James Kerr to Stephen F. Austin, 07-18-1826

Summary: Indian hostilities.

18 July 1826

Dear Sir

I have just learnt (Indirectly) that you have old Roe in custody and that you inte[n]ded keeping him so until you should hear my opinion as to what tribe of Indians committed the hostilities on the Guadaloupe etc.

I have to presume that you ear this have been satisfactorily informed by Mr. Wightman on the subject—I however will state that there is not a doubt of its haveing been the Wakows that attacked my house and killd Whightman.

There is some doubt as to the tribe that that party belonged to that attacked Dirben, in as much as they had been encamped several Days near the place where they shot at Derbin and tho. they were not trailed from the place, after that they had taken the Horses—yet there was on the next morning a trail discovered by Mr. phillips in the road west of my house and leading to a crossing of the river- He followed it, and discovered that 4 horse and one mule had made said trail and that he believed the mule track to be mine as there was a Gap in one of hir fore feet—Colo. Matson and E. Smith crossed the river some days after and followed said trail to where it took a Direct course for LaberdeeMr. Smith's statement as to the number of horses and the mule coresponded with what phillips had stated.

I did on the first view of the premisis suspect that the party that fired on Derbin had been of the main body that killd mr. Wightman; but I am of a Different opinion now, and admit a faint probibelity that it was the Tankawas that attacked Derbin. I admit this because they must have been a foot party; the horses and mule crossing the trail of the other party and that too on a direction to the crossing well known to the tankawas and near to my house; and the trail being made while the due was on, a Monday mor[n]ing.

I am unable to give an Idea relative to Roe. Admit however that his intentions were bad, he has not been with the tankawas since he made threats that I know of; tho I conceive him ameanable to the Laws for those threats in point of "Malice aforethought."

It is as yet uncertain what day I shall see you, but I presume not many—Derbin is on the men[d] ; the other man Mr. Shields I have rather Dispaired of—

Note. Excuse haste.

James Kerr

19th I wrote least night 10 o'clock—now I can rite shields is better.

[Addressed:] Colo. S. F. Austin St. Felipe de Austin Capt. Dickson.