The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 73
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An Anonymous Description of New Mexico, 1818
lations from English constructions. However, the Notes carry the
undoubted impression of having been written by a Frenchman,
though one who had probably long resided among English-speaking
people."9 That he was a European seems conclusive from his
markedly detached viewpoint. Under Troops of the Line this
impartiality is particularly evident: "These savages who are envy-
ing the fortune of their neighbors on the north and east, who have
frequent communication with the English and Americans, are
doing everything possible to allure the traders of these two nations
to themselves. . . ." "They could . . . become very dangerous
enemies for Spain, and certainly in case of war with Spain, America
will not neglect a means, which in augmenting her commerce, would
likewise greatly disturb the Spanish frontiers. . . ." Again this
detachment, with reference to Americans, appears under the topic
Mountains: "The mountains which divide the waters of the Rio
del Norte from those of the Mississippi . . . are . . . the great
chain of the cordilleras . . . to which the Americans have given
the name Roky Mountains." This misspelling of "Rocky" may,
too, be significant.
The writer of these Notes seems to have been a military observer,
possibly one of Napoleon's agents, a possibility, certainly, that has
considerable to support it in the Notes themselves.70 That he
came to New Mexico on a specific mission is apparent from the
title: "Notes concerning New Mexico collected on my mission to
the West." Moreover, his observations, particularly those on mili-
tary matters, are replete with details to be looked for in the report
of a trained military observer. Habits and social customs are
conspicuously lacking in mention. Finally, to the present writer,
his concluding paragraph seems especially significant: "I consider
New Mexico, in its present position, as one of the most vulnerable
points of the Provincias Internas, and because of the facility of
communication by land with the United States, because of the ease
of fortifying and maintaining it, as one of the most advantageous
for the Insurgents if they succeed in taking possession of it."
eDThe writer is appreciative of the assistance rendered him by Mrs. Marie
Eaton, recently from France, for advice in interpreting these Notes.
""Dr. John Rydjord suggested this probability to the present writer.
See his recent paper on the "French Revolution and Mexico" in The His-
panic American Historical Review, IX, 60-98.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930, periodical, 1930; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101090/m1/81/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.