Browsing "Browning Stories"

First Settlers of Texas

Fort Houston

Fort Houston

Named Pleiades Orion Lumpkin at birth, it is no wonder that this son of Wilson Lumpkin, Governor of Georgia and instigator of the Cherokee Trail of Tears, preferred to go by Dan. He grew up in Morgan County, Georgia. He attended West Point but has the distinction of receiving more demerits than anyone and flunked out in his first year. His demerits overflowed onto the pristine adjacent page of Robert E. Lee.

Dan’s best friend was Wash (George Washington) Browning. Although Dan’s father was illustrious,

Wilson Lumpkin

Wilson Lumpkin

having been the author of the Trail of Tears and also governor of Georgia Wilson Lumpkin, Wash’s father was just plain rich, owning 10000 acres of land in Morgan County at what is now known as Browning Shoals.

The two boys fell in love with two sisters – Margarett and Flora Wilkerson – my 3rd great aunts. The happy couples were married in a joint ceremony in 1830 in my home town of La Grange, GA. The two young couples migrated west in about 1834, their first objective a brief gold rush in northern Alabama.  Other members of their families also migrated in that direction.

By the following year, they had made the trip west to the territory which is now Texas. They are listed in “The First Settlers of Houston County, Texas”. The two young men arrived just in time to take place in the Battle of San Jacinto, and like all other combatants, were awarded land.They settled in the area that is just north of Palestine and was later named Mound Prairie.

When the two young couples arrived in what is now Anderson County, the Kickapoo Indians were raiding regularly and they had to take shelter in Fort Houston, a log affair about 40 x 40 in size. That must have been harrowing with young children. This is about the same time that Sarah Ann Parker was abducted. There were raids and terrible killings by the Indians.

Stephen Austin

Stephen Austin

The two young fathers along with their neighbors signed a letter to Steven Austin pleading for help in defending their families against the raids.

The two young men began as farmers, but as time progressed Wash practiced law, bought the rights to a mail delivery route and became wealthy.  Dan was very charismatic and dabbled in politics, as can be seen by the information below.  Interestingly enough, even though he never held the military title, he was referred to as “Major”.

Once he settled down to farming in 1850, he was instrumental in founding the Mound Prairie Academy, in the now extant town of Mound Prairie which was about eight miles north of Palestine.  He died in 1859, just before the Civil War.

Wash, on the other hand, fell prey to ‘gold dust fever’ and organized a party to head to the ’49 Gold Rush in California. Along the way he fell sick with Typhoid Fever and died on the trail, somewhere in what is now New Mexico.

The Civil War was hard on Margarett and the children of the two couples. Margarett lost two sons, both killed just before the war ended. Flora had died in 1857 and two of Wash and Flora’s daughters died during the war, probably from the deprivation caused by the war.

From the Texas Historical Association:

LUMPKIN, PLEIADES O. (?–?). Pleiades O. Lumpkin, soldier, legislator, and jurist, was in Texas during the revolution and served in Capt. L. H. Mabbit’s company from April 24 to July 24, 1836. In the spring of 1837 he signed a petition requesting that Nacogdoches County be split into two counties. In 1837 and 1838 he represented Houston County in the Second Texas Congress. In the House journal he is referred to as Major Lumpkin; although there is no record of his having attained that rank in the Texas army, a P. O. Lumpkin received a bounty warrant for 320 acres for service between April 24 and July 24, 1836. On January 23, 1839, Lumpkin was elected chief justice of Houston County. He resigned that office on March 12 to become government agent to aid in selecting and surveying a permanent site for the capital of the republic. By joint vote of the Fifth Congress on January 31, 1840, he was appointed one of three commissioners to inspect the land offices east of the Brazos. He resigned the position a short time later. He represented Houston County at the Convention of 1845, after which he seems to have retired from public life. The 1850 census listed him as a farmer in Anderson County.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Armistead Albert Aldrich, The History of Houston County, Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1943). Houston County Historical Commission, History of Houston County, Texas, 1687–1979 (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Heritage, 1979). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941)

 

A Diary of the travels of William Thomas Lockridge

Relationship: “Captain” Wash Browning was the husband of my second great grand aunt, Flora Wilkinson.  This diary solved the mystery of how he died away from home at the age of 41.

A Diary of the travels of William Thomas Lockridge (Father of Elizabeth Jane Lockridge Marshall) leaving his home in Palestine, Texas, March 1st 1849.
Joining the gold rush to California making an overland journey remaining about two years, Returning by the way of the Isthmus of Panama and returned to his home Palestine, Texas about the first of June 1851.
Copied from Diary written by his own hand.

A Sketch Book, or diary of travels from Palestine, Texas, to California, the land route, a short description of that country, and Return again to Palestine by water, by the way of the Isthmus _____________

Left Palestine Texas lst of March 1849 for California in company with G. W. Browning as Captain and seven other men, (to wit. W. T. Wright, W. Duke W. Killion Cearnal, A.M. Browning, W.B McBride and W. Herron. Went by the way of Shreveport for the purpose of disposing of some cotton which Capt. Browning had, and to buy our supplies for our Carriage with one horse attached.

We found the roads from Palestine to Shreveport very bad, the distance about 200 miles, loaded there with provisions and some goods, started for Fort Smith a distance of 350 miles. for the purpose of joining the Fort Smith Company. Arrived there the 15th of April, roads very bad.

The Fort Smith Company having started, we tarried about one week, When 4 men and 2 wagons having joined us, we started for Santifee (Santa Fe), traveling the same road, the Fort Smith Company and government troops had gone, On the 22nd of April who had left about 2 weeks before us–
travelin a westerly
the South Fork of the Canadian river keeping the river always on our right about 150 miles of the first part of our road, after we left Fort Smith, perhaps was the worst that ever wagons did travel over, Rocky, Hilly, and muddy, quite a new road.

During which time passed many waggons and squads of men, whose waggons were either mired down or broken, one meg of 12 men and 4 waggons succeeded in getting through the bad road, about the same time we did and finally joined Captain Browning’s Company.

The names of the 4 men that joined us at Fort Smith was Col. G. W. Lucas, Sam’l Brown, Israell Chamberlain & Mr. Hull a Blacksmith, who rendered us very important services on the way. He was from Tennessee, the other 3 Gentlemen were from Texas.

On the 22nd of May we overtook the Fort Smith Company, Capt Dillard at their head, and a company of Dragsons under Capt Marcys command as an escort, they had one piece of cannon with them. We are now about 240 miles west of Fort Smith.

The country through which we have passed since we left Fort Smith is inhabited by several difference tribes of Indians (to wit) Chocktaws, Chickasaws, Delawares, and some other tribes their names I do not now recollect, all profess friendship and some of them truly kind and in half civilized state, They have American schools and missions amongst them, and some of them appear to take great pride in learning the English language. I stopped at an old Indian house one day to get a feed of corn for my horse, he was greatly delighted with my conversation with the children who were then going to an English school, and seem to be very much gratified indeed to know they could read and talk a little English to me, he not understaning a word himself, they would also read some books published in their own language, Which seemed to create considerable laughter amongst them when they found that I did not understand them.

Some men are opposed to missions, but I think if they were to travel and see the great difference in the different tribes of Indians between those that have schools and missionaries amongst them, and them that have none, I think they would abandon their opposition.

We passed only two American houses from Fort Smith to the above mentioned place. the first was called The Indian Agency, the Second and last Edwards Trading House, which is situated on the Canadian river about 200 miles above Fort Smith, A portion of the country through which we have passed is beautiful, and I have no doubt would be productive, dry rolling prairies, with occasional skirt of pretty good timber.

We travelers with the Fort Smith Company about one week encamping near them every night their military arrangement of encamping, did not seem to suit our Gold hunters, and we came to the conclusion to go ahead. Accordingly we left them the 26th of May, several other waggons and about 30 men joined us, May 27 this being the sabbath we did not travel, Our company have increased to about 60 men. We had preaching today by Parson Stevenson of Little Rock, Ark. quite a novelty to me indeed in the wide spread prairie with a few small trees for shade far from home and friends, in a distant land amongst savage Indians, there we had an orderly congregation seated on the ground, listening to one of the servants of our master expounding his everlasting Gospel.

28th May All well and in good spirits, traveled 20 miles this day, further than usual in order to get to water and wood, had to encamp with but little of either, and grass very short. The country here presents a very picturesque appearance, a very uneven surface presenting to the eye of the traveler a great number of little mounds almost entirely naked, Showing a soft limestone, something resembling a burnt lime kiln.

May 29. Traveled 18 miles to day Mostly all day in sight of the Canadian, took dinner on the bank, the bed of the river here is about 3/4 of a mile wide, almost a perfect bed of sand and but very little water in it, the general appearance of the country, hilly and somewhat barren.

30th Traveled 15 miles Nothing transpired worth of note.

31st Traveled 16 miles, most of the day in sight of the Canadian river, crossing several dry branches on Nearly so, the beds of which are from 20 to 50 yards wide, a perfect bed of sand. This night 2 Mexicans camped with us, Say they are in search of the Comanchies Indians to trade with them having brought from San Magriel, and Santifee tricks for that purpose.

June 1st All well crossed what is called Dry river near its junction with the Canadian about 200 yards wide, No water a bed of sand,

This day we fill in with 40 Indians call themselves Kioways, professed friendship they were a war like Indian welll armed with guns, bows and arrows and lancet which is a spear put into a handle some 5 or 6 feet long. which they use in time of Battle, they were riding fine horses and mules indeed they looked a little suspicious. We did not know how soon they might be reinforced and give us a fight, they traveled with us several miles. We stopped at noon formed our waggons into a correl invited them into eat and smoke with us, but they were quite shy at first seeing we had a pen made of our waggons and but one way to come in it was with some difficulty we could get them persuaded to come in and not then till Capt. Browning told us to lay our arms away, they doing the same thing except the Chief, who was permitted to fetch in his Bow and arrows, finally by degree nearly all came in except those who took charge of the horses and guns.

We ate and smoked together, the old chief also having a portion of his dried buffalo meat brought in, would have us to pertake of that, we gave them some tobacco and parted in friendship.

Traveled this day 15 miles and encamped on the bank of the Canadian.

June 2nd

Before day in the morning one of our sentinels believed he saw some Indians coming in the direction of our camp fired at them and retreated to camp and reported this being the first time we were aroused from our slumbers and ordered to arms. The Captain’s orders were, Those that had horses staked out to bring them into camp immediately, the others to get their guns and prepare to meet the expected foe. But I believe I was the only one in that battle that got hurt having a good horse staked out some hundred yards from the encampment I went post haste for my horse and stumbled over a stake to which some other horse was tied, and raked the skin off my shin bone for about 2 inches, which proved to be a very sore leg.

The Indians, if there were any did not show themselves, distance made this day 16 miles.

3 d Being sabbath did not travel in the evening of thie day Capt Phillips with whom we had formed some acquaintance in Fort Smith with 23 men and 4 waggons over took us, which makes our company now 83 strong. 5 Indians came to our camp and stayed all night with us profess friendship called themselves Siams.

Monday 4th All well except one man who has chills and fever, This day 18 Mexicans came to our camp with 40 or 50 mules and horses. They say they had a little fight with those Kioway Indians that visited us a few days since. The Mexicans had one man badly wounded, and say they are afraid the Indians may pursue them, and wish our protection until they reach their homes at or near San Maquel which is the first Mexican settlement we come to. The country is Hilly Sandy and barren grass bad our road for serveral days has been on the river bottom scarcely any timber, the whole bottom subject to over flow. From the 3d to the 10th Nothing of interest transpired, except on Thursday of this week A part of the Fort Smith Company overtook us (to wit) 23 waggons and 93 men, they are still with us.

The country over which we have traveled this week is rolling sandy barren prairie, almost entirely destitute of timber, grass short and water scarce . Traveled this week 95 miles

Monday 11th This day traveled about 25 miles. Yesterday and today we traveled over an almost entire level plains without timber or the least shrub of any kind except on one or two creeks upon which there is some scattering cottonwood. The Mexicans of which I spoke sometime since are still with us. We are considerable distance ahead of the troops, they having taken the divides, and we traveling the road made by companies gone ahead of us. encampt on a creek called by the Mexicans Rock Creek a tributary of the Canadian.

12th All well except one man whose name is Price, he is quite unwell and has been for some time, partly on his account we traveled only 10 miles, We encampt for the night some wood and water, but grass scarce.

13th Traveled 25 miles over a beautiful plain destitute of timber, encamped without wood, dry grass, and had to use salt water, the ground is litterally parched up the road very dusty.

14th All well, started early traveled 24 miles without water for our stock, the day quite cool. Could wear our blanket coats, encamped on a dry creek where we found some puddle holes thick with mud.

