In the latest episodes, I mentioned a couple of early Texas settlements, San Augustine, and Nacogdoches.. Today I want to concentrate on them because they were both very important to the settlement of Texas and they would play a role when Texas sought its independence from Mexico.
If you were coming into Texas from Louisiana you’ll encounter San Augustine first and then if you continue west you’ll land in Nacogdoches. The route between the two is referred to as El Camino Real (The King’s Highway) and was one of, if not the, principal routes settlers took into Texas. The two communities have a history that actually goes back further then when the Europeans showed up. Both of these towns are on sites that were settled by native Americans hundreds of years before any European laid eyes on them.
In fact, the first Europeans to visit the San Augustine area were most likely members of the Moscoso expedition (a remnant of the De Soto group) in the early 1540s. When they arrived they undoubtably encountered members of the Ayish tribe of the Hasinai Indians. There isn’t a lot known about the Ayish and some historians believe they spoke a dialect of the Caddoan language that had diverged from Caddo and other Caddoan languages in the distant past. Initially the Moscoso expedition recorded the people to be warlike and that they were buffalo hunters. They were left alone until about 140 years later when, in 1687, Frenchman Henri Joutel passed through the area as part of the failed colony established by La Salle on the Texas coast. There were other encounters with the tribe by Europeans in 1708 and 1713, but those encounters were primarily for the purpose of buying horses….
Complete Transcript is HERE