History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 19
who, through deception, had obtained a passport
from his predecessor, Baron de Carondelet;
that Nolan was a hypocrite and a sacrilegious
man; that he professed to be a Catholic
among Spaniards, and laughed at this religion
when he was among Americans; that
it would be important to secure him and dispose
of him in such a manner that he might
never be heard of; that Nolan was cominissioned
by General Wilkerson--who had
raised and educated him--to reconnoitre the
country, draw maps and make offers to the
friendly Indians to rebel against the Spaniards.
August 8, 1800, the commanding general
ordered the governor of Texas to arrest
Nolan in case he returned to the province.
October 6 following, the commander of the
post at Concordia, Louisiana, informed the
commander at Nacogdoches that Nolan was,
under pretext of chasing wild horses, organizing
an expedition of thirty or forty armed
men to enter the territory of Texas; that he
had remonstrated with the authorities at
Natchez, Mississippi, but he was satisfied that
they would not discountenance the plans of
The commander at Concordia,-December
13, 1800, forwarded a document from Mordecai
Richards, who therein stated, before the
above mentioned military authority, that he
had left Natchez with Nolan and about
thirty-four armed Americans and six or seven
Spaniards; that at Nogales they crossed the
Mississippi, and that Nolan told him (Richards)
that he relied on him to guide them,
which he promised; that thence they veered
northwest that during their march he was
obliged to hunt for the party; that about six
miles from Wachita post, Nolan was detained
by a party of militia-men, and Nolan sent a
letter to the commander of the said post by
sissippi, obtained a passport from the Baron
de Carondelet, governor of Louisiana, July
17, 1797, to go to Texas, for the purpose of
buying horses for the Louisiana regiment then
being organized at New Orleans. He repaired
to San Antonio de Bejar, where he made the
acquaintance of the governor of Texas, Don
Manuel Mufioz, and, through the kind offices
of the latter, entered into a correspondence
with General Pedro de Nava, then commanding
the Spanish provinces, with headquarters
at the city of Chihuahua.
A permit was granted to Nolan to obtain
the horses desired, both in the province of
Texas and that of New Santander (now
Tamaulipas), Mexico; and about the end of
July, 1798, he took with him 1,297 head,
which he kept for a while on the pasture
grounds of the Trinity river. Soon afterward
he returned to Natchez.
The viceroy of Mexico, Marquis de Branciforte,
February 12, 1798, transmitted a communication
from the governor of Louisiana,
Don Manuel Gayoso de Letnos, successor of
the Baron Carondelet, to General Nava, requesting
him, as of great importance to the
service, to arrest any foreigners that might
go into the Spanish provinces, because he was
aware that some Americans intended to visit
the country for the purpose of becoming
friendly with the Indians and bringing about
a revolution. He desired Nolan to be closely
watched. At that time the movements of the
English and the Americans had created some
suspicions, and it was thought that even the
French designed to invade Louisiana.
On the first of June, 1799, the governor
of Louisiana recommended to Don Pedro
Nava that no American should be permitted
to reconnoitre the territory; that he knew
that some strangers had gone into Texas, and
that the most dangerous was Philip Nolan,
HZISTOR Y FTXS
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/20/ocr/: accessed October 21, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .