Refugio : a comprehensive history of Refugio County from aboriginal times, Vol 1

Title:Refugio : a comprehensive history of Refugio County from aboriginal times to 1953, vol 1
Author:Hobart Huson
Publication date:1953
Publisher:Woodsboro, Tex. : Rooke Foundation
Digitizing Sponsor:Internet Archive
Contributor:Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center
Repository:Internet Archive
Refugio History vol 1 TOC
Refugio : a comprehensive history of Refugio County from aboriginal times, Vol 1 3

Notes About the Book

  • 2 volumes : 24 cm
  • Bibliographical footnotes, and bibliographical references: v. 2 (pages 501-536)
  • Photocopied Book.
  • Skewed text.
  • Pages with photographs at end of volume not paginated.

Table of Contents

Contents of First Volume

Chapter I

The Stage Setting

The bays, rivers, water courses, ancient roads, of original Refugio County, landmarks and historical sites connected with each; together with notes on elevations, distances, etc.

Chapter II

The Aborigines

Karankawas, Lipans, Tonkawas, Comanches.

KARANKAWAS: Contact with first Europeans, Description, Habitat, Tribal strength, Origin of name, Manners and Customs, Ceremonial cannibalism, Language, Tribal divisions, Copanes, Chiefs Prudencio Miguel and Antonique, Spanish policy, Wars with Spanish, First contacts with Americans, Wars with Austin’s colonists, Wars with Comanches, Expulsion from Texas

LIPANS: Origin and habitat, Tribal divisions, Language, Diplomacy, Attitude toward Spanish, Mexicans and Americans, Description, Manners and Customs, Wars with Comanches, Religion, Buffalo, Lipantitlan, Treaties with Texas, Allies of Texas, Chiefs Flacco and Castro.

TONKAWAS: Habitat, Manners and Cus-toms, Language. Troubles with American colonists.

COMANCHES: Description and habitat. Wars with Spanish, Mexico, and Indian tribes. Raids on coastal Indians.

Chapter III

Early Explorers

Pineda, Narvaez Expedition, Cabeza de Vaca, Routes of Cabeza, Fate of survivors, La Salle, French explorations in Gulf of Mexico, Rivas and Iriarte, French on St. Joseph’s Island, Bellisle, Aguayo’s expedition, Jose de Escandon, Founding of Missions for coastal Indians, La Bahia, Spanish plans for colonization, Padre, Mustang, and St. Joseph’s Islands, Parrilla, Mesquite Landing, Evia’s expedition, Langara’s map, Opening of port at E] Copano.

Chapter IV

Tamaulipecan Colonization

San Antonio River as limit of Tamaulipas, Escandon’s explorations and colonies, Projects pueblo at Refugio, Mission lands and ranches, Early Spanish and Mexican rancheros, Martin de Leon, Felipe Portilla, Aldrete, Padre Valdez, Carlos de la Garza, Absorption by Irish colony.

Chapter V

The Mission of Refugio

Padre Silva, Spanish political considerations, Attitude of Karankawas and Copanes to the mission, Sites of Mission, Founding of Nuestra Senora del Refugio Mission, Removal to Mesquite Landing, Removal to Mission Bay, Removal to site of present Refugio, Summary of work of mission, The missionaries, Description of mission, Secularization and end of Mission.

Chapter VI


Mexican war for independence, Attitude of colonials on Texas coast, Martin de Leon, Padre Valdez, Gutierrez-Magee expedition, Clash with Karankawas, Battle of New Orleans, Xavier Mina and Henry Perry, Perry at El Copano, Death at Goliad, Jean Lafitte, Operations, Aransas Bays, Fort on St. Joseph’s Island, Legendary dis-banding at False Live Oak Point, Battle with British fleet at Cedar Bayou, Long’s expedition, Disbarkment at Mesquite Landing, Fate of Long.

Chapter VII

American Colonization

Iturbide initiates century of revolution—Moses and Stephen F. Austin, Dr. Hewetson accompanies Austin to Texas, Hewetson settles in Mexico, Austin’s exploration of coast. His description of Refugio County, Mexican colonization laws, Empresa contracts, Littleberry Hawkins at Mesquite Landing, Austin’s war with Karankawas, General Jose M. J. Carbajal, Hawkins visits to Refugio Mission, Austin colonists at El Copano, Martin de Leon’s colony, The Aldretes and Mancholas at Goliad, Founding of Victoria, Green DeWitt’s colony, his colonists at El Copano, Troubles with de Leon, Dr. John Cameron, McMullen & McGloin colony lands at El Copano, Camp at Refugio Mission, Disaffection of San Patricio colonists, Disputes between Colonel Power and McMullen-McGloin, Beale & Grant colony, The Welder family, Benjamin Lundy’s Nueces negro colony project, Joshua Davis, Lundy visits Refugio and El Copano.

