The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912 Page: 5
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The Aguayo Expedition
On account of the forbearance on the part of the French and
their avowed eagerness for trade, it has been said and implied
that the French of Louisiana were willing, anxious, even solicit-
ous, that Spanish establishments be made in eastern Texas, as a
means to promote trade on the border.1 There seem to be good
grounds to doubt the truth of this in general, and by 1719 there
are eviJent signs of the existence of an aggressive policy on the
part of the French. Some of the indications that the French did
not wish to encourage Spanish settlements in eastern Texas are
the following: First, there is a manifest dissatisfaction on the
part of the French authorities with the outcome of St. Denis's en-
terprise, which resulted in the Ram6n expedition and the founding
of six missions and a presidio in eastern Texas in 1716 ;2 second,
sionaries did not stand well with Alarcon, who was then Governor. (Mar-
gry, VI, 274-275). A missionary's zeal in promoting his cause and a
trader's cupidity, however, should not be identified with political policies.
'Bancroft, North Mexican States and Texas, I, 609; Garrison, Texas,
41; Clark, The Beginnings of Texas, 51. It is true that there were individ-
uals who were seemingly blind to political danger, and encouraged border
trade. St. Denis and La Harpe, the first as an adventurer, the second as
a trader, may be considered as the individuals more personally concerned
with the opening up of trade with Mexico and of subordinating political
aims to selfishness. But even they were not blind to ultimate results,
and seem to have had in view only the toleration of a weak and tempo-
rary Spanish occupation. St. Denis, on his way to Mexico to initiate
trading relations, stopped at the Assinais, the capital of the Tdxas coun-
try, "where he renewed the taking of possession made by the troops of
M. de La Salle in 1684" (Margry, VI, 193). When returning from
Mexico, accompanied by the Spanish expedition, St. Denis says, "it will
be necessary to ask of his Majesty that the boundaries be to the River
of the North [the Rio Grande], where the mission of San Juan Bautista
is established" (Margry, VI, 198). And when La Harpe, exploring the
Red River country, heard that Alarc6n had ordered that a post be estab-
lished among the Nassonites, he hurried forward to anticipate it (Margry,
2Heinrich, writing from a decidedly French point of view, and from
excellent sources, reflects the disappointment when he says: "He [St.
Denis] had to submit to conduct to the Assinais missionaries and troops
which were being sent to establish a post. . . Thus not only were all
hopes founded on St. Denis's expedition destroyed, but the Spaniards, dis-
turbed by that first attempt, put themselves in a position to forbid us access
to their territory. [And] not hoping to profit by trade with our neighbors.
Crozat had to find something else." . . . Thus he indicates that even
Crozat, the merchant, did not consider his interests advanced, if it had
to be at the price of suffering Spanish settlements on the French border.
(Heinrich, La Louisiane sous la Compagnie des Indes, 1717-1731, lxv.)
As for the government's attitude at that time, Cadillac, governor of
Louisiana during its cession to Crozat, and the one who commissioned the
St. Denis expedition, when the latter had given him an account of his trip,
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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/m1/9/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.