in a Pecan ShellThe
settlement 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
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 Bucareliís
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
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 E. 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
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