Monday, July 11, 2011

The Redstone Saga

In 1819, Daniel Thorne, younger son of a New Orleans merchant seaman family, set out with his wife and children from Nacogdoches, in the Spanish New World territory of Tejas, for the community at San Antonio de Bexar.  Along the way, his group was attacked by members of a band of Penateka Comanche.  Daniel and his wife Rachel were both killed.  Their 21-year-old son, William, was severely wounded and left for dead.  Their 15-year-old daughter Alice was captured.
William survived, and was taken to San Antonio by his father’s friend, James Bowie.  As soon as he recovered, with Bowie’s help, he began working to find his sister.  It was not until 1822, after the defeat of the Spanish, and the establishment of an independent Mexico, that Alice was found, along with an infant son, whose light brown hair and blue eyes belied the fact that his father was a Penateka warrior. 
The baby boy’s uncle decided that it would be wiser to keep the Comanche connection a secret.  The boy was named Daniel, after his grandfather.  As soon as it was feasible, William returned to New Orleans with his sister and their “younger brother,” insisting to everyone there that the young Daniel was his and Alice's brother, born to their mother Rachel just before her death in Texas.
 The young Daniel Thorne grew up in the protected environment of the merchant class of New Orleans society.  When he was fourteen, he sailed around the world as a crewman on a family-owned clipper ship as part of his training to take his place in the family’s trading company.
He returned to New Orleans at 16, to learn of the death of the woman he had believed to be his older sister.  Among papers she left behind, Daniel found references to his birth, and to his true father, the Comanche warrior who married Alice, his mother, shortly after she was taken captive.
He returned to Texas to find his father in January of 1836, and was advised of his parentage, and the probable location of his father’s band, by James Bowie of San Antonio.
He immediately left San Antonio to find his father, and his quest took him deep into the hill country of what would soon become the Republic of Texas, and to the magical medicine hill, the singing rock, the sacred red stone of the Penateka Comanche. 
The Redstone Saga tells the story of his life, and the lives of his friends and descendants, all of them a part of the history of the Texas Hill County and the myths and legends of its Enchanted Rock.

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