"Few rivers can claim as strong a connection to Texas’ natural and cultural history—and its very identity—as the Brazos.
It drains the second-largest river basin in Texas, meandering for 840 miles from the Llano Estacado near Lubbock, cutting across prairie and limestone hills to woodlands, through farms and ranches, cities, towns, and coastal marshes before finally merging with the Gulf of Mexico south of Freeport’s giant petrochemical plants.
Spanish explorers named it Los Brazos de Dios, “the Arms of God,” because of the river’s many tributaries and life-saving waters. Texas’ first capital, when it was a colony authorized by the Spanish government, was founded on the Brazos at San Felipe de Austin. When it won its independence and became a short-lived republic, Texas established its capital at Washington-on-the-Brazos. The river has inspired poetry, art, and music. Perhaps most importantly for the Brazos’ own survival, it inspired an enduring book."
Kathryn Jones reports for the Texas Observer February 8, 2023.