This article examines cultural and economic relations between Euro-Americans and Indians in Colonial Nacogdoches and the Texas-Louisiana borderlands in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Challenging scholarly claims of regional primitivism and economic stagnation in these years, it argues that, together, Spanish, French, and Anglo-American merchants made the best of their isolation from Spanish supply sources in northern New Spain by reorienting a portion of the Indian trade based at Natchitoches to Nacogdoches. Euro-American and Indian traders improvised by forging complex transcultural kinship and commercial ties to survive and coexist. In doing so, they demonstrated their independent spirit and transformed the region culturally and economically. Serving as the major trade gateway in East Texas for more than thirty years, from 1779 to 1812, Nacogdoches was characterized by cultural diversity and economic viability that reveal the active participation of Indian and African slaves in the economy, reminding us that Anglo-Americans did not immediately overwhelm Texas following the American Revolution and the Louisiana Purchase.

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