page 12 --- To the east this trail connected with one that led to the old French port, Ecore Fabre, on the Ouachita River. (Present day Camden, Ark) This was the nearest point of navigation for the frontier. Merchandise from New Orleans, shipped by Red River and the Ouachita, and unloaded at the bluff, was consigned to traders and delivered to various points in the Red River district. The main travel from Camden was in a northwesterly direction to where it crossed the Great Southwest Trail, or Military Road, at Washington, Arkansas. From this point it continued a westerly course through Mound Prairie, Paracliffra, Fort Towsen, to reach the old Red River Crossing at Jonesboro below the mouth of the Kiamichi River. While Trammell's Trace from Fulton was the most direct route to Nacogdoches, Texas, much of it was subject to overflow, so thatduring the rainy season travel proceeded over the trail to Port Towsen and down the Spanish Trail from Jonesboro to reach Trammells Trace, as has been stated. Nicholas Trammell's place was conveniently located at the junction of the Washington-Camden road with the old road to Haynesville, Louisiana.The first record we find of this place says: "Nick Trammell at his residence on the Terre Rouge (creek) entertained visitors and health seekers from the south on their way to Hot Springs. These planters from the south had plenty of money, and Nick at his place, and Polly Vaughn at her place (Janes ferry on Little Missouri River) got much of their specie. We have no doubt he refers to gambling and horse-racing which was part of the entertainment at the taverns along the early traces. Nick's uncle, David Trammell kept the tavern at the junction where the road to Hot Sprlngs left the Great Southern Trail. And strangely enoughhe called his tavern Fair Play. Featherstonaugh stopped there on histrip to the Texas Frontier in 1834, and describes it well.
page 13 --- There is little doubt but that Nick Trammell's father and his uncles traded on the trails to the west long before Nick came to Texas. His father Nicholas Trammell Sr. was one of the founders of the first Tennessee settlement and signed the Articles of Agreement for Government at Nashboro (Nashville Tenn.) May 13, 1780. He was licensed by the government to trade with the Indians of the west and listed as : "Agent of the state of Virginia residing in the territory along the Ohio River and trading in Illinois." The document states that all men over twenty-one years of age are required to have a license, and in this particular party we find the familiar names of Humphry Hogan, Edward Lucus, Nathaniel and William Overall, Robert and George Espey, and Daniel Jarrott, most of them related to Nicholas Trammell. Nicholas Trammell Sr. with his brother Philip Trammell and his cousin David Fane, were scouts for the Continental Army in the war of the American Revolution, and were commissioned to guard the wagon trains on the road to Kaskaskia on the Mississippi River. This evidence is found in the Old Records Division of the Library of Congress as well as in the archives of Kentucky. After the war when the government granted land to the soldiers in the states of Tennessee and Kentucky, Nicholas Trammell Sr. held a commission as commander of rangers who were to guard the new settlements. It was in fulfilling this duty that he was killed by the Cherokee Indians in the year 1784. Judge Haywood, early historian of Tennessee, gives a long and thrilling account of the bravery displayed by these men and he says Trammell and Hoskins, who were enthusiastically courageous and bent upon making their enemy yield the palm of victory, precipitated themselves into the midst of the Indians ... and fell by the hand of the foe.
page 14 --- An inventory of Nicholas Trammells estate appraised by James Ford and Soloman White was filed in Davidson County records June 25, 1784 , and the court appointed Fanny Trammell (the wife of Nicholas Trammell Sr.) administrator of the estate for Nicholas Trammell Jr. a minor. While the personal estate was small there was considerable land involved. Nicholas Trammell had received a bounty grant for his services in the Revolutionary War, and to this the government granted 640, acres "to tlle heirs of Nicholas Trammell for his heroic defense of Davidson County.. This land was granted by the state of North Carolina and Mr. Heywood explains, "When the right of pre-emption was created 1783 events took place which formed pre-emptioners into classes.Some had gone off when public distress was very pressing, And lived in Kentucky. Some had remained and defended the country through all of its dangers and because of their great bravery some of them left young children and widows. These were entitled to 640 acres of land". The act then names those so honored and among them is the name Nicholas Trammell.. In Mr. Haywoods account of Nicholas Trammells death he says, At the head of White Creek. Nicholas Trammell and Philip Mason had killed and were skinning a deer when the Indians fired upon them wounding Philip Mason, they got the venison while Trammell got assistance from Eaton's Station and followed the Indians." This fixes the location in which Little Nick lived and the early histories of Tennessee tell us much of the character and conditions of the White Creek settlement and Eaton's station, near Nashville..
