The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922 Page: 83
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Conditions Affecting Colonization Problem, 1795-1801 83
Indians of the region of any movements that might be planned.3
Quite naturally, she charged all Spanish officials in America to
be on the alert to avoid surprise. Pedro de Nava, Commandant-
General of the Interior Provinces, who, at this time, was directly
responsible for the defense of Texas, determined to maintain his
headquarters at Chihuahua, since, from that point, he could guard
Texas as well as New Mexico, Sonora and California, which were
also under his jurisdiction. Personally, he did not anticipate an
attack upon Texas, believing that the province was not sufficiently
rich to arouse cupidity or to promise an adequate indemnity for
the expenses involved in an invasion. Nevertheless, he thought it
quite possible that the enemy would seize upon Louisiana and then
attempt to occupy Texas as a part of the conquered territory. As
to the first part of the program, he proved a true prophet; for as
soon as war was actually under way in Europe England began to
lay plans for drawing away the Indians of Louisiana from their
allegiance to the Spanish king. Reports, therefore, soon reached
De Nava's ears that the enemy had conferred upon a certain Mr.
Bowles, of Virginia, the title of Lieutenant-Colonel, with the pay
of a general, and that they were furnishing him with an aide-de-
camp, a Frenchman, and with an English secretary, who could
speak French and Spanish. He heard, too, that Bowles intended
to arm the Indians under his command, to raise rebellions among
the tribes nearest to the Spanish settlements, and then to attack
these tribes one after another, so that he might introduce colonists
favorable to the English. Following his previous lines of reason-
ing, De Nava feared that after Bowles had done his work in
Louisiana and the Floridas he would attack the weak settlements
of Texas and lead these Indians also to: renounce their allegiance.
Hence, he called upon all those responsible for the defense of
Texas to make every effort to prevent this calamity and to in-
vestigate every suspicious move in Louisiana.4
"Branciforte to Duque de la Alcudfa, July 3, 1795, in Archivo General
die Indias Sevilla, Audiencia de Mexico, legajo 4, No. 7, March 25, 1793-
October 23, 1795, Transcripts of the University of Texas. For the sake
of brevity, this collection will appear in subsequent notes as A. G. I. S.
with the proper designation of the Audencia of Mexico, Guadalaxara, Cuba,
Indiferente general, or Santo Domingo, Louisiana, and Florida appearing
as Mex. Guad., Cub., Indif., or Sto. Dom., La., and Fla., as the case may be.
'De Nava to the Governor of Texas, November 20, 1799, Bexar Archives.
The Bexar Archives have furnished the majority of the documents cited
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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/m1/89/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.