John Henry Brown.

Indian wars and pioneers of Texas online

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their way unmolested to Plum creek, where, three
miles southwest of the present town of Lock-
hart, they were attacked on the 12th of August by a
force of about one hundred and eighty men, com-
manded by Gen. Felix Huston, Col. Ed. Burleson,
Capts. Ward, Bird and others, and defeated with
considerable slaughter. This was one of the last
of a series of bloody conflicts in Southern Texas,
and was such a chastisement of the Comanches, that
they remained comparatively quiet for a number
of years thereafter.

After the capture of San Antonio by the Mexicans
under Gen. Adrian Woll, in 1842, Col. Caldwell
hastily organized a regiment, composed of the com-
panies of Capt. Childress, of Bastrop, and Capt.
Cooke, of Austin, and hurried to the appointed ren-
dezvous at the front where he joined the force
(about 2,000 men) commanded by Col. Ed. Burle-
son. In a few days Brig.-Gen. Somervell arrived
on the ground and assumed command. Scouts
soon brought in information that the enemy,
after holding San Antonio a few days, had rapidly
retreated, Col. Caldwell remained with the troops
as long as they were kept in the field. Later, he
participated in the Somervell expedition, designed
for a retaliatory invasion of Mexico, and, after the
regular disbandment of Somervell's force on the
Rio Grande, returned home.

The extra session of the Ninth Congress that met
at Washington on the Brazos on the 16th of June,
1845, gave its consent to the joint resolution of the
Congress of the United States, providing for the
annexation of Texas and to the convention of sixty-
one delegates called by President Anson Jones, to
meet at Austin, on the 4th of July and speak the
voice of Texas on the main issue. Col. Caldwell
was elected a delegate to this convention. It met
at Austin on the day appointed and adjourned on the
27th of August, after ratifying the terms of annex-
ation and framing a constitution for the proposed
State, which was duly ratified by a vote of the peo-
ple. The constitution of 1845 was one of the best
that Texas has ever had.

Col. Caldwell's knowledge of the philosophy and
practice of law and the principles that underlie free

government and his natural breadth of mind and
philanthropic spirit, enabled him to render invalua-
ble service in this body, and to leave the impress
of his labors upon the organic law that it framed
and submitted to the people.

His next public service was as a member of the
Texas Senate in 1857-8. Here he was intimately
associated with George M. Paschal, Lewis T. Wig-
fall, Jesse Grimes, Bob Taylor, Henry McCulloch,
John M. Borroughs, M. D. K. Taylor, Lott, Stock-
dale, and a host of other men of great and brilliant
abilities then in the prime and hey-day of their
fame and Col. Caldwell easily moved to the front
among them as a man of unusual force of mind and
undoubted purity of purpose. He exercised an in-
fluence second to none in the committee rooms and
on the floor of the Senate and played a prominent
part in the important legislation enacted at that

From this period the gathering clouds of sectional
hatred, that shortly after the foundation of the
government first began to rise above the horizon of
the American Union, rapidly overcast the entire
political sky and threatened a storm that would
destroy the grand fabric that the fathers of 1776
reared with the hope that it would endure to afford
an asylum for the oppressed, serve as a model for
patriots in other lands to aspire to, and bless man-
kind through all coming ages. The South was an
agricultural country. It considered that under the
tariff laws in force it was being bled to enrich New
England manufacturers. The Democratic party
brought about the Louisiana and Florida purchases,
forced the annexation of Texas and supported the
Mexican war and carried it to a successful issue.
One of the opponents of that war went so far as to
say he hoped the soldiers of Santa Anna would wel-
come our army " with bloody hands, and hospitable
graves." Thus the Democratic party had extended
the territory of the Union from ocean to ocean.
The South was solidly Democratic and contended
that its citizens should have the right to go into any
of the territories of the United States with their
slaves, which were recognized as property at the
formation of and by the compact of Union. Then
the fugutive slave laws were trampled under foot
and men who went in pursuit of their slaves mob-
bed. Conflicts in Kansas, the John Brown raid,
and other events, tended to intensify public excite-
ment on both sides of Mason and Dixon's line.
Threats of secession grew louder and deeper and,
when the news of the election of Mr. Lincoln
swept over the country, it was attempted and both
sides prepared for war — the North determined to
prevent the extension of slavery, preserve the



Union at all hazards and trample what It considered
tlie heresy of secession to death ; the South to retire
from what it no longer considered a fraternal Union
and seek that peace and security under a separate
government denied it within its limits.

