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Saturday, April 16th, 1836

The steamboat went down this morning with the members of the Cabinet in it, and Dr. Harrison, on his way to the United States.  He sold the gift of General Urrea to Colonel Houston for $50, including saddle and bridle, and presented the sword to President Burnet.

After breakfast Triplett, Neblett and myself started, intending to go to Jacob Winfree's, on the bay, opposite Anahuac,[ 1]  fifteen miles from Lynch's.  Dr. Neblett had got directions from several persons, but they proved erroneous.  Instead of taking the right-hand road, we took the left, and went up the San Jacinto, till we crossed Cedar Creek, and then took an easterly course, across the prairie, and after travelling twenty-five or thirty miles found ourselves still twelve miles from Winfree's.[ 2]  It being near sunset, we stopt with some fugitives, among them a Mr. ----- Highsmith, from LaBaca, who kindly gave us part of their supper, and we slept in the open air.

We learned from these travellers that it is reported that 2,000 Mexican troops have entered Nacogdoches, where they met no opposition.

Left at Lynch's Mrs. Splan, her brother, Mr. Douglas, Catlett, Cady, Cazneau, Fleury, the Earles, etc.

Sunday, April 17, 1836

Breakfasted with the fugitives, and then rode on to Winfree's.  There we found Mr. Collins, who had left Lynch's a few days before.  Triplett and Neblett have bought Winfree's half league and all the improvements for $600.  Mrs. Winfree treated us to some fine buttermilk, and three bowls of fine, ripe blackberries.  Winfree not at home.

While at Winfree's a Mr. Thompson rode up, and reported that a troop of Mexican cavalry had that morning been at Lynch's and Zavala's, and it was supposed would come directly on.  He was going express to inform the people on the Trinity and at Anahuac.  Rode on with Thompson; passing Barrow's we saw Winfree.[ 3]  A short distance from Barrow's we passed a bayou, which was too deep for our horses.  The road lay through the bay for one-fourth of a mile; in order to pass it we had to make a wide circle, on a bar formed by the meeting of the waters of the bay and those of the bayou.  Thompson piloted us.[ 4]

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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