The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922 Page: 82
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he Southwestern Historical Quarterly
again almost ready to move forward, this time just across the
Sabine, to the virgin fields of Texas, now a second line of defense
for the dispossessed Spaniards in Louisiana. News of the won-
derful beauty and fertility of the new country had been carried
back to Louisiana by adventurous traders who had often crossed
into the forbidden territory; but no inkling of the liberal treat-
ment granted foreigners in Louisiana had reached the ears of the
local authorities in Texas, where the old exclusive policy was still
nominally in full force, although the wave of immigration was
beginning to cast over the frontier the hardiest of those borne upon
its crest. To understand the colonization problem in its new set-
ting one must keep in mind Spain's inherent distrust of foreigners
which had, indeed, been but reluctantly and with unhappy results
abandoned in Louisiana, and remembered especially her fear of
France, England, and the United States who, at this time, were
all in a position seriously to threaten her commercial and terri-
torial supremacy in Texas. Of course, the intensity of this feel-
ing varied with the activities of her rivals both in Europe and
America. For instance, as the fortunes of war in Europe inclined
now toward France and now toward England, Spain, who was the
helpless victim of the two contestants, frequently changed front
in an effort to cast in her fortune with the winning side. In 1793,
she had declared war against France, with the avowed intention
of preventing the spread of revolutionary ideas, and then had
granted special privileges to English vessels in return for prom-
ised aid. But, suddenly reversing her policy, she had concluded
an offensive and defensive alliance with her late enemy; and the
two had immediately turned their united strength against Eng-
land. Therefore, in an effort to forestall possible retaliatory meas-
ures against her American possessions, Spain repeated the orders
which forbade the entry of any foreigner into Texas2 and placed
a detachment at the frontier pueblo of Nacogdoches with instruc-
tions to enforce this ruling and to learn, through the friendly
2For the special application of these laws to Texas see Neve to Cabello,
May 14, 1784, Porlier to Revilla Gigedo, August 10, 1790, Revilla Gigedo
to Mufioz, April 17, 1792, Revilla Gigedo to Sierra Gorda, May 23, 1792,
List of foreigners in Texas, May 21, 1792, Lists of foreigners at Nacog-
doches. December 31, 1792 and December 31, 1794.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922, periodical, 1922; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101082/m1/88/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.