On this day in 1865, August Siemering founded the German-language Freie Presse für Texas in San Antonio. Siemering, born in Germany in 1828, came to Texas in 1851 and later opened the first public school in Fredericksburg. He was an ardent Republican and abolitionist, though he had been impressed into the Confederate army in 1861, and the Freie Presse became known as one of the leading Republican newspapers in the South during Reconstruction. A few months after founding the paper, Siemering also founded the English-language San Antonio Express, in which the prominent Republican journalist James P. Newcomb bought an interest in 1867. Siemering sold the Express in 1877 and died six years later. The Freie Presse ceased publication in 1945.
On this day in 1852, settlers of the Peters Colony met to protest alleged efforts of the land company to invalidate their claims. Thus began the "Hedgcoxe War" also known as the Peters Rebellion. In February the legislature had attempted to satisfy both the settlers and the land company by passing a compromise law. In May the agent of the company, Henry Oliver Hedgcoxe, issued a proclamation that contributed to the misinterpretation of the law. The meeting on July 15 accused Hedgcoxe of fraud and corruption. The next day, John Good led an armed group of 100 men to Hedgcoxe's office, seized his files, and took them to the Dallas County Courthouse. No violence was done, but Hedgcoxe was ordered to leave the colony. He fled to Austin. In February 1853 an amendment to the compromise law satisfactory to both sides was passed.
On this day in 1839, some 500 Texas troops under Kelsey H. Douglass routed 700 to 800 Cherokees led by Chief Bowl in what is now Henderson County. The battle of the Neches was the principal engagement of the Cherokee War; it resulted in the expulsion of the hostile Indians from East Texas and virtually ended Indian troubles in the settled portion of the state. More than 100 Indians, including Duwali, were killed, and the remaining Cherokees were driven across the Red River into Indian Territory. Among the prominent Texans who participated in the battle were Thomas J. Rusk, Edward Burleson, David G. Burnet, Albert Sidney Johnston, and John H. Reagan. The Cherokee War was the culmination of years of friction between Cherokee, Kickapoo, and Shawnee Indians and white settlers in Northeast Texas.
On this day in 1882, the Texas Bar Association was organized in Galveston. O. M. Roberts and Robert S. Gould were leaders in calling the organizational meeting, attended by 300 attorneys. The Texas Bar Association was the predecessor of the State Bar of Texas, a public corporation headquartered in Austin. Judge Thomas J. Devine was the association's first president and Charles S. Morse was the first secretary. The objectives of the association were to advance the science of jurisprudence, to promote uniformity of legislation in the administration of justice in the state, and to encourage interaction among its members.