The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 414
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314 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
has never been explored in detail. Most of his earlier works are little
known, some are in obscure periodicals. By brief summary of three
monographs and one speech this paper shall attempt to analyze a part
of Bolton's early career as an historian and how it relates to his best
Bolton's first monograph, "Spanish Abandonment and Re-Occupa-
tion of East Texas,"' dealt with the years 1773-1779, a period of change
and hardship for colonists in Texas, ending with the founding of
Nacogdoches. To understand this era, Bolton investigated the back-
ground to the promulgation of a new frontier policy by the King of
Of first consideration, he believed, were the Indian troubles on the
entire frontier. Throughout the northern provinces, from Sonora to
Texas, outer tribes were aggressively advancing on the border Indians.
Apaches raided Sonora and Nueva Viscaya (Chihuahua), and both
Apaches and Comanches were harrassing Texas. By 1753 these problems
were being noted by the Crown."
Secondly, in 1763 Spain acquired Louisiana. Since much of the
settlement and missionization in Texas was in response to the French
threat, the cession of Louisiana suddenly removed the need for main-
taining these posts. As they were unjustifiable by economics or religion,
they were considered expendable. It was in 1766 that the Marquis de
Rubi, an investigator for the Crown, found that the East Texas missions
were empty, the presidios poorly defended, and one small village near
the mission and presidio of Adaes the only settlement existing in the
entire area. His report dealing with the entire frontier resulted in the
1772 royal order reorganizing the settlement line of the northern
border. Under the order the line was drawn back to San Antonio de
Bexar, abandoning the missions and presidios of East Texas and the
settlement at Adaes."
In this fashion Bolton set the stage for a dramatic local event-the
struggles of the settlers of Adaes to return to their eastern homes and
4Herbert E. Bolton, "Spanish Abandonment and Re-Occupation of East Texas," Quar-
terly of the Texas State Historical Association, IX (July, 1905), 67-137. This was the first
publication of narrative history by Bolton. All his previous works were documentary,
relating to Texas or the Philippine Islands. His work in the Mexican archives had
already produced his first guide 'o those materials, "Some Materials for Southwestern
History in the Archivo General de Mexico," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical
Association, VI (October, 1902), 103-112, VII (January, 1904), 196-213.
SBolton, "Spanish Abandonment and Re-Occupation of East Texas," 69-72.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969, periodical, 1969; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/m1/368/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.