The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 4
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
enthusiastic missionary. The only evidences of Spanish proximity,
to say nothing of possession, according to the testimony of later
French and Spanish writers, was the presence among the Indians
of certain articles of Spanish commerce, obtained through inter-
tribal communication, and a knowledge of a few simple church
rites, doubtless conveyed in the same way or by very infrequent
visits from representative friars laboring among distant tribes.
For all practical purposes the Mississippi Valley, in the days of
Benavides, was still an open field for European colonization. The
only result of another half century of exploration and missionary
effort beyond the Pecos, seconded by an appeal over the head of an
indifferent viceroy to the Council of the Indies, was a royal or-
der, issued in 1685 to Friar Alonzo Posadas, to make an exhaustive
report upon explorations east of the Rio Grande.' In this very
year, however, the Spanish policy of documents was threatened
by a French policy of deeds, for La Salle's abortive colony on the
coast of T1 exas opened a new phase of the Louisiana question.
I. THE GENESIS OF THE TEXAS FRONTIER.
Although LaSalle's landing upon the coast of Texas, in 1685,
was wholly unintentional, he at the time was engaged in a project
which was the result of a policy definitely pursued by the French
government since the rediscovery of the Mississippi by Hennepin.
An important motive in this policy was the desire to open up a
way to Mexico for the purpose of carrying on an illicit trade in
time of peace, or of seizing the rich silver mines of the outlying
provinces in time of war. This desire was hinted at in the patent
issued to La Salle in 1678,2 was the burden of the proposals of the
adventurer Pefialosa in 1682 and 1684," and was even an im-
portant motive of the projects of LaSalle.4 In pursuit of this
motive LaSalle proposed to utilize the mouth of the Mississippi,
discovered by him in 1682, as a base of operations against New
Biscay; while Pefialosa wished to direct an expedition against the
'Baneroft, North Mexican States and Texas, I 387.
2French, Historical Collections of Louisiana, New Series, II 2, 3; Cox,
The Journeys of La Salle, II 24, in the Trail Maker's Series.
'Margry, Dcouvertes et 6tablissements des Frangais, etc., III 44-48;
4Margry, II 357; Cox, The Journeys of La Salle, I 171 et seq.
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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/m1/12/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.