The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 27
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The Louisiana-Tcxas Frontier
Most of those who witnessed the simple ceremony marking the
double transfer seemed satisfied with the change. But among the
few malcontents Turner noted the Spanish commandant of Nacog-
doches, who was afterwards reproved by Nimecio de Salcedo for
being present on this occasion.18 In alluding to the intercourse be-
tween Louisiana and Texas that official was reported as saying:
"It is now finished and the door is shut forever."'4 The future
speedily demonstrated that Ugarte was no prophet, while the
existence of a trade contrary to Spanish regulations and already
largely in the hands of the Americans, was a sufficient comment
upon his own rule and that of his fellow officers.
According to later American interpretation the peaceable deliv-
ery of the post at Natchitoches carried with it the control of the
territory as far west as the Sabine, but the Spaniards refused to
recognize this. As we have already seen, they hoped to keep the
Americans entirely east of the Mississippi by the bribe of the Flor-
idas, but failing in that they were determined to insist upon the
whole of Texas, which, as they claimed, extended to the Arroyo
Hondo, a few leagues west of Natchitoches. Their policy was to
hold this as a sine qua non and by negotiation to secure as much
additional territory as possible between that point and the Missis-
A minor event that illustrates this policy is shown in their re-
tention of the small frontier settlement of Bayou Pierre, on the
Red River, about fifty leagues northwest of Natchitoches. It was
formerly a French outpost, but by agreement had been placed under
the jurisdiction of the commandant at Nacogdoches. Design on
the part of the Spaniards and ignorance on the part of the Amer-
icans were alike responsible for the failure to include this in the
formal transfer at Natchitoches. It gave color to the Spanish
claim of jurisdiction east of the Sabine, yet Jefferson was willing
to acquiesce in their temporary control as an act of international
courtesy and out of respect for the principle of maintaining the
status quo until all the frontier questions could be settled by treaty.
The incident was regarded of sufficient importance, however, to be
mentioned in subsequent diplomatic correspondence and in the
13Saleedo to Governor of Texas, January 23, 1805, MSS., Provincias In-
ternas, Vol. 200, Archivo General, Mexico.
" Cf. Note 12.
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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/m1/31/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.