a Pecan Shell
was made up of unhappy colonists who had been uprooted from their
home at Los Adaes
(in present day Louisiana) and ordered to move to San
Antonio in 1773.
After deciding that life in San
Antonio didnít suit them, they appealed to Spanish Viceroy Antonio
Maria de Bucareli who was sympathetic and granted them permission
to return to East Texas.
The site they chose was on the Old
San Antonio Road where it crossed the Trinity River. The thankful
colonists named it Nuestra SeŮora del Pilar de Bucareli. It was officially
founded in September of 1774 and was given a ten year waiver on taxes.
The settlers renewed their former (illegal) trade ties with the French
and it appeared that they would thrive. But an epidemic in 1777 and
raids by Comanches the following year doomed the settlement. Without
waiting for official permission, the inhabitants abandoned Bucarelli
and went north to found what would become Nacogdoches.
Today a historical marker on the west side of the Trinity River tells
Hwy 21 about 4 Miles E of Midway. Just W of Trinity Bridge.
In this vicinity,
at Paso Tomas on the Trinity, was the Spanish town Nuestra Senora
del Pilar De. Bucareli (1774-1779) Indian troubles had caused Spain
to move Louisiana colonists to Bexar (San
Antonio). These people, however, pled to return to East
Texas, and secured the consent of Viceroy Antonio Maria Bucarelo.
Led by Gil
Ybarbo (1729-1809), they built at the Trinity crossing a church,
plaza, and wooden houses, and grew to a town of 345 people. But ill
luck with crops, a few Comanche raids, and river floods sent the settlers
farther east. Again led by Ybarbo,
they rebuilt the old town of Nacogdoches,
I believe that we have a cemetery that the old timers called a "Mexican
cemetery" on our sanctuaries in San
Jacinto County that may be related to Bucareli. The grave stones
were virtually impossible to reach through the vegetation so I have
been working to mark and expose the stones. It is my theory that
some of the inhabitants of Bucareli that was a short distance up
the Trinity River in Madison
County, dispersed into safer parts of East
Texas and that the graves are Spanish and not Mexican. To prove
or disprove my theory I would like for there to be a formal archaeological
investigation and a DNA test of one or more of the skeletal remains.
- George H. Russell, March 24, 2013
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history
and vintage/historic photos, please contact