The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 6, July 1902 - April, 1903 Page: 25
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Louis Juchereau de Saint-Denis. 25
for the French of Louisiana a freer and more profitable trade
arrangement with Mexico. The same business motive no doubt led
Saint-Denis, when he failed in his first effort, to accept service
with the Spanish and to assist to introduce their friars and soldiers
into territory which might, with much justice, have been claimed
as French. The missionary and colonizing expedition of 1716 was
the immediate result of the presence of Saint-Denis and his com-
panions in Mexico; the rulers of New Spain were again brought
to fear that the French would supersede them in the lands east of
the Rio Grande. Both in its plan and purpose, as well as in the
motive which occasioned it, the entrada of Captain Ramon resem-
bled those of Leon and Teran, respectively in 1690 and 1691. But
there were two notable differences. The presence of women in the
company, and of men equipped for active settlement, gave it the
aspect of a permanent colonizing enterprise. The elements which in
the earlier effort at settlement had offended and irritated the In-
dians, were at this time, to a great extent, absent; and instead of
being jealous and hostile, the natives were constantly friendly, and
willing to assist the Spaniards in whatever way they were required.
But the most important difference lay in the changed attitude of
the French. Instead of an abandoned fort and a few refugees
scattered among the Indian tribes, Captain Ramon found the rivals
of Spain settled upon Red River, and facing aggressively west-
ward. To have withdrawn again would have meant surely to aban-
don Texas to the French. Moreover, to make permanent the mis-
sions established among the Tejas tribes it was necessary to go
further, to extend .the sphere of occupation, and to make a greater
show of strength. To this end a mission and a presidio were soon
established upon the San Antonio river, a half-way house between
the remote settlements on the Neches and Sabine, and the outlying
settlements of Mexico; to facilitate communication by sea with the
home government, a post was established on San Bernard Bay; and
in order that they might better control the Indians and repel the
advance of the French, the garrisons of the several missions were
increased to an effective force. This time there was to be no
The importance of the Saint-Denis expedition has been variously
estimated. One class of writers has been able to see in it little
more than the romantic escapade of a young and daring adven-
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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/m1/29/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.