John Henry Brown.

Indian wars and pioneers of Texas online

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vious fields was more than sustained at the battle
of Saline, or Jenkins' Ferry, which, on account of
the mud rendering the use of the artillery impossi-
ble, was fought exclusively with muskets and bay-
onets. The Federals were driven from the field
with great slaughter. On the Confederate side the
heaviest losses were suffered by the Texas troops.
Of their three generals two were killed and Gen.
Waul severely wounded.

After the close of the war he returned to his
home on the Guadalupe and, against his protest,
was elected to the first reconstruction convention.
In obedience solely to a sense of duty, he accepted
the position, and having done so employed every
infiuence that he could command to secure a con-
stitutional recognition of the rights of the people
of Texas and to allay sectional animosities. His
course in the convention, brave and wise, was
warmly supported by friends and respected by
political foes. He urged reciprocal compromises
and the guarantee of the inalienable rights of the
vanquished in justifiable war as the only means of
establishing sectional peace and national prosperity.
The effect of his councils and presence in that body
cannot be overestimated. Having lost his material
possessions by the war, he removed from the Gua-
dalupe to Galveston and resumed the practice of

law. His talent and devotion to business secured
for him a lucrative practice and placed him in the
front rank of active practitioners. He was soon
called by the profession to the presidency of the
Bar Association, over which he has since presided.
His practice is chiefly in commercial, corporation,
and admiralty matters, and in the Federal and
Supreme Courts, in cases involving large transac-
tions ; he is intimately acquainted with the princi-
ples and practice of all branches of the law. His
broad capacity of mind, intuitive good judgment,
and the untiring labor bestowed upon his cases suf-
ficiently account for his success during the various
epochs of his professional life. Though devoted to
the law, he has found time to cultivate amenities
of literature, as well as make researches in the
domains of science and philosophy. He is partic-
ularly partial to botanical studies and devoted to
the cause of popular education. For intellectual
accomplishments and breadth of culture, he is with-
out a superior in the State. He has aided, to the
full extent of his means and opportunities, every
commendable enterprise, and has contributed more
than his distributive share to the development of
the resources and institutions of Texas and the

His personal, like his mental, characteristics are
strongly defined. With every attribute of moral
and physical courage, of the most undaunted char-
acter, is mingled justice and generosity. A mem-
ber of the Baptist Church, and seeking to be a true
Christian, his highest ambition is under all circum-
stances to do his whole duty to God and to his

He is one of the noblest surviving representatives
of a race that has shed undying luster upon the
Southern name, and is a citizen of whom Texas is
justly proud.

Since writing the foregoing we have learned that
Gen. Waul has retired from the practice of his pro-
fession, and removed from Galveston to a farm he
established some years since in Hunt County where,
after sixty years of married life, he and his wife
look for that rest and quiet so well suited to their
advanced years.

Born and reared in Southern plantation homes,
they return to their love of country life, surrounded
by orchard and vineyard, amid their flocks and
herds, they hope to approximate as near as the
changed conditions will permit, the open hospitality
of the "Old South," and with doors widespread
they will give a hearty welcome to all visitors. In
pleasant companionship reviving agreeable remin-
iscences, with ill-will towards none and kindness
to all, with well-founded hopes for the future, they
prepare to receive their last summons.





John P. Cole, one of the first settlers of Texas,
was born in Rowan County, N. C, in 1793, where
he was reared to the age of eighteen, when he went
to Georgia. There he married Miss Mary E.
Owen, of Jasper County, and a year later moved to
Texas, coming overland by way of Arkansas,
where he made a crop, reaching the Brazos bottom
la the vicinity of what is now Washington, in the
spring of 1822. He was the third man to cross the
Brazos, and took up his abode on the west side of
that stream. He located half his headright in that
vicinity and half in the vicinity of what is now
Independence, then known as Cole's Settlement.
This was in the year 1828. Mr. Cole put in the
first grist mill, and saw mill, and gin, in that part
of the country. He was a prominent man in
an early day and of great service to the
country. He held a number of public posi-
tions, and was known far and wide for his public
spirit and hospitality. During the revolution of
183.5-36 he offered himself for service in the cause
of the colonists, but on account of a failure of eye-
sight was incapacitated for active duty. He
removed his family, for greater safety, to Bever-
ley's settlement beyond the Neches, but returned
immediately after the battle of San Jacinto. He

was made the first Chief Justice of Washington
County, and later represented that county in the
Congress of the Republic. He was always a
planter, and acquired a considerable amount of
property, mostly in land. His death occurred
Japuary 18, 1847, and that of his wife in February,