page 15 --- By treaty the Chickasaws had deeded the land on Duck River andthe Cumberland to the settlers even when the Cherokees claimed they had no right to do so. In spite of the frail agreement the settlers developed trading posts and established their homes. The record states Casper and George Mansker commenced their little fixings for making meal but the master millers were Frederick Stump and John Buchanan. The article concludes with "Capt. Stump had a real good dam and a realgood mill and made down right good corn meal at his mill on White Creek". It is interesting to note how this mill operated. There was a wheel, and upon the rim was fastened a number of cow horns. As each horn was filled with water from the stream its weight turned the wheel so thenext horn was presented for filling. Thus the Wheel was kept in constant motion. The mill supplied the neighboring settlements. Eatons Station was a mile and one half below the Big Salt Lick (Nashville) and Capt. John Donelson's diary states "It was agreed the fort at Nashboro should be the main defense" for the settlements on Duck River and the Cumberland. The land records of Kentucky and Tennessee show that Nicholas was surrounded by his relatives in the settlement in the west, but he does not appear in the record, again until 1808 when the Land Grant Book of Franklin County lists To Nicholas Trammell, Jr., heir of Nicholas Trammell, Sr.deceased, land on the waters of Elk River (description given) and witnessed by Norton Maulding and Bartlett Pitte, acting attorneys in factfor the said Nicholas Trammell, Jr. the heir of Nicholas Trammell Sr. deceased. Nicks mother was certainly dead at this time for he is the sole heir to the property, a fact which is sustained in several documents pertainingto land titles, and when at length he sells the land granted to him on account of father's death, the document is signed Nicholas Trammell and Sarah his wife. We could find no record of this marriage.
page 16 --- It is reasonable to suppose that Nick joined the trading word? of his uncles who continued to trade in the west. Born in the wildernessand schooled to hardship, he doubtless was of much service even before he was grown. The record shows that he acted as interpreter for the courts of Arkansas so we must conclude he spoke French as well as Indian languages. Since all the tribes of the Mississippi valley understood French the court required the testimony to be confirmed in French after it had been given by Indian signs and languages, to be certain the court understood the testimony. In fact French was so universally spoken on tho frontier, the Arkansas Gazette always published political announcements in both French and English.. Nick must have been a very queer child. He was small and dark and keen, unlike the other Trammell men who were tall with dark hair and Irish blue eyes. They were dark skinned, however, with big hands and long capable fingers. Because Nick was weazened, he acted as jockey for his uncleswho ran blooded horses on the race tracks of the west. While he tookpart in riding: and shooting sports, he remained forever shy, and the record sustains the fact that he was an enigma to everyone. In the memoirs of Samuel H Williams, published in the Washington Telegraph (1886) we find: "There lived in Hempstead County a well knowncharacter by the name of Nicholas Trammell. To everyone he was knownas "Old Nick Trammell. He was an odd, exclusive, secretive sort of fellow; mingled but little with his neighbors and when he did was noted more for what he did not say than for what he did say; was rarely at home to anyone, and as rarely called at other peoples houses. His comings and goings were secret and mysterious, being frequently conducted under cover of darkness..
page 17 --- "He would quietly disappear and remain absent for days; neighbors knew not where, nor upon what business or mission. Then as unexpectedly he would return and for a season pursue the even tenor of his way about home. He was always flush of money without seemingly putting forth any effort, either of muscle or brain power for procuring it.This fact, together with the queer movements, and absolute unsocialibility of the man gave rise to a good deal of gossip and speculation concerning his character and doings". Thus it is easy to understand how legend was built up around Nick Trammell that cannot be supported by facts. Through the Records of the Civil courts we were able to trace this family from the time they left Virginia until they settled in Texas, but not one record did we find against them in the criminal court record. In the war department records we find they served their country well, in fact the only black mark we have to record is against Nick Trammells sons, Philip and Robert, who were fined for displaying gambling devices (Roulette) in their taverns in Lafayette County Arkansas. Gambling was a part of frontier life, until the year 1833 when laws were passed prohibiting horse-racing and gambling in Arkansas. For six generations the Trammells had fought on every frontier before Nicholas Trammell came to Texas. Thomas Trammel the first ancestor came to Virginia in 1670. He was bound by indenture to Mr. Thomas Wyeth who agreed to pay him in corn and clothes, as was the custom. At the end of four years he was to receive his freedom and fifty acres of headright land. The record of the court shows that he had to sue Mr. Wyeth to obtain them, which was accomplished by the oath of Captain Moore, who commanded the vessel on which they sailed to America. Captain Moore testified that Mr. Trammell had bound himself to Mr. Wyeth for four years so the court ordered Mr. Wyeth to pay Mr. Trammell and the cost of the...note: my copy is missing this line.
