The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 7
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier.
Mississippi Valley.1 The prospect of this vigorous opposition in
the east determined that the location of the new French settlement
should be to the eastward of the Mississippi. The Sieur d'Iberville,
the leader of the new expedition, proposed Pensacola Bay as the
most likely place for his colony, although he decided also to explore
the Bay of St. Louis to learn its feasibility for a settlement.2
When, however, early in 1699 he reached the vicinity of Pensacola,
he found that the Spaniards had preceded him some four months
and had already erected a small fort there.' As Iberville was under
strict orders not to molest the Spaniards, he continued his explora-
tions farther to the westward, sent his brother Bienville to explore
the Mississippi as far as the Natchez, and left a garrison of eighty
men in a fort at Old Biloxi, not far from Mobile Bay.
On his return to France Iberville submitted to the Minister of
the Marine a plan of exploration in which he proposed to send his
brother Bienville up the Mississippi and the Red rivers as far as
the country of the Cadodachos. From these villages expeditions
should explore each of the forks of the Red River, to determine
how far each was navigable. Upon their return the expedition
should proceed overland to the country of the Cenis (Texas) and
thence to the habitation erected by LaSalle. Meanwhile, he him-
self should explore the coast as far as the Panuco and then return
to the above rendezvous on St. Louis Bay. If necessary, Iberville
would then pass to the country of the Cadodachos and return by
river to Biloxi.4
Had the leader been able to carry out this far-reaching plan of
exploration, it is probable that the French would have made good
their claim westward as far as St. Louis Bay, or even to the Rio
Grande. But when in the spring of 1700 Bienville and Saint
Denis ascended the Red to the Natchitoches, they found it im-
possible to penetrate higher up by water. The Indians, too, were
unwilling to attempt the journey overland. Consequently they
were forced to descend by the same route without farther explora-
1IMargry, IV 19-43; 58-59; Espinosa, Chrdnica Apost6lica y Serdphica,
2Ibid., IV 54, 55.
'Ibid., IV 429.
4lbid., IV 328-329.
5Ibid., IV 409, 432ff.
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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/m1/15/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.