The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915 Page: 220
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of documents in existence so important as the correspondence and
reports of De M6zibres here published."
Athanase de M6zibres was an educated Parisian, of noble con-
nections, who spent the most of his life at Natchitoches, as sol-
dier, trader, and planter. At the close of the French regime he
was lieutenant-commander of the post, and with its transfer to
Spain he seems to have risen at once to the position of com-
mander, which he held, with short leaves of absence, until his
death in 1779. There are two hundred and fifty-two documents
in the collection, written by, to, or concerning De M6ziBres. A
very few are personal; the others reveal in great detail the vari-
ous phases of Spain's frontier government. The documents are
grouped around ten topics, which take their titles in general from
De M6zieres's plans and activities, bhut since these developed chro-
nologically, the arrangement of the whole series is, with a few ex-
ceptions, chronological. The title of the sixth group, "Frontier
Problems," would apply equally well to the whole book-the prob-
lems being to win and hold the allegiance of the frontier tribes
to Spain; to expel unlicensed traders and vagabonds from among
them; to prevent the encroachment of the Anglo-American trad-
ers; to check the perennial ravages of the Apache and the inter-
inittent hostility of the Cnomanche; and to maintain and develop
the germ of civilization in the crude wilderness settlements.
As an historical source Professor Bolton has skimmed the cream
of the collection for his introduction. A map, based on these and
other documents, shows the location of the principal Texan tribes
at the close of the eighteenth century, and a concise discussion
explains inter-tribal relations and administrative difficulties.
In the vexing task of opposing French advance from the east
the Spanish officials in Texas were only partially successful; for
French influence was firmly established over the Caddo, Wichita,
and Tonkawan tribes of the Red River and upper Brazos and
Colorado valleys, and Professor Bolton says that a line extended
westward through Natchitoches and Adaes would define pretty
accurately the actual boundary of French and Spanish control-
which inclines one to judge with greater leniency the sincerity of
those stubborn Americans who later contended that the Louisiana
Purchase included Texas. Another interesting fact disclosed by
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915, periodical, 1915; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101064/m1/226/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.