page 18 --- Thus the fight for freedom began. Thomas settled on his land in Stafford County, Virginia and took his place with the pioneers who come to possess the land on the cruel terms of the wilderness. Having established his plantation, Thomas Trammell married Mary, the daughter of John Williams who "Died possessed of land in Stafford and Westmoreland county.. which was devised to John Trammell," the son of Mary and Thomas.. Thus the estate grew, until John Trammell the son of a poor emigrant established a plantation on the Potomac River "Next to the lands of Theodoric Bland." Here we find that John Trammell is a prominent citizen, serving as sub-sheriff for the county and giving the land for the famous Falls Church, Virginia. In a deed transferring to Walter English and his two daughters, Elizabeth and Sarah English, he reserves two acres for a church and grave yard at Falls Church where the Trammellfamily lived in Fairfax County, Virginia. The record states: "John Trammell sells two acres of land for five shillings for the Upper Church, to bereserved for a church yard, spring and church. The Upper Church becamethe famous Falls Church of Virginia.. Gerrard Trammell, the son of John and Mary Gerrard Trammell, was appointed surveyor of roads for Fairfax County Virginia in the year 1754.So it would appear the Trammell's had blazed many trails before Nick came to Texas. The document shows that Gerrard was living on the old plantation when his son Philip (the grandfather of Nick of Texas) was born. This fixes the age and date of Philips birth. This Philip Trammell was destined to play an important part in the history of the west. He supported his old neighbor, Ninian Edwards, in establishing a government in southern Illinois and securing the trails of migration west of the Mississippi. Educated in Virginia he was able to serve informing the Territorial government..
page 19 --- The records of Fairfax county show that Philip Trammell married Jemima Grimes, and her father Nicholas Grimes was a man of means and distinction. For her wedding present Nicholas Grimes gave his daughter a pony so she would be free to visit her friends and relatives. This is where the name Nicholas comes into the Trammell family, and distinguishes the heirs from the other branches appearing in the records of the War Department. Philip and Jemima started life peacefully and elegantly in their plantation home in Fairfax County, Va. But even then the war of the American Revolution was brewing and since their sentiments were with Democracy they were destined to be catapulted across many frontiers and end gloriously with their sons west of the Mississippi River. . The first brave move was to cross the Potomac and join their relatives in Maryland in signing the Association Test of Loyalty, which preceded the Declaration of Independence. This brave band took their standagainst the unjust treatment imposed on the colonies by England. Maryland was a better place to declare their stand than Virginia, for Maryland was founded on Religious Freedom and had long been a neutralground between the straight laced Puritans and the easy indolence of Tide Water Virginia.. Philip and Jemima well knew they were committed to civil war, for they had many friends who would fight with the Tories and be loyal to England, while their sons would join them in fighting for their rights in the west. As we see Nick Trammells grandparents renounce the ease and luxury in Virginia, to start the long migration through the wildernesswe are better able to understand how the concept of freedom became a fixation with each succeeding generation. Philip and Jemima were reallycasting their lot with their sons who were already trading in the West.
