The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937 Page: 60
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
strengthened their claim to the upper Arkansas Valley as part
Another hundred years passed before any permanent settlements
were established in this upper valley of the Arkansas where the
Spanish Borderlands met and overlapped Louisiana as claimed
by France. Meanwhile there were changes of sovereignty and the
region became well known to trappers, traders, and explorers.6
In 1763 France ceded its claim to Spain, which was inveigled by
Napoleon into a retrocession of it to, France in 1800. Then, in
1803, the United States acquired the French title to Louisiana,
and the Florida Cession treaty of 1819 designated the right
(south) bank of the Arkansas as the boundary between the posses-
sions of the United States and Spain in the upper Arkansas Valley.
Not long after this treaty was consummated, Mexico declared its
independence and assumed jurisdiction over the high plains region
south of the Arkansas.
For two centuries the Apaches and Comanches had been the
real lords of this region, having presented an effective barrier to
the extension of Spanish settlement in the area between Santa F6
and the Arkansas.7 If Mexico wished to hold its portion of the
Arkansas Valley in the face of the Anglo-American advance on
the one hand and of the marauding Indian on the other, it would
be expedient to offer extraordinary inducements to prospective
"For accounts of the expeditions sent out from New Orleans under
Bernard de la Harpe and Fabry de la BruyBre and the adventures of the
Canadian coureurs de bois (Pierre and Paul Mallet), see Pierre Margry,
Exploration des Affluents du Mississippi et Decouverte des Montagnes
Rocheuses (Memoires et Documents, VI), 241, 274, 358, 378-380, 456-492.
'The upper Arkansas Valley was explored by Zebulon Pike in 1806 and
by Stephen H. Long in 1820. The official journals of these expeditions,
edited respectively by Elliott Coues and R. G. Thwaites, are familiar to
students of the history of the West. In 1921 the Glenn-Fowler party,
made up of trappers and traders, traversed the upper Arkansas Valley
and continued on to Santa F6 (See Elliott Coues, ed., The Journal of
Jacob Fowler, passim). For a number of years trappers had been active
in this portion of the Valley (H. M. Chittenden, History of the American
Fur Trade of the Far West, II, 497, 545, and 651f) ; and the 1820's wit-
nessed the establishment of the Santa F6 Trail, with a branch traversing
that portion of the Arkansas Valley in which were located the Mexican
land grants to which this article relates.
'Bancroft, History of Arizona and New Mexico, 170-171. H. E. Bolton,
in Athanase de Mdzibres and the Louisiana-Temas Frontier, I, 24-26,
characterized the Apache as "a veritable Ishmael of the plains," the foe
of every comer. He says also that the Apaches were the implacable foes
of Spanish missions as late as 1772 (ibid., I, 313).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937, periodical, 1937; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101099/m1/68/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.