Saturday 16th Traveled without water 25 miles encamped on a creek where we found plenty of water tho a little brackish. fine grass and plenty of cedar wood. We are evidently near the dividing ridge, between the Canadian and the Puercs, a tributary of the Rio Grande. This portion of our road presents to the eye of the traveler the most delightful scenery that heart could desire. You pass through plains of from 5 to 10 miles wide, with frequent little mounds shooting up to the level with the bluffs on either side of the valley, some what in the form of a sugar loaf. To day Capt. Browning ascended one of those little hills, upon the top of which he found some petrified oysters and other shells, which evidently proves that all this country has at some former period been under water. Traveled this week 110 miles.

June 17th Being Sabbath we did not travel, this day our Mexican friends left us, say they are 2 days travel from San Manguel and Old Spanish town near their place of residence. Say we will get there in 3 days.

18th Traveled 20 miles encampt where we got pretty fair water and grass.

19th Traveled 17 miles encamped on a beautiful stream of running water Cool and well tasted. I presume it is the Puerco. All well and getting along finely. My horse is failing for the want of grass which is short and dry.

20th Traveled 25 miles encamped after dark at a fine spring but no grass at a Mexican Ranchio, this being the first appearance of cultivated land. Since we left the Chocktow Nation, from this spring the Mexicans irritgate their land and raise pretty good corn of an early kind, (Blue flint) which is now from half leg to knee high.

21st Traveled only 8 miles encamped at a Spanish Town called San Maguel situated on a beautiful stream of constant running water, fed from the melting snow and ice in the mountains, a little to the North west, at night we have quite a chilling breeze from those snow capt hills, At 12 oclock of a clear day in the Valley it is quite pleasant. This river is called the Pachas which flows to the South into the Rio Grand.

22nd Traveled 10 miles grass bad carried water 1 1/2 miles for camp use.

June 23d. Traveled 10 miles, good water and tolerable grass encampt near the ruins of an old Catholic Chapel and large walled Town, which appears to have been evacuated for centuries, they are situated on the top of a rocky ridge, surrounded by level plains for some considerable distance, I spent an hour or two in visiting those ruins, and I must confess they are beyond description. At least by me, from the short interview I had of them the remains of the walls on the outside is plain to be traced, about a half mile in length, and the enclosure on top of the hill, is from one to 200 yards in weadth. Varying on account of the abruptness of the ridge which in places is exceedingly Rocky, within this enclosure are to be traced the foundations of hundreds of horses or small rooms which have been built of mud and stone. The chapel seems to have been built with square blocks of clay sun dried somewhat resembling bricks only larger, it is of extensive dimentions. June 24th Being the sabbath we traveled 5 miles for the purpose of getting better grass, and encampt, traveled this week 95 miles. Monday 25th I left the train and went to Santefee 25 miles distant from this place, Our waggons tarried here near 1 week for the purpose of repairing, I went for the purpose of trading my horse and buggy bot nearly worn out which I effected for a first rate mule, saddle and bridle. Santefee is like all other Spanish towns, the houses of dobe or sun dried bricks. One story high with flat roofs, it is a place of considerable trade, about 5000 inhabitants. Awful in the extreme for its wickedness. The train met me at Galestia a little Spanish town South of Santefee on Saturday the 30th 24 miles from where I left them. Santefee being too far to the right the trains did not pass through town.

Sunday July 1st We left Galestio for the purpose of traveling 5 miles out to water and grass, when we got to the watering place we found none of any consequence it was then 25 miles to the next water, We were compelled to go on the balance of the day and half the night having prepared drinking water at Galestio, We stopped till day and started again and about 10 oclock we got to the water which is known by the name of Stinking Pond, which answered our stock a valuable service but not fit for the use of man. The water we started with was not quite exausted we took our breakfast started for the next water which was about 15 miles distant, which place we arrived at about dark.

July 2nd On the evening of this day we had quite an alarm in our train, about 2 hours before sunset Col Lucas Wm. King and myself concluded to go ahead of the train to a spring and look out for good grass and make fire by the time the train would come up, when we approached near the spring we discovered people some on horse back and some on foot, being in the range of Indian depredations we were somewhat cautious in our approach. We proceeded slowly toward the spring and their number appeared to increase. We called a halt to put our guns in order and upon examination we found we had but one load of powder a piece besides the loads in our guns, We could discover our train some 3 miles behind, it being a level prairie country, We mounted our hourses and progressed toward the spring slowly, some distance farther, when the men rode off the road some distance to an eminence formed themselves into a line. We halted and came finally to the conclusion they were Indians, they brandished their swords,which we believed were lancets,gave a war hoop and came in full speed toward us. We then turned to retreat to the train in full speed for a short distance, then halted, to see what they were doing, they were still in swift pursuit of us. We kept a head sufficient distance to be out of reach of fun shot. We proceeded in this way for about 2 miles, when suddenly they halted being within a mile of our train (which was in full view). We also halted, a number of our men with Capt Browing was near at hand at the time, he seeing the chase mustered some of his boys into service, fully believing that they were Indians, this was one of the times that tryed our boys, some of them had too much of a hankering to take care of the waggons. Three of their company proceeded slowly, and came up to see us when to our astonishment and somewhat chagrined (to think they would act so) we found them to be Americans, who say they are a ranging company authorized by government to keep the Indians in check in this region of country, who frequently commit depredations on the Mexican settlements. They were suspicious looking fellows and we were not very well pleased at their treating us in that way and we were inclined to believe they were highway robbers. At any rate we watched our camp closely that night, we encampt at a beautiful spring which emptied into a salt lake, a short distance from its source, having traveled yesterday and today 46 miles. There has been a great division and dispersion amongst the emigrants, who came through this route at Santefee. Some taking the Northern route, some the middle on old Spanish trail, and many others the Southern Route which is the only practicable way for waggons from Samtefee. the latter route we have taken, our company now only numbers 26 men 2 Females and 4 children, Many however are a short distance ahead of us and many others close in our rear. We expect our number will be greatly increased at the crossing of the Rio Grand.

July 3d All well for which we have great reason to be thankful, traveled 5 miles finding some fine springs and good grass for our stock We encampted for the night. The country through which we have been traveling for several days may be termed the Valley of the Rio Grand. Very thinly settled and can never be otherwise on account of the scarcity of timber and water.

July 4th All well did not leave our camp until 3 o clock, traveled till 10 o clock at night came to dry branch finding no water we encampt for the night. traveled this day 18 miles.

5th Started early in 3 miles found water, at the old Mascinia Church an old Spanish concern now evacuated. traveled this day 21 miles finding plenty of grass wood and water, we encampt for the night.

July 6th All well our oxen’s feet getting sore, traveled this day 30 miles without water We struck the river at a place called Sahaya . a little spanish town, In our travels today we passed through a narrow defile in the mountains called I believe by some travelers The Devils passway. This region of country generally is unsuited to cultivation, the river bottoms where they can be irrigated produce corn and wheat very well, the whole country from Santefee to this place is destitute of timber except some scrubby cedars in the mountain gorges. The river at this place is about 300 yds wide, it is now high, We now travel down the river in order to get a pass through to the Gila.

July 7th Traveled only 10 miles encampt on the bank of the river where we found plenty of grass for our stock traveled this week 128 miles.

8th Did not travel being the sabbath

9th Traveled only 6 miles to a town called Sabine at which place we crossed the river, Other trains being before we have to await our turn, the Mexicans having nothing but canoes to cross in. We have to take our waggons apart and swim our stock over. The river at this place is between 3 and 4 hundred yards wide.
Tuesday 10th Engaged all the day in getting our waggons across about dark the last waggon 10 in number was safely over.

11th Crossed our mules all safely over by 12 o clock of this day we were ready to role traveled 8 miles encampt at Socharo a Mexican town, at which place the U. S. Government have a company of troops stationed.

This morning we had a horse and a mule missing, either stolen or strayed. Train started T. W. Wright sick. Capt Browning and Col Lucas tarried behind to hunt the lost horses. Traveled 8 miles and encampt.

13th Traveled 8 miles passing some little Mexican towns encampt on the bank of the river, plenty grass.

14th Our sick man better, traveled 18 miles encamped on the banks of the river. this evening Capt. Browning came in but had not found the stolen horses, left Col Lucas still behind in search of them.

July 15th Traveled 8 miles, At dark Col Lucas returned without the horses, roads very rough —

16th Left the river traveled 20 miles crossing deep ravines and sand flats encampt on the bank of the river, pretty good grass.

17th Traveled 10 miles encampt on the river at this place we found 3 waggons left by some emigrants ahead of us and many other things of a heavy nature. Capt Browing left one waggon with many other things here, also the Lincoln Company with whom we now are traveling left one, road very bad.–

18th Traveled 12 miles over extremely deep sand and several deep ravines encampt near the river.

19th Traveled 11 miles very rough roads and sand deep, encampt on the river, fair grass.

July 20th All well except Capt B. who is complaining a little, traveled 12 miles, this day we crossed a little running branch of clear cool water, the first we have seen since we struck the Rio Grand. had to use the river water, encampt at dark delightful cool spring. The Valley of the Rio Grand thus far barren and sandy, road very rough, the only timber to be seen is a few cottonwoodon the margin of the river.

21st Traveled 10 miles, encampt on the bank of the river, at this place we over took several other companies (to wit, The Clarkville C Rodger, The Washington Co. and Capt Davis Company. here we leave the river and travel westwardly. Our general course from Santafee here has been South, We now have to travel 36 miles without water. 22nd — Left camp about 3 o clock P.M. traveled until 22 at night. Stopt till day. Started early got to the water, found it good. Capt B. quite sick also W. Duke complaining with diarhea or flux, several others are complaining of the same disease (not of our mess).

23 d Traveled this day 26 miles when we arrived at the watering place. found the water very scarce. Our sick folks some better, left one ox broken down, Also our blacksmith cart.

24th Started early distance to water 21 miles, arrived at the place about 10 oclock at night, found plenty of water and very good. Overtook a number of emigrants at this place. We are now on the waters of the Pacific Timblel river I think it is called, but loses itself in the sandy deserts before it reaches the Pacific. Most of the roads to day very good, large and extensive plains high and lofty peaks, and Mountains to be seen by the travelor in every direction all entirely destitute of timber, except some scrubby cedars, pretty fair grass. Sick folks no worse, very warm, about 32 degrees N. Latitude.

July 25th Left our camp about 3 oclock of this day, traveled 10 miles and stoped our oxen to graze till morning. We are now traveling with the Clarksville Company.

26th Traveled only 5 miles to good grazing and stock water. Capt B quite sick he thinks Typhoid fever, poor place for a sick man. W. Duke better.

July 27th Lay at our camp this day, Capt. B. still worse, Met with some Apachie Indians here, brot in some mules, and traded for horses, which suited the emigrants very well, as their horses were about given out, These are the first Indians we have seen since we left the Rio Grand, they profess to be friendly, quite numerous in this section.

28th Capt B. Still sick and getting worse, Traveled 18 miles and encampt without water.

Sunday 29th Started early to find water traveled till dark 22 miles finding no water for our stock, we found a small spring which answered the purpose of quenching the thirst of our men. Next morning we found our oxen about 2 miles from the road where they had found a dirty pond of water which answered a fine purpose. Capt B’s case quite doubtful.

30th Traveled 10 miles found plenty of water and grass, the water was found on the margin of what is called dry lake by Capt Cook emigrants before us have very numberous little wells and some of them running over, Capt B. still worse.

July 3lst This morning found our mess and many others with heavy hearts, last night Capt. Browning’s attending physician pronounced his case a hopeless one and about 10 oclock of this day he expired, but not without hope of a better world than this, far from home and friends, where few white men if any could weep over his grave, we buried him as decently as the nature of the case would admit of, Religious ceremonies were performed at the grave by the Rev. J. B. Annis, of the M.E. Church. Thanks are due to Capt Rodgers of the Clarksville Company and many others who, done all in their power in aiding us during Capt B’s illness. We traveled 8 miles after night to overtake the train which had left about 2 hours by sun. Encampt without water.

August 1 Traveled 20 miles this day, had a tremendious hail storm and much rain. Encampt. plenty of grass wood and water.

2nd All well, traveled 10 miles good grass and water, encampt for the night. Country still destitute of timber, lofty mountains and high peaks, with level plains through which the road passes.

Aug 3d. This day we traveled about 10 miles crossing through a pass in
Rocky mountains known by the name of gandeloupe pass. We found about 4 or 5 miles of very bad roads on the western side of the mountain, for a man to stand on the top and look over, he would say at once, it was impossible for a mule to get down let alone a waggon, however we got down safe, we encampt in a narrow valley of fine grass and beautiful little stream of water passing through it.

4th Traveled 10 miles most of the way down the bed of the creek very roaky, we crossed the creek in the 10 miles 42 times.

