The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 39
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier
Such slaves as were in the Natchitoches district had been intro-
duced there during Spanish rule, so his government had the moral
responsibility of preserving that form of property, under whatever
government the region should have.33
By this time, however, the question had become something more
than a mere theory. On October 14 it was discovered that the
negroes on one of the plantations near Natchitoches planned to
escape into Spanish territory. Nine of them did, indeed, break into
a house, take powder, lead and horses, and make off beyond the Sa,
bine, despite all efforts to recapture them. Another negro, who was
wounded by a patrol, turned informer, and implicated some thirty
others. Some of these had attempted to escape, but had returned
to learn why the others did not follow. The informer implicated
two white men, one of whom was a Spaniard named Martinez, as
the agents who had stirred up the negroes to attempt this flight.*"
The successful escape of nine, due apparently to Spanish influence,
enraged the population of Natchitoches, and the wilder spirits asked
Turner's permission to attack Nacogdoches, if the fugitives were
not immediately delivered to them. Turner assured them that he
had already requested Ugarte to do this, and succeeded in tempo-
rarily pacifying them; but he realized the significance of this readi-
ness to attack the Spaniards. The spirit of the Mississippi was
already transferred to the Sabine.
Within a fortnight Claiborne learned of this event and lost no
time in communicating the facts to Casa Calvo, and in suggesting
to Colonel Butler that he should move the American troops from
Attakapas and Opelousas to Natchitoches. To Turner he ex-
pressed his regret and advised a careful maintenance of the patrol.
Then ensued a vigorous controversy between Claiborne and Casa
Calvo. The latter censured the French inhabitants of the dis-
turbed district for their indiscretion in making the proclamation
known and thus indirectly inciting their slaves, but Claiborne threw
the blame on the commandant at Nacogdoches. Casa Calvo favored
the return of the slaves on condition that they be well treated, but
Claiborne insisted upon their unconditional surrender. The upshot
of the matter was that Casa Calvo assumed the responsibility of
88Casa Calvo to Claiborne, November 6, 1805, Ibid. Parker, No. 7102.
"'Turner to Claiborne, October 16, 17, 1804, Ibid. Parker, Nos. 7080,
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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/m1/43/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.