Col. Caldwell was present, as a spectator, at the
meeting of the Secession Convention at Austin and
used all of his great personal influence to prevent
the framing of the ordinance providing for the
withdrawal of Texas from the Union. He coincided
with his friends, Gen. Sam Houston and Hon.
James W. Throckmorton, on the want of necessity
for and unwisdom of such a step. He saw nothing
but disaster in store for the people, whether they
lost or won in the coming struggle. He thought
the South had suffered many wrongs, but his idea
was to redress them within the Union. A greater
than any human power, however, had decided the
settlement of the questions involved (which could
have been settled in no other way) by the fiery
ordeal of war. The ordinance was passed and
soon there rang out the call to arms. Deeply
crieved at the woes which he saw that his beloved
country must suffer. Col. Caldwell, too feeble for
active service himself, sent four of his gallant sons
to the front to fight and, if need be, die, for the
Confederate States.

He also loaned the State or Texas a quarter of a
million of dollars in gold to carry on the govern-
ment, when the treasury was empty, and received
bonds therefor. These bonds, owing to the down-
fall of the Confederacy, became worthless and he
never received a cent in return.

It is unpleasant to dwell upon the war period
and the period of reconstruction that followed it.
Both passed.

During the latter period, in 1866, when it was
attempted to rehabilitate the State under the plan
proposed by President Johnson, a Democratic con-
vention assembled for the purpose of nominating
candidates for State offices and a caucus-com-
mittee, of which Hon. James V. Throckmorton
was a member, called upon Col. Caldwell and
formally requested him to accept the nomination
for Governor, stating that he was considered the
proper man to lead the way to the re-establishment
of honest government in the State. Thanking them
for the honor conferred, he declined to accede to
their request and urged the nomination of his friend
and associate in the Senate in 1857-8, Mr. Throck-
morton. In accordance with this advice, Throck-
morton was given the nomination and subsequently
elected, only to be removed in a short time as an
impediment to reconstruction, by Gen. Sheridan,
military commander of the district, acting under

authority of the illiberal reconstruction laws passed
by Congress in opposition to Johnson's policy.

Col. Caldwell retired to his home near Bastrop,
where he spent in quietude the four remaining
years of his life. There he peacefully breathed his
last on the 22d day of October, 1870, surrounded
by his sorrowing family.

Death never gathered to its cold embrace a more
devoted patriot or stilled the pulsations of a truer
or more manly heart. His memory deserves ever
to be revered by the people of Texas, whom he
served in so many and such various capacities, and
his name deserves a place on the pages of the
State's history beside those of her bravest, and
brightest and best, from the days that preceded
the revolution down to those that witnessed the
close of his useful and illustrious career.

His beloved wife survived him for many years,
dying December 80th, 1895, in the city of Austin,
where she removed in the spring of 1871 to live
with her children. She was born in Knoxville,
Tenn., December 8th, 1809. She was a noble
Christian lady, distinguished for every grace that
endears to us the names of wife and mother. She
was a daughter of Rev. John Haynie, one of the
most famous and best remembered of the pioneer
preachers of the M. E. Church, who made their
way into the wilderness of Texas and blazed the
way for other and later Christian workers.

Eev. John Haynie was born in Botetourt
County, Va., April 7, 1786, and married Elizabeth
Brooks, May 23d, 1805. While he was young his
family moved to East Tennessee, and located near
Knoxville. In his twentieth year he married
Elizabeth Brooks. In 1815 or 1816 he settled in
the then village of Knoxville, where he carried on
a successful mercantile business and labored for
the establishment of Methodism. He spent about
fifteen years at Knoxville and then removed to
North Alabama, where he labored in the ministry
until 1839, when he came to the Eepublic of Texas.
He was admitted to the West Texas conference in
1840 and assigned to Austin. This was his first
year in the itineracy, although he had received
license to preach as early as 1811. The Austin
circuit, to which he was appointed, included the
new capital city and the counties of Bastrop and
Travis. Shortly after his arrival at Austin he was
elected Chaplain of the Texas Congress, a position
that he several times subsequently held. In 1846,
Rev. Mr. Haynie was assigned to Corpus Christi
and started for his field of labor, leaving his family
at their home in Rutersville, Fayette County. At
Goliad he was informed that it would be unsafe
for him to proceed without a guard and Capt.

