A Jacksonian Democrat, Fannin County, Texas


By Judge J. P. Simpson

Among the early immigrants to the Republic of Texas, was one Major James Ball, a thoroughbred, deep-dyed democrat, and a personal friend of Gen. Jackson, having been an officer under the General in his Indian wars, and an eyewitness of his victory over the British at New Orleans. From association, Maj. Ball had imbibed some of the principles of the old hero. He believed that the democracy of that day occupied a much purer and higher atmosphere than the democrats of today. From his conversation, he believed that "Old Hickory" was the greatest statesman and general, and purest politician the world ever produced.

He looked on the great fears and pretentious of the frontiersmen in vigilance as a mere pretence and sham that he would show us how to drive the Indians off of our frontier, and that we could have peace and security from their murderous assaults. He ventured out on the frontier, and stopped at Wm. Carother's, who settled near where Denison is situated. The folks were glad to see the man who would make the Indians shove out. He had with him a bottle or two of "hero syrup" (for he dearly loved the cratur) and required no prescription to take the dose. He cabled his horse close by to graze, and after supper took up his position with arms and a bottle or two of his syrup, to guard himself, his horse and the family for the night. He requested them to retire and sleep securely, that he would protect them, and if the red devils should show themselves, he would give them material from below and pay them down. A short time before day, he went to sleep, under the influence of his beverage. The wily savages, taking advantage of the situation, crawled up and cut his horse loose, and were gone when the Major awoke to consciousness. This convinced him that his Jacksonian democracy, though good in its place, would not work with the red men.

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