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Why Are The Karankawa Indians Remembered as Savage Cannibals?

By Tim Seiter

In 1767, Fray Gaspar José de Solís toured the faltering missions of Texas. When he visited the mission of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, which the Spanish built to convert the Karankawa Indians to Christianity, he wrote a lengthy report on their cannibalism in his journal: “Dancing and leaping and with sharp knives in their hands, they draw near to the victim, cut off a piece of their flesh, come to the fire and half roast it, and, within sight of the victim himself devour it most ravenously.”[1] Despite captivating readers for generations, Padre Solís’s account of the Karankawas’ cannibalism has a major problem—it is almost certainly fictitious. Although the Karankawas did, in fact, practice a rare exo-cannibalism, this disgruntled priest likely fabricated an exaggerated version of the custom. He has tarnished the image of the Karankawas for the past two-hundred and fifty years. This article explains why Fray Solis’s account, a source utilized by numerous scholars, should be used selectively and with caution.

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Posted by on September 24, 2019 in tribes and tribal leaders

 

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Ann Miller

Ann Miller was the stage name of Johnnie Lucille Collier, born April 12, 1923 in Chireno, Nacogdoches County, Texas.  Her father was John A. Collier, a criminal defense lawyer known for representing clients such as Baby Face Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly and the Barrow Gang. Her mother was the former Clara Emma Birdwell.  As a young girl, Johnnie suffered from rickets and took dance classes to help strengthen her legs.  She also studied piano and violin.  The family moved to Houston, Texas where she lived until she was nine years old.  Eventually her parents divorced and she moved with her mother to Los Angeles.

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Posted by on September 19, 2019 in biography, entertainers, texas women

 

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Law Officers Killed By The Barrow Gang: Moore, Davis, McGinnis and Harryman (Victims 1 Through 4)

The Barrow Gang is reported to have been involved in the deaths of a total of nine law officers during the two year period that they were at large.  This post concerns the first four individuals and we hope to cover the remainder of them as time permits.

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Posted by on September 12, 2019 in bonnie and clyde

 

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Red Adair

Paul Neal Adair, better known by his nickname “Red” Adair, was born in 1915 in Houston, Texas to Charles Edward and Mary Emeline Smith Adair.  Charles was a carpenter and blacksmith.  Both he and Mary had been born in Kansas where they married.  By 1910, they were living in Houston.  Red got his nickname from being red headed and was the middle child of at least five siblings.  When he was young, the family lived northwest of downtown Houston in an area known as The Heights, where Red attended school through the 9th grade at Houston Reagan High School.  He as a good athlete and student, but dropped out of high school to help support his family in the midst of the Depression.

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Posted by on September 5, 2019 in biography, oil and gas

 

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Unsolved Mystery: Murders of Dr. and Mrs. Roy Hunt

On the morning of October 26, 1943, Littlefield, Lamb County, Texas awoke to learn of the brutal murders of residents Dr. Roy Elwin and Mrs. Mae Franks Hunt.  Dr. Hunt had been killed by a gunshot at close range and Mae had been killed by at least one blow to the head from an object not found at the scene.  Their bodies were found by the couple’s five year old daughter.  The couple was buried a few days later following their funeral at Littlefield’s First Methodist Church, attended by an overflow crowd.

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Posted by on August 29, 2019 in unsolved mystery

 

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Harold Barefoot Sanders, Jr.

Judge Harold Barefoot Sanders was born on February 5, 1925 to attorney Harold Barefoot Sanders, Sr. and May Elizabeth Forrester Sanders in Dallas, Texas.  Sanders told of growing up during the Depression, working odd jobs to raise money for the family.  He and his father were both named for Dennie Barefoot, Judge Sanders’ paternal grandmother.  She was the granddaughter of Daniel Barefoot, of Tennessee, who had settled in Montague County, Texas in the 1800s.  Dennie’s father Jonathan Barefoot had served in the Civil War.  Judge Sanders talked about the name Barefoot and explained in a 1971 newspaper article that it was not a nickname and was his grandmother’s maiden name.  He also clarified that it was not a Native American name, as some might have supposed.

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Posted by on August 22, 2019 in biography, jfk assassination

 

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Frank Mann, Aviation/Automotive Engineer

After the success of the book and film Hidden Figures which generated much deserved recognition for NASA employees Katherine Jonson, Dorothy vaughan and Mary Jackson, the book with the eye catching title of Hidden Genius: Frank Mann, the Black Engineer Behind Howard Hughes came to our attention.  It is the story of Frank Calvin Mann, as told by H. T. Bryer.

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Posted by on August 15, 2019 in biography, black history

 

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