The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922 Page: 86
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86 The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
toms of civilized life. To this end, finding that the priests, un-
aided, could not control the savages, they had established missions
under the protection of presidios which were calculated to inspire
awe in the minds of the savages. Later (1730), they had also
founded a civilian settlement in the hope that the residents would
furnish a stimulating example to their wards. These measures
failed to produce the desired results, and the authorities next
(1772-1783) laid especial stress upon the military features of the
system in an effort to control the unruly tribes who had defeated
their first plans. But, again, no practical results had followed,
owing, chiefly perhaps, to the lack of men and funds for adequate
warfare against the offenders. So (1783-1801) following the
example of the French and the English,'- the Spaniards while still
clinging to all the unsuccessful methods mentioned, began to place
their chief reliance upon the policy in favor at the beginning of the
nineteenth century, that of trying to hold the Indians to their
promised allegiance through the systematic distribution of pres-
ents and the granting of special trade privileges.12 This was done
in the hope that the Indians could be so attached to Spain as to
aid in defeating the commercial and territorial ambition of all
comers. In pursuance of this system, frequent visits were made
to the ostensibly friendly Indians for the purpose of holding their
good will and of learning whether or not bids for their support
had been made by foreigners. In addition, presents were period-
ically made to forestall or to destroy the effects of such adverse
influences. This plan, too, had failed. And, at the opening of
the nineteenth century, the Indian problem was even more com-
plicated than it had been at the beginning of the Spanish occu-
pation. For, after these efforts of so many years, the Spanish
settlers were not safe from the depredations of the very red men
whom they had tried to befriend.
Even the mission Indians were unmanageable, often deserting
the missions on the pretext that they had to hunt and fish to sup-
"lRobertson, Louisiana under Spain, France, and the Ulnited States, I,
pp. 103-104. Cf. De Nava to the Governor of Louisiana, March 26, 1800.
The system had been introduced into Mexico by De Croix, De Nava to the
Prince of the Peace, Sept. 5, 1797, in A. G. I. S., legajo 18, No. 23.
12For the work of Athanase De Mfziares in establishing the system in
Texas and the displeasure of the Indians at not receiving the promised
yearly gifts see Ybarbo to GAllvez, November 1, 1780, in A. G. I. S., Cub.,
legajo 70, August 5, 1780-January 26, 1781.
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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/m1/92/: accessed April 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.