The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 9
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier.
ployed in the service of the colony, to open up an overland trade
To accomplish his task Saint Denis passed in September, 1713,
up the Red River as far as the Natchitoches and there built two
houses, one for his goods and one for the guard to watch them.
For several months Saint Denis carried on a vigorous trade in live
stock with the Cenis and other Indian tribes. We learn from a
letter addressed in 1711 to the governor of Louisiana, that he had
expected to find among these Indians a certain Spanish friar,
Father Hidalgo, whom he was to assist in establishing a mission--
a project that seemed to promise the opportunity to open up the
desired trade. In this, however, he was disappointed, and after
a return to Natchez for more goods, he pushed on through Texas
with a few French and Indian companions, and early in 1715
reached the Rio Grande at the Presidio of San Juan Bautista.
From this point, after a few weeks' delay, he was taken to the
City of Mexico, where his coming, though expected, caused great
official activity. His presence in the country and his plans for
internal trade revealed to the astonished Mexican officials the ease
with which the French traders could enter their outlying provinces
and endanger their hold upon the country beyond the Rio Grande,
if not on the hither side of the river. Under the circumstances the
aroused officials speedily planned the reoccupation of Texas. For
personal reasons, and doubtless to help on the general scheme for
the introduction of trade, Saint Denis readily agreed to enter the
Spanish service and to guide the proposed expedition to the coun-
try of the Texas Indians, where his influence would assure the
Spaniards a welcome reception.' While accepting Spanish service
and urging upon his new employers the advantages of the Missis-
sippi as the eastward boundary of their possessions, he told them
that the French claimed to Rio Grande, as a result of La Salle's
luckless voyage. At the same time, although the above action
rendered his recommendation useless, he wrote the governor
of Louisiana, on September 7, apprising him of the proposed
expedition to Texas and advising that the king of France should
'The best account of the Saint Denis Expedition is by Clark in THE
QUARTERLY, VI 1-26. The documentary sources for this article are found
in Margry V and VI, and in Memorias de Nueva Espara XXVII; Cf. also
Le Page du Pratz, Histoire de la Lowisiane, I 10-24.
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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/m1/17/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.