Sunday 5th Did not travel.

6th Left the creek traveled over a rough and rolling plain 16 miles and encampt, fair water and grass here, we heard of plenty of wild cattle and sheep, two of our boys went to the cattle range.

7th Traveled 14 miles encampt on a creek called Black water by cook. plenty of grass and water, the plains through which we have traveled the last 2 days are quite barren and thickly covered with misquite brush and prickly pears, lofty peaks and mountains to be seen on either hand in front and rear. rough roads through the passes.

8th traveled 10 miles encampt, our oxens feet very tender, expect to stop a day or two to kill some cattle and dry the meat to carry with us.
Aug 9th Lay by dryed our beef the boys having killed two.

10th Traveled 18 miles plenty of grass and water, This section of the road was reported to be 25 miles without water. but the heavy rains we have had for the last few days gave us plenty.

llth Traveled 15 miles and sabbath the 12th 7 miles lay by the balance of the day, fine grass and water, heard two sermons by Revrand Mr. Annis. This day Thomas Dean with 20 others from Cheerkee County, Boys from Texas passed us on pack mules.

13th All well, traveled 12 miles bad roads. passed 2 deserted Ranchies and encampt at the foot of the Santicruse Mountains.

14th Crossed the mountains very narrow road steep and rocky, at the foot of which we come to a little Mexican town situated on a small river of the same name. There are a considerable number of Mexicans living at this place and farm their land to some considerable extent. They raise very good wheat, They have mills to grind their wheat but not bulling cloths. We bot some flour of them, price about 3 dollars per bushel, we ate it brand and all and considered it quite wholesome. Traveled this day 10 miles.
15th Did not travel.

16th From this day until sunday 19th, we traveled about 65 miles. down the above named river, pasing through some rich bottom land and several deserted Ranchies and towns. Which but a few years ago had been in cultivation. Some splendid churches, which seem to have been lately used others very ancient and delapidated. Encampt where we found good grass and pond water.

Monday 20th Traveled 15 miles encampt near a Mexican town called Jibeato and many Pimo Indians live at this place. All poor and servants for the Mexicans.

21st Traveled 9 miles encampt near another town called Touson plenty of stock and provision at this place. Here I sold a considerable quantity of Capt. Browings goods to the Mexicans.

22nd Traveled 10 miles, encampt without little grass and holes of water. The valley begins to present a barren aspect.

23d. Traveled 8 miles bad water no grass. encampt.

24th Traveled 17 miles but little grass or water.

Aug 25th Traveled 17 miles weather excessively hot and the country entirely destitute of grass, encampt for the night.

26th Started by daylight traveled 28 miles here we struck the Gila river. 15 miles above the Pimo village, encampt for the night.

27th Traveled 3 miles in order to find better grass and encampt.

28th Traveled 15 miles got fodder and corn from the Pimo Indians to feed our oxen. encampt for the night.

29th Traveled 15 miles passing through the Pimo Village. the Indians settlements extend along the river about 15 miles. Most of which is rudely cultivated by those Indians. They live in rude huts made of in the form of a dutch bake oven with but one entrance.

Those Indians are quite friendly and are very anxious to trade with the Americans. They have wheat, corn peas coto flour which they are willing to exchange for clothing, domestic and calicoes, they are particularly fond of beads. have no cattle, and but few horses and mules. The Apacha’s and some other tribes of Indians steal them they say, This tribe is said to number about 15 thousand both men and woman go naked except a small rag around the waist.

They irrigate their lands from the water of the Gila, and I think would produce well if they would attend to watering but they appear to be lazy and indolent.

Aug 30th Did not travel having good grass and water we rested our cattle, This portion of the Gila is destitute of timber except some small misquite. Weather very warm.

31st. Lay in camp all day, started about sunset traveled all night and until 8 o clock of the first of September. Stopt for the day it being exceedingly hot the road very dusty. We are now about half way of a 45 mile stretch without grass or water and a parching sun it looks as though there had been no rain here for six months. The Gila is on our right some distance it is not practible for waggons to pass down it, Six months this day since I left home and not yet in California by near a thousand miles, an awful trip indeed to be called a pleasure trip. Started about 4 o clock of this day, reached the Gila about 2 o clock on the morning of the 2nd of Sept. Ourselves and oxen much wearied tired and thirsty, where we expect to stay until tomorrow morning. No grass, plenty of careless weeds, which answers the purpose of grass for our stock. Gloomy times indeed, oxen giving out daily, Many will have to leave their waggons at this place, our mess had to leave our largest waggon and numbers of others of the company had to do the same. Left camp Monday the 3d about sun down. Traveled until 2 oclock stoped till day there started and found grass and water about 8 o clock of the 4th of Sept having traveled 20 miles from our last encampment. Tarried here the balance of this day, also Wednesday the 5th.

An awful occurance took place this day in our camps, Two young men one named Elijah Davis, the other G.W. Hickey, while herding their oxen some short distance from the encampment, quarreled about some frivolous Hickey struck Davis, after which Davis give him a complete drubing, Hickey cried out to the bye standers to take him off, which was immediately done, having seperated them, and supposing all was over but to their great surprise and astonishment the next thing they discovered was Hickey with his knife open making an effort at Davis, he Davis, made an effort to wade the lick, but the knife entered the open of his body just below the left shoulder blade and he expired in about 10 minutes. The Clarksville Company with Capt Rodgers at their head and many others who were traveling with the company thought it to be just and right to have Hickey tried before a jury of his country men. Accordingly he was arrested and a regular jury empanneled the evidence fairly taking for and against the prisoner. The jury was permitted to retire and in a short time returned with a verdict of guilty of the murder of Elijah Davis, and the he the said Hickey die for the same, by being shot, it being late at night the prisoner was put under guard until tomorrow morning.

Sept 6th This morning a vote was taken of the whole company, wheather or not the verdict of the jury should be sustained. When we found an almost unanimous vote in favor of sustaining the verdict, accordingly his execution took place at 3 o clock this day, by 12 guns being at him, 6 of the guns loaded with powder and balls and 6 with powder only. I did not witness the heart rending scene. Thus two young men in the bloom of youth were ushered into eternity within a day of each other to meet their fate at the Bar of God. They lived near neighbors to each other in Johnson County, State of Arkansas.

Sept 7th We left camp after 12 o clock at night, reached the river after sun up. Traveled 11 miles no grass.

8th Traveled 12 miles encamped near the river no grass.

9th Traveled 6 miles found a little grass near the river, stopt for the day. Sandy road. Squally times indeed, very warm weather, oxen daily giving out, and almost daily we pass from 2 to 5 waggons left by the emigrants who are before us, emigrants are throwing away all their heavy loading such as Blacksmith tools, iron of almost every description, trunks, boxes &c. Our cattle now live almost on young cottonwood and willow brush.

Sept 10th Traveled 15 miles found some grass stopt for the night, next morning we found our selves about 4 miles from the river, the nearest water, drove our stock there found pretty good grass, We thought it advisable to tarry here awhile to recruit our oxen.

12th Started at night traveled 5 miles to the river little or no grass.

The 13th 14th & 15th. We traveled 30 miles encampt on the bank of the river. All well, we have to drive principally at night the days are so very warm.

Sunday 16th Did not travel till sundown this night and Monday morning 17th travelled 14 miles encampt on the river some grass.

18th 19th & 20th traveled 34 miles found pretty good grass and water, road sandy and dusty, cattle failing provision getting scarce, We have now only about 12 days rations of Flour, squally times indeed. We tarried at this place the 20th until the evening of the 20th gathering grass to furnish our oxen subsistance through a desert of 124 miles, and to let our cattle recruit. This evening we rolled to the Colorado a distance of 12 miles.

On our way we had one man killed by the Yuma Indians, he was a German who left camp about the same time that we did, he had a pony and pack mule, and traveled frequently by himself, which was the case when he met his awful fate to day. There was a train of waggons before him and one behind and he was just out of sight of either, when the deed was committed, he had no weapons, which the Indians discovering, that it a good opportunity to get his horses and packs, they had knocked him in the head with a club, and cut his throat with a lancet or knife, the mans name I do not now recollect said he lived in Independance, Missouri, had some property there, we buried him by the wayside and travelled on, the Indians having escaped with the pony and mule and packs, having swam them across the Colorado.

The Yuma tribe of Indians are quite numerous and somewhat saucy, but poorly prepared for war, their principal weapons of war are bows and arrows, They do not cultivate the soil to any extent. Mellons and pumpkins are their principal harvest which grow without cultivation after the seeds are put in the ground. The misquite beans are gathered by them and stored away for food in the winter. They are great rascals, and will steal when ever an opportunity offers, they are stout and robust and the most masterly looking females amongst them, I have ever seen. Men and women without clothing except their usual badge around the waist.—Having now arrived at the Colorado near the mouth of the Gila, I am compelled to say that the valley of the Gila considering its size and many places its extensive bottoms and plains, is less adapted to cultivation than any other portion of country of the same extent I have ever travelled through.

The bottoms are frequently 5 to 10 miles wide and mostly very rich soil, are at some seasons of the year entirely overflowed and at present very dry and dusty, being the dry season of the year. While riding the road you will frequently see drift wood in trees above your head while on horse back. If it were not for the overflow the land might be irrigated from the river, which has considerable fall and in some future day, become a great farming country. Having arrived at the Colorado a beautiful stream of about 400 yards wide rapid current our attention was next directed to the best mode of getting across, the conclusion was to build a raft, which was soon done. We expected to find rafts already made by emigrants before us, but the Indians would take them away as soon as the owners were out of sight, some made boats of their waggon beds and crossed quite safely. One man however did not succeed in affecting a landing, his waggon bed with its contents about $300. worth, and a sick man in it floated down the river about 7 miles to an Indian village, he got the sick man, but the waggon bed and goods he never got.

Emigrants who were numberous at the crossing had not time to lend him any aid. Our stock with out grass, and a sandy desert to cross our provisions almost exhausted, we were compelled to make all possible speed, otherwise we should have given them a good whipping.

All things ready on the 26th of Sept/49 we crossed the river carrying our waggons and goods on a raft, and swimming our stock without accident or loss.

Each side of the river me, (tho in a howling wilderness) of some of our large river towns in the United States. The throng of people unloading and reloading their waggons and the floating crafts on the water would almost make you believe you were in some commercial city, but the next thought kills all your happiness, when you are aware that you are in a far and distant land from home and friends and amongst savages in the wilderness.

Sept 27th. Was spent in reloading our waggons and preparing to cross the desert. Started on the 28th. Travelled mostly at night on account of the extreme heat of the day and on the morning of the 7th of Oct we succeeded in getting through, distance 112 miles. The whole way perfect bed of white sand, except at one small stream called New river, where we found some grass and rested our cattle two days. if it had not been for this, it would have been impossible for our oxen to have gotten through. This place was about half way of the distance. Not withstanding, hundreds of oxen and mules have fallen by the way side, and many more must fall.

We daily and almost hourly pass waggons left by the wayside, we succeeded in getting all our stock through but 2 oxen and one mule, the oxen gave out from fatigue and hunger, the mule was stolen by some Mexicans coming from California whom we have been meeting daily by hundreds on their return from California. We did not suffer much for want of water 24 miles being the longest stretch without. When we got within 6 miles of the end of the desert we were compelled to take our oxen from the waggons and send them to grass in order to recruit them a little to be able to draw our waggons through.

We are now at an Indian village near the divides between the Colorado and Pacific waters.

Plenty of sulphur water not very unpleasant to the taste, pretty good grass. Indians in ofensive, but nothing to sell us to eat, Our cattle and ourselves much exhausted.
Oct 8th. We left camp travelled 5 miles found water and some grass, encampt for the day, our oxen need rest. This morning six of our mess left for the settlement, Warners Rancheo being the first, having cooked and eat the last of our flour. Myself and 3 others remained with the waggons. We had left about 2 quart of corn we ground on a coffee mill.

Oct 9th Left camp travelled 14 miles to an Indian Village called San Philipi. This day passed through the divides between the Colorado and Pacific waters, it is a deep narrow channel through the mountain for about 2 miles with tremendious high and lofty peaks on either side. We did not have much steep road though some places very rocky and scarcely room for a waggon to pass through, huge walls of rock on either side.

10th Did not travel, finding grass and water, we rested our cattle being almost worn out.

11th. Travelled 10 miles encampt for the night near an Indian Village whose inmates appear to be quite friendly.

Oct 12th Reached Aqua Caliente or Warne old Rancheo here we found our boys who had gone ahead a few days ago. Found beef at 6 cents per lb and Flour with out bolting at 12 cents per lb. Mr. Warner does not now live here he does business by an agent. We also found plenty of the finest grapes I ever eat, also wine and peaches, the vinyard is superintended by an American by the name of Marshall. Worked principally by Indians, who are quite numerous at this place.

