by Gregory Ripps, Wilson County News
Smugglers. Cattle drives. Adventurers. El Camino Real de los Tejas saw all these and more.
About 50 people participated April 22-23 in El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association’s two-day annual meeting.
Several participants said the meeting, funded by the Floresville Economic Development Corp., was the association’s best.
While many participants walked Floresville’s section of the historic trail the second day, the first day’s presentations at the Beer Warehouse drew people from across the state to learn and share information about the historic trail that stretched 2,500 miles across Texas.
Texas A&M University-San Antonio Associate Professor Francis Galan led off the presentations with “Warfare, Patrols, and Smuggling: The Camino Real and the Problem of Borders in Spanish Texas.”
While reviewing historical records of the goods that were transported on the “King’s Highway” in the 1600s and 1700s, Galan explained that the trail — which expedited trade from Saltillo, deep in Mexico, to the Louisiana border during the Spanish colonial period — also opened the door for smuggling, which the Spanish government could not stop….