The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 74
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
years had been the center of the most important diplomatic in-
trigues of our history.
The most important single feature of the early history of this
section is that of the limits of Louisiana. This is shown by the
almost interminable diplomatic correspondence of the three de-
cades following its acquisition. We have noticed the French claims
tG the westward, uncertainly marked by the Guadalupe, the Rio
Grande, or still more indefinitely by the province of New Mexico.
These claims had no more secure basis than LaSalle's unfortunate
settlement, and after 1730 there is no serious attempt or even
claim to penetrate beyond the Arroyo Hondo in the south, or the
middle course of the Missouri farther to the northward. There
is acquiescence in the Spanish occupation of Texas as far as Adaes,
even if this occupation is of the slightest character. The French
hold on Louisiana is equally ineffective.
It is noteworthy that the French writers of the period before
1762 almost uniformly ignore the province of Texas and speak
of Louisiana as extending to New Mexico. This view is revived
in a book of travels published as late as 1803.' In fact we may
say that the years from 1803 to 1806 form the period when the
American officials first discovered Texas as an entity to be reckoned
with in diplomatic correspondence and frontier relations. Spanish
diplomats and governors, in calling their attention to this fact (by
no means an agreeable one at first), were merely emphasizing their
own documentary history. Nor did they do this to the fullest pos-
The instructions of Decrs to Victor, in 1802, have been em-
ployed to justify a later American claim to. Texas. These instruc-
tions, however, appear to have originated with Talleyrand or Na-
poleon, and merely revive a claim that had lain dormant since the
publication of Du Pratz's Histoire. They utterly ignore French
acquiescence in the Spanish occupation of Texas. Moreover, they
seem to show a revival of that earlier desire to reach the Mexican
mines-a desire that haunted every adventurer and explorer from
LaSalle and Pefialosa to Nolan and Pike. What is more natural
to suppose than that the greatest adventurer of his age, the future
'Berquin-Duvallon, Vue de la Colonie Espagnole du Mississippi, 5
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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/m1/82/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.