The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 6, July 1902 - April, 1903 Page: 10
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10 Texa6 Historical Association Quarterly.
would likely be glad to exchange for French merchandise. It may
have been also in the mind of Cadillac that the establishment of a
mission among the Tejas Indians would bring the Spaniards nearer
to Louisiana, and thus facilitate trade between the two peoples.
It is evident that the expedition did look further than the purchase
of a few horses and cattle; the confessed motive was but a device
to hide the ulterior motive, or rather, perhaps, a feeler put out to
try how much in the way of trade the Spaniards might be induced
It was probably in the latter part of September, 1713, that
Saint-Denis set out from Mobile, with his men and goods, in five
canoes. At Fort St. John, Biloxi, they halted while Pnicaut, our
historian, with several other men, proceeded up the Mississippi to
secure for guides some Nachitoches Indians who lived with a tribe
on the eastern side of the river. They were detained at Biloxi
several months,' on account of difficulties with the Indians, and
it is probable that the journey was not resumed until the following
year.2 At the village of the Tonicas, two leagues above the mouth
of Red River, the company halted again to collect provisions, and
to induce the .chief of the Tonicas and several of his men to accom-
pany the party on the journey west.3 From this point they pro-
pelled their canoes eighty leagues up the river to a village of the
1Pdnicaut, Margry, V 497.
'The Spanish governor of Pensacola, Don Gregorio Salinas de Varona,
had heard rumors of this expedition before August 21, 1713, for on that
date he wrote to the viceroy informing him that twenty Frenchmen and
fifty Indians with six boats loaded with merchandise had set out from
Mobile to introduce goods into Mexico. Vide Dictamen Fiscal, Texas MSS.,
127 vuelta, 191 vuelta. La Harpe, in an extract from his journal, Mar-
gry, VI 193, says that Saint-Denis set out from Mobile August 23, 1714.
The patente is dated September 12, 1713. P~nicaut has the expedition
begin soon after the arrival of Cadillac at Mobile. Saint-Denis in his
Declaraci6n, dated June 22, 1715, does not give the date of his departure,
but says that he set out from Mobile about a year and nine months before.
It seems probable that he left Mobile in September, 1713, the detention at
Biloxi preventing a real departure until some time in the early months of
1714. This view is sustained by the fact that he stopped six months or
more among the Tejas Indians, and reached the Rio Grande before Febru-
ary 15, 1715.
IPenicaut, Margry, V 497.
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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/m1/14/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.