Chapter VIII

Power & Hewetson Irish Colony

Part One

Power and Hewetson apply for ten littoral leagues, Mexican policy, Father Brady’s earlier project, Tadeo Ortez de Ayala proposal for Irish colony, Grant of June 11, 1828, Protest of de Leon, Mier y Teran’s opposition, Teran’s forts, Lipantitlan, Ortez de Ayala’s. representations, Ortez Aransas Bay colonial schemes, Augmentation of April 21, 1829, Disputes with de Leon, Veramendi, and Goliad ayuntamiento, Power-Hewetson obtain site of Refugio Mission, Project town of Refugio, Settlement of conflicts, Ramon fixes Coleto-Guada-lupe as division between Power and de Leon. End of litigation after great delays.

Part Two

Marriage of Colonel Power, Captain Felipe Portilla, Portilla’s part in San Marcos colony, 1807—-Powers home at Refugio, at Live Oak Point, Refugio Mission, Mexican rancheros accepted as colonists, Surveys of Eugenio Navarro, Captain de la Garza, Carlos Rancho, the padre Valdez, Survivors of Lafitte’s men become colonists, Early arrivals of Irish-Americans, practical religion of “Irish” colonists, Power departs for Ireland, Goes up Mississippi, sends colonists to Texas, Cancellation of extension of time in his absence, Power’s activities in Ireland, Mrs. Priour’s description departure and experiences of Irish colonists, Cholera epidemic, Wrecking of the Wild Cat and Sea Lion, Colonel Linn’s description, Cholera sweeps Texas and Mexico, Nicholas Fagan, Edward McDonough, Ancient wreck of a Spanish barkantine, Shaw, the heretic, evicted, Origin of name “False Live Oak Point”, Completion of colony, Some colonists quit, Vidaurri, the land commissioner, arrives, Appoints surveyors.

Chapter IX

Villa de Refugio

Villa of Refugio established at Mission site—Old Copane village, Escandon’s projected pueblo, Caravanserie between Goliad and El Copano, Smugglers, Headquarters mission rancho, Disposition of Mission Indians, Description of village in 1834, First colonial settlers, Vidaurri orders survey and plat, Mexican laws and customs pertaining to pueblos, the Plan of Pitic, Manner of issuing titles to solares, Bray’s plat of the villa, Names of original grantees of town lots, Names of purchasers prior to March, 1836.

Chapter X

The Headrights

Survey of boundaries of Power-Hewetson colony, Line between Power and de Leon, Jucicial determinations, Colonization laws governing issuance of titles, Mexican land measurements, Power per-mitted to accept American and European colonists, Colonial surveyors, Issuance of headrights, Decree reimbursing empresarios in event of failure, Revolution prevents receiving of all premium land, Consultation orders cessation of colonial titles, Republic ends empresario contracts, Names of colonists who had headrights in Power colony.

Chapter XI

Ayuntamiento of Refugio

Vidaurri installs avuntamiento, Archives lost in Texian revolution, Ayuntamiento of Goliad harasses ayuntamiento of Refugio, Endeavors to break up Power colony, Sabriego brings troops to stop issuance of titles, Demands possession of Mission, Government rebukes Goliad, Members of Refugio ayuntamiento, Description of organization of state government, complaint filed by Dr. Hewetson v Mordecai Cullen, Goliad authorities interfere with Refugio mail, Complaint by Refugio to Jefe Politico at Bexar, Refugio’s delegates to General Consultation, Refugio recognized a municipality by Consultation, Officers appointed, Removal of ayuntamiento to Goliad during revolution, Capture of John James, sindico, and loss of archives.

Chapter XII

Beginning of Revolution

Attitude of Irish to Mexican government, Refugio disbands militia, Revolt in Mexico, Dispersal of Coahuiltexan legislature, Arrest of Viesca, Milam, Grant, Cameron, Cos at Matamoros, Colonel Power’s attitude, Committee of Safety organized, Landing of Cos at El Copano, Conference with Power, Cos’ proclamation, Texas warned, Cos entertained at Refugio, holds court, Local Mexicans proffer aid to government, Description of General Cos, Cos at Goliad, Refugio elects delegates to Consultation, Collinsworth’s march on Goliad, Refugio volunteers join, Benjamin R. Milam, Texians capture Goliad.

