The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 23
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier
two decades before 1803 scattered settlements and army posts on
the eastern bank of the Mississippi had afforded to a few adven-
turous American settlers and traders a base from which to press
forward into Louisiana and Texas. Now others were ready to
carry these settlements and posts into Louisiana itself and from
this new base to extend their operations still further within the
Interior Provinces and even to threaten the Mexican Viceroyalty.
While the Americans were initiating this important work of ex-
pansion, the Spaniards were exerting every effort to restrict this
movement within the smallest possible limits. Thus they desired
to render Louisiana, in the language of Jefferson, "only a string
of land west of the Mississippi"-provided it were necessary to al-
low them any holding whatever in that region-while the Ameri-
cans strove to push its boundaries to the Bravo and the Rockies.
But the Spaniards were not more united in their policy of re-
striction than were the Americans in pushing their claims to the
The Marques de Casa Yrujo, the Spanish minister to the
United States, did not regard the cession of Louisiana to the
United States as an unmixed evil. The consequent spread of popu-
lation from the east of the Mississippi to the west of that river
would weaken the American Union. Spain had only to fear greater
facilities for contraband trading, but such practices by the new
possessors of Louisiana might be checked or absolutely prohibited
if his nation had the power to make reprisals from the Floridas.
Thus East and West Florida, and particularly the latter, might
serve as outposts for New Spain.' On the other hand, Governor
Manuel Salcedo, at New Orleans, believed that great disadvantages
to Spain would follow, if the Americans continued to- hold the right
(he calls it "left") bank of the Mississippi; and the only way to
prevent this would be for Spain to relinquish both the Floridas in
return for the cession of the other region.2 The Marques de Casa
Calvo, with whom he was temporarily associated, agreed with him
in his belief that "the dyke . . . to restrain the sweep" of
American immigration must be erected on the banks of the Mis-
'Casa Yrujo to Cevallos, August 3, 1803. Robertson, Louisiana, II,
2Salcedo to Caballero, December 13, 1803. Ibid., 148.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914, periodical, 1914; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101061/m1/27/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.