The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 60
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60 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
It is as the first in a long line of Southwestern filibusterers that
Nolan merits this extended notice. His importance is likewise in-
creased by the fact that with his adventurous exploits on the Texas-
Louisiana frontier are linked the names of Wilkinson, Dunbar,
Clark, and Jefferson-all leading actors upon the stage afforded
by the Louisiana Purchase.
Nolan, the pioneer filibusterer, was typical of but one class of the
frontier population pushing in from the United States. As early
as 1791 Edward Murphy received a grant of land upon the Arroyo
Hondo.' Seven years later Samuel Davenport took up his resi-
dence within the Spanish jurisdiction of N'acogdoches. In Novem-
ber of this same year, 1798, Murphy conveyed his estate-La Nana
-to a company of which he, Davenport, a Smith of New York,
and William Barr of Pennsylvania were members." The following
year Murphy acquired additional land between the Arroyo Hondo
'and the Sabine, and his buildings upon this property were burned
by the American troops in 1806.3 These men were evidently as-
sociated for the purpose of carrying on ranching in connection
with horse-trading between 'Texas and Louisiana; and in 1801
their privileges were extended to include trade with the friendly
Indians to the north. Three years later Dr. John Sibley describes
them as a company of "Indian traders who have all been citizens
of the United States and some are now," whose activities were
prejudicial to American interests.4 The French traveler Robin
evidently refers to Murphy and his associates as the "English Com-
pany called Morphil," which monopolized the fur trade of Natch-
itoches, and whose goods penetrated as far as San Antonio.5
It was evidently the trade of this company that caused passing
travelers to remark upon 'the brisk traffic between Nacogdoches and
Louisiana." These traders evidently were secure in their monopoly
because of their connection with a Spanish officer at Nacogdoches,
but this very connection rendered them suspected by the Americans
when Louisiana passed into the possession of the latter. By this
1House Document, No. 50, 19 Cong., 1 Sess., page 67.
Jefferson Papers, Series 2, Vol. 76, No. 7. Cf. Salcedo to Governor of
Texas, December 9, 1806, MSS. B~xar Archives.
"Robin, Voyages, II 123-125.
'Diario of St. Maxent and Fortier, 1801, Historia LXII, Doc. LXIX.
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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/m1/68/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.