Brief History Of Dallas, Texas

Dallas as A Caddo Settlement, And the Claim of the Spanish Viceroyalty of New Spain – 1500s to Early 1800s

Dallas is another one of the Texas areas that were originally inhabited by a particular tribe of Native Americans, the Caddo. Back in the 1500s, the Caddo were quite a large tribe, and were very popular with the other tribes inhabiting the area They also held trade relations with the settlers (who would later go on to form the base of the American Nation). They inhabited the area for a long time, long enough to set down their roots and form the roots of the Caddo Nation (which is now a confederacy of popular Native American Tribes).

While the area faced claims from both the French and the Spanish, as it was one of the provinces of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. After years of minor conflict, it was resolved with the area falling firmly into established Spanish territory, as the Treaty of Adams-Onis made the Red River the boundary for the Viceroyalty of New Spain, in 1819.

Coahuila y Tejas, and the Republic of Texas- 1821 to 1840s

Spain held the area for about 3 years, give or take a year, with their rule becoming infamous and gaining a lot of notoriety. In 1821, Mexico declared itself an independent naton, and broke off from the Spanish Territory. Almost 15 years later, Texas itself gained their independence, and continued as the famed Republic of Texas for almost 10 years, a period of small conflicts with the neighbouringing places.

John Neely Bryan, and the Period of Settlement- 1839 to Later Years

John Neely Bryan

John Neely Bryan was the first settler who established the American settlement in Dallas. He was drawn to the area while it was still the Republic of Texas, with the main inhabitants being the Caddo Native Americans. The reason for his visit was that he wanted to establish a trading post at Dallas, but the reason for the choice of his locations is not known. Most speculate that it was the junction of Caddo trails, and nearby natural ford that drew his attention. The Preston Road, a plan which he knew of, was also to run near this natural ford.

In any case, after surveying the area, Bryan returned back home, to Arkansas. While he was preparing for his trading post, a treaty was signed that removed, if not all, most of the Native Americans that resided in Dallas, which resulted in him losing more than half of his entire customer base.

He returned to the area in 1841, and surveyed it again, noticing the stark loss of customers. He decided that a trading post was no longer suitable, and he would instead establish a settlement, one which he founded sometime in November 1841.

Building Up the Settlement- 1840s to 1850s

John Neely Bryan continued to build up and consolidate his settlement. It was JP Dumas that helped him plan and spread his settlement architecturally, as he helped Bryan lay out the first blocks and streets of his settlement. The name of the town is one that has a disputed origin, as one has several candidates for the origin, the main ones being George M. Dallas, Commodore Alexander James Dallas, along with their brothers. The town was granted a town charter on 2nd February, 1856.


The history of Dallas is quite wide and varied, that spans several centuries of American and Pre American history. The area has many influences, with the primary ones being French, Spanish, Caddo Native American and Frontier Era American.