Stephen F. Austin to Luciano Garcia, 10-20-1823

Summary: Depredations of the Tonkawa Indians and his punishment of them.

A party of Tancahue Indians, have made, towards the middle of last September an incursion up this river, and stolen from the citizens their horses, several of them of American breed and very valuable. At the same time another party of the same nation went down the river, where the settlers live very scattered, and compelled them to give them corn, etc. etc., with threats to kill them because the Choctaws, Cochates and Alabamos have murdered the Captain of the Cocos, his son and three other Indians, and a Tancahue Woman, taking her son a boy three years of age prisoner.

To prevent such outrages hereafter, and to recover the stolen horses I resolved to march against them, which I did, I surprised their camp on the 2nd Instant, and compelled the captain to deliver to me all the stolen animals, and to inflict with his own hands in my presence a severe lashing on the marauders. I ordered them also to leave this river and the Colorado at once, with a warning that if they again attempted to steal cattle, or to molest the settlers on these rivers, I would not be satisfied with lashes only, but would cause the delinquents to be shot, an extremity to which I do not wish to be compelled to resort.

I hope these measures will meet your approbation.

Estevan F. Austin.

Brazos River, October 20th, 1823, 3rd and 2d.