page 20 --- Their oldest son, John, and his cousin B.S. Trammell from Maryland,were trading down the Caro1ina coast to New Orleans. Philips twobrothers Dennis and William Trammell had left Fairfax County and settledbelow the James River, until they joined the migration to Carolina where there was more resistence to King George's effort to regulate commerce. John Trammell had staked a claim on Pearl River and established a commission-house to accommodate trade from the gulf. The grant was described as, "all that part of Louisiana east of tho Mississippi River and the island of New Orleans, and west of Pearl River. Philip Trammel1 Jr. and his brother Nicholas had a trading party that reached from Georgia to Kaskaskia on the Mississippi River, as has been said. The younger brothers, Gerrard, James, Thomas and David,appear in the early land records of Kentucky, in the settlement whereland was granted "for service rendered the Continental Army".. In the year 1796 Philip and Jemima were living in Logan County, Ky. Withh their land adjoining their son Philip Jr. in what was known as the Georgia settlement. In 1797 Philip Trammell Sr. is taxed for 200 acres of land belonging to his son Gerrard, not yet 21 years of age.Philip Jr., John and Sampson Trammell owned land on Terripin Creek whilDavid and Gerrard Trammell each had 200 acres on Spring Creek.. In the descriptions it is interesting to note Philip Jr. andNicholas Trammell owned land on Duck Lick, for in the autobiography of Andrew Davis who was born at old Jonesboro on Red River, he says that his father Daniel Davis, was the son of John Davis and moved from Virginia to Tennessee and settled on Duck River. In his autobiographyMr. Davis said his family moved to Texas with Nick Trammell and statesfurther that he was with him when he cut the trace.
page 21 --- It is interesting to note that David Trammell, Nicks uncle, had married the daughter of John Davis, and that Jesse Davis and John Trammellhad married the daughters of Joel Dickinson. The families of the early migration were so intermarried it was quite impossible to establish all relations, but one thing is certain, they moved together, and the best evidence of this is the documents recorded by the courts. Often they gave much information about relationship.. In the land descriptions they usually named the owners of the land adjoining and often gave little bits of information about them. A case in point a suit brought to clear title for overlapping of a survey. The deed had been given to Ninian Edwards and his ?wife, on the originalgrant belonging to Gerrard Trammell. The suit brought by Philip Trammellinvolved Willoughby Powell and Leonard West. The record stated that it was "a friendly suit to clear title, since these men were friends andneighbors back in Fairfax County, Virginia.". Before the title was clear, Philip and Jemima had moved withNinian Edwards to Shawneetown, Ill. On the Ohio River in the settlement of southern Illinois. Here the old trail from Kentucky dropped dowm to New Madrid where Colonel Morgan had founded a settlement west of theMississippi River, and continued to Ste. Genevieve where Moses Austin was mining lead at Mine a Burton. David Trammell had joined the New Madrid colony with the Bowies and other old friends from Maryland. Among them were Dr. Robert Dawson and Dr. Samuel Dorsey.. New Madrid was located on the old rendezvous point of the French traders called "Greasy Bend", because bear oil was obtained there for the New Orleans Market. The grant extended from the mouth of theSt. Francis River, (near present day Helena, Arkansas) northward toCape Cinque Hommes (Perry County Missouri) and was to extend two degreesback from the Mississippi River.
page 22 --- David Trammells plantation adjoined the Bowies near the mouth of the St. Francis River in Arkansas. Later when Rezin Bowie left his plantation to his son John Jones Bowie and moved with his sons Rezin Jr.and James to Louisiana, David Trammell moved down the Southwest Trail to Hot Springs, and left his plantation to his sons, Peter and Dennis Trammell.. At this time we find that Nick's grandfather Philip Trammell was takingan active part in the Illinois settlement. He was Capt. of the company of militia called into service by Governor Ninian Edwards, and he had leased the Government Salines in order to supply salt for the trade to the west.The record states "Philip Trammell not only possessed a good discriminating mind, he had a strong inclination to military affairs.". Salt had become an essential commodity of trade. It was sellingfor thirty dollars a bushel in the Tennessee settlement, and the governmenthad imposed a heavy tax on all salt shipped through the port of New Orleans.Philip Trammell with his son Gerrard, employed expert men to help produce salt from the Gov. salines. Anthony Hart, a friend of Nicholas Trammell Sr. who had operated the salt licks at Nashville since 1790, came to hisassistance, as did Claiborne Wright from the Duck River settlement. Claiborne Wrightremained with Philip Trammell at the salt works for two years before he returned to Tennessee and moved his family to Red River settlement of Jonesboro.. While surplus hams and bacon continued to arrive for the New Orleansmarket, proving that the pioneers were using salt to cure their surplus meat, government agents reported to congress that western scouts were smuggling salt to the Indians by means of pack horses, and it was believed that saltfrom government salines was being carried to Texas. In an address to congress, President Jefferson explained the delicate balance the Indiansheld in the crisis of the frontier and he said, It is not only necessary to distribute salt among the Indians, but we should subsidize the saltworkers, for the trading posts that satisfy the Indians are our only safety in the west.
