Britton ‘Britt’ Johnson: Legendary Black Cowboy on the West Texas Frontier

0 Posted by - November 20, 2021 - Black History, BLACK MEN, History, LATEST POSTS

Britton (Britt) Johnson was a legendary black cowboy on the West Texas frontier after the summer of 1865. Britton traveled out onto the Llano Estacado in pursuit of Indians who had kidnapped his wife and two small children in the Elm Creek Raid of 1864.

Johnson was a slave of Moses Johnson. Although he was a slave he served as a foreman on the plantation. He was given quite a bit of freedom to perform his duties for his owner.

The Elm Creek Raid occurred in October of 1864, and Johnson had been away from home when it occurred. When he returned, he found his son, Jim, murdered and his wife and other children taken, along with numerous others. Johnson spent the whole summer searching for his wife and two girls at a reservation in Oklahoma and throughout the Texas frontier.

Numerous sources claim that in the spring of 1865 Johnson went to live with the Comanches and managed to arrange for a ransom. However, it is most likely, his family was ransomed and rescued in June 1865 by Comanche chief Asa-Havey as part of ongoing peace talks.

After his family being reunited, Johnson relocated to Parker County where he worked as a freighter hauling goods between cities. On January 24, 1871, Johnson and two other black teamsters were attacked by about twenty-five Kiowas. A group of nearby teamsters from a larger train of wagons reported that Johnson died last in a desperate defense behind the body of his horse.