The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 11, July 1907 - April, 1908 Page: 250
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
usage of these terms I shall only present here somewhat dogmati-
cally part of the results of a rather extended study which I have
made of these points and which I hope soon to publish.1
The testimony of the sources warrants the conclusion that before
the coming of the Spaniards the word Texas, variously spelled by
the early writers, had wide currency among the tribes of eastern
Texas and perhaps over a larger area; that its usual meaning was
"friends," or more technically, "allies"; and that it was used by the
tribes about the early missions, at least, to whom especially it
later became attached as a group name, to designate a large num-
ber of tribes who were customarily allied against the Apaches.
In this sense, the Texas included tribes who spoke different lan-
guages and who were as widely separated as the Red River and the
Rio Grande. It seems that the Neches-Angelina tribes designated
did not apply the term restrictively to themselves as a name, but
that they did use it in a very untechnical way as a form of greeting,
like "hello, friend," with which they even saluted Spaniards after
their advent. I may say, in this connection, that the meanings
"land of flowers," "tiled roofs," "paradise," etc., sometimes given
for the name Texas, I have never seen even suggested by early
observers, or by anyone on the basis of trustworthy evidence.
The name Texas has been variously applied by writers, but it
was most commonly used by the Spaniards, from whom the French
and the English borrowed it, to designate those tribes of the upper
Neches and the Angelina valleys, and this in spite of their know-
ing full well that among the natives the word had the wider appli-
cation that has been indicated. There are many variations from
this usage in Spanish writings, it is true, but this, nevertheless, is
the ordinary one. As a tribal name the term was sometimes still
further narrowed to apply to a single tribe. When this occurred,
it was most commonly used to designate the Hainai, the head tribe
of the group in question, but sometimes it was applied to the Nabe-
dache tribe. As a geographical term, the name Texas was first ex-
tended from these Neches-Angelina tribes to their immediate coun-
try. Thus for the first quarter of a century of Spanish occupation,
the phrase "the Province of Texas" referred only to the country
east of the Trinity River; but with the founding of the San Antonio
settlements the term was extended westward, more in harmony
1The present paper embodies some of the results of an investigation of
the history of the Texas tribes which the. writer is making for the Bureau
of American Ethnology.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 11, July 1907 - April, 1908, periodical, 1908; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101045/m1/254/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.