THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. XLVII JANUARY, 1944 No. 3
THE NATIONAL ROAD OF THE
REPUBLIC OF TEXAS
J. W. WILLIAMS
A long forgotten document, hidden away among the files of
the Land Office for nearly a century, now makes it possible to
bring into sharper focus certain phases of the history of North
Texas. At a time when transportation difficulties were almost
the number-one problem, an important old road was laid out
by direction of the Texas lawmakers. Its functions among the
trails that served pioneer needs, its route, and perhaps even
its purpose have been much misunderstood.
This old document, that promises some new data on a certain
period of the story of Texas, consists of only a dozen pages of
surveyors' notes. It furnishes, nevertheless, a fairly accurate
waybill for the route of the "Central National Road of the
Republic of Texas,"' and through its contribution of an accurate
geographical background promotes a better understanding of
certain episodes of the development of North and Central Texas.
So much confusion has prevailed concerning the course of this
road that its route and the way in which it fits into the larger
geography of the Southwest will be first considered.
An act of the Texas Congress, finally approved on February
5, 1844, created a commission of five men empowered to select
a right-of-way for this road, and to have that right-of-way
cleared of obstructing timber, and also to see that the necessary
bridges were erected. The commissioners were directed to
xThe full plat and field notes are given in Promiscuous File No. 3 in
the Texas General Land Office. Hereafter this document is referred to as
2The act was published in full on the front page of the Northern Stand-
ard (Clarksville, Texas), March 2, 1844.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146054/. Accessed July 31, 2014.