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More Warren's Trading Post Maps

1849 map
This map from 1849 shows Warren in Fannin County, Texas and Warren's Trading Post just above Cooke County, Texas. The road that connects to the trading post leads to a group of native American villages that would surround Fort Belknap by 1851 (Hardin Simmons Library).

I previously wrote about a map that showed "Warren's Trading Post" in 1867 near Red Creek in today's Jefferson County, Oklahoma. This was a trading post possibly linked to Abel Warren but which hadn't been previously documented. So I thought, let's do some more digging!


First, a little history: Abel Warren came from Massachusetts to the Red River Valley after Texas became a Republic in 1836 with the intent of establishing trade with the native tribes. He purchased wagon loads of items at Fort Smith to exchange for bison hides, deer leather, and beaver pelts brought in by Comanche, Kiowa, Caddo, and Wichita men and women.


He established his first stockade near today's Ambrose, Grayson County, Texas. Due to the influx of white settlers, however, trade with native people moved westward, and therefore, so did Warren. He ended up in several different locations on the Red River in Indian Territory (north bank), but not all of them are well-known and documented. His most well-known trading post was on Cache Creek, previously occupied by Holland Coffee, where a peace treaty was signed between two warring tribes. I have yet to find a map indicating its existence, though.


I found two other maps of Texas, both from the period after Texas statehood (1845). Cordova's map from 1849 shows Warren's trading post on the Red River above Cooke County, which connected to a road leading to Indian villages (Keechi, Waco, Caddo, and Panis) on the Brazos River in the area that would become the reservation surrounding Fort Belknap (established 1851).


The second map is not dated. I used hints to estimate the time period. Since this map does not show Wise or Montague Counties, which were organized in 1855 and 1856, respectively, this map must date prior to that but after the formations of Denton (1846) and Cooke (1848) counties. The map has Fort Belknap, which was opened in 1851. Therefore... the map's time period of "historic capture" is between the years of 1851 to 1855.


1851 to 1855 map
Map of Texas ca. 1851 to 1855, which shows Warren's Trading Post at Walnut Creek in today's Love County, Oklahoma (Hardin Simmons Library).

Within this time frame, the map shows the trading posts that Abel Warren ran, or once ran. Earlier histories explain that the posts were established by Holland Coffee and Warren may have purchased them, or was in partnership with Coffee, before Holland Coffee opened his post at Washita Bend, which became the town of Preston in Grayson County.


The map shows the town of Warren in Fannin County, named after Abel Warren's first trading post, which was opened in the early 1830s. It was not a successful post and Warren left the location, but settlers did not. Today, the approximate location is Ambrose in Grayson County.


The map also shows Warren's Trading Post between Walnut Creek and Mud Creek in today's Love County, Oklahoma just across the Red River from the bend that's now called Warren's Bend in Cooke County, Texas. According to the Handbook of Texas, this post was established in 1837. It appears to have remained in operation by the time this map was produced (1851-1855), even though Abel Warren himself had left the store to return to Massachusetts, where he married his childhood sweetheart around 1850.


Contemporary accounts, and the Handbook of Texas, have Abel Warren running a trading post at Cache Creek in Indian Territory (established in the 1830s by Holland Coffee) in 1847/1848. However, since this is not indicated on the map, I have to assume that the post was abandoned by the time the map was published (1851-1855).


Accounts about Abel Warren's life explain that when he went back to Massachusetts to marry, his partner absconded with the stock in the store. Warren didn't come back to the Red River but instead, returned to the area of Fort Smith, Arkansas to become a trader and a farmer on the 80 acres of public land he acquired.


Maybe this partner actually moved the trading post after the Civil War to the location indicated on Pressler's Map from 1867. During the Civil War (1861-1865), outposts like Warren's trading post at Walnut Creek in Love County, Oklahoma were abandoned for a multitude of reasons: travel to places back east to procure inventory became very difficult; American military protections waned; and exchanging the hides and pelts that the Comanches, Kiowas, and Wichitas brought in became nigh impossible. The lack of interaction gave the Plains tribes the opportunitiy to raid settlements and push their territories towards the east, which further stopped the trading posts from trading.


If anyone can find a map with Warren's trading post on Cache Creek (Indian Territory: Choctaw Nation before 1850, then Chickasaw Nation, and then Oklahoma Territory in the Apache/Kiowa/Comanche Reservation), let me know!!!!

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