The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 6, July 1902 - April, 1903 Page: 5
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Louis Achereau de Saint-)enis. 5
the region north of the river. Impatient at the long delay, and
burning with enthusiasm for the conversion of the Indians among
whom he had lived so long, Hidalgo seems to have given up the
hope of securing aid from his own government, and to have turned
elsewhere to find the means of establishing missions among the
tribes of the Tejas. With that mingling of craft with zeal which
was not uncommon among the early missionary fathers, he turned
in his extremity to the French of Louisiana.
If the Spaniards were slow in turning to account the discoveries
of Leon and Teran, the French were hardly less tardy in the fol-
lowing up the work of La Salle. For fourteen years their title to
the vast region known as Louisiana rested in abeyance. Petitions
were addressed at different times to the ministers setting forth the
advantages of a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi, but not until
the year 1698 was the government ready to act. In that year M.
Lemoyne d'Iberville set out in command of an expedition for the
New World, and arrived in the early part of 1699 on the coast of
the Gulf of Mexico, where he established Fort Biloxi. The growth
of the colony at first was slow. The land surrounding it was
poorly adapted for agriculture, hence the colonists had to depend
for sustenance upon trade with the Indians. It was the policy of
the French, therefore, to keep upon friendly terms with the sav-
ages, and to draw their trade as much as possible toward the Mis-
sissippi. To this end exploring parties were sent up the river and
its tributaries to form treaties of friendship with the neighboring
tribes. One of these companies, led by M. Bienville and Louis de
Saint-Denis and consisting of twenty-two Canadians and seven
Indians, set out in March, 1700, to explore the Red River country.
They ascended the river to a village of Indians called Yactaches.
There they learned that they were only two days journey from the
land of the Caddos; and some Indians of the latter tribe, who hap-
pened to be at the village of the Yactaches, told the Frenchmen of
a Spanish settlement five days' journey to the west, where, they said,
were men, women, and children. Bienville and Saint-Denis did
not, however, go in search of the reported settlement, but set out,
May 18, to return to Mobile. Later in the same month Saint-
Denis was again directed to proceed westward with twenty-five
Journal de Bienville, Margry, IV 432.
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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/m1/9/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.