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First letter from "Pidge" appears in Austin paper


On this day in 1874, the first of a series of twenty-three letters and poems signed "Pidge" was published in an Austin newspaper. They were actually the work of Thomas C. Robinson, and appeared in the Austin Statesman and State Gazette. Robinson, born in 1847, had come to Austin in 1874 after feuding with a neighbor in his native Virginia. After enlisting in the Texas Rangers, he served under Leander H. McNelly during the Sutton-Taylor feud and battled Juan N. Cortina's raiders. Pidge's literary efforts describe Austin in the 1870s and provide a rare illustration of ranger service written from the field. They reveal literary knowledge, intelligence, and wit. Robinson returned to Virginia on leave to settle a feud with his former neighbor. In the resulting gunfight he was mortally wounded and died on April 4, 1876, just four days after the last Pidge letter was published in Austin.

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