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How Bigfoot Wallace and Deaf Smith Got Their Nicknames

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This Texas Quote describes how men got their nicknames in early Texas:


"We set out for El Paso, and on the second or third day were met by a man who told us with great vociferation how the Indians had run off fifty head of his cattle from Eagle Springs. .. His nickname was "Talking" Campbell. In those early days of Texas [about 1854], men were named from some personal peculiarity, and we had then living "Big Foot" Wallace, a tremendous good-natured fellow from Rockbridge county, Virginia. On my first introduction to him I could not perceive any unusual size of his feet, and was informed that he acquired his cognomen honestly in battle, having slain a famous Indian chief known as "Big Foot."


Then there was "Deaf" Smith, who once, when General [Sam] Houston ordered his army to lie down that they might be the better protected from the Mexican cannon, looked around him, and seeing the smoke of the Mexican guns and all his comrades prone upon the ground, did not tarry there a moment longer, but, turning, fled and reported all killed but himself. It was said that for years "Deaf' Smith was engaged in single combats because of this experience in his first great battle. Few men dared to mention San Jacinto or Sam Houston in his presence.


Then there was "Stuttering" Lane, a capital good fellow from San Antonio, who had many funny jokes, upon himself suggested by his infirmity. When asked why a certain lady did not marry him after promising to do so, he stammered out that she was going to marry him, till a certain "damn-fool-busy-body" told her he stuttered!"


------ Lieutenant Dabney Maury, "Recollections of a Virginian," 1894

Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.

Posted : 24th December 2019 10:08 pm