Grayson County TXGenWeb
The Great South


The Great South: The New Route to the Gulf
July 1873

[Source: "The Great South: The New Route to the Gulf," Scribner's Monthly 6 (July 1873) : 257-288]
[Note: Words in brackets were not part of the original article; rather, they were added prior to posting on this website. They are intended to make reading easier.] 

Limestone Gap! The birds are going mad with joy in the bouquets by the rivulet yonder; the cedars on the far-off hills rustle their boughs gently, as if delighted at the advent of the sun; the squat cactus seems to bristle with pride and emotion as the last vestige of inimical snow melts from around it; the ice dissolves and the long grasses wave; the Choctaw Indian twines a red ribbon about his hat, and dons his calico jacket; the coyote slinks across the prairie, sidling rapidly towards the horizon, for he knows that the hunters will be abroad in every direction now; and the deer fly to their deepest coverts, for the footsteps of men are heard in many a thicket heretofore deemed secure. 


"Turn your face southward! Leave the railway behind! Look down the great Texas trail, over which the crusaders of a new civilization have been wandering for many a year. Now the road is bare of travel -not even a horseman is to be seen; yet, at every turn of the route, a monument might justly be erected to the valor of early emigrants. Massacres, heroic resistances, tremendous endurance, courage under privation, all these were the lot of those who went towards Texas a score of years ago. The path stretching through the monotonous prairie, along the high table-lands, or nestling in the embrace of guardian mountains, was beset with romantic adventure on every hand.
As you stand here on this ragged upheaval of obstinate rock, this sentinel-hill keeping watch over the line of mountains divided at this point in twain, you overlook the romance of the past and the romance of the future. 

The new pilgrimage to the land of promise is made by express-train on that gleaming line of rail which winds across the plain beyond you, and comes to pierce the rocky chasm near the base of the hill on which you stand; the old pilgrimage was made along that weary way stretching two hundred and fifty miles through this great Indian country, and which crosses the Red River, and twines itself among the uplands of Northern Texas, dispersing into an hundred pathways among the immemorial hills, and by the banks of deep, swift streams. It was but yesterday that a train of canvas-covered emigrant wagons toiled over the Texas highway. That train of wagons started from far Missouri, or even Illinois, before the railway to the Texan frontier was complete, and by the time the emigrants guiding it found a home, the whole expanse of fertile land between Galveston and St. Louis was spanned by iron lines, and the locomotive has in a day rushed through fields on which the slow wagon-trains lingered for months. The development of the Southwest has begun in earnest. The gardens of the gods are at last open to mortals! 

[Routes of Migration Toward Texas] 
Two great currents of emigration at present tend towards Texas. One flows downward through Missouri and Kansas from the Northwestern States, through the Indian Territory, and enters the vast realm of the Lone Star at the Red River.
The other cuts across the languidly hurrying waters of the Gulf of Mexico from New Orleans, and lands numbers of refugees from the Southern States at the port of Galveston. The one peoples the riant [sic] landscapes of the North Texan country with resolute, practical farmers and earnest housewives; the other sends a half discouraged, yet nobly-striving population, to inhabit the cattle-grazing regions, to develop the immense farming-lands which have so long sluggishly concealed their treasures. The former is the hope of Texas of the present, the latter gives sure promise for Texas of the future. 



Wondrously beautiful, strangely picturesque pilgrimages these emigrants of to-day are making to the land of promise and performance! Let us be pardoned for visioning their progress, as we stand here on this grand outlook at Limestone Gap, ere we begin the story of our rambles. Downward they wander over the far-stretching prairies, where mushroom towns spring up on either hand, before and behind them; along the courses of mighty rivers in the "Territory," where the half-civilized Indian regards them with evil eye, and bids them hasten to quit the homes allotted him; through lonely lands, where the face of man comes only with the rattle and rush of car-wheels; by the sites of ghostly terminus towns, where fierce little hells of gambling and murder flourished for a few short weeks, until the advent of numbers made the ruffian flee; among the swart, fierce Cherokees, Choctaws, Creeks and Chickasaws, bringing momentary progress into their quaint, superstition-laden villages; through sharply defined hill-ranges, and deeply sequestered, fertile valleys, until, the last creek crossed, the last forest of the Territory dominated, the turbid, fickle stream that marks the Texan boundary is reached; then, on and on through new forests, where a gnarled, unprofitable growth rankly asserts itself; over uplands, where the black earth demands but a caress to bring forth abundant harvest; through thickets where the Spanish moss hangs in hundred fantastic forms from the trees it feeds upon; past immense fields, where thousands of cattle are grazing; by banks and braes, which in summer time are dotted and spangled with myriads of flowers; along highways where horsemen ride merrily; now rushing through a still, old town, where Negro children are playing about the doors of the dirty, white houses, or a stalwart Negress, with a huge bundle on her head, is tramping in the shade of some friendly trees; now along the borders of a marsh in which a million frogs are croaking a dreary burden, their monotonous chorus rising out of little pools from which the flag lily raises its defiant head; now where one can see, in the tremulous air of evening, the reflection of the dying sun in a little lake nestling among the trees, with Spanish graybeards dipping into its clear depths; now where a path winds up a hillside, and a magnolia tree stands lonely, its green leaves giving promise of future bloom and perfume, and its coarse bark sending forth a subtle odor; now where somber creeks steal in and out among the crooked trees, as if eager to furnish seductive nooks for the brown, gray, and red birds which flutter and hover and hop from a thousand twigs; now where the mesquite quivers in the glare of the generous Texan sun; where the voices of Negroes are heard in loud refrain, singing some boisterous melody as they loiter home from their half-completed tasks, the urchins somersaulting on the elastic earth; and now where the shadows in the distance are strangely lighted up by the erratic glow of the moon, which throws a fantastic glamour on moss and thicket, on lily and magnolia, on live-oak and mesquite. Onward they wander, now through the sugar-lands and bayou-penetrated swamps of Louisiana, along tortuous waterways, and up to the richly indented Texan coast?even to where Galveston's roofs gleam over the sea-horizon, low-lying on the great gulf's breast, beautiful as Venice in approach, fascinating as Valencia on near acquaintance.  


[Orientation: Missouri] 
And now we will tell you the story of our rambling in the footsteps of these emigrants.
The new year smiled upon us through its snow veil as we sped from Baltimore to Altoona, then up the great slopes of the Alleghenies, "away beyond the Inferno at Pittsburgh, across the gardens of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, to the capital beyond the Mississippi. Long before we reached St. Louis we had entered into the westward current of emigration, and traveled among hundreds of Germans, Alsatians, Swiss, Swedes and Norwegians, hastening to homes in the New Atlantis. As soon, however, as we had crossed the Mississippi, we left the foreign element behind, and saw only native Americans, who, obedient to the eternal spirit of unrest born within us, were moving on. St. Louis was wrapped in a mantle of fog; the great shrieks of the steamers on the muddy stream sounded like the cries of evil spirits; the streets were filled with liquid mud; locomotion on land was almost impossible. At last, however, there came a clear, crisp morning, when sky and earth were not unlike those of January in the North, and we rattled away through Missourian landscapes, past the grape-growing lands, were the Germans are turning every hill and knoll into vineyards; along the dubious bottom lands of the Missouri River, where acres of huger cornstalks than we had ever seen before rose in mid-forest, and where log-cabins clustered in little groups by the side of creek, or in groves; then over prairies, now aflame, and now dreary under the winter clouds, until, after a day railway rattle, we drew up in the station at Sedalia, and heard the welcome cry of "Supper!"  Fatigued with the ride, the only relief to which, aside from occasional glances at the scenery, had been the jangling music furnished by an adventurous Negro minstrel who called himself "Jeff. Davis," we withdrew hastily to our little room in the principal hotel, which is also the railway station of Sedalia, and sat down to review our coming journey. 


The ruder aspects of Sedalia have vanished before the march of railway improvement, and the town is rising from the low level of a speculative frontier village, where the tenure of life and position in society was very uncertain, to the grade of an important junction, and a city of prominence. It is not very long since the revolver was the supreme arbiter in all disputes in Sedalia, since, indeed, the streets were cleared of all peaceable men an instant, whenever there was prospect of a quarrel between the blood-thirsty thieves and ruffians who infested the whole adjacent region. The drift of iniquity from the impromptu towns along the Union Pacific line came into Missouri, Kansas, and the Indian Territory, as soon as the project of the new route to the Gulf was broached, and brought with it murder and wholesale robbery. The men who had been attracted to Missouri from the States of Illinois and Ohio, and from portions of Kansas, by the excellent chances to enrich themselves in land speculations, were appalled by the actions of the drunken and ferocious fiends who came to haunt the new towns. The projectors of the Gulf Route had to face this criminal element and to submit to its presence in their midst. Often it was the stronger, and openly defied them, as is now the case in certain sections of the West. But the pioneers of the route had had their schooling in new lands; the engineers and builders were men of muscle and brain, of coolness and "nerve," and moved quietly but irresistibly forward, amid the harassing outrages of a mean and cowardly bandits, whose chief precept was assassination, and whose trade was rapine. With dauntless energy, courage, and industry, and by the aid of generously expended capital, these pioneers of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway worked steadfastly, and in three and a half years laid five hundred and fifty-one miles of solidly constructed track, or a little over half a mile for every working day. When they took up their task, the anguish of the war was hardly ended; the total disorganization of society consequent on the radical changes inaugurated in the lately slave holding States made many of the conditions of life and labor onerous and disagreeable, but the superb end hoped for always made the difficult means easier to work with. To-day a tract of country which, two years ago, was comparatively as unknown to the masses of our citizens as Central Africa, is now easily accessible; palace cars convey the traveler over the rich plains of the Indian Territory, and from St. Louis, with its legacy of more than a century's history, to Denison, the young giant of Northern Texas, with its records of scarcely a year -a distance of six hundred and twenty-one miles, a through train will convey you speedily and safely. The Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway merits more than a casual mention in the history of the development of our common country. 


