Wednesday, September 23, 2009

States Exploration: Assignment 2: My State's Name

State Name: Texas

Research where the name of your state came from. Is there a story to tell?: There are several stories but the most common is that the Native Americans in East Texas referred to themselves as thecas or “friend” when they met some Spanish explorers. Later it was found that this word was probably actually Texias which more correctly translated into any ally against the Apaches. It was spelt differently many times including tejas, but eventually we ended up with Texas. You can read a more in-depth story here.

What does the state name (the word) itself mean?: According to another site & supporting what I said above, “Texas comes from the Hasinai Indian word tejas meaning friends or allies.”

When was it established as it’s “official” name?: After breaking away from Mexico during the Texas Revolution, the Republic of Texas became a it’s own nation in 1836. Nine years later, in 1845, Texas joined the United States of American as the 28th state.

Several states were owned by other countries. What was your state’s name before it was a part of the US?: Six flags have flown over Texas. This is where you get the name of the amusement park Six Flags which originated in Texas. Those countries that have owned Texas are: Spain (1519-1685 & 1690-1821), France (1685-1690), Mexico (1821-1836), The Republic of Texas (1836-1845), United States of America (1845-1861 & 1865-present), and the Confederate States of America (1861-1865).

What main nationality were those who first populated your state? Did their nationality have anything to do with the naming of your state?: The native people of Texas were several groups of Indians including: Comanche, Caddo (where we get the name “Texas”), Tonkawa, Apache, Lipan, Karankawas, & Coahuiltecan. Read more about them here.

Was your state name after a person? Tell us about the person & how they inspired the name.: No, the name is not after a person but many of the cities & counties are named after famous people including: Bowie county (after James Bowie who fought at the Alamo; the county I am originally from), Austin (after Stephen F. Austin who is known as “The Father of Texas”), & Houston (after Sam Houston who commanded the Texas Army during the Texas Revolution).

Were there any particular people involved in naming the state?: The Caddo Indians & the Spanish explorers (especially Alonso De Leon, Damian Massanet, & Francisco de Jesus Maria)

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