The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 3
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier
Mississippi, the Rio Grande, and the Rockies, and which in in-
tensity and variety of interest surpasses all other frontier areas in
As an introduction to the present article I desire to indicate
briefly the various chapter divisions with some suggestion of their
bearing upon the subject as a whole. Naturally American officials
were first interested in the question of Louisiana boundaries, and
although the western, like the northern boundary of Louisiana,
was originally regarded as of less importance than that bordering
West Florida, it acquired significance with the increase in geo-
graphical knowledge of the West as a whole, and especially with the
opening of relations with the Mexican revolutionists. All early
American attempts to define the limits of Louisiana were little bet-
ter than surmises, generally assumed for the purpose of diplomatic
trading. The Spaniard possessed greater opportunities for acquir-
ing information in regard to this important subject, but in the
beginning his knowledge was hardly more accurate than his op-
With the occupation of such frontier posts as the Spaniards
yielded in 1804, the Americans undertook the task of establishing
upon a new basis their border relations with their neighbors. This
included such minor tasks as regulating general intercourse be-
tween the white settlers, watching changes in the frontier garri-
sons, and considering the status of escaping slaves. Only the last
named aroused a serious controversy and thus foreshadowed a more
bitter domestic struggle growing out of the presence of slavery in
this region. In addition to these minor affairs two series of prob-
lems stand out with greater prominence. The question of exploring
expeditions along the disputed frontier caused considerable diplo-
matic activity as well as serious local concern, while both govern-
ment official and private individual on either side strained every
point to gain the allegiance of the Indians. In the early stages of
this latter effort the ultimate outcome seemed extremely problem-
atical. Later developments turned the scale in favor of the
Americans, but their hardly-won victory made necessary the crush-
ing of desired allies as well as the circumventing of Spanish efforts.
This result, however, was not achieved until long after the Span-
iard and his Mexican successor had lost control of the area in-
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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/m1/7/: accessed March 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.