Mary and John Richardson

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.

Hamilton County, Texas

    During 1859, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Richardson and their five children lived in Lankford Cove, about one and one-half miles west of the present town of Evant. Mr. Richardson had gone to the mill at Belton. Mrs. Richardson and her children remained at home.

    Late in the afternoon, Mary, age twelve, and John, aged eight, attempted to drive home the cows. They had stopped to eat grapes, about three hundred yards from the house when Mary saw Indians coming. The sweet little girl immediately told her brother, John, but he refused to run; for on previous occasions, she had told him, jokingly, the Indians were coming and on this occasion he failed to believe his sister. Mary immediately started for the house, but John continued to eat the grapes. Soon he, also, discovered the Indians and started toward the house. Within a few seconds two warriors passed him in an attempt to catch Mary, who was running a considerable distance in the lead. But the Indians failed to catch her. They turned and stabbed little John in the back, and, perhaps elsewhere in the body. When he fell, an Indian tried to make his horse step on the little fellow, but this the horse refused to do.

    Mrs. Richardson, at the house, could plainly see all the proceedings. She said, "I thought of my gun at that critical moment. I took it down and fired, and kept firing until assistance came. The Indians (as I supposed) thought there were men in the house prepared to receive them, and let my child alone."

    No doubt, this firing caused the Indians to run away, before they murdered little John Richardson.

    Dud Langford, an African, hunting hogs on the hill, was the first to arrive at the home of Mrs. Richardson.

    Little John got well and grew to manhood; but his death many years later was partly attributed to the old wound received on this occasion.

    Sources of Information: B.F. Gholson, Geo. Carter and others who lived within a few miles of the home of Mr. Richardson at the time. Also corresponded with Mrs. Richardson, who furnished us with a letter, which was written by Mrs. Frank Richardson. November 3, 1859, sixty days after this occurred, to her brother, Gen. H.L. Burkett, and printed in the Union and American at Nashville in 1859.

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

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