Chapter XII

Provisional Government

Consultation convenes, Provisional government established, Refugio’s delegates, Power delays account Lipantitlan expedition, Refugio colonists representing other municipalities, John J. Linn, John White Bower, Ira Westover, Lewis Ayres, Proceedings of Consultation and Council affecting Refugio and Refugians, Joel T. Case, Appointment of officers in army and navy, Mexican officers at San Felipe, Governor Henry Smith’s attitude. Colonel Jose Maria Gonzales, his exploits, Colonel Sandoval, Post office created, Refugio’s name changed to Wexford, Bartolomae Pajes, would-be saviour of Santa Anna, Dimmitt’s appeals for supplies, Power drafts memorial to Mexican nation, General Mexia, Power sent to interview him, pape expedition, Survivors come to Refugio, Captaim Miracle again; Ordinance calling convention for March 1. Edward Gritton appointed collector of El Copano, Causes quarrel] between governor and Council, John Malone, Dr. John Cameron, General Sam Houston, Colonel William P. Miller, El] Copano ordered fortified, Empeachment of Governor Smith, Fannin and Matamoros expedition, Adjournment, Copano collector captured, Division of opinion at Refugio, Refugians sent with message to San Patricio, Collinsworth organizes regiment, Garrison ordered to stay at Goliad, Philip Dimmitt elected captain, His character, His officers, Roster of his men, Destruction of Mexican tory commandos, Goliad Mexicans complain, Treaty with Karankawas, Moya, Sabriego, Carlos de la Garza, Colonel Power reconnoiters San Patricio, Expedition against Lipantitlan, Battle on the Nueces, Personnel under Westover, Westover in disgrace, Governor Viesca and party, Brought to Goliad, Dimmitt’s alleged snub, Riot at Goliad, General Austin removes Dimmitt, Garrison refuses to accept another, The New Orleans Greys, Dimmitt and Refugians go to Bexar, In storming party, General Antonio Canales and the Tamaulipas Federalists, Captain Juan Miracle, Captain Hugh M. Fraser imprisoned by Dimmitt, Released, The Goliad Declaration of Independence, Signers, First flag of Texian independence, Captain Wm. S. Brown, Condition of garrison after Fall of Bexar, John Fagan, commissary, Council’s neglect, Arrival of Johnson & Grant expedition at Goliad, Flag of independence lowered, Dimmitt stores and caballardo taken, Dimmitt’s garrison disbanded.

Chapter XIV

Concentrations at Refugio

Military strategical and tactical considerations, El Copano, Goliad and Bexar as keys to defense, Johnson and Grant, their views and projects, Federalist activities in Mexico, Philip Dimmitt on Matamoros expedition, Troops ordered concentrated at E] Copano, Colonel James W. Fannin, Johnson and Grant at Refugio, Ehrenberg’s description of Refugio, 1836, List of companies stationed at Refugio, Captain Amon B. King, Houston’s letter to Power, Fannin and Georgia Battalion ordered to El] Copano, Houston and staff comes to Refugio, Meets Dimmitt near Victoria, Dimmitt with colonists and Karankawa Indians hasten to reinforce Alamo, Houston’s address to soldiers at Goliad, Captain William G. Cooke, Soldiers move to Refugio, Houston arrives at Refugio, Views parade of troops, Inspects Copano, Interviews Colonel Johnson and Colonel Power, Power assures Houston of latter’s election as delegate from Refugio, Houston’s generosity to the soldiers, His address at Refugio, Ehrenberg’s verbatim account of two speeches, Breaks up Matamoros expedition, Johnson and Grant determine to proceed with remnant, Captain Pearson, Duval’s Kentucky Riflemen land at El Copano come to Refugio, John C. Duval, Election of delegates at Refugio, Soldiers refused vote, hold own election, Citizens elect Colonel Power and General Houston, Soldiers elect Conrad and Thomas, Election at San Patricio, Officers of Refugio militia elected, Captain Hugh Mc-Donald Fraser, Roster of his company, Captain Westover regular artillery company, Colonel Fannin and Georgia Battalion land at El Copano, Hold election of delegates, Sketch of Georgia Battalion, Colonel Fannin, Captain Isaac Ticknor, The naval flag of Texas, The schooner Flora, coincidences, Fannin’s arrival at Refugio, Line companies reorganized, New Orleans Greys dispatched to San Patricio, Warning from Captain Placedo Benavides, Mexican invasion impending, Fannin’s regiment partially organized, Regimental officers elected, Fraser’s militia sent on expedition, Loyalty of Refugio colonists, Their services, Johnson and Grant begin Matamoros expedition, Georgia Battalion elects officers, Lafayette Battalion election post-poned, Fannin’s regiment leaves for Goliad, Composition of regiment, Captain Cooke appointed to Houston’s staff, Pressment of supplies at Refugio and Goliad, Duval’s raid on Carlos Rancho, Arrest of padre Valdez, James Hampton Kuykendall escapes from Mexico to Refugio, Gives Fannin plans of Mexican armies, Copano abandoned as a depot, Santa Anna’s armies invade Texas, Fannin starts to Travis assistance, Turns back, News of destruction of Johnson and Grant arrives.

