The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 194
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
de Le6n led a series of land expeditions that culminated in
his reaching in 1689 the ill-fated and deserted Fort St. Louis,
which La Salle had founded in 1685 on present Garcitas Creek
near Lavaca Bay-then known to the Spaniards as La Bahia
del Espiritu Santo.
Disasters that had befallen the French colony-desertion,
Indian attacks, disease, and treachery that culminated in the
murder of the dauntless La Salle-had temporarily eliminated
the French menace. But Spain felt impelled to nullify France's
claim to Texas that had been acquired through temporary
occupation. Furthermore, other Frenchmen were reported to
be descending the Mississippi; also, the confederated and seden-
tary Hasinai Indians comprising what was known as the "Great
Kingdom of Texas," between the Trinity and Red rivers, had
asked for missionaries. For these reasons, but chiefly for the
purpose of erecting a bulwark against possible French encroach-
ments from Canada, East Texas was temporarily occupied by
the Spaniards between 1690 and 1693. Two missions were
established, the best known being that of San Francisco de los
Texas, which was located a few miles west of the Neches River.
In 1691, Don Domingo TerAn de los Rios, the first commissioned
governor of Texas ever to reach it, began his term of office.
Dissensions arose between Governor Teran and the missionaries.
TerAn soon returned to Coahuila, utterly disgusted with Texas,
and Father Massanet and the other missionaries followed him
in 1693. With East Texas thus abandoned, the Spanish frontier
receded to below the Rio Grande. The abandonment of East
Texas was approved by the Spanish crown in 1694, partly
because the fear of the French on the upper Mississippi was
Spain's interest in Texas waned for a few years after 1693
but revived upon renewed French encroachments. In 1699,
the French founded their first settlement in the colony of
Louisiana-a feeble beginning of a colonizing movement that
resulted by 1719 in the occupation of posts from Natchitoches
and present Texarkana, in the Red River Valley, eastward, to
south central Alabama, and from Mobile and Biloxi, on the
Gulf coast, northward, to present Natchez. By thus occupying
Louisiana, the French drove a wedge between Spanish Florida
and northern New Spain-a wedge that constituted a new
menace to Spain's title to Texas. Before defensive action
against this encroachment could be taken by Spain, Louis XIV's
grandson was willed the Spanish throne in 1700; in his defense,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946, periodical, 1946; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146056/m1/225/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.