The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 77
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The House of Barr and Davenport
for the House of Barr and Davenport. On November 15, 1808,
as the oxcarts of the firm were cautiously creeping along the
royal highway across the Neutral Ground, they were suddenly
overtaken by an armed band of American civil officers, about
six miles west of Arroyo Hondo. The drivers were arrested
and returned to Natchitoches together with their freight.34
This enforcement of the Embargo Act in the Neutral Ground
was viewed with great alarm by the House of Barr and Daven-
port and also by the Spanish authorities. It put an end to the
profitable flow of merchandise, livestock, and peltries across
the disputed area. The Spanish authorities suspected that this
was merely an excuse on the part of the United States to force
the Indians to trade in Louisiana.35
Because of the Embargo Act, Barr and Davenport were unable
to fulfill a contract they had made with the Spanish government.
In compliance with a confidential order of the commandant
general,36 the governor of Texas had made a contract with
William Barr to secure all articles needed for Indian presents
for two years.3' When communication was closed between
Louisiana and Texas by the United States, the House of Barr
and Davenport was unable to obtain the merchandise needed
for this trade. The resourceful Barr suggested to the governor
of Texas that the merchandise could be obtained in Pensacola,
which was in Spanish territory, and shipped to the Texas coast.
Since he had not been able to dispose of his peltries for two
years and had no credit in Pensacola, he would require an
advance loan of fifteen thousand pesos.38 The governor of Texas
refused to accede to any of these requests on the ground that
they were all to the sole benefit of the petitioner. Furthermore,
he asserted that he could get the needed merchandise from
Pensacola through government channels more easily than the
trading firm could and at a saving of the commission that
would necessarily have to be paid them.39
34Antonio Cordero to Manuel de Salcedo, November 28, 1808, MS., Bexar
35Manuel de Salcedo to Antonio Cordero, November 30, 1808, MS., Bexar
36Nemesio Salcedo to Antonio Cordero, August 9, 1808, MS., Bexar
37Nemesio Salcedo to Antonio Cordero, September 20, 1808, MS., Bexar
38W. Barr to Antonio Cordero, March 6, 1809, MS., Bexar Archives.
39Antonio Cordero to Manuel de Salcedo, April 9, 1809, 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/m1/88/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.