All You Need is Love

This heart-warming story appeared in a Houston newspaper 180 years ago, and it reminds us that Love does indeed Conquer All.  This was a decidedly Tough Love, but I believe it  illustrates what people nowadays mean when they tell us that Love Wins.

A party of six Indians, supposed to be Kenchies,* recently ventured near Franklin in Robertson county,** and stole several horses; they were immediately pursued by five citizens, and four of them were killed and the horses recaptured.  Two of the Indians were overtaken by Mr. Love, who after shooting down one Indian, was fired upon by the other, but the ball missed him, and he rushed upon the Indian (who fought with his clubbed musket), drew him from his horse, and killed him with his Bowie knife.  If our frontiers were lined with a few such heroes as this Mr. Love, we should need no military posts.”***

This affray near Franklin might seem to cast doubt on St. Paul’s assertion that Love is “patient,” “kind,” and “not easily angered,” but this is only because we have been trained to read Paul’s lines through the maudlin gauze of a bridal veil.†  In this same passage, St. Paul also tells us that “love does not envy [other men’s horses], it does not boast [that it will pillage the property of other men], it is not proud [of living by theft instead of work].”  Indeed, he tells us, perhaps inspired to prophesy this affray at Franklin, that Love “always protects . . . always perseveres.”

*) The Keechi or Kichai, a tribe of the southern Great Plains.
**) About twenty miles from here, where the east Texas timbers give way to the natural grassland of the Black Prairie (and also close to Aunt Jemimah’s Grave).
***) The Morning Star [Houston] (Nov. 10, 1840, p. 2).
†) 1 Corinthians 1, 13: 4-7.

2 thoughts on “All You Need is Love

  1. Pingback: All You Need is Love | Reaction Times

  2. Andrew Jackson “Andy” Addington is buried at Gainesville, Cooke County TX. Andy’s eldest brother was an early casualty in the WBTS at Fort Gibson, Indian Territory. Their father went to Fort Gibson and transported his body back to Gainesville where, according to Andy, his was only the fifth grave in a Cemetery that today is home to over 21,000. Andy lived a long life and spent his final ten years living and being cared for at the old Confederate Home on South Commerce Street in Ardmore Oklahoma. The home still stands but was re-named in 1949, eleven years after Mr. Addington’s death, The Oklahoma Veterans Home.
    As you know, Cooke County TX is just across ‘The River’ from Love County Oklahoma. Love County I believe was named after Judge Overton Love, who, Mr. Addington tells us, was a Chickasaw Indian. If you look at some of the old hand-drawn maps of the county, you can find the approx. locations of the homes and properties of the Love’s and the Addingtons and numerous others, as well as the locations of the old pioneer towns and communities that still exist albeit with slightly altered names in some cases, ferry boat crossings and so on. Old Spanish Fort is directly south across the river from my great uncle Lloyd Jackson’s ranch, part of which is in Love, part in Jefferson counties. There is a huge sandstone rock down below the Bluff on the property that my father helped me carve my name into when I was about 7 years-old in 1972-73. There are names carved into that rock that date back to the 1870s-1880s as I recall from my last visit there, which has been about 25 years ago now.
    Old Spanish Fort seems like it must have been a pretty rough town ‘back in the day,’ according to most all of the testimonies I have read of the place, including Mr. Addington’s. I have doubts that the Loves of Love County Oklahoma were any relation to the Mr. Love of your story, but they seem to have dealt with thieving Indians in ways similar to his nonetheless. Mr. Addington relates that on every light of the moon for a time thieving Comanches would steal their horses and make a break for it to the protection of Ft. Sill and the U.S. Government soldiers stationed there; the Loves and Addingtons and others in hot pursuit. He says the “Blue Coats” would make the vigilantes leave the thieves alone while letting the thieves keep their stolen goods. But that if they ever caught a “Blue Coat” outside the protection of the fort, that he would receive the same treatment they had intended to dole out to the thieving Indians.
    Those were some tough hombres back in them days.

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