We found here a hot spring quite large enough to turn a mill and sufficiently hot to cook an egg in a short time.From the water of this spring they irrigate their land. There are also some fine cold springs and good grass.

We are now 120 miles from Los Angeles a town near the Pacific coast.

Here we sold or rather give away our small waggon and 3 worn out oxen. got 40 dollars for them.

We stayed at this place from the 12th to the 15th. When we left with one waggon and 4 yoke of oxen. travelled 12 miles and encampt.

Froom the 15th to the 20th we travelled 90 miles which brought us to Williams Ranchio, passing several Indian villages and Mexican deserted ranches. Road generall good, passing through level plains surrounded by tremendious hills. Col Williams who lives at this place is an American, a Pennsylvanian by burth says he has been living in this country about 19 years, he is in possession of an immence fortune, it is said he has 15 thousand cattle and 15 hundred horses and mules.

We left Col Williams on the 23d for Los Angeles 30 miles distant at which place we arrived at in 2 days, passing several American Ranchios. Mr. Reed, Mr. Rollands, Mr. Walkers &c. all of whom have fine farms and are very wealthy. We passed a night at Mr. Rollands he treated us like a gentlemen. It done me good to have the privelege of again conversing with one who could give me some information in regard to the country.

There are some fine valleys of land here and where they can be irrigated are very productive. The grape grows to great perfection. Oats grow spontaneous all over the hills, though at this season of the year there is no green vegetables to be seen only from irrigation. No rain falling from April till November. Peuble De Los Angeles is a considerable town 24 miles from the Pacific Coast. At least the nearest
shipping point. San Pedro at which place we are now at, waiting for a vessel which is expected today. There are several American stores at Los Angeles doing a fine business. Money plenty all eatibles except beef scarce, goods about l00 per cent higher than in the old states.

I am now sitting upon the banks of the Pacific. I can now say I have crossed the Continent of America. There is no town of consequence at this place, a pretty good harbor for ships, a warehouse, and a common boarding house. No wood or water except what is purchased at a high price, and now I can say having passed through our land travels as a general thing, there is no timber such as would be considered useful (except for fire wood) from Fort Smith to this place. Mountains and plains are alike destitute of any valuable timber.

Nov lst. This day we got on board of the Brig Mali Chadel, a good sailing vessel 156 persons composed the number of her passengers and very much crowded. On the evening of this day we set sail for the City of San Francisco, a distance of 700 miles. the wind blowing almost to a gale, the sea was very rough, it was not long before almost all the passengers were sick and vomiting. Such a sight I never beheld before, it being the first time I was ever at sea.

We had quite a stormy time all the way up the coast, and indeed, I thought the night before we got into the harbor of San Francisco, the ship with its crew would go to the bottom of the sea, the wind, which had blown hard all the way, had now become a perfect gale. the waves breaking over our little vessel at an awful rate, I was ready to give up the ship but the captain and officers did not seem to be much concerned. the sails were nearly all drawn in and the ship left to combat with the waves till morning. When we found we had been beaten off from the Golden Gate (as it is termed) some 40 or 50 miles, but the storm having greatly abated, and having a fair wind we soon reached the long sought port, the City of San Francisco. On the 8th of Nov about noon our little ship dropped her anchor amidst hundreds of other already moored in the bay of San Francisco, the city presenting a grand view upon the sloping hills around the shore. It being 8 months and 8 days since I left my home and family.

The City of San Francisco is beyond description the vast increase of its population, the rapid growth of its improvements cannot be described. I have been here about 2 months and hundred I may say, Thousands of new buildings of some kind have been erected. Many of them are canvas or tent houses, and many other from buildings brought from the States. Ships are almost daily arriving with emigrants, lumber and provisions. There are several towns above this, on the several rivers (to wit,) Stockton on the San Janquin, Sacrimento City on the Sacrimento river, Fremont and Vernos on the Feather river and Marysville on the Yuba one mile above its junction with Feather river.

On all of thses rivers gold to a greater extent abounds. This being the rainy season here, I have not as yet visited the mines, a great many of the miners have left and come down to the towns to winter.

From all the information I can gather Golds is not as abundant as it was represented to be in the States, nor so easy got at. It takes hard labour and all who are industrious and saving do well in the course of their summers work. It frequently happens that men light upon rich places that yield them thousands of dollars with but little labour.

A short description of the country, and my travels in California after I left San Francisco and my return home to my family in Texas.

On the first of January 1850 I left San Francisco for the mining district on a steam boat, for it must be considered that the nearest profitable digging is at least 200 miles from San Francisco. I went up the Sacrimento river to Sacrimento City which is said to be 150 miles from the former place, for which I paid 25 dollars besides one dollar and fifty cents for my dinner, passing the mouth of the San Joquin a river of considerable size and navigable for steam boats some distance up, which flows from the south, from the source of this river and its tributaries we get the name of the southern mines which in time passed have proved to be very rich. I stayed in Sacrimento City about 10 days could hardly decide which way to go, South or North. finally came to the conclusion to go to the Northern Mines.

I got on a steam boat took passage for Marysville paying 25 dollars more traveled up Sacrimento to the mouth of Feather river at which place there are two little towns, Vernon on the right and Fremont on the left run up Feather river to Yuber river one mile up which I found the place where Marysville was intended to be. Not a house there except an old Spanich dobe house, plenty of trading tents. Town had just been surveyed and lots then in market. On the 11th of Jany I got to that place, rain pouring down in torrents, no place to shelter except a little floating boat which had been turned into a boarding house at the waters edge. it then appeared to me to be 15 or 20 feet from the top of the bank. Next morning it was floating level with the top. The tents had all been moved to higher ground, I stayed two or three days there waiting for an opportunity of some conveyance to carry me up to the mines. The nearest of which was on the Yuba about 14 miles, but finding none the roads being impassable.

Myself and two other young men agreed with a man who was owner of a little whale boat, who had some flour he wished to carry up the river higher, to help him row his boat up if he would carry our luggage. We started, he gave me an oar and put me to work. I never worked harder in my life. After getting up about 5 miles we were compelled to leave the boat, the current being so strong, he put us ashore, then came the tug of war, we had to shoulder our sacks, pick up our beds (blankets) and walk wading through water from knee to hench deep. I then begin to wish myself at home again, but the prospect of an abundance of gold ahead buoyed up my spirits and enabled me to press on I was now near where the river gushed forth from the mountains in rapid torrents and for one to get on a little eminance and view the wide spread plains behind him and knowing at the same time the number of large rivers that must head up in these mountains, he will be astonished. On your right, left, and front it appears like a continued mass of mountains, apparently no passage for a water course to pass, but in following up the stream you will find them issuing forth in a zig zag form from amidst high and lofty peaks, and there are the places where the most gold is found. I travelled on that day and stoped at a place called Prases Bar on the Yuba where there was considerable mining going on. I stopt for a few days the wather being rainy and snow visible on the mountains. I did not wish to go further North at the present. Paid here 21 dollars per week for my board, and at this place the only one.

Ihave done anything in the way of digging and washing gold, whilst I was in California. An old Gentleman about my age had a claim not far distant from where I boarded in what was called dry digging, the river being to high to work in the banks, I proposed to him one day to go and help him grattis –if he would learn me the art of mining, he headily agreed to it, he put me to rocking as he considered it the dryest part of the work. I thought it was all dry, as it was called dry digging, but I soon found that it wet me from my knees down, having to rock with one hand and with a dipper, put in water with the other, in a short time my boots were full of water, it was hard work to me indeed.

He proposed however that day before night to divide the amount and quit which I readily acceeded to and further more if I would continue with him, he would give me half we made, to which I consented to. We worked about 5 days in digging out his claim, which averaged about 12 dollars per day each. by which time I was perfectly satisfied I would not be able to stand the hardship of mining, being near 5l years old and constitution some what shattered. I felt considerable Rheumatic pains in my limbs from the constant exposure to cold water. However I did not give it up, having now learned something of the art. I got myself a pan shovel and pick, provisions sufficient for 6 months, hired a man to pack it for me paid him 47 dollars per hundred for packing 37 miles, on my way up the Yuba coming in contact with the snow I concluded to stop awhile, went to prospecting which is the hardest work ever a man went at. Not successful. finally settled down on the South Fork of Yuba, purchased a ferry boat and the 15th day of March I commenced operation at the ferry being just one year and 15 days from the time I left home.

This I found to be profitable as long as I kept it, but some gentlemen putting a bridge across at the same place, ruined my ferry. I had an income at the ferry only about 4 months. I had then to turn my attention to some thing else. I looked around for some employment, coming in contact with a company who had caneled and damed the river for the purpose of working the river, I found it to prospect well, bot interest and in six weeks after I was 500 dollars out of pocket the river rose broke the dam and the company dispersed. bad luck. I thought indeed. However I thought it would not due to give up I had then laid out nearly all the money I had made to furnish the daming company with provision clothing &c. and they having broken up, I had to seek some other place to dispose of them. I found a suitable place on a public road leading to the Northern mines, myself and another gentleman by the name of Riggin, bot the Ranchio it was a valley of good grass for that part of the country. and a good stand for a tavern house, and trading post. Myself and partner continued together at this place for six months.

Done a fair business and about the 1st of April 1851 sold my interest to my partner, and another gentleman by the name of John Alexander. Now making preparations to return home.

Society in California is very bad indeed and when we consider the complicated mass of human beings which visit the mining region, a man cannot reasonably expect anything else but what astonished me most was to see our own people act so contrary to moral rectitude profession and non profession, all alike. When I say this I am speaking of the mining districts generally. Preachers of the Gospel who, I have no doubt come to this country for the ostensible purpose of preaching and proclaiming Christs everlasting Gospel, to the people, after a few efforts found it was like casting pearls before swine. gave up any further intention in that way, turned their attention to gold hunting, and in some few instances as I am informed turned out to be very bad men.

God’s foolstool come to the gold mines. If you want to see the place where gambling, drinking carousing and swearing take the place of social and religious meetings, come to the gold mines. If you want to see the place where the boys are brought up at the gambling table, and for the penitentiary and gallows, come to the gold mines. If you want to see the place where men fear neither God, man nor the devil, come to the gold mines.

If you want to see men that care nothing for themselves and less for others, come to the gold mines. Thus much in regard to the state of society in the gold mines and I am sorry to say that I am compelled to subscribe to the truth of the foregoing statement as far as my observation has extended. ——-

A short discription of the mining district. This is generally known by the Southern and Northern mines or diggings. The southern portion commencing on the head waters of the San Jonquin with all his tributaries North to the American river which empties into the Sacrimento river at Sacrimento City, all north of the last mentioned river is generally called the northern mines. The extent of the now discovered diggings North and South, must comprehend six or seven hundred miles. The Southern portion, being first discovered and first worked are not considered to be rich as the Northern though some are going well. One advantage a man may have in the Southern which he has not in the Northern mines is that he can work in the winter season. Whilst he is prohibited in the Northern district, in the winter and almost all the summer, by reason of the depth of the snow falling in that district of country usually men cannot work in the Northern mines, to any great advantage until about the first of August. Consequently have but a short season to work, rains or snow commencing about the middle of November, but frequently they are well paid for their years waiting and labour much suffering distress and even death occurs in this region of the mining diestrict, by reason of the miners venturing out to soon into the mountains in search of Gold, on as they term it, a rich claim, and a snow may fall from ten to fifteen feet deep, cut them of from retreat and thereby perish. I think I can safely say that I have heard of fifty perishing in the way during my stay in California.

Soil and agricultural productions of the country.

In many places on the rivers after they emerge from the mountains, the soil is very rich, and would produce abundantly if rain would fall in the right season but most of those rich bottoms and plains are submerged in water until after the dry season sets in, which prevents the people from planting as early as they should do. Wheat and Barley are raised to some considerable extent. Corn cannot be raised without irrigation and most of the rivers will not admit of that, the fall being not sufficient perticularly where the soil is good. Vegetables of almost every kind can be raised in abundance, upon those rich soils but most of the gardens and vegetables patches also managed that they can be watered either from wells or some other source. Grass is abundant upon all those rivers in the low grounds immense herds of cattle winter themselves and get very fat during the spring and summer months, useful timber is scarce in all those bottoms and plains, some portions of the country abounds with the finest pine timber of any other I have ever seen,but are located amongst the mountains where agriculture cannot be profitably carried on to any great extent, there are portions of the country also where red wood a species of the cedar grow to an enormous size and are very useful for boards and shingles. The cedars is found in the mountainous region of the country of great size and is very useful for board in the mining districts. There are many different species of the oak in California, but of little use, except for fire wood.

As my stay and travels in California was but limited, I shall for bear giving any further description lest I should not do justice to those portions which I have not visited, but as far as I have attempted to do so, I have endeavored to do it correctly.

