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States of the US


A map of TexasA map of TexasTexas is situated in the south central region of the United States. In the east, a coastal plain extends inland from the barrier islands and salt marshes along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Texas's major cities are located on this plain. Forming the western edge of the coastal plain is the Balcones Escarpment, marked by hills (“Texas Hill Country”) and waterfalls. Stretching to the west of this escarpment are the Great Plains, given over to cattle raising, especially in the Rio Grande Valley, and arable farming. The land rises to the dry, windswept Llano Estacado (Staked Plain), while to the south, beyond the Pecos River in the far west (“Big Bend Country”), there is a mountainous, arid wilderness. 

Rio Grande in the Big Bend National ParkRio Grande in the Big Bend National Park

Mission Espada, originally San Francisco de los TejasMission Espada, originally San Francisco de los Tejas


The name Texas is believed to come originally from the word tayshas in the Caddo language, spoken by the Native American Hasinai people, which means “friends” or “allies”. In 1541 the Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado may have taken tayshas to be the name of the people he met on his travels through the area. In Spanish, the word became Teyas or Tejas. (By a different theory, the name Teyas was how the Hasinai were known to the Pueblo people, and it was this name that the Spanish adopted.) Whatever its origin, the name, which eventually turned into into "Texas", became the official Spanish name for the area north of the Rio Grande and east of New Mexico. 

On 10th January 1901, a well at Spindletop, Beaumont, Texas, struck oil. The Spindletop “gusher” blew for nine days, producing 100,000 barrels of oil per day and triggering the Texas Oil Boom. Gulf Oil and Texaco were both formed to develop production at Spindletop.

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