[The Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway] 
Two New Yorkers, Messrs. George Denison and David Crawford, Jr., gave the railway its first financial status; and brought it before the eyes of the world with its respectability thoroughly guaranteed, and its objects all properly explained. The enterprise, originally known as the Southern branch of the Union Pacific Railway Company, was magnificent in scope, and found ready support from men of large minds and ample means. The system north of the Red River, when perfected, was intended to comprehend more than a thousand miles; and the proposed extension south of the Red River would amount to a thousand more. The scheme was that of a grand vertebral line through Texas, via Waco and Austin, to Camargo on the west bank of the Rio Grande; thence almost due south, through Monterey, Saltillo, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, and Querétaro, to the City of Mexico. 
The company formed for the building of these lines north and south, the company which is doing more to develop Texas by emigration each month than was done each year before its construction, and which will yet solve the Mexican problem -is ably officered and conducted by Levi Parsons, as president; by George Denison, as vice president; and by David Crawford, Jr., as treasurer; their projects are put into operation with admirable skill by R. S. Stevens, Esq., the general manager. Among the directors are Francis Skiddy, L. P. Morton, J. Pierrepont Morgan, Erastus Corning, Shepard Gandy, Hezron A. Johnson, and J. B. Dickinson, of New York. The company, in constructing its railway and branches, through Missouri and Kansas, asked but few favors of the States. It has built the road mainly with its own money, and has shown the true pioneering spirit in boldly pushing its tracks, at an enormous expense, through the Indian Territory, without waiting for the settlement of the question of the distribution of lands there. The same indomitable pluck and persistent effort will doubtless be shown in the future building of Texas and Mexican extensions. The Legislature of Texas has accorded the company organization under a special law, and its general law gives to any railway built within the State limits extensive land grants, so that the people will not be subjected to any burdensome taxation, and in a few years the outside world will suddenly discover that a journey to Mexico is no more difficult than the present journey to New Orleans, and that new lands and territories have been opened to speculation and profit as if by magic.  


But the plan is not limited merely to this. It is possible that in future the line may extend from where it now joins the Houston & Texas Central Railway at Denison, southward, down the valley of the Trinity, "the richest in Eastern Texas," to Galveston, with a branch to the waters of Sabine Bay, which route to the Gulf, it is claimed, would save from seven to twelve hundred miles of railway transportation upon all the foreign importations and exportations of West Mississippi States and Territories, over shipments via the Atlantic ports. The value of the Texas business will also be immense, and should the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway lines touch the Gulf, there will be travel and trade enough for it and for the Houston & Texas Central, even though the latter double its tracks and rolling stock.
Besides this the branch from Sedalia, extending across the Missouri River at Booneville, to Moberly, Mo., will give a magnificent direct line from Chicago to Galveston.
And the whole work of construction to the Red River has been done in three years and a half! History furnishes but few such instances of rapid and solid construction. The expenditure of the company for the road and its equipment up to the present time has been nearly thirty millions of dollars; but the receipts, notwithstanding the great distance which the road runs through thinly-settled districts in the Indian Territory, are amply gratifying, and promise a rich harvest. 

[At Sedalia]
Sedalia, the present headquarters of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway, where the general offices are situated, already has an air of prosperity and thrift, which its less fortunate sisters in Missouri are painfully devoid of. Too many of the shire-towns in the State are mere collections of unambitious buildings around a square, in which stands the shabby one-story wooden or brick court-house. Pigs and Negro children monopolize each sunny corner, and often clear the plank-walks of all serious pedestrians; and grog-shops, filled with lean, incult, idle people offend the eye. But from Sedalia these disagreeable features are mainly banished; the streets devoted to residences are wide and beautiful; many private houses are furnished with exquisite taste and luxury, and business establishments are springing up on every hand. No Eastern town could possibly manifest the same rapid increase in population; the census is never certain from week to week; and, indeed, all through the Southwest, the bitterest rivalry prevails between neighbor towns as to the population they respectively contain. The Southwesterner never speaks positively on this subject; he always gives the numbers the benefit of an "or"; he is sure to say, "Well I expect there's from 2,500 to 3,000 inhabitants here"; to stop at the 2,500 would be rank heresy.
Our first evening at Sedalia was passed in the company of many of the gentlemen connected with the history of this great new Gulf Route. They had followed its fortunes from the first rail-laying to the last, in the direction of its junction with the Texas Central; and are even now actively engaged in finishing the branch from Sedalia to Moberly, which will give them direct connection with Chicago, giving the renaissant city as good a chance as her rival, St. Louis, at the commerce of the great new lands below. 

[First Day's Journey South] 

Two days thereafter the Scribner Expedition embarked on this new Gulf Route. A large delegation of the Sedalian population watched its entrée into a special train, in the rear of which was a magnificent hotel-car, presided over by "the pet conductor," known then to the world at large as Major James Doyle, and at present as Superintendent of the Holden division of the M., K. and T. Railway. The luxury of travel was fully realized in the elegant appointments of the train; but the gentlemen who bade us good-by assured us that we should need everything provided for us as we were going away from civilization. A party of gentlemen accompanied us to a way-station not far from Sedalia: half an hour afterwards we were whirling along the M., K. and T.'s solid line, drinking in the beauty of awakening nature at every pore, while Charlie, factotum, and representative of African civilization in the Southwest, turned our car into a superb drawing-room. "I" golly, boss," he chuckled, rather than said, in his original patois, "dem fellers 'll take us fur directahs, sho!"
It was the perfection of travel, this journeying so thoroughly at one's own will, with power to stop at every turn, and no feeling of haste. At each station where it seemed to us good, we dismissed our train upon a side-track, and went wandering. Missouri towns were passed over with a cursory glance, as they were so much alike in general character. Windsor was a sleepy old town; Calhoun was sleepier and older. The latter village was grouped around a mud and snow haunted square, lined with ill-looking buildings. "'Yer ought to see it Sundays,' said an informant at the depot, 'when them fellers get full of tangle-foot; they kin just fight!" But the railroad is bringing a Calhoun a better future. A little farther on we paused before the entrance to a shaft sunk in one of those rich veins of coal which crop out in all this section. A dwarfed and bent, but stalwart old man, the very image of a gnome, conducted us into the narrow galleries, an hundred and fifty feet below the surface, and we crawled on our hands and knees along passages scarcely three feet high, examining the superb strata into which the railway company delves to secure its fuel. As far as the eye can reach, on either hand, there is scarcely a stick of timber to be seen; but a railway built along a coal-bed gives its corporation no cause for complaint.  


The men and women in these little Missourian towns had a grave, preoccupied look, doubtless born of long contemplation of the soil, and of the hard ways of the West. The farming population in that section is none too prosperous, and too rarely has any ready money. The immense disproportion between the cost of labor and implements for producing crops, and the prices of the produce itself, has made sad havoc with many brilliant prospects; and it is safe to say that, throughout that part of the Southwest, the tillers of the soil are savagely discontent. Many with whom we conversed spoke with great bitterness of the difficulty of obtaining proper representation in Congress on the subject of their grievances. 
It was curious to note, in this first day's journeying, how the advent of the railway had caused whole towns and villages to change their location, and to come tumbling miles across the prairie, to put themselves in direct communication with the outer world. Sometimes, at a little station, we were shown, afar off, a landmark of the village's former site, just on the horizon; and were told that the citizens one day set their houses upon wheels, and had them dragged by long trains of sturdy oxen to the railway line. For a time everything was in transition; people had to give up church on Sundays until the "meeting-house came over to the new village"; and a gambling-hell, and a pious citizen's house, often jogged along in apparently friendly company for days. Sometimes there came a great wind, keeling a whole transitory village upside down, and the "bullwhackers" were compelled to shout themselves hoarse for days, urging the cattle to aid in righting things. 
There were a good many instances of discouraged towns on every hand. Here and there we came to a long street, bordered by white one-story board structures and plank walks, and inhabited by a bevy of dejected and annoyed colonists, forever cursing their lack of judgment in not having selected the site destined to be the great railway city of the Southwest. Entering such towns, and daring to set foot into the shop of the humblest tradesman, we were at once the center of an admiring and awe-stricken group, each and every person in it manifesting the most unbounded surprise that commerce in that especial locality had revived even to the extent of the expenditure of a ten-cent scrip. In such towns, the hotel was usually a small, frail, frame structure, kept by a huge giant of a man, with a disappointed face and a sour and envious manner of greeting you, a manner which belied his real nature, but which the hard fatalities of pioneering had grafted upon him. The women in these towns were silent, impassive, laborious, seeming to have forsworn folly of every kind, and to be delving at nature with desperate will, determined to wrench riches from her, even though the golden opportunity had moved on. 


After Charles had made all tidy for bed within the palace-car, on the first evening of the journey, we wandered among the drovers and herdsmen at one of the great stock-yards on the rail line. A stock-train from Sedalia was receiving a squealing and bellowing freight as we reached the yards, leading from which to the car door ran an inclined plane. Along the outer edge of the fence inclosing this plane stood a dozen stout men, armed with long poles and pitchforks. Presently out of the darkness sprang the figure of a man. "Is your lot ready, Bill," with an oath. "Yes," with an oath; and then, to the music of oaths innumerable, a mass of struggling porkers were forced forward to the car door. A rain of curses, yells and sharp pitchfork thrusts fell upon their defenseless backs; they rushed madly over each other along the crowded way into the car, those who lagged behind receiving prods enough to fill an elephant's hide with holes. Now and then some giant porker threw down one of his human assailants and gave him a savage bite before succumbing to the captivity of the car; for these were none of your luxurious pigs of the civilized sty, but sovereign rooters in the open, brought forth and reared on the prairie. Many a drover has carried to his grave the ugly scars given him by Texas steers and Missouri swine. 



