The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973 Page: 254
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
materials and fuel, while locating fields and pastures in the prairies.
Apparently nearly all pioneers preferred such mixed vegetation settle-
ment sites and took them as long as they were available. Preference for
such sites was exhibited by immigrant southerners of variant economic
status, from the humblest backwoodsmen to the wealthiest planters.
With remarkable consistency, the earliest Anglo-American colonies in
all parts of eastern Texas were situated adjacent to or in small prairies,
and often they bore place names with a "Prairie" suffix. Indeed, it is
not too much to say that the course of pioneer settlement in East Texas
was in part guided by the distribution of prairies. Similarly, pioneers
in the grasslands of western Texas a generation or two later almost al-
ways settled by groves of timber or galeria forests. Consequently, it was
the latecomers who settled either the closed forests, where no prairies
were present, or the open grasslands devoid of timber. Not one single
contemporary record of any kind was found which suggested anti-prai-
rie sentiment on the part of Texan pioneers, and it is incorrect to view
the southern frontiersman as a prairie-avoider. Only the open prairies
were shunned, for only there did the problems discussed by Webb and
others begin. In effect, pioneers did not avoid prairies, but instead
avoided a complete absence of trees. At first glance, the difference may
seem subtle, but in fact it is of rather great significance to the settle-
ment of a large part of Texas.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973, periodical, 1973; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101202/m1/296/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.