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Storm in San Antonio

In early October 1856, Lafferty bought about 356 acres along the San Antonio River in the vicinity of Mission San Juan Capistrano and the San Juan Acequa. According to a drawing in the files of this Bond Transaction, there were buildings on the property. Since the mission is south of San Antonio, it would appear that this is the property where he was living when the storm hit on March 29, 1858.

Of special note in this article is that “three miles from the city, the stone dwelling of Mr. L. D. Lafferty was blown down, injuring two negro children, the only persons in the house at the time, pretty badly.” Children of the second family who would likely be living in his home would be Mary (age 7), Burr (age 5), James (2) and Leon (age 1). Was it two of these children who were injured badly? If, so, they must have survived, because these are all named on the Cox-Lafferty Agreement in 1862. Or were slave children in the house at the time of the storm?

This brings up the persistent family myth from the Arkansas descendants — that Lafferty left Arkansas with a mulatto slave who bore him children. We have isolated the mother of these children as “Rachel” with little other information to go on. Rachel is listed as mulatto on a census record that has both Mexicans and Negros categorized as “mulatto”. Rachel is listed as the mother of [mulatto] Mary Lafferty, who marries a Buffalo Soldier. James Lafferty (always referred to as white) says on his prison records that he was born in Indian Territory in 1856, and he is taunted in Uvalde as a “half breed”.

Note: Article was clipped from an inside page of the newspaper where the date is printed as Friday, April 9, 1858 — yet the masthead for the same paper claims the date is Wednesday, April 14, 1858.