The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 31
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier. 31
cially the Apaches, some three hundred French chasseurs should
be recruited in Louisiana.
The purpose of Mezieres, as stated by him in these various
recommendations, was to present a serious obstacle to the threat-
ened advance of the English, although his trading interests among
the northern Indians may have furnished an equally strong motive.
His letters and journals of the years 1778 and 1779,1 however, as
all as his earlier letters, are full of the danger threatening from
:he English, owing to their secure position upon the east bank of
the Mississippi, the easy ingress afforded by the Missouri and the
hostile Osages, and the unscrupulousness with which they intro-
duced firearms among the Texas Indians, in order to incite them
against the Spaniards. They likewise appeared to be tampering
with the Pawnees, through whom they were attempting to influence
the Taovayases. It is interesting to note that he mentions the
internecine struggle then dividing the English, but he states that
the colonies, if successful, will prove no better neighbors than Eng-
land herself. His proposals embody the plan of protecting the
country west of the Mississippi by a line of presidios from that
river to New Mexico, garrisoned by the combined forces of the
French and Spaniards in Louisiana and Texas. The two essentials
to its complete success are perfect reciprocity in trade between the
two colonies, by way of the Trinity River and Opelousas, and the
good will of the Indians. His plans seem to promise measurable
success, but the jealousy and sloth of the viceregal and home gov-
ernments rendered them nugatory.
Meanwhile in March, 1773, the viceroy ordered Oconor to carry
out the policy of abandoning the presidios and missions of eastern
Texas. The settlers from Adaes were first transferred to San
Antonio, but upon petition to the viceroy, Governor Ripperda
permitted them, in 1774, to erect a temporary establishment, known
at Bucareli, upon the banks of the Trinity.2 A secondary reason
'Historia XLIII, Opusculo IV; Memorias de Nueva Espala, XXVI1I
243, 278; TIHE QUARTERLY, IX 91-93.
'Historia LE, Petition of Antonio Gil y Barbo. For the details of this
whole movement, cf. Bolton, "The Spanish Abandonment and Reoccupation
of East Texas," in THE QUARTERLY, IX 67ff. A few of the Adaes settlers
apparently never quit the vicinity of their homes. These, with the neigh-
boring French, upon the withdrawal of the Spanish garrison, took the
opportunity to engage still more extensively in trade with the Texas In-
dians (Ibid., 88).
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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/m1/39/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.