Just as the Hasinai Indian girl named Angelina extended a “hand of friendship and welcome” to Spanish explorers in 1690, we welcome you to Angelina County, located in the heart of the East Texas pineywoods.
The Spanish Franciscan priests, who established the early Indian missions, found a strong ally in the young Indian girl that they named Angelina or “Little Angel.” Eventually her village became known as Angelina’s village and the stream where it was located became Angelina’s river. In 1693 she traveled to Mexico with the Spanish priests and then returned to East Texas where she kept the spark of Christianity alive for her Spanish Fathers. Angelina also served as an interpreter for early French explorers. The Marquis de Aquayo noted in his journal of 1721 that Angelina stood with the other village tribal chieftains and wielded considerable influence as well as directing much of the tribal functions. Spain’s “Little Angel” probably died several years later and is thought to be buried in the vicinity of Mission Conception near the Angelina River. Angelina stitched her life into the whole fabric of East Texas. Her name is given to a river, a village, a National Forest, and to our county.
(Excerpted from They Left No Monuments by Bob Bowman)