Chapter XV

War Reaches Refugio

Lull before the storm, Edward Gritton, collector of Copano, arrives, Power leaves for March 1 convention, Captain King at Refugio, Flight of families from San Patricio and Refugio, Some marooned at Refugio, Lewis Ayers, Henry Foley, Return of King to Goliad, Survivors of Johnson and Grant’s men escape to Refugio, Stampede of colonist families, Refugio looted by Carlos de la Garzas Victoriana Gardes, Refugians killed with Johnson & Grant’s men, Ayers threatened with assassination, Ayers and Osborne families stalled, Ayers goes to Goliad for help, Captain King sent to extricate families, Fannin’s regiment celebrates news of signing of Texas declaration of Independence, Refugio’s representation at the convention, Fight over Governor Smith smothered by Colonel Power, Houston rejoins army, Conrad and Thomas seated, John White Bower, Military and naval officers elected, Refugians among them, Mrs. Power taken to Mexico by Captain Portilla, dies at the Rio Grande, Power joins the army and is sent to New Orleans on special mission, Captain Jesus Cuellar, The ambuscade of the Arroyo de los Ratas, Fannin fails to go through with it, Captain King at Refugio, Is ambushed enroute to the ranchos, Brings families to Refugio Mission, Sends to Fannin for aid, Urrea rushes troops to hold King at Refugio, Urrea advances on Refugio, Colonel Ward and Georgia Battalion sent to extricate King, Ticknor’s night attack on Mexican camp, Captain Luis Guerra, King’s insubordination, Ward waits while King goes to punish rancheros, King’s adventures, Mexican army cuts off King from mission and opens battle with Ward, King’s fight in the timber, Ward’s defense of the mission, Ward burns the town of Refugio, Texian and Mexican ac-counts of the battle, Houston orders Fannin to evacuate Goliad, Fannin orders Ward and King to return, Messengers killed or captured, Perry gets message through, Ward escapes during night, Mexicans butcher Texian wounded and attendants, Mrs. Osborne saves her wounded husband, King makes his escape across river, Captured next morning, Texians taken out to be shot, Colonel Holzinger spares all Germans, Urrea spares Ayers at pleas of Mrs. Ayers, Captain King and remainder of men shot on prairie, Burial of bones by John Hynes, Judge Rea’s location of site of execution.

Chapter XVI

Fannin’s Retreat

Houston orders Fannin to evacuate Goliad, and orders Dimmitt to join main army at Gonzales, Dimmitt leaves Victoria, Mexicans at Gonzales before him, Extricates command and falls back to Victoria, Fannin in predicament due to absence Ward and King, Orders their return, Messages intercepted, Captain Fraser reconnoiters Refugio brings news of fate of Ward and King, Fannin burns town of Goliad, Disastrous delays, Horton’s cavalry, Red Rovers, Fannin’s contempt for enemy, Urrea’s dispositions, Entrapment of Fannin in prairie, Battle of Coleto, Texian and Mexican accounts of the battle, A night of horror, Urrea’s dispositions, Council of War to consider surrender, Incidents and anecdotes concerning Refugians during the battle.

Chapter XVII

Surrender of Fannin, Ward and Miller

Which side first raised white flag? Texian and Mexican accounts of negotiations for Fannin’s surrender, Conflict as to actual terms, Imprisonment of Fannin’s men. William P. Miller and the Nashville Legion, Their capture at El Copano, Senora Alvarez, Angel of Goliad, lands at El Copano, Intercedes for Miller’s men, Nashville Legion brought to Goliad, Ward’s retreat to Victoria, Skirmish at Victoria, Heads for Dimmitt’s Landing, Urrea there ahead of him, Ward’s surrender, Texian and Mexican accounts, Ward brought back to Goliad, Capture of John James, sindico of Refugio municipality, Put with Fannin’s men.

Chapter XVIII

The Goliad Massacre

Santa Anna’s order for the massacre, Miller’s men excepted for time being, Caro’s account, Colonel Portilla’s reluctance, Urrea’s apology, Texian and Mexican accounts of the massacre, Stories of escapes, O’ Boyles’ account of the massacre of the battle-wounded Texians, Spohn’s account of the death of Colonel Fannin, S. T. Brown’s account of Colonel Ward’s death, The funeral pyres, Refugians who were massacred, reserved or escaped, Heroic death of John James, Roster of Westover’s company, showing fate of the members, Fate of Captain Fraser and his Refugio militiamen.

