continued at and around the Fort until about 1770. At that time Louisiana had passed into the possession of Spain and, although "the country was fertile and pleasant and capable of becoming rich and populous", it was so isolated and neglected by the Government that the settlers broke up and moved to the vicinity of Natchitoches.
Meanwhile, from time to time, venturesome traders, trappers and hunters had located camps along Red River on the Texas side. Also, several bold Americans ventured in and settled at points within the confines of the present County of Red River. This was during the first years of the eighteenth century, from 1800 to 1820, long before empresario Stephen F. Austin brought in and located his first American colonists along the Brazos and Colorado Rivers. It is of record that several settlers moved from Pecan Point, Red River, and joined Austin's enterprise when it first began.
The author's purpose, however, is not to treat of the far-time and futile efforts to settle this section of Texas, but rather to tell something of the annals of Red River proper, its economic history since American rule in Texas began, and incidentally to notice the genealogies of some of the early and sterling characters that have played their parts in the establishment and building of one of the grandest counties in the great State of Texas.
James T. DeShields