The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 3
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier.
Mexico, Florida, and Coahuila to the Mississippi region.1 This,
necessarily slight influence, if it existed, may have been somewhat
strengthened by the explorations of Espejo, Sosa, Ofiate, and Mar-
tin and Castillo, who before the middle of the seventeenth century
crossed the Rio Grande and penetrated as far as the Pecos or pos-
sibly to the Tejas Indians.2
This gradual extension of communication from the westward
toward the east might have been met by a counter-current had
the Spanish government acted favorably upon a report made in
1630 by Friar Alonso Benavides, the custodian of the missions of
New Mexico. In the course of his missionary journeys in the
vicinity of Santa F6, the worthy father heard of the Indians of
Quivira and of the Aijaos, located some one hundred and fifty
leagues to the eastward. He proposed3 the conversion of these
Indians and the opening of communication with them, and ulti-
mately with New Mexico, from the Gulf coast in the vicinity of
Espiritu Santo Bay. Although his proposal naively disregards
certain important geographical factors revealed by later explora-
tion, had it been acted upon it might have led to an effective oc-
cupation of the Gulf coast at some point west of Florida. For
nearly half -a century, however, the report remained undisturbed
in the Spanish archives, until the proposals of La Salle and of
Pefialosa suggested the danger of French encroachment from this
Later Spanish writers were wont to exaggerate the Spanish in-
fluence during the period before the French came into the Missis-
sippi Valley. They even claimed that the province of Texas then
extended from the San Antonio to the Mississippi, notwithstand-
ing the fact that within this space there had been no Spanish set-
tlement, and at most only an occasional visit by some explorer or
'Historia XLIll, Opisculo VI, p. 6,'Archivo General, City of Mexico.
'Garrison, Texas, 18, 19; Clark, in THE QUARTERLY, V 172.
'Benavides MIS9., in the N. Y. Public Library, Lenox Branch. A sum-
mary appears in the royal cdula of December 10, 1678, Historia XLIII,
Opusulo VII. Friar Melchor Talamantes, who compiled the documents
for the Spanish authorities during the border controversy with the
United States, believed that the Aijaos were the later "Texas" Indians,
that the country of Quivira bordered on the Red, Arkansas, and Missouri,
and that Espiritu Santo Bay was that later known as Matagorda. His
testimony is too partisan to be trustworthy (see Historia XLIII, Opusculo
VII). The best interpretation of modern scholarship is in favor of the
identity of Espfritu Santo with Mobile Bay.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907, periodical, 1907; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101040/m1/11/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.