Texas History Forum

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(Note: all inquiries are arranged in the order received -- most recent first)

Fri, 2 Jul 1999 [Subject: Texas Citizenship]
Joseph L. Hood applied for Texas Citizenship at Nacogdochas in 1829. From where would I be able to obtain a copy of this request for Texas citizenship? --Julie Perry, Moore Haven, FL (tcperry@gate.net)

Wed, 2 Jun 1999 [Subject: Gainsville Hanging]
I am looking for info about the great hanging of Gainesville in 1862 (names of those hanged and where are they buried). My husband has an ancestor who was involved. --Angela Pavloff, DuQuoin, IL (agpav@midwest.net)

Wed, 26 May 1999 [Subject: Fort Bend]
I am trying to find out anything relating to a military history of Fort Bend. The only thing I have been able to find out so far is the mention of this place concerning the fight with Santa Anna. Was Fort Bend a military post? What dates did it exist? Was Fort Bend active during the Indian Wars Period? Thanks. --Tim Bradshaw, Columbia, SC (tim.bradshaw@cwix.com)
.....Stephen F. Austin's Old 300 established Fort Bend in November 1822, in a bend of the Brazos River west of present Houston. Called a "one-room shanty," the post was soon surrounded by a small settlement. Due to its importance during the Texas Revolution, the surrounding county formed in 1837 was named in its honor. The Fort Bend settlement was absorbed by nearby Richmond when the latter was selected as county seat in 1838. Finally, no, Fort Bend was not active during the Indian Wars. --Jerry M. Sullivan, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, TX (jerry.sullivan@tpwd.state.tx.us)

Thu, 6 May 1999 [Subject: Mason County War]
I am seeking information on Scott Cooley or any of the other prominent charaters in the Mason County War of 1875-1876. Does anyone know where Cooley was from? --Glenn Hadeler, Austin, TX (LH1RANCH@aol.com)

Mon, 12 Apr 1999 [Subject: Wilbarger County]
I'm trying to find information on Wilbarger County, Texas where my family is supposedly from. Any help would be most appreciated. --Chris Wilbarger, New Orleans, LA (Tiltontalk@aol.com)
.....Wilbarger County is located on the Red River near the base of the Texas panhandle. It was named after brothers Josiah and Mathias Wilbarger--of the family you are no doubt referring. However, these brothers settled near Bastrop (in Bastrop County) around 1830, and the family never lived in Wilbarger County. If these are your ancestors, you will surely want to read the 1889 classic, Indian Depredations in Texas, a compendium of narratives of hundreds of encounters between Texans and Indians on the frontier. The book was compiled by John W. Wilbarger, a brother of Josiah and Mathias. Recent reprints are available. Coincidentally, Wilbarger County borders Hardeman County, named after my ggg-grandfather Thomas Hardeman and his brother Bailey. Thomas Hardeman also settled on the Colorado River near Bastrop--not far from the Wilbargers. --Lyman Hardeman (editor@lsjunction.com)

Tue, 23 Mar 1999 [Subject: Davis Mounted Rifles-CSA]
According to enlistment records in the Texas Archives, two of my ancestors joined the CSA in June 1861 in Washington Co., TX ( Union Hill area). They are listed as being in the "Davis Mounted Rifles." I find no further reference to the group anywhere. Would appreciate any information. One did wind up in Company F, 5th Texas Mounted Rifles, Sibley's Brigade, and was killed at the battle of Val Verde, NM. --Craig Morin, Houston, TX (craig@pilko.com).

Sat, 6 Mar 1999 [Subject: Mexican War "Spies"]
My gg-grandfather Nepolean Conn served in the Mexican war in a unit called the Texas Mounted Spies. Does this name indicate that they were scouts or some other kind of undercover unit rather than the usual military group? --Maryanne Walsh, New York, NY (walshrobert@email.msn.com)

Wed, 3 Mar 1999 [Subject: Texas Ranger action at Bandera Pass]
I am looking for any detail of an action at Bandera Pass in about 1843 between Texas Rangers under Captain Jack Hays and a Comanche Force. The ambushed Rangers are said to have driven off the Indians by use of their new colt revolvers, but beyond that I know nothing more. Can anyone help? --Tony Jaques, Melbourne, Australia (ajaques@dow.com)

