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In fact, it is not too much to say the reclamation of the Southwest created a class of men that have made and will make a deep and permanent impression on our government. The conditions under which they lived prevented their being bound by conventionalities of an established community. They were creators of a new society. For nearly a hundred years, some in Texas, men have been solving problems that required courage, self-reliance, willingness to assume responsibility and the peculiar quality called long-headedness, which is the ability to foresee the effect of untried experiment. The proof is shown in the influence, out of all proportion to their number, that Texas representatives or delegates exercise in legislative or deliberative bodies outside their own state. The causes that produced this power should be preserved for the study and instruction of those who come after us and who will have to carry on our work. The preservation is surely worth while, and for that reason I am willing to give my own experience, much as I dislike recalling part of it.
I was born in the old red hills of Georgia in 1850. My father and mother emigrated to Texas in 1854. In 1863 my father pushed far out, almost to the danger line, to where the Caddo Peaks and Santa Anna Mountains stand as silent sentinels overlooking the valley of the Colorado River and the great Concho country to the west, far out where countless thousands of buffalo roamed at will, where deer, antelope and wild turkey seemed to have taken possession of the whole country. This wonderful panorama loomed up to me, as a boy, as the idle and happy hunting ground that I had long dreamed of, with the silvery watered streams, like narrow ribbons, winding their way toward the Gulf of Mexico.
I am so tempted that I cannot refrain from quoting from Chapter 1, The Quirt and the Spur, by Edgar Rye, it fits so well in the time and condition : "Far out beyond the confines of civilization ; far out where daring men