TexasEscapes.com HOME Welcome to Texas Escapes
A magazine written by Texas
 
New   |   Texas Towns   |   Ghost Towns   |   Counties   |   Trips   |   Features   |   Columns   |   Architecture   |   Images   |   Archives   |   Site Map

Texas | Columns | Bob Bowman's East Texas

The Chief's Sons
Natchitoches and Nacogdoches

by Bob Bowman
Bob Bowman

It is a story that has been told and retold in Texas and Louisiana--one that almost every school child has learned in the classroom.

Twin sons were born to an old Caddo Indian chief living on the banks of the Sabine River. Natchitoches was swarthy with black hair and flashing black eyes. Nacogdoches was fair with yellow hair and blue eyes.

As their father neared the end of his days, he called his sons into his presence to receive his final blessings.

He commanded that, upon his death, Natchitoches should gather his wife and children, turn his face to the rising sun, and after traveling three days he should build his home and rear a tribe.

Nacogdoches was instructed to face the setting sun, walk three days with his family, and establish a new home where he, too, would rear his children and his children’s children.

Thus, the twin tribes of Nacogdoches and Natchitoches were born 100 miles apart--one in what would become Texas and one in the place we know today as Louisiana.

The two tribes were located a sufficient distance apart to prevent friction over their hunting grounds, so they remained on friendly terms as the decades passed.

The friendship and trade beat out a well-traveled path between the two tribes, a route that eventually became a highway known as El Camino Real by Spanish travelers.


The story is such an engaging tale that it has been printed, reprinted, told and retold in so many places that most of us have lost count. But the trouble is, the story isn’t true.

It was apparently concocted in 1939 by historian R.B. Blake of Nacogdoches as part of a booklet produced by the Nacogdoches Historical Society.

There were, however, Indian tribes known as Nacogdoches and Natchitoches. And, yes, there are towns by the same name. And, of course, there is an El Camino Real.

While Nacogdoches has adhered to Blake’s original story, Natchitoches uses a different twist. In its version, as reported by the Chamber of Commerce, the Indian chief banished his twin sons to the east and west.

The Chamber manager said the legend is so ingrained in Natchitoches’ history that “folks around here would run me out of town if I said it wasn’t true.”

Regardless of the story’s veracity, it will remain a beloved part of the fabric of East Texas.


© Bob Bowman July 10, 2006 Column, updated April 22, 2012
(Bob Bowman of Lufkin is the author of more than 50 books about East Texas history and folklore. He can be reached at bob-bowman.com)

More Bob Bowman's East Texas
>
A weekly column syndicated in 109 East Texas newspapers


See Nacogdoches, Texas | East Texas

Related Topics:
Texas History | Columns | Texas Towns | People

 


Texas Escapes Online Magazine »   Archive Issues » Go to Home Page »
TEXAS TOWNS & COUNTIES TEXAS LANDMARKS & IMAGES TEXAS HISTORY & CULTURE TEXAS OUTDOORS MORE
Texas Counties
Texas Towns A-Z
Texas Ghost Towns

TEXAS REGIONS:
Central Texas North
Central Texas South
Texas Gulf Coast
Texas Panhandle
Texas Hill Country
East Texas
South Texas
West Texas

Courthouses
Jails
Churches
Schoolhouses
Bridges
Theaters
Depots
Rooms with a Past
Monuments
Statues

Gas Stations
Post Offices
Museums
Water Towers
Grain Elevators
Cotton Gins
Lodges
Stores
Banks

Vintage Photos
Historic Trees
Cemeteries
Old Neon
Ghost Signs
Signs
Murals
Gargoyles
Pitted Dates
Cornerstones
Then & Now

Columns: History/Opinion
Texas History
Small Town Sagas
Black History
WWII
Texas Centennial
Ghosts
People
Animals
Food
Music
Art

Books
Cotton
Texas Railroads

Texas Trips
Texas Drives
Texas State Parks
Texas Rivers
Texas Lakes
Texas Forts
Texas Trails
Texas Maps
USA
MEXICO
HOTELS

Site Map
About Us
Privacy Statement
Disclaimer
Contributors
Staff
Contact Us

 
Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes LLC. All Rights Reserved