Tue, 2 Feb 1999 [Subject: The Golden Standard]
Does anyone know what happened to Santa Anna's brass cannon,"The Golden Standard," captured at The Battle of San Jacinto? --Bill Morris, Chappell Hill, TX. (morris@wt.net)

Tue, 19 Jan 1999 [Subject: Battle of Concepcion]
Your history archive has excellent summaries of the key military events, but a reference only to the Battle at Concepcion, 28 October 1835. Where can I find some further details of this battle? --Tony Jaques, Melbourne, Australia (ajaques@dow.com)
.....The Battle of Concepcion is usually thought of as the opening shots of the Siege of Bexar. You can read a first-hand account in Chapter VII of Noah Smithwick's Evolution of a State. There is a summary account of the battle in the online version of the New Handbook of Texas. --Scott Chafin, Houston, Texas (schafin@pdq.net)

Sun, 17 Jan 1999 [Subject: The Texas Road]
Beginning in about 1821 or 1822, when Mexico opened Texas to settlement, [some] people came from the north, through what is now Oklahoma, via the Texas Road (roughly U.S. Highway 69). Can you tell me what route(s) they took after they entered Texas? Could one have been what is now U.S. Highway 69 from Dennison to Alto, which is on what was the Old San Antonio Road? --Don Russell, Muskogee, Oklahoma (obscomp@intellex.com)

Tue, 12 Jan 1999 [Subject: Yellow Rose of Texas]
I am looking for information on the "Yellow Rose of Texas." Please let me know if you have any info on this famous lady in Texas History. Thank you. --Bruce White, Alberta, Canada (jbmwhite@telusplanet.net)
.....Please refer to our Texas History Forum entry of 22 May 1996 for details about Emily Morgan, who is said to have inspired the famous song. --Lyman Hardeman (editor@lsjunction.com)

Wed, 23 Dec 1998 [Subject: Gainesville Orphanage]
Hello! I'm attempting to locate information about a Gainesville orphanage that burned down in 1929. My grandmother was adopted from this orpahage and I would like to find out where any remaining records may be stored. Anything you have to offer would be appreciated. --Heather Baum, Richmond, VA (webaum@mindspring.com)

Mon, 14 Dec 1998 [Subject: Image of Surrender of Santa Anna]
Hi. I am looking for information on the painting of "The Surrender of Santa Anna." I would like to find out where it was painted and if the men in the painting were all identified. How can I find out who these men were? Thanks. --Lori Parks, Moore, OK (dbparks@swbell.net)
.....In his book Painting Texas History to 1900 (University of Texas Press 1992), Sam DeShong Ratcliffe gives a brief overview and descriptions of the various people in the painting (pp 42-43). Of more interest to you may be his notes on the painting on pp 110-111 which site several other references. Good hunting. --Charlie Yates, Austin, TX (ths@nabi.net)

Wed, 9 Dec 1998 [Subject: Texas Baseball]
My grandfather played baseball in Limestone and Robertson Counties in the early 1900s. I am sure that he played in Waco as well. Is there some place or book that would have archives or information on Texas baseball 1910-1920? Thanks. --Billy Euell Prichard, Hobbs, NM (shabillron@earthlink.net)

Sun, 6 Dec 1998 [Subject: Fort Le Dout]
I am seeking information on a French fort established in 1713 by Louis St. Denis. It was named "Le Dout" and is supposed to be on the Hokins-Wood county lines. --Dan Teer, Yantis, TX (dlt@peoples.com)

Mon, 19 Oct 1998 [Subject: Origin of the names "Texas" and "Dallas"]
Hello! I am interested in what is the origin of the names "Texas" and "Dallas." I would be happy if someone could explain me where these names come from? --Heikki Ahonen, Helsinki, Finland (Heikki.Ahonen@Helsinki.FI)
.....Several variations of the word Texas were used among the Indians in East Texas, and the word generally had the meaning of "allies," or "friends." From this early usage, the Spanish adopted the word tejas in referring to the both the region and some of its native inhabitants. The name of the state, as well as the state motto, "friendship," is derived from these origins. --Lyman Hardeman (editor@lsjunction.com)
.....[The origin of the name Dallas is uncertain.] The naming of Dallas is not a quandary for lack of candidates so named 'Dallas,' but the profusion of them. James Alexander Dallas, a [financial] hero after the War of 1812, has seemed the most likely. John Neely Bryan, one of the town's founders, also makes a cryptic mention of "...my friend Dallas... ." That could possibly be Joseph Dallas, of Arkansas, then living a few miles upstream at Cedar Springs, Texas. There was a contest to name the town, as well, further bewildering the question. Adding to the confusion: the city of Dallas sits in Dallas County. The county, created in 1846, was named in honor of Geo. Mifflin Dallas. The town of Dallas had already been established and named, years before. --Eliot Greene, Dallas (txw@ticnet.com)

