Sam Houston’s Letter
This is a letter that Sam Houston wrote to his wife, Margaret the day after
Fayette Smith was captured by Comanche Indians. Sam Houston was in
Austin at the time representing Brazoria County.
Just as I ceased writing, news came in last evening that Indians were seen in the vicinity of the city and the Brother-in-law of judge Smith of this county was pursued by four supposed to be comanchies [sic]. He reported that he had left Judge Smith and his little son about 12-years-old in the neighbourhood of the Indians about two miles from the city. Night came on and a party went out to look for the missing. No discoveries were made. The horse and a dog of Judge Smith came in about 9 P.M. The distress of Mrs. Smith 1 am told was terrible. This morning a company went out and about a mile from the capitol they found the mutilated remains of the Judge and as the ground was marshy they also found where the little Boy was taken from the ground and no doubt taken off a prisoner. You can now imagine the distress of an agonized mother.
People here look sad and melancholy and the fact of judge Smith’s massacre has had an additional influence in depressing the [torn] mind! In most of the speeches made to day, allusion to the death of Judge Smith, murder has been alluded to.
We are ding dong in land matters and in all that many have come for to this place! God save the country! It will require more than mortal aid. Divine help may save us.
– The Personal Correspondence of Sam Houston, Volume 1, letter to Margaret Houston
Houston knew the death of the Judge would leave a lasting impact on the
town and their views of the native struggle. To read more about the
mysterious attack on the Smith family and what happened to their son
Fayette, check out my book Comanche Trace, Book 4 in the Westward
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