The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912 Page: 34
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Texas Historical Association Quarterly
the early routes broken by the pathfinders, and so profusely and
promiscuously were names scattered on the rivers, that it is hard
to make any safe generalizations. One of the most patent facts,
however, is that the routes moved back from the coast, west, as
far as San Antonio, and thence north anJ east to eastern Texas,
a fairly well ostablishcd road being finally laid out. However, of
all the diaries studied no two seem to follow exactly the same
course. De Le6n, the leader of the first expedition to eastern
Texas (1690), crossed the country far to the south and east, pass-
ing the Guadalupe, roughly speaking, in the vicinity of Victoria,
turning east to La Bahia, and then northeast to the Texas coun-
try. The expedition under Teran (1691), was the first to break
the road from the Hondo to San Antonio, and to cross the San
Marcos and Guadalupe as two rivers. He apparently crossed the
Colorado near La Grange, the Brazos near Bryan, and the Trinity,
just north of Falba in Walker County, about at the point where
De Le6n had struck it in 1690. In 1709, Fathers Espinosa and
Olivares took the road still farther north, crossing the Colorado
not far below Austin; while in 1716, Ram6n, after crossing the
Colorado near the same point, sought a new route, going as far
north as the San Gabriel before turning east to the T6xas country.
It will be seen that Aguayo, determined to avoid the monte grande,
which started just east of the San Gabriel, led his expedition still
farther north, not turning east till he struck the Brazos near Waco,
and then going south and east to reach the old highway.'
greater degree of certainty is felt when speaking of the routes of the later
expeditions. The earlier writers, being the pathfinders, were under the
difficulty of having no known land marks by which to describe their
'The time has arrived for giving attention to the myth that St. Denis
"laid out the old San Antonio road." Starting with Yoakum, it seems, it
has taken deep hold upon the credence and the imagination of readers of
Texas history, and is glibly and trustfully repeated on all occasions, and
even incorporated in maps and serious works. Yoakum's words are: "He
[St. Denis] did them [the Spaniards] one good service; he laid out the
great thoroughfare through Texas, known as the old San Antonio road,
which, first traveled in 1714, has been, for a hundred and forty years, the
great highway of travel for pleasure and business, for plunder and war"
This "laying out" of the road has been understood in its full literalness.
Indeed, an intelligent man high in office recently told me of two rows of
shrubs, still growing, which St. Denis planted by this famous road! An-
other man of my acquaintance was seriously taught in school that St. Denis
"grubbed" the trees from the road clear across the State! The absurdity
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912, periodical, 1912; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101056/m1/39/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.