The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 29
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Bishop Marin de Porras and Texas
to hunt them. The hunters carry away an unbelievable number of
these birds, which are sold pickled in that city and this forms a
considerable part of their trade. The trade in hides and in beavers
that are caught on the banks is much more profitable, and they [the
hunters from New Orleans] take away from our possessions in that
region annually from fourteen to twenty thousand deer hides.
Along the boundary are many Englishmen who occupy and farm
whatever field that pleases them best and that land is the object of
their covetousness and rapacity. They live without king and without
law. They are frightened like wild animals at the sight of their
fellow creatures. Always immoral, they have illicit relations even
with the heathen Indians. I have seen it with my own eyes and
other outrages that I shall not recount.
As my object is to give an idea of this province, I should tell Your
Excellency that on the east the boundary of the Americans terminates
at thirty-two degrees latitude, on which is Natchitoches. The mouth
of the great river, which 1 purposely observed, lies to the south of
it at twenty-nine degrees and some minutes. I did not follow it on
to the gulf, because I was afraid of enemy ships.
This work, Your Excellency, I undertook in order to show my love
for the king and to be of some service to the nation and at the cost
of a thousand discomforts. In going and returning I have slept a
month and a half in the open under a miserable arbour. After three
days out, the meat supply which we carried spoiled and it was neces-
sary to eat that of the deer and the bear, which are abundant here,
and their lard is more tasty than the best oil. I have travelled
without doctor or surgeon, whom I could not find, because scarcely
are they to be found here in the cities. My main delicacy has been dry
bran bread and a little rice poorly cooked and even worse prepared
by the soldiers. I have crossed on rafts (logs held together with ropes
and drawn by four to six swimming men) nine large rivers, with
great fear and danger on the Colorado, which was on a rise. Its
current was so strong that it carried us more than two hundred
paces below where we should have landed. We had to hold on to
trees in order to escape the current in which much of my baggage
As the country was impassable in large part, I carried with me
ten wood-cutters, who at times took two to four hours to cut cedars
and other trees to clear the way. At the same time they blazed the
entrances to the creeks that are very dangerous. Thus we left a
good road open for the benefit of the public.
I beg Your Excellency to inform His Majesty of everything so that
if in any way I by my entrance into Natchitoches failed in my obli-
gation, he will be pleased to pardon me, as I only did it in the
belief that it was a point of honor and that it would not offend his
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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/m1/47/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.