The land we call Texas lies at the bottom of a large Cretaceous sea connecting the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic Ocean.
The first people arrive in Texas 16,000 years ago, according to new materials discovered in 2018 at the Gault Archeological site near Florence, Texas.
About 10,000 Coahuiltecans likely populate the area, living in family bands of 100-300 people, harvesting mesquite beans, prickly pear, local fish, and whitetail deer.
Image courtesy of the Museum of South Texas History.
The first of three Papal bulls begins to establish a theology of colonization, later known as the “Doctrine of Discovery.”
Christopher Columbus sails three ships sponsored by the Crown of Castile in Spain to Guaahani, an island in the Bahamas.
Cabeza de Vaca publishes about his travels from the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of California and sympathizes with the indigenous people he meets along the way.
Lipan Apache enter Texas from the Great Plains and settle in the Hill Country. Their name “Lipan” means “Light Gray People.”
Mission San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo) is established by Franciscans under Fray Antonio de Olivares. It serves approximately 50 different local tribes who lived throughout the Hill Country.
A small band of Comanche visit San Antonio, probably on a scouting mission. This is the first documented evidence of Comanche in Texas.
Franciscans establish Mission San Lorenzo De La Santa Cruz in Camp Wood near the Frio Canyon.
The United States declares independence from Britain.
Texas declares independence from Mexico, establishing the Republic of Texas.
John and Nancy Leakey settle along the bands of the Frio River near present-day Leakey.
The McLaurin Incident, one of the last skirmishes with Native Americans in the U.S., occurs several miles from camp. Two settlers and an entire band of Lipan Apache are killed.
Howard Butt Sr. and Mary Holdsworth Butt purchase the property from the Wolfe family, establishing the H. E. Butt Foundation Camp “to care for at least 100 children at once.”
The American Indians of Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions (AIT-SCM) is established as a nonprofit organization by the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation.
Members of the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation and H. E. Butt Foundation employees visit the Frio Canyon together.
This new indigenous translation from InterVarsity Press offers a fresh rendering of the Gospel utilizing the beauty, clarity, and simplicity of Native oral storytelling. It received a Publishers Weekly starred review and won Reference Book of the Year from the Academy of Parish Clergy.
Visit the organization that has worked with the H. E. Butt Foundation for several years, browse their timeline of events, click on the video thumbnail for a virtual tour, or sign up for an in-person tour of the San Antonio Missions by Coahuiltecan descendants of those who built the Missions.
Texas Beyond History (TBH) is a public education service of the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory (TARL) at the University of Texas at Austin. The content on the site is written, published, and reviewed by leading archeologists and anthropologists.
This 1964 book from the University of Texas Press remains one of the best general works on the native peoples of Texas, including 30 pages dedicated to the Coahuiltecans.
This historic 1859 publication was the “principal manual for westward-bound pioneers.” Although it contains problematic language by today’s standards, it remains an important resource for understanding the prejudices many immigrants brought with them as they moved west.
From the University of Oklahoma Press, this work by scholar James L. Haley explores the culture of the Apache Nation as a way to understand the troubled relationships between Apache and the U. S. military in the 1800s.
T. R. Fehrenbach’s history of the Comanches is widely considered one of the best of its kind: “a classic account of the most powerful of the American Indian tribes.”