68 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
THOMSON'S CLANDESTINE PASSAGE AROUND
W. P. ZUBER.
In 1830, after the passage of the exclusion act, a large body of
families sent by Sterling C. Robertson from Tennessee were con-
ducted into Texas by Alexander Thomson. Before reaching Na-
cogdoches, they learned that they could not pass the garrison at
that place without passports, and they encamped about three miles
east of that town.
Mr. Thomson and two other men went into Nacogdoches to con-
fer with Colonel Piedras. They stated their condition to the colo-
nel, and requested him to permit the families to pass. Piedras had
no authority to comply with their request, and so informed them.
They then said that, if the immigrants would consent to do so, they
would change their destination to Austin's colony, and asked Colo-
nel Piedras whether they could pass thither. He replied that they
could do so only after procuring permits from Austin, and advised
them, if they should so decide, to let the families stay in their pres-
ent encampment while a messenger should proceed to San Felipe
and procure the needed permits from Austin. They told him that
they would return to the camp and try to persuade the immigrants
to do as he advised, but they thought that two or three days might
elapse before they could determine what to do. But they promised
to come again and inform Colonel Piedras of whatever decision the
immigrants should make.
They returned to their encampment, and reported to their
friends their interview with Colonel Piedras. They soon deter-
mined what to do. On the next day, they cut a road around Nacog-
doches. This required comparatively little work: the opening of
two connecting roads, through open woods, between that on which
they were encamped and another, nearly parallel with it, which lay
*I narrate these facts from my own knowledge, as I do not know that
they have ever yet been published.
the spelled his name Thomson, not Thompson.
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101009/. Accessed October 24, 2014.