The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 36
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The Southwestern 1Historical Quarterly
hundred were to be sent to Adaes and to some point nearer Natchi-
toches, and that all was in readiness for these troops to march.
Alarmed by this he asked to be reinforced by a detachment of artil-
lery and considered the feasibility of ordering Lieutenant Bowmar
to join him from the post on the Washita. Claiborne, however,
was more fearful of the Spaniards in West Florida. than in Texas,
and was unwilling to spare any troops from New Orleans. He
hardly believed that hostilities would break out, or that in case
they did such reinforcements as he could send would be effective.
As a matter of fact at this period the viceroy could not spare a
hundred militia from Nuevo Leon and Nuevo Santander, and Sal-
cedo had to request aid from Calleja at San Luis P otosi.25
In addition to the fairly specific rumors about fortifying Adaes
Turner reported less definite but even more irritating evidences of
Spanish unfriendliness. The Spaniards were continually telling
the discontented elements in his jurisdiction that the Americans
were "mere hogs" who "did not live like Christians," and who
would keep the planters poor by heavy taxes. By distorting every
trifling circumstance, by searching the papers of all American trav-
elers, and in general observing a course of conduct resembling war,
all the Spanish officials, from the general commandant down, were,
in his opinion, using "the most despicable means" to show an un-
friendly disposition toward the United States and to alienate the
affections of the people. 6
The Americans had at hand means extremely inadequate to
meet the anticipated perils, but fortunately they had also greatly
exaggerated the strength of the enemy. In August, 1804, Dr. John
Sibley reported that there were sixty men in the American garri-
son, although more were expected.27 This was at a time when
Turner reported the Spanish garrison as five hundred. As to the
character of the American soldiers of this garrison we may regard
them as equal to the ordinary regulars of that period, and if so,
they would compare favorably with their Spanish rivals. Sibley,
whose position as an office seeker may render him a prejudiced
observer, states that all of the officers at Natchitoches were non-
"Ibid. Parker, No. 7026; N. Salcedo to Iturrigaray, February 2, 1804,
Archivo General, Californias, Vol. 22.
"Am. State Papers, For. Rel., II, 690. Also Turner to Claiborne, July
30, 1804, Claiborne Correspondence, II.
'1J. Sibley to S. H. Sibley, August 28, 1804. MSS., Mo. Historical Society.
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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/m1/40/: accessed February 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.