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Friday, Dec. 4, 1835

Weather fine.  Set out on horseback, down the bayou, to examine the lower section.  Hudgins was taken sick, and returned to camp to take physic.  I continued the examination, in company with our guide, who today has shown himself surly and uncivil.  While in a cane brake alone I discovered an Indian mound of considerable dimensions, covered with very stiff, thick cane.  Found it hard labor to cut a path from it to the bayou.  As well as I could judge, twenty feet high, fifty or sixty feet in diameter.  Found a corner tree recently cut with an axe, and our guide said he saw men's tracks.  On returning to camp was informed by H. that two men had been there who said they were hunting timber to raft out when the water rose.  This we did not believe, but set them down for land hunters.  Hudgins is better, but still unwell, and as the weather is lowering, conclude to finish the examination tomorrow morning early and endeavor to reach Hughes' plantation by night.

Saturday, Dec. 5, 1835

Weather windy all night, cloudy and portending a storm.  Hudgins and guide went out early to finish examination, while I cook breakfast and pack.  While thus engaged our two timber hunters returned by the camp.  At 10 o'clock we mounted and retraced our steps to the haunts of man.  Arrived at Hughes' before night, and were again kindly received by Callahan, his overseer.  He treated us to venison, which he had just bought from those Indian boys, that would not talk to nor understand us, two of whom we met a short distance from the plantation, on horseback.  They brought venison, and received money and pumpkins.  Callahan said they spoke good English until the sale of the meat was effected, after which they would not talk.  And he had no doubt they understood every word we said to them.

Sunday, Dec. 6, 1835

Rode over the farm with Callahan.  Weather excessively cold.  The Negroes at work, picking cotton, notwithstanding the day.  They say they know no difference between the days of the week in picking cotton time.  Callahan receives as overseer only $600 a year.  Many of them get $1,000, some $1,200 and $1,500.  Opposite to Hughes' is Dr. Lee's estate, and immediately below that is H. Browner's.  These three are the only settlements on Silver Creek, and the nearest to the entry we have made.  Dr. Lee has a fine body of cane land next to Hughes, about 1,000 acres, for which he asks $10 per acre.

Left Callahan after 10 o'clock.  Took a Negro with us to bring the skiff back after crossing the Panther Creek, Dr. Lee having politely lent the use of it.

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The Diary of William Fairfax Gray, from Virginia to Texas, 1835-1837
Copyright 1997 William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas