Sam Houston issues passport
On this day in 1844, Republic of Texas president Sam Houston wrote a passport for the widow of Ben-Ash, chief of the Battise Village of the Coushatta Indians. The passport states: "Know Ye that the bearer hereof, the widow of Ben-Ash who died lately at this place (Washington-on-the-Brazos), is on her way home to the Coshattee tribe of Indians...near Smithfield on the Trinity river; and they are hereby recommended to the hospitality and kind treatment of the good people of the Republic on the road." Battise Village was on the west bank of the Trinity River at the Coushatta Trace crossing of the Trinity, near the site of present Point Blank in San Jacinto County. Records of the Republic of Texas indicate that Ben-Ash participated in the nation's activities relating to Indian affairs. The passport not only gave his widow safe passage, but also gave future historians his year and place of death.