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Title Bonnell’s observations [manuscript]: 1838-1839, 1844
Author Bonnell, George William
Document Type Travel Journal
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: During the latter half of 1838, Bonnell led a small government expedition through northeastern Texas to gather information for his report on Indian affairs. In his "Observations" Bonnell apparently kept a journal recording his experiences while traveling through the Texas frontier. Sometime in 1844, William Bollaert, English writer and important chronicler of early Texas history, had access to Bonnell’s journal and made a copy for his own use. This copy of "Bonnell’s Observations" contains information on the Indians of Texas, frontier settlements, and geographical features. In the last few pages there is an account of Bonnell’s campaign against the Indians in late 1838 and his encounters with Houston and General Rusk.
Names Houston, Sam (1793-1863); Rusk, Thomas Jefferson (1803-1857)
Places Texas, Colorado River, United States
Keywords observation, expedition, government, frontier, settlement, white settlement, geographical survey, war, travelogue, pioneer, history, scalping, Bureau of Indian Affairs
Theme Observation, Representation and Cultural Encounters
Culture Area Great Plains, Southwest
Additional Information George William Bonnell, journalist and soldier, was raised in central New York state and later moved to the south where he became a newspaper editor. Bonnell arrived in Texas in 1836 and was appointed Commissioner of Indian Affairs by President Sam Houston. In June 1838 Houston assigned Bonnell to prepare a report on the status of relations with the Indians and later that year he served with the rank of major in a campaign against the Indians. Between 1839 and 1842 Bonnell primarily worked as a printer and editor, but also served in two more Indian campaigns. He died in Dec. 1842 while engaged in the Mier expedition.
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT box Ayer MS 95
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue