Buffalo Hump, or Pochanaquarhip or Ko-cho-naw quoip, 1800 to 1867 (exact dates unknown)
Buffalo Hump was both a war and a peace chief of the Penateka Comanche. Of the twelve bands of the Comanche tribe that lived and hunted over thousands of miles of western country, the Penateka lived closest to the frontier settlements in Texas. Springs, creeks and rivers like the Guadalupe were important sources of water and provided habitat for the wild game. As a war chief, Buffalo Hump is best remembered as the leader of the "Linnville Raid" or "Great Raid of 1840." Later, as a peace chief, he negotiated several treaties with Sam Houston and other Texan officials. Buffalo Hump eventually helped settle his people on reservation land in the Indian Terrritory outside of Texas.
180?: Buffalo Hump is born. The exact year is unknown, but around the time of his birth, there were about eight thousand Penateka Commanche. Buffalo Hump trained as a warrior as did other young Comanche boys. At times the Penateka traded peacefully with the Spanish who came up from Mexico. However, when the Spanish tried to build missions in the Comancheria, the traditional Comanche territory, the Penateka fought back. They raided Spanish outposts in Texas and Mexico and fought over territory with neigboring tribes like the Tonkawa and Lipan Apache.
1816: Smallpox epidemic kills thousands. This horrible disease, brought by Spanish and American settlers, killed as many as four thousand Penateka Comanche. Around this time, relations with the Spanish grew worse. Buffalo Hump was old enough to accompany his uncle and other war chiefs on raids into Mexico.
1821: Stephen Austin's colonists arrive. The successful settlement of Austin's colony on the banks of Texas’ Colorado River meant that more and more settlers would be coming to live on or near the Penateka hunting grounds. Despite many negotiations, the Pentake and Texas officials were unable or unwilling to agree on a permanant boundry between their peoples. Older chiefs had difficulty convincing younger warriors like Buffalo Hump to stop raiding homesteads and settlements even when peace agreements were negotiated. Meanwhile, Comanche raids into Mexico continued.
1840: The Council House Fight. Comanche leaders and Texan authorities agreed to meet and discuss peace terms in San Antonio and the fate of captives held by the Comanche. Texan officials announced that the Comanche negotiators would be held hostage until all remaining captives were released. When Comanche leaders attempted to flee, fighting broke out. Thirty five Comanche, including Buffalo Hump's uncle, were killed and thirty more were captured and imprisoned. Eight Texans died and ten were wounded.
1840: The Great Raid of 1840. In response to the Council House fight, Buffalo Hump assembled and led four hundred warriors along along with four hundred women and children on a raid of Texas towns and ranches. Twenty five settlers were killed, Victoria was ransacked, and the town of Linnville on the Texas coast was destroyed and never rebuilt. Returning from the raid, the Comanche fought Texan forces assisted by Tonkawa warriors near Plum Creek. Some of the stolen cattle and goods were recovered but most of Buffalo Hump's party escaped to the Hill Country.
1844: Peace treaty. Buffalo Hump and other Comanche leaders negotiated a peace treaty with governor Sam Huston. The treaty was weakened when the leaders were unable to agree on a line that would protect Comanche land from new settlement. Comanches continue to raid in Mexico but the Penateka band began a fairly peaceful ten years with Texans. Southern bands not bound to the treaty continued to harass Texas settlements. Texan settlers continued to move onto traditional Comanche hunting territory.
1849: Gold discovered in California. Buffalo Hump agrees to help John Ford, a Texas ranger, scout a trail through Comanche lands so that prospectors could travel to the gold fields. Cholera, a deadly disease perhaps spread by these newcomers, kills many Comanche and white settlers in Texas.
1858: Buffalo Hump's Camp is ambushed. In October, after making peace with local military officials, the camp was attacked by other American troops unaware of the peace agreement. Sixty-five Comanche were killed including many women and children. A hard winter and another devastating raid on Buffalo Hump's camp resulted in many more deaths.
1859: Start of reservation life. Buffalo Hump and his remaining band members arrive at Witchita Indian land near Fort Cobb. Skirmishes with Texas miltia continue as Comanches experience hunger, poverty, and problems with settlers on their reservation land. Inter-tribal fighting at Fort Cobb results in the death of half of the remaining Tonkawa who were also settled there.
1867-1870: Buffalo Hump dies. Buffalo Hump dissapears from tribal records kept at the reservation. The exact date of his death is unknown.
Buffalo Hump and the Penateka Comanches. Jodye Lynn Dickson Schilz and Thomas F. Schilz, University of Texas El Paso, Southwestern Studies Series No. 88, Texas Western Press, 1989.
Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History. S.C. Gwynn, Schribner, 2010.
The Portable handbook of Texas. Roy R. Barkley and Mark F. Odinitz, editors, Texas State Historical Association, 2000.
Ferdinand Jakob Lindheimer, 1801 to 1879
Ferdinand Lindheimer immigrated to the United States from Germany in the spring of 1834. He is considered by many to be the "Father of Texas Botany" for collecting new species of plants previously unknown to science. He co-founded and edited the first German language newspaper of substance in Texas, and was a prominent civic leader in his adopted home of New Braunfels Texas.
