Lost Spanish Towns:
Atascosito and Trinidad de Salcedo, 2nd ed.
By Jean L. Epperson. Woodville: Dogwood Press, 1997 and back in print. 118 pages, soft cover, drawings, maps, portraits, illustrations, index, footnotes, bibliography. 1-887745-07-6 Price: $10.00 http://www.dogwoodpressonline.com/
Jean Epperson has long acquainted the archives of Southeast Texas. Here she resurrects the grassroots history of the earliest Spanish settlements of the territory along the lower Trinity River, 1750s to the 1800s. The stories are primarily in response to earlier French incursions from Louisiana who would continue to color the history as they do today. The Atascosito Road ran from Goliad to the Trinity.
These lost towns’ histories are textured by Epperson’s detail of daily life and broad Spanish policy via marriage records, letters, and official reports. Big Thicket history is often overlooked in favor of more easily researchable and penetrable topics of the period, but Epperson draws out characterizations from early records. You can discover fort El Orcoquisac, religious Nuestra Senora de la Luz mission, the local Native Americans, and even the tragic-comic French Champ d’Asile, and the early twisted revolution of Gutierrez and Magee of 1812-13.
Among the more interesting parts of the book are the 1807 census of Atascosito, the cattle brands of Trinidad de Salcedo, and the details of Charles Salier, first settler and namesake of Lake Charles and eventual Texan.