Part 1, Note 16

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Province of Texas v. Stephen R. Wilson, Minutes, March 8, 1823; Verdict, District of Colorado, March 8, 1823; Affidavit of Robert Kuykendall, Thomas Williams, John Petty, Seth Ingram, William B. Dewees, Micajah Reader, John Frazer, Moses Morrison, Jesse Burnam, Pumphrey Burnett, Charles Garrett, Nicholas Clopper, James Cummins, and Zadock Woods, March 9, 1823; Letter of Josiah H. Bell, May 4, 1823; all in Bexar Archives, The Center for American History, University of Texas, Austin; Kuykendall, "Reminiscences of Early Texans," The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, vol. 7, no. 1, July 1903, pp. 32-34; The Austin Papers, vol. 1, pp. 636-637. Kuykendall remembered that James Nelson was one of the five men who accompanied him on his pursuit of the thieves. Nelson, it will be remembered, was the principal witness against the men accused of the murder of Thomas Rogers. As such, Nelson also accompanied Morrison and Dewees when they escorted Wilson to San Antonio. Dewees reports that after delivering Wilson to jail, they remained in San Antonio for "about a week," no doubt while Nelson testified (Dewees, Letters from an Early Settler of Texas, p. 34), then returned to the Colorado, where they heard of Wilson's sentence (which he erroneously remembered as an "escape" (p. 36)). Afterward, they returned to "the officers of the court," meaning, presumably, the court in San Antonio, to seek compensation, but were given none (p. 36). It was from this second trip that Morrison and Dewees must have been returning when they met Gibson Kuykendall escorting the horse thieves to San Antonio. Morrison, no doubt, was as furious about the refusal of the court to compensate him as he was about what he regarded as Wilson's light sentence, and in that frame of mind dissuaded Kuykendall from proceeding to San Antonio. If Nelson was among the men who went with Kuykendall in pursuit of the horse thieves, he almost certainly could not have returned to San Antonio with Morrison and Dewees. He may not have done so because, on the first trip, he was sent there as a witness rather than as a guard, and therefore had already received compensation or was due none.