The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922 Page: 84
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84 The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
But while Spain, from time to time, viewed the French and
English with hatred, indifference, or comparative friendliness, she
had consistently looked upon the Americans with suspicion since
1783, when they assumed their place among the nations. Conde
de Galvez, one of Spain's foremost statesmen, had, it is true,
prophesied that the United States would scarcely undertake a war
of conquest against Spain, and had declared that even if that
country should ever abandon her purely defensive policy, the vast
expanse of unsettled territory lying between the inhabited portions
of the two nations would preclude any great danger to Spain.5
But the struggle over the boundary question and the demand for
the opening of the Mississippi to American commerce had increased
the feeling of distrust; and the supreme government had soon con-
sidered a plan for erecting a buffer against American growth at
Spain's expense by the use of friendly Indian tribes.6 In addi-
tion, the treaty of 1795, which sharply defined the limits of the
American possession, had brought to certain far-seeing Spaniards
in Louisiana a full realization of the necessity of reinforcing the
population along the western banks of the Mississippi as a pre-
caution against the advance of their "ambitious and too adjacent
neighbors" in whom they had observed "a propensity for hunting
and a strong penchant for exploring near-by territory, and for
settling arbitrarily wherever their fancy might dictate without
any legal formality whatever."7 Immediately thereafter, the
threats of war between the United States and France and rumors
of the intrigues of certain Americans for the seizure of territory
along the Mexican frontier had still further aroused the suspicions
of the Spanish government. Using these reports as a pretext,
in this paper. Unless otherwise indicated, all citations will be to this col-
lection. For the efforts of the Spaniards of Louisiana to capture Bowles
see Casa Calvo to Someruelos, June 15, 1801, in A. G. I. S. Sto. Dom.,
La., and Fla., estante 88, Cajon 7, legajo 27, June 15, 1801.
For probable reasons of failure at this time see Moral to the Governor
of Texas, March 25, 1800, Bowles was finally apprehended and ended his
days in a Spanish dungeon, Cox, The West Florida Controversy, 1798-1818,
'Conde de Galvez to J. Galvez, February 6, 1784, in A. G. I. S. Mex.
96-2-12, September 23, 1778-August 23, 1784. Cf. The opposite view as
expressed by Conde de Aranda, Alaman, Historia de Mfjico, I, 126-127.
"Yoakum, History of Texas, I, 104-105.
7Recommendation for formation of a barrier through colonization in
Louisiana, June 11, 1797, in A. G. I. S. Sto. Dom., La., and Fla. 66-7-17,
May 8, 1797-July 9, 1797.
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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/m1/90/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.