The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 59
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier.
The Spanish consul at Natchez, Vidal, entered a complaint against
him, but his passport was in regular form, and after a preliminary
hearing he was discharged for want of jurisdiction. Vidal sent
word to the Texas authorities, and likewise to the Spanish com-
mandant at Fort Mir6, who sent a force of fifty men to intercept
Nolan; but the latter was not to be deterred from his course, and
the Spaniard did not attempt to use force. Making a detour to
avoid unnecessary trouble at the fort, the little company, now re-
duced by desertions to eighteen, crossed the Red River, visited a vil-
lage of Caddo Indians, and finally pressed on to the Brazos. In the
course of a few months they had collected several hundred head of
horses and had visited the Comanche Indians on the Red River, as
well as several other important tribes near the Brazos. Finally on
the 21st of March, 1801, they were attacked by a force of a hun-
dred Spaniards, -and in the ensuing fight Nolan was killed, three
others wounded, and eleven of the number captured. This fight
probably took place near the site of the city of Waco, Texas.
Three of those engaged in the fighting escaped, one died, and one
was hanged by the Spaniards at Chihuahua, in 1807. When Pike
visited this town early in that year, he met with a member of the
party and from him learned of most the others. In their behalf
he made an ineffectual appeal to the captain-general, Salcedo, and
upon his return to the United States, published in the Natchez
Herald an account of their condition.' Of their number P. E.
Bean, popularly known as Ellis P. Bean, is the only one who be-
comes of importance in Southwestern history.
From the correspondence already noted one is -disposed to give
a great deal of weight to the deposition of Mordecai Richards, one
of the early deserters from Nolan's party. Richards stated that
Nolan's plan was 'to build a fort near the Caddo Indians, explore
the country for mines, gather horses, and then return to Kentucky.
Here he expected to be joined by volunteers in a scheme for the
conquest of Texas.2 Probably one should substitute New Mexico
for Texas, but with this change one is prepared to accept Rich-
ards' statement as affording a tangible explanation for Nolan's er-
ratic but adventurous career.
'Coues, Expeditions of Zebulon Montgomery Pike, I, LII.
2Garrison, Texas, 113.
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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/m1/67/: accessed November 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.