The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923 Page: 167
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St. Deois's Declaration Conoerning Texas in 1717 167
pose of his expedition, and warned against engaging in contra-
band trade, he was offered the position of guide to the expedition
of soldiers and missionaries that was to be sent out. This prompt-
ness on the part of the authorities in reaching the decision to re-
occupy East Texas quite justified Hidalgo's confidence in the
effectiveness of his method.
The purpose of this reoccupaton, coming as the direct result of
St. Denis's trading expedition, was to erect Texas as a buffer
province against the French. The succeeding period up to 1763
marks the time of the most intense colonial rivalry of European
powers in America, a rivalry which had its effect in Texas, as
elsewhere. The expedition, headed by Captain Domingo Ram6n
and consisting of sixty-five persons, left San Juan Bautista on
April 26, 1716, guided by St. Denis. Arrived among the Tejas
tribes, six missions were founded near the sites of the former
ones, and the presidio of Nuestra Sefiora de los Dolores was also
From here St. Denis went on to Mobile, where he remained
until the first of October, returning with more goods to the Tejas
in December. Here he remained until March, 1717, when he
again set out for the Rio Grande, arriving at the presidio of
San Juan Bautista the 19th of April. His goods were seized
by Diego Ram6n, and he himself went on to Mexico to see the
Viceroy and ask for their release. He claimed that the goods
seized consisted only of his personal property, which he was bring-
ing in order to settle on the Rio Grande as a Spanish subject,
since he had married the granddaughter of Diego Ram6n at that
place.4 The sincerity of this contention may well be doubted, for
the many charges made against him, involving the Ram6ns and
other officials in Texas and on the Rio Grande, give evidence of
the existence of a very profitable contraband trade which was
carried on with the tacit consent, if not with the actual con-
nivance, of these officials.5
'Page 172 in the following "Declaration."
"'Carta [de OlivAn' al Gobernador Alarc6n, San Juan Bautista, 5 de
Junio de 1717]," in Testimonio de Diligenoias hechas por El sor Dn Juan
de Olivan Contra Las Personas de Naoion francesas sobre la Yntroducion
de Mercansias que de la Mouila y Masacra han hecho a la Prowia de
Quahuila, folios 20-25. A. G. I. Mex., 61-6-35. Transcript in the Uni-
versity of Texas collection.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923, periodical, 1923; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101084/m1/173/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.