Chapter XIX

End of the Revolution

Colonel John Davis Bradburn, Mexican collector at El Copano, Mexican military hospital at Refugio, Evacuation of Texian prisoners through El Copano, Santa Anna orders war vessel to Copano to take him home, Battle of San Jacinto, Refugians in the battle, San Jacinto veterans who later settled in Refugio County, American assistance to the Texians, Stanley & Moorehouses’s New York Battalion, Major John H. Wood, John C. Allen, Bartlett Annibal, and John Clark. Refugians who joined New York Battalion after San Jacinto, Filisola’s retreat, Burial of Fannin’s men, Participation of New York Battalion, Urrea’s retreat through Refugio, Bradburn’s narrow escape from El Copano, Karnes, Teal and Victor Loupe sent under flag of truce to Matamoros, Their capture, The Ladies Legion of Lexington, Major Isaac W. Burton and his “Horse Marines” capture Mexican ships at. El Copano, Walter Lambert their guide, Colonel Power and Texian leaders at New Orleans, United States seizure of the Texian man-of-war Invincible, Powers assistance to the imprisoned crew, Acquittal of piracy.

Chapter XX

At the Republic’s Beginning

Refugio a frontier county, Condition at end of war, Depopulated, colonists scattered, Political organization of county, First election in the republic, Votes cast for Refugio at Victoria, Harrisburgh, etc. Result of first election in Refugio County, Colonel Edwin Morehouse, Elkanah Brush, First Congtess, Militia system, Refugio nominated for capital of Texas, Judicial system, Mexican municipalities abolished, Empresario contracts cancelled, General Land Office opened, District Land Boards, Survey of Islands, List of County officials during republic, Comments on some of them, John C. Allen, John Dunn, Benjamin F. Neal, James B. Collinsworth, Willard Richardson, County boundaries surveyed by Richardson, County business trans-acted at Refugio, Aransas City and Carlos Ranch, Refugio Mission, first court house, Judge Neal’s account of holding court at the Carlos ranch, First regular county election, 1839, Vacancies, Conditions at San Patricio, Refugio citizens exempted from taxation. New Mexican invasion expected, Rusk makes headquarters at Victoria, Prominent Mexican families Refugio afea arrested and sent to New Orleans, Captain Carlos de la Garza holds his ground, Colonel Seguin’s regiment, Refugians who served in it, Captain Ewen Cameron, Power and Cameron’s Spy Company, Texian plans for invasion of Mexico, El Copano invasion headquarters, General Felix Huston, President Houston calls off the invasion, Refugians who served in the Texian navy.

Chapter XXI

Attempted Resettlement

Refugio traditionally place of refuge, New settlers, Live Oak Peninsula, The Welders, Black Point, Lookout Peninsula, Settlements on Islands, Captain James B. Wells, Colonel Power at Live Oak Point, Aransas City, Town of Lamar, Colonel Henry L. Kinney, Contest over customs house, Mexican dragoons at San Patricio, Federalist Wars, Contraband trade, Flour Bluff, Texian contraband traders, Casa Blanca, Kinney and Power on Mustang Island, Names of early citizens of Aransas City, Colonel Samuel A. Plummer and General Lamar, Major Stuart Perry and Port Preston, Governor Henry Smith, Kinney and Aubrey settle Corpus Christi, Captain James W. Byrne and Town of Lamar, Earliest settlers of Lamar, Major Cyrus W. Egery and Egery’s Island, Settlement at Black Point, Aldrete rancho, the Clarks, Captain Philip Dimmitt.

Chapter XXII

The Bloody Border

Refugio County bordering on Nueces, No man’s land, Military system of Republic, Ranger Spy and Frontier battalions, Continuous border fights, Cattle stealing and counter-stealing, “Band of Brothers”, Origin of name “Cow-Boys”, The “Cowboys of the West”, Colonel Neil Carnes, the Camerons, Willis Robert’s account of law-lessness, Mexican and Indian depredations, Karankawas, Treaty with Lipans, Mexican guerrillas raid Aransas City, Carry off Colonel Power, Killing of citizens and traders by Indians, Killing of Silvestre de Leon, Indian fight on San Antonio River, Captain Trinidad Aldrete restores order on Nueces, Reprisal laws of Republic, Congressional acts for security of frontier counties, Captain John C. Hays, Power and Cameron’s rangers, Captain John Scott, Captains Reuben Ross and John T. Price, San Antonio River Minute Men.

