Translation:The White Terror in Texas/a3

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The White Terror in Texas and my escape  (1862)  by Jean-Charles Houzeau, translated from French by Wikisource

The city is filled with refugees from any condition and any color, from all parts of the South. There are outcasts, outlaws, runaway slaves, volunteers who abandoned the slaveholders' flag, etc.. It is a town of 7,000 souls, which already had, as Cadiz in Spain, one of the most mixed populations of the world. I leave you to imagine what it is now. Anthropology enthusiasts could easily study all the races of the world, except the Tartars. The 152 languages ​​of the biblical community are spoken here presently, or nearly so. I even found a compatriot, a native of Leuven.

Matamoros is in ruins. The attempt instigated by the South to restore slavery in Mexico, has made her the theater of a street war that lasted three months. Of her small population, nearly 300 citizens were killed in the infamous attack. But this people who have Indian blood in their veins, are very brave and very committed to freedom.

The fight had not abated for long when I arrived in Matamoros. There were more than a hundred wounded in the hospital, and I could see all the horrors that war leaves in its trail… There were negroes and mulattos who had fought for the freedom of their race and who spoke to me about slavery with tears in their eyes. The wounded of both parties were together, no distinction was made ​​between them.

Unlike our European practice, anyone can come at any time to the hospital, relatives and friends come to sit at the patients' bedside and comfort them. The nurses are women, as in London. Those of Matamoros seemed perfectly adequate in all respects. They are often assisted by visitors. I saw several negro women who had family members among the wounded, and who voluntarily and indiscriminately cared for everyone. It was one of those scenes of communal sympathy and devotion that charm your heart.

We have in the city, among the elderly, many who have lived in the wild or nearly so.

The city is an Indian station. It is located eight leagues up from the port. It once was a haven for Indian raiders. I am told of fortunes acquired by piracy, and that an influential personality of this place was a pirate with a crew of Redskins, on the Gulf of Mexico. He is in favor of slavery.

Everything changes: they are starting to build brick houses, and the high street is lit at night by oil lamps. What am I saying? they were building a theater when the fight for slavery came to halt it all…