The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984 Page: 103
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the military expeditions of Alonzo de Le6n (1698), Domingo Teran de
los Rios (1691), Domingo Ram6n (1716), Martin de Alarc6n (1718),
and Jose de Aguayo (1720). These entradas brought herds of cattle
slowly across trackless land into Texas. Luis Carvajal, in the 159os, had
introduced livestock in Cerralvo, Nuevo Le6n, thirty-five miles south
of the Rio Grande. Scholars speculate that stray cattle waded the Rio
del Norte into southern Texas. In succeeding years, the explosive multi-
plication of castilian cattle on fertile plains in Texas became virtually a
biological phenomenon. Walter P. Webb, in The Great Plains, por-
trays the emerging cattle kingdom as "a diamond-shaped area" (p. 208)
in South Texas, with San Antonio, Indianola, Brownsville, and Laredo
as its four points. Robert S. Weddle and Thonhoff, in Drama and Con-
flict (1976), vividly describe the ranching activity in the area. In The
Texas Connection, Thonhoff focuses on more than twenty-four
ranches, comprising thousands of acres, which were located along the
San Antonio River and its tributaries, especially the Medina, Cibolo,
and Le6n. The ranches on the Atascosa River also are noted, particu-
larly the livestock lands of San Jos6 mission, which, in 1831, were
granted to Texas patriot Jose Antonio Navarro.
The Spanish crown, aligning with the thirteen colonies, declared
war on England in 1779, and appointed Louisiana governor Bernardo
de Galvez to lead royal forces against English possessions north of
New Orleans and in Florida. GAlvez turned to Texas for the supply of
beef needed by his soldiers. By 1780 the eastward flow of cattle had
begun. On May 30, more than 1,2oo cattle were trailed out from La
Bahia to Opelousas; on July 1o, another 1,2oo were delivered; and
on September io, an additional 1,500 head were trailed out for Louisi-
ana. Thonhoff, who expertly combed the Bexar Archives, observes
that whereas the exact count is unknown, more than 13,000 cattle were
trailed legally to Louisiana and Coahuila during the American Revo-
That Texas beef assisted the birth of the American nation is a de-
duction made by Thonhoff. His thesis is based on the premise that
several fronts against a common enemy are advantageous for allied
forces, a position commonly accepted by military strategists. On the
North American continent, the forces of George Rogers Clark opened
a second front in the West. GAlvez further diluted English capacity to
resist by opening a third front in Florida. General Charles Cornwallis
surrendered his exhausted army of 6,ooo at Yorktown to George Wash-
ington. Whether English troops at Yorktown would have been de-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984, periodical, 1983/1984; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117150/m1/123/: accessed March 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.