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: 21
was the sale of Louisiana to the United States
in 1803, by the first Napoleon. When France,
in 1762, ceded this territory to Spain, in order
to prevent it falling into the hands of the
English, the western boundary line between
the Spanish and English possessions in North
America was clearly defined by the treaty
concluded in the following February, at Paris,
by the kings of France and Spain of one party,
and the king of England of the other party.
But in October, 1800, Spain ceded back the
territory to France in exchange for Tuscany,
with the understanding that its extent should
be the same as it had been during the former
possession of it by that nation.
The boundary line, however, between Louisiana
and Texas had never been definitely
settled, though Spain had always claimed that
Red river, or rather its tributary Arroyo
Hondo, was the western limit of the French
possessions. This stream was about seven
miles west of Natchitoches; but for many
years a conventional line had been recognized
by both nations, which ran between the rivers
Mermenteau and Calcasieu, along the Arroyo
Hondo, passing between Adaes and Natchitoches
and terminating in Red river. This
line was violated by the French, who encroached
toward the Sabine river.
Upon the cession of Louisiana to the United
States, the question of boundary line was
raised. Our Government, even at that early
date, began to claim all the country east of
the Rio Grande. Several propositions of
compromise were made and all rejected, and
Texas began to be considered disputed ground.
Meanwhile adventurous Americans contin ued
to push their way into this coveted region,
and Spain continued her old-time inhospitable
policy. By 1806 she had 1,500 soldiers in
Texas to withstand the American aggression.
The famous and infamous scheme of Aaron
A list of the names of Nolan's men taken
prisoners is published in the Texas Almanac
of 1868. These men were tried by the Spanish
authorities as invaders of the country.
The judge ordered their release; but as General
Salcedo, commanding the provinces, objected,
their case was referred to the king of
Spain, who ordered one man out of every five
to be hung, and the remainder to serve in
prison at hard labor for ten years. As one
of the ten men convicted died, it was finally
determined by the local authorities that one
man from the nine remaining would answer
the royal requirement. After due ceremony
the men were required to throw dice, and the
lot fell upon Ephraim Blackburn. He was
accordingly hung at Chihuahua, November
11, 1807. The others were sent to different
penal settlements in the provinces, where they
remained until 1818. It is believed that
Ellis Bean (see sketch elsewhere) returned to
the United States, and that the others died in
Nolan was a scholar, especially in geography
and astronomy, and a gentleman in his
manners. He made the first map of Texas,
which he presented to the Baron de Carondelet
on returning from his first trip to Texas.
Had he lived to see his plans carried out,
Texas, the land he loved, would have been
proud of him.
A river in north central Texas tributary to
the Brazos, is named in Nolan's honor.
The events just referred to had no political
significance; but the time had now arrived--
the first decade of the present century-when
a political move began to inaugurate a disturbing
wave, involving the possibility of a
revolution at some future time, and this move
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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/m1/22/ocr/: accessed February 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .