The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 31
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier
it might dominate the Indians in the vicinity and prevent an in-
vasion of the Interior Provinces. If Monroe's projected mission to
Spain for the purchase of the Floridas should be successful, he
trembled for the mournful consequences to Spain. The United
States would immediately attempt to, gain its western claims by
force-a course of action they would not dare undertake if the
Floridas were not in their possession. The only remedy was to
make an even trade of the Floridas for the region west of the
Mississippi. Any yielding to American pretensions would mean
the giving up the key of the kingdoms of Mexico and Peru to what
he terms an "army of adventurers similar to the ancient Goths and
Vandals." In this fashion does he speak of those rugged western
pioneers whom he had been able to deceive rather than corrupt.
Wilkinson also gave suggestions in regard to the fortification of
West Florida and the Texas frontier. Nacogdoches should be
strongly garrisoned, with a port and supplemental post of observa-
tion on the Sabine or at Matagorda Bay. The Spanish government
should firmly establish its hold on the Southern Indians and at the
same time should secretly promote the plans of the Americans to
remove the most powerful tribes across the Mississippi. In case
this policy were carried out the Indians would take with them a
mortal hatred of the Americans which the Spaniards might turn to
their own advantage, even employing them to destroy all the
American settlements west of the Mississippi. He mentioned that
Jefferson had sent an astronomer to learn of the Rio Grande and
the Missouri,'7 and had instructed his secretary, "Captain M.
Lewis," to visit the latter and to extend his enterprise to the Pacific.
The frontier authorities should be warned to stop this expedition.
All communication between Spanish and American citizens should
be prohibited. He referred to "an individual named Boone," then
on the Missouri, as one who should be driven east of the Missis-
sippi. If he and his adherents were permitted to continue their
progress westward they would soon be on the high road to Santa F6.
The frontier officials should be empowered to use money in secret
service (a characteristic Wilkinson touch!), for in default of this
they had just lost a valuable man (perhaps meaning himself!).
1This refers to Isaac Briggs, who was the surveyor for the district of
Mississippi Territory east of the Pearl River. Cf. Jefferson to Briggs,
August 11, 1803, Jefferson Papers, 1st Ser., Vol. IX, No. 121, Library of
Congress; Wilkinson, Memoirs, II, App. LIX.
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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/m1/35/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.