The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 21
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Bishop Marin de Porras and Texas
leagues from Natchitoches. Prior to the departure, a messenger
had been sent ahead to Bayou Pierre with orders for all the
inhabitants of that place to bring their children and servants
to Bouquer's home on May 8 so that the bishop could confirm
them. He stayed only briefly in Bouquer's home, for he was
met there by two deputations from Natchitoches who invited
him to be their guest, which invitation he accepted.
The visit to Natchitoches deserves special comment, for it
aroused the suspicion of the United States as to the bishop's
real motives, and it has been used by some students of the
boundary dispute as evidence that Natchitoches was a part of
Spanish territory. When Captain Turner sent a report of the
visit to William C. C. Claiborne at New Orleans, Claiborne
reported to James Madison that the priests at Natchitoches
had weakened the allegiance of the citizens by giving currancy to
an opinion that they would soon become Spanish Subjects, and
excited a hatred against the American Government by representing
that it afforded no protection to Religion, and that an association
with infidels (meaning the Americans) would dishonor the shades
of their ancestors, who have lived and died in the true faith.
A character calling himself the Bishop of one of the Interior Provinces
of Mexico, lately made a visit to Natchitoches; he travelled with
great dispatch and in much Pomp. He appeared to be a man of
great literature, and of considerable address, he kept a Journal and
took the Latitude of many places through which he had passed. His
inquiries as to the Geographical Situation of Louisiana were minute,
and from his general conduct it would seem that his visit was rather
with Political than Religious views.
This Bishop was received by the Commandant at Natchitoches
with respectful attention, and after resting a few days in the vicinity
of that Post, took his departure for the City of Mexico and to which
place there is said to be from Natchitoches a plain direct road, that
can be travelled with facility at every season of the year.1'
Isaac Joslin Cox says that the bishop made his visit to Natchi-
toches "as if to emphasize the fact that the religious hold of the
Spaniards was more enduring than their political sway."'" Sister
1TWilliam C. C. Claiborne to James Madison, New Orleans, June 5, 1805, in
Dunbar Rowland, Official Letter Book of W. C. C. Claiborne, III, 82.
1sIsaac Joslin Cox, "The Louisiana-Texas Frontier," Southwestern EHistorical
Quarterly, XVII (1913), 153.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/39/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.