The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 508
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
With the carters under arrest and the freight sequestered in
Natchitoches, Louisiana, all legitimate trade between the two
areas seemed to have been ended. Since this had been an officially-
sponsored trade, apparently entered into by the Spanish only
because the Indians were accustomed to, and had a preference
for, the goods coming out of New Orleans, its interruption by
the Americans meant that the Spanish officials faced serious diffi-
culties with the Indian allies of the neighborhood unless new
sources of supply could be found.a
On December 13, 18o8, Don Nemesio Salcedo, Commandant
General of the Provincias Internas began a correspondence with
the Consulado, or Merchant Guild, of Veracruz. He had been able
through "dissimulation," he said, to avoid the full consequences
of the Embargo, but observed that the Indian trade now might
be cut off at any time because of a lack of supplies. And, "in
that case, the friendly and agreeable relationship that has existed
between us and the people of those nations would be immedi-
ately changed." He was especially concerned about the goods
annually distributed at public expense by the governor of Texas
since most of these items had been supplied in the past through
New Orleans. Since the Embargo had prohibited the American
export trade, new sources had to be found if the gifts were to be
made in 1809 and 181o. Salcedo questioned, "Could it be that
some member of the trading community of that city would be
interested in supplying, at the most moderate prices possible, the
mands were channelled to the local Texas officials. See H. Bailey Carroll and J.
Villasana Haggard (eds.), Three New Mexico Chronicles (Albuquerque, 1942),
sPrivate trade between Texas and Louisiana was expressly prohibited by the
Spanish after the Louisiana Purchase, and in 18o6, the death penalty was decreed
for violations of the orders concerning trade and communication between the two
areas. See Mattie Austin Hatcher, "The Opening of Texas to Foreign Settlement,
1801-1821," University of Texas Bulletin, No. 2714 (Austin, 1927), 95-104, 124-125,
Appendix 1, Document 11. The government's trade had generally been con-
ducted by means of contracting for the supplies with the firm of Barr and Daven-
port, already licensed for trade in the Nacogdoches area. Through their partners
in Natchitoches, William Barr of Ireland and Peter Samuel Davenport of Pennsyl-
vania had ready access to New Orleans sources of the European goods desired.
The most recent contract had been signed in September, 18o8, though deliveries
were then interrupted in November, 18o8.
4Nemesio Salcedo to the Consulado of Veracruz, Chihuahua, December 13, 18o8,
in Archivo General de la Naci6n, Consulado, Vol. 193, No. 6. Hereafter cited AGN.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/548/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.