page 25 --- In looking into the record of horse stealing....
page 28 --- The ground rose and sunk in great undulations....
page 29 --- It is to be noted how the manufacture of salt thrived in thissection rich with saline springs. Mark Beans salt works in Old Hempstead County are given a prominent place in early records. One of particular interest is found in the papers of Governor Izard of Arkansas Territory, when he tried to get the government to give the Bean brothers a lease of the salines in 1825, and was continually ignored by the federal Government. So that Governor Izard writes a very strong letter in which he points out how necessary salt is to the settlers and the Indians, and how the Bean Brothers have long manufactured good salt at low costs, and with or without the consent of the Government the Governors of Arkansas Territory had granted them a lease, and he would continue to do so. One point that is made in the early correspondence in connection with collecting a tax on salt for the federal government appears in the American State Papers, and established the fact that the people in the west are aware that the War of 1812 is coming to a crisis, and bacon and meat are being cured and stored to sustain the army. Salt was now a commodity of national defense, but it could best be used where meat was abundant. It is recorded that the scouts took the fat sides of bear and cured them for bacon. That buffalo tongues cured and smoked were packed in bundles and transported overland to points of deposit. The records of the War Department show how well the Trammells served their country in the War of 1812. Here again they were not only scoutsfor the army, but conducted supply trains, and served as officers in charge of rangers and militia. It is interesting to note that when the Neutral Ground was established and Dr. Sibley appealed for troops to protect the border, that Levi Trammell was in charge of the militia sent from Mississippi to Nacogdoches to protect the settlers onthe Frontier."
page 30 --- Philip Trammell, Nick's grandfather, was appointed Colonel in the Illinois Militia to see that rangers in the west kept tho trails open for wagon trains and supplies. The original papers of the muster rolls are signed by Philip Trammell Colonel for Ferguson battalion.Here we find the names of Capt. Edward Hempstead, Capt. Joseph Conway, William Morrison, David and James Music, William Ashley, Samuel Judy, Charles Lucus, Robert Gray, James Calloway, the grandson of Daniel Boone and many names that are prominent in the history of migration to Texas. Stephen F. Austin was commissioned Ensign in the 6th regiment for Missouri Territory. Nick Trammell served directly under Capt. B.F. McFarland who had settled on White River Crossing of the Southwest Trail in 1804. He was doubtless attached to various units, because one document stated that he served as scout under his uncle Philip Trammell a Major in the Ill. Militia, and was in company with his cousin Philip who was also a scout of the American Army. Nick's uncle David Trammell with his sons Peter and Denis served under Capt. Thomas in Colonel Booths Tennessee regiment. Gerrard Trammell was commissioned Captain of a company in a Tennessee regiment. John Trammell served with the Militia at Arkansas Post, and Thomas Trammell with his cousin Jacob Trammell served to gard the settlements on the Texas Frontier (Joneboro). As late as 1824 when it became necessary to guard the Red River settlement against Indians and outlaws, Thomas Trammell, Nick's uncle,was elected first Lieutenant of a company organized at Pecan Point. The account of this incident is found in the files of the Arkansas Gazette (Little Rock) and shows the confidence placed in these men since they were elected by popular vote. Nick's grandfather Philip Trammell, resigned his commission as Colonel of the Illinois Militia March 12th 1814, and was elected as representative of the Ill. House of Representatives.
