The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 6, July 1902 - April, 1903 Page: 18
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18 Tecxas Historical Association Quarterly.
difference between this and the former expeditions, due rather to
changed conditions than to any accession of intelligence or wisdom
on the part of the Mexican government. In 1690 the French
offered no real menace to Spanish interests. The elaborate plans
of La Salle and Pefialosa had ended in the abortive colony on Bay
St. Louis. For many years the French concerned themselves little
about their territorial claims in the southern part of the Western
World, and the right of Spain to whatever lands she might desire
was undisputed. But by 1715 a different state of affairs existed.
The French were established at the mouth of the Mississippi. For
several years they had been sending their traders westward to
explore the country and traffic with the Indians, and were begin-
ning to feel and to assert a paramount title to the lands discovered
by La Salle. They stood upon the very threshold of Spanish terri-
tory, and were threatening at any moment to enter and take pos-
session. With their rivals thus established, active, energetic, and
aggressive, the Spaniards could not, as in the former instance,
allow their missionary and colonizing enthusiasm to expend itself
in a single ephemeral effort. They must follow up the first
expedition with others. They must found not four missions, but
as many as would be needed to secure them in possession of the
country. Each mission must have, not two soldiers, but as large
a garrison as was necessary to protect it from the savages, and
from the advancing French. They must secure and fortify a port
on the Texas coast. They must be at all times active and vigilant.
In this constant and growing necessity for watchfulness and activ-
ity on the part of the Spaniards of Mexico lay the best promise of
a permanent occupation of Texas.
Moreover, the missionary program of 1715 differed in one sig-
nificant respect from those of 1690 and 1691. If the Spanish had
not brought many lessons out of the costly experimenting of
Father Manzanet, they had learned one of considerable value. The
failure of the first missions among the Tejas had been due largely
to the evil conduct of the soldiers. Unmarried men, and adven-
turers merely, they h'ad been little disposed to settle down soberly
and industriously to the routine of mission life, and instead of aid-
ing the friars in their noble work, hindered them rather by their
vicious lives. To prevent a recurrence of this evil it was deter-
mined, in the later movement, to send with the priests, as far as
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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/m1/22/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.