Eng ■'-ly H ji C,Koovoete.H Y




Price, commanding a company of rangers, fur-
nished him one. Corpus Christi was an army
station and crowded with a floating population. It
was difficult for him to find board, lodging or a
place to preach. He finally found a place to get
his meals and, after considerable effort, he obtained
permission to sleep in a store house on bags of
shelled corn. Next he procured one of the theaters
to preach in on Sunday, but at night there were
theatrical performances held in the same room.
Owing to the breaking out of the Mexican war and

the removal of the army, the town was nearly de-
populated and Mr. Haynie returned to his home.
He died at Rutersville, August 20, 1860. His
wife, Elizabeths., died October 4, 1863, at John
Caldwell's, Bastrop County,

Mrs. Caldwell was mother of eight children, viz. :
Margaretta, deceased ; John Adam, deceased ;
Mary, now Mrs. John H, Pope ; Charles G. ;
Walter H. ; LucindaP., widow of the late R. T.
Hill; Oliver B., and Orlando, all occupying
honorable positions in life.



Capt. Mifflin Kenedy was born in Downingtown,
Chester County, Pa., June 8, 1818. His parents
were John Kenedy and Sarah (Starr) Kenedy,
members of the Society of Friends.

The ancestors of Capt. Kenedy's father emi-
grated from Ireland to Maryland as members of
Lord Baltimore's colony. They were Catholics,
but in the course of the next century some of them
embraced Protestantism. Capt. Kenedy's ances-
try, on his mother's side, is traced back to a very
remote period and boasts a long line of distin-
guished men ; among the number, mitred prelates
and paladins of chivalry, and last, those quiet
heroes of peace, the Quakers, who dared and suf-
fered all things for conscience sake.

The branch from which he is descended appear
in France, as Huguenots, early in the fifteenth
century, and were compelled to worship in fear and
seclusion in the forests and in the fastnesses and
gorges of the Pyrenees. At some time between
the massacre upon Saint Bartholomew's Day, in
1572, and the promulgation of the Edict of Nantes
by Henry of Navarre, in 1598, they escaped to
England. After a residence of some time in Great
Britain, they became Friends or Quakers, but they
had not yet found an asylum, where they could
worship the true God after the manner dictated by
their own consciences. Here they were made the
victims of hostile legislation, derided by a fanatical
populace and imprisoned in filthy dungeons, until
they looked toward the shores of America for
relief. In 1683, Mrs. Kenedy's progenitors,
George and Alice Maris, with their six children,
sailed as members of "William Penn's first colony.

They settled at Springfield, twenty miles from
Philadelphia, in what is now called Delaware
County, Pa., and there many of their descend-
ants yet reside. The old homestead, originally
purchased from William Penn by George Maris,
still remains in undivided succession in the Maris

Capt. Kenedy's childhood was spent in the
quietude of a Quaker home. He attended the
common schools of the country, acquired the ele-
ments of an English education, and was then, for
three months, in 1833, a pupil at the boarding school
of Jonathan Gause, afamous Quaker educator of the
time. He taught school during the winter of 1833-4,
after leaving the institution of Jonathan Gause, and
in the spring of 1834 (April 4) sailed on board the
ship Star, at Philadelphia, as a boy before the mast.
The vessel was bound for Calcutta and on the out-
ward voyage touched at the Madeira Islands, Island
of Ceylon, at Madras and other points of interest.
When homeward bound, the vessel encountered a
typhoon, or hurricane, in the Bay of Bengal, sprung
a leak, and, after safely weathering the storm, put
into the Isle of France, where she underwent neces-
sary repairs. While on the Isle of France, Kenedy
visited what are shown as the tombs of Paul and
Virginia, at a little hamlet called Pamplemouses,
high up on the side of the mountain, and also the
port-hole in the rock, where it was Paul's custom
to sit watching for the ship that would bring back
Virginia, This pathetic story is familiar to nearly
every one who is acquainted with French, English
or Spanish literature.

The Star soon resumed her voyage and, touching



at St. Helena for water, arrived at her wharf in
Philadelphia during the month of January, 1836.

The voyage to Calcutta thoroughly cured him of
his penchant for the sea. He returned to his home
and for three months taught school at Coatsville,
Chester County, Pa. While thus engaged he
met an old friend of his family and a resident
of that place, who -had been out West and
who told him that steamboating on the Ohio river
offered fine opportunities for young men to get on
in the world and promised to give him a letter of
recommendation to a friend residing in Pittsburg,
Pa. , and largely interested in steamboats. Kenedy
determined to take the advice proffered him,
surrendered his school, procured the letter of
recommendation and made his way to Pittsburg.

