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Flacco (unknown–unknown)

Biography Entry

Flacco the Elder and Flacco the Younger, Lipan-Apache chiefs, were both friends of the Texas settlers and were frequently used as scouts and guides against the Comanche Indians and the Mexicans. The older man, principal chief of the Lipans, and his father, Castro, were asked by Sam Houston, in a letter dated September 1, 1842, to send some of their people with doctors Tower and Cottle to other Apache tribes and to supply them with horses if needed. Presents were promised to any Lipans who went with the doctors. The younger Flacco, born about 1818, accompanied the John H. Moore expeditions of 1838 and 1839, served under John Coffee (Jack) Hays in 1840 and 1841, and in 1842 went with the Somervell expedition to the Rio Grande. He was returning with horses he had rounded up when he was murdered near San Antonio in the winter of 1842. Several different accounts of the murder exist; one of the most accepted is that he was killed by Mexican bandits who took the horses to Louisiana. Another account had it that the bodies of six Cherokees were found next to him, implying that he was killed by the Cherokees. His father and others of the tribe who searched for him believed that he was killed by Whites. In March 1843 the elder Flacco wrote Houston of his grief and said that he wished to change his name to Señor Yawney. Houston replied with a poem to the Lipans in memory of the murdered Flacco. One writer suggests that the murder of Flacco and the fact that his killers were not caught and punished is the reason for the constant warfare with the Apaches after the murder.

Sterling B. Hendricks, "The Somervell Expedition To The Rio Grande, 1842," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 23 (October 1919). Adele B. Looscan, "Capt. Joseph Daniels," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 5 (July 1901). William S. Speer and John H. Brown, eds., Encyclopedia of the New West (Marshall, Texas: United States Biographical Publishing, 1881; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Telegraph and Texas Register, March 29, 1843. Texas Sentinel, October 28, 1841. Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938–43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).


  • Exploration
  • Explorers (Indian)
  • Peoples
  • Native American
  • Chiefs and Other Leaders

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Flacco,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 26, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 22, 2020