The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 19
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier.
but led those friars belonging to the Convent of San Francisco at
Quer6taro to withdraw to the San Antonio River.1
Some years later occurred the event which emphasized the tenta-
tive frontier line for the remaining years of French occupancy.
In 1735 the French moved their fort at Natchitoches about a
gun-shot farther to the westward and away from the river, in order
to escape occasional floods. As the French exercised jurisdiction
over some ranches extending to the Arroyo Hondo, a small stream
flowing into the Red River, and to an elevation known as Gran Mon-
tafia, Saint Denis, who cammanded the fort, unquestioningly obeyed
when Bienville instructed him to make this move. Don Jos6 Gon-
zales, then guarding the Spanish frontier in the absence of Gov-
ernor Sandoval, promptly entered his protest and informed his
superior of the occurrence.2 The governor ordered his subordinate
to give notice three times of the formal protest against this in-
fringement upon Spanish territory, and if this action should be in
vain, to compel the French to return to their former position. The
action of Gonzales, however, simply resulted in a desultory corre-
spondence continued until August, 1736.
Between hostile Apaches who drew him away from the frontier
to Western Texas, and smuggling French whose encroachments de-
manded his presence at the border post of Adaes, Sandoval was in
a hard place. Moreover, he had nothing beyond vague tradition of
the early entradas to guide him in a diplomatic dispute, while
his opponent was the crafty Saint Denis. He believed that his
country could rightfully claim prior occupation of all the territory
as far as the Red River, but his mere belief furnished an uncertain
basis upon which to meet the arguments of the double-dealing
Frenchman who had personally conducted the Spaniards into
Texas. Sandoval had no positive orders to meet the particular
situation. In a general way he was to harass and annoy the French
as much as possible, and to drive them out of the limits of Texas;
but he did not know what those limits were. When Saint Denis,
from his personal experience, assured him that neither nation could
rightfully claim all of the land intervening between Natchitoches
and Adaes, and that even Aguayo had not objected to the presence
'Bonilla, Breve Compendio in Memorias de Nueva Esparea, XXVII 13,
15. See also Historia XLIII, Op4sculo III, Par. 29; Margry, VI, 237, 238.
'Morff, Memorias, 222-225.
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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/m1/27/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.