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five hundred men and five thousand horses. It was the largest military expedition to enter the northern interior since the days of De Soto. Leaving Monclova in November, Aguayo strengthened San Antonio, and sent a garrison to occupy Matagorda Bay. Peace had now been declared, and at the Neches River Aguayo was met by St. Denis, who, swimming his horse across the stream for a parley, informed Aguayo that the war was over and agreed to permit an unrestricted occupation of the abandoned posts. Proceeding east, Aguayo reestablished the six abandoned missions and the presidio of Dolores, and added a presidio at Los Adaes, facing Natchitoches. The expedition had been a success, but the poor horses paid a terrible price for the bloodless victory. The return journey to San Antonio, through a storm of sleet, was so severe' that of his five thousand beasts only fifty were left alive when he arrived in January, 1722.
Aguayo had fixed the hold of Spain on Texas. It was he who clinched the nails driven by Leon, Massanet, Hidalgo, and Ramon. There were now in Texas ten missions, four presidios, and four centers of settlement — Los Adaes, Nacogdoches, San Antonio, and La Bahia (Matagorda Bay). A governor was appointed and the capital of the province fixed at Los Adaes, now Robeline, Louisiana. Originally the name Texas had applied only to the country east of the Trinity River, but now the western boundary was fixed at the Medina River. It was to be moved half a century later to the Nueces. After much petty quarreling with the French of Louisiana, the little Arroyo Hondo was made the eastern boundary, and thus for a century old Texas included a large strip of the present State of Louisiana.1
For twenty years after the Aguayo expedition, the Frenchman St. Denis, or "Big Legs," as the natives fondly called him, ruled the border tribes with paternal sway from his post at Natchitoches on the Red River. The relations of French and Spaniards on this border were generally amicable. Intermarriages and a mutual love of gayety made friendship a pleasanter and more natural condition for the Latin neighbors than strife. Indeed, when in June, 1744, the long career of the redoubtable St. Denis came to a close, prominent among those assembled at Natchitoches to assist in the funeral honors were Governor Boneo and Father Vallejo,
1 In 1819, long after French rivalry had passed, the Sabine River was made the boundary. It is an error to suppose that it was originally the boundary between New France and New Spain. from Los Adaes, across the international boundary line. And yet, when, a few days later, Boneo reported the event to his Viceroy in Mexico, he did so in terms which meant, "St. Denis is dead, thank God; now we can breathe more easily."
Spain's hold upon Texas was secure against France, but many a battle was yet to be fought for the territory with the ferocious Apaches and Comanches, and the incursions of French traders into the Spanish settlements continued to be a source of friction. The jealous trade policy of Spain only increased the eagerness of these traders to enter New Mexico, where the Pueblo Indians and the colonists alike were promising customers, if Spanish officers could be bribed or outwitted. For a long time the way from Louisiana was blocked by Apaches and Comanches, who were at war with the Louisiana tribes, and the river highways were unsafe. Canadians, however, conspicuous among them being La Verendrye and his sons, descended from the north through the Mandan towns on the Missouri, reaching the borders of Colorado, and two brothers named Mallet succeeded in piercing the Indian barrier, entered New Mexico, and returned safely to Louisiana. The town of Gratia Real below Albuquerque where they lodged I
was given the nickname of "Canada." Later on French traders in numbers invaded New Mexico, some of whom were seized and sent to Mexico or to Spain and thrown into prison. Spanish troops were sent to guard the approaches to Chihuahua below El Paso; fears were felt for even distant California; and to keep the New Orleans traders from the Texas coast tribes, a presidio and a mission were established on the Louisiana border at the mouth of the Trinity River, near Galveston Bay.
But the scene soon shifted. I The Seven Years' War removed France from the American continent, left Louisiana in the hands of Spain, and brought Spain and England face to face along the ^Mississippi.
The year 1759 was a fateful one in North America, for it recorded the fall of Quebec, France's principal stronghold in the Western Hemisphere, and the accession of Carlos III, the ablest king since Philip II, to the Spanish throne. The second of these events tended to offset the results of the first. The continued English successes and French disasters of 1760 alarmed Carlos, and in 1761 he renewed the Family Compact and entered the war as the ally of France. In response to the challenge, in August, 1762, an English force captured Havana. Two months later another took Manila. The treaty of peace which closed the Seven Years' War restored the Philippines and Cuba to Spain, but gave Florida to England. By a secret treaty, signed before the conclusion of the war, France had transferred Louisiana to Spain to save it from England. During its brief term under British rule and free