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Misunderstanding

The Karankawa Indians, who used to inhabit the lower Gulf plains of Texas and Mexico, met their demise in the middle of the Texas Revolution in 1836. It seems that Captain Philip Dimmit, who owned a ranch north of present-day Corpus Christi, used to give the Karankawas beef whenever they were in the area. At the outbreak of the Revolution, however, Dimmit left his ranch to serve with the Texans. In Dimmit’s absence, the Indians rounded up a few cattle. As they ate the beef, a party of Mexican soldiers rode up and demanded to know what they were doing. “We are Captain Dimmit’s friends,” the Karankawas replied. When the Mexicans heard this they attacked, killing many and causing the rest to flee. The remaining Karankawas later met a party of Texans. Fearing another assault, the Indians began shouting, “Viva Mexico!” Immediately the Texans attacked, and only a few of the hapless Karankawas escaped.

Today in the Word August 30, 1992