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TUP INDIANS. The status of the Tup Indians is not clear because at present it is impossible to determine whether or not the Tups were the same people as the Top Indians. Both names were connected with two of the missions established on the San Gabriel River near the site of future Rockdale in the middle eighteenth century. H. E. Bolton made much of the point that the Tups were represented at Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria Mission, which was founded for Karankawan groups only. As both Tup and Top appear in records pertaining to this mission, it would seem that both names refer to a single Karankawan band. However, in another article Bolton also stated that the Top Indians were represented at San Francisco Xavier de Horcasitas Mission, which was founded for Tonkawan groups only. If considered alone, this evidence would indicate that the Tops were Tonkawan and hence distinct from the Tups. Since both Tup and Top Indians were represented at the first-named mission, we have an inconsistency that cannot be resolved until the original manuscript sources are reexamined. Some of the Tups are said to have entered San Antonio de Valero Mission at San Antonio after the San Gabriel missions were abandoned in 1755. These may be the Tov Indians, who were reported there in 1785. Bolton once called attention to the similarity of the names Tup and Top to certain variants of the name Toho, particularly Tuu and Tou. This possible linkage deserves serious consideration.

Herbert E. Bolton, "The Founding of the Missions on the San Gabriel River, 1745–1749," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 17 (April 1914). Herbert Eugene Bolton, Texas in the Middle Eighteenth Century (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1915; rpt., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1970). Charles W. Hackett, ed., Pichardo's Treatise on the Limits of Louisiana and Texas (4 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1931–46). Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959).
Thomas N. Campbell

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Handbook of Texas Online, Thomas N. Campbell, "Tup Indians," accessed October 19, 2017,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.