The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949

Report on Louis de Saint Denis' Intended Raid 87
pour cette expedition le 25 Mars.21 Quoique M. de de Bienville ne
luy ait donnd aucun ordre,22 Et soi en Etat de le desavotier, neantmoins
il y a de l'Imprudence dans cette Entreprise, attendu que ce n'Est pas
le moyen d'Engager un commerce par les terres avec les Espagnols,28
que de les envoyer attaquer dans les Etablissemens qu'ils font pour
s'approcher de nous, parceque 'Encore que l'Intention du viceroy24
qui les y a envoyez soit de nous empecher de penetrer Jusqu'au Mexi-
que, neantmoins II Luy est presque Impossible d'Empescher que
ceux qui y seront ne' traitent des marchandises aves nous;25 aussi II
s'emble que si le Sr. de St Denis reussit, le parti le plus sage, sur les
plaintes qui seront portdes de la part des Espagnols, Est non seulement
de le desavoiier, mais qu'il faut aussi leur payer les bestiaux, chevaux
et Mules qui auront it6 pris, a condition comme bons voisins, qu'ils
en fournissent d'autres en payant en marchandises,26 Et ne leur faire
meme le payement de ceux qui auront 6td pris, que lorsque'ils en
ameneront d'autres; on peut meme Ecrire t M. de Bienville et aux
directeurs27 de leur faire entendre qu'ils28 doivent estre fort aises que
nous leur servions de Barribres contre les anglois;29 que nous avons
assez de terres sans avois besoin des leurs,s0 Et qu'ayant des mines tout
comme Eux,31 nous n'avons nul Interest de vouloir Envahir leur paYs.
21March 25, 1721. Blondel, the commander of Natchitoches, died in February,
1721. On February io, 1721, Saint Denis had already succeeded him as commander.
His departure for a raid on San Antonio could therefore be either from New
Biloxi or from Natchitoches.
22Meaning a written order, which might have fallen into the hands of the
Spaniards.
23The first attempt to open a contraband trade with Mexico by way of the
Mississippi, the Red River, and a caravan route across Texas was made by Saint
Denis in 1715.
24Marquis of Valero, viceroy of Mexico.
25The Spaniards close to Natchitoches traded with the French. This trade was,
however, forbidden by the Spanish authorities, but most Spanish frontier posts seem
to have carried on a contraband trade with Louisiana.
26The indemnity proposed in the document would result in the opening of a
regular exchange of Spanish cattle, horses, and mules against French merchandise.
27Directors of the Company of the Indies, residing in Louisiana.
2IThe Spaniards.
29The French excused their seizure of Louisiana under the pretext that it
prevented the English from occupying the lower Mississippi Valley.
soApparently not all Frenchmen agreed with this statement, but many desired
further extension of French territory in North America.
siThis was a misleading statement, in order to discourage approval of Saint
Denis' raid. The French had not found any silver or gold mines in Louisiana.
In fact, the desire to seize the Mexican silver mines was a strong motive behind
French expansionism in the Southwest and the anti-Spanish policy in the Gulf
region.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/. Accessed May 27, 2015.