The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954 Page: 182
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
had been actively hostile toward her frontier for the past decade.
Failure to win the northern Indians might very well defeat the
primary purpose of the acquisition of Louisiana, for there had
been vague rumors of growing English influence among the
Taovayas since 1760. In that year some Apaches reported that
Englishmen were teaching the Taovayas the use of "explosive
bombs." Particulars as to the nature of these weapons were
lacking, but they were presumed to be for the purpose of destroy-
ing Spaniards.2 By 1768 the alarm had spread to New Mexico
where Governor Pedro Fermin de Mendinueta thought that the
seventeen loads of guns and ammunition which the Comanches
had recently purchased from a Taovayas trading party must have
come from English sources, since there were presumably no longer
any French dealers in weapons.a His assumption as to the imme-
diate effectiveness of Spain's suppression of the French munitions
trade was erroneous, but such reports were widely believed, and
fear of English intrusions became a ruling factor in Spanish
Indian policy. Conciliation of the Taovayas was deemed essential
lest their region become a back door for English infiltration of
The happy relationship of the French with the Nations of the
North had been based upon mutually profitable commerce. The
Spaniards discovered an expedient solution of their problem in
the adoption of this existing system of commercial control, utiliz-
ing the veteran French personnel which remained in Louisiana.4
They hoped thus to avoid a sudden disruption of Indian affairs
in the region and possibly to fall heir to the good will which the
Nations of the North felt toward the French.
Complete acceptance of the free trade practices of the French,
however, would have involved a more radical departure from
traditional Spanish thinking than the officials were prepared to
make, and certain modifications were ordered. For the independ-
ent adventurers who had carried on the French traffic with the
Nortefios, the Spaniards decided to substitute a system of traders,
licensed and closely supervised by the government, who would
3Governor Pedro Fermin de Mendinueta to Teodoro de Croix, Santa F6, June 18,
1768, in Alfred Barnaby Thomas (ed.), The Plains Indians and New Mexico,
i751-1778 (Albuquerque, 194o), 161-162.
4Bolton (ed.), Athanase de Mdzibres, I, 7o.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954, periodical, 1954; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101152/m1/230/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.