Saturday, January 21, 2017


(After we posted the story of our friend Joe Cuellar's ancestor John F. Webber, a white settler who was married to a black slave and had a family in the early days of Texas, one of our readers informed us that the story of his fight against discrimination was in a book called "The Evolution of a State" by Noah Smithwick published in 1900. We searched for it and found it on the Internet. We post it here to give our three readers an idea of the deep-seated prejudice that Webber and his family confronted.)
(Ed.'s Note: If you didn't have the time to read the pages posted before about John F. Webber and the racial attitudes in the early 1800s before Texas became a state that eventually bacame part of the Confederacy, take time to take a gander.

The selections below come from the book written by Noah Smithwick called "The Evolution of a State." That state was Texas and this is the "heritage" that neo-Confederates take pride in celebrating.

John Webber, a native of Vermont, fought in the War of 1812 and served as a private in Capt. S. Dickinson's company, Thirty-first United States Infantry, from May 23, 1813, to May 31, 1814, during which time he fought in the battle of Shadage Woods.

He was in Moses Austin's colony as early as 1826 and received a headright on June 22, 1832. Sometime earlier he was married to a slave, Silvia Hector. On June 11, 1834, John Cryer emancipated Silvia and her three children.)

"The Webber family, of corse, could not mingle with the white people, and, owing to a strong prejudice against free negroes, they were not allowed to mix with the slaves, even had they so desired; so they were constrained to keep to themselves."

"Still there wasn't a white woman in the vicinity but knew and liked Puss as Webber's dusky helpmeet was called, and in truth they had cause to like her, for, if there was any need of help, (she) was ever ready to render assistance without money and without price, as we old-timers knew. Webber's house was always open to anyone who chose to avail himself of its hospitality, and no human being went away from its door hungry. The destitute and afflicted many times found asylum there."

(Smithwick tells of Webber's wife taking in an orphaned girl (a "sinner") who was turned away by her kin and a man suffering from rheumatism who they took care of for years.)

 "Beneath that sable bosom beat as true a heart as ever warmed a human body."

"By such generous acts as these joined to the good sense they displayed in conforming their outward lives to the hard lines which the peculiar situation imposed on them, Webber and his wife merited and enjoyed the good will, and, to a certain extent the respect, of the early settlers. The ladies visited (her) not as an equal, but because they appreciated her kindness. At such times she flew around and set out the best meal which her larder afforded; but, neither herself nor her children offered to sit down and eat with their guests, and when she returned the visit she was set down in the kitchen to eat alone."

"After the Indians had been driven back...a new lot of people came – "the better sort" as Colonel Knight styled them – and they at once sat to drive Webber out. His children (racially mixed) could not attend school, so he hired an Englishman to come to his home and teach them, upon which his persecutors raised a hue and a cry about the effect it would have on the slave negroes and even went as far as to threaten to mob the tutor....
"The cruel injustice of the thing angered me, and I told some of them that Webber was there before any of them dared to, and I, for one, proposed to stand by him."
"I abhorred the situation, but I honored the man for sanding by his children whatever their complexion. But the bitter prejudice, coupled with the desire to get Webber's land and improvements became so threatening that I at length counseled him to sell out and take his family to Mexico, where there was no distinction of color. He took my advice, and I never afterward saw or heard of him."  


Anonymous said...

How things have changed. Today, the Mexicans are the bigots and try to drive the Anglos out of the Valley. Ain't progress wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:32, Progress? Did you attend today's Confederate Heroes Day celebration? People still think it's the 1860s.

KBRO said...

Shut-up Antonio Castillo - no one was at city cemetery to celebrate confederate veterans but I can arrange that if you want if for no other reason than to piss off you and your followers.

Anonymous said...

KBRO --- Why are you obsessed with this man? You think that anyone who mentions the Civil War is Mr. Castillo. I happen to be the one who wrote the post. I won't even waste my breath with you. Enjoy your miserable life!


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your post, Mr. Montoya. It's too bad KBRO always has to come in and start talking mess about community members. Your lessons have helped me research Mexican-American history of the area.

KBRO said...

Clara - the comment was meant for you too since you're a follower of his. It's fun to rattle your cages. Yes I said cages because you're slaves to hatred and racism and dont know it. I love to troll Rrun Rrun because Juan allows me too and you cant do sh*t. Too bad you get butt hurt as easy as Tony who doesnt have a backbone to respond. ~ Javier Garcia