[Fort Scott and the Osage Mission] 
The next day was Sunday, and the one street of the little town of Appleton, where a New York publishing firm has generously built a handsome schoolhouse, was lined with tired-looking women and pretty girls going churchward. Rough fellows, who had been occupied all the week with hard labor, mounted their ponies and galloped away for a day's hunting. We went on through the towns of Nevada and Deerfield to Schell City, a superb location for a fine town, and one of the especial favorites of the railway corporation. Thousands of acres of rich land are owned there by the company, and many substantial buildings are already in progress. In the afternoon we came to the prosperous little town of Fort Scott in Kansas, stretched along a range of hills lined with coal. Situated directly at the junction of the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Gulf Railway with the Missouri, Kansas and Texas, and crowded with enterprising and industrious citizens, it is destined to a large prosperity. The government post there was long ago deserted; nothing remains but a few barrack buildings, grouped around a weed-grown square, and the old hospital, which decay aids in rendering picturesque. The building of the new Gulf Route has had a great influence for good upon Fort Scott and the surrounding country; and although the reclaiming of lands granted to the railway company, from people who supposed that they had acquired a title to them by living for a long time upon them, has occasioned some trouble, it is expected that a satisfactory arrangement may be reached. This was a lawless section but a few years ago; now the security of life and property are as great as in any community in the world. The current of crime passed through with the building of the new railway, and found no inducement even to linger for a moment. It has been a sweeping change, this metamorphosis of Kansas into a transplanted New England, from the condition of a wild territory, whose lands were held and inhabited solely by the Indians driven west of the Mississippi. In 1841, Fort Scott was a post to hold the savages in check; now there is hardly a full-blooded Indian to be encountered in the vicinity. 


Thirty-one miles below Fort Scott we came to Osage Mission, where a good Jesuit, Father Schumacher, began his labors among the Indians a quarter of a century ago. A rambling but well-built town spreads over a prairie, level as a floor, and creeps up to the railway line. At some little distance from the main town stands the "Mission," a group of commodious stone structures, one of which, a convent for the instruction of young girls, is among the best schools in the State, and is patronized alike by Protestant and Catholic families. We arrived at the Mission just at dusk. In the yard allotted the boys as a play-ground, stood an old man clad in priestly garb; he greeted us kindly, and invited us into his rude whitewashed chamber. Had he never longed for that bright European world out of which he had come a quarter of a century before? Never! His simple wants were readily satisfied; the laws of his order forbade him to hold property, and he was content with two habits yearly, his frugal supper, and his hard bed in yonder bunk. There was another priest at the Mission, a handsome, scholarly Irishman of fifty, and with him we presented ourselves at the convent door. A pale face peered at us from under a black hood: for a moment it lightened with the genial smile of a fair woman, then relapsed into the resigned indifference of the "sister." After Mother Bridget had come to welcome us we were led into the schoolroom, and there the Irish father mustered his fair charges, a long row of robust beauties, ranging in age from six to eighteen, and in hue from the tawny complexion of the Osage to the white of the town-born American maiden. The reverend father filled the air with his question-missiles; skipped from grammar to ancient history, and thence to mathematics; and among the brightest and quickest of the respondents were the Indian girls. Then a chorus of maidens sang quiet songs for us until the growing hours warned us to take our way trainward across the prairie. From the Mission a rapid railway run of a few miles brought us to Parsons?a thriving town named in honor of the president of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway. 

[Parsons, Kansas, and the Nesho Valley]
Parsons of course owes its existence to the railway. From its limits southward extends the route to the Indian Territory and to Texas; and north-west, through the thriving towns of Neosho Falls, Burlington, Emporia, and Council Grove, stretches the line to Junction City, where the Kansas Pacific joins it. Draining the rich regions between the boundary of the Indian Territory and the plains,?all the wonderfully fertile Neosho Valley, it is not surprising that the growth of the town has been rapid. Less than a month after the town was "started," in 1871, upwards of one hundred lots, on which parties were pledged to put up buildings worth at least $1,000, had been sold; and at present the town boasts good hotels, churches, handsome residences, banks, and huge stone railway shops. Land has already assumed an almost fictitious value in many of these towns; but at Parsons, as indeed throughout the Neosho Valley, the opportunities for investment are magnificent. The town is one of the great centers for the trade and travel of at least fifty thriving towns and villages into which the immigration from all parts of the West is rapidly flowing. The Neosho Valley offers homes to thousands of people, on terms which the poorest man can accept and fulfill. All through this rich country there is abundance of timber -black-walnut, ash, maple and oak; there is plenty of coal and water to be had for manufacturing purposes; and shrewd men with capital should not hesitate to manufacture near at hand the various implements of agriculture, the furniture, and the building materials, which are now transported hundreds of miles from St. Louis and Chicago. Why, the very ties on which the railway track is made are cut out of black-walnut! 


The Neosho Valley is a revelation to him who has never before visited the South-west. Miles on miles of wondrously fertile valleys and plains, watered by fine streams, along whose banks is a heavy growth of timber, are now within easy reach by rail. Hundreds of cattle, horses and swine wander at their will through the fields, guarded only against straying into the crops by the alert movements of the herdsman, who, mounted on a fleet horse and accompanied by a shepherd dog, spends his whole time in the open air. The houses of the farmers are usually of logs roughly hewn, but symmetrically put together, and the granaries are rudely constructed, for the shelter of crops is rarely necessary in such a climate. A corn granary is a huge tower of logs, built exactly as we built them of corn-cobs in our early days; no one ever thinks of stealing from it, for every one has enough. The horses career as they will in the front yard, and look in at the parlor windows; the pigs invade the kitchen, or quarrel with the geese at the very steps of the houses; but whenever the master of the household thinks that discipline has been too seriously infringed, he sends a sprightly dog to regulate matters, and the pigs are taken by their ears, the geese fly screaming away, and the horses scamper into the distance. The people who live thus have, nevertheless, many of the graces of city civilization, and now that the railway has come in, are rapidly making improvements in their homes.  




[Meeting the Kansas Indians] 
Not far from Emporia begins the Kaw reservation, where some seven hundred native Kansas Indians, or "Kaws," as the French language scoffingly named them, are located. Thousands of acres stretching away in either direction are given up to them, and are consequently devoid of cultivation. The Kaw of the present generation is by no means a prepossessing being. Dirty, lazy, and in many respects dishonest, he is hardly grateful for the respect government accords his traditional methods of life. Not far from the residence of the agent, government once built a number of commodious stone houses, which the Indians were solicited to occupy; but they stabled their ponies in the structures, and camped in their wigwams outside. As we entered the reservation, a violent storm of sleet and cold rain was in progress, but one adventurous brave galloped across from a little village to the slowly-moving train, and cautiously approaching us, as if he feared treachery on our part, uttered a sonorous "How! How!" and sullenly accepted the cigars and fruit offered him. He was a true son of the plains, just as far from being converted to civilization as were his ancestors three hundred years ago. Sitting his pony as if he were a Centaur, he pulled his blanket over his coal black hair, and galloped back to camp. A little farther on, we came to an Indian grave. The son of one of the chieftains had recently died, and the Kaw method of burial had been observed on a little knoll near the railway. Two ponies, the property of the dead man, had been slain, and their bodies left on the grave; and over the spot a United States flag was flying. Upon the flag-staff were tied ears of corn, wampum, and some broken arrows, while other articles which the dead man might be supposed to require on his journey to the "happy hunting ground" were buried with him.
The present generation of Indians is much diminished in stature and bravery below that of the one preceding it, and any reclamation of it seems utterly hopeless. The whole tribe participates in a yearly hunting excursion, and rarely returns without having had a sharp fight with its especial enemies, the Comanches. The men and women still adhere rigidly to Indian costume; the men wearing buckskin leggings, moccasins, and gayly parti-colored blankets, which, in rough weather, are fastened over their heads in a peculiar manner. At every turn in the railway route, as we crossed the reservation, we saw groups of "warriors" hunting with bows and arrows, or galloping hither and yon across the plains, in utter disregard of the weather. The Kaws, as a rule, refuse to speak English to strangers, and will only converse by signs. They still sigh for the time when their forefathers were wont to swoop down upon the wagon-trains toiling from the Missouri State line to Santa Fe in New Mexico, when the traders were almost at the mercy of the tawny bandits, until the post of Council Grove, now a flourishing town, was established as a general rendezvous, where caravans numbering hundreds of wagons and thousands of mules could form into processions of sufficient strength to protect themselves. There were at one time nearly 6,000 men, 18,000 oxen and 6,000 mules engaged in the New Mexico trade, all of whom rendezvoused at Council Grove. The villages of the Kaws are all remote from the present line of rail, and the Indians rarely patronize the road save when, for the pure delight of begging, they entreat the conductor for a free passage from one village to another. When they are refused the privilege, they break into the most violent profanity of which the English language is capable. Their vocabulary of English oaths is more complete than even that of the native American, who, in many parts of the South-west, is charged with virulent expletives as a musket is charged with powder. 


At Junction City, which stands in a beautiful valley, where the Smoky and Republican rivers join, in a country not so rich as that twenty miles south, yet still wonderfully fertile, were detained by a sudden snow-fall and miniature whirlwind, which, coupled with intenser cold than Kansas had before known for many years, blockaded tracks and made travel impossible. The beautiful Smoky Valley was, therefore, a forbidden domain to us; and we consoled ourselves with a visit to Fort Riley, one of the most important of the frontier posts, established in 1852, on the left bank of the Kansas River, at the junction of the Smoky Hill and Republican Forks, and three miles from Junction City. The post is now merely quarters for a regiment either of cavalry or infantry during the winter, and in summer it is deserted save by one company, the rest going into summer camp one hundred and fifty or two hundred miles to the westward. From May to November the troops are in the field, now and then doing a little fighting with recalcitrant Indians, but as a rule contenting themselves with marching, counter marching, and hunting buffalo. Gen. Oakes, in command at the post, welcomes us with true South-western hospitality. He was for many years stationed in Texas, and has a rich experience of frontier garrison life. This adventurous and isolated existence seems to have a charm for all who have adopted it, and very few of the officers take advantage of their furloughs to visit the Eastern cities. Ladies, too, find rare attractions in a garrison winter, and the forts all along the frontier do not lack good society from November until May. At Fort Riley the soldiers support a good little theater, much of the talent for which is furnished by members of the cavalry regiment quartered there. Not far from the fort is the "geographical center of the United States," on a hill-top, where stands a monument erected to the memory of Brevet-Major E. A. Ogden, founder of Fort Riley. 


