The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922 Page: 93
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Conditions Affecting Colonization Problem, 1795-1801 93
Territorial aggression.-Not all of the intruders of the time
were considered mere traders, however; for some were believed to
have designs upon Spanish territory. In such cases the govern-
ment was forced to make even greater exertions to repel attacks.
As a filibuster, James Wilkinson's protege, Philip Nolan, is, of
course, the conspicuous example. In his case the Spaniards were
thoroughly aroused because his schemes had such an element of
the mysterious. For instance, it was charged that he wished to
engage in contraband trade, that he had designs upon the rich
mines of Mexico,31 that he was in league with Wilkinson, who for
years was to exert a powerful influence upon the Spanish immi-
gration policy, and that he intended to occupy Spanish territory
by means of support from the British government. Although the
Spaniards were never able to determine which of these motives was
the true one, they did know that there were great possibilities of
danger in the situation, since he numbered among his followers.
Englishmen, Americans, and Spaniards who had gone with him
to. Louisiana after a previous trip to Texas in quest of stock.32
That these fears had their foundation in fact is certain. There
were a number of Americans who formed independent plans for
invasions; and others, like Clark and Blount--some of them even
high in the councils of the government--who were willing to listen
to plans for an American or even a joint American and British
attack upon Spanish territory. But as the Spanish authorities
were on the alert, they were able to dispose of Nolan and his ridicu-
lously small number of supporters in short order. I-Iowever, others
soon took up similar plans; and the defenders were forced to re-
main constantly on guard.
From all the evidence considered it is quite clear, then, that at
the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Spaniards felt com-
pelled to be on their guard against the Indians, whom they tried
to conciliate; against Spanish vassals of Louisiana, whom they
really distrusted but feared to antagonize; against the French,
whom they did not feel justified in definitely classing as either
friends or foes; against the English, whom they kept under con-
stant surveillance; and against the Americans, whom they feared
81This threat against the mines of Mexico was certainly no new or iso-
lated case, Winsor, The W1estward Movement, pp. 369 and 395.
2Misquiz to Elguezfibal, July 2, 1801.
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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/m1/99/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.