Trammel's Trace: The First Road to Texas from the North

Trammel's Trace: The First Road to Texas from the North

by Gary L. Pinkerton


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Trammel's Trace: The First Road to Texas from the North by Gary L. Pinkerton

Trammel’s Trace tells the story of a borderlands smuggler and an important passageway into early Texas.

Trammel’s Trace, named for Nicholas Trammell, was the first route from the United States into the northern boundaries of Spanish Texas. From the Great Bend of the Red River it intersected with El Camino Real de los Tejas in Nacogdoches. By the early nineteenth century, Trammel’s Trace was largely a smuggler’s trail that delivered horses and contraband into the region. It was a microcosm of the migration, lawlessness, and conflict that defined the period.

By the 1820s, as Mexico gained independence from Spain, smuggling declined as Anglo immigration became the primary use of the trail. Familiar names such as Sam Houston, David Crockett, and James Bowie joined throngs of immigrants making passage along Trammel’s Trace. Indeed, Nicholas Trammell opened trading posts on the Red River and near Nacogdoches, hoping to claim a piece of Austin’s new colony. Austin denied Trammell’s entry, however, fearing his poor reputation would usher in a new wave of smuggling and lawlessness. By 1826, Trammell was pushed out of Texas altogether and retreated back to Arkansas Even so, as author Gary L. Pinkerton concludes, Trammell was “more opportunist than outlaw and made the most of disorder.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623494681
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Publication date: 11/17/2016
Series: Red River Valley Books, sponsored by Texas A&M University-Texarkana , #5
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 869,130
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.50(h) x 3.50(d)

About the Author

GARY L. PINKERTON, the author of numerous articles on East Texas history, resides in Houston.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Acknowledgments xv

Chapter 1 From Somewhere to Nowhere 1

Chapter 2 Through the Wilds 5

Chapter 3 The Trammells of Kentucky and Tennessee 34

Chapter 4 1800-1812: Boundaries under Pressure 52

Chapter 5 1813-1819: Couriers of the Forest 75

Chapter 6 1820-1826: Gone to Texas and Back 99

Chapter 7 1826-1836: A Great Movement of Many Nations 134

Chapter 8 1836-1844: Another New Nation for Texas 166

Chapter 9 1845-1856: The Old Smuggler Retires 192

Chapter 10 1856-1880: The Patriarch Has Passed 214

Notes 223

Bibliography 259

Index 271


Houston, TX

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