The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 78
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Southwestern Historical Quartcrly
The bandits of the Neutral Ground presented the last and
most persistent threat to the House of Barr and Davenport.
Davenport assisted Spanish and American joint patrols in driv-
ing the outlaws from the disputed area in order to clear the
highway of the constant danger of attack. In spite of the
continued vigilance of the Spanish and American authorities,
however, the bandits eventually made transit across the Neutral
Ground too risky. "The Neutral Ground is still infested by
gangs of bandits," wrote Davenport, "and it is impossible to
carry on business. I dare not risk my interests to capture by
Prosperity quickly returned to the House of Barr and Daven-
port as soon as the Embargo Act was repealed.41 Although the
two-year contract for Indian supplies was canceled, other con-
tracts were given to the traders.42 And the Spanish authorities
authorized Barr and Davenport "... to keep our friendly Indians
happy, and to prevent as much as possible their trips to foreign
territory."43 The governor of Texas even suggested to his
superior that an exclusive contract for the Bayou Pierre trading
post should be given to Barr and Davenport and that the contract
then held by Don Marcelo Soto should be canceled. "Although
Don Guillermo Barr and Davenport are foreigners," he asserted,
"they are Spanish subjects and the only men in this province
who can carry on that trading post satisfactorily."44 Further-
more, the governor defended them against the charge of
smuggling that had been made against them by Don Marcelo
Soto. It was not true, he asserted, that Barr and Davenport
kept livestock on their ranch of Las Ormigas in the Neutral
Ground as an excuse for smuggling them from there to
Louisiana, as Soto alleged. They kept livestock there because
the Spanish government had given them permission to do so
in order to maintain their claim to the land. If there was
4oS. Davenport to Manuel de Salcedo, February 6, 1812, MS., Bexar
41S. Davenport to Bernardino Montero, July 21, 1812, MS., Bexar
42"I have made a contract with Don Samuel Davenport, Indian trader,
whereby he will collect as soon as possible two thousand eight hundred
tobacco twists at the rate of seven reales [$1.27] each." - Christoval
Dominguez to Sim6n de Herrera, October 5, 1811, MS., Bexar Archives.
43 [Manuel de Salcedo] to commandant of Nacogdoches, October 4, 1809,
MS., Bexar Archives.
44Manuel de Salcedo to Bernardo Bonavia, September 29, 1809, MS.,
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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/m1/89/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.