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20. [p.92]  This bayou rises in what is today central Houston County and flows west for nineteen miles into the Trinity River.

21. [p.92]  There are many creeks by this name in Texas. This one rises in the south central part of what is now Trinity County and flows about eleven miles southwest into White Rock Creek in the extreme southern part of the county. Handbook, Vol. 1, p. 534.

22. [p.93]  Gray correctly described the use of fires by the colonists. According to the leading environmental geographer of Texas, the Anglo settlers regularly "slashed down the wild cane, left it to dry, then sent flames shooting tree-high into the edges of woodland, killing surrounding trees as effectively as if by girdling." Robin W. Doughty, At Home in Texas: Early Views of the Land, p. 68.

23. [p.93]  Mustang Prairie was "about 10 miles southwest of the present town of Crockett, on El Camino Real." Shearer, Potter, p. 48.

24. [p.94]  Gray here is describing an outlier of the Blackland Prairie known as the String or San Antonio prairie, acknowledging the fact that it forms a natural corridor from near the town of Bastrop to the Trinity River that was used by Spanish explorers and early travellers as a route connecting San Antonio (Béxar) with east Texas. This was known as El Camino Real. Another road -- to La Bahia -- branched off west of the Trinity River, following a narrow corridor of the Blackland Prairie south/southwest to the Brazos River, near present Navasota, about five miles from the town of Washington. Terry Jordan et al., Texas: A Geography, p. 36.

25. [p.94]  Daniel Larrison received a league of land in what became Madison County in 1835. Henson, "Notes on the Gray Diary," p. 3.

26. [p.94]  South Bedias Creek in two forks rises in northeastern Grimes and northwest Walker counties and moves in a northeasterly direction about three miles to its mouth on the Trinity River. Vertical Files, Revised Handbook.

27. [p.95]  Rios had actually owned his own land (a league) since 1835 through the fifth empresario contract of Stephen F. Austin. The land was in what would become southern Madison County, near the Grimes County border. Henson, "Notes on the Gray Diary," p. 4.

28. [p.97]  In Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part I, the frightened braggadocio Falstaff collected a ragged army in defense of the king.

29. [p.97]  His full name was James A. Lott. Henson, "Notes on the Gray Diary," p. 1.

30. [p.97]  Benjamin Briggs Goodrich was born in Virginia on February 24, 1799, and graduated from a Baltimore medical college, practicing in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida before immigrating to Texas in April, 1834. He purchased property in Washington in December, 1835, but after the war settled in Grimes County, where he died in 1860. Webb, Handbook, Vol. 1, pp. 709-10.


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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