Cotton wagons still continue to pass to the River, and indeed, there is considerable Cotton yet unpicked.



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - February 10 & 17, 1858 -  Page 2


[Postal Routes]


Leave Anderson Monday at 6 a.m.;

Arrive at Fairfield Wednesday by 6 p.m.

Leave Fairfield Thursday at 6 a.m.;

Arrive at Anderson Saturday by 6 p.m.

Bids to run twice a week are invited.

8631        From Anderson, by Kellums Springs, Lee, Washbendce’s, Willson’s Store, and Hanson’s, to Fairfield, 100 miles and back once a week;

Leave Anderson Monday at 4 a.m.;

Arrive at Fairfield next day by 10 p.m.

Leave Fairfield Wednesday at 4 a.m.;

Arrive at Anderson next day by 10 p.m.



   Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) – March 24, 1858 – Page: 2


For the Advocate

Letter from Fairfield

            Messrs Editors:  I left home, Mound Prairie, on a tour West on Thursday last, via West Point, but being hindered on my way I found it would be dark before I could reach the Ferry, and the bottom being almost impassable, I turned aside to Judge Gardner’s, the worthy Chief Justice of our own fair county of Anderson, where I spent a most agreeable night, and obtaining an early start next morning hastened down to the Ferry through the mud, and much to my discomfiture the cable was gone, and I had to make my way as best I could down to Parker’s Bluff, where I found no difficulty in crossing.

            The Trinity is in fine boating order, much to the joy of the good people, in view of the prospect of procuring provisions and groceries and shipping the remnant of cotton.  After passing the bottom on this side, and farther on, some fine farms, I reached the pleasant little village of Butler, and resting an hour, I hastened on to this place.  On approaching we have a beautiful view of the town, being situated just in the suburbs of the Prairie, having a very eligible site, and well constructed public and private buildings.  Among these is the Court House, made of brick, and surpassed by but few in the State.  Also a brick Jail, just completed, sufficient to retain its inmates, an object very desirable, for it is often the case in Texas that the guilty escape from justice for want of substantial Jails. – In the jail are two prisoners, one for murder and the other for Assault and Battery with intent to kill.  Also a first class Female Institute, which will be completed in time for the Fall session, and one business house nearly finished.  There are other improvements going on.  The private residences are constructed upon a neat, comfortable and substantial plan, several of brick two of which are just being completed, together with all the paraphernalia of a well regulated town, all the result of the enterprise of a few short years.  Yesterday (Sunday) I attended church, and truly Fairfield may boast a just share of female beauties. 

            The brick Hotel, a Grocery, a family residence and two other lots, worth at a fair valuation $7000 was sold under a mortgage on the 13th at the low sum of $2940.

            The “Texas Pioneer” is published at this place, a very ably conducted periodical, Edited by the very gentlemanly and worthy J. L. Caldwell.  He is quite young and will no doubt make his mark in the world.  He is a young man of fine promise.  I shall leave here to-morrow for Springfield, Waco, Milford and thence home via Corsicana.


                        W. V. TUNSTALL



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - April 7, 1858 – Page: 2


Letter from Milford.

Milford, Texas, March 24. 1858

            Messrs Editors:  After leaving Fairfield, which I did on the evening of the 15th inst., and going due South ten miles, I put with Col. Linn, a Kentucky farmer, and ex-member of the Kentucky Legislature, a warm Democrat, and highly social old gentleman. 

                                    W. V. TUNSTALL



 [This ad has lots of little pictures that look like modern clip art]


Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - April 7, 1858 – Page: 3

[Also April 21, 1858 – Page: 3;  April 24, 1858 – Page: 3]




THE undersigned offers the most splendid, gigantic bargain in 320 acres of land that was ever offered to any child of wrath, in this evil world, since pussey was a cat.  Said land lies 12 miles, west of Palestine, half a mile west of Bonner's Ferry on the Trinity, on the road leading from Palestine to Fairfield -- Good timber, and most excellent soil; 18 acres in a good state of cultivation, and 17 acres nearly ready for the... [picture of plow] 

Good dwelling houses, &c; a well of as good water as ever gushed from the

bowels of the earth to satisfy the curiosities of the children of men.  This water does not, like some water on the road, need any of the ardent mixed with it to make it palatable.  It is deplorable to see the effects of mixing ardent with water; it over-nerves the arm, give loose volubility to the tongue, and most astonishingly fructifies the imagination.  This water needs no such stimulant.  The pilgrim in this low ground of sorrow, that drinks not b[e]ing more impure than this water, is wise, pure, peaceable, gentle, easy entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. This location is convenient to navigation; in a thriving neighborhood, amidst an abundance of wild game 150 yards from the house is a beautiful, clear pool of water, affording an abundance of Troat [Trout], Perch, Buffalo, Cat, and other varieties of fish -- easily caught at all seasons of the year, and last, though not least, the best situation for entertaining travelers that can be found.


This is a desirable location for nine good reasons, -- viz: the fertility of the soil; good timber; fine water; convenience to navigation; the abundance of game and fish; the excellence of its locality or a public house; the state of society; the desticulation of the neighbors; and the circumambient, circumprotary circumstances by which it is surrounded.  I will sell for money or good property.  Terms made easy to any circumspect, spiniferous, responsible purchaser.

  Apply on the premises to

               J. A. CLARK

   March, 1858



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - May 19, 1858 edition  - Page: 3


Our School Interests

            … Again.  Let our citizens look around us and tell us what they are doing in the neighboring towns?  For instance, in Fairfield they have raised by subscription, as we understand, ten thousand dollars, and will shortly have completed a magnificent temple of learning, well supplied with the necessary appurtenances, and fitted up in the best style. 



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - May 26, 1858 edition  - Page: 2


A Card. --to the Public


In a late number of the Fairfield Pioneer, an editorial notice appeared, stating that two of my Stages had been detained at Fairfield, by the Sheriff of Freestone county, to satisfy a claim from Waco; that the mail west for one trip, was detained at that place, and the mail east, sent on horseback, &c., which I see has been copied into other papers in the State.  Such as statement, uncorrected, is calculated to do me a great injury, and is, therefore, unjust.

I will state the facts: I owed a Mr. Drury, of Waco, $4070, for the purchase of a House and Lot in that place; the title proves not good, as the property was encumbered by a debt of Drury's, (and is now levied upon to pay his debt,) in consequence of which, I did not pay the purchase money when due; but, Mr.

Drury, and many others, well knew, I was at all times, ready and willing to pay it, according to my contract, whenever a good title was made to me for the property.  But, not withstanding this and my residence well known to him, and my responsibility and pecuniary ability amply sufficient Mr. Drury, by some means obtained an attachment against me, under which, there is now levied and bonded $10,000 worth of my property, and a Garnishee served for $1500, to pay the $4070.

I leave it to all high-minded honest men, to say whether I have acted wrong, or been badly and ungentlemanly treated.  The laws of the county will settle the matter.  I think the Editor of the Pioneer, to say the least of it was hasty in his remarks, and did me great injustice; and hope his sense of right, and justice, will prompt him to give this Card a conspicuous place in his paper.

           H. M. BLACK

   Palestine, Texas, May 18, 1858



[Same Issue; Page 4]


 J. M. Perry            A. T. Rainey


 Attorneys and Counselors at Law,



            Will practice in all the counties composing the Ninth Judicial District in Freestone, and on the Supreme and Federal Courts at Tyler.

    March 26, 1856           39:1y







WILL practice in the several courts of the 9th Judicial District; also, in the counties of Leon, Freestone, Limestone, and Cherokee, in the Supreme court of the State, and in the U.S. District courts - Office, North side of the Public Square, formerly occupied by Mallard & Alexander.

   July 2, 1854              25-1y



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) newspaper - June 2, 1858 - Page 3

[Also June 9, 1858 – Page: 3; June 16, 1858 – Page: 3]





 THE undersigned has on hand, at Pine Bluff, Freestone county, a large supply

 of PROVISIONS AND Family Groceries, consisting, is part of

   Sugar, Coffee, Molasses, Flour, Rice, Bacon, Lard, Pork, Corn, Tobacco,

   Candles, Candies, Whiskey, Brandy, Wine, Syrup, &c   &C


  All of which he offers for sale at low prices for CASH

    Persons trading from ??? of the Trinity river, are always free of ferriage.

                H. G. BRADBURY

    Pine Bluff, May 27th, 1858        43:3w


[Same Issue, Same Page]


            GROCERIES – We would call the attention of our readers to the advertisement of Groceries for Sale, at Pine Bluff, by H. G. Bradury.  We understand that this is perhaps the best lot of Groceries ever on sale at that place.  Those in want of anything he has will do well to give him a call.  Our readers in Henderson county especially, will take notice.  See advertisement.   




State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - June 5, 1858 edition  - Page: 3


  FREESTONE - A planter of Freestone county has rye with 8" matured heads from one grain; bearded wheat with 143 stalks from one grain.



State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - June 26, 1858 edition - Page: 3


FREESTONE - They are building a magnificent structure at Fairfield, for a female academy.  We congratulate this young county on so valuable an acquisition.



Dallas Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - July 3, 1858 edition – Page: 1


[Original is very faded.]


The 'Pioneer' of the 22d publishes a sermon, delivered in Fairfield by the Rev. Joseph Friend, on the sinfulness of dancing.  We regret that we cannot subscribe to the gentleman's doctrine, and from the moral ...

among people with the least pretensions to decency.  As well conquered the use of food and dress, .... of their occasional abuses - What would our French and German friends - the nations of the dance - say to the assertion that the dancing hall inevitably conducts ...



State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - July 3, 1858 edition - Page: 3


  Freestone, Fairfield, June 23, 1858


"Maj. Marshall will be gratified to learn that Freestone will give her usual Democratic majority.  Buckley will run with the other Democratic nominees."




   [same issue, same page]


  FREESTONE - The Pioneer says that the cotton is young and small but looks healthy and is rapidly growing; corn looks well and rye has yielded well.




   [same issue, same page]


  FREESTONE - The Pioneer thus speaks of Fairfield, the county seat:

            "Fairfield deserves a more extended notices for it we are to believe the report of travelers, we have one of the handsomest towns in the interior.  Our Court-house of Brick is a large imposing building, costing at its erection some $10,000.  Our Jail is made of brick, and for strength and durability, is perhaps unsurpassed in our State -- One huge and commodious church, erected chiefly by the Cumberland Presbyterians, is seen as you pass along main street.  A famed Male Academy and large Masonic Hall, bespeak a liberality towards public edifices which are wanting in many elder towns.  Three Hotels, offer to the weary traveler a comfortable place for repose and refreshment.  Various Mechanic shops strike the traveler’s attention as soon as he looks at our villages:  Wagon, Carriage and Blacksmith shops abound."

There are also several villages in Freestone, Butler in the East; Troy or Pine Bluff on the Trinity; Cotton Gin in the West; and Personville situated near the Southwestern part of the county.



Houston Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - July 21, 1858 edition - Page: 2


The Fairfield Pioneer wishes those croaking prophets, who said the Central road would stop at Hempstead, may be proved false by the Board of Directors, just as soon as possible.



State Gazette  (of Austin, Texas) - July 24, 1858 edition - Page: 3




  Freestone. Fairfield, July 8, 1858


"Bell will not have a corporal's guard in this county.  The slanders heaped on Buckley having enlisted the sympathy of the respectable portion of the opposition."



The Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - August 4, 1858 edition - Page: 3


Letter from Fairfield.

Fairfield, July, 1858

Time with its never failing wing has flown along and now we are in the midst of this boiling, baking, roasting summer.  It seems but yesterday I was writing you of the glorious spring time.  What a change!  The earth is no longer covered with its new and bonnie green carpet.  The carpet has grown old and brown, the powerful rays of the sun have licked up as with a tongue of fire its moist greenness, but still it is beautiful.  The trees and shrubs put forth all their strength as with the generous intent of hiding the nakedness of their parent earth, the tall and martial corn droops not its had out like the hardy veteran falls at his post; the young and amorous cotton plant leaps up with joyous pleasure to meet the fierce and burning kisses of “Old Sol,” the sweet and luscious peaches are blushing in their modesty at his rude treatment and seeking, but in vain, to hide amongst the leaves; the stately sugar cane (Sorgho) which has defined rain or sun, yields up its life and blesses us with sweets, the waving, golden wheat has been cut, and is supplying us with bread the staff of life, the earth is giving forth its increase and the hearts of men are glad within them.

            I write you from the centre of this land of “black jack, hickory and sand hills,” which has latterly been continued to itself and shut out from all intercourse with the great living world beyond, in consequence of the irregularity of the stages [stage coaches].  I hear, however, of the proprietors of the different stages buying horses to put on the roads in the place of the poor worn out skeletons now crawling over them to the doleful tune of “the dead March in Saul,” played by the passengers.  The people of this section will therefore, in a little time, be in regular receipt of your invaluable paper, a thing most devoutly to be wished as it has “found favor in their eyes”.

            I have spent this month in wandering over the counties of Leon, Freestone, Anderson and Limestone, the land of “black jack, hickory and sand hills,” but although the roads are sandy, the Trinity is close at hand at right useful in taking down the cotton and bringing up supplies; the land, too, though scrubby never yet failed to grow both cotton and corn if properly and frequently watered.  The crops throughout these counties are looking remarkably well, yet there are some places where the rain never falls according to the owners; stopping at one of these places, I was about to put my saddle under cover as it threatened to rain, when I was told, “it never rains here”. I was right glad to see a good ground soaker before I left.

            Everywhere I go I meet with candidates for office out electioneering.  There is very little conversation on the nomination and associate judgeship, Judge Buckley will of course, get nigh all the votes.  The principal interest is in the race for District Attorney.  Of Stewart and Reagan, innumerable and strange are the yarns circulated.  Stewart will doubtless be elected, he is the good lawyer and a good Democrat.

            The people in these counties are beginning to look upon the railroad (Texas Central) with a more favorable eye, since they are building the third section of the road, and that great cry of “they’ll stop it at Hempstead,” has proved wrong, they are commencing to think that the present directors have been called too hard names, and should they only succeed in building the road to Navasoto, would probably again subscribe to it, for the are all anxious to hear the shrill whistle of the locomotive reverberating amidst their hills and bringing up the comforts of civilized life at a reasonable rate.

            The other day in company with a friend I climbed one of the highest hills in Freestone  county, called Pilot Knob or Waldrum’s Hill, and from its summit beheld a wide extent of timbered land, occasionally dotted with small green prairies and smiling farms than ever I gazed on in my life before, for miles it stretched out before me or rose in small hills heightened the beauty of the scene by destroying its sameness.  Away in the distance on the left as you look towards Fairfield can be seen the hills on the other side of Keechi.  The pretty little town of Fairfield with its light and elegant Court House can not be seen, although right before you at a distance of 8 miles, on account of a little rising ground.  On your right as you turn round are the Pine Bluffs on the other side of the Trinity with a gently sloping valley, streaked with numerous creeks between you and there; and on the left a succession of little hills and valleys meets your eye till lost in distance, making altogether a scene well worthy a journey from the lover of nature.  On the top of the hill is a large mound of stones place there, probably by the Indians, as a land mark as my friend informed me they were there when the county was first settled.  I can recommend this spot to any young couple as a spot of exalted happiness.

            There appears to be a regular mania for erecting mills and boiling molasses.  May success crow their endeavors.  The sorgho is well adapted to stand  the drought of this climate, the sugar and molasses made from it are very good and taste much like that old maple tree.  Let me now wind up with the hope that the yellow fever may not visit you this year, and that I may find all my friends doing well on my return.  More anon.




Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - August 11, 1858 edition


MARRIED: On the 1st inst., at the residence of the bride's father, by the Rev. V. H. Hey, Mr. William H. Green to Miss Mary M. Lane.  All of Freestone county, Texas.

We congratulate the young couple upon launching their barks on the matrimonial

sea.  May they float down the stream with a smooth unruffled current, ever realizing, in each other's society, all the felicity that follows a union of congenial souls.  May life's choicest blessings be showered upon them.



The Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - August 11, 1858 edition - Page: 2


The Fairfield Pioneer says that two months have passed there since a general rain.  The cotton crop still looks healthy.



The Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - August 18, 1858 edition - Page: 3


The Fairfield Pioneer says that Freestone is both well wooded and well watered.  It is a very desirable county to settle in.



The Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - August 25, 1858 edition - Page: 1


Texas Items


The Fairfield Pioneer says that there is some sickness in Freestone county but none of a malignant type.

The Pioneer mentions the want of rain on the cotton fields.

The Pioneer reads the road overseers a lecture on the importance of keeping their roads in better repair.  People do not realize how much they are injured by bad roads.  Strangers looking out for a location are immediately prejudiced against a county where the roads are in bad order, and there is no appearance of public spirit.



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) – Sept. 15, 1858 edition - Page: 2


A Trip to Fairfield

            On Sunday evening the 5th inst., we left our quiet little town on a trip to our neighboring town of Fairfield, and about sundown reached Parker’s Bluff, where we received a cordial [faded left side] from several of our friends who re- [faded]  place.  We were agreeably entertained for the night and early in the morning [faded]  journey.

            [Faded]   crossing the Trinity we the bottom [faded] ‘tricky’, and were really glad when [faded] the firm ground again.  We halted [faded] in Butler, and enjoyed a con- [faded]  with our young friend Joe B.  At [faded]  noon we reached friend Cole’s [faded] took of a bountiful dinner.  Three [faded]  we reached Fairfield.  As [faded] town we notice the frame-work [faded]  seminary buildings off to the left [faded] prairie.  It is intended to be a [faded] considerable size, and if the front [faded] it will make an imposing ap- [faded]  the road.  The people of Freestone deserve much praise for the lib- [faded] which they have subscribed to [faded] and it is be hoped that their [faded] its advantages may be realized.  [faded] the most eminent success in [faded].

            [faded] with our old friend Watts [faded] Walker House, and regret to [faded] …ad disposed of this house and [faded] Fairfield.  We wish him [faded] success in any enterprise which may [faded] …ntion.  If his successor desires [faded] the character of the Walker [faded] have to keep wide awake and [faded] and fully alive to the wants of his [faded].  We found a large number of our [faded] acquaintances in Fairfield with  [faded] exchanged friendly greetings, -- [faded] we called on friend Caldwell, of [faded] whom we found seated at his Ed- [faded] with pen in hand, holding con- [faded] readers.  Success to him.

            [faded] transacted our business we left for [faded] ..day, and after about five hours [faded] of the worst road we ever [faded] the residence of John Van- [faded] where we remained all night, and [faded] very agreeably.  The next [faded] drove down to the Colony and [faded] several hours.  We here found that [faded] improvements had been made …



The Weekly Telegraph  (of Houston, Texas) - October 6, 1858 edition - Page: 2


Letter from Freestone County.


   Freestone County, Sept. 22d, 1858

To The Senior-

MY DEAR OLD BOY:  Some considerable time has elapsed since I communicated with thee, but now, that the dog-days are over, and my head cooler.  I feel

more like writing.  And, firstly, it is not my intention to commence by puffing, either the one-horse towns or three-legged taverns, as L.K.P., of the News does enough in that line.  Neither do I intend puffing the people, as red-eye does enough of that.  I will simply say that, as a general thing, the people have treated me as well as they were able, and charge me as much as they could afford, therefore no obligation.  I last wrote thee from the frontier, where I made considerable stay.  On dit there, that from the best and most reliable information that can be obtained, we are now on the eve of an Indian war,

provoked by Ford's victory over the Comanches, a few months ago, and which victory was unfortunately not followed up.  The settlers of the frontier counties have mostly combined and organized as Rangers and minute men, for the purpose of resistance.  At the same time, they are loud and bitter in their curses on those parties, through whose representations the embodiment of Rangers was superseded.  On dit that some even proposed fetching the Governor and giving him up as hostage to the red men, and placing him in the van of the attack, a pretty warm place, for his Excellency.  But I merely give these sayings to show how the excitement rages.  Reports of Indian outrages are floating over the country, and something will speedily have to be done, or out frontier will be partially deserted.  Splendid crops have been made and saved, so that, at all events, the people are prepared for fighting if necessary. Whether any blame is to be attached to the State Government, I know not, I merely report what I do hear.



[same issue]




  The Fairfield Pioneer is about to put on a new dress.



Daily Columbus Enquirer (of Columbus, Georgia) - October 21, 1858 edition - Page: 2


  The Freestone, Texas, Pioneer says a large lion was killed recently on Noland's river, in Johnson county.  It had killed 9 horses in that vicinity.

  They call panthers "lions" in Texas and Louisiana.



The Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - November 3, 1858 edition


Texas Items. the East




The Freestone, Texas, Pioneer says not more than half a crop of cotton has been made in that county.  The mast in excellent and the pork crops great.



The Sun  (of Massachusetts) - November 4, 1858 edition



The Freestone (Texas) Pioneer says a large lion was killed recently on Noland's river, in Johnson county.  It had killed 9 horses in that vicinity.

They call panthers "lions" in Texas and Louisiana.



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - December 8, 1858 edition – Page: 2


MESSRS. EDS: - Owing to the inclemency of the weather, I was delayed several days.  But left the scenes of my childhood, on the 16th ult. Leaving Fairfield, I passed through some low, flat post-oak country, in the direction of Corsicana, until I crossed Tiwacana creek, near which are several good bodies of land; and a number of good farms.  Leaving the bottom, I struck cut into the prairie, where I exerted my organs of sight; "gaze into illimitable space and could see no beyond."  Saw nothing more of note until I reached Corsicana, a beautiful little town, situated in the edge of timber, containing some six or seven hundred inhabitants.  It is remarkably pretty location for a town. The buildings are mostly of wood and of rather inferior king; they do not exhibit the spirit and taste in their buildings that the location merits, and by all means should have.  I noticed some signs of improvement among which is the re-building of the Court house.  Here I met our friend R. Q. Mills, who, not withstanding the cares of a family, fights the battles of life cheerfully.

Left Corsicana and traveled in the direction of Porter's Bluff - a ride of  three hours brought me to Charfield's Point or Muskeet which is a growing village in the midst of a large and wealthy neighborhood.  Spent...



Dallas Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - December 8, 1858 edition – Page: 2


The merchants of Fairfield have published a written agreement in the 'Pioneer,' to close doors and suspend business on Sundays, from and after the 1st January next.  We point this as a wholesome example to our merchants.


[same issue]


  The Texas 'Pioneer' has commenced publishing simultaneously at Fairfield and Springfield.  Both edition are served to subscribers at the same time - A novel arrangement.



The Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - December 22, 1858 edition  - Page: 2




The Fairfield Pioneer says that Mr. Yarbro's store was robbed the other night of two bolts of cloth.  The cloth was recovered but the thief is yet at large.

The Pioneer mentions the advent of emigrants to Freestone county.



The Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - December 29, 1858 edition - Page: 3




Washington, Miss.  Dec. 3, 1858


  E. H. Cushing Esq. - My dear Sir -

  [discussion about tubers of Japan yams]

  [discussion about improved postal system]


Capt. Sterritt passed down with his new boat, the Diana, on the morning of the 24, and as she took on board for me at Natchez that morning quite a large stock of trees plants &c, I am doubly anxious to hear of her safe arrival at Houston.

Our roads and ferries are crowded with emigrants on their way to Texas, and almost universally with good forces of negroes.  But this cold wet weather must cause much suffering amongst them.

The Messrs Bonner passed through here on the 29th ult., on their way to Freestone county, well equipped and getting along well. They took a lot of fruit trees and ornamental plants with them from me; and had strong teas and a fine flock of sheep.

   Yours truly,      Thomas Affeck


NEWS OF 1859


A Digest of the General Statute Laws of the State of Texas: to which are

  subjoined the repealed laws of the Republic and State of Texas

by George W. White, Williamson S. Oldham 

Austin, Texas



[Page 146]



  Art. 593 [1] The thirteenth Judicial District shall be composed of the counties of Madison, Robertson, Falls, Limestone, Hill, Navarro, Freestone, and Leon.

  Art. 594 [2] The District Court shall be held in the county of Madison on the third Monday in March and September, and may continue in session one week; in the county of Robertson on the first Monday after the third Monday and may continue in session one week; in the county


[Page 146]


of Falls on the second Monday after the third Monday in March and September, and may continue in session one week; in the county of Limestone on the third Monday after the forth Monday in March and September, and may continue in session one week; in the county of Navarro on the fifth Monday after the third Monday in March and September, and may continue in session two weeks;  in the county of Freestone on the seventh Monday after the third Monday in March and September, and may continue in session one week; in the county of Leon on the eighth Monday after the third Monday in March and September, and may continue in session two weeks.




Southern Intelligencer (of Austin, Texas)

January 12, 1859  (Vol. 3, No. 21) - Front page


Freestone - The Pioneer says that the "Thespian corpse" of Fairfield, will give an entertainment on the 28th inst.  We suppose that the overture will be the "Dead March" or the "Other Side of Jordan", and that a galvanic battery will be he principal performer on the occasion.  The whole affair will doubtless be very jolly. - Galveston News



The Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - January 26, 1859 - Page: 1


Texas Items


  The Herald has the name of Hon. John Gregg, of Freestone county, at its mast-head for Governor.




[Same issue, page 2]


Texas Items.

Central Texas


 The Fairfield Pioneer acknowledges the receipt of a bottle of Mustang wine, which however it acknowledges it is no judge of but likes notwithstanding.

 The Pioneer learns that a good deal of cotton is accumulating in the warehouses

on the Trinity.

  The Pioneer says that a stranger calling himself Levi Payne, about 40 years of age, of medium height and having a gray beard, stayed all night at Mr. S. B. Phariss, 16 miles below Fairfield.  During the night his horse got away, and in the morning he started in pursuit.  Sometime after he was found dead about a mile from Phariss' house.  He had represented that he had a drove of horses on the San Jacinto 30 miles from Houston and 20 from Lynchburg, and had said he was going to Navarro county where he had a son going to school.  Any information desired by his friends will be ???ished by the chief justice of Freestone county.



Dallas Weekly Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - March 2, 1859


  W. R. DeArmond, Fairfield "" 21  "



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - March 9, 1859 edition - Page: 3


  No. 877


THE STATE OF TEXAS       { District court

  County of Anderson,             { Spring Term

John G. Caldwell, Plaintiff,      {   1859


Josephine P. Caldwell, Df't


The plaintiff in the above entitled cause has this day filed in my office, certain interrogatories to be propounded to W. C. Wilson who resides at Fairfield, in the county of Freestone, State of Texas.

Notice is hereby given that on or after the thirtieth day after the publication of this notice, a commission will issue a prescribed by law, to take the deposition of said witness.  Teste A. E. McClure, Clerk of the District Court of Anderson County. 

   Given under my hand and seal of office at Palestine, this 4th day of March A.D. 1859.

    A. E. McClure,

    Clk. D. Ct. A. Co.

    Issued March 4th  A.D. 1859


  A. E. McClure, Clk. D.C.A.C.

  March 4, 1859   n30 (30 days) prs fee, $750



Texas State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - April 23, 1859


  The proceedings of the Democracy of Freestone have not come to hand yet.



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - June 15, 1859


  G. W. Strother   Z. P. Clough   J. M. Shepherd

   Galveston         Fairfield      Lexington, Tenn.

  ...........      ...........     ...........


   Strother & Clough & Shepherd


   Cotton Factors and ...



Southern Beacon (of Henderson, Texas) - June 18, 1859


Texas Items


The Fairfield Pioneer says the effect of the late killing frost on the 22nd ult., have almost disappeared under the influence of warm weather and genial showers.  Corn is low and later than usual but has a fine appearance and is growing fast and our oldest farmers say it will yield well.  Cotton, though troubled some with the insects, is now growing and looks as if it was doing well.  The gardens generally are flourishing.  The wheat crop is being harvested. From present indication, there will be a plenty made in our county this season to supply the large immigration expected to our counties the coming fall.



State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - July 2, 1859 - Page: 3


Congressional Canvas for 1859


...At Fairfield, Freestone County,  Friday July 8th ...



State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - July 30, 1859


J.C.C. Brelett, Esq. of Owensville, is now addressing the people of Falls, Limestone and Freestone.  He is said to be an eloquent and effective speaker.



Southern Intelligencer (of Austin, Texas) – Wednesday, August 31, 1859 - Page: 1

Vol. 4.    No. 2.


Remedy for Weevil - a Letter from Flowerdale Says:

            Before the grain is cribbed, the floor of the barn or crib should be covered over with green leaves and stems of the China tree, and then as the grain is put in the crib to the depth of a foot, there should be another thin layer of leaves and stems, and at the depth of another foot another layer of leaves and stems, and so on, until the grain is all cribbed.

            I am sure this is a remedy which requires no labor in comparison to its value; and the China tree is a growth to be found in almost any Southern State.  I have tried this remedy for a number of years, and never without success.  It matters not if the weevil gets in the grain before it is cribbed, as this mode of cribbing will drive them out.  The weevils get in most of the Texas corn before it is gathered.

            I will give you another instance of the value of the China tree.  Bacon, while curing, smoked with the dry leaves, stems and berries, of this valuable tree, will prevent skippers.  This looks almost absurd as well as incredible, but, nevertheless, it is a matter of fact, authenticated by personal experience, and not mere rumor.

            All that is necessary is, while smoking your meat after it is hung up, occasionally throw on the fire a handful of either the leaves,  stems or berries, or a few of each, and keep this up for the ordinary length of time of smoking meat.



State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - September 10, 1859 - Page: 2


Freestone - A correspondent gives us the official returns - Houston 295; Runnels 277; Lubbock 308; Clark 258; Waul 305; Hamilton 250; -- 597 whole vote cast.

Freestone has been suffering for rain, but the recent heavy rains here have doubtless also come to the relief of our Freestone planters and stock-raisers.



Daily Confederation (of Montgomery, Alabama) - September 17, 1859 - Page: 3


  Texas Cotton Crop -

...The Galveston News, of the 8th, learns that the crop in the wealthy counties

of Limestone, Freestone and others, has been cut off by one-half by the drought.  ...



State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - September 24, 1859


"The Texas Farmer and Stock Journal," is the name of a periodical that being started at Fairfield, by the publishers of the Pioneer.  Mr. W. B. Moores is to be the editor.  We shall be glad to see the undertaking successful.



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - September 28, 1859


Last week we visited our neighboring towns of Fairfield and Springfield.  We noticed that the Cotton crops in the two counties of Freestone and Limestone, were fully as short as our own, say about a half crop.  An abundance of Corn, however, had been raised, and they have the consolation of at least having plenty of the staff of life.  There was one thing we found to exist in a greater degree than we had imagined, that the people of those counties are of a more pastoral character than we were aware.  Large flocks of sheep and herds of cattle were almost continually in sight, after we reached the prairies.  We  understood that the raising of sheep is rapidly increasing; and were informed that the profit of this branch of business was indeed astonishing.  Some place the figures as high as 75 per cent., while no one seemed to think it was less than 50 per cent.  We met with a number of our friends and passed a few pleasant hours in their society.  The health was represented to be very good indeed, much better than usual.  The town of Springfield is rapidly filing up with a civil and industrious population.  They have a handsome Court House, and a level Square.  If their Court yard was enclosed, it would add much to the appearance of the place.  But there must be time allowed them, and from the general

character of the people, we think they will see the propriety in adopting this suggestion.  The "Henry House" is a well kept Hotel, indeed we risk nothing in saying that it stands in the front rank of Hotels. ...


[also same issue]





W. L. Moody & Brother, Fairfield, Texas

Yarbo, Gorden & Co,      "         "

Peck & Boyd,             "         "




The Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - September 28, 1859 - Page: 3


[Original has faded lettering making it hard to read.]


   Fairfield, Sept. 18th, 1859


E. H. Cushing[?], Esq. -- Dear Sir -- A fine rain is now falling here, and not one moment too soon, for the streams hereabouts are all dried up. The grass has the appearance of fire having passed over it over it [why repeat?], the cattle had all gone off in the large streams some distance off, and, in general everything in nature began to weary a most woeful appearance, but the long dry spell at last broken, and nature is bestowing her favors with a copious hand. For several days past it has been raining North of this, enough even to set the creeks to running.  It has been the driest summer ever known, and as an instance of it, I would mention that a creek near Weatherford, Parker county, never known to go dry before, has this year ceased running for more than a month.  No rains for four months.  However, it is a long land which has no turn.

The farmers in Navarro and North of that where it has rained, have all, been busy breaking up their lands for their wheat crops, and some are ready to sow. May they live to reap an abundant harvest, even more abundant than the present year.  Team after team is passing by, some with cotton others with flour, all for Houston.  Although the cotton crop has been measurably cut off, there is still more than a half crop made here.  Wherever I have been I have seen the farmers making molasses from the Chinese sugar cane, it has become one of the staple products of Northern Texas, the molasses sells readily at 75 cents per gallon.  It is remunerative, a gentleman near Corsicana informed me he made a

barrel per day with five hands and two mules.  Every farmer has his cane mill, and some few have been trying to experiment of making sugar, if any person could give a receipt for that purpose it would be very thankfully received by them, besides, that he would be conferring a public good.

This place, Fairfield, is beautifully situated in a small sandy prairie, some ten or fifteen miles South of the prairie country.  Its buildings are among the neatest I have seen, mostly two stories, there are two hotels, both well kept, and the Planters Hotel is one I take pleasure in recommending to the traveler, who wishes his horse well cared for and attended to.  It has a home appearance, and air of comfort about it, and has beside a good ostler, good and clean beds, and is kept by the widow.

From appearances there is not as much business done here as formerly, there being four empty business houses and a vacant Hotel.  It is a pity the last should be so, as it is a good substantial brick house, convenient and roomy. The health generally appears to be good.  The Court House is a brick structure, large and commodious, the court room is in the second story and is very well finished; altogether the county seat bespeaks a thrifty and enterprising people. There is a subscription on foot to sink an artesian well, and about seventeen hundred dollars are already subscribed to it.  An effort was made about five years since, but the lack of funds in the then sparsely settled county caused

it to be abandoned after reaching a distance of near four hundred feet.  There is also another evidence of the energy of the citizens of this county, they have erected a splendid building, about three quarters of a mile East of town, for an Academy, which is in full and successful operation, under the supervision of Professor Graves, the school numbers some sixty young ladies, and forty-three boys, all residents of this county, save one.

Two lines of stages pass through this place, three times weekly, crossing North and South, East and West, giving mail facilities equal to any in the State.

The soil, so far as I have seen of it, is of a sandy matter, but I do not speak for the county in general, as I have seen but little of it as yet, some other time I may give you a fuller account.          C. F. H.



State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - October 15, 1859 - Page: 2


FAIRS - An Agricultural and Mechanical Fair is to be held at Dallas on the 26th, 27th, and 28th of this month, and at Sherman on the 18th; and at Victoria on the first Wednesday of November.  There will also be a Fair at Cotton Gin, Freestone county, on the first of Nov.  The inauguration of Agricultural and Mechanical Fairs is a new era in the history of Texas, and we hope to chronicle an increase in the production of our prosperous State.


[same issue]


A Theatrical corps formed from the young men of the place, is playing in Fairfield.



Dallas Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - October 19, 1859 – Page: 2


The Fair at Waxahachie


...and a general feeling of enthusiasm seemed to burst from the assembled crowd. 

On this day, the annual address was delivered by Dr. Wm. B. Moores, of Fairfield, editor of the Pioneer at that place.  The address of Dr. Moores was replete with interest, appropriateness and facts which every farmer and stock raiser would do well to study.  He was attentively listened to, by the assemblage, and it is hoped that all who heard will profit by his words - The society design soliciting a copy for publication, and the public will thereby be enabled to enjoy the rich treat that we listened to.  The pride of this  day was an impromptu trial of skill as equestriennes, ...



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - October 19, 1859 - Page: 2




  Below we give the names of those elected to the legislature, as far as we have been able to learn:




    Freestone, Limestone &c.  Marion Martin



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - November 16, 1859 edition


        ATHENS, TEXAS.

Dr. P. S. Bethell,   Col. R. F. Burnes       

Dr. Kerr,   Col. A. B. Norton

    Dr. D. M. Marby,

Rev. Robt. Hodge  Science Hill

Col. Ben. Bussey,   Mound Prairie.

Messrs. Cravens & Gooch,   Palestine.

Judge Harrison, Van Zant Co.,

Dr. S. G. Parsons, Kaufman.

Col R. Q. Mills, Corsicana.

Rev. G. W. Murray, Fairfield.


  Athens, Aug. 1859



The Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - November 23, 1859 edition


Texas Items. the East



The Fairfield and Springfield Pioneer comes to us in a new and handsome dress, and looking as nice as a new pin.  Glad to see it so prosperous.  It is an excellent paper.



Weekly Ledger and Texan - December 31, 1859


  SUICIDE - We learn from the Texas Pioneer that a Mr. John D. Sims committed suicide, in the town of Fairfield, on the 25th ult., by taking landmum?. His age was 23 or 24years - he was a native of Georgia, where his father now lives, near Columbus.

NEWS OF 1860



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) – Wednesday, January 25, 1860 – Page: 4




THE undersigned offers for sale, on accommodating terms, a large and commodious HOTEL in Tennessee Colony, 15 miles North-West of Palestine, on the road leading from Palestine to Pine Bluff.  This Hotel is well situated for the convenience of the TRAVELING PUBLIC.  For further particulars apply to me, at Tennessee Colony, Anderson county, Texas.

                                                J. N. WILLIAMS

  July 27, 1859                                     IL49.tf.




[Same Issue; Same Page]


G. W. Strother – Galveston

Z. P. Clough Fairfield

J. M. Sheperd – Lexington, Tenn.


Strother, Clough & Sheperd

Cotton Factors and Commission Merchants

Galveston, Texas


    Will give personal and prompt attention to all business intrusted to their care.

Liberal advances made on Cotton on hand or to Ship

Open policy to cover all shipments by river.

Sept. 29, 1858            7:1 y




 [Same Issue; Same Page]



Late of Palestine

COTTON FACTOR, Receiving, Forwarding and Commission Merchant

Central R. R. Termini,

Navasota, Texas



… W. L. Moody & Brother, Fairfield, Texas,

     Yarbro, Gorden & Co., Fairfield, Texas,

     Peck & Boyd, Fairfield, Texas,





Semi-Weekly Mississippian newspaper (of Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi)

August 17, 1860, page 3, column 1


Letter From Texas


The Excitement in Texas.—By our Texas exchanges we receive further particulars in regard to the excitement growing out of the suspected abolition conspiracy.


[Amongst the lists of Abolitionist riots in Texas is:]


Trouble in Tennessee Colony.—The Fairfield Pioneer, of the 9th inst., has the following:


Mr. Teague, a printer in our office, has just arrived from Tennessee Colony, Anderson county, and brings the news that he witnessed the hanging of two white men in that place on Sunday, the 5th inst., who were proven to be guilty of inciting insurrection among the slaves of that neighborhood.  Their names were Antoney Wyrick and his cousin, Alford Cable.  They were engaged near the Colony at their trades of wagon making and blacksmithing, where they have been living for three or four years.  Wyrick had been previously taken up for harboring and selling liquor to negroes.  Negroes were found in the possession of firearms and strychnine, furnished by these men.



Alamo Express (of San Antonio, Bexar Co., Texas) – Sept. 10, 1860, page 2, column 3


Significant.” A correspondent of the Gazette, writing from Fairfield, makes the following significant remarks:


We are, however vigilant and are guarding our village every night, and expect to do so until the November election."


That is just what we have been telling people that this infernal agitation about the "Abolition plot" was only gotten up for effect, and that it would die out after the election." Intelligencer. 



Tri-Weekly [Houston] Telegraph

Sept. 11, page 2; Sept. 18, page 2; Oct. 6, page 4; Nov. 8, page 2; Nov. 29, page: 4






The Fourth session of this Institution will commenced Third Monday of August, 1860.



  REV. HENRY L. GRAVES, A.M., President; Ancient Languages, Moral and Intellectual Philosophy

  REV. JOHN C. AVERITT, A. M., Professor of Mathematics and English Literature

  MISS MOLLIE A. GRAVES.  Assistant in Literary Department and Music


  MISS BETTIE W. GRAVES, Ornamental Department.


 Experience per session of Twenty weeks, payable in Advance:

  Lower Preparatory Department .............$15

  Higher Preparatory Department ........... $20

  Embroidery, Chenille, or Fancy Work .....  15

  Incidentals............................     1

  Collegiate Department ...................  25

  Music on Piano...........................  25

  Use of Instrument........................   5

  Grecian, Oriental, or Oil Painting........ 20

  Board per Month, Washing included..........12


The President and his Lady have charge of the Steward's Department. Young ladies are required to furnish their own towels, lights, looking glasses. Pupils entering near the middle or close of the Session, are charge from the time of entrance to the end of the session. All letters should be directed to the care of the President. Every article of clothing must be marked with the owner's name in full.  The manners, personal and social habits of those reading in the College, will be formed under the immediate supervision of their instructors.  They never leave the College grounds without permission from the President.  They never make or receive visits, to the neglect of their studies. They study a portion of every night, under the direction of their teachers.  They make no purchases, except by the advice of a matron.  Instructions relative to their correspondence, will be carefully observed.

  Address H. L. GRAVES, Fairfield, Freestone Co., Texas


  Aug 30, w3m



Texas Republican (of Marshall, Smith Co., Texas) - December 1, 1860 - page 2


"Galveston, Houston, Gonzales, Tyler, Henderson, Dallas, Fairfield, Jefferson, and many other places have hoisted the Lone Star, and have passed unmistakable resolutions.  Our people are almost unanimous for a Convention and for prompt action."


[Note - This refers to secession of Texas from the Union.]



San Antonio Ledger newspaper  - January 14, 1860 edition – Page: 3


The Waco Southerner inserts a notice by J. M. Smith, of the Waco House, that Prof. Edward F. Alexander, (to whom our neighbor of the Herald gave an unenviable notoriety) has paid his board bill, sending the amount from Fairfield; where, we observe from the Pioneer, he now teaches Spanish.  The latter paper says the Professor "has a happy mode of imparting instruction."




Weekly Standard (of Raleigh, North Carolina) - March 07, 1860 edition


LETTER FROM MAJ. JOHN T. GILMORE- May 02, 1860. We publish in our issue today the first half of an interesting letter on the South, but more especially on the Lone Star sister of our confederacy, the lovely Texas. It is from the pen of Maj. John T. Gilmore, of Cumberland county, an intelligent planter of our State. Our readers will find many things of interest in his letter, and highly instructive comments on that beautiful country.

We return thanks to Maj. Gilmore for the Texas seed of various sorts sent us. We placed them in the hands of a gardener, and they are already sown; we will inform him of their growth hereafter.


                                                            Houston county, Texas, Jan. 30, 1860

W. W. Holden, Esq.,

Dear Sir: I wrote you from Allegheny Springs and also from Memphis, at which place I remained about two weeks. I left for New Orleans on the 7th September, by the steamer Capitol. The river was very low, by which I was enabled to see how the banks were continually crumbling in upon the one side, and accumulating upon the other. This process takes effect at every turn of the river, which forms a cove-and thus gives occasion for many to remark, that inasmuch as the bed of the river is more or less filling up, it will become necessary to increase the height and width of the levees, in order to guard against an overflow of the river, which has been productive of so much damage during the past few years. In calling the attention of passengers to the subject, I was assured that these alternate changes of soil from one side to the other were carried on in a still greater degree by the Missouri river. The banks of the Mississippi are low, with bluffs occasionally, which are generally on the eastern side. The trees upon the banks did not appear to be large, and the cottonwood seemed to be the favorite growth. As the river was low, I did not have a commanding view of the plantations.


We reached new Orleans on the-and remained at the City Hotel two days. I visited the custom house, which is a very large building, and which I learn, has been in progress of construction about thirteen years. We went over the Brashear City, on the east side of Berwick Bay, and remained a day, in order to take what is called "the inside passage to Galveston." This is quite a small place, and proves conclusively, that words are not always the representatives of ideas. There was a time when a city meant something more than a name. This place is connected with New Orleans by a railroad of 80 miles, which is designed to be continued into Texas. We took the boat, had a clear sky, a calm sea, and no one sick. We arrived at Galveston next day for dinner. This city was a beautiful location, but very sandy; and when built up will be quite a handsome place.

There is a great deal of business done here, and there is said to be an increase every year in its population and wealth. During this trip I formed many pleasant acquaintances: Mr. Wheate, a merchant at Houston city, and his lady, Lieut. J. P. Major, U. S. Army (Camp Colorado), and his lady, Mr. Oliver (a merchant at Springfield), and his sister, Mrs. Strowd; all upon their return to Texas. I found them all intelligent and accomplished, and was especially fortunate in forming their acquaintance, without which, time would have hung heavily upon me. The impressions were not those destined to live only for the occasion, but such as will always be found deep in the recollections of the past.

