The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 28
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
eastern bank was our boundary with France marked by two pillars
which do not now exist. I had scarcely arrived when I was met by
two high ranking officers who brought me a letter from the com-
manding officer of that town [Natchitoches]. He begged me with
the greatest earnestness to go there to be the guest of the people
who wanted to see a Spanish bishop. Furthermore, the officers were
accompanied by sixty of the most prominent Frenchmen with the
same earnest request and with provisions of food of which we were
then in need. I found myself in a difficult situation. I did not know
whether I could cross our boundary, and on the other hand I feared
that those people would think me rude if I refused their invitation.
The circumstances made me think that as much for the honor of
the king whom I serve as for that of my position I should accede to
their wishes. Actually on May 11, 1 entered Natchitoches, whose
garrison led by its commanding officer received me with the honors
due a general and with abundant refreshments provided by the
commanding officer. My stay, which was only for three days, was
one of continuous hard labour in holding confirmations and listening
to the people, who could not credit such sincerity and urbanity in a
Spanish bishop of the Roman communion. Without any coercion,
I won their liking, I should say their esteem, and in proof of it, even
the Anabaptist and Presbyterians brought their already baptized
children to me that I might confirm them. The concourse was
infinite, as people came even from New Orleans.
Although in my conversations with those republicans I proceeded
with the greatest political reserve and honesty, as befits my station,
the Frenchmen did not fail to complain of their condition in the new
government and to tell me of their desire to go into the province of
Texas to settle. At the same time [they indicated] that those
republicans assume that it [Texas] is already theirs and consider
themselves owners as far as the Rio Grande, four hundred leagues
away, in which case this America would be lost. I told them [the
Frenchmen] that such a delicate business [that of their coming to
Texas] was not within my jurisdiction nor could I employ the name
of the king without exceeding my authority and that they should
come to an understanding with the Marques de Casa Calvo, our
minister in New Orleans.
On my way back I became acquainted with the large lagoon next
to the aforesaid ranch. From the Red River four hundred leagues
above Natchitoches, this lagoon penetrates into the interior of our
possessions, running from north to south more than twenty leagues.
It bears the name of Spanish Lagoon. It has a rising tide and an
ebb-tide like the ocean, and to embark on it in high winds is very
dangerous, as I myself found out, for I had to get out in a hurry.
In the winter it is covered with ducks and other delicious birds, in
such abundance that hunters come down in ships from New Orleans
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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/m1/46/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.