238 Chapters
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5. The Texas State Police

Chuck Parsons and Norman Wayne Brown University of North Texas Press PDF

“It has been Said of me before I reached my majority that I had vanquished E. J. Davis’s police force from the red river to the rio grand from matamoris to Sabine Pass that I had defeated the diabolical Burero agents and U S soldiers in many contests.”

John W. Hardin

ardin and cousin John Gibson “Gip” Clements arrived at Uncle

Barnett Hardin’s in Hill County where they met Mannen Clements,

Gip’s older brother, as planned. Hardin recalled the date as July

30, but it was closer to the end of August. After visiting a week with relatives the trio then started for home in Gonzales County, some 200 miles south. Although a fugitive, Hardin did not purposely avoid entering the various towns along the way; in fact, with his aggressive attitude toward

State Policemen, his irresponsibility and his disregard for societal mores he may have been reckless enough to welcome a confrontation with a figure of authority.

Assuming that Mannen Clements had indeed killed two of the

Shadden brothers on the trail to Kansas, the three may have anticipated trouble from the remaining brother and brother-in-law. But apparently the remaining Shaddens left. As Hardin expressed it, “soon after our arrival they concluded to move out.”1

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Medium 9781574415056

5. The Texas State Police

Chuck Parsons and Norman Wayne Brown University of North Texas Press ePub

CHAPTER 5

THE TEXAS STATE POLICE

“It has been Said of me before I reached my majority that I had vanquished E. J. Davis’s police force from the red river to the rio grand from matamoris to Sabine Pass that I had defeated the diabolical Burero agents and US soldiers in many contests.”

John W. Hardin

Hardin and cousin John Gibson “Gip” Clements arrived at Uncle Barnett Hardin’s in Hill County where they met Mannen Clements, Gip’s older brother, as planned. Hardin recalled the date as July 30, but it was closer to the end of August. After visiting a week with relatives the trio then started for home in Gonzales County, some 200 miles south. Although a fugitive, Hardin did not purposely avoid entering the various towns along the way; in fact, with his aggressive attitude toward State Policemen, his irresponsibility and his disregard for societal mores he may have been reckless enough to welcome a confrontation with a figure of authority.

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13. “Texas, by God!”

Chuck Parsons and Norman Wayne Brown University of North Texas Press PDF

“Jane I am in good hands now they treat me Better than you have any Idea and assure me that I will not be mobed [sic] . . .

Jane Be in cheer and don’t take trouble to Heart . . . But what I have done in Texas was to Save my own Life [.]”

J. H. Swain, August 25, 1877.

n the afternoon of August 23, 1877, Mr. John H. Swain was ready to leave Pensacola and return home to Jane and their three children. He was seldom alone on these gambling ventures, and this afternoon was no different: he was with several friends who together boarded the train, going into the smoker car. They may have been doing more than gambling, as they placed their shotguns above their heads in the baggage racks. Had they been hunting? What the other passengers did not know was that even with their shotguns out of reach, Jim

Mann and John Swain had at least one pistol on their person; possibly

Hardy and Campbell carried one as well, but not openly. The “peaceable

Mr. Swain” and his companions, James Mann,1 Shep Hardy2 and Neil

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10. Fighting Waller’s Texas Rangers

Chuck Parsons and Norman Wayne Brown University of North Texas Press ePub

CHAPTER 10

FIGHTING WALLER’S TEXAS RANGERS

“[Captain Waller] aroused the whole country and had about 500 men scouting for me, whose avowed purpose was to hang me.”

John Wesley Hardin

Charles M. Webb, deputy sheriff of Brown County, lay dead on the street in Comanche. This victim was different from Hardin’s previous ones: he was not a member of the unpopular State Police; he was not a soldier wearing the uniform of an occupation army; this man was a former Texas Ranger and a white lawman, respected by the populace and apparently with many friends. Hardin, the Dixon brothers, Jim Taylor and other family and friends now faced the wrath of the Comanche citizenry. Wes and some of his friends galloped to “some mountains” four miles from town. On the twenty-seventh brother Joe and some other friends found him. He then sent back with Joe the horses they had used to make their escape from town. Hardin did not want people to think him a horse thief, which notion was admirable in this extreme case of emergency, but neither he nor his friends appreciated the anger of the Comanche County citizens. Hardin and Taylor and the Dixons no doubt felt that within a week or so the anger would pass, and this violent incident would be forgotten. They could not have been more wrong.

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13. “Texas, by God!”

Chuck Parsons and Norman Wayne Brown University of North Texas Press ePub

CHAPTER 13

“TEXAS, BY GOD!”

“Jane I am in good hands now they treat me Better than you have any Idea and assure me that I will not be mobed [sic] . . . Jane Be in cheer and don’t take trouble to Heart . . . But what I have done in Texas was to Save my own Life[.]”

J. H. Swain, August 25, 1877.

On the afternoon of August 23, 1877, Mr. John H. Swain was ready to leave Pensacola and return home to Jane and their three children. He was seldom alone on these gambling ventures, and this afternoon was no different: he was with several friends who together boarded the train, going into the smoker car. They may have been doing more than gambling, as they placed their shotguns above their heads in the baggage racks. Had they been hunting? What the other passengers did not know was that even with their shotguns out of reach, Jim Mann and John Swain had at least one pistol on their person; possibly Hardy and Campbell carried one as well, but not openly. The “peaceable Mr. Swain” and his companions, James Mann,1 Shep Hardy2 and Neil Campbell Jr.3 now settled in for the train ride. As far as the community knew this quartet was of no significance to anyone, had never caused any trouble, and any gambling they did was more for enjoyment than any other reason. They chose this car as Mr. Swain had now taken up smoking a Meerschaum pipe, which he now readied to light up.4 There may have been a few other passengers in this smoker; if there were his smoke would not be considered a bother by them.

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