Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Report regarding the raid by Saint Denis against the Spanish settle-
ment of San Antonio.
Mr. de Saint Denis, who is a Canadian nobleman and a well-known
traveler in Louisiana, much beloved and respected by the Indians
near Mexico, has been arrested several times by the Spaniards. They
made him suffer all manner of ill-treatment, although he was married
to the daughter of one of their captains of infantry. In order to
avenge himself upon the Spaniards, Saint Denis has proposed to seize
their cattle and horses, aided only by the Indians, at a settlement
which the Spaniards are building at San Antonio. Mr. de Bienville,
commander of Louisiana and Mr. de Lormes, director of this colony,
have given their consent [to this raid] as is shown by their letter of
last April 25, wherein they announce that Mr. de Saint Denis has
left for this expedition on March 25-
Although Mr. de Bienville has given Saint Denis no [written]
order and can disavow him, there is some danger in this enterprise.
To attack the Spaniards in their settlements, which they built to
approach us, is certainly not the way to promote an overland trade
with them. The intention of the viceroy, who ordered the building
of San Antonio, is to prevent our entry into Mexico. It is almost
impossible, however, for him to prevent those who live in San Antonio
from buying merchandise from us. Consequently, should Mr. de Saint
Denis succeed, it would be best to disavow him when the Spaniards
present their complaints. Furthermore, they should be indemnified
for the cattle, horses and mules which were taken from them, on
condition, however, that as good neighbors, they sell us other animals
in exchange for merchandise. They should not be paid for the animals
which were taken from them until they sell us others. Mr. de Bien-
ville and the directors should be instructed to inform the Spaniards
that they should be pleased that we serve as a protection against the
English and that we have enough territory and do not need theirs.
Furthermore, we possess mines similar to theirs, and therefore we have
no interest in invading their country.
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 19, 2013.