Z. N. Morrell

Zacharius Nehemiah Morrell is generally given to be his full name, though his exact name and spelling may vary in accounts. Often only his initials Z. N. are used. He was born on January 17, 1803 in South Carolina to John and Darcus Morrell. In his early years, he lived in Tennessee before coming to Texas. He became a Christian as a youth and though he was not formally educated, was an effective minister and a good writer. He was able to chronicle his own life and experiences on the Texas frontier. Though he was a minister, his experiences were similar to those of any other early settler.

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Elm Creek Massacre

October 13, 1864 was a key day in the lives of several north Texas families. In a valley known as Elm Creek, located roughly ten miles south of the town of Newcastle in the western part of Young County, several hundred Kiowa and Comanche tribesmen raided several homes. The settlers (some black and some white) had been living there a while and their homes were scattered along Elm Creek.

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Washington-on-the-Brazos

On April 29, 1900, the Houston Post carried an article commemorating an address in Brenham given by the Hon. Harry Haynes, formerly of the state legislature serving Washington County the previous San Jacinto Day. Haynes recounted some of the early history of Washington County. In it, he said that on June 17, 1819, a force of 30 men under General James Long left Natchez, Mississippi for the area to the west that was then under the control of Spain. By the time they arrived at Nacogdoches, they numbered 300 men. Long split the forces to explore both the Brazos and Trinity Rivers and establish fortifications. Along the way some of the troops encountered Spanish or Mexican troops, dispersed and returned to Louisiana. Among those who remained, some of them serving under a Captain James Walker came to a place on the Brazos which Walker initially called La Bahia. Captain John W. Hall had also passed through the area several years earlier and had been attracted to it but there was little or no settlement there by Anglos until the early 1820s.

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Henry O. Flipper

Henry Ossian Flipper was born March 21, 1856 to Festus Flipper (1832 – 1918) and Isabella Buckhalter Flipper (1837 – 1887) in Thomasville, Georga, both of mixed race. Accordingly, he was born a slave. In the 1870 census, Festus was shown to be a cobbler or shoemaker. Henry entered Atlanta University, a historically Black college, in 1873. While still a freshman there, he received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, said to be the the fifth such appointment of a person of African American descent. Though his time at West Point was difficult due to prejudice, he graduated in 1877 as a 2nd Lieutenant. Accordingly, Flipper was the first African American graduate of West Point and the first African American commissioned officer in the United States Army.

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Adobe Walls

It is now a ghost town in Hutchinson County, far north in the Panhandle, but in the 1800s it was a community that briefly came together during what would be the latter days of buffalo hunting in north Texas. It is also the site of two battles between the mostly Anglo inhabitants and the native tribes that came together to try and eliminate them.

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