Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches, Texas

The Nacogdoches City Hall is located in the City of Nacogdoches, the seat of Nacogdoches County, Texas. Photograph by Michael Barera.
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Nacogdoches, the county seat of Nacogdoches County, is on State highways 7, 21, 59 (a principal artery to Houston), and 259, fifty miles west of the Sabine River and 100 miles north of Beaumont in the central part of the county. It was named for the Nacogdoche Indians, a Caddo group. Archeological research has established that mounds found in the area date from approximately A.D. 1250, when the Indians built lodges along Lanana and Bonita creeks, which converge just south of Nacogdoches and continue as a single stream to the Angelina River. The mounds were found to contain human bones and pottery. The expedition of René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, visited the area in 1687. Louis Juchereau de St. Denis was sent by the French governor Sieur Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac to establish trade with the Indians in Spanish Texas. St. Denis marked a trail through Nacogdoches to the Rio Grande, along part of the route later known as the Old San Antonio Road, and was briefly arrested. In the summer of 1716 he accompanied Domingo Ramón back to East Texas to found Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de los Nacogdoches and five other missions. The Franciscan Antonio Margil de Jesús had charge of the missions. Guadalupe Mission was abandoned briefly two years later due to fears of a French invasion but was reestablished by the Marqués de Aguayo in 1721. It operated more or less continuously until 1772, when viceroy Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa promulgated the New Regulations for Presidios, which recommended the recall of all missions and settlers to San Antonio. The following year Governor Juan María Vicencio de Ripperdá sent soldiers to force the removal of all Spanish subjects to San Antonio. Antonio Gil Ibarvo, from the Lobanillo Creek area southeast of Nacogdoches, became the leader of the settlers. He petitioned successfully for the group to be allowed to return part of the way to East Texas. They established a community named Bucareli on the banks of the Trinity River, where they remained for four years until floods and Indian raids caused Ibarvo to lead them in 1779 to the abandoned mission site at Nacogdoches, possibly the only building of European origin then standing in East Texas. Later Ibarvo was commissioned commander of the militia and magistrate of the pueblo of Nacogdoches, the first official recognition of civil status for the community.

Nacogdoches became a gateway for trade, mostly illicit, with the French and later the Americans, from Natchitoches and New Orleans, Louisiana. Ibarvo constructed a stone house, later known as the Old Stone Fort, where he conducted business. Because of his governmental position it also assumed a public nature, which it retained until it was demolished in 1902. A replica of the building was constructed on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University during the Texas Centennial celebration (1936). The location of Nacogdoches also gave it prominence in early military and political activities. During the 1790s the American mustanger and filibuster Philip Nolan often headquartered there. In 1806 Lt. Col. Simón de Herrera headquartered at Nacogdoches while negotiating the Neutral Ground agreement with Gen. James Wilkinson of the United States. In 1812 filibusters Augustus Magee and Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara proclaimed Texas free from Spain while at Nacogdoches, and they published the first newspaper in Texas, the Gaceta de Tejas, before going on to meet defeat at the hands of Gen. Joaquín de Arredondo at a battle near San Antonio. Arredondo ordered all who collaborated with them to be arrested, and the entire population of Nacogdoches fled into the Texas or Louisiana wilderness for safety temporarily. Arredondo's men almost completely destroyed the town. After the signing of the Adams-Onís Treaty, which fixed the Sabine River as the boundary between Texas and the United States, James Long and 300 followers occupied Nacogdoches in 1819 and again declared Texas independent of Spain. Long remained in Nacogdoches only a short time before attempting another expedition on the coast, which resulted in his death. The empresarial grant of Haden Edwards was headquartered at Nacogdoches, as was his abortive Fredonian Rebellion of 1825–27. After this movement Col. José de las Piedras commanded a Mexican military garrison at Nacogdoches until driven from the area in August 1832 after the battle of Nacogdoches, one of the events that led to the Texas Revolution (see ANAHUAC DISTURBANCES). During that movement several prominent figures, including Hayden S. Arnold, N. Adolphus Sterne , and four signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence- John S. Roberts, Charles S. Taylor , Thomas J. Rusk , and Robert Potter -claimed Nacogdoches as their home. The town was a seat of unrest and supplied the revolutionary cause with men and money. After the revolution the uprising of Vicente Córdova against the Republic of Texas in 1838 also centered around Nacogdoches.

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Archie P. McDonald | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Adopted by: B. A. Groves (Moderator of Historical Times in America)
The Oldest Town in Texas. Founded in 1779 by Don Antonio Gil Y’Barbo. This town had nine flags: Spanish, French, Gutierrez-Magee Rebellion, Dr. James Long Expedition, Mexican, Fredonia Rebellion, Lone Star, Confederate Stars & Bars, and the United States of America.
Until: November 14th, 2024

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Nacogdoches is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Nacogdoches is classified as a Town


Latitude: 31.61514810
Longitude: -94.65052400

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Population Count, 2021 View more »


Place Type Population (Year/Source) Currently Exists
College or University Yes

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