The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995

Notes and Documents
An Expedition to the Kichai: The Journal of
Franfois Grappe, September 24, 1783
EDITED AND TRANSLATED BY DAVID LA VERE AND KATIA CAMPBELL*
DURING THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, THE INDIAN PEOPLES OF TEXAS
played a variety of roles in their relations with the European powers
in Texas and Louisiana. The two that most rapidly come to mind are
those of aggressor and victim. Often overlooked, though, are their roles
as consumers and bargain-hunters. Because they desired more and bet-
ter manufactured goods in exchange for the hides and horses that the
Europeans wanted, the Indians played the traders from Spanish Texas
off against those from French Louisiana. Even after Spain acquired
Louisiana in 1762, East Texas Indians like the Kichai continued to wel-
come to their villages unlicensed French creole traders from the new
Spanish province. As in the days when Louisiana belonged to France, an
intense competition existed among the unlicensed private traders who
went to trade in the Indian villages. Spaniards from Texas, French cre-
oles from Louisiana and Arkansas, Englishmen from Canada, Anglo-
Americans from the newly formed American republic, and even other
Indians competed to trade with the Indians of Texas. Spanish officials in
Texas hoped to eject these unlicensed traders from the villages, as they
believed this unregulated Indian trade undercut Spanish authority and
provided weapons to such Indians as the Taovaya, Tawakoni, Comanche,
and Apache who often raided Spanish outposts. Despite threats and en-
treaties, Texas officials sometimes found themselves powerless to force
the Indians to allow only the designated licensed traders into their vil-
lages. Capt. Antonio Gil Ybarbo of Nacogdoches realized this when he
* David La Vere received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and specializes in American
Indian history. He is currently an assistant professor of history at the University of North Caroli-
na at Wilmington. Katia Campbell, from Avignon, France, received her Ph.D. from Princeton
University and specializes in sixteenth-century French texts. She is presently an assistant profes-
sor of French at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101216/. Accessed April 19, 2014.