The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 6, July 1902 - April, 1903 Page: 17
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Louis Juchereau de Saint-Denis.
and other necessaries were required for a successful prosecution of
the enterprise were ordered to be furnished.
Again the vice-regal government was ready to undertake the
occupation of Texas; but, as in the former attempt, the impulse to
such a movement was fear rather than inclination. It required
the actual presence in the City of Mexico of Frenchmen who had
traveled unhindered more than four hundred miles across Spanish
territory to arouse the dilatory and indifferent officials to action.
As long as they could be reasonably sure that a wide reach of
unknown country lay between their frontier and the nearest Euro-
pean settlement, and that their mines were safely hidden from for-
eign eyes, they were well content to do nothing. Texas could
remain an untenanted wilderness; the Tejas Indians might clamor
in vain for the saving ministrations of the priests; and the Spanish
title to the vast domain east of the Rio Grande could remain unas-
serted. But in a day, as it were, all was changed. Texas was no
longer an unknown land; the commerce of the northern provinces
could no longer with certainty be confined to its former southern
paths; and the hidden treasures of the mountains were all but
revealed to envious foreign eyes. Here was an emergency that
demanded action, sufficiently imperative, indeed, to arouse the gov-
ernment of Mexico to set in motion its slow, cumbrous mission-
presidio process of occupation and colonization.
The similarity between this advance movement, as outlined in the
plan of the junta de guerra, and those of 1690 and 1691, is evident
at once. In this instance, as in the former ones, fear of French
encroachment furnished the incentive. Now, as then, a small body
of soldiers was sent forth with a few friars to establish missions
among the Tejas Indians, an'd to keep watch on the French; and
now, as then, these establishments were to be far from any base of
supplies, unconnected by any line of forts or settlements with the
frontier presidios of Mexico, and dependent for existence on the
good will of the natives. The disastrous ending of their former
missionary efforts had taught the Spaniards little. The emergency
was greater than in 1690 or 1691, but the energy put forth to meet
it was less. The expedition, as planned, was upon a much smaller
scale than that of Teran: the military and spiritual contingents
were smaller; fewer missions were contemplated; and there was to
be no co-operative movement by sea. There was, however, a notable
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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/m1/21/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.