We left Galveston in the afternoon on the steamer Island City, bound for the city of Houston. We ascended Buffalo Bayou, which, at that time, was the only navigable stream in Texas; and during the night a friend informed me in confidence that the yellow fever was in Houston, and we had best make no halt. We arrived at about 6 a.m., and concluded to take breakfast; this was on the 15th September. We took the cars for Hempstead, and very soon learned that one death had occurred in the city that morning, and two others a day or two previous to that time. The next and succeeding cars, as I afterwards learned, were crowded with passengers leaving the city. This disease prevailed for some time, and was spread along the entire line of the railroad, as well as in many other places, until it was finally subdued by the intensely cold weather which prevailed some time since.

At Hempstead I took the stage and reached Anderson, a flourishing village, that night. Learning next morning that the stage would not run upon our route for the next two days, one of our passengers, Mr. Green, of Kentucky, began to regret it very much, whereupon, I proposed we should take Walker's line; to which he agreed. Mr. Caldwell, to whom I am indebted for acts of courtesy and friendship, was to bring on our baggage. He is a young man of good talents, and is the Associate Editor of a paper called the Pioneer, issued at Fairfield, which I learn is well conducted, and has an extensive circulation. Green and I put off in the afternoon, and reached Kellum spring, 10 miles, before sunset.

This is a place of great resort in the summer, and might be made beautiful. According to my taste, the water is composed chiefly of lime and sulphur. Next morning we left, and were joined by Joseph Smith, of Ellis county. We reached Madisonville that night, 25 miles. Here Green stopped because his boots hurt him.

Next day Smith and I reached Centerville, 22 miles, early in the afternoon.

Upon the arrival of Caldwell in the stage that night I received my baggage. Next morning I met with a friend, Col. Thomas Blake, formerly of N. C., who introduced me to the landlord, Mr. Tubb, who took an active part in endeavoring to facilitate my journey. Mr. H. G. Buckingham, of New Orleans, was here with buggy and horses; he was traveling over the State for the purpose of making collections. As he was going somewhat in my direction, he was kind enough to offer me a seat, and even went out of his way to put me nearer my place of destination. I found him a clever and intelligent gentleman, and regretted much to part with his company. He left me within 8 miles of the place to which I was going. I found no difficulty hereafter, and reached the residence of John Smith,

Esq., formerly of Bladen county, N. C., on the 21st September, where I have since resided during my stay in this country. Mr. Smith has a fine body of land on the eastern side of Trinity river, has made a very fair crop, and says he is well satisfied with the country.

Since I have been here I have visited several of my friends from our own State, who appear to be well located, and to whom I am indebted for hospitality and attention. I would especially mention Dr. Wm. Murchison and his brother, Col. John Murchison, who are pleasantly situated near Elk Heart, and are doing well. With them I spent much of my time, and enjoyed the pleasant and welcome hospitalities of their house. Not long after my arrival here I made a tour, in company with Mr. Smith, of about 140 miles. We started on the 6th October, and Dr. Wm. Murchison joined us on the same day at Magnolia. We wee invited by Mr. John McLenahan to enjoy the hospitalities of his house for the night. We found him a polite, clever, and intelligent gentleman. On the next day we passed through some prairie, but chiefly through a woodland country, somewhat broken and sandy, and took up for the night at Dr. King's, where we were hospitably entertained by the family. The Dr. was not at home. Next day we remained a few hours at the Judson Association, where we parted with Dr. Murchison, pursued our journey, and crossed the Trinity at Wild Cat Bluff, where the bottom land is very wide and rich. We soon entered the prairies, and about ten miles from this I first say the Meskeet [Mesquite] tree which has so long been identified with Texas, even in those days when the savage and warlike Camanche roamed in triumph over the land.

During this little journey we passed through the counties of Houston, Anderson, Nevarro [Navarro], Ellis, Freestone and Leon, and returned through the same, but different roads.

In the county of Ellis I first saw the Grouse. This is a beautiful fowl-gregarious in habit, about the size of a small hen, and resembling very much the Quail or Partridge in appearance, with the exception that its color is much lighter. All attempts to domesticate this fowl have failed. I have met with several persons who have made the trial, but without success. It is very similar, though not so large as that described by Capt Herndon in his exploration of the Amazon, as seen in Peru, and there known in the Spanish language as the Perdiz Grande-the large partridge. Here also was the Plover, the Quail, and the Bird of Paradise; which is beautiful, and said to sing sweetly. The Hawk, too, was here, circling in the air, and looking down for objects of destruction. The lark was likewise to be seen sporting in playful mood over the prairie. With a low short flight he dives into the grass and eludes the vigilant eye of his oppressor-yet still he is brave, for he has stood his ground with many an Indian tribe, fearless of the deathful arrow. He sinks not beneath the severity of cold nor the intensity of heat, whilst his march, though slow, is onward, until he shall have gained the Rocky Mountains-there, upon its lofty summit, with his wild romantic notes warbled into the melody of song, to hail with joy the advent of spring, and cheer aloud the first approach of civilization.

Here, also, we passed over some prairies which are said to extend from Trinity river to El Paso, a distance of more than six hundred miles. In this county,  also, a few Antelopes are to be found; they are said to be beautiful animals, exceedingly swift footed and very shy, but if taken when young, easily domesticated, and perfectly harmless. They range upon the most elevated portion of the prairie which is free of timber, and will suffer to be captured by either dog or man, sooner than enter the little woodland that skirts the prairie, which is generally devoid of undergrowth, and in no event would seem to produce any material impediment to their running. I is, however, equally true that they never abandon their flight until their breath is nearly exhausted, when, in a few moments, they expire. We had not the pleasure of seeing one.

On the road we passed several wagons loaded with lumber, drawn by five yoke of oxen, the usual team in this country, and bound for Dallas county, one hundred and twenty miles. The wagoners bring down flour from the upper counties, sell it in the piney region of eastern Texas, and make a return load in lumber. I have heard of lumber being hauled for building purposes, two hundred miles, and even for making board fences, nearly that distance. In some places cedar rails are hauled twenty miles. The usual length of an oak rail here is eight feet, which makes the strongest and best looking rail fence I have seen anywhere. The fences in this country are generally very good.

Our farthest point of travel was near the northern line of Ellis county, at a little village named "Possum Trot." Here we saw a flour mill in operation, driven by three yoke of oxen treading upon an inclined wheel 30 or 35 feet in diameter. I regretted we had not arrived a few hours sooner, as then we could have seen sixteen Mexican ox carts loaded with flour from Dallas county, and bound for San Antonio. It was said they were in the service of a contractor to supply our troops.

I was anxious to see the manner in which the oxen were geared. All accounts agree that the yoke is placed upon the head, in front, and just below the horns; so that the oxen may be said to push rather than to pull. Almost ever nation has its own peculiar method of gearing work animals. In this particular the South Americans differ widely from us in relation to the horse; and the inhabitants of Morocco differ from us in a still greater degree, as regards both horses and cattle. Of course each nation believes its own peculiar method to be best, and it becomes a matter of interest as well as curiosity to witness the diversity of the human mind, in the various applications which have been made to attain the same object. 

All the country north of Navarro county is said to be especially adapted to the raising of stock of all kinds and to the production of wheat, rye, barley, and oats. Wheat is said, in Ellis county, to weigh 70 lbs. To the bushel, and the product of barley to be enormous. And those remarks, I understand, will apply with equal force to all of northern Texas. But little cotton is raised in that section. And here, perhaps, it might be proper to say that Texas may be regarded in three grand divisions-the Northern, of which I have already spoken, --the Middle, which is adapted to the production of cotton and corn, and the Coast, which is adapted to the production of sugar, cotton and corn. In this division, and very near the coast, I learn that stock raising is carried on to some extent.

From the famous little village spoken of above, we turned our course homewards, passed the flourishing village of Waxahachie, where we saw another flour mill in operation, driven by the weight of three yoke of oxen upon an inclined wheel, and within a few miles of this we saw some fields partly enclosed by the Bois d'Arc, or Osage Orange, as it is called in some sections-passed Chambers creek, where the bottom land is about a mile wide and very rich. We stayed all night at Dr. Foster's, where we saw a large flock of grouse. I have since learned that they are to be found as far south as the coast, and, perhaps, in every section of the State.

We left in the morning and reached the village of Corsicana, where we remained about an hour. Here Mr. Wm. Storey kindly presented me with some curiosities, and among the number the Centipede and Tarantula. The former is said to have a sting in every foot-the latter inflicts its damage with its fangs alone. We passed Richland creek, where the bottom land is very rich and covered with wild rye, which, although dead, was still standing. We tarried for the night with Mr. Burleson, brother of the lamented Gen. Edward Burleson, who was a native of Buncombe county, NC. His memory is respected by all, and his deeds of service stand in brilliant association with the history of Texas. Next morning Mr. Burleson, with horse and dogs, rode out with us to see if we could start the Mule Hare, which is regarded as one of the animal curiosities of the State. When our hunt was nearly over, one sprang up within a few feet of our horses, ran in front of us about fifteen paces, stopped and faced us. We had a good view for the time it lasted, but one of our party calling for the dogs, one came up and the hare led off slowly and in a playful manner at first, but soon its speed was doubled. The gap between the racers widened rapidly at every pace, and in a few moments it was gone from us forever. As well as I could judge, it was of a grey color, and its ears from five to seven inches in length, and hence its name. It was three or four times larger than the common rabbit, and its head present somewhat a bushy appearance, arising perhaps from it length of hair.

The same remarks I made concerning the Antelope apply with equal force to the hare. Under no circumstances will it enter timbered land, but is always found in the prairie, and sooner than violate this law, will suffer to be captured by either dog or man. Several persons sometimes post themselves on horseback around the prairie, and when one is started it is chased alternately by the riders until finally it is broken down. Like the Antelope, it is said to be easily domesticated. It is an unsettled question which of these animals has the greater speed, and upon this point public opinion seems to be about equally divided. They both run perfectly level like the horse.

We reached Fairfield in the afternoon, which is a beautiful place. Here I was introduced to Mr. Huckaby, a polite, clever and wealthy gentleman, residing a few miles in the country. To him I was indebted for the politeness of an introduction to Mr. Bragg, the brother of ex-Gov. Bragg, of our State. I found him a polite, clever and intelligent gentleman. We were invited by Dr. Milner, the friend of Mr. Smith, to enjoy the hospitalities of his house for the night. He was polite, clever and intelligent. His lady appeared to be equally so, and we were entertained with an elegant hospitality.

It was there I was introduced to Mr. Henry L. Graves and his lady, both from our own State, and the latter a sister of the Hon. Calvin Graves, of Caswell. They have charge of a female college here, which is in a flourishing condition, with about ninety scholars, and possessing a reputation in advance of any similar institution I have yet heard of in the State. This of itself sufficiently proclaims for themselves character, talent and capacity. 

Having left Fairfield we arrived on the second day thereafter at the place from which we originally set out.  During this little journey I made it a point to stand by my old rule, which was always to keep a good lookout for snakes. I saw but two, and these were what we call highland snakes. The weather was quite warm, so much so I was frequently compelled to use an umbrella. My attention was drawn to the fact that I had not seen a snake of any kind at or near any of the streams we crossed, although most of them were not running, but the water was standing in little pools. In such places I had always been accustomed to see snakes, and especially the moccasin. I was therefore led to the conclusion, that any water impregnated with lime is unfavorable to the habitation of snakes. And this conclusion is greatly strengthened, if not completely verified, by the fact that in those localities in Eastern Texas where the water is free of lime, and especially about the pond the moccasin is very abundant. From what I have seen and learned upon this subject, I would say that snakes are not more abundant here than with us. The rattlesnake and blacksnake are more numerous than another snakes in Texas. I have heard of some localities far in the west where the rattlesnake is said greatly to abound, but of this I am not sufficiently informed.

All the land over which we traveled west of the Trinity might be regarded as good; most of it rich, and nearly all of it prairie. It is a limestone country, and hence the drinking water is not good, inasmuch as but few persons are provided with cisterns. When this provision shall have been made, good water may be obtained. I learn that cisterns are more numerous as you proceed west. In many places water for stock is deficient in summer and fall. This difficulty is now being removed by the establishment of tanks, which is neither more nor less than raising a dam across a ravine by which the rain-water is held in this little pond for the benefit of stock. This water remains good throughout the season. And here I will say that the State of Texas is divided by the people into three divisions besides those I have already mentioned. Eastern Texas, extending from the Sabine to the Trinity river; Middle Texas, from the Trinity to the Brasos, and Western Texas, from the Brasos to the Rio Grande. Whilst the importance of so many divisions might appear questionable at first view, especially as no other State in the Union contain more than half that number, yet when you recollect that it contains an are of 237,321 square miles, being more than four times the area of our own State, the importance of those divisions will be readily conceded. Eastern Texas contains less rich land than the other divisions which I have just named. The soil in some places is prairie, in others sandy, and in many places is supplied with short and long leaf pine. It is from these localities that lumber is obtained for the supply of a large portion of Middle Texas. The water here is said to be generally better and more abundant than in the two remaining divisions. In regard to diseases, I would say that chills and fevers in the summer and fall, pneumonia in winter, are the most prevalent. Here, as in other places, the typhoid fever prevails occasionally.

Middle Texas is said to contain a much richer soil than the division of which I have just spoken, especially the cotton lands of the Brasos and its tributaries, some of which would of course be embraced in the Western division. I have heard these lands spoken of as being equal, at least, to any in the State, and perhaps the same remark might be made in relation to the bottom lands of some of the rivers farther west, but I have been in no condition to ascertain the fact. In regard to diseases, I presume that chills and fevers and pneumonia prevail in every division. I have talked with several persons who seemed familiar with the State, who say that the timbered land occupies only about one-fourth the area of the whole State; all the rest being prairie. There is quite a difference in the forest growth of this State and our own-fully as great as there is in soil and climate. As well as I can learn, Texas has no poplar, sourwood, forked-leaf black jack nor chestnut. In fact this latter tree is said to be found nowhere west of the Mississippi river. All of these we have. On the other hand Texas has the Meskeet, Rattama, Pecan, Dwarf Plum, Burr Oak, Osage Orange, a species of Haw, wild China, and the wild Peach Tree, none of which I believe are indigenous to our State.

As I intimated elsewhere, I regard the first as a beautiful tree, although everyone might not consider it so. The largest I have seen would compare in size with an apple tree, nor do I believe it ever attains a much greater size. It has a bean from five to ten inches in length, resembling somewhat in appearance the common field pea, of which stock of all kinds are very fond, and of which the Indians, by preparation, made a very sweet bread. Of the second I have seen but one, which is very beautiful, and I have no hesitation in saying would be admired by all. Either of these would be highly ornamental to the yard, more so, I think, than any tree I have seen either in your city or mine; for since I have been here I have learned that Fayetteville is about being lighted up with gas, and as all the ancient distinctions in relation to cities have been destroyed, I regard coal gas and railroads as their only true modern criteria. The Dwarf Plum tree is from 2o to 3 feet high and bears full of fruit, which is not desirable for eating purposes, but seem chiefly adapted to the taste of hogs and deer, by which it is eaten with great avidity. The Burr Oak is a large tree, and bears an acorn of great size. Of the remaining trees it is perhaps unnecessary to speak. Beside these in south-western Texas, there are Ebony, Acacia, (Guisache,) Brazilwood, Lignum Vitae-and in north-western Texas, here is the Dwarf Post Oak, from six to eighteen inches in height, bearing acorns in great abundance.

            If you will not consider it too great a descent, I will here mention another article of growth, but which belongs entirely to the water. It is called in this section the Youkapin, in Kansas, the Nocanut, and in Florida the Bonnet Acorn or acorn of the water Lilly. It sprouts at the bottom of a pond and continues its growth until it has reached the surface of the water. Its limitation in this particular is not well defined, for it has been known to grow eight or ten feet high, and it is believed would grow much higher,

if necessary, to attain the top of the water. Its stem is about half an inch in diameter, and had a flower on the top which gives place to a burr which is smooth upon its upper surface, and divided into cells of about fifteen or twenty in number, in each of which there is a nut in appearance and taste very much like the chinquapin nut with a shell much harder. As it ripens the burr turns down and the nuts finally fall out, sink to the bottom, and are ready for the next year's growth. This plant was quite a curiosity to me, inasmuch as I had never seen anything of the kind heretofore, nor do I believe it is to be found anywhere in our State. I do not consider this section of the State a good country for fruit. I have seen but few orchards or either Apple or Peach trees. The latter appeared decidedly the better of the two. Nor do I regard this country as by any means equal to our own in the production of domestic grapes. It is true the season for fruit had passed before my arrival; I therefore judge only from what I can see and what I can learn from others in relation to the line. It is, however, worthy of the remark, that public attention has not been directed to its culture, nor is it likely to be, so long as the culture of cotton is profitable

and the price of labor high. Yet I have heard it stated upon good authority, that west of this an excellent wine has been manufactured from the Mustang grape. I find grape vines very plenty in the woodland, and where they have not been overrun by the fire, they attain a good size. There are said to be four kinds of grape here. The Mustang grape, which is in clusters upon the vine and very unpleasant to the taste; it ripens early in the summer. The most common is the Post Oak grape, which bears in bunches; this is said to be decidedly better for eating than the Mustang.  Next is the common bunch grape, such as we have in our own State. I will mention, that in certain localities the bullis and the muscadine are said to be found. As it rains less here in summer and fall than in any of the States north and east, the effect to be produced thereby upon the culture of the vine remains to be tested. I consider North Carolina the premium State for the vine-the scuppernong, the catawba and the white bunch grape are all of well know celebrity, they are not excelled either for table use or for wine, and all of them find their nativity in our own State. The scuppernong is now being considered (wherever it can be grown) as the le plus ultra of all the grapes, and yet we have a variety of the muscadine in Cumberland which is believed by many to surpass it, even in the delicacy of its flavor. But this grape as yet is unknown to some. We have also the Flower grape, a native of our State, which has but recently entered the list for public flavor, and seems destined quickly to attain it. Beside all these, we have a great variety of the black bunch grape, ripening in the summer and fall. We can show an equal variety of the cluster grape, covered by the names of Bullance and Muscadine. Let me here ask what State in the Union can show a catalogue so full, and out of which as many have acquired by their merit, a national reputation? Superior culture will have its reward, and a soil and climate inferior in production may be made equal to their superior; but I hazard nothing in saying, if the culture be the same, that certain portions of our State cannot be surpassed in the successful culture of the vine

            As I have said elsewhere, this State is very subject to drought; and the seasons are almost as much defined by wet and dry as by heat and cold. And this is the case in a still greater degree the farther South and West you go. Bishop Pierce, in his eighth letter published in the Texas Christian Advocate, says that at El Paso he was informed that no rain had fallen there in two years. You will not suppose, however, that such is the case in this section of the State. Rain, nevertheless, is very scarce during the spring and summer, and generally so in the fall. If rains could be obtained here as in some other States, there would scarcely be a reason-able limit to the production. I heard a respectable gentleman

say, that upon one occasion he had made about thirty bushels of corn to the acre without any rain after the corn had come up, with the exception of a very light shower that did not lay the dust. In fact, I have been told by many who ought to know that if corn could be planted early enough, that is before too much of the moisture had dried out of the ground, a fair crop could be made without any rain. But if planted too early they run the risk of having it killed by the frost; in which event they are set back farther than ever. I have likewise been informed that the bottom lands stand the drought far better than any others, and that fair crops of cotton or corn can be made without rain. If this be so, then the bottom lands are decidedly best and most desirable of any. In this section of the State, that which is known as the Gama Grass Prairie, is perhaps considered the best. In taking this name because that grass is densely set in those bottoms. I have heard it said that wherever this grass is found the land is subject to overflow, and this I believe to be true.

            Here I will say once for all, that possessing as we do a favorable climate, and being generally supplied with abundant rains in spring and summer, I regard the swamp lands of our own State as equal to any lands in the union for the production of corn. The experience of past years I think full sustains this position; for during those occasional droughts which have sometimes proved disastrous to the hilly and rolling lands in the production of that important article of food, it has been abundantly supplied

by the swamp lands of our own State. Nor have the benefits arising from this production been confined to ourselves alone, but they have been felt in other States through the medium of their ports. Considering the extensive area of those lands, the general advancement in reclaiming the same, and the vast improvements in modern agriculture, no human foresight aided by the light of reason, can discern any diminution of those

advantages in the future, nor any change in the high limit of position to which we seem destined to attain. I do not allude to those localities where irrigation is at command, for in such, the greatest production has ever been obtained combined form, in comparative measure, but a speck upon the globe.

            You must not suppose from anything I may have said elsewhere, that the production of the grasses is confined to any distinct division of this State. Every county in which I have been seems well adapted to their growth, and I learn that the same is true in relation to those portions of the State which I have not yet seen. I observe, however, in eastern Texas, that the undergrowth is not only taking possession of the woodland, to the exclusion of the grasses, but is also advancing rapidly upon the prairie. This arises, no doubt, from the fact that the lands have been heavily pastured by the stock, thereby leaving but a small amount of grass, which renders an effectual burning of the woods impracticable. Some, however, are of opinion that it was the density of the grasses which kept back the undergrowth, and not the burning. However this may be, the process is now going on, and I have observed the same on the western side of the Trinity. The result of this is, that certain parts of the State must, after a while, be deficient in pasturage. If we judge from a statement in the Crockett Printer, which I saw some time back, the emigration to this State must be very great. It was there stated that two hundred wagons were then on the road between Crockett and Alexandria.

            Upon the little journey, to which I have heretofore referred, I perceived that the encroachment of the undergrowth became less as we proceeded north. This undergrowth is nearly all of what is called scrub oak. Since I have been here I have observed some ten or twelve different grasses, and most of them entirely new to me. Among the most important in this section I would name, is the Gama grass, which is the same as that in our own State. This, however, is liable to one great objection. The people here say it will "tread out," that is it will die and disappear, under the pasturage and tread of the cattle. But for this, no grass in this particular section of the State would stand in higher repute. I could but remark the different estimate placed upon this grass by the people here and those of our State. With us, you know that this grass, for many years past, has been considered worthless, whilst here its position in that regard is reversed. There is another grass in this section which grows in rich bottom lands-is highly valued, and known as the

Beavertail. It derives its name from the fact that its head is flat, and is supposed to correspond in likeness with its name. I do no believe that this grass is to be found in our State. The crow foot and crab grass is here, but in a more limited extent than with us, and neither of them flourish in prairie soil. I have also seen the wild rye here in the creek bottoms, as I have elsewhere stated. This is considered most excellent food for stock, especially when green. I have seen none in our State, although I have seen what is there called wild rye.