They were the parents of a large number of
children, only six of whom, however, five daughters
and one son, became grown. The son, William H.,
died at about the age of twenty-one in the Confed-
erate army. The daughters were married. Four
are still living. Of these, Mary E. married
Thomas L. Scott, is a widow, and resides at Inde-
pendence ; Eliza M. was married to Andrew B.
Shelburne, and resides with her husband at Bryan ;
Victoria C. married Moses B. Hairston, and resides
with her husband at Bartlett, Williamson County ;
and Medora L. is the widow of John A. McCrock-
lin, and lives at Independence. Still another
daughter, Maria L., the first female white child
born west of the Brazos, was married to W. W.
Hill, and died shortly after her father, in January,
1847, in Burleson County.

This pioneer of Texas, John P. Cole, has but
few descendants now living.



George W. Woodman, deceased, a well-remem-
bered Texas pioneer, came to the State at about
seventeen years of age.

He was a native of New Orleans, La., where he
was born December 31st, 1832. He was the sec-
ond son of a successful building contractor of that
city, who died, leaving an estate valued at about
$60,000.00, which was equally divided between
these two sons, his only children.

George W., the subject of this sketch, upon
coming to Texas, located at Indianola, where,
though yet a very young man, he entered exten-
sively into the wholesaling and retailing of wines,

liquors and groceries at the upper, or earliest,
settlement of that historical old point. Partially
owing to inexperience and a combination of un-
foreseen circumstances, the venture was unsuccess-
ful. He subsequently served, by appointment, as
Deputy District Clerk, of Calhoun County, and
later by election he filled the same office for a
period in all of about twelve years. He there mar-
ried, April 2, 1856, Miss Ella C, daughter of Col.
Henry White, a Texas pioneer.

Mr. and Mrs. Woodman lived at Indianola from
1856 to 1872, and then moved to Corpus Christi,
where he worked as an accountant for leading busi-



ness houses until 1880, when they moved to Laredo,
where the older son had embarked in business. In
Laredo Mr. Woodman found employment as an
accountant, and died there in November, 1890.
Two sons, George C. and Albert V. (who now
compose the well-known hardware firm of George
C. Woodman & Brother, at Laredo) and Mrs.
Woodman still survive.

Mrs. Woodman's father. Col. White, came to
Texas as early as 1842 from Louisville, Ky., bring-
ing with him his family and a large amount of
money, made in the wholesale and retail dry goods
business in that city, where he owned at one time
three establishments.

He was a native of London, England, was
reared to the mercantile business, and came to
America when about twenty-two years of age and
located in New York City, where he engaged
in business as a broker and speculator, and
there met and married Miss Eliza Lackman, a
native of Buttermilk Falls, Westchester County,
N. Y.

Owing to poor health, Col. White came West, as
before stated, and for similar reasons left Louis-
ville, where he had accumulated a fortune, and

where his children were born, and came to Gal-
veston, Texas.

He, soon purchased land and at a large expense
developed a country home near Morgan's Point in
Galveston County, on Galveston Bay. Unused to
country life and rural pursuits he sold his property
at Morgan's Point and located with his family in
Galveston, and there engaged for a time in the
merchandise brokerage and auction business.

Upon the discovery of gold in 1849, he was one
of the first to go to California, taking with him a
stock of goods. He engaged in merchandising at
Sacramento for a period of about six years, and
then returned to his family at Galveston, and took
them to St. Louis, Mo., where he followed the dry
goods business until the war broke out.

His three sons joined the Confederate army, and
he served the Southern Confederacy as a clerk in
the Quartermaster's department during the con-
flict. He died while on a trip to New Orleans, in
1865, and his widow a short time later, the same
year, at the home of her daughter, in Indianola,
Texas. Mrs. Woodman and an older sister, Mrs.
Harriett Merriman, are the only surviving members
of the familj' of seven children.



