The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 73
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The House of Barr and Davenport
Smith, Edward Murphy, William Barr, and Peter Samuel Daven-
port in 1798. Most of the activities of the firm across the
Neutral Ground and in Texas were carried on by William Barr
and Peter Samuel Davenport. Luther Smith and Edward Murphy
seem to have transacted most of the business of this association
in Louisiana. Occasionally, however, Luther Smith would drive
herds of livestock from Texas to Louisiana and West Florida.
The large holdings of Edward Murphy in Natchitoches indicate
that his store and warehouse in that city were used as the
base of operations for the firm there. Available records are
concerned mainly with the commercial activities of Barr and
Davenport as general purveyors to the Indian tribes friendly
to the Spanish government and as general traders among the
settlers and soldiers of Nacogdoches.
The House of Barr and Davenport rendered the Spanish
province of Texas great service for twelve years. Its work
commenced in 1800, when William Barr was given a commission
to furnish supplies to the friendly Indians because " . . . he was
the one who could best execute the commission to the satisfac-
tion of the tribes, who had been promised trade since 1773
and 1774."20 In view of this commission Barr and Davenport
exported to the Spanish province of Louisiana all the livestock
they obtained from the Indians in exchange for muskets,
blankets, pots, and clothing upon condition of the payment of
two reales ($0.36) to the royal treasury per horse.2' On April
28, 1801, Barr was given a permit to drive to Louisiana a herd
of about three hundred horses and mules to trade for supplies in
Louisiana for the Indian trade. This trade flourished uninter-
ruptedly for two years, but, in 1803, Commandant General Don
Pedro de Nava prohibited the exportation of livestock to Lou-
Barr complained to the commandant general that this pro-
hibition would ruin his trade. He asserted that he could not
make a living by depending alone on the few peltries furnished
him by the Indians and that he had to have permission to
export livestock from Texas if he were to continue furnishing
the Indians with articles of trade.23 In answer to his complaint,
20[Juan Bautista de Elguezabal] to Nemesio Salcedo, January 18, 1804,
in Quaderno, January 4, 1804, MS., Bexar Archives.
23Guillermo Barr to Nemesio Salcedo, August 17, 1803, MS., Bexar
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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/m1/84/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.