            In one of the counties above I have also seen the wild oats, none of which have I seen in our State. Many of the remaining grasses to which I have above alluded are considered excellent, having been identified by name, I am content to pass them over. … Some few spots of ground in this section of the State are now being set with a grass, thought by many that it has been brought hither by the cattle. The people here appreciate it very much, and are desirous of it propagation. Although a very short grass, it is known to be very nutritious, and is possessed of that great and overruling merit, a capacity to resist the hoof and not "tread out." It will maintain its ground even upon a traveled road. It receives the various names I have mentioned because it is a running grass, has many joints, from which it puts forth roots, and when the blades dry up they present a curly appearance. It resembles very much that which is know in some localities as the Bermuda grass, in Cumberland and Harnett as the Cane grass, and in your county, the Wire Grass; which last I think is decidedly a misnomer, and am of opinion would be so decided by any Agricultural society. Because we have in our State another brass bearing the same name, from which brooms and baskets are manufactured, and whose stem resembles very much the article from which its name is derived. I will, however, adjourn this question until I see you.

            From what I have already said elsewhere, it may now, perhaps, appear useless to repeat that cotton is the staple production of this section of the State. There are many different kinds of cotton planted here, but that in most general use is the Petit Gulf. When in Raleigh, Mr. Fab. Hutchins asked me to select him some cotton seed. I have, therefore, procured some for him, and some likewise for Bledsoe, of the same sort, which, for the want of a better name, I shall denominate the Trinity Cotton. I made this selection because I believed it best adapted to our climate. It does not grow so tall as the Petit Gulf, but bears very cull and has a good staple. It, however, does not stand the drought of this country as well as those kinds of cotton which have fewer bolls; but inasmuch as it does rain in Wake sometimes, at least, that objection will be removed. We have had several good varieties of cotton in our State heretofore, but they were soon allowed to run out, and this remark applies with equal force to many other articles of production. When the cotton begins to open, those stalks should be selected which bear the greatest impress of purity, and the seed selected from these should be planted to themselves. In addition to this, a sufficient supply of seed should be kept on hand so as to plant every other year, that is, the seed raised in the fall of 1860 should be planted in the spring of 1862, and so on. This process continued annually will preserve them in their purity, and render new importations of seed quite unnecessary. Without this they must degenerate. I gathered most of this cotton myself in order to obtain the seed in their original purity, and should my two friends fail to give it a fair trial and good attention, you may be your "bottom dollar" I'll gather no more cotton seed for them My old friend John Hutchins said to me one day that he would like to have a cotton which would not fall out of the boll, but remain until it was ready to pick. I suggested that perhaps it might be better if it would also jump into the basket, but he said it would be quite sufficient if it would only wait until he sent the basket round. So whilst I was here and my hand was in, I determined to accommodate him also. I have, therefore, got cotton which is said, by those who plant it, to grow of good size, to bear well and to have a fine stable. That it will demand a cent per pound more than any other upland cotton and that the winds of this country will not blow out. In fact that you may let the first and last boll ripen, and when you send round to pick the cotton you will find it all there. I think this is coming quite up to his mark. But I make it a rule to take everybody's opinion, and I find that those who do not plant this cotton swear they would not have it at all. Whilst they admit everything I have said in relation to it above, and especially its capacity to resist the wind, they say in the energetic language of the country, that you can scarcely blow it out with a double-barrel gun. Thus you see there are two sides to every question, even in Texas. However, I have got this seed, and if my good old friend is not suited it will be his fault, certainly not mine.

            I have seen it stated in well authenticated writing, based upon tradition, that the devil was once an inhabitant of Spain. That after having devoted three months to the study of the Basque language, he made a failure; whereupon, I presume, he quit that country and settled in Texas, which, at that time, was a department of Mexico, and the latter a colony of Spain. Having resided here for a long time, in various places, he was finally driven out by the Texans. And as most persons, in leaving a country, are unable to carry off all their goods and chattels, and especially when driven out in haste, so it was with him, whereupon he left behind several of his pincushions. As he was never known to slight his work, they are always abundantly provided with pins and needles, and woe be unto the man who puts his foot there-on. Travelers, from time to time, in passing over these vast prairies have occasionally found them, and although low in statue, are still in a flourishing condition, and standing forth as vegetable monuments of skill and ingenuity. I plucked the seed from one of these, which are herewith enclosed. Give five to Fab. Hutchins, five to Bledsoe, five to Sylvester Smith, five to Wilson, and keep the balance yourself. Whatever may be thought of this matter by some, I feel assured it will be properly appreciated by Wilson and yourself; for, if I mistake not, there is attached to your establishment the printer's devil, or the devil's printer, and I see no sensible reason why there should not be a pin cushion among them.

            I was under the impression, some time ago, that I had read of the existence of the Mule Hoof Hog in Hungary, but could not find any authority. I was also of opinion that I had heard of its existence in Texas, but could not recollect my author. I am now prepared to affirm the fact that it does exist here. Some six or more of these hogs, in company with others, were driven from Middle or Western Texas, through this part of the State, whilst one of them, becoming lame, was left with Mr. Wm. Radford, about 14 miles distant from this place. Its name is derived from the fact that every foot has a hoof in form just like the mule. I am not informed of any peculiar excellence attached to this breed, but the owners, as far as I can learn, evince no desire to change it. I have a friend here from Fayetteville, NC, who, some years ago, saw a drove of these hogs at Shreveport, and I have talked with others who have seen them also in Arkansas. I am not prepared, at present, to give any opinion as to the place of their nativity. I will here mention that I have recently made a short tour towards the coast. My friend, Dr. Thos. Smith, was with me the first day, 21st November. We remained at Crockett for the night. This is the capitol of Houston county, and a small place, but improving very fast. The stores are large and full; several stages meet here, and the travel is considerable. Next day I passed over prairie, bottom, post oak, and sand lands respectively; remained for the night at Sumter, the capitol of Trinity county. Next day the sandy and post oak lands prevailed; but as I approached Livingston, there were some prairies. I passed through the capitol of Polk county, which, although small, is improving fast, and took up for the night with my friend, the Rev. Reuben E. Brown, by whom I had been previously invited. He has quite a beautiful place within three miles of the village. It was here I first saw the Umbrella China of which I shall say more hereafter. I remained with him for two days and enjoyed the pleasant and welcome hospitalities of his house. He is a preacher of the Baptist denomination, and maintains a character and reputation, wherever he is known, equal to the best. Here I was introduced to his son, John Brown, who is a lawyer, and settled in Livingston. He is a young man of good talents, and I think of much promise in his profession. After leaving here I found the land, as heretofore, diversified in it character. I passed through a portion of Liberty county, and reach Sour Lake, in Hardin county, the 27th November, which is situated in the midst of a prairie, and covers about two acres of ground. About two feet of prairie soil over-lies a white substance deeply impregnated with lime and sulphur. At this time the lake was dry, but there were several wells from three to four feet deep, and all of these had water. I drank from several, and the water was very sour. In one the water was very clear, pure and beautiful, and had a very peculiar grass growing in it. None of the other wells had any grass at all, either in the water or upon the side of the banks. There was also observable, in places, a bituminous substance emanating from the soil, which finds its way into many of these wells. It has the appearance and consistence of tar, but differing in the smell. I noticed one or two places in the soil where this substance was quite abundant. The lake when covered with water, which is the case generally, is said to be apparently in a boiling condition over all its surface. This is believed to be the effect of gas. The water is said by some to be curative in all cases except consumption, and the place is regarded as one of the curiosities of the State. It is owned and kept by Col. Lacy, a very intelligent gentleman. This State is not deficient in mineral waters. Beside those I have already named, I could mention several springs I have heard of in different counties, but most of them receive but little patronage. The Lampasas spring, situated in Lampasas county, is more numerously attended than the rest.

Sulphur is said to be the predominating ingredient in all. The geological survey of the State has developed the existence of iron ore, coal, lignite, copper, lead, gypsum, limestone, marbles, potters, pipe, and fire clays. The coal formation in the region of Fort Belknap is most extensive and best could but observe on my way to the lake, as heretofore in the prairies, the elevations of soil which are thrown up by the ants-some of them from 15 to 20 feet in diameter and from 3 to 4 feet high. Upon leaving there I passed through Hardin county, over some broken swamp lands-also some sandy lands covered with long-leaf pine; and here I found these mounds or elevations more numerous-most of them were from 25 to 40 feet in diameter, from two to three feet high, and covered with a large growth of pine.  This presented quite a new and curious feature. At first I was at a loss to account for their formation. Not an ant was to be seen, and the growth of the forest, from its size, presented the same age; but a little reflection gave me to understand they were all made by the same small labors-years, and perhaps centuries gone by-and when their work was completed, their residence was changed. In passing over these sandy lands, the traveler may often form a proper estimate of their value for production, by means of the small hills which are thrown up by the "Salamander" from the soil below. I enter the county of Tyler, where the land was more rolling, and took up for the night at Mr. Arrant's, and here again I saw several trees of the Umbrella China. From him I obtained its history. He said the original tree stood at Lynchburg, which is at the junction of San Jacinto river and Buffalo Bayou, and on the South side of the former. Two of his neighbors went there to work, and he had one or more slaves at work at the same place. If I mistake not, he said that Col. Washington owned the place at the time. These neighbors brought back with them some of the berries of this tree, and gave some to him, which he planted in the fall of 1851. This tree, from its size, as they represented, could not have been more than seven years old at that time. In September 1853, known as the September storm, this tree was blown up and washed away by the overflow of the San Jacinto river. He stated (what I had heard before,) that no one knew how it came there. It is said to have been the only tree of its kind in Texas. In fact it is said and believed that there is none of its species within the limits of the union, except those trees now growing in Texas. However this may be, I will say I have seen nothing of the kind either north or south. This tree is beautiful, and would be admired by all. It differs materially from the common China, in the multitude and arrangement of its branches, together with the density of its foliage. Otherwise they would be alike. It is regarded by all who have seen it as one of the curiosities of the State. I reached Moscow, a little village in Polk county, on the night of the 1st December, at which time there came up a norther and snow storm. I was delayed thereby several days on the road, and when I reached Crockett I learned that the thermometer was down to 5 degrees on the 6th

of December. Nearly all the persons I heard speak upon the subject admitted this to have been the coldest weather ever known in Texas.

I reached the place of my departure on the 8th December. The game in this country may be considered plenty. Wild turkeys are abundant, and there is quite a sufficient number of deer, although the number existing heretofore has been greatly diminished by the black tongue disease, which prevailed here as well as in our own State some year or so ago. Ducks, Brant and Geese are said to be numerous in the fall and winter. Of the first I have seen but very few; of the second none, but of the last I can say they are very abundant. During the months of October and November they were passing here nearly every day on their way still further south. Smaller birds, such as are to be found in some of the south western States are also to be found here.

Upon my return, Dr. Smith informed me that whilst in Crockett, a gentleman arrived having two Leopard skins, one full grown, the other less than half that size. The animals from which these skins were taken, he said he had killed in the west, perhaps last fall, between the Rio Frio and the Neuces river. This statement appeared to be at variance with the natural history of the country. At all events, I had never heard before of the existence of that animal upon our continent. Dr. Smith had seen the Leopard in the Menageries, and was therefore fully competent to distinguish the existing difference between that and the Catamount or spotted cat as it is sometimes called. Nor would I have ventured to call your attention to the subject, were it not for the fact that a few days ago I was favored with the perusal of a letter from Bishop Pierce in relation to his travels across the continent, published in the Texas Christian Advocate, of September 1st, 1859, wherein he affirms upon the authority of the settlers the existence of a species of Leopard on the Neuces river. In certain parts of Texas the Bear is said to be abundant, and also in the same localities the Panther may occasionally be found. I have heard of four well established cases where this latter animal has made an attack upon different individuals, but all escaped death, some however, very narrowly. In north-western Texas the Mexican lion is know to exist, as also the Ibex. Wherever I have traveled there has been no scarcity of prairie Wolves. They exist in reasonable numbers in almost every neighborhood.

The wild cat and catamount are also here, and such other animals as are to be found in any of the south-western States. The Mexican hog is said to be an animal of some little note; he is small but fierce in battle, and is rarely seen this side of western Texas. The horned lizard claims his place on paper as one of the curiosities of the State, but I record him reluctantly. There is also another animal here more diminutive in size, though not quite so harmless, possessing a higher order of instinct, and entitled at least to an equal share of respectability; I should be doing injustice not to give it a place in this communication; I allude to what is here called the scorpion spider, which has its weapon in its tail, and upon the slightest touch is ready to use it.

I will here call you attention to Capt. Stansbury's Report, wherein he speaks of the villages of prairie dogs as seen on his route to the Salt Lake, and wherein he mentions that seemingly unnatural family, the dog, rattle-snake and the owl inhabiting the same hole. Although he became perfectly satisfied of the existence of the former two, that of the third he derived from the evidence of others. A statement like that, at variance with the general sentiment of mankind in relation to the distribution of animals, presenting an apparent reversal of instinct by which they could harmonize together under one social compact and in one common habitation, required some moral courage to announce it, and cannot at any time be too strongly fortified by evidence. Belief is more or less educational, and observation has proven that evidence which is abundantly sufficient for the establishment of a fact at home becomes wholly inadequate when taken from abroad. But such is the character of the human mind, and it is now too late ever to be changed. I must here again refer to another letter of Bishop Pierce, written to the editor of the Texas Christian Advocate, wherein he states that he was present when one of those holes was dug out, and the snake, the dog and the owl were all there. I regret that I have not the letter at my command that I might quote the precise language. The entire letter is full of interest, and withal the Bishop is one of the most accomplished writers of the day. I find this subject also spoken of in Parley's Kaleidoscope as matter of curiosity. None of the writers I have named have ventured to assign any cause for this singular association. The idea that the snake feeds upon the young of either of the others cannot be reasonably entertained. No statement has ever denied the fact that any but three occupy the same habitation. But even suppose for a moment that the snake does subsist upon the young of the others, it is very evident that no great length of time would be required to accomplish

the extinction of the dog and the owl, for they would necessarily die of old age, yet they appear to be as numerous as when first discovered. And when it is remembered that both these animals are quite as small as others upon which that reptile has been known to feed, the supposition above becomes still more unreasonable. But again, if it be admitted that the offspring of either is used for the subsistence of the snake, thereby leaving the original occupants untouched, it will be seen at once that this very act passes the limits of instinct and becomes the exercise of high rational power which hitherto has been considered to reside in man alone. The exercise of that power has been absolutely denied to those classes of animals bearing the greatest resemblance to the human species; and I hazard but little in saying an economy equal to that does not exist in some of the African tribes nor in some few Indian tribes upon our own continent. This question, therefore, more of curiosity than worth, must remain unexplained until further developments shall have been made.

I regret that it was not in my power to be present at the Agricultural Fair in Cumberland. I was gratified, however, to see that your address upon that occasion met the full and just expectations of your friends and the audience. I have read it in the Observer, and have no hesitation in saying your topics were judicially selected, well arranged and ably discussed. Although I may here transcend the legitimate scope of this

communication, I will say that your remarks upon the great value of our swamp lands and the importance of reclaiming the same, deserve the especial notice of our people, and cannot at any time be too strongly pressed upon their attention. For whilst an allusion to those lands has generally been regarded as applicable almost alone to the extreme eastern section of our State, it is worthy or remark, that all the counties upon the Cape Fear are abundantly supplied with swamps, presenting in depth and appearance of soil and growth upon the same, the highest evidences of fertility. Nor have these usual badges at any time proved deceptive. These lands have been tested in several counties, and their production would compare favorably with that of any land in the State. I would here do injustice to my own feelings were I to fail in concurrence with the views you have expressed in relation to the future prosperity of Fayetteville and the adjacent country, founded upon the completion of our railroad to the coalfields . I am sure you were gratified to witness the energy with which that work had been carried on, for your were its friend from the beginning to the end, and no one is more sensible of that then myself. There were others, too, in your city and various other localities in the State, who were the strong advocates of the passage of the bill upon which depended the speedy and successful termination of the work. I would be unjust to myself were I not here to record my grateful acknowledgment of the generous feeling of the Senate upon that occasion, whether prompted by the great merit of the work itself or by the past services of former member from my section, mingled as I trust it was, in either event, by a friendly consideration for those I had the honor to represent. Nor has any measure at any time during the passed legislation of that body been sustained reflecting a higher compliment upon the constituency of any section or demanding a deeper gratitude. Nor will I fail here in like manner to express my grateful remembrance of the generous feeling of the Commons by which that measure was likewise passed, being the only appropriation which was made for works of internal improvements during the past session of the legislature. And here again I must be permitted to say in reference to all that a full and just appreciation is felt by myself, and I trust and believe by those I had upon that occasion the honor to represent. John T. Gilmore



Trinity Advocate (of Palestine, Texas) - May 23, 1860 edition - Page: 2


            The Fairfield Pioneer of the 18th inst., says that John Cockrum, who has been lying in the jail of Freestone county, for the last two and half years for the murder of his brother-in-law, Wm. Self, was at the adjourned session of the District Court, sentenced to fifteen years hard labor in the penitentiary.  It was a cold-blooded, deliberate murder.


[same issue]


The Fairfield Pioneer of the 18th inst., mentions the organization of a cavalry company in that place.  We would like to see a similar company here. What do our military men say?  We are certain we have as good material as can be found in the State.



San Antonio Ledger - June 16, 1860 edition


Negro Killed


The Fairfield Pioneer says that a negro man, belonging to Rev. H. L. Graves, while descending a well at the Female College, at Fairfield on Monday last, loosed his hold and fell several feet to the bottom, which fractured his skull and produced death in a few minutes.  It is said that he came in contact with the damp, (carbonic acid-gas) which caused him to release his hold and fall.



State Gazette  (of Austin, Texas) - June 16, 1860 edition


Democracy of Freestone


In accordance with previous notice, a meeting of the Democracy of Freestone county was held at the Courthouse, Monday, May the 28th; when Hopson Burleson was called to the chair, and J. L. Manning requested to act as Secretary.  At the request of the chairman, Wm. F. Daniel, Esq., in a few pertinent and well turned remarks, announced that the meeting had been convened to take into consideration the action of the Texas delegation in the late Charleston Convention.

On motion, a Committee of five, consisting of Dr. Thomas B. Grayson, Col. J. B. Johnson, Wm. L. Moody, Wm. F. Daniel, and F. C. McMillan, was appointed to

draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting.

During the absence of the committee, Dr. D. J. Moody and Wm. C. Wilson, Esq., addressed the meeting in an able and dignified manner, on the political issues of the day. 

The committee through its chairman made the following report, which was unammously [sic] adopted.

The Democracy of Freestone county, having a feeling and sentiment in union with the people of the great agricultural districts of the South, in Convention assembled, declare:

  1st.  That the people of several States composing these United States, are united as parties to a Constitutional compact, to which the people of each State acceded as a separate and sovereign community, each binding itself by its own particular ratification, and that the union of which the said compact is the bond, is a union between the States ratifying the same.

  2nd.  That the people of the several States thus united by the Constitutional compact, in forming that instrument, and in creating a general government to carry into elect the objects for which it was framed, delegated to that government for that purpose, certain definite powers to be exercised ????? ???? residuary mass of powers to be exercised by its own separate government, and that whenever the general government assumes the exercise of powers not delegated to ??, since that would make its discretion, and not the Constitution ...  an equal right to judge for itself as well of the ?fraction as of the mode and measure of the redress.

  3rd.  That the maintenance of the Constitution and of the Union is identified, and that faithful adherence to the former is the most powerful cement to the latter.

  4th. That the Constitution recognizing property in slaves draws no distinction between that and any other species of property, and therefore the general government or all its department, is bound to protect slave property to the same extent that my other species of property is protected in the Territories of the United States.

  5th. They heartily approve of the Texas delegates in the late Charleston Convention believing they acted as the truthful defenders ...



The Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - June 19, 1860 edition - Page: 1


How to Dispose of Them - The Democracy of Freestone county, justly indignant at the impudence of the bogus Texas delegates in the Chicago Convention passed the following resolution:

That justice demands the immediate execution, by hanging, of those miserable, deluded miscreants who at the late Chicago Convention pretended to represent ...


[also in that issue]


The Fairfield Pioneer says that the web worm is making mischief in the cotton fields of that locality.



State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - July 7, 1860 edition - Page: 2


            The rumor that Judge John Gregg of Freestone, was about to leave the state for Alabama, is unfounded.  It arose, we expect, from the fact that he was about transferring his location to some portion of Eastern Texas.



The Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - August 14, 1860 edition


Texas Items


  The Fairfield Pioneer urges the importance of an artesian well being bored in that town.  We presume the editor has counted the cost, and also considered that no artesian well yet bored in Texas has brought water to the surface.


[also in that issue]


  The Fairfield Pioneer on throwing off its neutrality on the Presidential contest and ??lecturing for Breckenridge and Lane, gives reasons for its course which should weigh with every Southern man.  After showing the importance of a united South, ...



The Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - August 21, 1860 edition


Texas Items


  The Fairfield Pioneer says:

If we are not seriously mistaken, there is a well in Corpus Christi, that belches forth an abundance of the healthful beverage, and many others are being bored.



The Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - September 11, 1860 edition


The Fairfield Pioneer gives a very complementary account of Wharton's speech in that place.



The Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - September 15, 1860 edition


The Fairfield Pioneer mentions the deliberate shooting of M. R. F. Bowman,

about fifteen miles south of Fairfield by Mr. Thomas L. Crowson.  The account in the Pioneer makes the thing look like murder.  A reward of $150 is offered for Crowson.

NEWS OF 1861



Bellville Countryman (of Bellville, Austin County, Texas) - June 5, 1861 - page 3


"The editor of the Fairfield Pioneer is endeavoring to make up a company of cadets—boys over ten and under eighteen years of age.  A good idea."



Headquarters of the 19th Brigade, Texas Militia }

     Corsicana, Navarro County, July 22, 1861      }


General Orders, No. 1


Brigadier General's Instructions to Enrolling Officers


 In my conformity to my instructions contained in General Orders, No. 3... I am

 required to appoint Enrolling Officers in the in the several precincts of my

 Brigade (which is composed of the counties of Navarro, Ellis, Freestone and  Limestone counties) whose duty it shall be to call on all citizens within their  precincts able to bear arms, and not incorporated in companies who have offered  their services to the Confederate States, to organize into companies of not less  than thirty two, nor more than one hundred, non-commissioned officers and privates.  Every able bodied free male inhabitant residing in your precinct,  between the ages of 18 and 45 years, and not incorporated in companies who have offered their services to the Confederate States, you will form into companies, and whenever two or more Companies may be formed, they will be distinguished as active Companies and Companies of reserve, whose duties respectively are prescribed in the second section of said General Order, to which I refer you.  You are instructed, immediately after said Companies are formed, to hold an election for one Captain, first, second, and third Lieutenant for each Company, which companies shall have the privilege of drilling as Cavalry or Infantry,  as they may desire.  Immediately after said election is held, you will forward to me a complete  muster roll of each of said Companies, the certificate to the same to be signed by the Captain.  A printed form of said muster roll is herewith sent to fill up. 

