The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 2
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2 The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
From the standpoint of the American government the problem
was a two-fold one: First, to secure New Orleans and the western
bank of the Mississippi, thus gaining an unquestioned right to
navigate that stream in its entirety; and second, to round out
their dominions to the south and to the west so as to secure easily
defensible frontiers limited by well-defined natural barriers. From
the standpoint of the Louisiana-Texas Frontier, the region under
consideration, this problem involved the definite occupation of the
lower courses of the Red, the Arkansas, and the Missouri, as a basis
for a later possible expansion to the Rocky Mountains and the
.Rio Grande. Thus for the years immediately following 1803 our
treatment of the subject falls naturally into two divisions which
we may term "The American Occupation of the Louisiana-Texas
Frontier" and "The First Attempt to Expand the Louisiana-Texas
Frontier." The following chapters will fall under the first divi-
At this point it may be well to refer to a brief article that I
have already published under the title, "The Significance of the
Louisiana-Texas Frontier," in the Third Annual Report of the
Mississippi Valley Historical Association. In accordance with the
method there suggested for treating this frontier, the present study,
dealing with the American occupation, is included within "The
Period of Delimitation," which extends from about 1760 to 1821.
This somewhat arbitrary division begins at the time when the first
definite suggestion appeared to make the Sabine the boundary be-
tween French Louisiana and Spanish Texas and ends at the date
when that river was finally accepted as part of our southwestern
territorial limit. Naturally the most important phases of this
question occur after 1803. A sufficient indication of this is the fact
that as much space is occupied in describing conditions for the
two years following the transfer of Louisiana to the United States,
as in the whole of the preceding period. Most of the remaining
years to 1821 call for a similar detailed treatment and the same
is true for the quarter century to 1846, when the line that finally
delimited the Louisiana-Texas Frontier, after more than a century
of controversy, was gradually overrun and demolished by the tide
of westward migration that it had not been able to arrest. Thus
ended the history of this important frontier, which substantially
includes the history of the region between the Missouri, the lower
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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/m1/6/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.