James Kerr to Stephen F. Austin, 11-11-1826

Summary: Troubles of DeWitt's colonists with Martin De Leon.

Labaca 11. Nov. 1826 2 O'clock p. m.— Dear Colo

I have just Rd and read your of the 8th Inst by Mr. Brackin. I am confined to my Pallet, and have been for several Days given out by the spectators—I am now on the mend and by being proped up etc. I have undertaken to write, I have 6 large blisters all raw and runing yellow matter etc.

I came here with my Cart, black man and two white strange Gent, who overtook me on the Colorado, on the evenig of—1st—found all well, and in good spirits—In a few minutes a man by the name of Smith came under whip, from the Guadaloupe who stated that Delion, and son were a Coming with the indians to cut of the white people as far as the Colorado—It would far exceed the limits of a letter to detail all he said in relation to Delions threats and those of his son fernander. in fact they were alarming as a person (Unknown to me tho said to be respectable) has as I am informed by the Alcalde here made Oath that Delion had lured the Indians to come and Kill all the Americans here, and Mrs. Trudeau has told me that she hirself will swear that she several times heard Delion aver that he would have Dewitts head and that he would take it tied to his saddle to the Guadaloupe—The many threats; the manner in which they came here; and the persons who made Those threats Gave alarme to the new settlers here and altho I myself are not easily alarmed yet I confess that I scarcely new what to be about;—There was no order made to fire from our station untill we were first fired on.

About this time I went to Smith and asked him many questions etc. he then told me that Moncholes of Labihia and his troops were coming on with Delion,—I then told the Colo and all the people that would hear me that there was no danger, and that I knew that no Indians were coming and that I felt confident the commendant had orders from Govt etc but the people were still alarmed. Dewitt Often told them they must not oppose Govt and that all orders coming from Govt must and should be obeyed, for fear some accident might happen I took a few men in the night and went Some Distance along the road in order to meet the Commendant and to inform him the news that we had, heard, and that the people here were afraid he was coming to put them to death without mercy etc When the evening Star Disappeared I came back and again told the men there was no danger and for them to be at rest, that I knew Mr. Moncholes to be an officer, of the Govt and a Gent, and I then went to sleep for the ballance of the night. In the morning the order again was given by the Colo for no man to fire on or offer to fire, without we were first fired on. I and the Colo went down the river to select a place for my camp—when we had got a short distance, a boy came on horse back and told us the indians were coming—we returned on the way to the house when the Colo Asked me to go and meet the Commendant and having my gun, I set it down by a tree and went on foot as fast as I could to meet the troop (Several men from the Station followed me with their ares [arms?]who layed them down and wished I would let them to go with me) which I refused to do and told them as they were strangers etc to go back; that the Commendant and all knew me, and that I was not afraid to go by my self—I did so and meet them some distance from the house and shook hands with several; I told the Commendant that the people here were afraid he had come to kill etc—he told me no that he had Orders from the Chief etc to Dewitt, he road on to the house and demanded the guns to be put away etc, the Colo before I got to the house had meet them, and altho he repeatedly told the men to put away the guns, the men were in such confusion that it was for some time before they could be made to know that they would not be Instantly put to death, the armes were Laid away and on (I believe the next day) they were taken by Delion and put under guard and have since been sent away to await the order of the Chief

The Commendant told me that he expect the arms would all be sent back in a few days etc that he would leave some troops here to guard us untill the thing would be Determined. He took Dewitt of with him 5 or 6 others—Some times Dewitt was told that he was a prisoner, and at other times that he was free etc. my strength failes and I am obliged to lie down, my head is like a whirl wind and my friend adiew.

James Kerr

[Addressed:] Colo S. F. Austin Sn. Felipe De Austin