[Railroad Construction]
We hastened back towards Parsons, again crossing the great Kaw Reservation, and meeting long trains of Indians, mounted on their shaggy ponies. This Neosho Valley line, which we had traversed, was the beginning of the present great trunk route from Sedalia to the Gulf. Work was begun on it, under a contract with the Land Grant Railway and Trust Company, in November, 1868, the line to extend from Junction City to Chetopa, on the frontier of the Indian Territory, a distance of 182 miles; and it was completed in October, 1870. While this was in construction, the building of the line from Sedalia to Parsons was begun, and the whole route, 160 miles, was completed early in 1871. Meantime work was going forward, at lightning speed, in the Indian Territory. The manager of the line had made a bold stroke in order to be the first to reach the Cherokee country, and obtain permission to run a line through it, as well as to get conditional land-grants; and in May of 1870 occurred quite an episode in the history of railway building. On the 24th of that month the line had reached within twenty-four miles of the southern boundary of Kansas. Much of the grading was unfinished; bridges were not up; masonry was not ready. But on the 6th day of June, at noon, the first locomotive which ever entered the Indian Territory uttered its premonitory shriek of progress. In eleven days, twenty-six and a half miles of completed rail were laid, four miles being put down in a single day. A grant of over three millions of acres of land, subject to temporary Indian occupancy, under treaty stipulations, has been accorded the M., K. and T. Railway Company, on the line of the road in the Territory between Chetopa and the Red River. The question of the future disposition of the Indian Territory is now interesting to the M., K. and T. Railway Company, as they have built their line through the great stretch of country, hoping that the fertile lands now wasted may come into market. Until the country is opened to white settlement, or until the Indians adopt some new policy with regard to the disposition and development of their lands, the territory is, in many respects, a barrier to the best development of that portion of the Southwest. The immense reservation, larger than all New England, extending over sixty millions of acres, lying between Texas, with her million settlers, Arkansas, with her hardy half million, and Missouri and Kansas, with their two millions of stout frontiersmen, is now completely given over to the Indian, and the white man who wishes to abide within its borders will find his appeal rejected with scorn by an Indian legislature, unless he marries the daughter of some dusky descendant of Jephthah, and relinquishes his allegiance to Uncle Sam.  

[In the Cherokee Nation]
A little beyond Chetopa lies a range of low hills extending for miles. The new Gulf Route, cutting through them, carries you out of the United States and into the Cherokee Nation. You are no longer under the domination of the white man; the government of the United States can protect you only through the feeble medium of marshals and deputy marshals, who exercise their own judgment as to whether or not they shall do you justice; and the nearest towns are away among the hills, or nestled on the banks of creeks, in the tall timber. The railway runs through seemingly deserted land. Rarely does one see along the route the face of an Indian, unless at some of the little wooden stations, or a lone water-tank, near a stream. The Indians sullenly acquiesced in the opening of their country to railway travel, but they do not build near the line, and rarely patronize it.
After leaving Chetopa, a pretty town, with nearly two thousand inhabitants, the fruit of two years' growth, and a point of supply for traders in the Territory, the Scribner Train rattled merrily along the broad expanse of prairie until Vinita, the junction of the Atlantic and Pacific line with the M., K. and T. Railway, was reached. At Vinita, the junction has made no growth, because white men are not allowed to live there, and the Indians content themselves with agriculture and hunting. We had prepared ourselves for a sojourn of a fortnight between this point and the Red River, and a brief inspection of the culinary department, over which the ebony Charles presided, was eminently satisfactory. Telegrams were received from various gentlemen at each end of the main line, that they would join us at Fort Gibson, and we set out on our journey with keen anticipations of delight. 


The long grasses rustled weirdly; the timber by the creeks stood out in bold relief against the Naples-blue of the sky; the distant line of mounds now assumed the appearance of a giant fortification, now of a city, and now of a terraced garden; here and there a gap in the timber lining the horizon, showed a glimpse of some far-reaching valley, on whose bosom still lightly lay a thin snow-veil; and sometimes we saw a symmetrical tree standing mid-prairie, with a huge white-hooded hawk perched lazily upon a bending bough, and a gaunt wolf crawling away from the base. But nowhere was there any sign of man. Our special train halted for water and coal; the engineer and firemen helped themselves at the coal-cars and water-tank, and we moved on. At last, at a little wooden station, we saw half a dozen tall, awkward, tawny youths, with high cheek-bones, intensely black hair, and little sparkling eyes, which seemed to have the very concentrated fire of jealousy in them. This was a party of young beaux from the nearest Cherokee village. They wore the typical American slouch hats, but had wound ribbons around and fastened feathers in them; their gaily-colored jackets were cut in fantastic fashion, and at their sides they carried formidable revolvers, which they are, however, slower to use than is the native American. They stared curiously at our party, seated in luxurious chairs on the ample platform of the rear car; and, after having satisfied themselves that we were not of their race and kind, they mounted their horses and galloped away. So we rattled on towards Gibson Station, and as the twilight set an eerie stamp on all the wild, desolate landscape, we came to a region where great mounds reared their whale-backed heights on either hand. Upon the summit of one mound stands a monument of hewn stone, doubtless to some deity who went his ways hundreds of years before Columbus discovered America to European eyes. These mounds seem constructed according to some general plan, and extend for miles throughout the land. 


[Troubles]
We went on in the twilight deepening into dark, until we came to Gibson Station, the terminus of our journey for the day. Only one or two houses were to be seen; a cold wind blew over the prairie, and we ensconced ourselves at the supper-table, where prairie chickens, mysteriously purveyed for our surprise by the beneficent Charles, sent up a savory steam. The stillness of death reigned outside, and we listened languidly to the conductor's stories of terminus troubles a brace of years agone, until the night express trains from each way brought delegations to join our party, and we were roused to welcome and prepare for the morrow.
When we were all snugly tucked up in our berths in the gayly-decorated sleeping-saloon, one of the new-comers began dreamily to tell stories of termini troubles. "Not much as it was when we were here and at Muskogee in 1870," he said. "Three men were shot about twenty feet from this same car in one night at Muskogee. Oh! this was a little hell, this was. The roughs took possession here in earnest. The keno and monte players had any quantity of tents all about this section, and life was the most uncertain thing to keep you ever saw. One night a man lost all he had at keno; so he went around behind the tent and tried to shoot the keno dealer in the back: he missed him, but killed another man. The keno man just got a board and put it behind himself, and the game went on. One day one of the roughs took offense at something the railroad folks said, so he ran our train off the track next morning. There was no law here, and no means of getting any. As fast as the railroad moved on, the roughs pulled up stakes and moved with it. We tried to scare them away, but they didn't scare worth a cent. It was next to impossible for a stranger to walk through one of these canvas towns without getting shot at. The graveyards were sometimes better populated than the towns next them. The fellows who ruled these little terrestrial hells -where they came from nobody knows. Never had any homes grew up like prairie grass, only ranker and coarser and meaner. They had all been terminuses ever since they could remember. Most of them had two, three and four murders on their hands, and confessed them. They openly defied the Indian authorities, and scorned Uncle Sam and his marshals. They knew there was money wherever the end of the road was, and they meant to have it."

"But how long did this condition of affairs continue?"
"It went on steadily until the Secretary of the Interior came down here to see the Territory and to examine the railroads. He went down in this same car, and he was carefully informed of all the lawlessness and flagrant outrages which decent people had been obliged to submit to. One night while they were on the road, the superintendent-in-chief pushed on a little ahead of the train to get a physician, as a gentleman in the special car had taken suddenly ill. The roughs captured the superintendent and proposed to shoot him, as they fancied him some local emissary of the general government. He begged off, however, and explained who he was. They hardly dared to shoot him then; so he succeeded in getting a physician, got back to the train, and next day he took the Secretary of the Interior to inspect this choice specimen of railroad civilization."
"And what did the Secretary see"? 


"Oh, all the ruffians flocked to hear what he had to say. They had killed a man that morning for a mere caprice, and he was laid out in a little tent which the party passed by as they looked around. One after another of the rough fellows was presented to the party; and each one spoke very plainly, and said he had a good right to stay in the "Nation," and he meant (with an oath) to stay, and he'd like to hear anyone hint that he had better go away. Then they told stories of their murderous exploits, practiced at marks with their revolvers, and seemed not to have the least fear of the Secretary."
"What was the result?"
"Well, the Secretary of the Interior took a bee-line for the nearest telegraph station, and sent a dispatch to General Grant, announcing that neither life nor property was safe in the Territory and that the Indians should be aided in expelling the roughs from their midst. So, in a short time the Tenth Cavalry went into active service in the Territory."
"Did the ruffians make any resistance?"



"They got together, at the terminus, armed to the teeth, and blustered a good deal; but the cavalrymen arrested one after another, and examined each one separately. When one of the terminuses was asked his name, he usually answered that it was Slim Jim, or Wild Bill, or Lone Jack (with an oath), and that he was a gambler, or a "pounder," as the case might be, and, furthermore, that he didn?t intend to leave the Territory. Whereupon the officer commanding would say: "Well, Slim Jim, or Wild Bill, or Lone Jack, I'll give you twelve hours to leave this town in, and if you are found in the Territory a week from this date, I'll have you shot!" And they took the hint."
"Where are these men now?"
"Some of them are at Denison, at the end of this road. They are secure enough there, because when they are pursued on a criminal process, they are only four miles from the Red River, and they can escape into the Territory, beyond the reach of United States law, and recross the frontier in some other direction. You will see them at Denison. Good-night.?"
A moment afterwards, the voice added:
"By the way, at the next station, Muskogee, a man was shot before the town got there, and the graveyard was started before a single street mas laid out. You can see the graveyard now-a-days - eleven men are buried there with their boots on. Good night, again."


