Friday, October 16, 2015

Early Texas Frontier was a Violent Place: Louis P. Cooke

This article details the short, violent life of an important Texan, Louis P. Cooke.
In those early years, Austin, the new capitol, was a dangerous place on the frontier. One night, Cooke's gardener, called Dutch John, was returning home with a bag of meal on his shoulder. He was attacked by a party of Indians. He ran to Cooke's home with three arrows stuck in his meal sack and one in his arm. Cooke met him at the front door and returned fire, driving off the Indians. As the story was told, when Dutch John came to, he looked around and said, "Where is my meal sack?" When it was pointed out, under his head, he got up, took his meal sack and made his way to his own place behind Cooke's house.

Cooke got into trouble with the law in late July 1843. An account in a newspaper (the Northern Standard) reported that when John Nolan was walking down the street he met Capt. Mark Lewis who asked him whether he had said that he (Lewis) was a liar. Nolan said he had. Lewis drew a pistol and shot at Nolan but missed. Nolan shot and also missed. Lewis drew a second pistol and shot Nolan, who died two days later.

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