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TRAMMEL'S TRACE. Until 1813 there was no north-south road from Texas into the United States. Nicholas Trammell is credited with first using the 180-mile trail that today bears his name. In 1813 he established a horse path along early Indian trails from Nacogdoches to various points along the Red River, including Jonesboro and Pecan Point, Texas, and Fulton, Arkansas. The trace started at one of the roads designated a camino real and is now East Main Street in Nacogdoches. It followed what is now North Street out of town and through the site of present Mount Enterprise, then ran north along the line that later became the boundary between Rusk and Panola counties, and crossed the Sabine River near the site of Tatum. The trace then ran north past the sites of present Marshall and Jefferson and crossed the Sulphur River at the crossing later known as Stephenson's Ferry and again at the one that became Epperson's Ferry. The trace connected with the Southwest Trail to St. Louis at Fulton, Arkansas. In 1824 Daniel Davis helped Trammell cut the trail for use by wagons.


R. L. Jones, "Folk Life in Early Texas: The Autobiography of Andrew Davis," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 43 (October 1939, January 1940). Annabel Pagan, "Trammel's Trace," Junior Historian, September 1956. Rex W. Strickland, Anglo-American Activities in Northeastern Texas, 1803–1845 (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1937).

Jack L. Pirtle

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Handbook of Texas Online, Jack L. Pirtle, "Trammel's Trace," accessed October 25, 2016,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on August 27, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.