[Fort Gibson]
The landscape was snow-besprinkled next day, but we mounted in a rickety ambulance, a merry party of six, and set out on the seven miles' ride to Fort Gibson. As we rattled along past the dense bosquets of trees, great flocks of prairie-chickens rose in a leisurely flight; wild turkeys waddled away; deer fled across the roads after bestowing a scornful gaze upon us; and rabbits jumped painfully in the snow. The farm-houses which we passed were all built of logs, but were large and solidly constructed; and the Indian farmers were making preparations for the Spring plowing. When we came to the bank of the Grand River, on a hill beyond which was the post of Fort Gibson, we found the ferries impeded with a steady moving mass of floating ice, and the Negro cavalrymen from the fort in mid-stream, desperately clinging to the guide-rope, and in imminent danger of being carried down river and out into the mighty Arkansas. At last, the dangers over, two lazy half-breeds ferried us across, after infinite shouting and disputing; and we met, on the other bank, "Uncle John" Cunningham, post-master at Fort Gibson.
"I was watching out for you a little carefully," said Uncle John, "for there's a fellow come into town this morning with six gallons of whiskey, and we expect some of the Indians to go circusing around as soon as they get it down."
We climbed the hill to the fort, a well-built post usually garrisoned by three companies either of infantry or cavalry. Fort Gibson is the residence of the present chief of the Cherokee nation, William P. Ross, a cultivated and accomplished gentleman whom I had previously met in Washington. He is the son of the noted John Ross, chief of the Cherokees for thirty years, and one of the most remarkable men ever connected with the history of the South-western frontier. The fort stands on the Grand River, about two and a half miles from its confluence with the Arkansas, and is only twenty-one miles from Tahlequah, the capital of the Cherokees. The whole of the adjacent country, except upon the high range of hills along the Grand, Verdigris and Illinois rivers, is arable and easy to cultivate. From the veranda of the commanding officer?s quarters at the fort, one can look away at a range of hills known as the "Boston Mountains," and the little town, set down in an amphitheater hemmed in by the sloping elevations, and with the broad swift river running between its picturesque banks, forms a charming scene. 

At Fort Gibson we were in a real Cherokee town, and at every turn saw one of the tall, black-haired, tawny-faced citizens of the Territory. It was evidently a market-day with the farmers for many a mile around; for before the porches of the Indian traders, and along the bank of the river, horses were tied, and every few moments some stout Indian came rattling into town, his wife mounted behind him on the demure looking pony, who was equal to anything, from the fording of a river to the threading of a canyon. Many of the men carried side-arms, but there was no one who manifested any disposition to quarrel with his neighbor, and we saw no one who seemed to have been drinking liquor. Indeed, so severe are the penalties attaching to the sale of ardent spirits in the Indian Territory, that men do not care to risk their lives even for the money they might make. The United States marshals and the Indian authorities pursue the offenders with great persistence, and a law-breaker rarely escapes. The Indians - Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws and Seminoles - all have a strange thirst for intoxication, and often make the most astonishing efforts to secure liquor. All kinds of patent medicines which possess even the slightest basis of liquor find ready sale among the various tribes; and camphor, pain-killer, and such stomach-annihilating things, were for a long time so much in use among the Cherokees, that the agents made an examination, and discovered the braves drinking whole bottles at one fell swoop, in order to feel some effect therefrom. A bottle of whiskey is still one of the most powerful bribes that can be placed before an Indian. The women were all robust, and not devoid of a certain wild beauty; but they wore a prim, shakerish costume which defied the rules of elegance. A poke-bonnet nearly concealed their features, and a heavy stiff robe fell down to the ankles, while a shawl was decorously draped about the shoulders. Many of the Indians seemed to have Negro wives, and we saw more than one stalwart Negress receiving courteous attention from tall copper-colored beau, whose manners would have done no discredit to a salon in society. The men, as a rule, would not respond when addressed in English, and often turned sullenly away; while younger members of the tribes, both boys and girls, would chat cheerily, and question us as to our reasons for visiting the Nation, with childish curiosity. There were some superb heads among these Cherokees; shaded faces, with matchless eyes, with masses of tangled hair peeping in most charming confusion from under torn hats, and faces in which the Indian type of a century agone was still preserved - all the reserve. all the immobility, all the silent scorn visible in every feature. Yet civilization was beginning to do its work. The masses of faces were losing their savage individuality, and becoming more like those of their fellows in the neighboring States; still there was a certain foreign atmosphere about them, doubtless born of their methods of thought, their strange traditions, their lack of religion. Never until the war had they been called upon to feel that their territory constituted part of a common country; but now they realize it. 


[The Indian Territory "Problem"]
Still the Indian Territory is, to its inhabitants and to the Government of the United States, at this present writing, a problem. The area of 52,780,000 acres has as yet scarcely population enough to make a city of tenth rank. The estimated numbers of the tribes scattered over the vast plains and among the mountains are as follows : Cherokees, 17,500; Choctaws, 17,000; Creeks, 13,500; Chickasaws, 5,500; Seminoles, 2,500; Osages, 3,500; Sacs and Foxes, 468; Shawnees, 670; Cheyennes and Arapahoes, 3,390; Confederate Peories, 170; Eastern Shawnees, 80; Wyandottes, 150; Quawpaws, 236; Senecas, 188. And this little band of 65,000 people is so separated by great distances unbridged by railways, and by barriers of language and custom that there is hardly any intercourse between tribes. The land lies waste because there are not hands enough to hold the plow to its work in the furrow, and the country remains a wilderness, because the Indian jealously refuses to allow the white man to make it blossom as the rose. The white man who should dare to attempt a prolonged residence among any of the tribes without having taken to wife one of its dusky daughters, and forsworn his allegiance as a citizen of the United States, would be driven out, and by no gentle hand. 



There is something pathetic in the ferocious resolution with which the Indian clings to this territory, one of the very last of his strongholds. His race and his history are soon to be inextricably mingled with that of the white men, whom he still considers as intruders; and while he recognizes the inevitable fate attending him and his possessions, he fiercely repulses any attempt at a compromise. He now stands firm in his right; for the treaties made in 1837 by the Government of the United States with the various tribes east of the Mississippi, giving them the "Indian Territory," on condition that they should move into and occupy it, were comprehensive and binding. The Osages had been the virtual owners of these immense tracts of land until the advent of the white man, but to-day have almost entirely disappeared. To the Cherokees, in 1837, a patent in fee-simple was given, while the other tribes held their lands under treaty stipulations. From 1837 to 1845 the task of removing the various tribes from their homes east of the Mississippi went on, and out of the unwillingness of the Seminoles to migrate came the Florida war. In the treaties it was provided that the five distinctive tribes, the Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks, and Seminoles, should hold the lands of the Territory as homes forever. They, in their turn, have allowed smaller tribes to make homes among them. In 1866, the Delawares and Shawnees of Kansas agreed to live thereafter in the Cherokee Nation, and to give up their own nationality, adding the funds resulting from the sale of their Kansas land to the annuities of the Cherokees. The annuities of the various nations in the Territory arise from their sales of lands in the past; those of the Cherokees amount to about $350,000 yearly; of the Choctaws $250,000; the Creeks $175,000, the Chickasaws $100,000, and the Seminoles $10,000. The various treaties were all made anew in 1866 - following on the "Treaty of Amity" made at Fort Smith, at the close of the late war. The Indians of the Territory of to-day are, therefore, just as firmly vested in their inalienable rights to obstruct the settlement of white men among them as they were in 1837, and they manifest no better disposition to yield than they did a quarter of a century ago.
The Cherokees have naturally made the greatest advances in civilization, and are at present the most powerful of all the tribes in the Territory. They have a ruling voice in matters that concern the general polity of the nations, and their manners and customs are better known to the outside world than are those of any other tribe. Their general status is not very far below that of some of the white frontiersmen. They are industrious and capable agriculturists, and understand the care of stock better than any other people in the South-west. They live remote from each other -on farms which, it is true, they all hold in common, yet to which there is an individual and perpetual right of occupancy. All the land is vested in the State; a man may sell his improvements and buildings, but not the land. The Indians throughout the Territory are not, as a rule, farmers in any general sense: they simply raise what they need; but that is because there is no incentive to the marketing of produce. The government originally supplied them with capital; they do not realize the beneficence of gain, they simply desire to "make a living." Throughout the various nations there is an utter disregard of internal improvements. An Indian highway is as difficult as the Vesuvian ascent, and none of the magnificent rivers were bridged before the advent of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway. The "Indian Agents", who are appointed directly by the President, and who, residing among the different tribes, are properly the interpreters of all the treaties, have charge of the annuities, and make the annual reports?usually have much influence with the Indian chiefs, and at their suggestions some few improvements have, of late years, been introduced. The person of an agent is always respected, and as a rule his word is law.
The government of the Cherokees, as well as those of the other principal nations in the Territory, corresponds in large degree to those of our States. The Cherokees elect a "principal" and second chief for four years. They also have an upper and lower house of the legislature, the former continuing in power four, the latter two years. Bills or acts are regularly introduced, and passed through the various readings to be engrossed, as in other assemblies. There is a supreme court, with three judges, and there are also district judges and sheriffs. At Tahlequah, the capital, the annual sessions of the legislature are held in the council-house, beginning in November, and lasting thirty days. The legislators are paid out of the annuities of the nation. Tahlequah is an average town of the South-west, with nothing especially denoting its Indian origin. The Choctaws and Creeks have the same general form of government. The Seminoles have vested their executive authority in twenty-four band-chiefs, all of whom are controlled and directed by a "principal," who is an absolute autocrat, having an irrefragable veto-power. All the tribes or nations join in a general council, provided for by the treaty of 1866, and it is presided over by the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Southern Superintendency. At this council only such matters as are of comity between the nations are legislated upon the rendition of criminals, the joint action in regard to land, etc. 
This superb country, unquestionably one of the most fertile on the globe, is a constant source of torment to the brave white men of the border, in whom the spirit of speculation is very strong. The hardy citizen of the South-west bears no ill-will towards the various Indian tribes, but it irritates him to see such vast tracts of land lying idle. He aches to be admitted to the Territory with the same privileges granted Indian citizens, viz., the right to occupy and possess all the land they may fence in, and to claim all that remains unfenced within a quarter of a mile on either side of their fenced lots. He is crazed with visions of the far-spreading, flower-bespangled prairies, the fertile foot-hills, the rich quarries, mines and valley-lands. He burns to course at free will over the grazing regions where even the Indians raise such fine stock. And now that the railroad has entered a protest against any farther exclusiveness on the part of the Indians, he thunders at the northern and southern entrances of the Territory, and will not remain tranquil. 