                       HENRY JONES

                       Brigadier General 19th Brigade, Texas Militia.



Dallas Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - October 16, 1861 - Page 1


Flag Presentations


The following addresses have been handed on for publication.  They were delivered on the occasion of the presentation of a handsome Confederate Flag, by a few ladies of this county, to the company of "Freestone Boys," Capt. Maddux of Col. Parsons' Regiment of State troops, on the 3d inst., at the camp on Rowlett's Creek.  The flag was presented in the name of the ladies, by Miss Lizzie Johnston, of this county, and received by W.  F. Compton, Esq., one of the non-commissioned officers of the company.


Address of Miss Johnston.


Gentlemen:--It has been imposed upon me, by my friends, to address you on this occasion.  I do so, deeply sensible of my incompetency to the task, of saying a word in behalf of the great and glorious cause in which you are enlisted.


We are well aware of the disadvantages under which the Southern States will have to labor, being poorly supplied with arms, they have entered into a combat with a people who have at their command all the improvements in arms that the age can afford; but this deficiency will be more than doubly supplied by the valor and chivalry of the sons of Southern soil.


Our sympathies are especially enlisted in behalf of the border States, for within their limits will be the great battle fields of contending armies, and their sons and daughters are destined to become familiar with scenes of carnage and blood.  Missouri claims a large share of sympathy, and for her success our feelings are more deeply enlisted.  Borne down by over-powering numbers of Black Republican cohorts, and smarting under the chains of a military despotism, she has severed her connection with the Northern Government, and has added another star to the bright galaxy of the Southern constellation.


We, as a community of ladies, in testimony of the interest we feel for the success of our country's cause, have reared [?] this flag, and now present it to you in token of our confidence in your valor and integrity, believing that you will honor and sustain it with that unshrinking devotion that Southern hearts have always manifested for the flag of their country.


Suffer not its stars to be dimmed by the dust of defeat, or its colors tarnished by the foul touch of an enemy's hand; but may it wave in triumph over every battle-field in which you may be engaged, and wherever the streaming colors are unfurled, may it waft pestilence and death to the gathered minions of Northern foes.  Brave and noble hearted volunteers of Capt. Maddux's company!  We ask you when called to meet the enemies of your country, to march forth proudly under this bright banner, and calmly sustain the shock of battle that you may encounter with unyielding fortitude, ever keeping in mind that glorious motto that should characterize the soldier, "Victory or Death."


Remember that it is glorious to die in defense of your country's rights and the death of him who thus nobly falls will be enshrined forever in the hearts of a grateful people,--admiring gratitude shall write his epitaph, and time shall mellow and consecrate his memory.


Strike!  til the last armed foe expires!

Strike!  for your altars and your fires!

Strike! for the green graves of your sires,

Home!  and your native South.


Response of Mr. W. F. Compton.


Miss Johnston.—By the presentation of this flag, and the patriotic remarks accompanying the same the hearts of the "Freestone Boys," (a band of strangers,) are filled with thankfulness to you and the kind ladies of Dallas county, who assisted in rearing this banner; and also to God for his goodness manifested toward us as a nation, in inspiring the fair ones of the South with patriotic spirits to imitate the matrons of '76.


For this banner, this beautiful banner of red, white, and blue, I in the name of the "Freestone Boys," officers and privates, tender you our ardent thanks.


We have ever been proud of our national flag.  Under the Star-spangled Banner our fathers fought and died; with their blood they paid the price of our liberty, thus making that banner doubly dear to their children.  Under its folds we would freely have fallen rather than see this favored land over-run or trampled under the foot of tyranny.  But, alas!  sad to tell, that banner is no longer dear to the sons of the South.—No longer do we feel ready or willing to defend it.  No longer does the sight of its stars and stripes gladden our hearts.  Never, no never again, will we acknowledge it as our nation's ensign. That cluster of stars, once fit emblem of the band of sister States, is now severed; twelve of its brightest stars have, as with an angel's wing, been brushed away, and carried to a place appointed them by an All-wise Providence, see, on this lovely flag, they blaze,--o'er this heaven favored land they float, bidding defiance to all our enemies.  Does any ask why this change in our hearts and flag?  If so, we reply, the people of the South were loyal to the constitution of the U.S., and so long as we could, by compromise or any other way, save submission, receive and enjoy the rights and privileges therein guaranteed unto us were satisfied.  But in the action of people of the North towards us, we plainly saw that unless we resisted we were a ruined people.


They, by the election of a Black Republican President, in the person of Abraham Lincoln, manifested a determination to subjugate the South, and to degrade the anglo saxon race to a level with the servile African.  We long bore their insults and abuses.  But the thought of seeing the fair ones of our land taken from the elevated position to which God had placed them, and caused to move in an uncongenial latitude, side by side with the negro, caused our hearts to sicken and recoil, and inspired us with feelings similar to those which reigned in the bosoms of the patriots of '76.  And with almost a unanimous shout, we cried, "God avert such evils or give us death."  Determined never to submit to such wrongs, we asked the privilege of peaceably withdrawing from the Union. But we were not only denied the privilege, but also threatened with coercion if we attempted to secede.  We loved the Union, but were driven to secession. South Carolina led the way, and one after another followed, till the number in the once glorious constellation is twelve less.  Refusing longer to be loyal citizens of the U. S., it became our duty to form a new government, and rear a new and different flag.  This we have done.  By the guidance of the Almighty we have been enabled to organize and arrange the best constitution the world has ever known, and in the time of our country's need, God blessed us with another Washington, Jeff. Davis, the man for the times.  And as was said of Napoleon, so be it said of him, "A man without a model and without a shadow."


We have chosen a new banner.  Here it is.  See how proudly it floats in the breeze.  Beautiful banner.  Thee we love; for thee have we discarded the Star-Spangled banner.  We hail thee as our nation's flag—Wave, proudly—wave on every wind.  Heaven's blessings rest upon the land over which you float, and whilst the sight of thee inspires the sons of the south with courage, may it fill the hearts of the Northern fanatics with astonishment and fear.  We love our country, and feel a deep interest in all her battles.  But while we sympathise [sic] with Missouri and the other border States, our hearts and feelings are enlisted in the defense of our own loved Texas.  For her safety our prayers ascend; for her defense we have left our homes, and for her we will freely die.


Miss Johnston:--Again, in the name of the "Freestone Boys," I tender you our thanks for this lovely flag; and be assured that the confidence placed in us shall never be betrayed.  Under its folds we will proudly march forth to meet the foes of our country and institutions; and our watch-word shall ever be, onward and onward, conquering and to conquer, so long as the tramp of the enemy's horse or the roar of his cannon is heard in our land.  And never, no never, will we suffer this banner to trail in the dust of defeat, or its bright colors tarnished by the foul touch of the enemy's hand.




Bellville Countryman (of Bellville, Austin County, Texas) - November 13, 1861 - Page 2


The Vicksburg Whig announces the arrival in that place of two Texas companies.

The "Freestone Freemen," W. L. Moody, from Freestone county, and the "Waco

Rifles," G. B. Granberry, en route for Memphis.



Dallas Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - Apr 24, 1861 - Page: 1



To apportion the State of Texas, and to regulate the election of members of


SEC. 1. Be it resolved by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That the State of Texas be and is hereby divided into six Congressional Districts as follows:


3rd. Galveston, Harris, Montgomery, Grimes, Walker, Leon, Madison, Brazos,Robertson, Limestone, Freestone, Navarro, Ellis, Falls, McLennan, Coryell, Bosque, Hill, Comanche, Hamilton, Johnson, Erath, Eastland, Brown, Coleman, Runnels, Callahan, and Taylor counties, shall compose the third Representive District, and shall elect one Representive to Congress.




Dallas Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - Oct 9, 1861 - Page: 2



Those wishing to join an expedition to the Rio Grande or Gulfcoast, for 12 months, under the late call of his Excellency, Gov. Clark, will please report forthwith to either of us, as we are now endeavoring to organize a company of Infantry, in accordance with the aforesaid call.

There will be a meeting of the people for said purpose, in Precinct No. 4, of Dallas county, on Saturday 5th Oct., at 10 1/2 o'clock A.M., at Union School House, at which all who feel a lively interest in the defense of our country and Southern Rights, are respectfully requested to attend.

                      R. M. COOKE

                      S. H. GILBERT

    Sept. 28, 1861



[same issue, same page]



Inviting Proposals for Transportation

of the Mails in Texas


    Post-Office Department         }

    Confederate States of America  }

     Richmond, Va., Sept. 4, 1861  }


 WHEREAS, certain contractors for carrying the Mails of the United States in the State of Texas, prior to the 31st day of May, 1861, have refused to carry  the Mails of the Confederate States upon the terms of their contracts with the United States Government, proposals will be received at the Contract Bureau of this Department, until 12 M. of Saturday, 16th November next, for carrying the Mails of the Confederate States, within the State of Texas, until the 30th day of June, 1862, with due ?????. certainly, and security, on the following post route, viz:


  No. 8,625 - From Anderson by Madisonville, Leon, Centerville, Moody's Cross

Roads, Fairfield, Flowerdale, Corsicana, Prairie Home, Cummings' Creek and Wilton to Waxahachie, 154 miles and back, twice a week.

  Leave Anderson Monday and Thursday at 6 a.m.; arrive at Waxahachie third days

by 10 p.m.  Leave Waxahachie Monday and Thursday at 6 a.m.; arrive at Anderson

third days by 10 p.m.  Sep rate bids are invited for the service between

Anderson and Fairfield, and also between Fairfield and Waxahachie.


  No. 8,642 - From Nacogdoches by Douglas, Linwood, Alto, Rusk, Pinetown, Mitto,

Palestine, Parkersville, Fairfield, Cotton Gin, and Springfield to Waco, 180

miles and back, three times a week.

  Leave Nacogdoches Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 a.m.; arrive at Waco 

fourth day by 6 a.m.  Leave Waco Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 a.m.; arrive

at Nacogdoches fourth days by 6 a.m.

  Separate bids are invited for the service between Nacogdoches and Palestine,

and between Palestine and Waco.


NEWS OF 1862



The Tri-Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - August 22, 1862 - Front Page


Brilliant Affair in Arkansas.

Official Report of Col. Parsons.

Texians Again in Triumph


  We lay before our readers the following report of Col. Parsons, of a late brilliant affair in which the Dragoons were engaged.  Of course, the publication is unofficial:

                              ON BAYOU DE VIEW, NEAR       }

                              COTTON PLANT, August 4, 1862 }

Col. R. C. Newton, A. A. G.: - I have the honor to report a complete and brilliant victory over the enemy's forces at Hughes' Ferry, on L'Anguille, by the troops under my command, on Sunday morning, 3d inst.

I took up the line of march from Bayou de View at 1 1/2 o'clock on the evening of the 2d, with the Texas Dragoon Regiment and 45 men of the Texas Spy company, under Lieut. James, for Crowley's Ridge, in St. Francis county, which has been the theatre of the most thorough devastation and wholesale robbery perpetrated by the enemy during the war.

Having learned that a detachment of several hundred men, consisting of the 1st Wisconsin cavalry, constituted the rear of Curtis' column, at Hughes' Ferry on L'Anguille, I moved with great secrecy and celerity through the wilderness, the evening and second night of my departure, to the vicinity of their camp. I assigned Lieutenant Colonel Burleson to the command of one squadron of my regiment and Lieut. James' detachment, with orders to move before dawn to the rear of the enemy's position, between the camp and ferry, so as (in conjunction with the main body,) to surround them and cut off their retreat.  The two detachments, Lieut. Col. Burleson's command and four squadrons under my own immediate orders, crossed the L'Anguille, at 2 o’clock at night and at dawn our

lines were closed around the enemy.  It was a complete surprise, the first gun fired by their pickets at sunrise gave the alarm to the encampment as our squadrons in close columns of fours dashed rapidly past them, into their position.

They rallied behind their wagons as barricades and into the dense thickets

adjacent, and for half an hour the fight waged desperately.  The difficulty of seeing the enemy in the hammock to which they retreated and from which they kept up a continued and galling fire, more than balanced any disparity of numbers. The Enfield Rifle proved no match, although in the hands of a brave and desperate foe, with the murderous double barrel shot guns of the gallant Texans.  As I pressed them on their front and left, the bugle of Lieut. Col. Burleson's detachment rang out the charge, and he closed upon their rear.

The dismayed enemy either fled in utter rout, or threw down their arms and

surrendered.  The triumph was complete, resulting in either the capture or destruction of the entire command, all their valuable camp property, and the accumulated booty of weeks of depredation and pillage upon our people.  The attack was made upon the rear of Curtis' column upon Crowley's Ridge, the enemy having detachments scattered on the ridge from Hughes' Ferry to Helena, where the main army are still encamped in force.  Six miles below where the engagement came off, there were stationed 1,200 Federal cavalry.  Anticipating pursuit, being without any reserve, and having audaciously penetrated the enemy's lines 60 miles from our base of operations, I deemed it prudent to reap the fruits of victory as rapidly as possible and withdraw from the Ridge.  I secured one regimental stand of colors, three six-mule wagon loads of ammunition, one of arms, two army ambulances, and one commissary wagon with stores.  Being unable to bring off any more of their train, I fire and destroyed the fifteen other wagons remaining, and the camp equipage, and brought off (so far as my hurried and imperfect estimates report) 60 Federal soldiers including four Lieutenants, about 150 fugitive negroes, whom the enemy had stolen and were carrying to Helena, and from 300 to 400 head of horses and mules.  The arms, ammunition, wagons, mules, horses and negroes made a rich and valuable spoil, and with the property taken and destroyed, the enemy have sustained a loss of

half a million of dollars, besides the utter destruction of one of their crack cavalry regiments, which had been the terror of the whole of the heretofore unprotected section through which they passed.  I had no means of forming an estimate of the loss of the enemy in the engagement; but the slain, which everywhere strewed the entire encampment, gave evidence of the desperate charges and accuracy of aim of the brave Texans under my command.

Major Eggleston, in command of the Federal forces, was killed, besides several other officers.  Many of the negroes were armed and in the fight.  Refusing to halt when they were defeated, a large number were killed.

In 36 hours I have force marches 100 miles, engaged the enemy, and returned to my base of operations; having sustained no casualties but the loss of two killed and seven wounded.

Where such rivalry existed to bear off the palm of valor, it were invidious to discriminate by a special mention of the acts of individual prowess upon the field.  I am under great obligations to all my brave soldiers who gave such proof of their thorough efficiency in drill and veteran firmness under a scorching fire.  To Lieut. James and the officers and men under his command I am indebted for distinguished and valuable aid.  Col. Burleson gave effectiveness to my blow on the enemy's front, by bringing his detachment up to the enemy's rear at the critical decisive moment which decided the fortunes of the day.  To the officers of squadrons and companies of my regiment who led

their men into the thickest of the enemy's fire from positions to which they were especially assigned, I am under great obligations for the triumph of our arms in the battle of Hughes' Ferry.  To Capt. Maddux and Capt. Hawkins of the Ellis and Freestone companies, both commanding squadron, I am indebted for distinguished gallantry, also to Commissary Ayres, of Bell county, Major Farrar and the Lieutenants under them.

When I obtain accurate official returns of the fruits of this brilliant affair, I will transmit them at once.  The captured property, prisoners, negroes, &c., I will send in to Des Arc, subject to the orders of the commanding General.  The result to the enemy of this stunning and unexpected blow will be shown by putting an effectual quietus upon the small marauding parties of the enemy who have so long and with such impunity and audacity pillaged and devastated whole sections of this State.

I have the honor to remain your obedient servant, 

                   W.H. PARSONS,

         Col. 12th Texas Cavalry, Commanding Forces East of White River   



The Tri-Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - October 27, 1862 - Page: 2


Persons having lost horses or oxen should subscribe for the "Texas Stock Journal," printed at Fairfield.  It contains, monthly, all the estray horses in the State, and a great many reported which have not been estrayed. It also advertises the estrays of its subscribers free of charge - Price only one dollar a year.



NEWS OF 1863



The Tri-Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - January 16, 1863 - Page: 2


  [Note original has faded and is hard to read.]


  Li????nes Alexander, of Co. I, 7th Regiment T. M. V., and resident of McLennan county, and son of Rev. T. Alexander, of Freestone county, fell on the ????? on the 1st, in the attack on the Ham?????e. He fell where the true officer always found, at the lead of his men.

  His name and residence had been misstated in a previous notice.



Dallas Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - February 25, 1863 - Page: 2


  Col. B. Warren Stone reached home last Sunday from Houston, whither he had been on business, connected with his regiment.  The troops raised by him have orders to rendezvous at Fairfield, Freestone County, on the 5th proximo, from which they will proceed to Houston.  Under the orders of Gen. Magruder, and led by the gallant Colonel, we expect to receive a good account of them when brought in contact with the Yanks, whether as cavalry, or horse marines, or any other manner.  In the first regiment, there are three Companies from this  county, viz:  Capt. Crill Miller's, Capt. J.D. Stratton's and Capt. S.S. Lane's. - The regimental officers are B. Warren Stone, Colonel; Isham Chisum, of Kaufman, Lieut. Colonel; and James W. Throckmorton, of Collin county, Major.



Dallas Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - July 15, 1863 - Page: 2


  The Fairfield Pioneer comes out for Murrah and Stockdale.  In announcing his preference for these gentlemen, the editor says:

  "The gentlemen whose names we this day place at our mast head combine all the elements necessary to render them acceptable and efficient in the official position they seek.  Any one who will read Mr. Murrah's Circular with care, must conclude that he is a man not only of talent, but of great moral merit. Gen. Chamber's late card, if nothing else, sufficiently shows him as unworthy the position he seeks.  We regard him as egotistical, visionary, and contentious; in fact, as entirely unsuited to the times in which we live.  He is only a big  tempest in a very small tea-pot."



The Tri-Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - November 16, 1863 - Page: 2


  The Fairfield Pioneer says that sleet and snow have already fallen there.



The Tri-Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - November 25, 1863 - Page: 2




     Houston, Texas, Nov. 24, 1863        }


  R. INMAN, of Freestone county, Texas, holding my exemption, 77, issued to him on the 30 October last, employed by Mr. E. J. Iglehart, of Millican, to haul cotton to the Rio Grande, has failed to report.  Enrolling and other officers, are specially requested to arrest said Inman, wherever found, and unless good cause can be shown why he has not report.  Send him to the nearest camp and inform me of said arrest. 

                               E. BLOOMFIELD

                               Major and Quartermaster

   nov25 tw 6t





The Tri-Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - August 3, 1863 - Page: 2






I have several hundred bushels of this valuable grain for sale, have raised four successful crops in this county, commenced with one bushel; gave away and sold seed to different parties in this and adjoining counties - all have succeeded, and positively no rust or smut, my average yield has been 20 bushels per acre.

Sowed last year about 1st of November, pastured it close till 10th of March, and made a very fine crop.

Price at home $10 per bushel, if sacks are furnished.  I will deliver it at Navasota Depot.

My neighbor, Judge W. R. Thomas, obtained seed from me and has the wheat for sale at the same price.

  AGENTS - ... Dr. Henry L. Graves, Fairfield or address

                       JAMES W. BARNES

     Anderson, Grimes county, Texas, July 29, 1862.

   Aug3-w&tw lt




[same issue, same page]



    NEW MEXICO AND ARIZONA              }

  NEAR MILICAN, TEXAS, July 28th, 1863  }




  I. All officers now in this District belonging to commands East of the Mississippi river, will immediately report in person for orders to these Headquarters.

  II. Enlisted men of such commands will report as follows:  Those within the limits of the Northern Sub-District, embracing the country north of the line running along the southern boundary of Panola, Rusk, Cherokee, Anderson, Freestone and Limestone counties, thence ...



The Tri-Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - September 14, 1863 - Page: 2


                   Cotton Gin. Texas, September 5, 1863

 Editor Telegraph - I am a soldier in the service of the Confederate States; have been for two years; am now on my way to my command in Arkansas; have been home for the first time in two years; have always believed the South could not be subjugated by the abolitionists.  This is the opinion of the Confederate army.  I am sorry, however, to find a number in Texas who are whipped; men who know nothing of the war; men who have never yet, and perhaps never will, smell gunpowder, provided they can keep out of the way.  If, however, Texas should be so unfortunate as to be invaded by the abolition army, which I hope will never, on account of the patriotic men and women of this State, occur, it would do my heart good to see the men who are now refusing to sell their surplus products for the currency of the country, have their property swept from them, as chaff before the wind.  This is sure to be done, whenever the State is invaded.  The men who now charge a soldier $5 for a night's lodging, will then experience the folly and wickedness of their present course.  In my way up from San Antonio, I have occasionally met with a patriotic man, but a large majority on the way side, hotel keepers have no more patriotism than had the Tories of North Carolina, in the revolutionary war.  One person, with whom it was my misfortune to spend the night, ten miles north of Austin, charged me the next morning $5, and said it was only "four bits."  Another cold blooded farmer near Waco, said he hoped every mouthful of bread made from the tenth of his crop, would kill a  Confederate soldier.  Another patriotic citizen in this vicinity, said there was no Southern Confederacy - never had been, and never would be; it was all a myth.


