Texas Day by Day

On this day in Texas history…

Famed mustanger and filibuster killed

March 21st, 1801

On this day in 1801, Philip Nolan, mustanger and filibuster, died at the hands of Spanish troops. It was not his first visit to Texas to acquire horses. He was also known to be carrying on illegal trade with the Indians. He left Natchez at the head of a body of well-armed men in October 1800 and made his way to the area north of Nacogdoches. He then proceeded to a now-unknown Central Texas site, where he erected a small fortification, including some corrals, and began capturing mustangs. He was killed at his fort on March 21, 1801, by troops from Nacogdoches sent out to intercept him. His men, captured and tried, spent years in prison for their part in Nolan's final expedition, the precise nature of which has not been satisfactorily explained.

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