The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 18
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
westward and southward from that point. Two previous studies
of this problem by distinguished scholars had placed the
shipwreck much farther east and the route of the journey
farther north. According to one of them, the travelers never
touched Texas at all. Four other articles on this subject
appeared in the Quarterly in the next twenty years; two of
them accepted Galveston Island or San Luis Island as the place
of the shipwreck; one located it on St. Joseph or on Mustang
Island, and one identified it with Padre Island. All, of course,
adopted a southern route through Texas or carried the
wanderers even farther south through Mexico. In other words,
they approximated the Ponton-McFarland-Bugbee conclusions.
In crediting Bugbee with collaboration in the Ponton and
McFarland study, no depreciation of their work is intended;
but it is a fact that he set them the problem and directed and
checked their work at every step.
In April, 1898, he published in the Quarterly a critical article,
entitled "The Real Saint-Denis." This important Frenchman
was known to most readers of Texas history who knew him
at all as the man who "laid out" the Old San Antonio Road
and who won the heart of the commandant's granddaughter
at San Juan Bautista on the Rio Grande. Dismissing the
romantic and partly fictitious features of the story, Bugbee
declared that Saint-Denis's journey to Mexico and the subsequent
establishment of Spanish missions in East Texas--for which
he was largely responsible --was an event "which materially
influenced the ultimate destiny of the State . . . which, in a
great measure, decided that Texas should be Spanish and not
French, that the boundary between the United States and
Mexico should be the Sabine and not the Rio Grande." This
statement is a good example of his ability to see, and express
in broad generalization, the significance of a subject.
Undoubtedly, Bugbee's most important publication, tested
by its effect on the writing of American history, was an essay
of forty pages, entitled "Slavery in Early Texas," and published
in Political Science Quarterly, September and December, 1898.
Prior to its publication, the immediate cause of the Texas
revolution was attributed - mainly on the authority of aboli-
tionist orators - to resentment of the colonists against Mexico's
efforts to abolish slavery. In their argument, much was made
of an emancipation decree issued by President Guerrero in
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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/m1/24/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.