Is there no way to remedy these evils, for they are evils that must redound greatly to the prejudice of our country. Do these men know that they are  virtually pursuing a course that will result in enslaving themselves and their  children for ages; that they are advocating a negro equality?  Do they not know that, should the doctrine of negro equality be established, which it will surely be, if the South is whipped, that but a few years will pass away before we shall have gone again into barbarism?  God forbid such a state of things, and God and the people have mercy on the extortioners.  But a day of retribution is rapidly approaching!  Let all such be prepared to accept the decision of a patriotic people, who will not do otherwise than revenge themselves upon such as act in a  way to aid indirectly the enemies of our country,

   Very truly, yours,   W. DAGLE



The Tri-Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas)  - December 16, 1863 - Page: 2




           H'dqrs. Burleson's Battalion }

           Camp Bradford, Nov. 29, 1863 }

To persons owing military service to the Confederate States in Anderson, Angelina, Cherokee, Ellis, Freestone, Hardin, Henderson, Hopkins, Houston, Hunt, Jasper, Kaufman, Navarro, Nacogdoches, Newton, Panola, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith, Trinity, Tyler, Van Zandt, and Wood counties, Texas:

Under orders from Lieut. Gen. E. Kirby Smith of the 22d of October last, and from Brig. Gen. E. Greer of the 30th October and 21st of November, I am now searching the above named counties, with six companies of my regiment for the purpose of arresting and sending to Marshall, Deserters and Conscripts who fail to report to the Enrolling Officer or the Camp of Instruction after enrollment, and persons who may be reported to me as disloyal, by Capt. Robt. H. Badford, the Inspection Officer accompanying me. ...


   By order of   A. B. Burleson,

      Lt. Col. 12th Texas Cav., Com'dg Expedition

 W. G. Vardell, Adj't





Galveston Weekly News (of Galveston, Texas) - November 18, 1863, page 2, column 1


The Texas Baptist State Convention met at Independence, on Saturday before the fourth Sunday in October. A delegation nearly twice as large as that of last year was present. Over thirty thousand dollars in cash and pledges, redeemable on demand, were contributed to support Missionaries to the army and the destitute parts of the State. The Female College of Baylor University was reported to have near one hundred and fifty pupils, and to be in a flourishing condition. The academic and Collegiate Department for males was reported to have about sixty pupils. All the objects of the Convention received proper attention. Rev. H. L. Graves, of Fairfield, was re-elected President; Prof. B. S. Fitzgerald, of Baylor University, was chosen Recording Secretary, and Gen. J. W. Barnes, of Anderson, Treasurer. The next meeting will be held at Huntsville, Walker county.

NEWS OF 1864




Tyler Reporter (of Tyler, Smith Co., Texas) - March 31, 1864 - Page 4


"Confiscated Lands for Sale

in the Counties of Dallas, Ellis, Navarro, Limestone, Freestone, Kaufman, Smith, Van Zandt, Wood, Upshur and Hunt  


Schedule of all the tracts of land in the above named counties, which have been confiscated, will be left in the Clerk's Office of each county for inspection by those wishing to purchase, and in all cases in which a satisfactory minimum price is bid for a tract, I will obtain a decree to offer such tract or tracts for sale to the highest bidder, for cash at the Court House door of the County, on the regular sale day in each month, the biddings to open at the minimum price so bid.  Until the war is over and our citizens shall return from the army, said lands will only be sold in this manner, and bids are invited.  This course, it is hoped, may have effect of accommodating such of our citizens at home as need these lands for use, and at the same time allow our brave soldiers to purchase such tracts as they need, and prevent the lands passing into the hand of speculators at nominal price.

                                          M. A. Long, Receiver C. States

Tyler, June 20, 1863.—33."



The Tri-weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - January 20, 1864 - Page: 2


List of Deserters from the 20th Regiment T. D. C.


  Company K -

T. J. Eggar, 23 years, 5 feet 10 inches, black eyes, dark hair, dark complexion, farmer, Freestone co; corporals W. T. Fry, 25 years, 5 feet 7 inches, dark eyes, light hair, dark complexion, farmer, do [ditto] co; McIntson, 33 years, dark eyes, dark hair, dark complexion, farmer, Freestone co; privates S. M. Jones, 30 years, 5 feet 8 inches, dark eyes, dark hair, fair complexion, farmer, Freestone co; ... J. M. Lee, 33 years, 5 feet 8 inches, hazel eyes, dark hair, fair complexion, farmer, Freestone co; ... J. Whitfield, private, 46 years, 5 feet 7 inches, hazel eyes, dark hair, dark complexion, farmer, Freestone co.


        J. R. JOHNSON, Major

        Commanding, 20th Regiment, T.D.C.

 Jan 20th, twl - wlt



The Tri-weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - January 29, 1864 - Page: 2


We learn that small pox is prevailing in Brenham, Chappell Hill, Fairfield and other towns in the interior.  New cases continue to occur in this city, but it attracts little or no attention.  We hear of few deaths.



The Houston Daily Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - March 8, 1864 - Page: 2


From the Fairfield Pioneer

  A disease, said to be hog cholera, has appeared among the hogs in this county, and is proving fatal to an alarming extent.  If any of our friends can furnish  us with a recipe for its cure, we will gladly publish it.



The Houston Daily Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - July 15, 1864 - Page: 2


             Madisonville, July 5th, 1864

  Ed. Tel. - Our scouts have just got in; they got two of the me that robbed Mr. A. J. Sload, of company A, Pyron's regiment Texas Cavalry, and you will please make it known in the columns of your paper, for I have got Mr. Sloan's money, and not knowing where he is this will cause him to make enquiries [inquiries].  I want the young man to get his money.  They were caught some 60 miles above here, in Freestone county; they have done a good deal of development through the county.

   Yours, &c,   JOHN A. WALLIS, 4th Tx.



The Houston Daily Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - August 3, 1864 - Page: 1


List of Patients and Attendants in Texas Hospital at

    Auburn, Ala, July 5th, 1864


W. L. Taylor, Lieut. company D, 10th Texas infantry. Freestone



The Dallas Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - September 24, 1864 - Front page


  [On the left side on the original first few letters failed to print.]


  We have received a pamphlet of 50 pages of very ??print, entitled, "Kingdom of Israel: from inception under Joshua, its First President, in year of the World, 2353, to the Second Advent of Christ. Dedicated to the Rev. S. D. Baldwin, author of Armageddon," &c, if living, and to his memory, ??? by J. P  Philpott," published at the Pioneer office, Fairfield, Texas.  The author says:

  We purpose placing our pamphlet upon the table of every Publisher that we can

leave access to, thorough ???? malls.  Will they reciprocate, by sending us

their publications for a shot time? at least such numbers may contain any notice

that they, or any one else, think proper to give us, pro or con."

  We have had time only to glance over a few chapters hastily.




Austin State Gazette (of Austin, Texas) - October 5, 1864 - Page 1


"We see by the San Antonio papers that the Government tannery, established at that place, is to be removed, the Herald says, to Freestone county, and the News, to Limestone county.  The Government shoe factory and tailor's shop has also been closed, and the News says there are rumors afloat that the arsenal and other establishments will be removed.  San Antonio must be getting out of favor with "the powers that be." "



Galveston Weekly News (of Galveston, Texas) -  October 26, 1864 - Page 2


A letter from Fairfield says: "I am pleased to inform you that there are now Soldiers' Homes established in this county (Freestone) at three different points: One at Fairfield, one at Cotton Gin, and one at Butler—there are two separate houses at Butler at which soldiers can stop, one owned by H. Manning, Esq., and the other by Mr. Wm. M. McDaniel. All of the Homes are well supplied by the good citizens of the immediate vicinity of each of said Homes."



Dallas Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - October 29, 1864 - Page 2, column 2


"Soldier's homes are being established in every section of the State, and we note the fact again, to stimulate our people in Dallas to further efforts to get one up here.  It is really a stigma upon our community that they are so far behind other sections of the State.  We notice that Freestone County has three in full operation—one at Cotton Gin, another at Fairfield, and a third at Butler.  Cannot our people start the ball at his place?"




The Houston Daily Telegraph (of Houston, Texas)

October 14 & Nov 3rd, 1864 - Page: 2




Fairfield, Freestone........ G. K. Anderson


Tri-Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - November 16, 1864 - Page 1


Soldiers' Wayside Homes.


Greenwood, Nov. 5, 1864.


Editor Telegraph:--After a long and dangerous illness (bilious fever) and after bringing upon myself three relapses by resuming my work too soon, I am once more able to write you and recommence with caution the good work of establishing "soldiers' homes."  Minden, Homer and Pleasant Hill, in Louisiana, have been established and are in full operation.


I am happy to learn that the good people in Goliad, Hillsboro, (Hill county) Butler and Fairfield have moved of their own accord and established homes for our wayfaring troops.  All honor to such patriotic devotion!  Perhaps other places have done the same.


The principal object of this communication is to give you and the public information of General Smith's plans to aid this enterprise.


In answer to my application he has ordered the following letter:


Rev. Thomas Castleton:


Sir—The General Commanding directs me to say in response to your application to purchase subsistence stores, that after the "homes" shall have been established and their location approved by him, he will direct the Commissary Department to sell to the superintendent of the several homes a quantity equal to that which appear upon the Superintendent's affidavit to have been used by soldiers during the previous month." (A true copy.)


Thus it will appear—1.  That General Smith takes the responsibility of aiding us in the only serious embarrassment we have to suffer; that is, the difficulty of obtaining the food needed in some places.  Government depots are everywhere, and can supply where the community cannot.  This is very opportune.  In some places we need no help; in others we are unable without it to supply our home.


2.  That while generous and liberal, the General Commanding is cautious, and limits his pledged supply to approved locations.  By this he means to guard against too numerous establishments.  Homes must not be located too near each other.


On this point I will say for general information and as a suggestion to General Smith, that the number of miles apart cannot in all cases decide the propriety of a location.  It often happens that "cross lines of travel" intersect direct lines, and what is actually upon the direct line too near other homes, is absolutely needed on the cross lines, and at a proper distance from the other homes upon that cross line.


Thus, when running a direct line at proper distances, I am obliged to make that a convenience to establish one to meet a cross line at its point of intersection with the direct line.  Gen. Smith's good sense will doubtless decide that each community will be able to judge correctly as to the location of homes.


Of course the homes which draw rations for each soldier as he passes, will not apply for subsistence by "purchase."  Many homes will not apply at all.  Others must.


The second object in writing is to urge affectionately and earnestly the citizens of all important points upon the main lines of travel from Louisiana and Arkansas through Texas, to go at once to the work and establish homes every where.  It is time, high time to act.  Much precious time is almost lost. Hundreds of soldiers have already passed to their abodes and back to their command, bitter with the memories of repulses and refusals at the hands of many; and will tell their wrongs and impart their bitterness to the army; while others wounded and way-worn, have gone home to die, with the bitter thought corroding their brave bosoms that after three and a half years of battle and camp services they were refused food and lodging by those for whom they have fought and suffered.  How long shall this continue?  Till I can visit every town and run every line in the State?  Years will be too short a time for that. Up, then, my noble fellow citizens, and do the work.  Follow the example recently set by Goliad, Cotton Gin, Fairfield, Butler, Pleasant Hill, &c.  You can—you only need to determine upon success.  Let no obstacle hinder you, make it succeed, and a hearty will is success made sure.


Gen. Smith has also promised to sell cooking utensils from the Q. M. Department wherever needed for a home.  Do the best you can, and better afterwards; but do it, and do it at once.



Thos. Castleton.

P.S.—The following suggestions are respectfully made to all our homes:


1. Look well to it, that the person to whom the soldier is sent to obtain a ticket to the home for admission, be so chosen as to be easily accessible. In my travels I have met a number of soldiers who said of certain homes, "it took me so long to find the ticket for admission that I was obliged to leave a good meal untasted," "the whistle blew," or "the stage started and I was sent off hungry." This ought not to be. It must not be.

2. Let constant arrangements be made to furnish "cooked rations" for one, two, or three days, as the case may demand, so that "the haversack" may supply the lack of homes until they can be established everywhere. These cooked rations should be entered upon "the register" as if eaten in the "home."

Galveston News, Caddo Gazette and Washington Telegraph, &c., please copy.



The Houston Tri-weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - November 18, 1864 - Page: 2


Texas Conference



  Fairfield - D. B. Wright



The Houston Tri-weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) 

Nov. 30 and Dec. 2nd, 1864 - Page: 2




Fairfield, Freestone........ J. M. Henderson



The Houston Tri-weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - December 2, 1864 - Page: 3


               Crocket, Nov. 25, 1864

  [Description of travel from Waxhachie [sic] to Corsicana then onto Fairfield]

Leaving this town [Corsicana], we pass over a thinly settled region of country, mostly rolling prairie until we come to Fairfield, the county seat of Freestone county.  This place shows that it has seen better days; it contains a tastily built court-house, and many stores and other buildings, the stores are mostly closed, and very few citizens are to be seen, the most of them are in the army.  The town is in a pretty location, built upon rising ground, and surrounded by timbered land, it is a pretty place and destined to be of some importance at some future day.

After leaving Fairfield, and proceeding in the direction of Palestine, the face of the county changes.  We now pass over hills and find ourselves in post-oak timbered land, the land is of a sandy quality, and in some places very rich.  We find a few well cultivated farms.  When we get to the Trinity river bottom we find large plantations, here the land is of the richest quality, and the largest kind of crops are raised.  As we cross the river, and after leaving the bottom, the land is hilly and heavily timbered, the soil is of a redish sandy loam, and resembles the Red River lands....



Tri-Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - December 2, 1864 - Page 2


Crockett, Nov 25, 1864


Editor Telegraph.—After a hard ride of 140 miles from Waxhachie [sic] I find myself in this once famous town.  I find the climate is not as cold as in that latitude.  Of all the disagreeable things of this life, is a ride on horse back over Texas prairies, the wind whistling through your hair and penetrating every pore of your body.  The route after leaving Waxhachie [sic] passes along Waxhachie [sic] Creek; finely cultivated farms are to be met with at short distances, for several miles down as we proceed in the direction of Corsicana. 

All kinds of crops are raised here; the land is of the richest quality.  I saw several large fields of healthy wheat.  Wheat and other small grains seem to thrive well in Ellis county.  After leaving the valley of this [illegible] we pass over rolling prairies, very [illegible] settled, until we come to Corsicana, the county seat of Navarro county.  [illegible] of the town is in a beautiful [illegible] the town has a good Court house [illegible] al stores; it looks otherwise shab[illegible] houses are going to decay.  The [illegible] so many of the male population [illegible] army will account for this.  The [illegible] Corsicana are a very clever and [illegible] of people.  They have [illegible] Soldier's Home, and the tired soldier is kindly treated during his stay in town.  The people are very intelligent, and schools are well sustained.


Leaving this town, we pass over a thinly settled region of country, mostly rolling prairie until we come to Fairfield, the county seat of Freestone county.  This place shows that it has seen better days; it contains a tastily built court house, and many stores and other buildings, the stores are mostly closed, and very few citizens are to be seen, the most of them are in the army.  The town is in a pretty location, built upon rising ground, and surrounded by timbered land, it is a pretty place and distined [sic] to be of some importance at some future day. 


After leaving Fairfield, and proceeding in the direction of Palestine, the face of the country changes.  We now pass over hills and find ourselves in post oak timbered land, the land is of a sandy quality, and in some places very rich.  We find a few well cultivated farms.  When we get to the Trinity river bottom we find large plantations, here the land is of the richest quality, and the largest kind of crops are raised.  As we cross the river, and after leaving the bottom, the land is hilly and heavily timbered, the soil is of a redish [sic] sandy loam, and resembles the Red River lands.  But few well cultivated plantations are to be met with until we reach the vicinity of Palestine, here we find the farms more numerous and better cultivated.  We soon come to Palestine, the county seat of Anderson county.  This town has formerly been a place of considerable importance, and is surrounded by a thickly settled region of county, large plantations are to be met everywhere.  Many Louisiana refugees have bought or rented plantations in the vicinity. The town has a beautiful court-house and square, and a score or two of stores, etc.; there are many tastily built residences.  The town is surrounded by timbered land and built upon a hill, it is destined to be a place of note in the future.


After leaving Palestine and passing in the direction of Crockett, the land looks much the same as that passed the other side of Palestine, although in some portions of the route the land is more hilly and sandy.  We soon came to Crockett, but how changed the town looks.  Since my last visit, some eight months ago, nearly two-thirds of the town has been laid in ashes.  I could not recognize the town when it came in view, so changed is it.  The Courthouse and one hotel yet remain, as well as a few of the residences and stores.   Rough buildings have been constructed on some of the roads.  It is a melancholy sight to view the scene of devastation.  The "Quid Nunc" is still in full blast here.  It is a spicy paper and well conducted.  I find it very popular throughout Eastern Texas.  I shall proceed homewards as fast as horseflesh can carry me.





Tri-Weekly Telegraph (of Houston, Texas) - December 19, 1864 - Page 1


Soldiers' Homes—Circular Letter

Galveston, Dec. 10, 1864


Ed. Te.—I notice with great pleasure a communication from Austin signed "Recipio," in your issue of the 6th inst., which announces the good news that  the patriotic and generous people of that city have organized a Soldiers' Home  on a most liberal plan. Upon my return from Louisiana, I found a letter from Warrick Tunstall, Esq., of San Antonio, informing me that a Home had been established in that city (in August last) befitting a chivalrous and patriotic people, to aid in which, he says, a concert acquired $500 in specie. I learned from Capt. Lillie that a second concert, gotten up by the "little girls" afterwards, raised for the same object $800.


Also a letter from Dr. Brandth, of New Braunfels, giving the gratifying intelligence that the good people of that city had opened a "Home" for our brave defenders; adding to the ordinary accommodations for the sick soldier, under the care of the "S. S.," of whose encampment he is Captain.


I have also received information informally, of Homes established in many other places, which I trust is reliable. Fairfield and Butler in Freestone county, Springfield in Limestone county, (which I doubt) and Palestine, (which is now officially published.) Col. Hicks in this place, I was informed four months ago, had subscribed $1000 in cash, 1000 bushels of corn, 500 bbls. flour, 100 or 200 lbs. (I forgot which) of bacon, &c., &c. I mention this good example to stimulate others, and to encourage our friends everywhere to move in the good work. Also Hillsboro, Corsicana, and Cotton Gin, Dallas, &c., and some in the adjacent counties.


I have also ascertained that a new and efficient co-laborer has voluntarily entered this field in Western Texas, Rev. Wm. Cook, from whose successful efforts, a number of Homes have arizen [sic] into being. But I prefer to wait for his own report before publishing what I have heard. I rejoice to know that I am not alone in this work in Texas.


It must fill the hearts of all patriots with joy, to see these Homes rising up all over this proud State, to welcome with generous hospitality the men upon whom our whole country depends, under God, for our protection; and who have so successfully defended as heretofore. Let the work go on! Let every place open its wide welcome. Let all act at once! Now is the time. Indeed, did all know what I could tell them, if I deemed it prudent to publish, and what will publish itself in due time—alas! too soon, I fear, all would think quite late, if not too late, for some places to act.


It is enough to say, that the instincts of true patriotism will always indicate the path of safety. To follow it, is sure of hopeful results, and will defend from unseen dangers, while covetousness, selfishness, and cold heartedness must end in the loss of present benefits, and go blindly on to a logical result—fate! I hope Texan planters will take heed in time, and not only keep open doors of hospitable welcome to all soldiers, but aid the Homes whenever within their reach. This is no time for families living in luxury, and growing rich amid their country's disasters, because the Providence of God has kept the foemen from their doors; to turn from those doors the men who, for two, three, and some three and a half years have stood with their lives in their hands, and  bared their noble bosoms to the foeman's steel and bullet. They have stood in the dread crises with "death-[illegible] falling fast" about them. Brothers and fathers and bosom friends have fallen by their sides. They come from the graves of the brave and the true—from fields of blood and glory, where they bore away the dead forms of some they loved most, and flow back to offer upon their country's holy altar all that was left them on earth. Must they come back to the doors and firesides of a great State, whose peaceful abundance is the purchase of their valor, and of the blood of their slain brothers, and be rejected at those doors—forbidden a nearer sight of those hearths, than the smoke curling in mockery from the chimney stacks?


Can any man tell me what difference (under these circumstances) it can make to at least half our soldiers (only so that they can gain their own independence) whether the picture just drawn remain on those chimney stacks, to stand gloomy sentinels over ashes alone, pointing out the foeman's desolating march? We cannot afford to break the bonds of amity and reciprocity between our people at home and the troops in the field. Nay, more, does any man think that our troops will long brook the treatment they are too often called upon to endure for the want of home, by these too often rejections at planter's doors?


It has now become the rule of our soldier to begin to beg a place to stay early in the afternoon, in terror of the too common fate of "lying out," unfed and unsheltered, all night. Many will deem this a rhetorical flourish. It is veritable fact. I know it to be true. Many have spent whole nights at the root of a tree, with their horses tied to one of its branches! ! ! in pelting storms. They have done this hundreds of times in the long march; in the face of the foe; on the battle field. They never complained. They will do it again

cheerfully a hundred times, if the God of battle protects their lives. For there, they thought of happy homes, their own, and their neighbors; of the State, whose "Lone Star" symbol proudly waved over them, and whose prosperous homes, if defended, would make them forget all their forms of sorrows in the hearty cheer and cordial welcome and grateful appreciation which awaited their return.


But it is in sight of one, two, or three of those homes, that the suffering soldier lies. Their window lights gleam through the pelting storm, that is now his only greeting amid the homes he offered up his life to save. He has been at these homes and is rejected. He entreated until his manhood shrank from its own degradation. He can die. But he can endure no more self inflicted shame. Hark! a sound of revelry. Forms flit and whirl behind the window panes. Merrily the dance goes on. "Oh! Yes. They did not wish to be disturbed in their delights by a poor ragged soldier, and the others were too busy preparing. I only asked for food, and to sleep in an out house. Even that was denied me. Oh! me, I once was merry too, when poor dear Mary lived whose grave I go home to see. Two summers and three winters have gleamed and swept over. She sobbed only one parting word as I left, and it was, "Win or die." If you live to return, come back free, and God bring us to his throne to meet again on earth. "Yes! Mary," there, not here, we meet again, and even there I will meet thee free, and untarnished, by the coward or the traitor slain." Just then, is it surprising if hard thoughts arise against the man who had rejected his plea for shelter and especially when the only visible difference between the shivering, sufferer and the hard hearted planter, in sight of whose luxurious and frolicking house he lay, was, that the one flew at his country's call, a volunteer, to face the cruel foe and the other was content to enjoy his ease and increase his wealth at home, and that the one is only forty-four years old, but the other is 51. Hard thoughts have a thousand forms, and in different minds take different paths. Let us not strain the yielding brow to breaking.


Dark days may yet come to a people whose long exemption from the ravages of war has made us so forgetful of those,


"Who are our country's stay

In day and hour of danger."


In those days we cannot afford to have bitter memories of neglect and cruelty rankling in the soldiers' bosom, for in those days the flinching of one man in a company may spread panic through the regiment. Panic in the regiment may easily demoralize the brigade, and from division to corps, the army may become disordered, and the day be lost. With the loss of one battle, a whole zone may be overrun, and thousands of homes which refused the need of grateful kindness to the soldier, shall find that in begrudging the trouble and expense of caring for the way-worn soldier, they have the trouble of seeking a refuge among strangers, and in penniless poverty to expiate the crime of hard hearted cruelty against those who had the highest claim upon their gratitude and beneficence.


I am possession of many important facts under this head, occurring in a sister State, full of startling suggestions to our people; but delicacy and sympathy with the parties, now refugees, forbid. I have traveled over long miles, in gloomy sadness among chimney stacks and ashes, where many a weary soldier had dragged his suffering form and ridden his jaded animal from house to house of luxury and pride, refused the scanty pittance of a meal, and floor to lie on. And I have ridden among those lines with men who had no tears for the woes of those who as they expressed it, "had more feeling for a dog than a soldier." No one supposes that in any desolated or other region, the whole people ever did or ever could treat the soldier with neglect. But when it is the rule, with only exceptions, let our people be assured that the soldier will not forget the facts, and that a just providence will remember them in the day of retribution; and if an intervening and a more dreaded evil shall be averted by the self-sacrificing devotion and liberality of the few, and by "soldiers' Homes," sustained by a few, as they always are, yet by the growing disaffection of our troops in camp, arising from either extortionate charges with some or to a refusal of hospitality by others, let us not forget that we are jeopardizing all that is left us.


I am not unaware that much can be said of the faults of some soldiers, who, while enjoying the hospitality of planters and others, have stolen spoons, sheets, blankets, quilts, &c., &c., from their benefactors. This is inexcusable; for it there is no apology; the few are guilty, but shall the many suffer?


Many excuses can also be made for planters living upon the crowded lines of military travel. Some of them are literally "eaten out." They cannot sustain the burden. I know of some who have been obliged to leave their homes from this cause. some who have fed the soldiers gratis till all their food was exhausted, and their neighbors refusing to aid them, and even to sell for Confederate money, no other course was left them but to remove.


Planters in some cases are very inconsiderate on this subject. They know that houses of entertainment on the road are exhausting their resources by necessitated hospitality awarded to penniless soldiers, and yet will neither give nor sell to help them. Out of danger themselves by living off the road, they are alike regardless of the suffering soldier, and the "inn keeper" is thus the victim of what ought to be a mutual burden. How they can keep themselves in unashamed tranquility, I cannot imagine.


Some encouraging exceptions have come to my knowledge. "Sergent's Hotel," near Calhoun's Ferry, on the Trinity river, has never refused the penniless soldier his full supplies. Col. Alston and his son-in-law and some neighbors have "for the war," aided Colonel S., and now that this hotel, always the very best in the country, has become a Soldier's Home, the same parties sustain it nobly. This is an example to all planters in our whole country. Will they note it?


How different this from "Red Top" Prairie P[illegible] Post-office, where the excellent proprietor, Col. Bookman, has alone borne the burden during the war; and since his house has become a home has received no help from his neighbors. When I established that "home," I called upon Mr. S. Stewart, a gentleman of high standing, and also upon an eminent physician, to whom I had been specially recommended as benevolent, and enterprising, and patriotic. The former promised to help and call on others to do the same; but the result is, Col. B. says he has received no aid at all from any one. Why is this? These persons may have reasons. If so, the public would like to hear them. I can think of none.


As it is, I have to pay the bill from our "State Committee for S. H." in Houston, as I pledged Col. B and as I have been obliged to pledge many others. I am sorry that no response in money has come from the country in all of this work. Do our friends in the country intend deliberately to give us the "cold shoulder" in this work" If so, I must pass by many places which need homes, and the soldier must pass on unfed and unsheltered, where I could otherwise have made his heart glad. I have already pledged more than is in the treasury, besides incidental expenses, which I feel unable to bear. Five hundred dollars, new issue, will not cover the cost of paper, envelopes and stamps, &c., which I have already purchased for the immense correspondence through which so much has been done for the cause; and by which, when unable to leave my room, I was able to reach hundreds of places in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.


All I ask now is, are our people willingly and deliberately giving us these signs of their disapproval of the enterprise, or of their want of confidence in us? In either case, they must not be surprised to see the work stop; and homes already established, become defunct. I beg to assure our planting and city friends, that it is neither for my interest nor health, nor pleasure, to be both asking aid of them for the salvation of their own all, by elevating and saving from demoralization their noble defenders, instead of receiving what is daily offered me to my interest, and making my home in my ambulance, through days of storm and nights of frost instead of the bosom of my family.


I can only say, the task is too much to be performed alone; and when I have said this, the responsibility will no longer press upon me. I admit I have no claim in this line. I make none. All know the country, and the armies have no claim upon me, only as I have volunteered to meet this great want. The public can easily tell me by silence and withholding their needed help, that they neither appreciate my work nor desire my services.


Our State Committee, of which Mrs. Col. riley is President, and A. J. Burke, Esq., Treasurer; and without whose unanimous vote and "order" not a dollar will be disbursed, are security to the public that their donations will find the proper channel, and our city editors will gladly receive for them and acknowledge in their papers whatever may be sent through them.


Two or three weeks will find me employed in attention to homes near by and some necessary "outfit." Let me know before that time what is the public voice. Speak quick.


I have to acknowledge the unbounded kindness afforded me in my four months tour, and the unanimous and universal sympathy and cordial co-operation and aid rendered me from General K. Kirby Smith down to the no less noble common soldier; from the lordly mansion to the no less honorable log hut. I know my work is appreciated; but I cannot "make bricks without straw." In my sickness, friends, like sisters and brothers, have sprung up everywhere, and I thus return my thanks. I am more than satisfied. I need go no further if ambition inspired me, but I must have a full central treasury. Homes that I must pledge to support or rather foot the "balance due" will not always need it, for the neighbors will generally foot the bill; but in order to establish them and make the parties safe, I must be able to pledge, I did so to a number in my recent tour, that are now the best self-sustaining homes on our list.


I thank your correspondent "Recipio" for his suggestion as to Hotel Homes; and invite suggestions from all. By referring to my second circular, Recipio will find that plan, as one of many suggested, and recommended in most places of sparse travel. Also I organized five on the same plan four months ago. I hope Recipio will find the people able and willing to continue the expense of full hotel charges. I have always succeeded in arranging at half price.


Finally (although I have much more to say) let me speak to householders in places where the common complaint is, that no place can be found—no house, no rooms, and nobody willing to take the trouble of entertaining the soldiers. Do any family think themselves above the "low work" of giving comfort to our heroes of a hundred battles? for such will come. I consider it the most honorable position any man or woman or family can take. Why is it not so prized?


If General Lee should pass through a town, what family would not eagerly press forward to win the honor of entertaining him? Gen. Lee thinks his soldiers have won for him, under God, all the honor he has gained, and now enjoys; and that they are as deserving of honor as himself. Every brave soldier of my country's armies is to me a Lee, I think "there be six Richmonds in the field"! So the despairing coward gasped out his horror as he fled from Bosworth field.


So again and again have the routed cohorts of our invaders cried, "We think there be a hundred thousand Lees after us." To me, when I look over fields of glory, won by our dauntless armies over half a continent, and for there and a half years of unequal strife, I think they be three hundred thousand Lees in the field. Now and then, two, five, ten and twenty of them come through our lines, to see their loved ones, or to recruit their exhausted ranks, or other business for the army; and they are all LEES to me. For them I labor and suffer and labor is rest and pain is sweet for them. For them I mean to labor and to suffer, till the war shall end, and they come home to enjoy the well-earned fame, and the love and honor of a grateful people, and the independence they have won. And then, what days God may allot me on earth, I intend to devote to the work and enterprise of STATE EDUCATION for their children, and making of them and of their disabled brothers, educators for the State.


The time I trust, will soon come for developing plans. Meanwhile let every house open a hearty welcome to the passing soldier—let homes be sustained everywhere at distances of 20 to 40 miles apart; and let every soldier remember that ill conduct amid scenes of hospitality is a stain upon the reputation of the army, a stab near the heart of our enterprise, and must necessarily shut up many hearts against his wayworn brother.


Trusting in God let every man do his duty; repent of his sins, and the day of deliverance will soon burst upon our suffering nation.



Thos. Castleton.


Will other papers please copy



NEWS OF 1865



Galveston Weekly News (of Galveston, Texas) -  March 22, 1865 – Page: 3


Charging Soldiers

Fairfield, Freestone Co., Texas,

March 10, 1865.

Ed. News:--On or about the 18th of February, 1865, my son, William P. Henderson, who is a soldier in the 7th Texas regiment of infantry, (and has been ever since the 24th of September, 1861,) got a furlough to leave his command for 90 [?] days; he crossed the Mississippi River, and walked the most of the way to get home, when becoming wearied, he thought he would get on the stage at Henderson, Texas, a distance of about 37 miles, for which he paid one hundred dollars to the mail contractor on the route alluded to. The contractor demanded of him the money, and he paid it in new issue. I am responsible for the above.

James M. Henderson.



[Background - The Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville, produced various cloth materials. The Texas Prison was probably the most important factory Texas had in the Civil War as the factory made over a million yards of cotton goods between the end of 1861 to the end of 1863.  The soldier uniforms from Huntsville were referred to as being from the "Houston Depot" or "Penitentiary Jackets".]


Galveston Weekly News (of Galveston, Texas) -  January 11, 1865 - Page 2


Penitentiary Cloth Given to the Several Counties of the State.


From a circular just issued by the financial agent of the Penitentiary, we find

the State has been laid off into six districts, for convenience of

appropriating the quota of cloth to the respective counties, as follows:


1st District.—Chambers, Liberty, Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Newton, Jasper,

Tyler, Polk, Trinity, Angelina, San  Augustine, Sabine, Houston, Anderson,

Cherokee, Nacogdoches, Shelby, Henderson.


2nd District.—Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Blanco, Bosque, Brown, Stephens,

Burnett, Cameron, Clay, Comal, Comanche, El Paso, Erath, Gillespie, Hamilton,

Hildalgo, Jack, Kendall, Kerr, Lampasas, Live Oak, Llano, Mason, Medina,

Montague, McCulloch, McMullen, Nueces, Palo Pinto, Parker, San Saba, Starr,

Uvalde, Webb, Wise, Wilson, Young, Zapata


3rd District.—Limestone, McClellan, Falls, Milan, Robertson, Madison, Leon,

Brazos,  Burleson, Washington, Grimes, Walker, Montgomery, Harris, Austin,



4th District.—Smith Rusk, Panola, Harrison, Upshur, Wood, Van Zandt, Marion,

Davis, Titus, Hopkins, Bowie, Red River, Lamar


5th District.—Fayette, Lavaca, Colorado, Fort  Bend, Wharton, Jackson,

Victoria, Calhoun, Matagorda, Brazoria, San Patricio, Rufugio, Goliad, Bee,

Karnes, DeWitt, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Caldwell, Bastrop, Hays, Travis,

Williamson, Bell, Coryell


6th District.—Fannin, Grayson, Cooke, Denton, Collin, Hunt, Kaufman, Dallas,

Tarrant, Johnson, Ellis, Navarro, Hill, Freestone


The agent says, "adopting, under advice of the Comptroller, as a basis, the

indigent lists heretofore furnished to the Comptroller's office by the Chief

Justices of the several counties, I have divided the State into six districts,

and will proceed to furnish said cloth as follows:


                1st District, 20th February, 1865.                         

                4th District, 20th May, 1865

                2nd  "         20th March,        "

                5th       "       20th June,   "

                3rd  "         20th April,           "

                6th      "       20th July,    "

"I would respectfully call your attention [that of the various county chief justices] to the duties imposed on the several county courts by this act, in connexion [connection] with procuring these goods from the Penitentiary, and particularly to the 4th section of said act, which makes it the duty of "the county courts to procure promptly from the Financial Agent of the Penitentiary the quantity and quality of cloth and thread to which they are entitled, and to provide transportation for the same to their respective county seats.  This is the more important, as the Penitentiary has but limited storage room for goods.  Under

regulations heretofore adopted at this office, many of the counties made application for cloth, and paid for it on delivery; while others failed to do so, or to indicate in any way their desire for the cloth, and consequently received none.  An act approved November 15th, 1864, requires the financial agent to set aside for these counties the amount of cloth to which they would have been entitled had they made application as did the others.  The price to be paid by these counties in C.  S. Treasury notes, new issue, is the same paid

by the counties already supplied—osnaburgs $2.80, cotton jeans $3 per yard. State treasury warrants will be received in payment at their relative value. This distribution will be made out of the first cloth manufactured after the several counties are furnished under the act first referred to in this circular.  Chief justices, however, if they wish their counties to receive the benefit of this act, are required to give notice to this office to that effect, within 90 days from the 15th November last.  I shall attempt to execute faithfully the provisions of the law on this subject; but cannot forbear saying that in my opinion these goods should have been furnished to the army.  Our destitute and suffering soldiery certainly have claims paramount to all others."


We also gather from the circular that the factory will be in running trim about the 15th inst., and of course the resurrection of Huntsville will be a simultaneous event.—Item.



Galveston Weekly News (of Galveston, Texas) - February 1, 1865 - Page 1


Fairfield, January 21st, 1865.


Ed. News:--I occasionally get a glimpse of your valuable paper, and notice

something concerning soldiers' homes. I bet to inform the public, through your

columns, that the County Court of this (Freestone) County has succeeded in establishing the following soldiers' homes, to wit:


Fairfield, by Judge D. H. Love; on the Palestine road, 6 miles, by Wm. Blythe;

on the Palestine road, 11 miles, by G. G. Cole; [near Butler] on the Palestine

road, 14 miles, by W. M. McDaniel; on the Palestine road, at Burton [Butler],

by H. Man[n]ing; on the Palestine road, 17 miles, by Thomas P. Whitt; on the

Palestine road, 21 miles, by Mrs. M. W. Struty; on the Pine Bluff road, 6 miles,

by R. H. Gordon; on the Pine Bluff road, 8 miles, by F. C. Olivers; on the Corsicana road, 6 miles, by J. B. Johnson; on the Corsicana road, 8 miles, by F. M. Bradley; on the Tahuacana Hill, 6 miles, by N. L. Womack; on the Tahuacana road, 8 miles, by Oliver Carter; on the Springfield road, 9 miles, by W. W. Groover; on the Springfield road, 11 miles, by Sterling Sims; on the Springfield

road, 12 miles, by Joseph Lynn; on the Springfield road, at Cotton Gin, by J. J. Robinson; on the Springfield road, at Cotton Gin, by James S. Wills; on the Springfield road, 15 miles, by Charles Stricklin; on the Houston road, 12 miles, by Andrew Batey; on the Centreville road, 3 miles, by W. R. Dais; on the Centreville road, 8 miles, by J. H. Blain; on the Centreville road, 12 miles, by R. F. Chandler; on the North-west road, 14 miles, by Thomas Lamb.


The keepers of these homes are required to register their houses as such at the Clerk's office, keep proper registers, examine passes, papers, &c., of each  visitor, present his register with his account quarterly to the County Court for payment, which accounts are audited and paid by the County Treasurer. No soldier is allowed to remain longer than one night at any one of these homes unless sick or disabled. No drunkenness or gambling is allowed.


I, of course, do not expect you to publish the one-half that I have wrote—a mere notice is all that is desired. I have not heard of any County having more than seventy-five soldiers' homes, but believe each ought to have at least that number.


I am, most respectfully, your obd't serv't,


J. C. Yarbro, C. J.



The Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph - May 3, 1865 - Page: 1


   Fairfield, Texas, April 17th, 1865


Ed. Tel.-- The following statement was made this day at this place, by John Burleson and W[illia]m. H[emphill] McCrary, of Freestone County, Texas.  That is to say:

They state that they are soldiers in the army of the Confederate States of America, and were captured by the Yankees about two years ago, at Yazoo City, Miss.  After they were captured, they were carried to Camp Morton, near Indianapolis, Indiana, where they have been confined as prisoners of war for the last twenty months.  They are now just out on parole, until the 24th of June, 1865.  During their confinement in prison, they suffered most severely from the inhuman, uncivilized, and brutal treatment of the Yankee authorities. Their ratings, per day, was 10 oz. of bread and 1-4 pound of beef, with a pint, of something like gruel.  They were all the time kept at hard labor around the prison, and building turnpike roads.  Their rations were so scant and insufficient, that not less than 2000 out of 4500 died of actual starvation or disease.  They say that one or two actions from the bowels per week, was as much as nature could demand, and that many have gone as long as from twenty to twenty seven days.  At intervals the rations consisted alone of corn mush, scanty at that.

There were even men shot in prison without any known provocation.  Five other prisoners were on detailed labor, when a Yankee notified them in general terms that his relative had been killed at Fort Pillow, and that he (the Yankee) intended to kill two rebels by way of revenge; whereupon he ordered the detailed prisoners into line and in cold blood shot and murdered two of them, they being in a defenseless condition, and guarded.

They further state that the Yankee authorities appointed two men, one a Dutchman, the other a Yankee, whose duty it was to visit the prison every day; and when they came into the prison they would knock and beat the prisoners with large clubs, (shillelaghs,) away from their cooking places, from the fire, and for leaning even against the barracks, bruising the prisoners shockingly, and sometimes breaking their arms.  As many as three prisoners had their arms broken in this wicked, cruel and unmerciful manner.

NEWS OF 1866




Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - May 26th, 1866 edition  - Page: 5


Hotel Arrivals



   L. H. Smith, Freestone Co., Texas



Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - June 6th, 1866 edition - Page: 2


Address to the People of Texas


Freestone County -   A. Deming, ????  Peck, Fairfield



Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - June 7th, 1866 edition - Page: 2


Hotel Arrivals

Crawford House


   … E. P. Blain, Fairfield; ….



Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - June 13th, 1866 edition - Page: 5


Hotel Arrivals


J. R. Means, Fairfield;



Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - June 17th, 1866 edition - Page: 5


Hotel Arrivals


  WASHINGTON - ...Wm. Hines, Freestone Co., F. and T. W. Speed, do, ...



Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - July 3rd, 1866 edition  - Page: 5


Hotel Arrivals


PALMETTO HOUSE - ...Mrs. Sallie, Doler and children, H. Manning and lady; Freestone, co; ...



Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - July 20th, 1866 edition - Page: 5


Hotel Arrivals


WASHINGTON - A. R. Easley, Grimes co; F. M. Bradley, Freestone co;...



Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - July 31st, 1866 edition - Page: 5


Hotel Arrivals


[Problems with original]


[PALME]TTO HOUSE - Dr. Wm P Mooner, Freestone; [???] T. Mooreland, do; ...



Dallas Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - Dec. 14th, 1866 edition - Page: 4







WILL give personal attention to all business entrusted to his care, after the first day of September, 1866.

    Aug. 4, 1866 – 46:3 mos.




Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - Dec. 14th, 1866 edition - Page: 5


Hotel Arrivals


WASHINGTON HOTEL - ... W. J. Blain, Freestone ...



Dallas Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - Dec. 22, 1866 - Page: 3





The next session of this Institution will commence on the first Monday of January, 1867.



  REV. HENRY L. GRAVES, D.D., President

Ancient Languages, Mathematics, Moral and Intellectual Philosophy



   Modern Languages and Belles Lettres



   English Literature






   Ornamental Department





 Experience per session of twenty weeks, payable in advance, in specie or its equivalent:

  Preparatory Department .................. $20.00

  Collegiate Department ...................  25.00

  Modern Languages, each...................  10.00

  Music on Piano...........................  25.00

  Use of Instrument........................   5.00

  Music on Guitar..........................  25.00

  Embroidery, Chenille, Wax & Fancy Work ... 20.00

  Drawing & Painting in Water Colors ....... 20.00

  Grecian or Oriental Painting.............. 20.00

  Oil Painting.............................. 30.00

  Incidental Fee............................  1.00

  Board per Month........................... 12.50

  Washing per month.........................  2.50


  Flour taken at market value


  Boarders furnish their towels, lights, looking glasses, one pair of sheets and pillow cases.

  Pupils are charged from the first of the month in which they enter, to the end of the session, with no deduction or the time lost, either in tuition or board.

  Every article of clothing must be marked with the owner's name in full.  All letters should be directed to the care of the President.

  Instructions relative to correspondence will be carefully observed.

         HENRY L. GRAVES, President

  December 14, 1866-13:5mos




NEWS OF 1867





Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - March 13th, 1867 edition - Page: 11


Loss of the Brig Derby


Particulars of the Wreck - No Lives Lost -

  Letter from Capt. McMullen



The brig Derby which sailed from Galveston on the 26th ult., for Igupoe, Brazil, with one hundred and fifty passengers on board, was wrecked on Sunday, 10th inst., at about 4 1/2 A.M., on the coast of Cuba, about thirty miles west of Havana, at a place called Plaza de Banes, but fortunately no lives were lost.  Several of us were pretty badly bruised; and M. Crolle, of Freestone county, Texas, had his collar bone broken; no one, however, was seriously injured.




Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - April 12th, 1867 edition - Page: 1


Hotel Arrivals



H. A. High, Freestone

W. M. High, do  [meaning ditto or also Freestone]




Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - April 27th, 1867 edition - Page: 1


Hotel Arrivals


PALEMTTO HOUSE - … Mr. Alford, Trinity River, … J. G. Lynch, Pine Bluff … Capt. N. T. Avent, Pine Bluff 


[Mr. Alford is included since I believe him to be from Freestone county.]



Dallas Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - May 25, 1867 edition - Page: 2


The Fairfield, (Freestone county,) Pioneer, has been discontinued for want of support.



Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - July 6, 1867 edition - Page: 4


Texas Items


  CROPS - The Houston Transcript of July 4th says:

  "We have just seen a gentleman from Navarro county, who came all the way through to Houston on horseback, passing through the counties of Freestone, Leon, Robertson, Brazos, Grimes and Montgomery.  He says that the wheat crop of Navarro, Dallas and Ellis counties is almost an entire failure on account of the weather.  In the other counties mentioned he says that the crops of both of corn and cotton are very poor, and that thousands of acres have been turned out in consequence of having become imbedded in grass and weeds.




Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - July 9 & 10, 1867 edition - Page: 4


Justifiable Homicide - We learn from the Texas Conservative [a Corsicana paper], that on the 10th of June, Mr. J. Q. Carter, of Freestone, killed Mr. Edwards, a former partner, in a business quarrel.  Mr. Carter was placed on trial, and acquitted on a plea of justifiable homicide.



Dallas Herald (of Dallas, Texas)  - July 13, 1867 - Page: 3

[Also appears Feb. 2 on page 3; Feb. 16 on page 3; March 2 on page 3; March 16 on page 3; March 23 on page 3; April 20 on page 3]





The next session of this Institution will commence on the first Monday of January, 1867. [Note - year mistyped. Should be 1868.]



