The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 6, July 1902 - April, 1903 Page: 82
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82 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
secondary, cause of the only war waged by the American people for
territorial aggrandizement,1 it has marked for more than half a
century the advance line of Anglo-Saxon domination upon this con-
tinent. In view of its past importance and of its present signifi-
cance, a survey of its development, from a somewhat different
standpoint than the usual one, may be not only admissible, but prof-
For this survey, it must be acknowledged that the documents are
neither so numerous nor so weighty as would be desirable; nor is
the reason for this hard to discover. Previous to the revolt of
Mexico from Spain the frontier settlements were so widely sepa-
rated from each other that it was not necessary to limit strictly the
boundaries of the provinces in which they were established. Never-
theless, there was a sort of delimitation in every case, and it is the
aim of the writer to trace briefly this delimitation, in order to show
its bearing upon subsequent boundary claims.
By the end of the seventeenth century the northeastern provinces
of Nueva Espafia were Nuevo Mexico, Nueva Vizcaya (Chihuahua),
Nueva Estremadura (Coahuila), and Nuevo Reino de Leon. Texas
had been visited and portions of it traversed by exploring parties
during the two previous centuries; and more recently, during the
closing years of the seventeenth century, it had been the scene of
three entradas, which mark the true beginning of Texas history.
But a quarter century was to elapse before the territory should be
raised to the dignity of a compound name and of a separate pro-
vincial government. A half century was to pass, before the last
of the provinces bordering on Texas, Nuevo Santander (Tamauli-
pas), was to be pacified and .organized. The four provinces first
named at that time constituted the frontier buffer provinces, oppos-
ing the tribes of savages then wandering at will over the territory
of Nuevo Santander and Texas.
Of the rivers destined to play an important part in the ultimate
settlement of the boundaries of these provinces, the most important
is the Rio Grande. This river rises in Colorado and flows south-
ward through New Mexico, where it bore, in the days when the
1With this statement and others of similar drift in this article the
reader should compare the argument of Judge Fulmore in The Annex-
ation of Texas and the Mexican War, THE QUARTERLY, V 28-48.-EDITOR
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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/m1/86/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.