No one among the pioneers of Tarrant County
made a deeper impress or left behind him a mem-
ory that will longer endure in the respect and affec-
tion of the people than the late Capt. Ephriam M.
Daggett. As one of his eulogists has said of him :
"He was born great in stature, mind and soul,"
and his extraordinary individuality made him easily
a leader in every company in which he found him-
self. He was born in Canada, eight miles from
Niagara Falls, June 3, 1810. His father, who was
a Vermonter by birth, espoused the American cause
in the War of 1812, and after the war the gov-
ernment, in recognition of his services, made him a
grant of land in Indiana, where the city of Terre
Haute now stands. There the Daggett family, in-
cluding the subject of this sketch, who was then
ten years old, removed in 1820. He grew up on a
farm, and in 1833 went to Chicago, where he was
engaged for several years trading with the Indians.
About this time his father was seized with the Texas

fever, and the whole family, including Ephriam,
came South, landing at Shreveport, La., and from
there went to Shelby County, in Eastern Texas,
where they located. This was in April, 1840, and
there the Daggetts remained, engaged in cultivating
the soil. What is known as the Shelby War soon
broke out, and the community was divided into
two factions, one known as the Regulators and the
other as the Moderators. It seems to have been a
conflict between the law-abiding and the lawless
classes, and Ephriam Daggett, with his father and
brothers, did yeoman service with the former.
When the Mexican War broke out in 1846, Shelby
County raised two companies of troops, and in one
of these E. M. Daggett and his brother Charles en-
listed. He went in as a Lieutenant, and was soon pro-
moted to a Captaincy in the celebrated regiment of
Texas rangers commanded by Col. Jack Hays.
His career during the war was one of splendid
courage and daring achievements, and he was con-


^" I I L.

John H.Wood



spicuous for personal gallantry in many emergen-
cies. After the war he returned to Shelby County,
and the fact that he twice represented the county
in the Legislature is sufficient evidence of his recog-
nized leadership among those people. He made his
first trip to Western Texas in 1849, the same ^ear
that his brother Henry located there, but he did
not finally move his family West until 1854. His first
marriage occurred in Indiana in 1834, and his wife
bore him one son — Ephriam B. Daggett — who still
survived. His second marriage tooli place in
Shelby County, in 1841, and his wife was Mrs.
Caroline AdaTns, from South Carolina. She and
his only son, Ephriam, went with him to Fort
Worth in 1854, and she died there in 1869. When
Capt. Daggett reached Fort Worth, his brother
Charles and sister Helen came with the family, his
brother Henry being already a resident there.
Capt. Daggett at once went into the general mer-
cantile business, as a member of the firm of Turner
& Daggett, and began the accumulation of a for-
tune. He was soon a man of commanding influence
and his personal efforts were largely instrumental
in getting the county seat removed from Birdville
and permanently located at Fort Worth. He did
not go into field service during the Civil War, being
past the age fixed by law, and after the war con-
tinued in the mercantile business at Fort Worth.
He had meanwhile acquired large landed interests
in and around Fort Worth and was also heavily

interested in cattle. In 1872 he was one of the
leading men to welcome the Texas and Pacific Eail-
road magnates to Fort Worth, and as an induce-
ment for the company to build its line there,
donated nearly one hundred acres of land, and
upon part of it the Union Depot stands to-day.
He retired from merchandising and at once
launched into a career of enterprise and speculation
which made him a veritable giant in the great worh:
of building a city. His name is indissolubly asso-
ciated with those times, and his fellow citizens
pointed with pride to the stalwart old man as an
example of the class that was compassing big enter-
prises and carrying Fort Worth to metropolitan
greatness. He was a keen, broad, original thinker,
bold in execution, scrupulously honest and just,
and very charitable to the deserving poor. In relig-
ion he was more nearly allied to the Universalist
faith than any other, and in politics he acted with
the Democrats until 1878, when he espoused the
Greenback cause and was an unsuccessful candidate
for Congress on that ticket. He died in Fort
Worth, April 19th, 1883, and his death carried sor-
row to every home in the city as though it were a
personal bereavement. All classes and colors
mourned his loss and a vast concourse attended his

He left a large estate and only one child,
Ephriam B. Daggett, long a prominent citizen of
Fort Worth.



