A South Texas Judge in 1864


Historic Accounts of Life in South Texas

From "Three Months in the Southern States" by Lieut. Col Freemantle Published 1864
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We left Brownsville for San Antonio at 11 a. m. Our vehicle was a roomy, but rather overloaded, four wheel carriage, with a canvas roof, and four mules. Besides McCarthy, there was a third passenger, in the shape of a young merchant of the Hebrew persuasion. Two horses were to join us, to help us through the deep sand.

The country, on leaving Brownsville, is quite flat, the road, a natural one, sandy and very dusty, and there are many small trees, principally mesquites. After we had proceeded seven miles, we halted to water the mules.

At 2 p. m. a new character appeared upon the scene, in the shape of an elderly, rough-faced, dirty-looking man, who rode up, mounted on a sorry nag. To my surprise he was addressed by McCarthy with the title of "Judge," and asked what he had done with our other horse. The Judge replied that it had already broken down, and had been left behind. McCarthy informs me that this worthy really is a magistrate or sort of judge in his own district; but he now appears in the capacity of assistant mule-driver, and is to make himself generally useful. I could not help feeling immensely amused at this specimen of a Texan judge.

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