The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967

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Across texas 11 1767:
rCe travels of Captaiu Pae s
unceremonious leave of his ship on June 30, 1767, to be-
gin a journey around the world. He later explained why
he did so. He wanted to explore the Indian seas for the French
navy, to search for a northwest passage in the Russian polar
regions, and to study the little known tribes of the world. From
boyhood he had read accounts of European adventurers in re-
mote parts of the world. These accounts had fired his imagina-
tion. He had also become obsessed, probably from reading the
French philosophes of his century, with the desire to see "Nature"
as the "Creator" made it. Thus, when his official duties took him
from France to Santo Domingo in the years of peace which fol-
lowed the Seven Years' War, he resolved to see the remote peoples
and places for himself.
The peace settlement of the war paved the way for him to
travel across Spanish Texas on the first leg of his journey. The
Spanish monarch had joined his French cousin in the Seven
Years' War in time to share a disastrous defeat. As recompense,
France ceded Louisiana to Spain, a cession which nullified an
old border rivalry and made French travel possible in an area
where it had previously been unwelcome. Leaving the French
navy at Santo Domingo, Pages sailed for New Orleans and then
set out for Texas by a route which countless other travelers would
follow during the next hundred years. Going up the Red River
to Natchitoches, he traveled overland to Los Adaes, thence past
the site of present San Augustine to Nacogdoches. From there
he took a southwesterly trail to San Antonio, traveling in com-

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed December 2, 2015.