Calvin Blassingame's Letter

An article by LW Kemp in the Frontier Times of June 1934, reprinted in Heritage of Blanco County, p. 52, the Incident is said to have "stirred Texas from center to circumference. Not alone in the number of deaths or the spectacular manner in which they occured, but mainly because of the prominence of one of the victims, James Hughes Callahan..." According to this report, the Blassingames were supposed to meet Callahan and his friends to discuss the disagreement at a midway point between their two houses, about a mile away from each. But when Blassingame did not show up they decided to go to his house, stopping at the gate about 20 feet from the cabin and were immediately fired upon from the cabin. After the inital shooting the Blassingames had plenty of time to escape but refused to do so, and it was not until they were arrested the next day that they left the cabin. Realizing their precarious position, the father and son sent an appeal by messenger to GC Prator, William Claunch, Gen. William A. Pitts this must be William C. Pitts, brother to John D. Pitts), Mathis, Bird, JS Owin, Scalons, Cone (*this Cone could be Samuel R. Kone of Stringtown, Hays Co), Malone (*James L Malone?), Swisher, F. Prator, Maj. Mackey, Cicero McGee (Thomas G. McGee was the first Anglo settler in San Marcos in 1846, so this is possibly a son of his), Cox (*could this be the Rev. Josiah Cox who died in 1858?), Dr. Davis, Col Hill, Maj. Johns, Thomas Blassingame (Calvin's brother), Jesse Driscoll, and "To all others who wish us well."

The State of Texas
Comal County, April 8, 1856
Friends and Fellow Citizens of San Marcos and String Town:

This is to inform you of an awful affair which took place, on the 7th inst. in the afternoon, about three o-clock, at the house of Woodson Blassingame, I, Calvin Blassginame, was on the 7th inst. about one o-clock, at the house of J.H. Callahan, and very unexpected to me, he commenced making many threats agasint W. Blassingame; said he had slandered him and he would have satisfaction or lose his life. I tried to pacify him --told him he was wrong; W. Blassingame had not said anything disrespectable of him. But all I could say did not satisfy him the least. He then told me, as I was going to the house of W. Blassingame, to say to W. Blassingame, he wanted him to meet him on half-way ground between their houses, distance being one mile. J.H. Callahan said if Blassingame did not meet him, he would attack him at his own house; and said two men were coming that evening, or next morning, to go with him. I left Callahan's house quick; returned to Blassingame's. In about two hours, Clem Hinds, Mallheel Johnson and Thomas Johnson, all rode up to the house of Blassingame. The row quicly commenced; fire after fire was heard. Blassingame was shot at several times; several balls were shot into the house amongst mother and the little children; one ball came very near hitting mother. J.H. Callahan was killed, and Mallheel Johnson was killed; C. Hinds severely wounded. Thomas Johnson made his escape unhurt.

Now dear friends, from what has been said you know our condition. We want some of our friends to come to our relief, as quick as possible. We are rather unacquainted with the laws. We want advice from our friends.. We intend to stand our trial, be it as it may. We shall probably have to go to jail, or give bail. If we have to go to jail, we want some of you to come and go with us. We fear we would be murdered on the way. We want some of you who can, to be certain to come quick as possible.

Calvin Blassingame
Woodson Blassingame,
in distress

Indeed, the Blassingames were immediately arrested, under guard of fourteen men each. Kemp's account says the father, son and mother were all three arrested, other accounts that only Calvin and Woodson were arrested, but Mary was with them in the Lange cabin when the mob arrived. The mob arrived at about twelve midnight on Sunday, April 13, varying reports of from 50 to 100 men, friends of relatives of the murdered two men.. Seeing they were outnumbered, the guard on the Blassingames retreated except for two, whereupon the mob rushed into the house, put out the light, dragged out by their heels the old man and his son, locked in each other's arms. The old man, about 40-50 shots in his body was found dead some twenty yards from the house. The body of the son lay some fifty paces from the father, both bodies pierced with many wounds. During the scene, Mary was a spectator, reportedly rendering the air with her cries of distress. She stated later that she was at one time seized, choked and threatened that her life depended upon her silence.