The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 33
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier.
nized, and nine years later had a population of between two hun-
dred and two hundred and fifty French and Spaniards, housed
in some eighty or ninety wooden buildings. In 1801 two
travelers report the fighting strength of its population at
four hundred and speak of an extensive commerce with Louis-
iana.1 From other sources we know that by this time the original
French and Spanish elements had been joined by an American con-
tingent that speedily monopolized the fur trade.2 The jurisdiction
of Nacogdoches, about 1785, was extended to the little settlement
of Bayou Pierre, on the Red River, thus including what had been
a former French establishment, and in a( measure counteracting
the spread of that people in Attakapas and Opelousas. Contra-
band trade seems still to have been the main interest of the popula-
tion, including officials.4
Beyond the attempted abandonment of the settlements of east-
ern Texas, none of the measures proposed by the local authorities
for the development of Texas were considered by the viceregal of-
ficials or by the home government. In addition to the above un-
fruitful suggestion of Mezieres, it was proposed to open free
trade between Louisiana and Texas, establish one or more ports
upon the Gulf coast of the latter, and adopt the Sabine as the
boundary between the two provinces. Governor Ripperdt of Texas,
Cabellero De Croix, the chief executive officer of the newly-created
eastern Internal Provinces, and Mezieres, the local commandant at
Natchitoches, all' united in recommending this policy either wholly
or in part, but in vain. The jealousy of a possible rival port led
the Sala de Consulado of Vera Cruz, some eight years after the
proposal, to suggest a solution of the question that would "unite
the interests of the State with the well-being of the two provinces,
and without prejudice to that of New Spain." Such a course sim-
ply meant no action upon the proposal. At this same time (1785-
86) an expedition under Castro and Evia explored the coast of
'Historia LXII, Document VII; Ibid., Doc. LXIX.
'Jefferson Papers, Series 2, Vol. 76, No. 7; House Doc. No. 50, 19 Cong.,
"Annals of Congress, 9 Cong., 2 Sess., 1097.
4Historia C, Doc. 6; see TuE QUARTERLY, VIT 208; Perrin du Lae,
Voyages dans les Deum Louisianes, 375 (Paris, 1805).
'The correspondence upon this topic is found in Historia XLIII, Doc.
XLI. For complete title, cf. Bolton, in TIIE QUARTERLY, VI 108. See
also Hisloria XLIII, Opcsculo, IV. Par. 6.
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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/m1/41/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.