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by Dobie, and at 1 o'clock we all left for the Naches.  The inhabitants who were leaving their homes offered us any stores we wanted, bacon, sugar, coffee and biscuit.  We took some of the latter, and a tin cup given me by Mrs. Harris.  Before night we passed the place of Taylor White,[ 9]  which he had left in charge of an old Negro, who gave us dinner of milk and bread and corn for our horses; 62 1/2 cents.  We here also again overtook Mrs. Oldbender and her three little children.  Each of us gave her $1.  We then struck across the prairies, aiming for a clump of trees, which we did not reach until after dark.  It was an uncomfortable place, and we had difficulty in kindling a fire.  Slept soundly on the ground, with only our blankets under us.

Anahuac [is] on the east side of the bay, just below the mouth of Trinity.  The ground a prairie, almost dead level, rather higher at the bank than further back.  The bank, high, bold, and the view extensive.  The prairie rather poor.   The place is now dilapidated, but must ultimately be one of considerable business.  Judge Chambers has a claim on the land.  Memo. to inquire of him about the title.

Tuesday, April 19, 1836

This morning a heavy fog.  My horse being hobbled, was grazing near us, but the others were not visible.  Dobie mounted my horse and went in pursuit, found them about a mile off.  Went on across the prairie, taking our course by the compass.  Towards noon approached timber, and striking the road, fell in with numerous fugitives, among them the McNiels, with their African Negroes, Catlett, Cady, Fleury and Cazeneau.  The poor, frightened fugitives had thrown away a great deal of furniture, emptied beds of feathers, bags of corn, etc.  We stopt to feed our horses from some corn that had been thrown out.  Here we met the report that the Mexicans and Indians from Nacogdoches had come down, and appeared on the Cow Bayou, immediately in our route, which raised some apprehensions for our safety, and the practicability of getting to the United States in that direction.  Agreed with Catlett and company to lodge with them and travel together for our mutual safety.  Passed through the league of land bought of Scates, called Pine Islands.  Stopt at Shoats,[10]  and got a dinner of milk and bread.  Shoats says the Pine Islands are worth $10,000, but that Scates bought it of him, and yet owes him $115 of the purchase money.  His daughter, Mrs. Jackson, who is a fine looking woman, was in great wrath against the Texeans for bringing on the war and its consequences, and was eloquent in her vituperation against the members of the late convention, particularly her neighbor, Judge West, whom she called Lawyer West, in allusion to his early vocation, and said he ran off from Washington after signing the Declaration of Independence, before the ink was dry, and in his panic forgot his hat and coat, and came

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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