The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 57
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier.
arrival of Nolan while he was visiting at Dunbar's. Nolan had un-
consciously escaped a grave danger. Before Gayoso's death that
official had written the governor of Texas, advising the arrest of
Nolan as a person who from his knowledge of the interior of Mex-
ico "might one day be of injury to the Spanish Monarchy." Fortu-
nately for Nolan the governor of Texas died shortly before the
letter arrived, and the officer temporarily in charge forbore to open
the correspondence, pending the arrival of the regular appointee.
Nolan was thus treated with the utmost deference, and never
learned of his peril until informed by Clark upon his return to
Clark added that the hostile attitude of the Spaniards now re-
moved the necessity for secrecy on Nolan's part, and that the latter
was ready to communicate to Jefferson the information he desired.
Indeed Clark wrote that he had "proposed to Nolan to send him
on to the U. S. that you might have an opportunity of learning
from him many curious particulars respecting his Country." It
will be noted that this offier of information covered a wider field
than that merely concerning wild horses. Furthermore, Clark was
so anxious in regard to the matter that he offered to pay all of
N olan's expenses and to compensate him for his time-rather ex-
traordinary efforts simply to obtain some curious scientific infor-
mation of certain equine species. Taken in connection with the
opinion expressed by Ellicott" that it was the general belief of the
inhabitants of New Orleans that their country would shortly be an-
nexed to the United States, the letters of Clark seem to indicate
a desire on the part of the American contingent to aid this move-
ment and to make it as extensive as possible. Wilkinson, at Fort
Adams, on the 22nd of the following May added the finishing
touches to the scheme by giving Nolan a letter2 of introduction
to Jefferson. In this letter he states that he had previously men-
tioned Nolan's discoveries, and spoke of Nolan's detailed knowl-
edge and high character, which led him highly to recommend the
trader to Jefferson. After such an introduction one would relish
the details of the succeeding interview between the horse-trader
'Ellicott to Secretary of State, January 13, 1799, in Ellicott, Southern
Boundary, MSS., Bureau of Rolls and Library, Department of State.
2TI[E QUARTERLY, VII 314.
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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/m1/65/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.