Mon, 12 Oct 1998 [Subject: Consultation of 1835]
I am trying to find out when and where the Consultation of 1835 was held and the outcome of the meeting. My 4th great-grandfather (Daniel Parker) was apparently a member. --John R. Wallace, Enterprise, AL (johnrx@snowhill.com)
.....An overview of the Consultation of 1835 is provided another section of Lone Star Junction (from our home page, see Archives: Events: Index of Events). Parker, a Baptist minister, was a delegate from Nacogdoches. Later, in 1839, he established a log church in Elkhart, Anderson County, where he presided until his death in December 1844. --Lyman Hardeman (editor@lsjunction.com)

Fri, 25 Sep 1998 [Subject: Bright, TX]
Does anyone know where the town of Bright, Texas is located, or was located? --Alton O'Neal, Jr., 604 W. Dale, Winters, TX (a2o@gte.net)
.....The short-lived town of Bright was located eight miles north of Dawson in western Navarro County. A post office served the community between 1900 and 1904. --Lyman Hardeman (editor@lsjunction.com)

Sat, 15 Aug 1998 [Subject: Indian Agent Robert Metcalfe]
I am doing historical research and am looking for any information on Robert Metcalfe (also known as R. B. Metcalfe) who was an Indian agent here in Oregon in the 1850's. He wrote a letter from Independence, Texas, in 1860 to a newspaper here, so I assume he was living there at that time. Any information would be appreciated. --Susan Van Laere, Philomath, Oregon (vanlaere@proaxis.com)

Sat, 15 Aug 1998 [Subject: Blue-Light Presbyterians]
In his novel "Lone Star Preacher," about a Texas preacher in the Civil War, John W. Thomason, Jr., has one of the characters declare himself to be a "blue-light Presbyterian" (page 18 in Scribner's 1945 edition). Can anyone explain the meaning and origin of this expression? Thanks. --Arnold Romberg, La Grange, TX (farssr@fais.net)
.....I think that this term simply means a fervent and conservative Presbyterian. In the 1830's the Reformed Presbyterians, a conservative branch of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, split into two factions over the issue of whether or not believing Christians could vote or hold public office. Those in favor of voting were called "New Lights" and the conservative faction, "Old Lights". The conservatives were jocularly referred to as "Blue Lights," both from the rhyme with "new" and the connotation of blue as staunch or constant, as in "true blue." Stonewall Jackson, because of the combination of his Presbyterian piety and his blue eyes, was called "Old Blue Light" by his men. I think that this is the sense in which Thomason employed the term to describe Praxiteles Swan. --Lonn Taylor (taylorl@nmah.si.edu)

Mon, 13 Jul 1998 [Subject: Dr. Barnard, Goliad Survivor]
I am interested in further information about the lives of Drs. Barnard and Shackelford, survivors of the massacre at Goliad. Where might one find further details of their lives before and after the incident at Goliad? Do documents other than Barnard's journal exist? Many thanks for any assistance. --Denee Thomas, San Antonio, TX (thomasd@dcci.com)
.....Dr. Joseph Barnard lived in Fort Bend County after the Texas Revolution and served as County Clerk there in 1838-1839. He represented that county in the Congress of the Republic in 1843-1844. He later moved to Goliad, and, according to the New Handbook of Texas, died on a visit to Canada in 1861. You might check with the Fort Bend Historical Museum and the Center for American History at the University of Texas to see if they know of additional Barnard documents. Jack Shackleford left Texas after the Revolution and returned to Courtland, Alabama, where he died in 1857. --Lonn Taylor (taylorl@nmah.si.edu)

