Upper Coushatta Trace

By: Howard N. Martin

Type: General Entry

Published: July 1, 1995

The Upper Coushatta Trace was an alternate, wet-weather route of the Coushatta Trace. It branched off the latter in what is now eastern Grimes County and ran northward, while the main Coushatta Trace continued eastward en route to a Coushatta village on the east bank of the Sabine River. The Upper Coushatta Trace was used by a substantial number of Stephen F. Austin's colonists entering the future Grimes County to locate homesteads. After passing near the sites of Anderson, Shiro, and Roans Prairie, it turned eastward into what is now Walker County and proceeded across higher ground north of the headwaters of the San Jacinto River. It next passed through the southern part of the future Walker County and rejoined the principal trace at the Battise Village on the west bank of the Trinity River, at a site now in San Jacinto County. Surveyors' field notes for some of the land surveys in this area refer to this trail as the contraband or smugglers' road. The principal Coushatta Trace went across Montgomery County and provided the most direct route from Austin's colony on the Brazos River to the Battise Village. The disadvantage of this route, however, was that it went across the drainage basin of the San Jacinto River, which was difficult to traverse in wet weather. W. P. Zuber, a veteran of the battle of San Jacinto, wrote that his family lived near the Upper Coushatta Trace and used it in the Runaway Scrape in 1836.

E. L. Blair, Early History of Grimes County (Austin, 1930). Robin Navarro Montgomery, The History of Montgomery County (Austin: Jenkins, 1975). William P. Zuber, My Eighty Years in Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1971).

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

Howard N. Martin, “Upper Coushatta Trace,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 26, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/upper-coushatta-trace.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995