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McMullen Co., TX - 10 Nov 1914 - Deposition of James Tope for Claimant, taken at Tilden, Tex

Court of Claims of the United States

Indian Depredation, No. 6929

William J. Askins v. the United States et al.

Deposition of James Tope for Claimant, taken at Tilden, Tex., on the 10th day of November, A. D. 1914.

Claimant's counsel, Harry Peyton, Esq.; defendants' counsel, John a. Hendricks, Esq.

JAMES H. TOPE, being first sworn, states:

I am 75 years old; my post office address is Crowther, Tex.; am not related to claimant and have no interest in this claim.

Direct examination:

Question. Did you know W. J. Askins? If so, when did you first get acquainted with him?

Answer. Away before the Civil War.

Question. Do you know anything of the loss by Askins of a lot of horses by a depredation of the Indians at the time they killed old man Hinds?

Answer. Not personally, but I heard of it at the time.

Question. What kind of horses did Askins have?

Answer. He had very good American mares and some Spanish stock.

Question. What were the American mares worth?

Answer. About $100 each. A widow woman came in here about that time with some American mares and she got $100 for them.

Question. Whose horses were those that were taken?

Answer. They were old man Askins's horses.

Question. The claim is for about 35 horses and a stallion and colt. Can you say that the old man Askins, in your judgment and with your knowledge of the horses he owned, had this number of horses?

Answer. He may have. He had a very good bunch of horses.

Question. Did you understand that Askins lost practically all his horses?

Answer. Yes, sir; he lost about all of them. He may have had one or two left.

Cross Examination:

Question. Do you know if these Indians were followed?

Answer. I don't know for certain, but it seems to me they were followed by a crowd and overtaken on the top of a mountain while the Indians were putting leather shoes on their horses-shoes made of rawhide. I am not certain that this was the time, but I think it was. George West, who did live below Pleasanton, was with the crowd.

Question. Did you understand which way the Indians went out?

Answer. I understood they went out northwest, between the Frio and Nueces, into the mountains north of Uvalde.

Question. When the Indians went out that direction, what Indians were they considered to be?

Answer. I think Comanches.

Question. When the Indians went south and west and crossed the Rio Grande, what Indians were they?

Answer. I forget their name; I think they were called Kickapoos or something like that.

Question. Were you acquainted with the different Indians that depredated here from Mexico?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. Did you understand at that time they recovered some horses; that they got back any of Askins's horses, or all the horses the Indians had?

Answer. I don't remember about that.

Question. Did you understand that any of Askin's horses were got back at the time the raid was made and old man Hinds was killed?

Answer. I don't think they did. I don't recollect that they did.

Recieved from Melody Askins

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