Tue, 9 Jun 1998 [Subject: Fort San Felipe]
I have a nineteenth century document headed "Roll of Spanish prisoners at Fort San Felipe" that lists over ninety names of individuals, including two whose names begin with the title "Don." There is no date on this document, other than the heading; the only other identifying marks are the names themselves. Can anyone give me suggestions on how to positively identify this document with early Texas history? Thanks. --John Howell, Los Angeles, CA (khowell@usc.edu)

Tue, 19 May 1998 [Subject: Mexican 1836 Flags]
Recently I found out that four Mexican Flags captured at the Battle of San Jacinto still exist. One is on display at the San Jacinto Museum, two are in storage at the Texas State Archives and one is held by the Dallas Historical Society. Are pictures, drawings or descriptions of these flags available? Any help is appreciated. --Cliff McLeod, North Bay, Ontairo, Canada (cmcleod@efni.com)

Sat, 2 May 1998 [Subject: H.E.B. grocery]
I am a 2nd grade teacher looking for information on the early stores of Texas, namely the first H. E. Butt grocery in Kerrville. Any info on early trading would be great, too! Thanks! --Barbara Mohs, San Antonio (barbmohs@bigfoot.com)

Sat, 2 May 1998 [Subject: Texas Sawmills]
I would like to identify Texas counties that had at least one sawmill as of 1933. Can anyone help? Thanks! --Bill Bateman, Midland, Texas (billbate@basinlink.com)
.....You will no doubt be interested in reading Thad Sitton and James H. Conrad, Nameless Towns: Texas Sawmill Communities, 1880-1942 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998). --Lyman Hardeman (editor@lsjunction.com)

Fri, 1 May 1998 [Subject: Col. Wheat's Brigade]
I'm trying to find information on Col. Wheat's Brigade, CSA. I have a distant relative who served with this unit during the civil war, but I've found no listing. --L. H. Dickerson, Leonard, TX (lhd721@texoma.net)

Mon, 13 Apr 1998 [Subject: Chili Queens of San Antonio]
I am looking for information on the "Chili Queens" that worked in the Plazas of San Antonio selling Chili at night from their chili stands. I am particularly interested in first hand accounts by someone that may remember them when they were last in Market Square before they were shut down in 1938 by the Health Department. Any information at all would be helpful. --Debbie Jones, Seguin, Texas (debbie@texasfieryfoods.com)
.....In an article published in the July 1927 issue of Frontier Times, San Antonio Commissioner of Taxation Frank H. Bushick describes the Chili Queens and their origin at Military Plaza before they were moved to Market Square in 1887: "The chili stand and chili queens are peculiarities, or unique institutions, of the Alamo City. They started away back there when the Spanish army camped on the plaza. They were started to feed the soldiers. ... Every class of people in every station of life patronized them in the old days. Some were attracted by the novelty of it, some by the cheapness. A big plate of chili and beans, with a tortilla on the side, cost a dime. A Mexican bootblack and a silk-hatted tourist would line up and eat side by side, [each] unconscious or oblivious of the other." The Chili Queens and their stands became famous far beyond the limits of San Antonio, and even outside of Texas. According to Bushick, a sign in front of a booth on the grounds of the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 invited hungry visitors to "The San Antonio Chili Stand." --Lyman Hardeman (editor@lsjunction.com)

Mon, 6 Apr 1998 [Subject: Dodson Flag]
I'm looking for anecdotal information on Sarah Dodson, the woman who sewed the "Dodson Flag" for her husband to use in one of the battles during the Revolution. Who was this woman? What prompted her to make the flag in the first place? --Michele Tomiak, Grand Prairie, TX (PhoenixHo@aol.com)
.....Sarah Rudolf Bradley came to Texas from Kentucky with her parents, as an eleven year old girl, in the Spring of 1823. Archelaus Bynum Dodson had moved to Texas from North Carolina, and by 1826 he had settled in Harrisburg. The couple was married on May 7, 1835. In September of 1835, due to mounting tensions with the Mexican government, a volunteer company was formed at Harrisburg under the command of Andrew Robinson, Jr. to oppose the Mexican forces. A. B. Dodson volunteered to serve in this company and was elected first lieutenant. After the formation of the company and the election of officers, it was concluded they should have a flag, which was made by Sarah Dodson (see flag number 7 in Lone Star Junction's display of Flags of the Texas Revolution). Sarah Dodson died on October 5, 1848. --Charles M. Yates, Austin, Texas (cmyates@ix.netcom.com)

