The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 24
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24 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
sending from Vera Cruz the French governor's protest, which was
based upon alleged "fantastic claims" to the whole province of
To this communication the viceroy attempted no direct answer,
but the possibilities suggested by continued French incursions
backed by extensive territorial claims led him or his subordinate,
Lieutenant Don Angel de Martos y Navarrete, who about this
time succeeded Barrios in Texas, to make the most definite sug-
gestion yet offered upon the subject of a boundary between the
Spanish and French colonial possessions. This proposal, ap-
parently the work of Governor Martos, may have been prepared
by him some time between 1757 and 1759, and sent to the viceroy,
Amarillas. Before the death of the latter, early in 1760, he in-
corporated the proposal of his subordinate in a communication
which was forwarded to Spain for royal consideration. The ex-
igencies of the closing years of the Seven Years' War prevented
any definite action by the Council of the Indies. When peace was
finally restored, New Orleans and all of French Louisiana west of
the Mississippi was ceded to Spain, so there was no necessity for
prompt action in the matter. When the subject of Louisiana limits
again acquired an international importance, the memoir was dis-
covered in the archives of the Convent of San Francisco, in the
City of Mexico, by Friar Melchor de 'Talamantes, while searching
for material upon the subject of the limits of Louisiana and Texas.
Although the document was anonymous and undated, it was iden-
tified by an associate, probably Friar Jose Pichardo, as the work of
Governor Martos, at the time above mentioned.1
fHistoria XLIII, Doc. LXX, Par. 14. The question of the date and
authorship of the document is not so simple as its ecclesiastical editor
would imply. Both Bonilla (QUARTERLY, VIII 67) and Morff (Memorias'
Bk. X., Par. 31), give 1757 as the date when Martos assumed command
in Texas. Bancroft (North Mexican States and Texas, I 643) gives
1760, but without a clear reference to this authority for the date. Pro-
fessor Bolton informs me that a report by Governor Martos, dated at
the capital, Adaes, December 6, 1759, is in the B6car Archives. This seems
conclusive, so far as the date of the governor's presence in Texas is con-
cerned, and strengthens the belief that he may have been the author of
the representation. The document itself contains a reference (Par. 3)
to a cedula of May 4, 1760, and likewise mentions the strict union be-
tween the crowns of France and of Spain. As will be pointed out, these
statements do not necessarily affect the question of date or of authorship.
The internal evidence of the document does not militate against the au-
thorship of Martos. Certain expressions occur which show an intimate
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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/m1/32/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.