Arriving at his destination in June, 1836, he
delivered the letter and met with a kind reception
and was told that an effort would be made to secure
for him the first vacancy that occurred. In the
meantime he realized that he must secure employ-
ment by which he could earn funds sufficient to
defray current expenses, and, accordingly, worked
in a brick-yard until October 1, 1836, when he was
notified that the position of clerk on a steamer had
been secured for him.

From that time until 1842 he ran on the Ohio and
Mississippi rivers as clerk — sometimes acting as

In 1842 be went to Alabama and during one
reason on the Alabama river served as clerk of the
Champion, a boat running from Mobile to Mont-
gomery. The Champion then proceeded to Apala-
chicola, Florida, and ran on the Apalachie and
Chattahoochie rivers until 1846. He retained his
position as clerk during these years and, in the
absence of the captain, acted as commander.
While thus engaged in Florida, he met Capt.
Richard King, then a river pilot and in after years
Ills partner in steamboat operations on the Rio
Grand and ranching in Southwest Texas.

Every spring, from the year 1843 to 1846, the
Champion was sent along the Gulf coast to New
Orleans and from that point up the Mississippi
and Ohio rivers to Pittsburg, where she was owned,
to be repaired. In the early part of 1846, Capt.
Kenedy was placed in charge of the boat and
ordered to take her to Pittsburg, Pa., and reached
his destination in April following.

Upon his arrival at Pittsburg, he met Maj. John
Saunders, an engineer in the United States Army
and a friend of his, who was sent there by Gen.
Zachary Taylor to obtain boats for the use of the
army on the Rio Grande. He employed Capt.
Kenedy to assist him in this work. Maj. Saun-

ders purchased the Corvette, Colonel Cross, Major
Brown, Whiteville and other boats for the service.
Capt. Kenedy was made commander of the
Corvette, and directed to proceed to New Orleans
and report to Col. T. F. Hunt, of the Quartermas-
ter's Department, U. S. A. Col. Hunt confirmed
the appointment of Capt. Kenedy and he thereupon
enlisted for the war, as master, and was ordered to
proceed with the Corvette to the mouth of the Rio
Grande and report to Capt. K. A. Ogden, Assistant
Quartermaster, U. S. A. One of the reasons for
selecting him for this work was his experience in
conducting light boats over the Gulf.

He reached the station at the mouth of the Rio
Grande June 17, 1846, and from that time until the
close of the Mexican war transported troops and
provisions to Matamoros, Reynosa, Camargo and
other points on the river.

After the victory at Buena Vista and while mov-
ing on Vera Cruz, Gen. Winfield Scott stopped
at the mouth of the Rio Grande, desiring to go to
Camargo and consult with Gen. Worth. Capt.
Kenedy's vessel, the Corvette, was the best in the
service and he was selected to take Gen. Scott and
staff up the river.

Capt. Richard King joined Capt. Kenedy in May,
1847, and acted as pilot of the Corvette until the
close of the war, in 1848. They were thoroughly
experienced steamboatmen and rendered their
country good service. Capt. Kenedy during his
long experience as a steamboatman never met with
an accident while in charge of a boat;

At the end of the Mexican war, he and two
other gentlemen (Mr. Samuel A. Belden and Capt.
James Walworth) bought a large number of mules
and wagons and a stock of merchandise and started
for the fair at San Juan, in the State of Jalisco.
They did not succeed in reaching the fair, and sold
their outfit at Zacatecas and returned to Matamoros,
where they divided the proceeds of the trip and
dissolved partnership. Capt. Kenedy immedi-
ately purchased another stock of goods and, with
his merchandise loaded on pack-mules, started for
the interior of Mexico. Upon arriving at Monterey,
he sold out and returned to Brownsville, reaching
the latter place in the spring of 1850.

Seeing the necessity for good boats on the Rio
Grande, he then formed a partnership with Capt.
Richard King, Capt. James O'Donnell and Mr.
Charles Stillman, under the firm name of M. Kenedy
& Company. The gentlemen associated themselves
together for the purpose of building boats and run-
ning them upon the Rio Grande and along the
Gulf coast to Brazos Santiago. Capt. Kenedy
proceeded at once to Pittsburg, Pa., and

EiigJlyWT.BstliBr.BHjjniNy '




built two boats, the Comanch.e and Grampus,
vessels of 200 and 500 tons burden. He bought
Capt. O'Donnell's interest in the business dur-
ing the following two years and in 1865 the new
firm of King, Kenedy & Company was formed, as
Charles Stillman bad retired from the firm. These
two firms, during their existence, built and pur-
chased twenty-six boats for the trade. In 1874
the firm of King, Kenedy & Company dissolved and
divided assets.