Sat, 4 Apr 1998 [Subject: International & Great Northern Railroad]
I am looking for any information on the International & Great Northern Railroad that operated in Texas around 1912. My g-grandfather was killed while working for this RR and I am unable to find who absorbed this particular company. Any information would be helpful. --Karis Schirmer, Denison, TX (kschir@texoma.net)

Fri, 3 Apr 1998 [Subject: Travis' letter]
Hello. I teach 4th grade at Floresville Elementary. My students have all just finished memorizing Col. Travis' letter from the Alamo, and I've been looking for a really good image of the actual letter so that the students can see just what the real letter looks like. Do you know if such a thing exists? Any help appreciated. --Diane Berger, Floresville, Texas (Zevonfan1@aol.com)
.....We have re-scanned and posted our facsimile copy of the famous letter written from the Alamo by William B. Travis. The original of the letter is held at the Texas State Archives in Austin. You might be able to obtain a facsimile copy by sending an email to Donaly Brice, Supervisor of Reference Services at the Archives. --Lyman Hardeman (editor@lsjunction.com)

Wed, 18 Mar 1998 [Subject: Texas Recovery Fair 1932]
Among family heirlooms, I recently found a small jewelry pin about the size of a postage stamp that reads "Texas Recovery Fair, 1932, Opening Day." We are trying to find out what exactly was the Texas Recovery Fair? Would appreciate any information. --Debi Starr, Dumas, TX (sammy@amaonline.com)

Mon, 16 Mar 1998 [Subject: Houston and Texas Central Railroad]
I am looking for anything (memorabilia, articles, advertisements,etc.) about the Houston and Texas Central Railroad which operated from the 1850's to 1930's when it was absorbed by the Texas and New Orleans Railroad. --Warren Johnson, Allen, TX (juniuspeak@aol.com)
.....Box G-398 of the Archives and Records of the Texas General Land Office contains information pertaining to this company, which initially went under the name of The Galveston and Red River Railway Co. The documents found there include a contract for building part of the track, correspondence with various state officials on matters pertaining to the company, and engineering reports on the construction of several sections of the track. Photocopies of these documents can be provided for a fee by the TGLO Archives and Records Division. --Galen D. Greaser, Austin, Texas (ggreaser@glo.state.tx.us)

Thu, 12 Feb 1998 [Subject: Lone Star Flag]
I was asked recently by a friend: Why is the flag of Texas allowed to fly at the same level as "Old Glory" when all the other states I've lived in require the state flags to be flown at a lower level? Can anyone help with the answer? --Linda Petersen, Dallas, TX (apetersen@engineer.com)

Wed, 11 Feb 1998 [Subject: Alamo Survivors]
From years ago when I took Texas history in middle school, I remember thata single person and perhaps her slave and/or child(ren) survived the Seige of the Alamo. Can anyone recall what any of the survivors names were? --Jeremy Derr, Plano, Texas (derr@flex.net)
.....Although there were a few survivors of Mexican descent (mostly women and children), the only "Anglo" survivors were Susana Dickinson, her infant daughter Angelina, and Joe, a Negro slave of Alamo commander William Barret Travis. For more details, see Susana Dickinson in our People section, and browse the list of Alamo participants in our Texians Database (see "Heroes of the Revolution"). --Lyman Hardeman (editor@lsjunction.com)

Fri, 6 Feb 1998 [Subject: Alsatians in San Antonio area]
I recently was told of group of Alsatians that settled long ago near San Antonio. I am familiar with other cultures that have settled in Texas during its history, but am unfamiliar with the Alsatian settlement. Could anybody please tell me who these people were, where they came from, how long they've been here, and whether their culture is still visible in the San Antonio area? Thank you for any information. --Jeremiah Friddell, College Station, TX. (jfrid@agen.tamu.edu)
.....Between 1844 and 1847 empresario Henri Castro settled a large number of familes from Alsace to the valley of the Medina River about 30 miles west of San Antonio. Today their descendents live in the communities of Castroville, D'Hanis, Quihi, and Vandenburg. Their Alsastian heritage is manifest in their architecture, their foodways, their Catholic religion, and, among the older residents, their language. Castroville is still a city of Alsastian stone buildings, 97 of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Feast of St. Louis is celebrated there every year on August 22 with traditional music and good food. You might want to look at Bobby Weaver, Castro's Colony (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1985) and Cornelia Crook, Henry Castro (San Antonio: St. Mary's University Press, 1988) for more information. --Lonn Taylor (taylorl@nmah.si.edu)

