The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922 Page: 92
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92 The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
short-sighted commercial policy of Spain, which even forbade trade
between the two Spanish provinces of Louisiana and Texas and
refused to open a part for the exportation of the products of Texas
to the Spanish port of Vera Cruz and Campeche.20 The tempta-
tion to violate the law was obviously great. The people had no
inducements to devote themselves to agriculture--in fact, never
raising sufficient crops for their own use. Foreign traders offered
their wares at tempting prices in return for wild stock--practically
the only medium of exchange upon which the natives could lay
hands--and it is not surprising that many of them fell in with
the plans of the intruders.27 Although, upon assuming the office
of Governor of Texas, Elguezabal had issued an order absolutely
prohibiting all traffic across the Texas-Louisiana frontier, 28 he had
been unable to achieve any degree of success in spite of the fact
that he had insisted vigorously upon the execution of these in-
structions.29 Sometimes over one thousand head of stock were
slipped across the border in a single month,so and in spite of all
efforts, clandestine trade went merrily on, no doubt connived at
by some of the local authorities and greatly enjoyed by many of
3"Such a system had been proposed at the end of the seventeenth century
and revived again in 1778 by De Croix and Bernardo de Galvez. Carlos
III, who had imbibed many liberal ideas from a long residence in Italy,
had given favorable consideration to the proposal, but nothing had been
done in the matter because of the benighted condition of the people, the
lack of funds, continued war between France and England, and strained
relations between Spain and the United States. See Priestley, Josd de Gdl-
vez, Visitador-General of New Spain, 1765-1776, pp. 25-45.
'"Previous to the beginning of the period under discussion, permission
had been sometimes given to persons living in Louisiana to come to Texas
to secure horses for the government so that there would be no incentive
to contraband trade with the English and the Americans; but the privi-
lege had been so far abused that the authorities in Texas had soon felt
compelled to interfere.
"De Nava to the Governor of Texas, March 19, 1799.
"1Elguezahal to Guadiana, September 1, 1801.
"An illustration of the aggressive trade methods of the intruders is
furnished by the case of Carlos Boyle, who had located at Nacogdoches in
1796. He had secured permission from the Spanish authorities to place
a boat upon the Trinity with the avowed purpose of facilitating travel
between Nacogdoches and Bexar. But it was not long before he was in-
troducing contraband goods under cover of his concession. But as soon
as this procedure became known, he was ordered out of the province and
a close watch was placed upon the mouth of the Trinity to prevent the
possible landing of boats at that point. Moral to Elguezabal, June 26,
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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/m1/98/: accessed October 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.