Indians Alarm Mr. and Mrs. C.C. Blair’s Daughters

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Erath County, Texas

    About the 15th of February, 1871, while Mrs. Blair was at the home of her daughter, Mrs. N.A. Dunn, who lived about one-fourth mile away, her two younger daughters, Philadelphia and Charlsie, were at the Blair home, about eight miles northwest of Dublin, on Armstrong Creek, washing near the well. About eleven o'clock in the morning, however, the two girls had gone to the house for they were driven in by a shower of rain. Mrs. Blair left the dinner already prepared, but the girls were cooking eggs when they heard a pet pig squeal. "Delphia" went to the door, and Charlsie went to see about the pig, and was scolding the dogs. "Delphia" said, "Hush! And come in here, for it is an Indian." So the two girls rushed in the house, and hid in the bed, between feather mattresses, etc. The lone Indian came into the house and ate everything on the table. The savage then came up to the bed and said, "Americana," and alarmed the girls still more. Owen Blair, a boy about eight years of age, who had been with his mother, came over to tell one of the girls to stay with Mrs. Dunn, their sister, while Mrs. Blair returned home to prepare supper. But he too saw the Indian and hurried back to the Dunn home, where he fell, exhausted in the door. Mrs. Blair inquired what was the matter, and he said, "The Devil has killed Charlsie and "Delphia." Mrs. Blair then started home, but Mrs. Dunn prevailed upon her to invoke the assistance of Reuben Ross, a preacher who lived about three hundred yards away. The two started for the Blair home, and on the way met Tom Bell, who joined them.

    The brave Mrs. Blair was the first to enter the house, and she said "Here he sets." She then jumped out of the way and the two men dropped their guns on the Indian, but the Indian said, "Americana, Americana." Mrs. Blair saw the bed move, so she jerked the mattress off, and the two daughters came crawling out. When she found the children alive, and really expected to find them dead, she shouted so loud, Mrs. Dunn, her daughter, could hear her one-fourth mile away. This even greater alarmed Mrs. Dunn.

    The Indians was carried to Dublin, dressed up, given a horse, and sent back to this tribe. He claimed to be a Caddo, but was thought to be a Comanche. The savage stated that he had buried his wife, and had broken his gun, so he decided to remain in Texas rather than return to his tribe, in the Northwest. It had been reported that after this savage was released, perhaps, as a reward of the kindly deed, the Indians never depredated in that particular section at any future date. Nevertheless, horses were stolen and others massacred only a short distance away.

    Note: Author personally interviewed: Mrs. N.A. Dunn, who was sick in bed when this episode occurred; Mrs. Sarah Jane Keith, her sister; and others.

The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.

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