The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912 Page: 35
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The Aguayo Expedition
Aguayo's route, somewhat in detail, was as follows: On the 13th
the long and tedious journey began. Starting northeast, it lay by
the irrigating ditch of the mission of San Antonio de Valero, then
veered to the east, northeast, when the expedition halted two days
on both the Salado and Cibola creeks.'
of such notions is apparent when one reflects that St. Denis merely passed
on horseback at the rate of many miles a day, with a few companions,
from Natchitoches to the Rio Grande in 1714-1715, when he is alleged to
have "laid out" the road, and back again under similar circumstances in
1716, serving as guide part of the way for the Ram6n party. (Of another
trip which he subsequently made very little is known). At best he could
have done no more than designate, by following it, the route which later
became the old San Antonio road. If he had done even this much there
might be no occasion for finding fault with the tradition as stated by
Yoakum. But there is no evidence that he did.
As a matter of fact, no one knows with any definiteness what route St.
Denis followed across Texas in 1714-1715, for his report of the journey is
given in only the most general terms (Declaracidn, in Memorias de Nueva
Espaya, Vol. XXVII, 121-131; the same in Margry, Dbeouvertes, VI, 202.
211). As Miss Buckley has shown, the Ramon expedition, of which St.
Denis acted as guide for a part of the way, could not have "laid out" the
old San Antonio road, as it has been known to Americans, since from San
Antonio to the Browcos, at least, its route was far to the north of the later
famous highway, striking the Brazos above the mouth of Little River.
As is seen from the text below, the Aguayo expedition went nearly
straight north from San Marcos to Waco, while Rivera's route in 1727
was in general that of Ram6n, at least as far as the Little River. As to
the eastern part of the route, there are indications that from the Trinity
to the Neches it, too, lay somewhat north of the old San Antonio road,
striking it again west of the Neches and following it pretty contin-
uously thence to San Augustine.
Thus we may say that while the seventeenth century routes lay far south
of the old San Antonio road, that of Terfn coming nearest following it,
the notable expeditions of the early eighteenth century went by routes far
to the north of it, especially from San Antonio to the Brazos. For the
period from 1727 to 1767 we have no diaries across Texas, but it is inter-
esting to note that there is evidence that by the middle of the century the
direct route from San Antonio to the Trinity was abandoned for the Bahia
road, through fear of Apaches.
Just when the old San Antonio road as known to Americans was "laid
out," and when it became the established trail--for it could have been
little more than a trail-does not appear, but the large element of error
in Yoakum's statement and the absurdity of some of the popular impres-
sions about it are evident. H. F. B.
'Mention is first made of an arroyo "salogre" (salty, which is also the
meaning of the word salado) in the vicinity northeast of San Antonio. in
the 1709 diary of Fathers Espinosa and Olivares (entry for April 13).
though the name is not definitely applied. The first definite application
of Salado, in the available Spanish diaries, to the river that still bears the
name, is in the Espinosa Diario (entry for May 16. 1716), and in the
Ram6n Dcrrotero of the same expedition. Entry for the same day).
They both speak of it as though they knew of it by that name. Ram6n
evidently had the statement of the 1709 diary in mind when he said, "We
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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/m1/40/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.