A Guide to the Angelina Smith Letters, 1842-1843
The daughter of Elijah Stamps, Angelina Stamps married chief justice of Travis County, Texas, James Smith, with whom she had three children: Caroline, Fayette (also called La Fayette), and Lorena. On Fayette’s ninth birthday, January 21, 1841, James took his son to search for wild hogs in the woods near their home in Austin. Comanche Indians attacked the two, killing James and capturing Fayette. James’ brother William Smith trailed after them, eventually reaching Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he informed American tradesmen of the kidnapping. The story reached John Rowland in Taos, and he hired several Comancheros (Mexicans who traded with the Comanche tribe) to find the child. The men purchased Fayette from the Comanches near the Texas-New Mexican border and brought the boy to Rowland, with whom he then lived for over a year. In September 1842, Fayette started his journey home, meeting his grandfather Elijah Stamps in Independence, Missouri, in January 1843. The two traveled to Stamps’ home in Talladega, Alabama, finally reuniting Fayette with his mother Angelina.
"Smith, Angelina," Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
The Angelina Smith Letters, 1842-1843, comprise photocopies of three letters to Smith in Austin, Texas, two from Lewis Jones in Independence, Missouri, and one from James Sawson in Talladega, Alabama. The authors discuss the capture of Smith’s son Fayette by Comanche Indians and Fayette’s rescue and return to his mother Angelina and her father Elijah Stamps.
This collection is open for research use.
Angelina Smith Letters, 1842-1843, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers