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Rex W. Strickland

PECAN POINT, TEXAS. Pecan Point, in what is now northeastern Red River County, was successively a landmark, trading post, and focus of settlement on the Red River. Its first authenticated mention is found in the French archives at Natchitoches, Louisiana, where under the name of Pointe aux Peconques it was noted as a campsite on the route to the upper river. It is known, however, that previously it was the site of a settlement of a Caddoan group called Natchitoch.

The first Americans to live at Pecan Point were a dozen or more fugitives from justice who were residents there in the summer of 1811. Apparently the transients left the place prior to June 1815, at which time George and Alex Wetmore, former sutlers with the United States Army during the War of 1812, established a trading house near the ancient buffalo crossing on the river. William Mabbitt, of Arkansas Post, set up a rival house in a few months. Permanent Anglo-American settlement began in 1816: Walter Pool and Charles Burkham were the first settlers, followed closely by Claiborne Wright , who arrived on September 5, 1816. By 1818 five Indian traders and twelve families were living at Pecan Point. During the early days of settlement Pecan Point was a name equally applicable to either bank of the river. After the break-up of Miller County, Arkansas, in 1828, only the Texas settlement was so called.

Pecan Point was not a town but rather a center of settlement. Geographically the point was actually a peninsula formed by a loop of the Red River and cut off at its base transversely by Pecan Bayou. The land within the loop was acquired in 1825 by Jacob Black, who in turn sold it in January 1835 to Robert Hamilton, who established Pecan Point Plantation. The plantation, which stood at the northern tip of the peninsula, has been destroyed by the shifting river course. Only slight undulations remain of the ancient Caddoan mounds on the peninsula.


Rex W. Strickland, Anglo-American Activities in Northeastern Texas, 1803–1845 (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1937).

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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, Rex W. Strickland, "PECAN POINT, TX," accessed July 02, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrp20.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on May 1, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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