The Lipan Apaches and the Republic of Texas

The Lipans enjoyed a rare decade of peace under the Republic of Texas (1836-1845). The government formally recognized the Lipan Apaches as friends, signing the Treaty of Live Oak Point with Chief Cuelgas de Castro in 1838. Under the treaty, the Lipans were allowed to trade in the settlements and were protected from their enemies, the Comanches. Squads of Lipan warriors were riding with Texas militia units by early 1839 and with the Texas Rangers by 1841. Sam Houston wrote moving testimonials about the friendship which existed between the Lipans and the Texans during the years of the Republic and the crucial role played by the Lipan Apaches in the defense of Texas.

Many settlers who came to Texas after 1836 commented on the friendliness of the Lipans. Settlers in Castroville credited them with saving the settlement from starvation during its early years by providing venison.

However, there was a growing sentiment in Texas that all Indians should be kept away from the settlements and must remain north of an imaginary line which was drawn across Texas at a point north of Austin. The Treaty of Tehuacana Creek, which the Lipans signed in 1844, contained language which seemed to indicate that such a line would eventually be drawn. But in negotiations prior to the treaty signing, the Lipans were given an exemption and were allowed to remain in their homeland around San Antonio and in south Texas. This exemption angered the Comanches, who were forced to remain in north Texas.