The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 88
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the republic it was thought that Santa FP was only about five
hundred miles from Austin would seem to indicate a peculiar
ignorance of the geography of the region. If this was true then
a similar ignorance concerning the people might be expected.
But it must be remembered that the country between Austin and
Santa FP had not yet been explored, and therefore accurate geo-
graphical knowledge was impossible. On the other hand, there
had been almost continuous commercial relations for fifteen years
between citizens of the United States and the people of Santa F6.
Many of the men who were now in Texas had taken part in the
trade over the Santa F6 Trail, and they knew something of the
conditions in New Mexico.. In addition to this there were Texans
in Santa FP who were writing to friends in Texas concerning the
opportunities there.9 These men knew of the boundary claims of
the republic, and even though they might not be there in an
official capacity, they were almost sure to consider the possibility
of the establishment of Texan control. Since all of those who
had gone there before 1840 had done so for personal reasons, and
had no official connections with the government of Texas, their
reports might be considered as unbiased accounts. It must not
be forgotten, however, that as former Texans already established
in New Mexico they would possess tremendous advantages over
others if Texan rule were extended to the region. But the fact
remains that, whatever their value, such reports were the chief
source of President Lamar's information concerning New Mexico.
The question of possible commercial relations between Texas
and Santa F6 was not new even in 1840, but had been suggested
by Stephen F. Austin in 1829 and in 1835.1o In 1837 George S.
Park, a Texan who had escaped to Santa F6 after having been
captured by the Comanche Indians, wrote that if Texas would
"While there is but little direct evidence to support this statement, it is
indicated in letters written to Lamar by Texans who favored the sending
of an expedition. It is definitely known that Lucius Thruston, a brother
of the Texan attorney general, was in Santa F6 at this time. See Ken-
dall, Ncarrative of the Texan Santa F Expedition, II, 67.
:"Austin to Henry Austin, August 27, 1829, and Austin to Perry, March
4, 1835, MS. in Austin Papers, University of Texas Library. Approxi-
mately two centuries earlier Father Alonso Benavides had suggested the
establishment of a point on the gulf coast of Texas as a port of entry for
supplies from Spain for the settlements in New Mexico. See Benavides,
Memorial of 1680 (Ayer translation), 64-65.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924, periodical, 1924; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101086/m1/94/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.