Author Archives: Mustang

The Black Hawk War, 1832

There are a number of reasons people leave their traditional homes.  We generally refer to these as the push—pull factors of human migration.  Push factors might include weather phenomena, disease, an encroachment by stronger groups, insufficient food, water, or other … Continue reading

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Vigilantism: Justice for All

Jim Marshal, from Hopewell Township, New Jersey, was raised on the Round Martin Farm, known in1810 (and today) as Marshal’s Corner.  For whatever reason, Marshall decided to leave home in 1834 to seek his fortune. After spending some time in Indiana … Continue reading

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They were all dirty

According to some folks, a fellow of the old west named Dave Rudabaugh was known as Dirty Dave because he had an aversion to bathing.  This could be true, since back in the old west there was a conspicuous scarcity … Continue reading

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James Wilkinson: Image of Respectability

James Wilkinson (1757-1825) is one of those characters in American history that one seldom hears about.  At the end of his life, he had achieved prominence as the senior officer of the U. S. Army, a politician, and one of … Continue reading

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The Archive War

Georgian by birth in 1798, Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar developed into a well-educated young man, an excellent horseman, an expert in firearms, a credible poet and artist, and the editor of a local newspaper.  Lamar served the governor of Georgia as … Continue reading

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The Guardsmen

There was a time in America when lawmen made people nervous —not because they had anything to hide (maybe they did), but  because, for the most part, old west lawmen were no one to trifle with.  The fact was that … Continue reading

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The Texas Cherokee War

Texas independence was never a simple matter of people refusing to conform to Mexican law.  It was, in fact, very complex, unsettling, highly contentious, lasting several years, and, I suspect, many sleepless nights among those who worked tirelessly to effect … Continue reading

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At Goliad, 1836

(Continued from last week) One of the first things that General Sam Houston did after being reinstated was ordering Fannin to withdraw his men and stores fromPresidio La Bahia at Goliad to the town at Victoria.  He might have complied … Continue reading

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The Matamoros Campaign

James Walker Fannin Jr. (d. March 27, 1836) is not one of my favorite characters in Texas history.  In fairness to Fannin, however, he was a 32-year old colonel with comparatively no experience as a senior field officer.  What happened to … Continue reading

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Jim Bowie: The Man Behind the Legend

Was Jim Bowie a hero of Texas, or a man who was simply trapped by his circumstances?  Was he a killer, or simply a man of his time who was willing and able to defend himself in a scrape?  Was … Continue reading

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