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In the News: 1850s

The 1850s
The Seminoles and Seminole Negroes frequently crossed the Rio Grande in both directions. Not surprisingly, interactions between them, Texans, Mexicans and others generated interesting dispatches from the West. Much of what is in the articles can be debunked, but there is value in understanding how people formed their ideas about and reactions to the Seminoles and Seminole Negroes as the issues about Indian Removal, slavery and western expansion converged.  
New-York Daily Tribune
Oct. 30, 1851
Pg 7, 3rd Column, 3rd Article

Later from Texas.

From the N O Crescent, Oct 22

By the arrival of the steamship Mexico, Capt Place, we are in receipt of Galveston papers to the 17th inst., and corresponding dates from the interior. The Mexico made the trip from Galveston in thirty-eight hours and fifteen minutes.

THE INDIAN WILD CAT – Wild Cat and his colony of Indians and negroes, on the western side of the Rio Grande, are said to have joined the Mexican troops lately situated opposite Eagle Pass, and proceeded toward Camargo, in order to oppose the revolutionary party. The San Antonio Ledger states that much anxiety prevails at Eagle Pass in consequence of the hostile attitude assumed by some of Wild Cat’s tribe. The arrest of Gopher John, and another runaway negro, at Eagle Pass, has exasperated them, and they threaten a rescue and vengeance. These negroes are not confined in the American camp.

The New York Herald

Dec 23 1852

P 6, 2nd column, 1st article The dispatch date was Nov. 27 but was published on Dec. 23.


Our Texas Correspondence.

Eagle Pass

Nov. 27. 1852

Gopher John and E.A. Stephens – Hazardous Escape of the Latter – Bull Fight and a Man Killed – Affrey Between Wild Cat and the Authorities and His Arrest – Wild Cat and the American Troops – Major Emory’s Journey to Camargo to Overtake Mr. Bartlett – Deplorable Condition of the U.S. Boundary Survey – Vigilance of the Mexicans, &c.

To read article, click here,

Indiana State Sentinel

Dec 23, 1852

Pg 2, 3rd Column, 5th Article. The dispatch date for this article is Dec. 20 but it was published on Dec 23.


Gopher John, a celebrated Seminole Indian, and one of Wild Cat’s Lieutenants, was killed a few days since, near Eagle Pass, Texas, by a mail-carrier named Stephens.

The New York Herald

Dec 26 1852

P 1, 5th column, 1st article. The dispatch date was Nov 1852 but was published on Dec. 26


Our Texas Correspondence.

Eagle Pass, Nov. 1852

Wild Cat the Seminole Chief – Mexican Feast Days and Bull Fights – Major Emory and the United States Boundary Commission – Affray between an American and Gopher John, the Commander of Wild Cat’s Niggers – Contemplated Removal of the American Headquarters from San Antonio to Corpus Christi – Depredations of the Indians, and Murder, committed by them, of Mr. Lewis and Two Mexicans

Read the article transcription here.

Newspaper available online here.

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