The preamble of the Treaty of Bird’s Fort explains why the treaty was needed and prepared
“ Whereas for some time past, hostilities have existed and war been carried on between the white and red men of Texas to the great injury of both parties: and whereas , a longer continuance of the same would lead to no beneficial result but increase the evils which have so long unhappily rested upon both races; whereas the parties are now willing to open the path of lasting peace and friendship and are desirous to establish certain solemn rules for the regulation of their mutual intercourse…”
Sam Houston sought peace with the indians not only to end raids on the frontier and to keep the indian nations from allying with Mexico, but because he wanted to treat the indians as fairly as possible . The treaty’s significance lay not in what it specifically accompled by the word in the document, but what it promised : PEACE.
Indian Nations signing the Treaty of Birds Fort included :
Delaware, chickasaw, Waco, Tawakoni, Keechie, Caddo, Anadarko, Ionie or Hasinai, Biloxi and Cherokee.
“Peace Circle“ is the public art component of Grapevine Main - Grapevine’s new 38,000 square-foot expansive outdoor Plaza , a 42,000 square-foot , five story Rail Station ; and Hotel Vin , a six story , 121 -room boutique hotel, all supported by a 552 - space Parking Garage.
Placed near the intersection of Main Street and Dallas Road in Historic Grapevine, “Peace Circle” will feature eleven life size bronze figures Republic of Texas President Sam Houston and ten American Indians chiefs/leaders who gathered at Grape Vine Springs with President Houston then signed the Treaty of Birds Fort 1843.
In July 2018, Mayor William D. Tate and the Grapevine City Council approved funding for “Peace Circle” to dramatically showcase this historic 1843 gathering of nations in Grapevine. Appreciation is extended to : Mayor William D. Tate ; City Council Members; Place 1, Paul Slechta ; Place 2, Sharron Rogers ; Place 3, Mike Lease ; Pro Tem & Place 4 , Darlene Freed ; Place 5, Chris Coy ; Place 6, Duff O’Dell ; and to Grapevine City Manager Bruno Rumbelow and Assistant City Manager Jennifer Hibbs.
In August 1843, Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas, sent word to the American Indian nations in North Texas that he wanted to meet that he wanted to meet with them at Bird’s Fort on the Trinity River to sign a treaty of peace and friendship to cease the fighting between the Texas settlers and the tribes. When President Houston arrived at Bird’s Fort, several tribes had shown up, but fearing a trap they did not want to go near the garrisoned fort .
The negotiations and camps were moved six miles north from Bird’s Fort to Grape Vine Springs where there was better water, more shade and less mosquitos . The group camped for more than a month waiting for the Comanches to arrive. Finally, when President Houston realized they were not coming, he decided to have a council with those American Indian leaders in attendance.
There be proclaimed their brotherhood and promised a favorable treaty line would be drawn beyond which the indians could live in peace . President Houston then left for Washington on the Brazos and turned the treaty signing over to General Edward H. Tarrant who concluded the Treaty of Bird’s Fort on September 29, 1843. Still without the Comanches.
Grapevine Artist -In-Residence Linda Lewis , born in Lubbock and educated Pittsburgh. Will create and oversee the production of “Peace Circle” at the Grapevine Foundry located in the Cotton Belt Railroad Historic District , 701 South Main street . For more than 5 years she has been the operator/owner of Grapevine Foundry and Fine Arts Program bringing two decades of experience working with bronze to Mainstreet . She also is an art instructor , does mold making, wax working, investment, sand blasting, bronze casting, welding, patina finishing.
Ms. Lewis and her team of artist will be sculpting in the Grand Hall of the Convention Visitors Bureau Gallery so the public can view the process and the special needs of Lewisville will be envolved in the process.