[Tribal Politics]
At the time of the emigration of the Cherokees to the Indian Territory, a powerful feud existed between two influential families in the nation?the Rosses and the Ridges. It grew out of a dissatisfaction at a treaty made by the Ridge Party. Those hostile to the treaty claimed that the Ridges had agreed to sell a portion of the Territory to the United States, contrary to the instructions of the nation; and a vendetta followed, in which [Elias] Boudinot, Ridge, and all the parties to the treaty were killed, save Stand Weatie, who succeeded in defending himself, single-handed, against a dozen assailants who came to kill him. On the wave of indignation against the Ridges and the other parties to this odious treaty, the Ross party came into power, and has since achieved considerable distinction both by its lead in the affairs of the whole Territory, and by its loyalty to the government during the late war. 



At the beginning of the war, the Indians of the various tribes in the Territory were naturally in closer relations with the South than with the North. Their agents had mainly been Southern men, and the annuities by which they had become rich and independent, had been derived from the South, and paid promptly. Most of the Indians knew nothing whatever concerning Northern people or politics. They had been residents of a slave holding section all their lives. Many of the Cherokees had two and three hundred slaves each, and Negroes who had settled among the Indians also held slaves. In May of 1862, when the great struggle was gravely accentuated, the Indians took sides with the South, a regiment being formed among the Cherokees, and commanded by Gen. Stand Weatie, a full-blooded Indian. The principal chief, John Ross, used his utmost endeavors to prevent any of the tribes from further engaging in the struggle. There was presently. an engagement between the United States troops and the Cherokee regiment, at Pea Ridge, in Arkansas. A portion of the Cherokees at that time threw down their arms, and returned to their allegiance to the general government. William P. Ross, the present chief, was among them, and his father, continuing his loyal efforts, went to Washington, and gave a true statement of the situation. He remained loyal until his death, which occurred in Philadelphia, in 1864.
To Gen. Albert Pike was due the efficient conversion of most of the Indians in the Territory to Southern sentiment. The Confederates made better treaties with the Indians than ever the United States had made, and even paid them one annuity in Confederate money. Meantime the fair lands underwent all the ghastly and appalling disasters which follow in the train of war. They were alternately occupied by the soldiers of either army, and were plundered by both. The Indian adherents of the Southern cause moved their families into Texas, and those who had cast their fortunes with the government stampeded into Kansas. The departure of the loyal Indians for the loyal States was the signal for a determined attack upon them, and was the cause of almost unparalleled suffering among the women and children. At one time there were fifteen thousand refugees in Kansas, all supported by the general government, while hundreds were daily arriving in a starving condition. The story of Opothlehola, chief of the Creeks, furnishes one of the most striking instances of loyalty. The Creeks had long been beset by Gen. Pike, who had finally succeeded in inducing a certain number of them to go South. But the Chief Opothlehola, who was then nearly one hundred years old, and who was reverenced with almost superstitious awe by the masses of his people, rejected all Pike's advances and, after a long and stormy council, called on all who wished to seek the Great Father's hand, to go Northward with him. He hastily gathered such of his young men and warriors as would join him, with their wives and children, and in midwinter, with but few provisions, and dragging all their household goods, the loyal refugees set forth to Kansas. They were followed by Pike and regiments from Texas, and a bloody battle ensued at Honey Springs, in which, as in a succeeding fight, Opothlehola's little band was routed with much slaughter. But they continued on, until January, 1863, when those who remained alive reached Kansas in an almost famished condition. On the dread march more than a thousand men, women, and children sickened, died, and were left by the wayside. When the old chieftain reached Kansas, his first act was to enroll his warriors as soldiers of the United States, and every able-bodied man enlisted in the service! Opothlehola died shortly afterwards, at Fort Leavenworth, where he was buried with military honors. The various regiments from the territorial tribes on both sides in the war were good soldiers. When they were led well, they fought well. They waged relentless war on one another. The feud is still nourished to some extent, and will be until this generation has gone its way. 


Before the war the Indians were rich in stock, and it was not uncommon for a well-to-do stock raiser to possess fifteen thousand head of cattle; while it was a very poor and woe begone Indian, indeed, who did not possess at least twenty. All the labor necessary then, as now, was the branding of the beasts; and they grazed unharmed over the unbounded lands. But when the war came, the total destruction of this stock ensued! Hundreds of thousands of the beasts were stolen, and run into the neighboring States: both armies fed off the herds; and so great was the consequent decline of prosperity, and the distress, that government appropriated money for the purchase of new stock; and now the tribes have nearly as much as before the war. The only present subject of disagreement among any of the tribes is the land question; the various propositions tending to an opening up of the land to white settlement, which have been made by one party, all having been received with disdainful threats by the other. Death is the speedy fate of any Indian of any tribe who dares to accede to approaches on the part of the white man tending towards the sale of lands; and the white man who attempts to ingratiate himself too freely among the Indians, runs great risk of a sudden and mysterious disappearance from the world.
From Fort Gibson, where Lt.-Col. Lawson, the amiable officer commanding, and his associates had made our stay a very pleasant one, we rode back along the spine-annihilating roadways until we came to Gibson Station. The station-agent came to see us, and announced that some of the "Indians had been having a circus" during our absence. "Came in here," he said, "an old woman did, with a butcher-knife, and took a piece out of my chair, and a man with her fired half a dozen shots from his revolver through the roof. But I finally quieted 'em." Liquor, or possibly pain-killer, was the cause of this sudden outburst of ferocity.
So we journeyed slowly on through the great Territory, coming now into the shadows of the pre-historic mounds, and now into delightful valleys, which needed only the presence and the taste of man to be transformed into veritable Elysian Fields. At night the Scribner Train was switched off at some lonely siding, and the baggage-car was transformed into a kitchen. Then rose the aroma of broiled venison, of savory coffee, and of fried potatoes and muffins, or delicate toast, the work of the dusky Charles, who fiercely growled whenever any profane types attempted to peer into the arcana of his kitchen. Agent Reynolds, now one of the leading citizens of Parsons, Kansas, presided over the venison; half a dozen eager hands conducted the coffee from the mill in which it was ground into the cup in which it was poured; and the "pet conductor" watched over the comfort of all, generously forgetting his own. Late o' nights a thunderous roll and a line of light saluted our ears and eyes, and sometimes a bundle of letters and home papers, fresh from St. Louis and the East, were handed us out of the darkness by the conductor of the "down express." When we awoke mornings, we were journeying. It reminded us more of life on an ocean steamer than on the "rattling rail-car."  We spent some time at Muskogee, the railway station communicating most directly with Fort Gibson, and a town which owes all its present prosperity to the M., K. and T. Railway. Huge stock-yards have been built there, and the arrival and departure of goods and mails for Ocmulgee, the capital of the Creek nation, forty-five miles to the westward, and We-wo-ka, the capital of the Seminoles, one hundred miles west, gives employment to large numbers of men. Here, too, is a point of debarkation for travel to Armstrong?s Academy, the Choctaw seat of government; and to Tish-o-mingo, the principal town of the Chickasaw nation. One of the present curiosities of Mus-ko-gee is the yard before mentioned, containing eleven graves; each one is a monument to murder. Stage-routes branch out in all directions from Mus-ko-gee, and weekly mails are forwarded thence to the interior.  




[Indian Schools]
Between Gibson and Muskogee we had crossed the Arkansas River on one of the immense bridges of the M., K. and T. Railway, a veritable triumph of engineering skill, and some miles below Muskogee crossed the"North Fork" and the "Canadian," both of which run through a singularly wild and beautiful country. Near the Canadian we crossed the fields to visit one of the Mission schools, of which there are numbers in the territory. It is in Creekland, and is known as the "Asbury Manual Labor School," being supported by the Methodist Church South. About eighty Indian children of both sexes were boarded, lodged, and taught at this institution; and the school-rooms which we entered were models of order and comfort. The wildness of the Indian was beginning to tame down in the faces of these children; civilization had taken a good hold of them. The native Creek schools, of which there are twenty or twenty-five, are not very useful; even the examining-boards are deficient, and the native teachers are only able to give ordinary elementary instruction. The Mission schools throughout the Territory have been of great service. The Presbyterians support a mission among the Creeks, called the "Tallahassee Manual Labor School," corn from about fifty acres. In the Cherokee Nation much attention is paid to the thirty "neighborhood schools," as they are called, and all the missionaries who, of course, were compelled to retire luring the war, were invited to return to their posts, and received cordial welcomes when peace was re-established. The common schools among the Cherokees were established by the legislature in 1867. There are schools set apart for colored children, but no spirit of exclusion is now manifested; for the Indians, when the war closed, and they emancipated all their slaves, frankly placed them on the same basis with themselves. Five orphans are boarded, clothed and instructed in each of the public schools. Once in two years a superintendent of schools is chosen, and he appoints a board of directors for each school. The district schools are mainly taught by women, and those scholars who desire to go beyond elementary education are sent to universities in the Southern and Western States. Intermarriage is gradually doing away with the desire to retain the Indian language in the schools; and the Choctaws support forty youths and twenty maidens in school at Louisville, Ky., and other Southern cities. The Seminoles have thus far established five common schools, and a missionary boarding-school, under the charge of the Presbyterian Church. This little tribe is improving more rapidly in material wealth and in education than any other in the Territory.  