Chapter XXIII

The Federalist Wars

Federalist War began with Texian Revolution, Political attitude of Northern Mexican states, State funeral for emperor Iturbide, Kin-ship of Federalist Mexicans with Mexicans of South Texas, Captain Ewen Cameron and Dr. John Cameron, Refugians who served in Federalist armies, Flight of Federalist army to San Patricio, Texian participation in the war, Refugio business men furnish supplies, Black & Schoolfield, Aransas City as depot, The Pearses, Colonel Kinney purveyor at Corpus Christi, Colonel Antonio Zapata, General Antonio Canales, Colonel Gonzales, Alliance of Cameron’s Cowboys with the Federalists, Negotiations of Federalists with Texian soldiers at Refugio and Victoria, Danie] O’Driscoll and his tavern, The first Texian auxiliary corps, Refugio, units, Second Federalist Campaign, The Republic of the Rio Grande, Execution of Colonel Zapata and the Refugians Victor Loupe, Bennett and McCaulley, Federalists return to San Patricio, President of Republic of Rio Grande and entourage at Refugio, Victoria, Citizens meeting and banquet at Victoria, Refugio citizens who assisted Federalists, Final Federalist campaign, Second Texian auxiliary corps, Colonel Seguin’s regiment, Canales betrays the Texians, Colonel S. W. Jordan, His victory at Saltillo, cuts his way back to Texas, Captain Cameron as guide, Refugio men marked for vengeance by Mexican government.

Chapter XXIV

Bloodshed and Chaos

Mére of the Cow-boys, Captain John Scott’s Minutemen, Lipan depredations, Scott’s punitive expedition, Ambush of Refugians near Brownsville, Capture of Young Henry Scott, his escape, Capture of Mexican traders at Refugio, Captain John R. Baker, sheriff and ranger, Personnel of his ranger company, Captain John McDaniel’s company, Captain John T. Price’s company, Colonel Kinney’s warning to Refugio, Estimate of Kinney’s policies, Kinney’s battle with Villareal, Capture of Captain Dimmitt, Kinney under suspicion, Efforts of Refugians to rescue Dimmitt, Kinney’s efforts, Fate of Dimmitt, Santa Fe expedition, Refugians who went with it, Sacking of town of Refugio, September 1, 1841, Death of Judge Henry Ryals, Refugians carried away by Mexicans, Sabina Brown, a heroine; saves her husband Michael Fox, Joseph E. Plummer, Seat of government once more moved to Carlos Rancho, Colonel Kinney obtains liberation of Refugians.

Chapter XXV

Cataclysmic Year 1842

Vasquez raid rumored, Mexican traders killed by “Mustang” Gray’s men near Goliad, Survivor brought to Refugio, Mabry Gray, alias Mustang Gray, Kinney warns Texian government of Vasquez raid, Warning neglected, Refugio, Goliad and Bexar occupied, Colonel Valera, Surprises Colonel Carnes and cowboys on Nueces, kills them, Escape of Captain Cameron, Mexicans massacre Lipan traders at Refugio, Mexicans raid Kinney’s trading post, Lipans attack Valero’s troops, almost rout him, Colonel Clark L. Owen takes command, Refugian scouting party sent across Nueces, General Albert Sidney Johnson in Refugio County, The Gilliland massacre, Rescue of Gilliland children, More of “Mustang” Gray, Dr. Royal W. Well-ington, Thomas O’Connor, guardian Gilliland minors, Mrs. Rebecca J. Fisher, Texian army sent to Aransas Bay, Captain John Clark, Captain John C. Hays, General James Davis takes command on Nueces, Refugio companies on Nueces, Personnel, Mexican families ordered out of San Antonio River-Lavaca River area, Battle of the Nueces, Refugio’s part in it, Captain Cameron’s counsel, Davis’ requisition on Refugio County, Kinney warns of Woll invasion, Mexi-cans capture San Antonio, Cameron and Baker’s company to the rescue, Battle of the Salado, Captain John Low kills Vicente Cordova, John Low’s account, John Shearn, The Perote Prisoners, Somervell’s expedition, Refugians in it, The Flaccos and their Lipans, The Mier Expedition, Refugians have prominent part, Capture Karankawas on Rio Grande, Battle of Mier, Surrender of Texians, Jose Miguel Aldrete, interpreter, Escape of Texian camp guard, Fate of Texians, Cameron and Baker head jail break, Bean lottery, Death of Cash, Whelan and other Refugians, Murder of Captain Cameron, Captain Alfred S. Thurmond, Fate of prisoners, Estimate of result of Mier expedition.

