The (early) reviews are in!!!

In the process of getting a book to print, the publisher sends out pre-release copies to reviewers to generate those "blurbs" on the back cover. The three reviewers who have commented are each people whom I highly respect and who have an often intimate knowledge of my work over the years. I am extremely proud to share these and highly appreciative of the endorsements from these three scholars.


Dr. Jim Bruseth is the former director of the Archaeology Division of the Texas State Historical Commission and led the effort to recover the Belle, the lost ship of LaSalle.

“Gary Pinkerton’s book Trammel’s Trace, The First Road to Texas from the North is an impressive contribution to our understanding of the Nineteenth-Century settlement of eastern Texas.  For the first time, a comprehensive compilation has been made about Trammel’s Trace and the life of Nicholas Trammell, the man who developed the trail system to first smuggle contraband and later to engage in legal commerce in Texas.  Pinkerton is the perfect author of this study, having personally located  many present-day remnants of the trace with his team of historians and archaeologists.   Pinkerton’s exhaustive research in Texas, Arkansas, and other archives has enabled him to describe the trace with stunning detail and to make a plea to the present generation about the urgent need to preserve the parts of the trace that still exist.  Moreover, his presentation of Nicholas Trammell’s life from Tennessee to Texas appropriately highlights the contributions Trammell made to Texas.  Anyone interested in the history of settlement in the Lone Star State will want this book for their library.” — Jim Bruseth, Ph.D.


Jeff Williams is Technical Coordinator and responsible for the GIS lab at the Temple School of Forestry at Stephen F. Austin State University. He is also a fellow rut nut who has spent many hours on old roads of east Texas.

“Western expansion following the Louisiana Purchase created turbulent pressures on the boundaries of Spanish Texas and the United States which neither nation could afford to ignore.  During these disquieting years the sparsely patrolled frontier and the lure of lucrative trade in horses gave rise to numerous smugglers in the wild fringes of Texas and none was more colorful than Nicholas Trammell.  Pinkerton’s wonderfully written and meticulously researched history of Trammel’s Trace follows the life of Nicholas Trammell; exposing him as both a scoundrel and an entrepreneur.  Pinkerton leaves no doubt that Nicholas Trammell, like all the shadowy figures associated with the early borderlands of Texas, played an integral part in opening Texas to those who wished to emigrate from the United States.  Trammel’s Trace, while belonging to history as a smugglers trail turned artery of early Texas colonization, exists today as dim paths through forests or as shallow swales across forgotten pastures, and in some places as county roads and highways. In his book, Pinkerton has expertly demonstrated the depth of his research through the retracement of this early and often obscure road across the landscapes of today.  Backed by solid evidence from dedicated examinations of landownership abstracts, historic maps and documents, as well as sifting through voluminous antecedent documents, Pinkerton has written a compelling and intriguing story of the origin and evolution of an early Texas road that no historian should be without.” —Jeffrey M. Williams, Stephen F. Austin State University


Dr. Francis X. Galan is a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. We met years ago through the East Texas Historical Association and his research focus on Los Adaes and early borderlands history has been an important guide for my work.

“Pinkerton’s glimpse at Trammel’s Trace as a ‘smuggler’s back alley’ into Northeast Texas offers a refreshing tale about other roads and characters beyond the traditional narrative of colonization in the Lone Star State. The transformation of Nicholas Trammell from clandestine trader to settled farmer and slaveholder by the early 1840s is a reminder that there remains more to learn about early immigrants to Texas than meets the eye. Pinkerton relates Trammell’s journey in a well-written, narrative style that different audiences may share alike.”— Francis X. Galan, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of History at Texas A&M University-San Antonio


I'm extremely proud to share these. Makes you want to read it, right?