The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995 Page: 60
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
made an expedition to a Kichai village in 1783 to persuade these Indi-
ans to deal solely with those traders he sent from Nacogdoches. Francois
Grappe, a member of the expedition party, wrote an account of the jour-
ney and described the problems which Gil Ybarbo encountered, thereby
providing a glimpse into the intricacies surrounding the Indian trade.
On September 14, 1783, a detachment of cavalry militia, composed
mainly of French creoles and under the command of Ensign Jean
Jacques David, left the post of Natchitoches in Spanish Louisiana and
rode to the site of the abandoned presidio and mission at Los Adaes.'
There, under orders from Natchitoches Commandant Estevan Vaugine,
Ensign David handed over command of the cavalry detachment to Anto-
nio Gil Ybarbo, the lieutenant governor of the Nacogdoches jurisdiction
in Spanish Texas. From Los Adaes, Gil Ybarbo and the Natchitoches cav-
alry rode into east Texas to meet with a village of Kichai Indians.2
Antonio Gil Ybarbo was one of the most amazing men to appear on
Spain's east Texas frontier. Born about 1729 at Los Adaes, Gil Ybarbo
owned a ranch, El Lobanillo, located on the Camino Real between the Ais
mission and the Sabine River. After Spain abandoned Los Adaes in 1773
and moved the Adesaiio settlers to Bexar, Gil Ybarbo proved instrumen-
tal in petitioning Spain to allow the Los Adaes survivors to move back to
East Texas. In 1774, he helped found the village of Bucareli on the Trin-
ity River, resettled many of the Adaes survivors there, and became the
leader of the community. In April and May 1779, fearing Comanche at-
tacks on Bucareli, Gil Ybarbo moved the residents to the site of the for-
mer Nacogdoches mission where he founded the town of Nacogdoches.
Later that year, the Spanish government of Texas recognized the Nacog-
doches settlement and named Gil Ybarbo as lieutenant governor of the
pueblo of Nacogdoches.
With Gil Ybarbo at its head, Nacogdoches became the center for Indi-
an trade in East Texas. He formed a trade partnership with Nicolas de la
' Los Adaes, or sometimes just the "Adayes," located near present-day Robelmhne, Louisiana,
was named after the local Caddoan-speaking Adaes Indians. The Adaes site included the pre-
sidio, Nuestra Seiiora del Pilar de los Adaes, which had been founded in 1721 A mission, San
Miguel de los Linares de los Adaes, was located a short distance away. The presidio served as the
capital of Spanish Texas until 1773 when the Spanish abandoned the East Texas presidios and
missions. Elizabeth A. H. John, Storms Brewed in Other Men's Worlds: The Confrontation of Indians,
Spanish and French in the Southwest, 1540-1795 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press,
1975), 2o8, 222, 448-449; Herbert Eugene Bolton, Texas in the Middle Eighteenth Century: Studies
in Spanish Colonial Hzstory and Admznistratzon (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1979), 386-391;
Donald E. Chipman, Spanish Texas, 1519-1821 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992), 123.
2 Grappe provided no direction or distance of travel m his journal so it is difficult to ascertain
exactly where this Kichai village was located. A discussion of Kichai locations and movements is
provided later in this article.
" Bolton, Texas in the Middle Eighteenth Century, 388-446; Jack Jackson, Los MesteAos: Spanish
Ranching in Texas, 1721-1821 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1986), 115-117,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995, periodical, 1995; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101216/m1/88/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.