[Limestone Gap]
On the Canadian River is a town which has at various times possessed the euphonious appellations of "Sandtown" and "Buzzard's Roost." It is now merely a collection of roofless cabins, but was long the rendezvous of all the ruffians infesting the Territory. Perched on a waste near the river's side, it was a convenient location for murder and plunder, and travelers learned to give it a wide berth. Passing Perryville, an old trading post of the Choctaws, and now a station of some promise; then along the picturesque and fertile line of Ream's Valley, a magnificent region; dashing through the wonderful coal region near McAllister, we came to Limestone Gap, not without some faint appreciation of the tremendous energy and pluck which caused the laying of as fine a line of rail as exists in the world, over the vast and thinly settled tract we had left behind us. Verily the railway holds the future all within its grasp; it is the good genius of our time; the locomotive head-light reveals to us more wonders - more kaleidoscopic change and creation than Aladdin could call into being with his enchanted lamp. 



Looking far and wide from Limestone Gap we could see only one or two humble cabins. The Indians purposely remain miles from the line of travel, and the majority of them have never seen a locomotive. The Gap is in a range of mountains, which run in rugged and uneven layers for many miles towards the west and south-west. One or two of the rock-ribbed hills rise into something like grandeur of elevation, but the remainder are, like most ranges in the Territory, not very imposing. 

[Indian Ways]
Seated on a rocky stool on one of the craigs, with the hawks and crows swooping curiously about our heads, we could imagine the panorama of busy life hidden away from us by distance and the retiring habits of the Indians. When railway enterprise shall spread that panorama before the wondering eyes of the citizens of the United States, they will be astonished at its variety and beauty. They will find the Indian not very far behind his white brother in many things, and infinitely his superior in some. Religion is creeping into the simple, yet logical minds of the various tribes. There are no previous impressions to correct, for these tribes have no mythology, save the gracious and beautiful embodying of some of nature?s loveliest forms. After the war, the Cherokees invited the missions and their schools to return to the Territory, and the other tribes followed their example. There are few, if any, church edifices among the tribes, and the meetings are now held in schoolhouses. Church expenses are borne by voluntary gifts. Many of the tribes seem to have a dim idea that they are fragments of one of the "lost tribes of Israel,"? and the Choctaws have a fund of curious legends concerning the wanderings of their forefathers which tend to that belief.
Manners and superstitions are, of course, in many respects still thoroughly Indian. Hospitality is unbounded, and as soon as an Indian of wealth and station takes a wife, all her relatives, even the most distant, come to live on his estate, and remain forever, or until they have impoverished him. The tyranny of mothers-in-law in the Territory is something frightful to contemplate. One Indian gave as his reason for not wishing to get rich, the torments which his relatives, in case he married, would cause him. Food is simple throughout all the nations. Corn, ground with mortar and pestle, furnishes the material for bread; a few vegetables are grown; and game, hogs and cattle are abundant. The hog of the Indian Territory is a singular animal. Having run wild all his life, he is as distinguished for thinness as are his brethren of civilization for corpulence, and his back well merits the epithet of razor-edge applied to it. Stock feeds itself, winter and summer, and there is rarely a season when it is necessary to put up any hay. In the winter of 1871 grass was green up to the middle of December along the Arkansas bottom. 
Marriage is gradually becoming an institution among all the tribes, the efforts of the missionaries tending to encourage it; but heretofore men and women have simply chosen each other as companions, and have lived together and reared families. Usually a man who has become enamored of a maiden, ingratiates himself with her brother, or with a near male relative, and the latter intercedes with the father. If the father considers the suitor favorably, he puts him on probation, and at the end of a certain term receives him, and presents him to the daughter as her future husband. The family relation seems much respected, and is guarded against disorganization by many excellent laws. 

[South to the Red River]
From Limestone Gap to the Red River the country is wonderfully fertile, and in summer beautiful beyond description. Towns of more or less promise are interspersed with solitudes which are very impressive. Stringtown is to be one of the lumber markets of the future; and at Caddo, one of the curious new towns which are plenty in the vicinity of the Texan frontier, the Fort Sill trade debouches, and the cotton from Paris and other points in Northern Texas will come in with the building of a branch railway to Paris. The railroad runs over trestle-work of the most difficult character between A-to-ka and South Boggy, which latter town was once the capital of the Choctaw Nation. Not far from the banks of the Red River, on the Indian side, a small town has grown up, and the Texas Central Railroad will soon cause the growth of a hamlet on the opposite side. The river, at the point where it is crossed by the railroad, on a superb bridge, is not grand, although the banks are high and stony. There is usually but a small volume of water in the stream, and the sands show on either side. Not far from the railway bridge we saw a long line of cattle fording the channel; and the answer to our inquiry as to the reason why no bridge had been constructed by the Texas and Indian governments at those points was that a Chickasaw Indian had long ago secured legislative privilege to charge one dollar for each person crossing the river from either direction, at the very point most available for bridge-building. The income of this Indian has, for some years, been one hundred dollars per day, while the working expenses of the ford are not more than twenty dollars weekly. 


[Impressions of Denison]
Standing in the main street of Denison, the new town named after the Vice President of the M., K. and T. railway, six hundred and twenty-one miles south-west of St. Louis, it was hard to realize that only four months before our visit the site of the thriving town was almost a wilderness, and that not a building of any kind had ever been erected there. For all around us was Babel, a wild rush of business, a glory in affairs, an unbounded delight in mere labor, which at once oppressed and appalled us. The slightest indication of progress was pointed out as a gigantic foreshadowing of the future pre-eminence of Denison over the other cities of the universe. "There are from 2,500 to 3,000 people here now," said one gentleman to us; "how's that for four months?" That'll make some of the incredulous folks take their frame-houses off from the rollers!'"an expression intended to open up a startling prospect for the future solidity of Denison. 
And, indeed, all these enthusiastic pioneers of a new civilization were justified in their seemingly wild prophecies of greatness. Northern Texas, under the beneficent influences of railroad pioneering, is assuming a prominence which had never been imagined for it until within the last five years. As soon as the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway had crossed the Red River, a stream of immigration, which the most sanguine had not hoped for, set in. The North-west seemed to have moved en masse. The tracts of fertile, black-wax land, which literally needed but to be tickled with the plow to smile a harvest, were rapidly taken up, and Denison sprang into existence as the chief town of the newly developed region. Four months before our visit the town was organized [September 1872], and since that time the Denison Town Company had sold $90,000 worth of building lots. The town began its future with two railroads, which had not cost it a dollar, coming to it at either extremity in a county which does not owe a cent, and at the outlet of one of the most fertile farming regions in the world. It was indeed like magic, the building of Denison. All the lumber for the houses was brought hundreds of miles, there being none suitable in the vicinity; and car-loads of timber were changed into rough but commodious business establishments in a twinkling.  


It was exceedingly remarkable, also, that in a community one-half of which was undoubtedly made up of professional ruffians, "terminus" gamblers, and the offscourings of society, and where there was not yet a regularly organized government, there was not more of terrorism. Every third building in the place was a drinking saloon with gambling appurtenances, filled after nightfall with a depraved, adventurous crowd, whose profanity was appalling, whose aspect was hideous. In vulgar bestiality of language, in the pure delight of parading the incarnate word under the mask of profane indecency, the ruffian as there manifest had no equal. The carrying of firearms concealed is so expressly forbidden by the laws of Texas at present, that shooting rarely occurs, and there is no more danger to the life or limb of the traveler than there may be incurred on Broadway. Robberies were, of course, of frequent occurrence in the gambling hells, and doubtless are still; but in the primitive hotels, where the luckless passengers from the M., K. and T. Railway awaited a transfer by stage to Sherman, and where they were packed three or four together in beds in a thinly boarded room, through whose cracks rain might fall and dust blow, they were as safe from robbery or outrage as in any first-class hotel. Rough men abounded, and would, without doubt, have knocked any one upon the head who went alone, unarmed, late at night, into their clutches. But we had arrived too late to see the Denison where rascals held supreme sway. Their regime vanished as soon as the railroad crossed the Red River. 

The businessmen of Denison are a stern, self-reliant, confident company. They have a thorough belief in Northern Texas; intend to tame its wildness, and make it one of the gardens of the world. The Kansas and Missouri, and Illinois, and Western New York character crops out everywhere in Denison, and is the chief reliance of the town. The aboriginal Texan looks on, and admires the energy displayed, but he takes good care not to exercise too much himself. There is something sublimely impudent, charmingly provoking, in the manner in which he disappears from work and the street when a cold "Norther" comes on; in the cool defiant way in which he forces others to work for him, and the utter surprise he manifests when he is accused of droning. He is a child of the sun; he dislikes effort; it gives him no gratification to labor in the rough ways of a new town like Denison. Yet this same man can leap to the level of a hero when his rights are assailed; can bathe a San Jacinto plain with his best blood; can stand at a Alamo?s breastworks until pierced by an hundred wounds, and can ride at the head of a brigade into the very gates of death without losing one iota of his magnificent firmness. 
But the Northern Texan population is rapidly assimilating in many respects with the new-comers, and there is no longer any vestige of the antique ostracism which made a Texan regard a stranger as an inferior being. Neither is it safe in a new town like Denison to judge a man, as we are forced to do in large cities, by his outer garb and manners. The huge hulking fellow with one cheek distended with tobacco, and with his clothes all so disposed that they seem to have been thrown on him, will answer you with all the courtesy and grace of a high-bred gentleman, and will show a consideration for your opinions and your remarks which you do not always receive from the citizens of cities. The roughness is of the exterior only. And he who contents himself with a passing glance will not penetrate that shell. 
The earnestness of the new town, the almost religious quality of its ambition, was amusing as well as inspiring. Every one talked in exaggerated figures; the rise in land was fictitious; the estimates of immigration were overdrawn; the "probabilities" were certainly elastic; but there was such hope! Many men who had only been in Texas a year or two had already enriched themselves, at the same time enhancing the values of the localities in which they had settled, and instances without number of great chances, ruined by the stupidity of the possessor of said chances, were constantly mentioned. In the little board newspaper office, it was the same spirit of dauntless ambition; in the saloon, again the same. "Sherman aint nothin' to this yer," said one man to me; "we've got the riffle on her on saloons." He could not even allow a neighbor town a pre-eminence in vice. "Gen. Sheridan's going to build a supply depot here, 'n then you'll see!" was the final annihilating rejoinder administered to a carping Shermanite in our hearing. All the inhabitants were determined to make out of this irregular group of one-story wooden buildings, sitting confusedly on the high rolling land four miles south of the Red River, one of the principal capitals of the universe; and their zeal was as reviving as new wine.
It would be a brave man indeed who would prophesy at this writing that the great new route to the Gulf will redeem the Indian Territory from its present isolation, and bring it into the Union first as on probation, and finally as a State. The people of the South-west are firmly convinced that such will be the case, nevertheless, and the inhabitants of Northern Texas earnestly desire it for various important reasons. The existence of such an immense frontier, so near to the newly settled districts of Texas, enables rogues of all grades to commit many crimes with impunity, for, once over the border, a murderer or a horse-thief can hide in the hills or in some secluded valley until his pursuers are fatigued, and can then make his way out in another direction.  

