The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 39
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier.
overtures o'f certain inhabitants of Louisiana to the French min-
ister in Philadelphia, looking to their deliverance from Spanish
By 1779 the prospect of being able to profit by the humiliation
of Great Britain led Spain into the conflict in which France and
the United States were already allied. Campaigns waged during
the next two years successively brought the Natchez district, Mo-
bile, and Pensacola under the control of the energetic young Gov-
ernor-General of Louisiana, Don Bernardo de Galvez.2 These suc-
cesses promised to return to Spain the territory ceded to England
in 1763, with possible additions that would rivet still more strongly
her control of the Mississippi. Under the circumstances the posi-
tion of Spain towards the new republic became of the utmost im-
It may be stated as a general truth that if the Spaniard dis-
trusted the Englishman, he mingled detestation with the distrust
with which he regarded the American. For more than a year
Spain persistently refused to join France in a war waged in behalf
of American independence; and when she finally entered the strug-
gle, it was as the ally of France and not of the United States,
and to secure more completely her colonial possessions against any
ambitious projects of the latter. Just as in 1762 the Spanish
government was willing to accept the unprofitable colony of Louis-
iana in order to get rid of troublesome French neighbors west of
the Mississippi, so now she was induced to enter a conflict that was
distasteful to her, for the purpose of restricting far more unde-
sirable neighbors to the country east of the Appalachians. Wash-
ington believed that Galvez personally was a true friend of the
Americans,3 but the case was far different with the home officials
who immediately took measures to profit by his conquests. The
Spaniards believed that free navigation of the Mississippi was a
necessary corollary to settlement upon its banks, and their jealous
fears led them to refuse the former, in order to render the latter
unsuccessful. This was doubtless the strongest motive that had
led them into a conflict where they hoped to gain the Floridas and
'Report of the American Historical Association, 1896, I, 947.
'For an account of these conquests, cf. Gayarr6, Hist. of La., III.
8Sparks, Works of Washington, VIII 176.
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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/m1/47/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.