John H. Wood was born September 6, 1816, at
the family home, situated between Poughkeepsie
and Hyde Park, in the State of New York, and for
a brief time during boyhood attended local schools.
His parents were Humphrey and Maria Wood. His
mother, who died when he was eleven years of age,
was a daughter of Richard DeCantillon and nearly
related to the Stoughtenburgs and Tailors, repre-
sentatives of the fine old patroon families whose
spacious manors in New York rivaled in extent and
the elegancies of social life the domains of their
progenitors in the Old World. Humphrey Wood
was of excellent Puritan stock. His ancestors were
sea-faring men, and in early life he became one of
the " toilers of the deep " and soon rose to the rank

of Captain of a vessel. Later he abandoned the
sea, engaged in farming, and established a pleasant
home upon the banks of the Hudson, between
Poughkeepsie and Hyde Park. He lived to the
advanced age of 103 years, dying at Genoa, N. Y. ,
in 1873.

After the death of his mother the subject of this
sketch, Maj. John H. Wood, went to the city of
New York, where he spent a j'ear or more with an
aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Stoughtenburg. At
the expiration of that time he returned to the fam-
ily homestead, attended school for a short time, and
then returned to New York City, where during the
succeeding three years he clerked first in a drj'
goods establishment and then in a grocery store.



His experience in the grocery store, which was
owned and conducted by a man of mean and over-
bearing spirit, thoroughly disgusted him. He
determined to never again stand behind a counter
as an employe, and, acting upon this resolution,
resigned his position, bound himself as an appren-
tice and began to learn the painter's trade.

The unjust treatment of her Anglo- American col-
onists by Mexico and the spirited action of the
Texans at Velasco, Anahuac, and other places,
excited the attention and aroused the sympathy of
people living in all parts of the United States. The
expulsion of Bradburn from his stronghold, the
entire evacuation of Texas by Mexican forces, the
overthrow of the despotism of Bustamante, and
Santa Anna's pledges to be governed by and enforce
in its true spirit the Mexican constitution of 1824,
seemed to mark a happy ending of existing diffi-
culties, and popular excitement in the United States
was in a measure allayed. It was but the lull, how-
ever, before the storm. Santa Anna soon gave
unmistakable evidences of his intention to reduce
the people of Texas to a condition little better than
slavery, depriving them of nearly all their rights
and subjecting them to absolute dependence upon
his will. The colonists were not slow in organiz-
ing for resistance.

Freemen with arms in their hands were apt to be
hard to deal with and in pursuance of the plans of
the central executive authority Ugartechea pi'o-
ceeded with a Mexican force to Gonzales to demand
a cannon in the possession of the people of that
place and convey it to San Antonio. A small Texian
force was quickly assembled, his demand was
answered with defiance, a sharp skirmish ensued
and the first volley of the Texian revolution (as
fateful as that which greeted the British regulars at
Lexington) whistled through the air. Ugartechea
was defeated and driven back to Bexar and war
formally inaugurated.

News of this event spread rapidly, and was
answered in the States by a patriotic thrill in the
hearts of hundreds of young men who longed to
draw their swords in the cause of liberty. Texian
agents met with little difficulty in procuring volun-
teers. Stanley and Morehouse, acting as emis-
saries of the provisional government of Texas,
were in New York recruiting for the service.

John H. Wood, having procured permission from
the painter to whom he had apprenticed himself,
called upon Stanley and Morehouse and enrolled
his named. One hundred and eighty- four men
(whom the agents represented as emigrants) having
been secured, Stanley and Morehouse chartered a
vessel, the Matawomkeg, and in the night of

November 25, 1835, slipped out of New York har-
bor. Arriving off Sandy Hook the vessel encoun-
tered a terrific storm, and for a time it seemed
certain that she would go to the bottom.

This night, which marked the commencement of
a nevs epoch in the life of Maj. Wood, was also
made memorable by the great fire that reduced
Wall street and contiguous parts of New York
City to ashes.

