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Black farmers form union
December 11, 1886

On this day in 1886, a small group of black farmers formed the Colored Farmers' National Alliance and Cooperative Union in Houston County. The National Colored Alliance appeared at about the same time, and the two organizations merged. By 1891 the Alliance claimed a membership of 1,200,000. The organization tried to help the members to become better farmers, established a weekly newspaper, the National Alliance, established exchanges in the ports for reduced prices, raised funds for schools, and provided help for sick and disabled members. In 1891, after a strike against white farmers failed to materialize, the Alliance declined rapidly.

Lipan chief captured and brought to Bexar
December 11, 1737

On this day in 1737, Cabellos Colorados (Red Hair), a Lipan Apache chief, was captured by Spanish forces. When the Spanish founded San Antonio in 1718, the Apaches had discovered a convenient, accessible location at which to stage raids against their European enemies. Little is known about Cabellos Colorados, but he appears in Spanish records on a number of occasions as he harassed the settlements. He figured prominently in a raid on San Antonio in 1731, and in 1734 his band seized two citizens in a raid. He stole horses from San Francisco de la Espada Mission and killed Indians from the missions of San Juan Capistrano and Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña. After numerous raids in 1736 and 1737, he was captured on December 11, 1737, and imprisoned at Bexar until October 1738, when he was sent as a prisoner to Mexico City.

Diplomat of the Republic arrives in Mexico
December 11, 1839

On this day in 1839, diplomatic agent James Treat arrived in Mexico City to negotiate for recognition for the Republic of Texas. As early as 1836, along with Samuel Swartwout and other New York real estate venturers, he was actively but unsuccessfully interested in the annexation of Texas. That Mexico should accept a formal peace treaty and recognize the independence of Texas was important to this group. Treat's long residence in Central America and Mexico qualified him for the diplomatic task at hand. His experience and intimate acquaintance with the public officials in Mexico convinced him that they would never propose the unpopular Texas question to their congress, or vote it through, unless they gained some private profit for doing so. Treat believed that by using his personal influence for recognition he might succeed where others had failed. Upon his arrival in Mexico City, Treat at once began the activities which led him through devious paths beset with hopes and disappointments. The negotiations dragged on for the greater part of a year, only to end in complete failure in October 1840 when Mexico rejected the Texas propositions for peace. Treat died the following month while returning to Texas.