There are a great many native Indians dispersed over this country and many sections are becoming quite troublesome, they are known mostly by the name of diggers, not from their industry in digging gold (for they are very lazy and indolent) but because they live principally upon roots which they dig and of the ground those with acorns make their food.

We are now one of the United States have a constitution and a state government, which laws are in a great degree wholesome at least as far as they extend but I am sorry to say that most of them are disregarded by both people and officers perticularly in the mining districts of country. Gambling appears to be the most prominent feature of pursuit in California, it is true gold hunting is next to it, but when men get gold they fall in the current think they are expert gamblers risk their money and frequently loose all. go back to the mines and dig again, come back to the cities and loose again, and in nine chances out of ten those men turn out to be bad.

I am compelled to give it as my opinion that there can never be a good state of society in this country until gambling is prohibited A greater source of evil, or more certain curse cannot exist over any people or nation, than the undisturbed practice of gambling.

Laws as yet cannot be passed to check or put a stop to its previlence, so large a majority of the voters who send their representatives to the State Legislature being of the same craft Legislation would be dangerous to their tenure in office, should they attempt any such a thing.

Having given a short account of the Society, soil, river &c. of California I shall now take up my journey.

I left my old place on the 8th of April 1851. Went to Marysville took a steam boat for San Francisco, landed there about l0 o clock of the night of the 9th. Tarried there until the 15th when I wnet aboard of the seam ship Isthmus, bound for Panama. Paying 100 dollars for second cabin passage. No accident except one days delay occasioned by some part of the engine getting out of order.

Distance from San Francisco to Panama 3600 miles. Landed at 2 ports on the way (to wit. Acapulca a Mexican town, like most other Mexican
high, considered the best harbour on the coast. This town is about 1800 miles from San Francisco.

The next place we landed at is called Realajo. this place is situated in Central America about 1000 miles from the former, we landed here for the purpose of cooling and watering. Buried one man here who died of consumption.

On the evening of the 7th of May we landed at Panama. This is a considerable town also in Central America, put up for the night at the American House kept by Americans where we were treated very well. The natives are negroes or Negro and Spanish mixt. They are quite numerous and in low state of moralization.

Town of considerable size, badly laid out streets narrow, houses many of them of stone, 3 or 4 stories high, We have now about 84 miles to travel to get to Chagres a little town on the Atlantic side 24 miles of which we travelled by land, hire a mule or go on foot as you choose.and sixty miles down the Chagres river which is a small stream emtying into the Atlantic at the little town called Chagres, which place we reached in 2 days from Panama, travelling down the river in small boats rowed by the natives.

From Panama to Chagres, it cost about 45 dollars pleasant trip at the roads
Stayed one day in Chagres, it rained all day, the first of consequence since we left San Francisco. There are several American houses in Chagres, and fair accommodations, we are now 7 or 8 degrees north latitude. Very warm.

On the 11th about 10 oclock got on board the Steam Ship Falcon bound for New Orleans, paid for passage second cabin 35 dollars, by the way of Havana, at 6 o clock Friday morning we anchored in the harbour of Savana, being not quite 5 days from the time we left Chagres a distance of l000 miles.

Havana is on the Island
of span

On the 18th left Havana at 2 o clock on board of the Steam Ship Georgia for New Orleans, arrived there at 6 o clock in the morning of the 21st. distance 600 miles, health at New Orleans good No sickness of consequence on our whole trip.

Saturday 24th left New Orleans at 6 o clock on board of the steam boat St Charles, price 10 dollars up Red river to Grand Ecore, Landed there Tuesday morning in bad health. About 8 o clock the 27th, Left on Wednesday 28th for Crocket in the Stage got to Crocket on Saturday morning at 8 o clock and ——ing at sun family in (this is way it ended)

Respectfully submitted to be a copy of the original diary as hand copied by Mrs. Edith Morris.

 

 

 

 

Jun 9, 2013 - Browning Stories    No Comments

Will of William Browning

Relationship: Father of husband of my 2nd great grand aunt Flora Wilkinson Browning

GEORGIA, MORGAN COUNTY:

WILLIAM BROWNING of county afsd. being in a low state of health but of sound mind & memory & being sensible of the certainty of my approaching dissolution have thought it fit & proper to make & establish the following as my last will & testament.

First, It is my will & desire my executors should as speedily as practical adjust & settle all my unsettled business by discharging all just demands which may come against my estate which are but few & small in amount & collecting all that may be due me either by liquidated or open accounts which is considerable in amount I suppose at least $3000.

2nd.  It is my will & desire the whole of my estate both real and personal in whatsoever it may consist should be equally divided among my wife Isabella Browning & my eight children (to wit) John K. Browning, Robert M. Browning, Mary C. Browning, Joshua R. Browning, Geo. W. Browning, Sarah S. Browning, William A. Browning & James A. Browning for each one to have 1/9 part subject to exceptions, regulations, management & distribution herein after pointed out to them their heirs & assigns forever.

It is my wish & desire that as soon after my decease as the interest of my heirs shall dictate to be best my executors should be at liberty to dispose of at public sale for the equal & joint benefit of my heirs much the largest & principal part of my livestock consisting of cattle, horses mules *c with such other articles & property as my executors may consider unnecessary to the comfort & interest of my family to retain all of which is to be sold on credit a my executors may deem expedient & the money arising from the sale when collected & added to outstanding debts now due me, I would advise it should be carefully kept at interest either by loans to private individuals of undoubted credit or vested in some profitable bank or other stock.

It is my wish the whole of my negroes should be hired out annually at a public hiring securing the hire money by bond & good security & providing in the terms of hiring for the negroes being well fed & clothed & their taxes paid except a reserve of two or three of the negroes which may be thought most suitable to be kept for the use and benefit of my wife & children as waiters &c.

My wish is the whole of my children should be kept at respectable & good schools until they obtain what may be termed a good English education at least equal to the education which my eldest son John K. Browning has already acquired & further I wish my son William A. Browning provided he takes or receives learning to advantage to be continually at school over & above what I have pointed out for my children generally until $500 is expended on him in that behalf which I give to him out of my undivided estate over & above his equal share with the rest & if he does not receive sum in procuring education it is my wish he should receive it in money over & above his equal share.

It is my wish that any tract of land & plantation where I now reside should remain as an undivided home for the joint use & benefit of my wife & children until my youngest child arrives at a lawful age or marries or until the death or marriage of my wife in the event of which case the land or proceeds of it is to be held & enjoyed equally & entirely by my children my wife inheriting no part of share thereof any longer than her widowhood.

Should anyone or more of my children die before they arrive at lawful age or marry it is my will their portion of my estate should be equally inherited & divided among those who survive.  As my children arrive at lawful age or marry it is my wish they should draw from my estate their entire portion in whatever it may consist according to the foregoing distribution as soon as it can reasonably be done except their portion of the land where I now live which is reserved for the purposes above.

After any child or children may have drawn their parts I then wish the balance to return to a joint stock & so continue to divide to each one of their respective shares as they arrive of age or marry.

I nominate & appoint my wife Isabella Browning & my two sons John K. Browning & Robert M. Browning executrix & executors to this my last will & testament with this exception to wit that should my wife intermarry again then she or the person with whom she units is to have no control or management of my children or estate but the whole shall devolve on my two sons named as executors, 12 May 1820.

/s/

William Browning

 

Witnesses: Wilson Lumpkin, Thomas Talley, Arthur Slaton.

Proved by Wilson Lumpkin, Thomas Talley, Arthur Slaton.

History of Anderson County, Texas

Relationship: Husband of second great grand aunt

The United States, as part of the mislabeled Florida Purchase Treaty of 1819, abandoned its tentative claims to territory that included what would eventually become Texas. Three years later, due largely in part to civil unrest within the mother country, Mexico gained its independence from Spain. In August, 1821, Stephen Fuller Austin was authorized by the Mexican government to enact the colonization enterprise first planned by his father, Moses Austin, before his death. By December of the same year the first colonists began to arrive in Texas. Widespread mortgage foreclosure because of the economic panic of 1819, and changes to the Land Act in 1820 made settlers eager to move to Austin’s colony. The conditions of the grant said that Austin would get three hundred American families, of the established Roman Catholic faith, to immigrate to the Texas territory, and that they would become properly Mexicanized. These conditions were generally ignored. Several other colonies were soon started by others, but Stephen Austin remained the main driving force behind the American colonization of Mexican Texas.

In 1826, the Mexican government gave David G. Burnet a grant to form a colony in the eastern part of Texas, which included an area that many years later would become Anderson County. In recent years the Mexican government had been making it more and more difficult to start new non-Catholic churches within its territories, although it did not interfere as much with already established churches. Rev. Daniel Parker, who was interested in starting a Protestant church in Texas, consulted with Stephen F. Austin,and in 1833 brought a group of 25 Primitive Baptist families from Illinois to Texas. They decided to call themselves the Pilgrim Predestinarian Regular Baptist Church and settled on the San Pedro Creek, near what is now the town of Grapeland, in Houston County, where they built a fort that became known as Brown’s Fort. John Parker, Rev. Parker’s brother, decided to move his family and three others 75 miles west to the Navasota River to establish Parker’s Fort, which is now a state park in Limestone County, roughly 32 miles east of Waco.

In early June, 1835, Joseph Jordan and William Ewing bought some land, two miles southeast of present day Palestine, at a spot now known as the John H. Reagan home site. A town called Houston was started there and by order of Gen. Sam Houston, a fort was built in the public square. The fort was naturally enough called Fort Houston. On 02 November 1835, Texas declared its right to secede from Mexico. The Mexican dictator,Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna declared Texas a state in revolt and began a military campaign of suppression. On 23 February 1836 a small mission fort in south central Texas called San Antonio de Valero, now commonly known as the Alamo, was attacked by units of the Mexican army. Santa Anna directed his army to ruthlessly slaughter the group of hopelessly out numbered Texas rebels after they refused to surrender the fort. Accompanied by cries of “Remember the Alamo”, an army of outraged Texans, led by Sam Houston,defeated Santa Anna and his army on 21 April 1836 at San Jacinto (Dan Lumpkin and Wash Browning fought in this battle). Texas independence was proclaimed a short time later and the new country was named “The Republic of Texas”.

Santa Anna’s attacks destroyed most of the American settlements west of the Trinity River and many survivors fled to Fort Houston for protection.Some of the Parker colonists returned to Parker’s Fort shortly after Santa Anna’s defeat. On 19 May 1836, Parker’s Fort was attacked by Commanche Indians and nearly all of the families were killed.  A couple survivors were captured and the rest fled back to Fort Houston.

In 1838, Rev. Daniel Parker, who had moved north of Brown’s Fort to build his home in an area near present-day Elkhart, helped build a small, single room church near his home. The church, now called “Old Pilgrim”, is the oldest Protestant church in Texas. In October of the same year, Gen. Thomas Rusk was informed that hostile Indians were camped at a place called Kickapoo, near what is now Frankston, in northeastern Anderson County. At the time he was marching with over two hundred men to Fort Houston to fight marauding Mexicans and Indians. His successful raid of the Indian camp, which ended Indian hostilities in eastern Texas for the rest of that year, was the only large scale battle against hostile Indians recorded within Anderson County.

Six years after the Kickapoo battle, on 29 December 1845,Texas was annexed into the union as the 28th state. The area which would become Anderson County was first formed as part of Houston County, but on 24 March 1846, the First Legislature of the state of Texas responded to a petition presented by settlers from around the Fort Houston area to create a new county, which was created from the upper part of Houston County.The new county lay between the Trinity and Neches rivers, and had an area of 1,077 square miles, making it the 52nd largest of the 254 counties in Texas.

It was suggested that the county be named Burnet, in honor of David G. Burnet, but instead it was named Anderson, after Kenneth Lewis Anderson, Vice-President of the Republic of Texas from 1844 until the state’s annexation. The same act passed by Legislature that created Anderson County also stated that its seat had to be within three miles of the geographic center of the county. Strong competition broke out between the towns of Fort Houston and Mound Prairie, both wanting to claim the privilege of being the county seat. The county was organized on 13 July 1846 and Fort Houston served as the county seat. A month later it was found that Fort Houston was too far off the center of the county, so a committee, composed of ‘Dan’ Lumpkin, William Turner Sadler, and John Parker was appointed to find and lay out the site for a new county seat.

During the same time as the county was being organized, two merchants, William Bigelow and J.R. Fulton, ran a general store on the 525 acres of land they owned where the city of Palestine is now located. Seeing a chance to increase the value of their holdings, Bigelow, Fulton,and Fulton’s wife, Selina, offered the committee 100 acres of their land, located in the center of the county, for $500. The Commissioner’s Court decided to accept the Fulton-Bigelow offer. A new town was surveyed and laid out by Johnston Shelton, who filed his maps at the county clerk’s office in August, 1846. John Parker suggested that the new town be named after his family’s former home of Palestine in Crawford County, Illinois. This was agreeable and so the new Anderson County seat got its name.