The ship safely weathered the storm, resumed
the voyage, drifted somewhat out of her course and,
after a rough passage, reached the Island of
Eleuthera, one of the Bahama group, and anchored
off the coast for a number of days. Members of
the crew and many of the passengers went ashore.
A number of the volunteers were roughs from such
unsavory purlieus of New York City as the " Five
Points," and through force of habit, perhaps, com-
mitted petty thefts and were guilty of outrageous
conduct that soon earned for them unenviable repu-
tations. The Captain, having taken aboard water
and ship supplies, compelled these men to return all
stolen articles, where that was possible, made ample
compensation for other losses, bestowed liberal
presents upon all injured persons who had preferred
complaints, and set sail for the Balize. A fisher-
man named Knowles, a man of low character, who
lived on that part of the coast of Eleuthera where
the vessel had anchored, hurried to Nassau, in the
Island of New Providence, and notified the British
authorities that a pirate was hovering in those seas
and had already ravished women and been guilty of
pillage. He represented himself as one of the
victims who had suffered most from the incursion,
his object being to put in a claim for heavy

According to his reckoning the Matawomkeg
would have time to get well out of the Bahamas
before pursuit could be attempted. His calculation
was at fault. The British brig-of-war Serpent and
another vessel loaded with marines at once gave
chase and soon overhauled and captured the ship
and conveyed her to Nassau, where all aboard were
imprisoned and detained in the barracks for sixty
days. While thus confined the Americans resorted
to various expedients to relieve the tedium of
prison life. Canvas was stretched on a large arch
in the center of the room and on this they, painted a
representation of the battle of New Orleans, and
offered their production for exhibition January 8th,
the anniversary of that engagement, The younger
British officers and their wives visited the barracks
and examined and passed good-humored criticisms
on the picture. The old colonel of the regiment
however, had participated in the battle of New

■"S- tyrt.aC.K.o=v™Ls Ne-''*""*-

:rs. John H.Wood.



Orleans, and no doubt received his share of the
drubbing administered to the redcoats by Gen.
Jackson on that ^occasion, and he was much
incensed and afterward proved one of the most
determined enemies of the embryo Texian patriots.
They cared little for him or his opinions, however,
and passed the time as satisfactorily to themselves
as circumstances would permit.

The Bahamas were inhabited mainly by negroes
who had been but recently manumitted by the
English Government. The troops stationed at
Nassau consisted of negro soldiers. For these sable
sons of Mars the prisoners manifested the utmost
contempt. There were no sentry boxes about the
barracks, and one tempestuous night the guards en-
tered the building to seek protection from the storm.
They were promptly and indignantly driven out and
compelled to pace their rounds amid the wind and
rain. To amuse themselves the prisoners would
occasionally gather up handfuls of the pebbles with
which the courtyard was thickly strewn and throw
them on the roof of the barrack, greatly terrifying
the soldiers, who thought this rattle of missiles a
signal for an uprising of the bold and hardy

At last the grand jury assembled and Knowles
was called before them. Having examined him,
that body was satisfied that the charge of piracy
was unfounded, and ordered the release of all the
Americans, except a few against whom indictments
were preferred for theft. These men were promptly
tried, and the evidence showing that payment had
been made by the captain for all articles taken,
they were acquitted. While under arrest the Amer-
icans had been insulted by sailors from an English
ship lying in the harbor. These sailors had boasted
of what they would have done had they been a part
of the crew of the Serpent or aboard the transport
when the Matawomkeg was captured, and said that
tliey would have cleaned out the Yankees in short
order. The Americans determined not to leave the
port until they had settled their score with these
braggadocio tars, and shortly before embarking an
opportunity offered itself. A collision took place.
The native inhabitants of the place did not like the
English, and a number of mulatto and negro shop
keepers and others joined sides with the Americans
in the melee and the English seamen were soon
ingloriously routed and driven from the streets.

No lives were lost in the riot and the Americans
were allowed to go aboard their ship without suffer-
ing further molestation. After narrowly escaping
being wrecked on the coast of the Cuba, the Mata-
womkeg put into Matanzas, a port on that island,
and from that point proceeded to the mouth of the

Mississippi, where she waited sometime for supplies.

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 120 of 135)