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Especially Texan: George Barnard

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:18 am
by joe817
"George Barnard was one of the most successful merchants from the Hood County area during his time as a trader. Continue reading to learn more about his life and interactions with Native American tribes from Texas.

George Barnard was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on September 18, 1818, the son of George and Jerusha Clapp Barnard. He arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1838 and soon moved to Houston, where he became a clerk in the firm John F. Torrey and Brothers.

In June 1841 he joined Thomas S. Torrey and about 270 others in the Texan Santa Fe expedition. After capture by the Mexicans, he suffered considerably during his confinement in Perote prison. He was released by the fall of 1842 and returned to Houston, where he became a member of the Torrey firm.

In 1843 Sam Houston asked the Torreys to establish the Torrey Trading Houses trading posts to help pacify the Native Americans of the republic, and Barnard and Thomas Torrey located a site on a small tributary of Tehuacana Creek, which came to be called Trading House Creek, about eight miles south of the location of present Waco.

The site was already well known as a place where Native Americans and representatives of the Republic of Texas met. Early in 1844 Barnard began trading with Native Americans. In 1849 he became the sole proprietor of the post, and the next year he and his brother Charles moved the post to the Brazos River near Comanche Peak in what is now Hood County. They were following the Native Americans, who were withdrawing from growing white settlement in Central Texas.

Barnard's other ventures included trade with soldiers and settlers at Fort Graham, near Whitney. He or his brother may have supplied Native Americans with liquor and firearms and probably did disrupt the efforts of federal agents trying to remove the Indians to reservations, a move that would have limited the Barnards' trade. In the four years immediately before the Native Americans' removal (1851–55), the Barnards shipped 59,000 pounds of undressed deer skins, as well as other traded goods, to northern merchants.

By 1851 Barnard had moved his operation to Waco Village, where he invested heavily in land. In 1857 he sold his business to Fox and Jacobs, the town's first Jewish merchants, and entered semi retirement. He was a charter member of Bosque Masonic Lodge, begun in 1852, and was active in the local company of Texas Rangers. He married Mary Rebecca Ross, daughter of ranger captain Shapley P. Ross and sister of Lawrence Sullivan Ross, in 1850. George and Mary Barnard had twelve children. Barnard died at his home in Waco on March 6, 1883, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery."

Content courtesy of the Handbook of Texas

Re: Especially Texan: George Barnard

Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:43 pm
by Daddio-on-patio
My wife was a Barnard. Related to George's brother and business partner Charles. The story of Juanita Barnard, captured by Indians and ransomed by the Barnard's for cash and horses, is also very interesting. After Texas independence the Republic of Texas requested a military liaison from th US due to continued problems with native American tribes. He mentioned in his notes of two notorious traders, George and Charles Barnard, selling and bartering alcohol and firearms to the Indians being a cause of many skirmishes in what is now the Glen Rose, TX area.

Re: Especially Texan: George Barnard

Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:24 pm
by joe817
Fascinating! Thanks for sharing!