Between 1850 and 1855 the slave population had more than tripled in Anderson County. It is recorded that when the Anderson County vote was taken to decide if Texas should secede from the union, only seven out of roughly 1500 voters opposed secession. Texas seceded from the union on 01 Feb 1861 and in April of 1861 the first group of volunteer troops left Anderson County. A county judge, John H. Reagan, who was later to be a major driving force in the expansion of Anderson County after the war,was a cabinet member of the Confederate government, serving as the postmaster general. The civil war ended in April, 1865, but most of the population in Texas did not hear the news until the following month. Strong anti-federalist feelings continued to dominate Anderson County, even after the war’s end. The slow, months-long return trip home of Anderson County’s surviving Confederate soldiers only helped to prolong the county’s anti-federalist feelings.

The 1870 census showed a population of 9,229 people in Anderson County. During the next ten years the population would almost double in size, due mainly to the railroad lines coming to the county. The International,the first railroad to come to Anderson County, reached Palestine on 11 July 1872. This marked the end of the ‘riverboat’ era, which had previously been the main source of commercial transportation for the county. On 30 September 1873 the International merged with the Houston and Great Northern.This was an important part of the country’s railroad network and marked a booming railway era for the entire county, but especially for the city of Palestine. By the time of the 1880 census the population of Palestine had doubled to more than 4,000 people. Anderson County’s total population had nearly doubled to 17,395.

Agricultural produce dominated Anderson County from 1880 to 1940, even though traces of oil were found in the county in 1881. In 1902 the first rotary rig was shipped to the county but the first successful oil well wasn’t produced until 1928. The discovery brought prosperity and helped lessen the impact of the Great Depression on the county during the 1930’s, unlike other less fortunate areas of the state.

 

The History of Houston County, TX

Relationship: Husband of second great grand aunt

 by:  Armistead Albert Aldrich – “The History of Houston County Texas” – 1943

 

“AN EARLY SKETCH OF CROCKETT”

“Unlike most historians, who depend upon preceding writers for their materials, the Oldest Inhabitant himself contemporary with Crockett, is enabled to note its rise and progress, free from the melancholy task of recording its decline and fall.

“Crockett was located at the county site of Houston County, in the winter of 1837, owing to its position to its being the only point within a reasonable distance of the San Antonio Road, and the center of the county, where running water could be found.

“It was emphatically a frontier village, but three hours ride from the buffalo range; for several years Indian outrages were committed in its vicinity. The Coshattas hunted on the South, the Cherokees joined the county on the East, while North and West the wild or Prairie Indians penetrated the sparse settlements almost unperceived, and too generally unpunished.

“A very narrow chain of settlements along the San Antonio road, formed the connection with the white population of Texas. This road, as is well known, passes through the poorest and worst watered portion of Houston County, giving no promise of a better country to the passing stranger.

“Distance from market (Trinity not being then navigated) danger from Indians and the usual inconvenience of a frontier country, long retarded the settlement of the county and the growth of the village.

“Although a log courthouse and jail were erected and the liberality of the legislature had granted a charter providing for the election of a mayor, eight aldermen, a town clerk, etc. yet for some months the solitary citizen, who kept a store in a 16-foot log cabin, was daily asked, ‘How far to Crockett?’

“‘You are right in the public square of Crockett now, Stranger,’ was the answer.

“In 1839 there were two resident families, and the danger from Indians was so urgent that the neighbors fortified the courthouse lot with pickets and took sheIter with their families until immediate danger had passed over.

“For two years the sittings of the district court were suspended, during which time cases of assault and battery were so multiplied that succeeding grand juries declined to notice them.

“Card playing (not then prohibited) and quarter racing, were the favorite amusements on public days. The eastern and western mails arrived on an average of twice a month. The northern mail for Fort Houston was sent whenever there was a chance, and then generally in the crown of a hat.  The Galveston mail was once suspended for five months, and at last arrived in coffee sacks on an ox wagon.

“Sassafras tea, rye coffe, milk and whiskey, were the only beverages that could be depended on, as coffee frequently could not be had at any price.  In the way of diet, steel mill bread and jerked beef were the great staples.

“The telegraph has entered our town, a substantial brick courthouse has just been completed, the Masonic Hall, Temple of Honor, and free church are well attended; six stores, two taverns, a boot and shoemaker and saddler’s shop accommodate the public; professional gentlemen offer their services to clients and patients, our bricklayers are busy and all the usual means and appliances of civilized life may be found in our village.”

******************************************************************************************
More than a century after the abandonment of the old Spanish Mission, that part of Nacogdoches County which afterwards became Houston County, began to be settled by colonists in Vehlin’s Colony.  Many of these obtained titles from the Mexican Government before the creation of Houston County, and quite a number of them fought in the Battle of San Jacinto and are entitled to be numbered with the heroes of that great decisive battle in the history of Texas.  Many of their names appear on the following document, which was a prelude to the creation of the county.  This is a historic document and deserves a place in the history of the county.  Many of the men whose names appear on this document were prominent citizens in the later development of the county.  It is as follows:

   Mustang Prairie, April 22nd, 1837

     “To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives when in Congress Assembled:

     “We, the undersigned, your petitioners, citizens of said republic do most respectfully pray that your honorable body make for us a county on the East side of Trinity River, beginning at Robbins Ferry on said Trinity; Thence running fifteen miles each side of the old San Antonio Road and East far enough to make a constitutional county, and we do further pray that your honorable body appoint three disinterested commissioners out of the bounds of said county to locate the seat of justice for said county in granting the aforesaid petition, we, your petitioners as duty bound will ever pray, etc.

Iredell Reding

John B. Reding

Geo. W. Reding

James L. Gossett

Wm. L. Gossett

Elisha Clapp

John Wortham

John Hallmark

William Dillard

John V. D. Gossett

Jacob Masters

John Box

Stephen Crist

Reason Crist

William Anglin

Robin Brown

Richard Eaton

Thomas Denson

Nelson Box

P.O. Lumpkin

John C. Moore

John Allbright

Jacob Allbright

Barton Clark

James L. Gossett

E. Gossett

John L. Hall

Stephen White

Alfred Buge

Leon Pritchard

Thomas G. Box

Samuel C. Collison

R.A. Walker

Henry Masters

John Erwin

Chas. Erwin

H. C. Johnson

Williard Standley

William Cheairs

W. C. Standley

John Cheairs

John F. Cheairs

Elijah Cheairs

Frances Cheairs

John Denson

Joseph M. Masters

William Leagon

John H. Holder

Enaske Lapus

Albert Allbright

Ira C. Shute

Jas. Barns

William Johnson

Ballin Snelles

R. O. Lusk

Joseph Masterson

G.E. Dwight

Samuel Clerlosky

Stephen Bennett

Elish Anglin

Miles Bennett

Joseph Jorden

Stephen Box

Collin Aldrich

Henry P. Crowson

Isaac Parker

Thos. Garner

Dickerson Parker

J. Haley

Benjamin Parker

H. Barrett

Peterson Tate

J. D. Parker

Geo. W. Robinson

A. E. Gossett

Geo. Hallmark

Daniel Parker, Jr.

H. P. Walker

Wm. H. Pate

Peter Gallahery

John C. Hayne

John B. (illegible)

James Neville

Stephen Dunston

Swanson Yarbrough

Frances Bettit

Shedrick Denson

Wm. Riley

John Allbright

Solomon Allbright

Joseph Lapus

W. M. White

Martin Murchison

                                     “APPROVED: June 12, 1837  – “SAM HOUSTON”

A careful examination of the Act of Congress of the Republic of Texas creating Houston County will show that it was, at the beginning, a very large county, and covered all of the territory now embraced within the bounds together with all of Trinity County and all of Anderson County and a large portion of Henderson County. The reader should refer to a map of the State of Texas as it existed in 1836, for a clearer understanding of the territory embraced within the original limits of the county.  It might be a matter of interest to the people of Houston County to think of the extent of the jurisdiction exercised by the first officers of Houston County. The chief justices of the county courts of Houston County from 1838 when they were first chosen, to the creation of Anderson County in 1846, exercised jurisdiction over all that territory now em­braced in Anderson County and the Southern part of Henderson County and in Trinity County. On March 24, 1846, Anderson County was created out of Houston County and it will be interesting to observe the boundaries as set out in the Acts of Con­gress creating that county which are as follows:

“Beginning at a place in the County of Houston, known as Houston Mound, about one mile North of Murchison’s Prairie; Thence Westwardly by a direct line running through the old Ionie village, on the North Elkhart Creek to the Trinity River; Thence, beginning again at Houston’s Mound, continuing said direct line Eastwardly to the Neches River; Thence, up said river with the meanders thereof to the Northeast corner of John Ferguson’s League of land; Thence, by direct line parallel to the first above-named line, to the Trinity River; Thence down said river with the meanders thereof, to the intersection of said first named line with the Trinity River.”

     It will be noticed that one of the landmarks which must have been well known in that early day, was known as Houston’s Mound, and is located about a mile North of Murchison’s Prairie. Both of these localities must have been well known in the very early stages of Texas History. Recently an oil well was drilled very near Houston’s Mound, just across the line in Anderson County, and in reaching it the roadway led across the historic elevation known as Houston’s Mound. Evidently Houston’s Mound was so-called and named in honor of Sam Houston.

On the 17th day of April, 1846, the County of Henderson was created out of portions of Counties of Houston, and Nacogdoches and in the Act creating it is defined as follows:

“Commencing at the Northeast corner of Anderson County, on the Neches River; THENCE North with the Western Bound­ary lines of the counties of Cherokee and Smith, to the Sabine River; Thence down said river to the Southwest corner of Upshur County; Thence North with the Western Boundary line of said Upshur County to the Southern boundary line of Titus County; Thence, West with the Southern boundary of said county, to the county of Hopkins; and Thence, continuing West with the Southern boundary line of said Hopkins and Hunt counties, to the Northeast corner of said Dallas County; Thence South with the Eastern boundary line of said Dallas County, to its Southeast corner; Thence West with the Southern boundary line of said county to the Trinity River; Thence down said Trinity River to the Northwest corner of said Anderson County, and Thence East with the Northern boundary line of Anderson County, to the place of beginning.”

After the creation of both Anderson and Henderson Counties in 1846, Houston County continued to exist, embracing all the territory known as Houston and Trinity Counties until February 11, 1850, when the County of Trinity was created including the following boundaries:

Beginning in the East bank of Trinity River, at the lower corner of Henry Golmon’s survey of 980 acres; Thence North 21Y2 degrees East to the Neches River; Thence down said river with its meanders to the present Southeast corner of Houston County; Thence Westwardly with the South boundary line of said county to the Trinity River; Thence up said river with its meanders to the place of beginning.

On January 26, 1850, by an Act of the Legislature of the State of Texas, the boundary line between Houston and Anderson Counties was more definitely defined as follows:

Beginning at a place in the County of Houston, known as. Houston’s Mound, about one mile North of Murchison’s Prairie; Thence Westwardly, by direct line running through the old Ionie Village on the North Elkhart Creek, to the East Boundary line of Samuel C. Boxe’s Headright League; Thence South with said line to the South boundary line of said league to the Trinity River.

A curious freak of legislation should prove of interest to the people of Houston County. On the 6th day of December, 1841 the Congress of the Republic of Texas passed an act which proved to be an abortive effort to create a county known as Burnet out of Houston County, which Act in part is as follows:

Sec. I. Be it enacted by the senate and house of representa­tives of the Republic of Texas in Congress assembled, That the boundary of Burnet be, and is hereby established within the following boundaries, to-wit:

Beginning at a place known by the name of Houston’s Mound, North of Murchison’s Prairie; Thence Westwardly, to the Iron-Eye village, on Elkhart Creek; Thence to the Trinity River; and from Houston’s Mound (the place of beginning) to the Neches River, so as to make a straight line from the Trinity River to the Neches River; Thence up the main West form of the Neches River to Clarence A. Lovejoy’s Survey, No. 177, on the West boundary line of the Cherokee lands; Thence due North to the Sabine River; Thence up the Sabine to the fork; Thence up the North fork, to E. W. Shultz Survey, continuing up the same to the Fannin County line; Thence West with said line to the Trinity River; Thence down said Trinity River to the above-named line running direct from the Neches to the Trinity.

Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That Fort Houston is hereby permanently established as the seat of justice for said county.

So far as. the record shows no effort was made to organize the county of Burnet under the foregoing Act, and later another county was created in Western Texas that is now known as the County of Burnet. The singular feature of the above Act of Congress is the fact that it designated Fort Houston as the county seat of the county, without giving the people residing in the county the opportunity to locate and designate the county seat. It is also a matter of interest to the people of Houston County that the Fort Houston mentioned in the foregoing Act is located at the home of Judge John H. Reagan, a few miles Southwest of Palestine, and was originally located in the County of Houston.

After the County of Houston was duly organized by the selection of county officers and the selection of Crockett as the county seat, the town was incorporated by an Act of the Republic of Texas, December 29, 1837.

Even before Houston County was created as a county and Crockett designated as its county seat, there was some postoffices and a mail service in the territory that is now known as Houston County. The first of these was known as Aldrich in 1836, before the organization of the county and the post-office records show that Collin Aldrich was postmaster. This postoffice later became known as Mustang Prairie, for we find from the records that in 1840 Mustang Prairie was named as a postoffice, but no name of the postmaster was given. However, in 1843, Mustang Prairie named as a post-office and George Hallmark as postmaster. This George Hallmark was the ancestor of all the Hallmarks in Houston County.

In 1843 Alabama is listed as a postoffice in Houston County and James M. Caldwell was postmaster.  In 1840 Crockett is named as a postoffice but no one is named postmaster. In 1843 Thomas P. Collins appears on the record to have been the postmaster. In 1838 Randolph, in Houston County, is named as a postoffice with Nathan as postmaster. If there were other postoffices in that early day the author is unable to find any record of them.

OFFICERS

The first county officers of Houston County, probably elected or chosen in September, 1837, were Collin Aldrich, Chief Justice; James Madden, sheriff; Stephen White, clerk of the district court; Jacob Allbright, county clerk; John Grigsby, John Gregg, Elijah Gossett and John Box were chosen as justices of the peace, but it is probable that they did not serve.

 

Later officers selected January 1, 1839, were S. E. Kennedy, William Dillard and R. W. Box, justices of the peace. Martin A. Walker was chosen as sheriff; John H. Kirchoffer was presi­dent of the Board of Land Commissioners of Houston County, and Elijah Gossett and John Wortham were associate land commissioners for the county. Samuel G. Wells was clerk of the Board of Land Commissioners and George Aldrich, County Surveyor. On January 23, 1839 P. O. Lumpkin was chosen chief justice for Houston County, and was commissioned on January 25, 1839, but promptly resigned. After his resignation, on March 12, 1839, John H. Kirchoffer was chosen and commis­sioned as chief justice of Houston County and resigned in June 1839. On February 4, 1839, G. W. Browning, C. T. McKenzie and R. R. Russell were chosen as justices of the peace. On June 28, 1839, John Collins was chosen and commissioned as chief justice of Houston County. On June 22, Mobley Rhone and Stephen White were chosen as justices of the peace on Beat No. 4, and were Commissioned on July 4, 1839. On June 22, 1839, A. T. Hallmark was constable for some unnamed precinct in Houston County.

 

On February 3, 1840, John Collins was chosen Chief Justice and resigned on January 24, 1841. On February 4, 1840, Andrew E. Gossett was commissioned as sheriff of Houston County, hav­ing been elected on September 14, 1839. On February 4, 1840, Waller Dickerson was commissioned as district clerk of Houston County, having been elected September 14, 1839. On February 4, 1839 Edley T. Powell and John Pettitt were chosen justices ot the peace for Beat No.9, and held the same until January 8, 1842. On February 12, 1842, Elijah Gossett was again elected chief justice of Houston County. On February 4, 1840 Stillwell Box was elected justice of the peace for the Crockett district. On February 3, 1840, Barton Clark and Leonard Williams were appointed commissioners to inspect the land office in Houston County. On April 18, 1840, John S. Martin was elected sheriff of Houston County, and Eli Meade at the same time was elected clerk of the district court. At the same election William S. Mc­Donald was elected justice of the peace for the first precinct. On February 19, 1841, Jowell Clapp and W. D. Longstreet were commissioned justices of the peace for beat No.3, having been elected on October 24, 1840. On February 13, 1841, T. D. Tompkins and G. G. Alford were commissioned justices of the peace for Beat No.5, having been elected November 7, 1840. On February 13, 1841 Y. G. Dollahite and W. M. Johnson were commissioned justices of the peace of Beat No.4 of Houston County, having been elected Nov. 7, 1840. On February 13, 1841, George Hallmark and W. Hallmark were commissioned justices of the peace for beat No.2 of Houston County having been elected on November 14, 1840. On February 13, 1841, Cyrus H. Randolph was commissioned as justice of the peace of Beat No.1, having been elected December 21, 1840. On April 26, 1841, George Aldrich was commissioned as county surveyor, having been elected on September 7, 1840.

On October 6, 1841, George H. Prewitt, was commissioned as justice of the peace, Beat No.3, having been elected September 6,1841. On October 27, 1841, Stephen H. Hatten and Nathaniel D. Acock were commissioned justices of the peace for Beat No. 10, having been elected September 18, 1841. On December 25, 1841 Lodovik E. Downs was elected district clerk of Houston County. On September 5, 1842, George Aldrich was elected County Surveyor of Houston County and was commissioned on April II, 1843. On September 24, 1842, Samuel G. Wells was elected justice of the peace of Precinct No.6, Houston County; He was commissioned April II, 1843 and resigned March 18, 1844. On December 24, 1842 George W. Grant was elected jus­tice of the peace of Precinct No.3 of Houston County and was commissioned April II, 1843. On December 24, 1842, David Barrett and G. G. Alford were elected justices of the peace, Pre­cinct No.5 of Houston County and were commissioned on April II, 1843. On February 6, 1843, Joseph P. Burnett was elected sheriff of Houston County and was commissioned April II, 1843. On February 6, 1843, Cyrus H. Randolph was elected coroner of Houston County and was commissioned April II, 1843. On February 4, 1843 Turner S. Parker was elected justice of the peace, Precinct No. 7 of Houston County and was commissioned on April II, 1843.

On February 18, 1843 George Luster was elected justice of the peace, Precinct No. I, Houston County, and was commis­sioned April II, 1843, and resigned February 7, 1844. On March 4, 1843 William M. Johnson was elected Justice of the Peace for Precinct No. 4 of Houston County; was commissioned on April 26, 1843 and resigned on January 13, 1844. On March 4, 1843 William Z. McLane was elected justice of the peace of Precinct No.4, and was commissioned April 26, 1843. On March 18, 1943 Christopher Ellis was elected justice of the peace of Precinct No. 10, and “was commissioned April 16, 1843. On April 8, 1843 S. E. Kennedy and James J. Thomas were elected justices of the peace, Precinct No.8, Houston County, and were commissioned April 26, 1843. On April 8, 1843 James R. Brack­en was elected justice of the peace for Precinct No.9, and was commissioned April 26, 1843. On May 20, 1843, Jacob Allbright was elected justice of the peace, Precinct No.3, and commis­sioned July 31, 1843. On November 13, 1843, Waller Dickerson was elected county surveyor of Houston County and commis­sioned on December 4, 1843.

On November 13, 1843, Cyrus H. Randolph was elected chief justice of Houston County and commissioned December 4, 1843. On December 23, 1843, William Lane was elected justice of the peace Precinct No. I, commissioned December 29, 1843. His term expired and he was re-elected. On December 23, 1843, F. D. Bodenhamer was elected justice of the peace, Precin’ct No. 8, and commissioned on December 29, 1843. On January 1, 1844, George W. Grant and George G. Alford were elected as associate justices for Houston County. On January 20, 1844, H. W. Neville and Alexander C. Thornberg were elected justices of the peace, Precinct No. 10 and commissioned February 1, 1844. On February 17, 1844, Horatio Nelson was elected justice of the peace Precinct No.1, and commissioned March 8, 1844. On March 18, 1844, Clinton A. Rice was elected justice of the peace, Precinct No. 4 and commissioned April 6, 1844. On March 30, 1844, Richard R. Powers was elected justice of the peace, Precinct No.6, and commissioned April 6, 1844. On May 16, 1844, John Blair was commissioned as assessor of taxes and on May 14, was appointed county treasurer. On September 21, 1844, Samuel G. Well was appointed justice of the peace and commissioned October 31, 1844. On December 24, 1844, Albert G. Barnett and Henry W. Ward were elected justice of the peace for Precinct No.5 and were commissioned February 17, 1845. On December 24, 1844, Robert W. Caldwell was elected justice of the peace for Precinct No.3, and commissioned Feb- ruary 17, 1845. On December 30, 1844, R. G. Green was elected justice of the peace Precinct No. 1 and commissioned February 17, 1845. On January 6, 1845, Thomas P. Collins was elected county treasurer and commissioned on January 21, 1845. On February 3, 1845 Joseph P. Burnett was elected Sheriff and com­missioned November 22, 1845. On February 3, 1845, James R. Bracken was elected coroner and commissioned on November 22, 1845. On February 3, 1845, George Hallmark, Sr. was elected justice of the peace, Precinct No.2, and commissioned February 27, 1845. On June 4, 1845, John Blair was elected justice of the peace, Precinct No. 10, and commissioned July 4, 1845. On June 4, 1845 George H. Prewitt was elected justice of the peace, Precinct No.3 and commissioned July 4, 1845. On October 4, 1845, James H. Gillespie was elected County Clerk of Houston County and commissioned December 17, 1845. On November 13, 1845, Waller Dickerson was elected county surveyor of Houston County. On January 7, 1846, William Lane was elected justice of the peace, Precinct No. 1 and commissioned February 4, 1846.

Mound Prairie Institute

Relationship: The children of my great grand aunts, Maggie Wilkinson Lumpkin and Flora Wilkinson Browning attended this school.  Maggie’s husband, Dan, was instrumental in founding it.

By Bonner Frizzell

In the fall of 1852 a school opened up at Mound Prairie, eight miles northeast of Palestine, in Anderson County, which was destined to become one of the most famous institutions of learning of its time in Texas. It began in a small one-room house with one teacher; but it grew rapidly, and in two or there years the faculty numbered five teachers, and students attended from all parts of the state.

The school lasted only nine years, (1852-61), falling a victim to the war, like so many other institutions of the day. At first, only boys were admitted, but in 1857 the doors of the institution were opened to girls, and during the remaining four years of its existence,
the school was co-educational. (W. H. Gaston and C. H. Bussey; Personal Interviews)

The founder of the school was Rev. J. R. Malone, a Baptist minister, and a gentleman of high scholastic attainments. Mr. Malone was not only the founder of the school but he continued as President of the Institution throughout the entire nine years of its existence. The school was
chartered, the charter bearing the date of January 9, 1854. A board of nine trustees provided for in the charter, the following gentlemen being named as members: J. A. Lawrence, J. S. Hanks, R. K. Gaston, J. S. Morrow, L. W. Dalton, R. E. Cox, A. McCane, P. O. Lumpkin, and John Billups.

The charter provided that the school should be a “college Proper,” and that the board of
trustees should have power to confer degrees, grant diplomas, establish professorships, make and enforce rules and regulations, and establish a system of scholarships. The charter also contained the provision that nothing should be so construed as to militate against the rights and powers of James R. Malone, A.M., founder of the institute. (Gammel: Op. Cit., v.
3, P. 435)

That the school was to some extent under the care of the Baptist Church is evidenced by the following report of a committee on education to an Association of that Church:

“We have no male college, but we are proud to say that we have within our bound Mound Prairie Institute, which, in point of health, morals, and through instruction is behind none. The President, our beloved Brother J. R. Malone, has long since proved his ability and untiring application to all duties of his station; and having the assistance of those who are able,
pious, and loved by all, success is the result. The school is now in a prosperous condition and has a regular attendance of seventy-five students, and others are coming in.”