1801: Born in Frankfurt Germany. Lindheimer was born into a prosperous merchant family. He did well in school and studied at several universities specializing in languages and literature. It is believed he may have also studied under the famous German botanist, Pestalozzi.
1827: works as teacher. Lindheimer was hired to teach at the Bunsen school for boys in Frankfurt. Many school teachers were politically active wanting Germany to unite under a democratic constitution. Six years later, an uprising of these young activists resulted in many being forced to leave Germany. Lindheimer leaves with them.
1833: Arrives in New York City. From there, he traveled along the river highways to a new farm community of German immigrants in the Midwest known as Turkey Hill. In the fall of 1834, Lindheimer and six friends traveled to New Orleans, then to Mexico, and finally to Texas. Intent on helping with the Texas revolution, he and other volunteers reach San Jacinto one day after Sam Houston’s decisive victory over the Mexican general, Santa Anna.
1845: Arrived in New Braunfels. After Lindheimer was honorably discharged from the army, he traveled and collected plants in southeast Texas and along the Brazos and the lower Guadalupe Rivers before joining with the earliest settlers of New Braunfels near Comal Springs, a German community founded by Prince Carl von Solms-Braunfels. Linheimer earned his living collecting, preparing, and shipping plant specimens to scientist friend, George Englemann in St. Louis and Harvard botanist, Asa Gray.
1846: Marries Elonore Reinarz. With his wife, a fellow German immigrant, Lineheimer prepared and shipped plant specimens to his buyers. Lindheimer collected in dangerous conditions, traveling mostly alone through Apache and Comanche Hill Country. Comanche chief, Santanta is a frequent, friendly visitor to the Lindheimer home. Tragedy strikes the Lindheimer family when a cholera epidemic takes the lives of two of their three young children.
1852: Retires from paid plant collecting. Lindheimer becomes a founder, manager, and out-spoken editor of New Braunfels’ German language newspaper, the New Braunfelser Zeitung. He remained editor for twenty years. During those years he helped organize a public school system in New Braunfels and served as justice of the peace.
1879: Lindheimer dies. At the age of 78, Lindheimer died in New Braunfels.
Naturalists of the Frontier. Samuel Wood Geiser, Southern Methodist University, The Southwest Review, 1937.
A Life Among the Texas Flora. Minetta Altgelt Goyne,Texas A & M University Press, 1991.
Patricia de la Garza de León, 1775–1849
Patricia de la Garza was born in the town of Soto la Marina in Mexico or what was then called "New Spain." Her family provided her with a good education. When she married Martin de León, she received her dowry (a large amount of money, cattle and horses) to help the newlyweds begin their life together. They moved to the frontier country that became the state of Texas. She and her husband established the colony and town of Victoria, Texas.
1775: De León is born. Born into a wealthy, aristocratic Spanish family, Patricia spent her early years in Nuevo Santander (now the state of Tamaulipas) in New Spain (now Mexico).
1795: Marries Martín de León. Together they establish a ranch in Cruillas, New Spain (now Mexico). In 1798 Patricia gave birth to the first of their ten children.
1807: Moves to the frontier. The De Leóns settle on the east bank of the Aransas River north of Corpus Christi. The family raised cattle, horses, mules and goats. The De León cattle brand was the first registered brand in the state of Texas. Spanish military garrisons, as well as Martin and their ranch hands, provided protection from Comanche and Lipan Apache raiding parties.
1824: Start of colony. The newly independent Mexican government grants the De Leóns land for a colony on the banks of the Guadalupe River. Patricia contributed her dowry and money from the sale of her cattle to help fund the colony. At age 49, she moved with all ten children to the new settlement. Martin was the Empresario of the colony—much like a governor of a state. Patricia became known as Dona Patricia, a respectful title for the wife of the Empresario of Victoria. She established a school and donated money to build Victoria’s first church. Most of the colonists in Victoria had moved north from Mexico. However, American, Irish and other settlers were also welcome. The De León colony and Stephen Austin’s colony were the only two successful colonies in Texas. The Guadalupe River was the critical source of water for families, farms, and livestock.
1833: Husband dies. Patricia’s husband, Martin, dies of cholera, and Doña Patricia became the of head of the family while her eldest son, Fernando, took over the colony responsibilities. Doña Patricia managed the family money and ranches, helped her children arrange marriages and raise families and continued her volunteer work in Victoria.
1836: The De León family is forced to leave Victoria. The De Leons like many other families of Spanish descent fought side-by-side with other Anglo-Texans, like Stephen Austin, for more independence from Mexico. However, the De León family was split about whether or not to support a totally independent Republic of Texas. After the war, the anti-Mexican feelings of many Anglo-Texans forced the De Leóns to flee to New Orleans for their safety. They lived there ten years before returning, when one son was killed trying to reclaim De León property.
1846: Doña Patricia fights for her land. Doña Patricia fights hard in Texas courts to regain land that was stolen from her family after the war. By winning many lawsuits that restored much of her property, she was able to help support her children and grandchildren and give funds to support the church that she and Martin founded.
1849: Doña Patricia dies at age 74. Before she dies she dedicates land and money to support her family and the church.
A Tejano Family History. Crimm, Ana Carolina Cstillo De Leon, University of Texas Press, 2003.
Women in Texas History. Jones, Nancy Baker, Phd, Retrieved February 15th, 2012 from http://www.womenintexashistory.org/