[Deputy Sheriff Red Hall]
So frequent had this method of escape become, at the time of the founding of Denison, that the law-abiding citizens were enraged; and the famous deputy sheriff, "Red Hall," a young man of great courage and unflinching "nerve," determined to attempt the capture of some of the desperadoes. Arming himself with a Winchester rifle, and with his belt garnished with navy revolvers, he kept watch on certain professional criminals; and one day, soon after a horse-thief had been heard from, in a brilliant dash of grand larceny, he repaired to the banks of the Red River, confident that the thief would flee from justice. In due time the fugitive, accompanied by two friends, appeared at the river, all armed to the teeth, and while awaiting the ferry-boat, were visited by Hall, who drew a bead upon them, and ordered them to throw down their arms. They refused, and a deadly encounter was imminent, but he finally awed them into submission, threatening to have the thief's comrades arrested for carrying concealed weapons. They delivered up their revolvers and even their rifles, and fled, and the horse-thief, rather than risk a passage-at-arms with the redoubtable Hall, returned to Denison with his captor, after contenting himself with giving the valiant young constable some ugly wounds on the head with his fist. The passage of the river having thus been successfully disputed by the law, the rogues became somewhat more wary in future.
"Red Hall" seemed to bear a charmed life. He moved about tranquilly every day in a community where there were doubtless an hundred men who would have delighted to shed his blood; was often called to interfere in broils at all hours of the night; yet his life went on. He had been ambushed and shot at, and threatened times innumerable, yet had always shown a proper scorn of his enemies, which finally ended in forcing them to admire him. When he visited us on our arrival in Denison, he remarked, "I shall see you in Sherman Monday, as I have some prisoners to take to court there"; but Monday morning, as we were starting for Sherman, he informed us that when he awoke in the morning, he was surrounded by armed men; a pistol was held under his nose; and he was told that he was arrested at the instance of the U.S. marshal, to whom someone had retailed slander concerning him. Even as he spoke to us, he was vigilantly guarded by armed men. But in the afternoon he was free again?once more in authority, and awing the ruffians into a proper respect. 




The tracks of the M., K. and T. Railway had but just been completed to Denison when we visited the town; but the huge freight-house was already filled with merchandise awaiting transportation to the interior. The Overland Transportation Company was even then closing its books, for the Texas Central Railway line was expected in a few weeks to reach the Red River, and the great Gulf Route would be complete.  

[By Stagecoach to Sherman]
At Denison we left the Scribner Train, and embarked in the perilous ways of staging. The palatial car which had been our home for a happy fortnight was closed and desolate; our party separated, the gentleman from Kansas hastening homeward. "Look out for de bars," was the parting injunction of the dusky Charles; "dey say dar's bars in dem woods what you go from in Texas." So we were whirled away in an El Paso stage-coach to Sherman.
For miles and miles around Denison, the woods and plains are dotted with white canvas tents - temporary homes of emigrants from the Western and South-western States beyond the Indian Territory. Here and there we noticed an old weather-stained wagon, with its framework, over which a canvas had once been stretched, now going to decay. It had started with its freight from Missouri or Kansas months ago, and was deserted because the railroad had caught up with it. Here was rough life, indeed! The tents looked gloomy and comfortless; the men who were plowing a field looked sullen and determined; the women cooking or washing by little fires at the road-side, looked worn and fever-stricken; the children seemed woe-begone; yet all were really happy and reasonably comfortable. The roughness of wandering had only left its mark outside, and these progressive families were happy in the prospect of future prosperity. In some places the tent had been supplanted by a substantial log-cabin, whose chinks were plastered with earth, and around whose door paraded a dozen pigs, and half as many hounds; this was the second grade of prosperity.
We passed immense wagon-trains of merchandise, creaking forward through the wax-like soil, which so burdened the wheels that the toiling teams stopped, discouraged, from time to time; gangs of stout youths from Illinois and Missouri were marching along the highways, en route for the railroad lines which they were to aid in constructing; mule-teams, drawing loads of lumber, each team driven by a six-foot Texan with a patriarchal beard, passed us; wild-looking men mounted on horses or mules, with rifles slung over shoulders, and saddle-bags stuffed with game, cantered by; sometimes we met a discouraged company, painfully forcing its way towards sunrise, the paterfamilias driving a span of sorry mules which dragged a dreary wagon-load of grumbling and disheartened family. So, faring forward through forest and brake, over creeks and under hills, beside smiling fields and along mournful wastes, into primitive clearings and out of forsaken nooks, and crannies where civilization had only made the wilderness look worse, we reached Sherman, the forty-years-old shiretown of Grayson county. 


Glorious sunlight enlivened the town as we entered it, and intensest activity prevailed, for the county court was in session. The town is built around a square, in the center of which stands a low, unpainted wooden building, known as the court-house. The "grand jury" was not far from the aforesaid building, as we drew up at the hotel opposite it, and was to outward appearance a collection of rough, sensible farmers, impressed with a full sense of their duty. The horses on which half-a-hundred of the neighboring farmers had ridden in to attend to their marketing and upon the sessions of the court, were hitched at a common hitching-post not far from the court-house; and in the center of the square a noisy auctioneer was bawling out his wares, and the Texans were regarding him with admiring eyes. The plank side-walks were crammed with tall youths clad in homespun, interspersed with patches; with Negroes, whose clothing was a splendid epitome of the chrome of color; with spruce speculative Northerners and Westerners dressed in the latest styles; with dubious looking characters, who shrank a little apart from the common gaze, and seemed somewhat afraid of the day-light; and with the hook-nosed, loud-voiced, impudent Israelites, who are found in every city and hamlet throughout the South. Large numbers of people seemed diligently engaged in doing nothing whatever, or in frankly enjoying the fragrant delicious sunlight, which gave new glory and picturesqueness to everything upon which it rested. Now and then a soft breeze came gently from the uplands, and softened the effect of the generous sun. The gambler came out to bathe his excited livid face in the zephyr and the light; the Negro crawled to the side-walk?s edge, and with his feet in the adhesive mud, blinked owlishly in the great sun's glare; the stage-drivers swore round jocund oaths at the rearing and plunging mules drawing the coaches for Denison, McKinney, and other little towns; and the huge Negro who guarded the court-house door, twirled the great key majestically, and looked as ferocious as a Venetian spire. Weather as rich and perfect as that of June in the North saluted our senses, a languor which was not of our own temperate clime stole over us. We could imagine ourselves Southern by nature and breeding, dreaming away the afternoon in lazy abandon of duty and irresolute comfort, spiced with the delicate charm born of observing new and peculiar types of our common nationality. Towards evening absolute tranquility prevailed; there was not even a loud word spoken; the dusky figures who sat crouched in the porch of our hotel mutely regarding the glories of the setting sun, seemed almost in the act of worship. 


List of Illustrations
1. Limestone Gap. Signed "Bookhout[?]"
2. Jeff. Davis
3. The Pet Conductor
4. Deep Water Tanks
5. Map: The New Route to the Gulf. Signed "Arnold Winham, S.C."
6. Charlie
7. Bridge over the Marmiton. Signed "Roberts, S.C."
8. Old Hospital - Fort Scott
9. Driving Pigs into a Car
10. A Street in Parsons, Kansas
11. Warming Himself. Signed "F. Jiengling[?], S.C." and "W. L. S."
12. Kansas Herdsman. Signed "W. L. S."
13. Kansas Farm-Yard. Signed "Miller."
14. Back to Camp. Signed "F. Jiengling[?], S.C."
15. Indian Grave
16. A Bad Investment
17. The Ogden Monument - The Geographical Centre of the United States
18. Twilight on Pryor's Creek, Indian Territory
19. Fort Gibson, Indian Territory
20. A South-western Ferry. Signed : J. P. Davis, S.C."
22. "I'm from Alabama"
23. A Creek Indian Woman
24 At the Ferry
25. "Has the Arkansaw Riz" : Signed "W. L. S."
26. Uncle John Cunningham
27. An Adopted Indian Citizen
28. An Indian Mule-Driver
29. Bridge Across the South Canadian, M., K. and T. Railway
30. Bridge Across Arkansas River - M., K. and T. Railway. Signed "C. L. Cox, S.C., N.Y."
31. An Indian Territorial Mansion
32. Bridge Across North Fork, Canadian River, M., K. and T. Railway
33. A School Among the Creeks. Signed "W. L. S., after Champney"
34. Indian Ball-Player
35. The Keno Table, Denison, Texas. Signed "W. L. Sheppard, after Champney"
36. Toll Bridge - Limestone Gap, Indian Territory. Signed "Roberts[?], S.C., N.Y."
37. A Terminus Type
38. The Red River Bridge - M., K. and T. Railway
39. The Indian Consents
40. "Red Hall"
41. The Dance Hall, Denison, Texas. Signed "L. S., after Champney"
43. A South-western Landowner
44. A Sovereign Rooter 

[See facsimile edition of this article, including illustrations, at http://www.unz.org/Pub/Century-1873jul-00257]
Another version of this article forms part of a book: Edward N. King [1848-1896], The Great South: A Record of Journeys in Louisiana, Texas, the Indian Territory, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland (Hartford, Conn.: American Publishing Co., 1875). Illustrations by J. Wells Champney (1843-1903).
Electronic edition, part of UNC-CH digitization project, Documenting the American South. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Web site http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/king/king.html.

 

   
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