Deposition Given 
by
Manuel Bega
October 18, 1806

Source: Bexar Archives, R.B. Blake Collection, Supp., Vol. V, Page 125.

"In the town of San Antonio de Bexar on the 18th day of the month of October, 1806, I, Ensign Don Francisco Adams, with two attendant witnesses, went to the guard house, when I found Manuel Bega, a prisoner.  I had him appear before me, and made him raise his right hand and make the sign of the cross.

"Asked:  If he would swear before God and the holy cross to tell the truth concerning the points which I was going to ask?  He said, Yes, I swear.

"Asked:  His name, nativity and religion?  He said his name was Manuel Bega, a native of Santa Rosa, an Apostolic Roman Catholic.

"Asked:  Why, or with what purpose, did he leave this capital without a passport from this government, and if he had gone to a foreign country?  He said:  That he was a servant of Francisco Farias, a resident of this town; he sent him with another servant named Jose Antonio Farias, to take about eighteen animals of the aforesaid master and seven of his own and deliver them on the Trinity River, to the mulatto Dennis, who also set out from the aforesaid ranch together with the witness and six other men.  They were driving nineteen horses and twelve donkeys for the purpose of taking them as far as Opelousas and Natchez.

"Asked:  Why, if he was going only to the Trinity River, he went as far as Opelousas?  He said:  Because the mulatto Dennis had deceived them.  He had promised to pay them for the animals at the aforesaid river, where they were to meet two Englishmen and two Frenchmen with money and goods for this purpose.  In this manner, telling them that further on they would meet them, he led them as far as Opelousas.  Forced by hunger and necessity, they decided not to return to this capital, as they should have done except for the aforesaid reason.

"Asked:  If, after having joined the aforesaid Dennis and his party, they met on the road any people with stock?  He said:  That near the settlement of the Coshatta Indians they met four men; these were Jose Maria Garcia, Juluan Nandin, Juan Hernandez and Elogio, who were driving about thirty or forty animals for the purpose of selling them to the said Dennis, under the same arrangement that the witness was driving his; but because they did not meet the said Dennis, who had promised to meet them at the Trinity River, they crossed to the other side, searching for him.  He deceived them and they were obliged to continue their trip as far as the said Opelousas.

"Asked:  What he had done with the stock he was taking; and if he knew what became of those of the others that joined his company during the course of the journey?  He said:  that if [sic] the seven animals of his own, he sold five to the aforesaid Dennis, and traded two for a horse to the same man, but that he was not paid for the first five mentioned.  Five were the only remaining ones that belonged to his master, because the rest had strayed away.  The companion of the aforesaid witness sold them to several individuals of Opelousas, whom he does not know, and the rest of the animals that the aforesaid Dennis and his companions had, were taken to Natchez, where he heard say they were going to, they had been sold.

"Asked:  If he saw, in the course of his trip, Domingo Games, a civilian resident of La Bahia del Espiritu Santo?  He said, that he had.  He ansed [sic] that at the place of Reten (store), he, with another servant, overtook them at nightfall.  They were driving about fifteen head of stock, which they sold in Opelousas to a resident named Miguel Hernandez.

"Asked:  Why there was a contradiction between what he told Dionisio Valle, commandant of Nacogdoches, and what he had just finished saying?  He said, In regard to the questions asked by the aforesaid commandant, that since he did not take an oath, he did not mind lying, but in the deposition that he had just given, he had told the truth.  He ratified and confirmed this after it had been read to him.  He said he did not have anything to add to or retract.  Not knowing how to write his name, he made the sign of the cross, and I signed it, together with the two attendant witnesses, Juan Jose Calderon, corporal of the company of San Antonio de Bexar, and Jose Miguel Ramirez, sergeant of militia.

X
Francisco Adams (rubric)

Of Assistance:
Jose Miguel Ramirez (rubric)

Of Assistance:
Juan Jose Calderon (rubrin)

*******

"On the sais [sic] day, month and year, accompanied by the two assisting witnesses, I went to the main guard house of this town, where was found a prisoner Domingo Games, inhabitant of La Bahia del Espiritu Santo, whom I made to appear before the said witnesses, and having made him raise his right hand, he made the sign of a cross.

"Asked:  Do you swear to the Lord God and this sign of a cross to tell the truth concerning what I am going to ask you?

"He said: Yes, I swear.

"Asked:  His name, country, religion and age?

"He said:  He is called Domingo Games, native and citizen of the Presidio of La Bahia; religion Apostolic Roman Catholic; of the age of from twenty-six to twenty-seven years.

"Asked:  With what permission or reason he had introduced livestock to the Province of Louisiana, from whence he brought them, and to whom did they belong?

"He said:  That without permission from anyone; that the declarant, in company with a citizen of Nacogdoches called Vicente Guarnaca, they went out from the ranch of the Arocas with eleven head of livestock, belonging to the declarant, with the intention of carrying them to Louisiana to sell them; and that on the road, in the neighborhood of the Cibolo, they found three hobbled horses, and brought them also with the rest of the animals, and that in the place of the Reten (Reserve), he encountered a party in which the mulatto Dennis was going, to whom they joined themselves because of not knowing the road.

"Asked:  Where did he go with them to sell the livestock that they were carrying?

"He said:  to the place of Opelousas where he sold the animals that he was carrying to one Don Miguel, a citizen of that post, and that the other companions with whom the declarant was going to separated in different directions, and he returned to the same ranch from whence he left.

"Asked:  If he has anything else to add to or leave off concerning the declaration which he has given under the obligation of the oath he made?

"He said:  No, what he said is the truth on which it is affirmed and ratified, and because of not knowing how to write, he made a sign of a cross, and I signed it with those of my assistance.

X
Francisco Adams (rubric)

Of assistance:
Juan Jose Calderon (rubric)

Of assistance:
Jose Miguel Ramirez (rubric)

********

"In the said town, on the 8th of the month of November of the present year.  Before two witnesses of assistance, I made to appear Francisco Farias, included in this cause, whom I made to raise the right hand in sign of a cross, and

"Asked:  Do you swear to our Lord God and this sign of a cross, to tell the truth concerning the points that I am going to ask you?

"He said:  Yes, I swear.

"Asked:  His name, country, age and religion?

"He said:  He is called Francisco Farias, of the age of thirty-six years, a native of this town, Apostolic Roman Catholic.

"Asked:  How many beasts he sent with a servant Jose Antonio Farias, and to what destination?

"He said:  Fourteen mares, one ass, and a horse for the purpose of carrying them to the Trinity River, to deliver them to the mulatto Dennis, who had to pay for them in money...

"Asked:  If he has anything else to add to or take away concerning the declaration that he has given?

"He said:  No, that what he has said is the truth, under the obligation of the oath he made, and he signed it with me and the two assisting witnesses."

Francisco Farias (rubric)
Francisco Adams (rubric)

Of assistance:
Juan Jose Calderon (rubric)

Of assistance:
Jose Ignacio de la Pena (rubric)

 

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