"Reliable accounts of battles, wars, adventures, forays, murders, massacres, etc., etc, together with biographical sketches of many of the most noted Indian fighters and frontiersmen of Texas."
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Indian Depredations in Texas based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
This book is a 691 page facsimile reproduction of the original 1889 accounts of "Indian Depredations in Texas" by Texas pioneer J. W. Wilbarger covering a period of some fifty years between the 1820s and 1870s. Present-day authors of such leanings have been advised not to "go overboard" in extolling ["haloing"] aboriginal Indians as proud, lofty and noble, even mythical and romantic. J.W. Wilbarger does not. One contemporary author opines that "The spirit of native people lives in the rocks and the forests, the rivers and the mountains. It murmurs in the brooks and whispers in the trees." A nineteenth century author expressed a similar opinion that "the nature of the red man, noble of soul, is enshrined in poetic beauty." Another author of the time romanticized "lofty" Indians as "extraordinary people who saw God in clouds and heard him in the winds." Such "haloing" was then as now, poetic, romantic and sentimental, though nevertheless "overboard." Wilbarger however whose brother and nephew were scalped by Indians--his brother while still alive--and whose horses were stolen, minces no words in disagreement(s) with the above. Wilbarger wrote: "The Indian never saw anything in clouds but clouds, but when it came to seeing a white man he wanted to scalp, or a horse he wanted to steal, his eyes were as keen as a hawk." The embittered Wilbarger further believed that "noble" Indians were "few and far between, like angel's visits." and that they were "naturally incapable of [civilized] progress." He wrote of his belief that "the inexorable law of survival will replace them." The frontier times so well written about by Wilbarger was a boundary line where opposing forces came together with all of their differences, and the "forces" being those of aboriginal peoples opposing European settlers and with the cultural differences between them of so-called "savagery" and "civilization." Wilbarger wrote of the frontier era in a time of Indian raids and abductions and in the latter especially were harrowing tales of terroism, heroism, tears and tragedy. Nothing was more feard than raids on cabins and the terrifying abductions of young women and girls of childbearing ages. The very first account of Wilbarger's "Indian Depredations" is that of the 1838 abductions of Matilda Lockhart and Jada Putman. Typical of the times, most of the hundreds of such unfortunates never returned or were ever heard of again and the relatively few who were rescued or somehow managed to escape, or were ransomed back to their families, all told of extreme cruelties and of immoral acts against their persons "too shameful" to speak of. Matilda Lockhart was ransomed back to her family after three years in captivity, but Jada Putman remained a captive for fourteen years until one day by good chance she was recognized in with Indians as maybe being the long lost child, and was found to be. Wilbarger wrote of the incident that "this young lady by a train of circumstances was recognized by the merest chance and restored back to her relatives. Truth is often stranger than fiction." Page after page, Wilbarger's history of "Indian Depredations in Texas" is not fiction but is full of such truthful and interesting accounts.