Thomas N. Campbell

PACPUL INDIANS. The Pacpul Indians ranged over a fairly large area in northeastern Coahuila and southern Texas. They were first recorded in 1675, when some of them visited the Spanish settlement now known as Monclova, Coahuila. The document refers to them as Papuliquier, which is a fusion of two Indian group names, Pacpul and Geier. In 1688 some of the Pacpuls visited a Spanish mission near modern Candela in eastern Coahuila, where Damián Massanet was stationed. Massanet asked their leader, Juan, to find Jean Jarry, a deserter from La Salle's Texas Settlement on Matagorda Bay. Juan learned that Jarry had become a leader of various Indian groups in the area east of modern Eagle Pass. Later, in 1689, this same Pacpul leader served as one of the two Indian guides who led Alonso De León to the abandoned site of La Salle's Texas Settlement. Two years later, in 1691, when Massanet was with the expedition of Domingo Terán de los Ríos to eastern Texas, he kept a diary which records an encounter with the Pacpul and five other Indian groups encamped on a stream called Caramanchel, which appears to be present-day Comanche Creek, a western tributary of the Nueces River in Dimmit and Zavala counties. One of these Pacpul Indians guided the Spaniards northeastward to the site of modern San Antonio, where Payaya Indians were encamped. He also served as an interpreter for the Spaniards. In his diary Massanet implied that the Pacpul and Payaya spoke the language now known as Coahuilteco. After 1691 nothing further was recorded about Pacpuls in Texas. They appear not to have entered any of the Spanish missions of southern Texas, but one document refers to the survival of a few Pacpul Indians at an unspecified mission in Coahuila as late as 1768. The various documents that refer to the Pacpuls do not describe any feature of their culture.


Herbert Eugene Bolton, ed., Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542–1706 (New York: Scribner, 1908; rpt., New York: Barnes and Noble, 1959). Lino Gómez Canedo, ed., Primeras exploraciones y poblamiento de Texas, 1686–1694 (Monterrey: Publicaciones del Instituto Technológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, 1968). Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959). Lawrence Kinnaird, The Frontiers of New Spain: Nicolas de Lafora's Description (Berkeley, California: Quivira Society, 1958). Robert S. Weddle, Wilderness Manhunt: The Spanish Search for La Salle (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1973).

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Thomas N. Campbell, "PACPUL INDIANS," accessed February 24, 2020,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on November 25, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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