page 31 --- In the Illinois State Historical Archives we read, "Philip Trammell ranger, from Gallatin County, was elected representative of Illinois Territory Legislature October 1812. He was re-elected , the only member of the house to be so honored, in 1814". From the Annals of tho West we find a record of Philip Trammell's service which gives some idea of what he established in the government of the west. In the Territorial Legislature of 1814 on the subject of common schools, "On motion of Mr. Trammell, a committee was appointed to draft a bill to incorporate the inhabitants of the respective townships, to enable them to choose trustees to lease and appropriate the profits of the sixteen sections in each township, for the benefit of Public Schools, in conformity to the act of congress. In the court order book of Gallatin County we find the court orders a road to be laid out "From Flynn' s Ferry on the Ohio River to Saline Tavern... then with the same to Trammell's Field. Then another order saying that Philip Trammell and Nathaniel Lacy shall be exempt from working on public roads on account of their age. Colonel Philip Trammell lived to be eighty-five years of age and his Will is recorded in Shawneetown, Ill. (1818). Jemima's will is recorded in McLearsboro, Hamilton County, Ill. and is dated 1826. So we find the grandparents of Nick Trammell of Texas, left a good account of their deeds in the west, and the friends and relatives who settled at many river crossing on the S.W. Trail were doubtless friends of Nick Trammell and followed him to remote settlements in the West. It is apparent that the Great Southwest Trail was opened as far as the Ouachita River crossing as early as 1811. Indeed a venerable beech tree bears the carving 1800 and another "killed a bear 1811, W.H.G." This may have been William H. Glass who was an indian trader from Arkansas Post and later went to Texas with the Trammells.
page 32 --- Nick's uncle David Trammell moved to the Ouachita River crossing in 1811 with the Davis family, and the old record of Clark County shows that his land joined Jacob Barkman, who was also related to the David family. The census of 1810 shows that John Jacob and Asa Barkman were living on Ouachita River and that they had previously resided at Arkansas Post. Jacob Barkman was the first postmaster at this location on tho Caddo Crossing of the Southwest Trail, near its junction with the Ouachita River and the first court was held at his home. David Trammell is listed among the names for the First Jury assembled and further that his two sons, F.W. and G.W. (George Washington) Trammell went to the Mexican War with Company A volunteers from Clark County. We assume they must have been killed for when David Trammell died his sons Peter and Denis, who had managed the plantation near Helena, Arkansas appeared as the "Sole heirs of David Trammell, their father. Nicholas Trammell, as usual, went in advance of the settlements, and established his home, as has been said, on the junction of the trail that went from Hot Springs to Haynesville in Louisiana. The oldest maps show this as "Leading from the Hot Springs to Red River. Nuttall speaks of it in his journal, "From what I can learn it appears pretty evident that these extensive and convenient routes have been opened from time immemorial by the Indians; they were their war-paths and Hunting trails... it is in these routes conducted by the Indians we are to trace the adventures of DeSoto and La Salle and by which we may possibly identify the truth of their relations." Then he says "The Great Road to the Southwest, connected with that to.St. Louis communicates downward to the most of Ouachita and the remarkable Thermal Springs (Hot Springs) and continues on 250 miles to the settlement of Mound Prairie, on to crossing of Saline Creek (Saline Landing on Saline River) and on to Red River. (This is the road to Fort Towsen before mentioned).
page 35 --- Mr. Davis says, "The community at Jonesboro was once at least well nigh broken up. Many left there, some went to Arkansas and others to Nacogdoches and San Augustine. A Mr. Trammell was the first man tomove his family from family from the Red River country prior to 1825 to Nacogdoches. "There had never been a road prepared that a wheeled conveyance could pass over from one section to the other. Mr. Trammell, with chopping axes and hatchets, cut a road from Pecan Point, or Jonesborough, to the east so that pack horses could pass over it. They used in that day an affair they called a pack saddle, and instead of bags everything was packed in Mexican ciaxes (sillojes). The ciaxes were made of rawhide just as it came from the animal, the hair side turned out and the flesh side turned in. These hides were soaked and softened and then drawn drum tight around a solid wood frame. They were made long enough to fill the space between the horse's shoulder and the point of the hip and were attached together with broad strips of raw hide. There was a large flap of rawhide for covering that made them resist rain. You could carry a featherbed in one of them. These were used by Mr. Trammell, in fact everybody used them in that early day. "A short time after Mr. Trammell arrived in Nacogdoches the Mexican authorities employed him to keep the ferry on Trinity River on the San Antonio road. From this point there is much in the record to determine the activity of Nick Trammell and his friends from the Pecan Point settlement. In Yoakum's History of Texas we find, the news of Austin's intended colony had spread over tho Western country... and about the middle of June 1821, before Austin had made his selection, several families at Pecan Point in Arkansas started for the Brazos and on January1822 encamped at the crossing of the old San Antonio road two miles above the mouth of the little Brazos.