The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 11
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier.
With these measures Spain may be said to have acquired a more
certain hold upon Texas, and to have extended her frontier to the
Adaes mission, a few leagues west of the Red River.
The years following 1716 served to limit more definitely the
Spanish and French frontiers. In 1717 Antoine Crozat gave up
his commercial privileges in Louisiana and was succeeded by the
Western Company. The change was beneficial in introducing more
settlers among the French. Among those who obtained concessions
was Bernard de la Harpe, whose land was located among the Cado-
dachos, on the Red River beyond the post of Natchitoches, where
in 1717 the Spanish friars had made an unsuccessful attempt to
found a mission.1 In the latter part of 1718 La Harpe started
out to take possession of his grant. Having established a post
about a hundred leagues above Natchitoches in the country of the
Nassonites, and mindful of the ever present commercial motive of
his immediate employers-the Western Company-he attempted
to open up a clandestine trade with Father Margil, a Franciscan
friar connected with the Texas missions, by promising him a liberal
commission on all sales made through his instrumentality.2
Instead of indignantly rejecting this underhand method of a.1-
vancing the spiritual interests of his missions, the priest promised
to aid him by such secret means as were possible for one of his
profession.3 Meanwhile La Harpe reported his arrival to Don
Martin de Alarc6n, the commander of the Spanish troops in Texas,
and thus provoked with that officer a warm correspondence which
led each to a declaration of national limits.4 Alarc6n in his letter
of May 20, 1719, expressed his surprise at the presence of French-
men in the country of the Nassonites, which they must know be-
longed to the Spanish king as an appurtenance of New Mexico.
He advised him to retire from his position, before he should force
him to do so. In reply La Harpe not only claimed that the Nas-
sonite post belonged to the French, because situated upon one of
the tributaries of the Mississippi, but also asserted that the whole
of the province of Texas formed part of Louisiana, by virtue of the
HIlistoria XLIII, Opusculo III, Par. 17.
French, Historical Collections of Louisiana, Part III, 70; Margry, VI
8French, III 71; Margry, V[ 273-276.
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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/m1/19/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.