Long King Trace

By: Howard N. Martin

Type: General Entry

Published: September 1, 1995

The Long King Trace, an Indian trail named for Coushatta chief Long King, extended from the Peach Tree Village of the Alabama Indian Tribe in northwestern Tyler County to a junction with the Coushatta Trace in Montgomery County. It provided a dry-weather alternative-and also decreased the travel distance-for Indians, smugglers, and immigrants on the Coushatta Trace between the areas of present Tyler and Montgomery counties. This trail was approximately seventy-two miles long and could be called the Lower Coushatta Trace. The route of the Long King Trace was plotted on General Land Office original survey maps by use of passing calls in surveyors' field notes for land surveys in the Texas counties of Tyler, Polk, San Jacinto, and Montgomery.

From Peach Tree Village, the trace entered Polk County 1.5 miles north of the point where U.S. Highway 287 crosses the Polk county line, and proceeded southwestward along a ridge (now known locally as the Ridge Road-Farm Road 1316), crossed Choate's Creek in the site of present Livingston, and went along the east bank of Choate's Creek to Long King Creek, then southward on the west bank of Long King Creek. After passing through Long King's Village, the trail continued southward and crossed the Trinity River where the Lake Livingston Dam was subsequently constructed. The route of this trail across San Jacinto County is indicated by field-note references in the Ruth Y. Miller survey and the James Winters survey. From the latter survey, in the northeast corner of present Montgomery County, the Long King Trace went southwestward to the William Weir survey, where it merged with the Coushatta Trace.

Until a bridge was constructed for a highway (now U.S. Highway 59) across the Trinity River, the Long King Trace continued to be an important factor in travel and transportation between Houston and East Texas. Some of the early stagecoach routes from Houston to East Texas usually went first to Montgomery and eastward along the Coushatta Trace, turned onto the Long King Trace in eastern Montgomery County, then followed this trace through Swartwout, Livingston, and Peach Tree Village to the Fort Teran crossing of the Neches River, from where roads led to Nacogdoches and San Augustine.

  • Peoples
  • Native American
  • Trails and Traces

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Howard N. Martin, “Long King Trace,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 14, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/long-king-trace.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 1, 1995