Chapter XXVI

Collapse of Local Government

Mexicans destroy county archives, exodus of populace, Migrant county seat, Local government reduced to skeleton, Indian depredations increase, Victoria haven of Refugians, Location of various families, Effect of deaths of Flaccos on Lipans, New treaty, Karan-kawas chastised by Captain Rafael Aldrete, Murder of Captain John F. Kemper by Karankawas, Phelps account of the massacre, Martial law between Frio and Nueces, Captain John C Hays, Local companies raised in Refugio, Congress orders reorganization of Refugio County, Officers elected, Frontier counties exempted from taxation, Movement for annexation, Dreams of anti-annexionists, Texas annexed, Milford P. Norton, Colonels Power and Kinney, Wm. L. Hunter and Archibald McNeill at constitutional convention, Election for state officials, Captain Lindsay S. Haigler, his death, End of Republic, United States flag first officially raised in Texas in Refugio County.

Chapter XXVII

Early Land Speculations

Enormous land holdings of Colonel Power, Envious eyes cast upon them, Governor Henry Smith, Joseph F. Smith, conceive Power’s titles invalid, File on them as vacant lands, Lands in Refugio and San Patricio Counties required to be marked, Land certificates, The First Texian Loan, Early speculators, Surveys by Willard Richardson, General Dunlap files on Refugio town tract, Efforts made to oust old settlers, Litigation, Eminent counsel, Alexander H. Philips, Milford P. Norton, Abner S. Lipscomb, Ebenezer Allen, William G. Hale, Milford P. Norton and family move to Black Point, Mrs. Nor-ton’s diary, James Webb, General Henry Stuart Foote, Henderson Yoakum, Thomas M. League, Pryor Lea, Volney E. Howard, Governor Pease, Anderson Hutchinson, Townsite at Black Point projected, General Thomas Taylor Williamson and wife Tirzah Ann, Saint Mary’s of Aransas founded, Major Cyrus W. Egery, Litigation over port of El Copano, Joseph E. Plummer, Town of Refugio incorporated, ayuntamiento abolished, Title of corporation to the four league town ‘tract, Speculators attempt to file on it, Reincorporation of Re-fugio and legislative grant, New settlers during Republic, Michael Whelan, Buffalo, General Alexander Somervell, Port of Calhoun on Matagorda Island projected by Texian government, Power projects town of Saluria, Somervell syndicate takes over townsite, Early settlers on Matagorda Island, Early settlers on St. Joseph’s and Mustang Islands, John Baker, Captain John R. Baker, Captain James B. Wells, Early inhabitants of Saluria.

Chapter XXVIII

The Mexican War

Taylor’s army moves to Texas, Lands on St. Joseph’s Island, Taylor moves to Live Oak Peninsula (Rockport), Taylor Oak, Entertained by Power, Army moves to Corpus Christi, Overland reinforcements traverse Refugio County, Ellen Duggan, Captain Dan C. Doughty, Federalists confer with Taylor, Refugian contractors to Taylor’s army, Local companies organized by Benjamin F. Neal, John T. Price, Samuel H. Walker, Hays regiment, Refugians who were in Mexican war, Comanche incursion, Major John H. Wood, Kidnaping of Jacob Kring, His rescue, Major Wood’s services to government, Captain Blackwell and Captain Isaac W. Johnson ranger companies, Distinguished army officers who visited Refugio, Captain Mirabeau B. Lamar.

Chapter XXIX

First Years of Statehood

From Texians to Texans, First Legislature creates Calhoun County, shifts San Patricio County, Refugio County reduced to Aransas River, Corpus Christi County seat San Patricio County, Neal first mayor of Corpus, Boundaries of Victoria County moved from Coleto to San Antonio River, reducing Refugio County, Goliad boundary fixed, Return of colonist families, Dr. Bracht, Refugio families to Corpus Christi, Milford P. Norton appointed district judge, Henry D. Norton at Copano, First county officers under state-hood, Officers neglect duties to participate in war, Early ferries, First jury list, Elections of 1847, Colonel John White Bower, Henry L. Kinney resigns as senator, County divided into precincts, Election contest of Thomas O’Connor v Edward Perry, Colonel Kinney’s in-fluence in local politics, Town of Saluria, Total eclipse of Aransas City, Copano townsite projected, “Copano House”, Early settlers of Copano, Milford P. Norton moves to county, Castro’s colony, Col-onel Power’s contract with Castro, Major Wood moves to Black Point; beginning of “Bonnie View Ranch”, Other settlers at Black Point, Colonel Pryor Lea, His railroad projects, Name of Lamar changed to Treport, and back again, Moses Simpson, First subdivi-sion of Refugio town tract, Early farm lot purchasers, The Daniel Fox family, Principal new families between 1846 and 1850, Judge Benjamin Neal, Removal to Corpus Christi.

