The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912 Page: 19
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The Aguayo Expedition
Denis as the leader of the invading force. They are, however, not
As to the composition of the force, Bancroft states that "a
party of French and Indians" took possession of los Adaes. He,
also claims, without specifying citations, to have had access to
"Spanish authorities which imply that St. Denis was in command
of a party composed mainly of Natchitoches and Cadodachos In-
dians."2 It is improbable that these Spanish sources were con-
temporary. Indeed, of those he cites only one could be called
such, and him Bancroft misrepresents. No primary source avail-
able for this paper gives any indication of this being the fact.3
The only mention of Indians by Spanish contemporary sources is
that the French were trying to ally themselves with the Indians,4
and feared that the latter would be perverted by them.5 Later
writers like Bonilla have distorted the facts.
It is doubtless true, however, that the contemporary sources left
exaggerated impressions of the French invasion. Having had real
grounds for alarm, the Spaniards allowed their fears to assume
magnified proportions. Still, though this is true, irrefutable facts
should correct the impression made by writers who represent the
withdrawal of the missionaries as an unworthy flight on ground-
less fears and without real cause.
6. The Character of the Retreat.-Writers also represent the
withdrawal as a precipitate retreat to Bexar. Though the com-
pany finally retired there, they did not do so immediately, but
camped for three months west of the Trinity, waiting for rein-
forcements. They stayed at their camp through July, August,
and September," suffering from want, being irregularly supplied
1There is a bare possibility of justifying some of the early Spanish
writers for assuming that St. Denis would be the leader of such a com-
pany, for while in Mexico, awaiting the time to leave for home, in a
moment of disgust he boasted of his influence among the Indians in Texas
and threatened with their aid to destroy the Spanish settlements there
(Margry, V, 202). On hearing it the viceroy gave orders that St. Denis
be rearrested, but the latter escaped.
'Bancroft, North Mexican, States and Texas, I, 615.
3St. Denis was in command of three hundred natives at the retaking of
Pensacola. Le Page du Pratz, Histoire de la Louisiane, I, 101.
4Espinosa, Chronica, 455.
'Razon de la Fundacion de las Misiones, etc., B. MS.
'French sources furnish evidence that the Spanish retreat was not pre-
cipitate. The corporal, Saint Francois, did not return to La Harpe from
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912, periodical, 1912; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101056/m1/23/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.