The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 34
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
viceroy that the American commandant, Turner, was constructing
a new fort near Natchitoches, so placed as to command the road to
Texas.21 Thus neither set of frontier officials failed to exhibit an
unreasonable jealousy and fear of their opponents.
About the time of the transfer Charles Pinckney, our minister at
Madrid, had reported that possibly the Spanish government would
send some forces to Pensacola and the Rio Grande. Cevallos de-
nied this rumor and the French and English ministers at the Span-
ish court expressed a hope that nothing of the sort would take
place. But Pinckney persisted in his opinion, for information from
other sources apparently confirmed his view. Laussat told Clai-
borne and Wilkinson that the Spaniards were strengthening their
forces on the Texas frontier and would probably encroach upon
the disputed territory. The tardy course of the Spaniards in with-
drawing from New Orleans gave point to the charge, while other
rumors tended to strengthen it.22
Shortly after, Ugarte, the commandant at Nacogdoches, accom-
panied by the Natchitoches priest, called upon Captain Turner and
endeavored to persuade him to a mutual agreement that no per-
sons should pass their respective frontiers without written permis-
sion. Ugarte stated that their interest had been recently aroused
by the rumor that a party of Americans had entered the country
with evil design and that the Spaniards had been obliged to keep
one hundred and fifty soldiers under arms for some time in search
of them. The basis for this may have been the report of Ashley's
expedition. Turner told Ugarte that well disposed Americans were
always free to go where they pleased and that foreigners were al-
lowed free ingress and egress, as far as our territory was con-
cerned. Ugarte, however, urged the matter so strongly that Turner
believed his purpose in seeking the interview was simply to learn the
ideas of the Americans in order to forestall them. The Spaniard
also stated that he had received orders from the captain-general
to stop all horse trading. In response to Turner's inquiry about the
passports, Claiborne advised Turner to show the friendly disposi-
tion of the United States by restraining the horse trade, and, in
21Salcedo to Iturrigaray, June 30, 1804. Archivo General, Provincias
Internas, Vol. 200.
"Pinckney to Madison, January 23, 1804. MSS., Spanish Despatches,
VI, Bureau of Indexes and Archives; Claiborne Correspondence, II, Parker,
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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/m1/38/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.