A short summary of a very tragic story.........................
Over two centuries ago, many traditionalist members of Tribes from the Southeastern American, left their homelands to escape religious and cultural changes imposed by the invading Europeans.
On July 16th 1839, their dream of cultural and religious freedom ended in a bloody massacre near present day Tyler Texas, just 85 miles east of Dallas.
The Texas Cherokee and Associated Bands, led by Duwali (Chief Bowls), Gutanwali (Hard Mush), Black Leg and 3 other chiefs, were attacked by the Republic of Texas Militia. This Militia was made up of the so called "heroes" of the Texas Revolution. Some of who fought at the battle of San Jacinto just 3 years earlier. The militia burned a Delaware village and attacked the approximately 800 men, men women and children who were trying to comply with forced removal by the Republic of Texas.
The associated bands were made up of Cherokee, Shawnee, Delaware, Kickapoo, Tawakoni. Ionis, Taovayas, Wacos, Kichias, Choctaws, Biloxis, Caddos, Cushatas, and possible other groups. They had received grant to over 1.6 million acres of east Texas from the Mexican Government prior to the revolution and the same from President Sam Houston afterwards.
However, when Mirabeau B Lamar became president of the republic, he wanted the Indian people out of Texas, just as he had in Georgia years before. Refusing to honor Houston's agreement, Lamar sent word to the chiefs their people have to leave or be killed.
Duwali, Gutanwali, and the other Chiefs begged for time to gather crops, but Lamar would not wait. He ordered Secretary of War, Albert Sydney Johnston, and General Thomas J Rusk to run them out of Texas... and some say with express orders to kill all Indians they found.
Duwali was shot in the head at point blank range by a Texas officer who later traveled the state showing off strips of dried meat he had cut from the 83 year old Chiefs back after further mutilating his body.
Shortly after the massacre, President Lamar made a speech before the Texas legislature declaring "east Texas is now free of all Indians" and encouraged white settlers to move onto their farms and take over their crops
After the massacre, survivors split up and some went to Mexico, others to present day Oklahoma, and yet others hid in the woods of east Texas. Many of those who stayed had to hide their heritage in order to escape persecution and death.
The marker shown here was erected in 1936 by the Texas Centennial Commission at the place of the 83 year old Chief Bowls' execution.
This place is now and forever considered sacred ground by many. The spirits of the men, women and children slaughtered there can still be felt. their blood and tears forever stain the ground.
This place is a constant reminder, peoples should not suffer persecution and death at the hands of others because of who they are and what they believe.
The massacre site is now hidden in the woods of east Texas, largely ignored, this story is NOT taught in the history classes anywhere. President Lamar's own personal documents speak volumes of his racism and hatred, his bigotry and greed. He writes eloquently of his triumph in "ridding Texas of savages" and filling the government coffers with money made from selling their land. He is today (along with Burleson and Rusk) taught to school children as a great hero, along with men who slaughtered and mutilated women and children and men while in retreat through the hot jungle of east Texas bottomland. They were Indians, and what Lamar called "savage followers of witchcraft" according to Texas, and there is no mention of the atrocities committed against them.