The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968 Page: 488
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Vizcaya to the Rio Grande and of establishing pueblos of Christian
Indians at intervals along the river, thus forming a chain of settle-
ments and forts from El Paso southeast to San Juan Bautista (near
modern Eagle Pass) and, in effect, sealing off the Despoblado."
The Rivera inspection resulted in the correction of a great number
of abuses which had arisen in the presidial system and an improve-
ment in the state of training of the soldiers and in their equipment. As
the visit was made during a period of relative peace, however, Rivera
recommended the suppression of the garrisons at Durango and Sal-
tillo and a reduction in the number of troops at other presidios rim-
ming the despoblado." While these economies were welcomed by
the royal treasury officials, they were not altogether wise, for the peace
on the frontier was transitory.
Despite Rivera's enthusiasm for abolishing presidios or reducing
their garrisons, he did become convinced of the desirability of estab-
lishing a new fort at La Junta de los Rios in order to protect the mis-
sions there and, as he hoped, to facilitate direct communications be-
tween El Paso and San Juan Bautista. In 1726, while he was still on
the frontier, Rivera received the viceroy's authorization to establish
the presidio; but by the following year, when he was once again in
Chihuahua, the Brigadier had changed his mind. There were differ-
ences of opinion as to where the presidio should be located, so that
Rivera decided to delay the project. The viceroy agreed to the sus-
pension, especially as he now felt that the royal treasury could ill
afford the expense." Upon his return to Mexico City in 1728, Rivera
once more revived the project with the strong support of the auditor
general, Olivan Rebolledo." It was now decided to send an expedition
out to follow the course of the Rio Grande from San Juan Bautista
to La Junta de los Rios to choose a site for the presidio. This was
done in 1729, and though the expedition criss-crossed the Despoblado,
it did not follow the route specified and thus failed in its purpose."2
21Henrietta Murphy, "Spanish Presidial Administration as Exemplified by the Inspec-
tion of Pedro de Rivera, 1724-1728" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1938), 22-35.
22Ibid., see especially the table, p. 137.
""Respta. del sor. Audittor," July 21, 1736, AGI, Mexico (AGI transcript 84), 147-150.
26See "Diario de la Expedici6n a la Junta de los Rios y correspondencia relativa,"
AGNM, Historia (AGNM transcript 357; Archives, University of Texas Library, Austin),
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968, periodical, 1968; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/m1/552/: accessed June 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.