Capt. Richard King established the Santa Ger-
trudes ranch in Nueces County, Texas, in 1852,
and Capt. Kenedy bought a half interest in it
December 6, 1860. They dissolved partnership in
October, 1868, talking share and share alike of the
cattle, horses and sheep. Capt. King, by agree- '
ment, retained Santa Gertrudes ranch.

After the war between the States large bodies of
thieves, marauders and outlaws remained on the
frontier and committed such depredations on stock
that Capt. Kenedy and Capt. King saw that
the only way to effectually protect their cattle
ijiterests was to fence and, in order that they might
adopt this system, severed their business relations
in this connection. Capt. Kenedy purchaspd and
inclosed the Laurelas ranch, situated in Nueces
County and consisting of 132,000 acres. Capt.
King also immediately made preparations to fence'
and soon closed his pastures. They were . the
first cattle-raisers in the State to inclose large
bodies of land. Capt. Kenedy remained on the
Laurelas ranch until he sold it, in 1882, to Under-
wood, Clark & Company, of Kansas City, for $1, 100,-
000 cash. At the time of the sale it contained
242,000 acres of land, all fenced ; 50,000 head of
cattle and 5,000 head of horses, mares and mules.

Col. Uriah Lott projected the Corpus Christi,
San Diego and Rio Grande narrow gauge railrpad
from Corpus Christi to Laredo, Texas (163 miles),
in 1876. Col. Lott called Capt. Kenedy and
Capt. King to his assistance and together they
built the road and sold it in 1881 to the Mexican
National Construction Company.

In 1884 a number of citizens of San Antonio
projected the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Rail-
way, from San Antonio to Aransas Pass on the
Gulf of Mexico, organized and made arrangements
with Col. Uriah Lott (whom they elected presi-
dent) to prosecute the work. Construction was
commenced early in 1885, but languished for want
of means after a few miles were built. Col.
Lott called upon his friend, Capt. Kenedy, at
Corpus Christi, in June, 1885, explained to him
the situation, succeeded in interesting him in the
enterprise and, as president of the company, con-

tracted with him to build the road. Capt.
Kenedy supplied the money and credit necessary
for the construction of the line and built 700
miles of road which are now in operation. He also
supplied a majority of the motive power and rolling
stock for the road.

The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway was
constructed in a remarkably short time and with very
little noise. It is the most remarkable road ever
built in Texas, one of the most thoroughly
equipped in the South, has opened up to settlement
and commerce a magnificent section and has in-
creased values in San Antonio and the country
tributary to the road fully $100,000,000.

After the sale of the Laurelas ranch Capt.
Kenedy, in 1882, established the Kenedy Pasture
Company, of which he was president and treasurer,
and his son, Mr. John G". Kenedy, secretary and
general manager. The company's land lies in
Caiperon County and is thirty miles in length by
twenty in breadth — truly a princely domain.

At Brownsville, Texas, April 16, 1852, Capt.-
Kenedy married Mrs. Petra Vela de Vldal, of Mier,
Mexico., To them were born six children, of
whom only two are now living : John G. and Sarah
Josephine (wife of Dr. A. E. Spohn, of Corpus

Capt. Mifflin Kenedy had also an adopted
daughter, Miss Carmen Moreli Kenedy, a native of
Monterey, Mexico.

Although Capt. Kenedy spent a large portion
of his life on the Rio Grande frontier, and passed
through the days when that section was infested
with lawless and desperate men, he never had a
serious difficulty. This was due partly to the fact
that his courage was well known and recognized ;
partly to the probity that marked all his business
dealings, and partly to his cool and even tempera-

Capt. Mifflin Kenedy and Capt. Richard
King made their way to the Rio Grande at a
time when Southwest Texas was infested with
Indians, Mexicans and men from the States who
were a law unto themselves, or rather, who were
without any law except that of force, and who sub-
sisted upon the fruits of marauding expeditions.
Neither life nor property were safe and the sturdy
immigrant, in search of a peaceful home, turned to

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 44 of 135)