  REV. HENRY L. GRAVES, D.D., President

Ancient Languages, Mathematics, Moral and Intellectual Philosophy



   Modern Languages and Belles Lettres



   English Literature






   Ornamental Department





 Experience per session of twenty weeks, payable in advance, in specie or its equivalent:

  Preparatory Department .................. $20.00

  Collegiate Department ...................  25.00

  Modern Languages, each...................  10.00

  Music on Piano...........................  25.00

  Use of Instrument........................   5.00

  Music on Guitar..........................  25.00

  Embroidery, Chenille, Wax & Fancy Work ... 20.00

  Drawing & Painting in Water Colors ....... 20.00

  Grecian or Oriental Painting.............. 20.00

  Oil Painting.............................. 30.00

  Incidental Fee............................  1.00

  Board per Month........................... 12.50

  Washing per month.........................  2.50


  Flour taken at market value


  Boarders furnish their towels, lights, looking glasses, one pair of sheets and pillow cases.

  Pupils are charged from the first of the month in which they enter, to the end of the session, with no deduction or the time lost, either in tuition or board.

  Every article of clothing must be marked with the owner's name in full.  All letters should be directed to the care of the President.

  Instructions relative to correspondence will be carefully observed.

         HENRY L. GRAVES, President

  December 14, 1866-13:5mos



Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - Sept. 7, 1867 edition - Page: 4


We have been shown a letter from the interior, which states that there is great mortality among the people of Limestone county.  The "black tongue" is the prevailing disease.  Not a house but there are four or five confined to their beds. At least so says the writer.

The wheat crops were cut short by the continued rains.  Corn crops are abundant

 in the vicinity of Freestone and Limestone counties.  Waco included.

Beeves are in fine order, and selling for twelve per head, and in great demand.  The grazers are in high spirits, the grass splendid, more luxuriant  than it has been for years.

            Texas flour is sold for $12 (specie) per bbl.  Butter only 10 cents per pound.  Chi[c]kens $5 per dozen. Eggs 35 cents per dozen.



Dallas Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - Sept. 28, 1867 edition  - Page: 2


The Bureau Agent at Cotton Gin, Texas, has prohibited the carrying of fire arms in the counties of Freestone, Limestone, and Navarro, after the 1st of October next except by special permission.



Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - October 15 & 16, 1867 - Page: 8


Trouble in Freestone -- We learn that a difficulty exists in Freestone among the negroes.  Report says that the negroes had subscribed to the building of a school-house near Cotton Gin.  One negro refused to pay his quota or discharge it in work.  Captain Culver had him arrested, tried, rode on a raid, ducked and otherwise summarily treated, and as soon as the nigger got loose from the military, he prosecuted the negroes who had inflicted the punishment, before Squire Carter.  The defendants and their friends armed themselves and refused to be arrested.  Captain Culver also came to their assistance, and told Squire that he was the law, and that the proceedings must be dropped.  But the enraged freedmen determined to put the matter through, vulgarly believing that the civil law was superior to Captain Culver.  Last accounts state that Culver was at Fred. Miller's with an armed body of negroes, and word had been sent to the commandant at Centerville to take the matter in hand and suppress the dark rebellion, and if this was not done by last Tuesday, the gallant citizens of Freestone would regulate the affair themselves. -- Corsicana Observer, Oct. 4.



San Antonio Express (of San Antonio, Texas)

Nov. 28 & 30, 1867 editions - Page: 5 (on the 28th) and 2 (on the 30th)


The Murder of Another United States' Officer


  We have the following letter from a gentleman living at Hillsboro, Hill County:


      Hillsboro, Hill County, Texas }

          November 20, 1867         }


It falls to my lot to report to you another one of those horrid acts which have blackened the reputation of our State.

On Friday the 15th instant, Captain C. E. Culver, the Bureau Agent stationed

at Cotton Gin, Freestone county, and his orderly, were murdered three miles north of Springfield, Limestone county.

It appears that Captain Culver had some little difficulty with one Wm. Stewart, and this same Stewart claims to have killed both Captain Culver and his orderly, and says they fired on him first; but, strange to say, they were shot with different guns.  Captain Culver's head was also severed asunder, done with an axe or some other sharp instrument.  There was a large bullet hole through his right breast, and there was no hole in the shirts or vest Captain Culver had on at the time he was killed.  It is strange that a large ball should pass through a mans body and not through the clothes he had on at the time.  It is a great mystery.  Would it not be well for good General Reynolds to have this thing thoroughly investigated?  The clothes Captain Culver had on are now in the hands of Lieutenant D. F. Stiles, at Waco, and can be seen by any one.  These mysteries are quite common in this part of the State.

Captain Culver was an active member of the Union League of America, and was to open a Council in Springfield on the night of the 16th, and the rebels of that place had said he should not do it, and they made good their threat.

As soon as I learn further particulars I will write you.  There were two freedmen reported to have been killed at Cotton Gin on the 16th, and the rebels were disarming the freedmen in Freestone county on the day of the threat to kill Captain Culver.

   Yours in haste,

                        J. H. TOLEDO                        



Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - November 30, 1867 edition - Page: 7


More Decapitations




      AUSTIN, TEXAS, November 18, 1867 }




  V.      Upon the receipt of this the commanding officer, post of Waco, Texas, will

immediately order 2nd Lieutenant D. F. Stiles, 26th Infantry, and 25 picked men, to proceed to Cotton Gin, Freestone County, Texas, and establish a temporary military post.

Thirty days rations will be furnished this detachment, the necessary camp and garrison equipage, and forty rounds of ammunition to each man, will be issued.

The Quartermaster's Department will furnish the necessary transportation.


  VI.     1st Lieutenant James F. Hill, 6th U. S. cavalry, with a detail of 10 cavalrymen, will at once proceed to Cotton Gin, Freestone County, Texas, and investigate the killing of C. E. Culver, late Sub-Assistant Commissioner, and a U.S. soldier at that place.  Upon the conclusion of the investigation, he will report to his proper station, and report to this headquarters.

By command of Brevet Major General J. J. Reynolds.


                     C. E. Morse,

                     1st Lieut, 26th Inft'y, A.A.A.G.





      AUSTIN, TEXAS, November 19, 1867 }




  I. In compliance with authority from the Major General commanding the Fifth

Military District, the following appointments and removals are made:




  Wm. Patton to be clerk of the county court, vice A. G. Anderson, removed.




San Antonio Express (of San Antonio, Texas) - Dec. 6, 1867 edition - Page: 1


Our Galveston Letter



The Coming Convention - Removal of Headquarters - The Brenham Desperadoes -

Violation of Orders - Freedmen's Schools - Personal - City Items - Erratum


  Galveston, Texas, Dec. 1, 1867


Editor San Antonio Express:


Reliable information of the murder of Mr. Culver, the Bureau Agent at Cotton Gin, places the matter in an altogether different light from that which was derived from rebel sources.

Mr. Hall, a Union citizen of Cotton Gin, was, on the day of the murder, traveling in a carriage with his wife, from Freestone county to Springfield. He states that on his way, at a place where the roads forked, he was suddenly startled at the appearance of three desperadoes, fully armed, who, emerging from the bushes, peered eagerly into the carriage; but, seeing a lady present, they suffered the vehicle to pass on.  Mr. Hall remarked to his wife, on passing them:

"Those men are up to some mischief-they intend to waylay some Union man."

His wife, who was alarmed, replied that she was fearful they intended to do some harm to her husband, who was well known as a Unionist; being, in fact, employed as a clerk for the Bureau Agent.  Mr. Hall, however, attributed to his wife's presence the fact of no assault being made on him.  It did not occur to him at the time, though he knew of the absence of Mr. Culver and his orderly, that they were on the same road and would have to pass by this place.  Later he heard of the murder of Captain Culver and his orderly, saw their bodies riddled with musket balls and buckshot, and the deep ax wound nearly severing the neck of the body of Culver; and, going back to the spot whence he had encountered the desperadoes, saw marks of blood and struggle.  The supposition is that at this place, Culver with his orderly were beset by the ruffians; that at the first fire Culver was brought to the ground, from his horse; that the orderly was unhorsed but able to limp off, as the blood marks on the ground plainly showed; but that, firing again, the orderly was killed; and, though the death of Culver was certain probably at the first fire of the party, yet to make sure, the inhuman monsters nearly severed by the blows of an ax, his head from his lifeless body.  During the melee, it is presumed, Stewart got wounded, either from the fire of his own party or the waylayed men, and that therefore the bodies of Culver and his orderly were carried to the vicinity of Stewart's house and the story of killing in self-defense, etc., originated.





Dallas Herald (of Dallas, Texas) - Dec. 17, 1867 edition - Page: 2


  1st Lieut. Jas. F. Hill, 6th U.S. Cavalry, has been ordered by Maj. Gen. Reynolds, to "proceed to Cotton Gin, Freestone County, and investigate the killing of C.E. Culver, late sub-asst. Commissioner, and a United States soldier, at that place." -- Second Lieut. D.F. Stiles, 26th Infantry, has also been ordered to Cotton Gin, with 25 picked men, to establish a temporary military post at that place.



Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas)

Dec. 19 & 21, 1867 editions - Page: 6 (on 19th) and 5 (on 21st)


Letter from Freestone County.

   Fairfield, December 1, 1867


Editor Flake's Bulletin:

After having been well acquainted with all the country in Middle Texas, and comparing notes of soil, climate, etc., we are convinced that there is no portion of the State, combining so many advantages as the country bordering on a line between the prairie and timber.  Just here we have the advantage of the bracing and invigorating atmosphere of the prairie, and not far enough in the timber to be debilitated physically by the malaria of the timber swamps.

Its here we can raise a variety of crops, the soil and atmosphere being adapted to the growth of almost everything, whilst in the prairie, or wheat region proper, it is so subject to drought, as to make the growing of corn and cotton profitable; in the lower timber regions, where cotton grows luxuriantly, also the excessive hear and moisture produces the smut, or rust in the wheat. The very pabulum, in a heated, stagnant, moist atmosphere, on which the cotton plant feeds and grows fat, is poisonous to small grain, as well as to human health.  Ordinarily, fruits and vegetables (except small grain) do not grow to much perfection in the prairie or wheat region.  Potatoes are carried from the timber into the wheat region and exchanged for wheat readily, measure for measure.  The malarial fevers prevail to a great extent every year in the timber, while in the wheat region there is a perfect immunity enjoyed, except in the creek and river bottoms.  The last two or three years have been an exception to this general rule; particularly last year.  The rains have extended far in the great north-western prairies, and have carried with them malaria to poison the blood, as well as vegetable productions, large potatoes and ears of Indian corn, etc.  Wherever the waters have been dried by the solar hear, the fevers have been more general than in the river bottoms, where the atmosphere was kept humid all the season.  Such is the powerful effect of malaria on the constitution that you can point a citizen of the prairie or timber as accurately as you can a Mississippi overseer from a Tennessee hog-driver.

Most of the emigration this year is into the open prairies or wheat region. 

There is a constant stream progressing here all the time, we estimate that there has been an average of twenty wagons passed daily since the first of November, sometimes more than a dozen in a train.  At night the roads are illuminated by their fires, most of them look and careworn, as if they had seen better days, and wished to better their condition.  You can guess well where they are from, by their teams and outfit.  A long string of oxen, Eastern Texas; small ox team, or poor mules, Louisiana; horses or mules, and wagons all in good fix, Tennessee, or beyond the Mississippi' one thing to be noted, no negroes and but few boys.

It is sometimes interesting to interrogate them:  for example, meeting a man and family with two yoke of oxen, pony tied behind, says he is from Fanning county, his reasons for moving; has not seen a dollar of his own since the war; learns there is plenty of money at Bryan; says there is an abundance of every sort of provisions in Fannin, but no market nearer than Jefferson; is tired of waiting for the Central railroad to tap him; thinks he must go to the road.  He popped his whip after we suggested to him that he probably had been too hasty in leaving the "flesh-pot"; that he would think of them at Bryan, where too many had already congregated to catch the few floating pennies; that he ought to have husbanded his resources, and waited for the Central railroad.

               Upper Country


NEWS OF 1868



Flake's Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - May 12th, 1868 edition - Page: 1


Hotel Arrivals


PALMETTO HOUSE - N. T. Clifford, Freestone co - A. P. Steward, do [ditto] -

Wm. Roberts, do [ditto]



[I guess this is John Edwin Bonner s/o William]


The Daily Austin Republican (of Austin, Texas) - July 23, 1868 - Page: 3


NOTICE to Creditors that Bankrupt has applied for Final Discharge.

 In the District Court of the United States for the Western District of Texas.

In the matter of J. E. Bonner, vs. Creditors, Bankrupt.  In Bankruptcy.

 United States District Court, Clerk's Office At Austin, on the 21st day of

July, A.D. 1868.

 Please to take notice hereby, that a petition has been, to wit, on the 15th day of July, A. D. 1868, filed in said District Court, by J. E. Bonner, of Freestone County, in said District, who has been heretofore, duly declared bankrupt under the act of Congress entitled "An act to establish a uniform system of bankruptcy throughout the United States," approved March 2, 1867, for a discharge and certificate thereof, from all his debts and other claims proveable under said act, and that the 14th day of August, A.D. 1868, at 2 o'clock p.m., at Austin, before W.D. Price, Register in Bankruptcy, the time and place assigned for the hearing of the same; when and where you may attend, and show cause, if any you have, why the prayer of the said petition should not be granted.

                MATTHEW HOPKINS

                Clerk of the U.S. District Court

                    For said District



The Daily Austin Republican (of Austin, Texas) - August 4, 1868, p. 2, c. 2


Judge Hancock stated in his speech on Saturday last, that there has been but one instance of opposition to the military authorities in Texas, and that took place sometime ago in Freestone county. . . . We would also inform him that at Tyler the officer in command has been for some time on the defensive, several of his men have been killed and reinforcements have been called for by the officer to enable him to hold the post. 



The Daily Austin Republican (of Austin, Texas) - Sept. 24, 1868 edition - Page: 3


What Does it Mean ?


            We take the following from the State Gazette of Sept. 23.  We will have something to say in regard to them hereafter:

            THE FREESTONE DIFFICULTIES – We are happy to announce that the Freestone difficulties are all over.  Messrs. McCracken and Henry left here the other day for home, bearing the order of Gen. Reynolds, which will prevent any further arrests of parties implicated in the resistance to the military, near Cotton Gin, some time ago, except as to one, who has fled the country.  These gentlemen speak in complimentary terms of the Commanding General. 

            Now we say, with deliberation, that with the triumph of the radical party and the election of Grant, …



Flake’s Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - Sept. 25, 1868 edition - Page: 4


The Freestone Affair


  The following paragraph disposes of the cases of those persons concerned in the affair in Freestone county, in which three murderers were taken from arresting parties, a Lieutenant and ten men:


     State of Texas


  Austin, Texas, Sept. 19, 1868.


Special Orders, No. 36

  1.  The parties charged with an assault with intent to kill, in Freestone county, in the month of April last, and who were rescued from military custody by a body of armed citizens, have been surrendered to the military authority at Austin for trial.  One of the ringleaders of the rescuing party has fled the State; the other has already suffered severely from an accident and loss of property.  No further proceedings in this case will be taken with regard to the rescuing party, who are believed to have been mislead by said ringleaders.  They are released from parole, and can returned to their homes and business with assurance of the protection of the government, so long as they continue to respect and obey the laws thereof, and of this State, as good citizens.  These conditions apply to all concerned, except the man who has fled the State.



[same issue, same page]


Military Appointments:



  Freestone County-- Davis S. Evans, to be Justice of the peace for Precinct No. 4, to fill a vacancy.



Flake’s Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - Sept. 26, 1868 edition - Page: 4


  The Freestone troubles are now in a fair way for final settlement. Gen. Reynolds having agreed to cease making further arrests in Freestone, provided Messrs. Davis and Oliver would peacefully surrender themselves to the military authorities at Austin, those  gentlemen this week were to have departed for Austin, for that purpose, accompanied by Judge E. A. McCracken, of Freestone, and John Henry, Esq. of Limestone.

 -- Texas Conservative, Sept. 19th


 Gen. Reynolds agreed did he?



Flake’s Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - Oct 20, 1868




Cotton Gin, Freestone.....R. H. Roark

Fairfield, Freestone......S. W. Moorhead



NEWS OF 1869



Flake’s Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - January 2, 9, and 16th, 1869 - Page: 8


Fairfield, Freestone Co., Nov. 21, 1868 - The Galveston News send four more

copies to this office than Flake's Bulletin, and the Houston Telegraph five copies less than Flake's Bulletin.




Flake’s Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) -  January 30, 1869 - Page: 8


Districting of Texas



  8. To the Post, of Waco, embracing the counties of Bosque, Hill, Navarro, Coryell, McLennan, Freestone, Falls, Bell, Hood, Johnson, Ellis and Limestone, companies D and G, Seventeenth Infantry and company E, Sixth Cavalry. Headquarters at Waco, McLennan county.




Houston Union (of Houston, Texas) - June 9, 1869 - Page: 4


Republican State Convention. Official Proceedings.


            Houston, Texas, June 7th, 1869


  18th, Robertson, Leon and Freestone - P. W. Hall, Jack Rodgers, Saml. W.

Morehead. Alternates, T. Angling, Benj. Winn, Ed Butler, Benj. Thornton,

Peter Miller.




Flake’s Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - June 12, 1869 - Page: 2


Constitution of the State of Texas


Adopted by the Constitution Convention convened under the Reconstruction Acts

of Congress passed March 2, 1867, and the Acts supplementary thereto; to be submitted for ratification or rejection at an election to take place on the first Monday of July, 1869.




[Senatorial and Representative Districts]


  18th District - Robertson, Leon and Freestone.




Flake’s Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) -  June 19, 1869 - Page: 5


 Headqur's Fifth Military District }

                    State of Texas }

      Austin, Texas, June 12, 1869 }


 General Orders, No. 139


 The following appointments to civil office are hereby made:

   Freestone county - Fred. W. Reinhard, county judge, vice N. L. Wormack, disqualified.

   Charles William Stocker, clerk of the county court, vice A. G. Anderson, disqualified.

   Hugh George and Henry Stagner, county commissioners, vice W. McDaniels and E. A. McCracken, disqualified.

   Charles William Stocker, justice of the peace, precinct No. 1, vice W. F. Watson, resigned.

   Freestone county - Sergeant Frederick L. Clarke, Company L, Fourth Cavalry, sheriff, to fill a vacancy.

   III.  First Lieutenant Phineas Stevens, Thirty-fifth Infantry, Brevet Captain, U.S.A., having elected under the provisions of paragraph 1, section 3,

 General Orders No. 17, current series, Headquarters of the Army, to "await orders", is hereby relieved from duty with his regiment.  He will report in person at the Headquarters for orders.

   IV. Brevet Captain Phineas Stevens, First Lieutenant, U.S.A. is hereby assigned to duty as Agent for the State of Texas, and is authorized to contract in behalf of the State with Texas Central Railroad for convict labor out of the State Penitentiary for said road; and will continue to act as Agent for the State in carrying out the provisions of such contract, under instructions from this Headquarters.



Flake’s Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) - Aug. 4, 1869 - Page: 4


Editorial Paragraphs


Mr. E. T. Jackson writes to us claiming that he was the inventor of the revolving dining table, and that he dined fifty people from off one in Freestone county in the year 1861, and on the fourth of July.  He gives some further particulars by which it appears that his table had attachments superior to those which are patented.  We do not describe these lest somebody shall steal the improvements, as they seem to have done with the original invention.

An inventive genius, ten to one he is a printer, has invented a revolving dinner table, which much resembles the inking plate on a small card press.  There is an outside circular rim that is stationary, on this the diners place the plates from which they eat, while the dishes from which are served stand on a revolving centre piece, thus each guest may bring the food to his own plate and dispense with Caesar, Pompey, and the rest of the waiting fraternity.   



Flake’s Bulletin (of Galveston, Texas) -  August 21, 1869 - Page: 5


Military Appointments


  Freestone county - James King, county commissioner, vice John Burleson, disqualified.



The Galveston Tri-Weekly News (of Galveston, Texas) - August 27, 1869 - Page: 1


Texas News


The Fairfield Ledger estimates the cotton of Freestone county this year, at seven or eight thousand bales.  A great draw-back to the county is the poor mail facilities.  The Ledger says according to contract Fairfield should have a semi-weekly mail but it comes nearer being a semi-monthly.


[Page: 2 of same issue]


Texas News


The Fairfield Ledger, of the 20th says, that in Freestone county the reports from the crops are as cheering as could be desired.  Should the worms come now, they couldn't prevent the making of a pretty good crop.  The fear now is on account of hands to gather the cotton.  Nothing like enough can be gotton [gotten] in the county.


[Page: 4 of same issue]

[Note – The Fairfield mentioned is Fairfield, S.C.   While not topical to Freestone Co., TX., I included just because of its interesting history.]


Confederates Still in Yankee Prisons


            The Sumter Watchman states that a lame man passed through that town a few days ago, calling himself a Confederate soldier, and stated that he had been released from prison at Johnson’ Island in December, 1868.  He says that when he left that place there were eighty-six Confederate soldiers at that place who had not been home or heard from their friends since the war.  Five of these were from South Carolina, and he gave their names as follows:  Major Mobley of Fairfield, about 32 years of age, fair complexion, 5 feet 8 inches or 6 feet high; Lieut. Simmons of Fairfield; Capt. Zeigler and Lieut. Easterling, of Orangeburg, and Lieut. R. W. Boyd of York.  He begged that these names should be published, that their friends might learn of their whereabouts and that they were alive.



The Galveston Tri-Weekly News (of Galveston, Texas) - September 8, 1869 - Page: 1


Texas News


  A correspondent of the Fairfield Ledger, writing from Cotton Gin, Aug. 25th says:

  Fine rains have fallen in and around this place lately, which has insured a good cotton crop.  Some complaint of boll worm, but only among a few farmers. I think we may certainly count on ten thousand bales of cotton for Freestone; she has double the area of land in cotton this year that she had in last year, and the prospect is equally as fine.  From an account kept by Major A., lately of this place, there was sent upwards of eight thousand bales from the crop of 1868, surely our calculations for this year's crop are not too large.  Some of our farmers have already commenced picking.  There seems to be considerable uneasiness felt in regard to the scarcity of laborers for gathering the cotton.



The Galveston Tri-Weekly News (of Galveston, Texas) - September 10, 186