The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 6, July 1902 - April, 1903 Page: 8
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8 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
him to a different and more promising enterprise. This was to
open an overland trade route across Texas to the northern pro-
vinces of Mexico.
It has been noted in a former paragraph that Fray Francisco
Hidalgo, when he could no longer hope for aid from his own gov-
ernment in his long-cherished missionary enterprise, turned for
assistance to the French of Louisiana. January 17, 1711, he
inscribed a letter' to the Governor of Louisiana, inviting his co-op-
eration in establishing a mission among the Asinais Indians.2
He dispatched three copies of this letter by different routes toward
the French settlements, hoping that one of them at least would
come into the hands of some Frenchman." In this hope he was
not to be disappointed, for one of the letters at length found its
way to Governor Cadillac. The proposition contained therein fell
in well with Cadillac's policy of seeking more friendly relations
with Mexico. He was entirely willing to assist the Spanish friars
in rebuilding their churches among the Tejas, if thereby he could
secure a better commercial arrangement. Accordingly he prepared
at once to send a tentative expedition overland to the Rio Grande.
The character of this expedition, it is well to remark, was purely
mercantile. It intended no hostile incursion or assertion of terri-
torial claim. In this respect it differed essentially from the plans
set forth formerly by La Salle and Pefialosa in their memorials
to the crown. They had urged upon the king and his ministers
the advantage of the Mississippi as a base for aggressive military
operations against Mexico to the end of securing control of the val-
uable silver mines of Nueva Viscaya. But Crozat was not a war-
rior, nor were his factors engaged to do the work of soldiers. They
were traders merely, seeking a market for their goods, and wilhng,
in pursuit of this object, to waive all nice questions of boundary
lines and royal authority. Moreover, in 1713 there was a pressing
need that a source be provided whence could be drawn a sufficient
'Hidalgo may have written this letter while he was living among the
Asinais. Vide letter of Cadillac, Margry, VI 196, for statement of Saint-
Denis, showing that he expected to find Hidalgo there.
2The date of this letter, January 17, 1711, is given in the passport
(Texas MSB., 120, vuelta) which Cadillac furnished to Saint-Denis in
September, 1713; its purport is given by Le Page du Pratz, I 10.
'Le Page du Pratz, I 10.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 6, July 1902 - April, 1903, periodical, 1903; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101028/m1/12/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.