The institution seems to have reached its zenith about 1860. An announcement preceding the opening of the session of 1860-61 states that the school has a college charter with University powers; that the “usual degrees” are conferred; that number of male students for the preceding year was one hundred nine; that the course of study is full, the instruction thorough, and the discipline strict; that the health, morals, and religious privileges of Mound Prairie are unsurpassed; that only two boys will be allowed in the same room; that there will be no extra charge for Spanish in the future; and that tuition, fuel, furnished room, and washing cost
seventy-five dollars per session of twenty weeks.” (ibid, 1860)

No description of the building in which the Institute opened is available; but there is evidence that it was a very modest structure. A year or two after the school began, however, a commodious two-story frame building was erected at a cost of some five or six thousand dollars, the funds being raised by private subscription. In this building the school was carried on
until 1856, when a second building resembling the first was erected. The new building became the home of the Female Department, which was established in 1857, while the older building continued to serve the home of the Male Department. About the same time that this second building was erected, six dormitories were also built to accommodate the rapidly increasing boarding patronage. (W. H. Gaston and C. H. Bussey; Personal Interviews)

The following newspaper announcement, which appeared about the middle of the year 1860, throws a further light on the work of the Institute for that year:

MOUND PRAIRIE INSTITUTE
Faculty
Male Department
J. R. Malone, M.A., President and Professor of Latin, Greek, Spanish, Pure
Mathematics, and belles-lettres. Elder M. V. Smith, Professor of English
branches, natural sciences, and Mixed Mathematics. George W. Awalt, tutor.
Female Department
Miss M. A. E. Dickson, Principal and Instructor in the literary and
ornamental subjects and French.
Rates of Tuition
Music with use of instrument $15.00
Ornamental and Needle-work $15.00
Spanish $20.00
French $20.00
Drawing and Painting $10.00
Declamations and Compositions four Fridays in every month
The President is prepared to take forty boarders in dormitories on his own land at the low price of fifty dollars a term of five months.
The present session closes January 10, and the next opens on the second Monday in August.
(Signed) J. R. Malone
(Texas Enquirer, January 7, 1860)

Teachers other than the above-mentioned that are remembered by old students are Wilson H. Lamb, Pickens Teague, Miss V. E. Bussey, Mrs. J. R. Malone, and Professor Myre and wife. The last two taught music for some time and are remembered as very skillful musicians. Among the students who afterwards wrought efficiently in the communities in which they lived were
W. H. Gaston, now of Dallas; C. H. Bussey, now of Hutchins, Texas; Lieutenant R. H. Gaston, W. L. Griggs, Martin V. Smith, A. C. Camp, Dr. J. B. Bussey, and Dr. J. R. Oldham. (W. H. Gaston and C. H. Bussey: Personal Interviews)

The success of the institution was due more to the ability and zeal of the President, Rev. J. R. Malone, than to any other one factor. He was born in Coffeyville, Alabama, January 10, 1824. He received a liberal education as a young man and then studied law; but after a short time he gave up his studies in this field and turned his attention to the ministry and to teaching. He came to Texas in 1852, at the age of twenty-eight, and began the work of building up the school with which his name was to be ever after inseparably linked. Besides being a great teacher, he was also a great preacher and a man among men. Almost every Sunday found him with a congregation in some church of the surrounding country. As a teacher, he was especially fond of English, Latin, and Greek. He was a great friend to the needy young man, and no one was ever turned away from Mound Prairie Institute for want of funds. He was a poor financier, and through his bad management his family was sometimes in want. He considered his life a failure; but those who knew him, especially his students, thought otherwise.

On leaving Mound Prairie, he went to Mexia and later to Dallas. He died in the latter city December 3, 1891. (Texas Historical and Biographical Magazine, v. II, p. 118)

The story of how Mound Prairie Institute came to the end of its way is an old one. The bugle blasts of war called the young men from books to battlefields, and thus the institution was left deserted. The commencement held in June 1861, marks the end. If there were any efforts made to continue the work of the institution after that, they were so feeble that their results have been erased from the memory of those best in a position to know them. Dilapidation and decay soon began their work, and what remained of the buildings were sold to the farmers of the community. (W. H. Gaston and C. H. Bussey: Personal Interview)

NAMES OF PESONS WHO ATTENDED THE MOUND PRAIRIE INSTITUTE

Post office Plenitude, Anderson County, Texas
Incorporated and Founded in 1854 by Prof. J. R. Malone

William Lumpkin
Martin Lumpkin
John Lumpkin
George Lumpkin
P. O. Lumpkin
Miss Martha Browning
Miss Mary Browning
Miss Flora Browning
James McCains
John McCains
Columbus McCains
Matt McCains
Martha McCains
Miss Emily Hanks
James Hanks
Brown Hanks
John Billups
Thos. Billups
Ala Billups
Anna Kirksey
John Kirksey
Mitch Gray
Robert Oldham
Henry Irwin
Mac Stover
Sam Brown
Ad Brown
Thos. Brown
Charlie Lawrence
Calhoun Lawrence
Miss Clem
Miss Mary Pinson
Miss Minnie Derden
Dick Derden
Miss Melinda Cox
Miss Mary Cox
Jack Cox
Carter McKenzie
Larkin McKinzie
Jube Gibson
Milam Gay
Martin V. Smith
Louis Goodman
Frank Bell
Mr. Bell from Denton
C. A. Rush
Fayett Reed
Lem Reed
James Reed
Miss M. Reed
Geo. Awalt
Miss Dickson Teacher
Laura Furlow
Ione Furlow
Chas. Bussey
Dr. John Bussey
Miss Fannie Bussey
Miss Madie Bussey
William Griggs
Chas. Griggs
Geo. H. Gaston
W. H. Gaston
Robert H. Gaston
Priscilla Gaston
J. R. Jones
John Jones
Thad Jones
Geo. Holmes
Angie Holmes
Rollin Box
Nancy Herrin
Geo. Hudson
Sudie Vannoy
John Herrington
Miss Martha Herrington
John Hodge
Stanford Hodge
Arelia Hodge
Tom Hogg
Jeb Tucker
Geo. McDonald
Pace McDonald
Miss McDonald
Billie Givens
John Fain
Tom Butler
John N. Parks
Cout King
Caro Quarles
Sarah Rawlins
Homer Echols
Jeff Rose
Mollie Rose
Wm. McClannahan
Lizzie McClannahan
John McElroy
Nat Witherspoon
Fred Horton
John Stevenson
Mattie Stevenson
Rollin Webb
Rube C. Miller

(Individuals in red are my cousins).

***************************************************************************

Copyright. All rights reserved.
http://www.usgwarchives.net/copyright.htm

Transcribed by Nancy Crain
Submitted by Scott Fitzgerald – scottfitzgerald@tyler.net
East Texas Genealogical Society, Vice-President 26 May 2006

***************************************************************************

Originally published in The Tracings, Volume 3, No. 1, Winter 1984, Pages
37-40 by the Anderson County Genealogical Society, copyright assigned to
the East Texas Genealogical Society.

Plea for Help

 
The letter below is signed by the husbands of my two great aunts, Flora and Maggie Wilkinson.  Their names are highlighted in red.

PLEA FOR HELP

FROM THE CITIZENS OF FORT HOUSTON

(Houston CO. “Now Anderson CO.TX”)
Addressed to : His Excellency, Samuel HOUSTON, Nacogdoches, Texas

 

Fort Houston, Aug. 25, 1838

To His Excellency, The Pres.

Sir

We the undersigned citizens of the town of Houston (Houston CO) & its vicinity, beg leave respectfully to represent to your excellency that our property has been stolen, our houses & farms infested and surrounded, our families alarmed & ourselves compelled to desert our homes on account of depredations committed by our Indian neighbors.

We further beg leave to suggest as our settled conviction that from our isolated situation and sparseness of our population, this settlement will be compelled to desert our property & homes unless some active & energetic measures are adopted to secure our property & protect our women and children from the tomahawk & scalping, or more cruel horror of Indian captivity, This subject is most respectfully submitted to the consideration to the Executive & some protection earnestly but strongly solicited in our truly unpleasant & distressing situation. The Indians who are doing mischief in this neighborhood are supposed to be principally the Kickapoo.

An early answer is requested as we do not feel safe to remain with our families in our present situation unless prompt measures are taken for our relief.

We have the honor to be
With great respect etc.
Your Obt. Sevts.

P.O. LUMPKIN
Leroy McKINZIE
John CRIST
W.L. McDONALD
R.C. DIXON
William SMITH
A. McKINSIE
A. G. PERSON
John SMITH
C. F. McINZA
Spencer HOBS
William CRAIGHEAY
John S. DELAY
O.H. DUNCAN
Stephen CRIST
W.B. SHEARER
L. ROBINSON
Jacob C. MORROW
M. Theo CARTER
John T. BROWN
J.M. (?)CARPENTER
W.M. FROST
H. USSURY
B. PERSON
George W. BROWNING

From: Rusk Paper, Stephen F. Austin Library, Nacogdoches, Texas

Battle at Kickapoo Village

My great aunts were married to Dan Lumpkin and Wash Browning, two adventurous young Georgians who took their brides to the Mexican territory that became Anderson County, Texas.

Major General Rusk’s volunteer forces moved northeasterly from Fort Houston during the morning hours of October 15. The Texas forces moved across present Anderson County for the Neches River and the old Kickapoo village where Cordova’s rebels were rumored to be camping out.

Against an unknown number of enemy, Rusk had at his disposal about 260 men by best count. Some accounts claim that Rusk had up to seven hundred men with him on this campaign, which was later referred to as the Kickapoo War. In reality, his entire command amounted to only nine self-armed and provisioned companies under majors Leonard Mabbitt and Baley Walters of Nacogdoches. General Rusks’ small command staff included Major Issac Burton, the ranger captain who had captured the Mexican schooners in Copano Bay in 1836.

Also accompanying Rusk’s offensive expedition was Texas’ adjutant general, Colonel Hugh McLeod, who was eager to punish Cordova’s follwers.

Pleiades Orion (Dan) Lumpkin and his brother in law, George Washington (Wash) Browning were members of Captain Box’s mounted riflemen under Major Walters from October 14, 1838 to January 14, 1839.

Will of William Browning, father of George Washington (Wash) Browning

This will shows the friendship that existed between the Lumpkin and Browning families prior to the boys’ marriage to our two aunts.

GEORGIA, MORGAN COUNTY:

WILLIAM BROWNING of county afsd. being in a low state of health but of sound mind & memory & being sensible of the certainty of my approaching dissolution have thought it fit & proper to make & establish the following as my last will & testament.

First, It is my will & desire my executors should as speedily as practical adjust & settle all my unsettled business by discharging all just demands which may come against my estate which are but few & small in amount & collecting all that may be due me either by liquidated or open accounts which is considerable in amount I suppose at least $3000.

2nd.  It is my will & desire the whole of my estate both real and personal in whatsoever it may consist should be equally divided among my wife Isabella Browning & my eight children (to wit) John K. Browning, Robert M. Browning, Mary C. Browning, Joshua R. Browning, Geo. W. Browning, Sarah S. Browning, William A. Browning & James A. Browning for each one to have 1/9 part subject to exceptions, regulations, management & distribution herein after pointed out to them their heirs & assigns forever.

It is my wish & desire that as soon after my decease as the interest of my heirs shall dictate to be best my executors should be at liberty to dispose of at public sale for the equal & joint benefit of my heirs much the largest & principal part of my livestock consisting of cattle, horses mules *c with such other articles & property as my executors may consider unnecessary to the comfort & interest of my family to retain all of which is to be sold on credit a my executors may deem expedient & the money arising from the sale when collected & added to outstanding debts now due me, I would advise it should be carefully kep (kept) at interest either by loans to private individuals of undoubted credit or vested in some profitable bank or other stock.

It is my wish the whole of my negroes should be hired out annually at a public hiring securing the hire money by bond & good security & providing in the terms of hiring for the negroes being well fed & clothed & their taxes paid except a reserve of two or three of the negroes which may be thought most suitable to be kept for the use and benefit of my wife & children as waiters &c.

My wish is the whole of my children should be kept at respectable & good schools until they obtain what may be termed a good English education at least equal to the education which my eldest son John K. Browning has already acquired & further I wish my son William A. Browning provided he takes or receives learning to advantage to be continually at school over & above what I have pointed out for my children generally until $500 is expended on him in that behalf which I give to him out of my undivided estate over & above his equal share with the rest & if he does not receive sum in procuring education it is my wish he should receive it in money over & above his equal share.

It is my wish that any tract of land & plantation where I now reside should remain as an undivided home for the joint use & benefit of my wife & children until my youngest child arrives at a lawful age or marries or until the death or marriage of my wife in the event of which case the land or proceeds of it is to be held & enjoyed equally & entirely by my children my wife inheriting no part of share thereof any longer than her widowhood.  Should anyone or more of my children die before they arrive at lawful age or marry it is my will their portion of my estate should be equally inherited & divided among those who survive.  As my children arrive at lawful age or marry it is my wish they should draw from my estate their entire portion in whatever it may consist according to the foregoing distribution as soon as it can reasonably be done except their portion of the land where I now live which is reserved for the purposes above.

After any child or children may have drawn their parts I then wish the balance to return to a join stock & so continue to divide to each one of their respective shares as they arrive of age or marry.  I nominate & appoint my wife Isabella Browning & my two sons John K. Browning & Robert M. Browning executrix & executors to this my last will & testament with this exception to wit that should my wife intermarry again then she or the person with whom she units is to have no control or management of my children or estate but the whole shall devolve on my two sons named as executors, 12 May 1820.

/s/

William Browning

 

Witnesses: Wilson Lumpkin, Thomas Talley, Arthur Slaton.

Proved by Wilson Lumpkin, Thomas Talley, Arthur Slaton.