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.

Parker County, Texas

    Henry Maxwell and family, settled in the southwestern portion of Parker County, on the Stephenville and Weatherford roads, about fifteen miles from Weatherford. Mr. Maxwell's home was on the south side of the river, and near the crossing.

    Jack Joyce, a son-in-law of Henry Maxwell, was home from the war on a furlough. While he and his father-in-law were on Onion Branch, after a heavy rain, in search of a deer, they suddenly came upon one pony and three moccasin tracks, which plainly indicated that four Indians had passed along only a short time before. Since the tracks were exceedingly fresh, Mr. Maxwell remarked, "Jack, we must get these fellows, for their tracks are fresh." The trail was only followed about one-half mile, when the two citizens and four savages faced each other. One Indian jumped on the pony behind its rider and the two remaining savages on the ground held to the horses' tail. The Indians then made an attempt to run away. But when closely crowded they stopped for a fight, and two of their number charged toward Maxwell, and Joyce, who were armed respectively with a double-barrel gun and rifle. When an Indian was near, Mr. Maxwell fired, and his horse whirled and started back. As he turned this Indian drove an arrow through Henry Maxwell's body from the rear. The two Indians on the ground made the charge and were dodging from one tree to another. Mr. Maxwell, after being wounded, said to his son-in-law, "Jack, I am killed, so let's get away." They then made a retreat, and after going about one-half mile, Mr. Maxwell became so sick, he could ride no farther. For a time, the two were pursued by at least one Indian, and Jack was exceedingly anxious to shoot him, but was prevented by his father-in-law, who requested that Jack save his life. Joyce, however, refused to leave his father-in-law, until he realized it was best to hurry to the house for aid. In a short time, he returned with Lee Maxwell, a faithful old African slave that was afoot and since Henry Maxwell only weighed about 130 pounds, the old African carried his master home in his arms. Mr. Maxwell died about midnight of the same day.

    Note: Author personally interviewed Geo. W. Hill, a son-in-law of Maxwell, Sam Newberry, and others who lived in the western and southwestern part of Parker County at the time.

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

In Indian Depredations in Texas, J.W. Wilbarger's description of the incident does not include the presence of Maxwell's slave:

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