Back when Texas was in the hands of Mexico and then later when we won independence and became a republic, there was only one entrance to the state from the north—Trammel’s Trace.
The path was located in far East Texas where the land is very rugged, wet and heavily wooded.
Arkansas trader and horse smuggler, Nicholas Trammel, used the old Native American footpath that was hundreds of years old for his smuggling operations beginning in 1813. Trammel was a bit of a scoundrel by all accounts. He was accused of murder, plunder and thievery but was never caught.
The trace ran 180 miles north from Nacogdoches, TX to Fulton, Arkansas. Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, James Bowie and countless others used the route. And it was very crucial to the War for Independence and later during the Spanish-American War.
Trammel’s Trace was printed on maps of the 19th century and provided an important immigration route into Texas for waves of settlers from Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina and Kentucky.
After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 to 1813, the route was known as Robber’s Road. That name came about because (1) it was heavily forested and (2) it became a haven for outlaws of all sorts.
The reason Trammel’s Trace ended at Nacogdoches—the route connected with El Camino Real (or Old San Antonio Road) and there was no need to move farther south.
I’ve walked on portions of this vital road and felt as though I trod in the footsteps of so many brave people who came to settle this wild land. Without them I wouldn’t be here.
Do you think you’d have been brave enough to travel this road? I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one person who comments.
(Credit for the first two of these amazing photos goes to Gary Pinkerton – Visit him: www.trammelstrace.org )