Wed, 4 Feb 1998 [Subject: Chipita Rodriguez]
Because of the Carla Faye Tucker execution, newspapers are running stories about Chipita Rodriguez' hanging [before Tucker, Rodriquez was the last woman executed in Texas, in 1863]. The stories say she was hanged from a tree along the Aransas River. But as I understand the situation, the murder took place along the Aransas, but the hanging took place outside old San Patricio along the Nueces River. Which river was she hanged by and reportedly haunts today, the Aransas or Nueces? --Charlie Rose, Carrollton, TX (cerose1@airmail.net)
.....According to the New Handbook of Texas , Josefa "Chipita" Rodriguez lived on the banks of the Aransas River near San Patricio but was executed at San Patricio, which is on the Nueces River, in November 1863. The Handbook goes on to say that the facts in the case are sketchy and the court records have been lost. Perhaps she haunts both rivers. --Lonn Taylor (taylorl@nmah.si.edu)

Sat, 31 Jan 1998 [Subject: Right to Secede]
I am in a Texas history class and the professor said that Texas, once becoming a state no longer had the right to secede. I remember hearing or reading somewhere that there was a time period of twenty years that Texas could secede, but not after that. Does anyone have any information on this question? Extra-credit points are hanging in the balance! Thanks. --B. D. Marshall, Cleveland, TX (bdmarsh@flash.net)
.....The question of whether or not a state had the right to secede from the Union was an open one until the outcome of the Civil War in 1865 settled it for all time. There was no provision for secession in the Joint Resolution of Congress under which Texas was annexed to the Union in 1845. What your professor probably meant was that between that date and the end of the Civil War many Americans felt that states had a right to secede. The Civil War showed that they did not. --Lonn Taylor (taylorl@nmah.si.edu)

Sun, 11 Jan 1998 [Subject: Mier Expedition]
I would like to know more about the Mier Expedition or where to find the info. --Lauren Ostergren, Plano, TX (laureno@mailcity.com)
Sat, 10 Jan 1998 [Subject: Mier Expedition]
Would appreciate any help you can give me in locating specific information about the "Mier Expedition." This information is for a g/t class in grades 3-5. Thanks. --Judy Curtis, East Bernard, TX
.....Because we recieved these two like inquiries in the same number of days, we decided it was time to add a write-up about the Mier Expedition to our Events of Early Texas section. For a more detailed account, you may want to refer to William Preston Stapp, Prisoners of Perote (Philadelphia, G. B. Zieber, 1845). Recent reprints of this excellent source should be available in many libraries. --Lyman Hardeman (editor@lsjunction.com)

Thu, 8 Jan 1998 [Subject: Hotel Adieu in Beaumont]
My grandmother Louise Pessarra attended a nursing school at the subject facility. I would like to know more about it and locate archived record of its operation, students, etc. --Jim Stiebing, Arlington, TX (jstiebin@isrc.net)

Thu, 8 Jan 1998 [Subject: Flag of France]
Can you explain what the emblems on the flag of France that flew over Texas during the time of LaSalle, mean? Why on a white background? Thanks. --Kara Young, Tuscola, Texas (mpyoung@camalott.com)
.....The gold devices on the French flag that La Salle flew over Texas are called fleur-de-lys. They have been associated with the kings of France since the 12th century. Tradition says that they represent the lilly given to Clovis, the first Frankish king, by an angel when he was baptized. In about 1370 Charles V reduced the number on the French royal standard to three, representing the Holy Trinity. The white background of the flag comes from the standard of the Bourbon family, rulers of France from 1589 until the French Revolution. It probably represents purity. --Lonn Taylor (taylorl@nmah.si.edu)

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