The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 6, July 1902 - April, 1903 Page: 9
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Louis Jucheeau de Saint-.Denis.
and regular supply of provisions for the growing colony of Louis-
iana. To secure this desirable end, and to open the way for a
profitable traffic in French merchandise with the markets of Coa-
huila and Nuevo Leon were the designs of Cadillac in responding
favorably to the petition of Hidalgo, the Spanish priest.'
The undertaking was not an easy one. The way was long, the
Indians were not always friendly, and the Spanish were jealous and
suspicious. It required the energies of a man of tact, courage, and
experience. For this difficult and delicate task Saint-Denis, by
reason of his long residence in the country, his friendly standing
with the Indian tribes, his familiarity with the westward routes
of travel, and his knowledge of the Spanish language, seemed emi-
nently fitted. At the time he was in command of the old fort at
Biloxi, from which post he was called to Mobile to confer with the
governor. He readily accepted the trust offered him, and entered
into a contract with Cadillac by which he agreed to take ten thou-
sand livres worth of merchandise from the public store, to trans-
port it across Texas to Mexico, and to endeavor there to dispose
of it. The passport2 given to him was dated September 12, 1713,
and set forth the objects of the expedition thus: "The sieur de
Saint-Denis is to take twenty-four men and as many Indians as
necessary and with them go in search of the mission of Fray Fran-
cisco Hidalgo in response to his letter of January 17, 1711, and
there to purchase horses and cattle for the Province of Louisiana."
Herein was indicated a desire to confer with Hidalgo, probably
concerning the proposed mission among the Asinais, and a wish to
open up commerce with the Spanish settlements to the extent, at
least, of obtaining for Louisiana a supply of cattle and horses.
For practical reasons the passport did not reveal an ultimate
design of securing a general free trade treaty with Mexico; the
experience of his ship in the port of Vera Cruz had taught Cadillac
the unwisdom of frankly avowing his purpose. Hence, no doubt,
it was deemed expedient that the formal statement of the objects
of the expedition should mention only the purpose of obtaining the
animals which were necessary to the life and comfort of the colo-
nists, and which the Spanish, since they lad them in abundance,
1Le Page du Pratz, I 9.
2Patente, Texas MSS., 120 vuelta.
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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/m1/13/?rotate=270: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.