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THE SPANIARDS

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The Spaniards and the JOHN FRANCIS BANNON, S.J. A PRELIMINARY THOUGHT: The Spaniards were in the Mississippi Valley in the 1760's more by accident than by design. In the 1560's they would have felt that they were there rightfully and properly-after all, the whole North American Continent was theirs by reason of prior discovery and papal grant. In the 1660's had they been there, it might have been in order to pre- vent occupation by upstart and intruding rivals, already cavalierly flouting Spanish rights elsewhere on the continent. But by that time the Spaniards had neither the manpower, the resources, nor the interest to spread so far afield. Being as hr away from their north Mexican mining frontier as New Mexico was taxing enough, and shortly they would find it even more so, when the Pueblo Indians rose hi revolt (1680-1692) to take back their towns and lands on the upper Rio Grande. In the 1660% the Spaniards had more or less rec- onciled themselves to sharing "their" North America with two impudent but obviously John Frmis Banwn, SJ. is eme-rbhcs ~~O~RFSOT of hisfmy at Saint Louis Unzversitg. He received the A.B. and MA. degrees from Saint Louis University and Me PL.D degree from th Unive-rsity flC&YmM-Bwkb. F& Bmmi hos writtm books and articles on Lain Amwi&an histmy md the Ame-rican Southwest. 9is County, 1 762-1 80 determined rivals, England and Both were still far away and har mediate threats, at least outside the bean, to Spain's secure possession much of the continent as she had c and been able, to occupy. In the next several decades, hoHN FRANCIS BANNON, S.J. ain became somewhat less complacent. lishmen inching southward from Vir- into the Carolinas had not seemed, at least, to pose a threat to Spanish or even to Guale, as they called the ure Georgia. But that situation would ge relatively soon. The Spaniards were re perturbed in the middle 1 6801s, when y learned that Robert Cavelier, Sieur de Salle, was heading for the Gulf of xico coast, and with colonists. Out of and Vera Cruz by sea and Coahuila , the Spaniards sought to corner and erse the trespassing Frenchmen. Fi- y, Alonso de Leh, out of Coahuila in 9, found the ruins of La SalIe's ill- red Fort Saint Louis, on the Garcitas, learned from a few French runaway ivors the story of the disasters there. To repared to counter future attempts by French to found a settlement, the niards between 1690 and 1693 estab- ed a presidio and several missions in t Texas. When no other Frenchmen ar- and especially when the expense of taining the outpost mounted, officials e viceregal capital ordered it aban- d and the soldiers and missionaries to the Rio Grande frontier. But now an the alert against foreign into lands uncomfortably close to an mining provinces. That Report of the American Historical Association e year 1945, Vols. 2-4 (Washington, D.C.: Gov- nt Printing Office, 1946-1949). Biographies of ankh governors of Louisiana: John W. ey, Bernardo de GBluex in Louisianq 1776-1783 ley: University of California Press, 1934), and L. Holrnes, Gayoso: The Lqe of aSpanish Governor issippi Valley, 1789-1 799 (Baton Rouge: Lou- tate University Press, 1965). The two works of ur Preston Whitaker, The Spanish-American tier, 1783-1 795 (Boston: Houghton, 1927), and ississippi Question, 1795-1803 (New York: Apple- 1934), have helpful insights; useful, too, in a mar- fashion, is Henry Folmer, FrancoSpanish Rivalry th America (Glendale, Calif.: A. H. Clark Co., 3, and John A. Caruso, The Mississippi Valley : The Age of French Explo7ation and Settlement apolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1966); inore directly t is Clarence Walworth Alvord, The Illinois 1763-1818, The Centennial History of Illi- . 1 (Springfield: Illinois Centennial Commis- Robert Cavelier, Siezlr de La Salle watchfulness paid off in 1699, when the French made their next move into the Gulf of Mexico; the Spaniards had beaten them to Pensacola, and as a result Pierre le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville, had to push farther west. He established a French col- ony first at Biloxi and then in 1702 moved eastward to Mobile, more strategically defensible and better placed for the trade they had begun with the Indians of the Alabama country. The year 1699 brought other French- men, moving out of Canada, to Cahokia In 1702 the Jesuits brought their Indian converts to Kaskaskia. Those Frenchmen, and others from farther upriver, were quickly a matter of considerable concern to the Spaniards in New Mexico. The gover- nor, Don Diego de Vargas, on his expedi- tion of 1694 into the San Luis Valley of Colorado, heard rumors of white men from the Utes. A few years later it was reported that two white children were among the captives brought in by the Navaho for ran- som. In 1700 an Apache from the Plains reported that a large force of white men had destroyed a Jumano village. In 1706,Juan de Ulibarri, on a "truant officer mis- sion" to the northeast, came back with more such tales. In New Mexico, Spaniardsbegan to fear a possible French attack, and appeals were sent to authorities in Mexico City for arms and troops. The fear that the white men on the Plains were Frenchmen was strengthened when Apache coming to trade at Pecos brought in an occasional arti- cle that the nervous Spaniards identified as of French manufacture. Frontier anxiety came to be shared by viceregal officials, and in 1719 Governor Valverde was ordered to establish a presidio among the Jicarilla Apache in northeastern New Mexico and to send an expedition against the white in- truders. The presidio was never founded, but in 1720 when Pedro de Villasur went north with a troop, he was routed on the Platte River by Pawnee who were report- edly accompanied by Frenchmen. When the survivors returned, there was conster- nation in New Mexico. The new governor, Juan Domingo de Bustamante, appealed frantically for men and arms. Either offi- cials in Mexico City were unimpressed or they were unable to send help; in either SPANIARDS AND THE ILLINOIS COUNTRY mines" of the Spaniards in New Me There undoubtedly were other unrecorOHN FRANCIS BANNON, S.J. ch and probings into beyond the Missouri country, out of ois. History is more precise as it puts ng the Osage in 1719 Sieur de Bourgrnont, out onto the Plains in the 1 7201s, where made the first French contact of record to the Spaniards of co (the first


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