When informed that Bill Goyens, Jr, a Republic of Texas Hero was Cherokee, scholars in Texas replied, "How Unfortunate!" Read more
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His Grave Ain't got No Cross
William "Bill" Goyens, Jr., of Nacogdoches, Texas, was an unlikely hero in Texas history. Born in moore County, North Carolina, 1794, to a family known as Croatan Indians, Goyens came to Texas in 1820 after fighting alongside Sam Houston and Chief Bowles of the Cherokees at the Battle of the Horseshoe Bend, 1814. He converted to Catholicism and married a white lady by the name of Mary Pate. His grandfather was described as a Native of Portugal and his Native American kinship entitled him the respect from Chief Bowles and allied tribes. Chief Bowles said he believed Goyens to be a man who would not tell a lie to a Red Man nor a White man. Yet today, Goyens remains misrepresented in Texas history and lies in a previously marked grave iin Nacogdoches, TX. The centennial marker placed by the Texas Centennial commission in 1936 was only 1 of 10,000 that marked the final resting place of the hero it once honored. The monument was moved and the grave is now unmarked.