Chapter XXX

Part One

The Development of the County

Censii of 1850 and 1860, Causes of rapid rise of population, Principal families between 1850-1857, Comments on notable families, O’Driscolls, Death of Daniel O’Driscoll and wife, Captain Dan C. Doughty, The Doughtys, Dugats, Heards, Huddleston, Johnston, Kroegers, Kuykendalls, Martins, May, McCarty, McDaniel, McFadden, McGrew, McRae, Norton, Judge Norton becomes Kinney’s general counsel, Kinney’s filibustering expedition, Odem, Paul, Roberts, Rea, Reed, Major Lieuen M. Rogers, His filibustering expeditions and war records, William Long Rogers, Rogers boys revenge on their father’s murderers, Brightman, Snively, Strauch, Teal, Thomas, Wellington, West, Whelan, Henderson Williams, Henry B. Williams, Jeptha Williams, John Young.

Part Two

End of the Indians

Remnants of Karankawas, Juan N. Cortina, Comanche raid, Kidnaping of Thomas sisters, Moses Simpson’s claim, Kidnaping of James Hart, Battle of Hynes Bay, End of Karankawa Indians, Karankawas reared by local white families, Incidents of Indian depredations.

Chapter XXXI

Stuff Dreams are Made of

Early railroads on paper, Colonel Pryor Lea, Estimate of his character, Town of Lamar revived, Aransas Road company, Lea’s lifetime struggle, Colonel Power’s Copano railroad project, Corpus Christi takes share, Death of Colonel Power, His unfinished home at Copano, Schemes to improve navigation, Aransas and Corpus Christi Bays, Scheme to navigate Guadalupe, Cleaning of booms from river, Maritime commerce at Copano, Lamar, Saluria, Projected organization of local steamship lines, General Randolph B. Marcy, His surveys‘along coast, Recommends St. Mary’s as logical port, Samuel B. Colt and James Colt, at Lamar, Associates with Byrne, Lea, Marcy, et al, Legends concerning the Colts, Texian government’s report of test of Colt arms, 1839, Jefferson Davis, Camel Experiment, Camels in Refugio County, Camel hunts, Town of Lamar between 1850-1860, Some of its new citizens.

Chapter XXXII

The Rise of St. Mary’s

Marking time pending outcome of Power litigation, Sounding of Copano Bay, The Smith-Williamson contract, Pre-town settlers, Louisiana farmers, Neighboring ranches, John Linney, Early schools at Black Point, Plat of St. Mary’s, Joseph F. Smith’s first home, General Williamson, promoter of Shreveport, Transfers interests to St. Mary’s, John W. Vineyard, founder of Ingleside, First Wharf, United States army officers interested, James Vance, First buildings at St. Mary’s, Names of original settlers, Lumber mart, Old waggoners, Kimball’s Ferry, McCarty’s Ferry, Further wharves and warehouses, Early sea-captains, Captain Frederick Augustine, Captain Charles F. Bailey, Dr. E. F. Carpenter, J. I. Cottingham, James M. Doughty, Francis M. Ellis, Captain John Low, Judge Samuel S. Mapes, Archibald McNeill, Isaac Newton Mitchell, P. M. Neel, Dr. Rufus A. Nott, Michael L. Stoner, the Striblings, Thomas S. Tatum, Dr. Throckmorton, Lyman H. Ward, Colonel Alfred Marmaduke Hobby, Judge Edwin E. Hobby, Black Point Lodge No. 250 AF & AM.

Chapter XXXII

Political Transition

Passing of control from colonial families, County officers 1850-1860, Naturalization of aliens by county court, Public ferries of period, Refugians in California “Gold Rush” of 1849, Governor Henry Smith, James W. Robinson, Richard Roman, Hugh May, Archibald McNeill, F. M. Swift, Death of Governor Smith, Death of Colonel Power, Buried at Live Oak Point, Remains removed to Refugio, Vacancy hunters molest old settlers, Endeavor to have legislature invalidate all grants in Refugio and San Patricio Counties, Indignation meetings, Memorial of citizens to legislature, Joseph F. Smith’s reply, Francis Dietrich, Mustang chases, Laws regulating, Laws against running unbranded cattle, Old mission used as court house, Dilapidated, The town of Refugio under its charter begins a court house, Description, Transfers it to county in 1856, County rents out offices in court house, Bee County created, Boundaries, Organized by Refugio County, First officers of new county, Papalote, Blanconia, Early settlers of Blanconia, J. M. Doughty’s description of Refugio County in 1859.

Chapter XXXIV

Education Prior to Civil War

Public school system under Republic, Donation of county school land, Charter of Town of Refugio, Town builds school house, Local administration, “Paying patrons”, Report of reimbursement, Location of Refugio County school lands, Noted private academies of section, Lamar Academy, Some of the pupils, Public school districts, and teachers 1850-1859, Pioneer teachers of Refugio County.


Refugio County TX,


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