BANCROFT LIBRARY FRENCH INTRUSIONS INTO NEW MEXICO 1749-1752 BY HERBERT E. BOLTON UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA REPRINTED FROM "THE PACIFIC OCEAN IN HISTORY" BY H. MORSE STEPHENS AND HERBERT E. BOLTON. THE MACMILLAN COMPANY, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK Copyright, 1917, By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY. FRENCH INTRUSIONS INTO NEW MEXICO, 1749-1752 HERBERT E. BOLTON EARLY in the eighteenth century French voyageurs, chasseurs, and traders of Louisiana and Canada looked with covetous eyes toward New Mexico. To the adventurer it was a land promising gold and silver and a path to the South Sea ; to the merchant it offered rich profits in trade. The three natural avenues of ap- proach to this Promised Land were the Missouri, Arkansas, and Red rivers. But there were two obstacles to expeditions bound for New Mexico. One was the jealous and exclusive policy of Spain which made the reception of such Frenchmen as might reach Santa Fe a matter of uncertainty ; the other was the Indian tribes which stood in the way. The Red River highway was effectually blocked by the Apache, mortal enemies of all the tribes along the lower valley; the Arkansas and Missouri River avenues were impeded by the Comanche for analogous reasons. It was not so much that the Apache and Comanche were averse to the entrance of French traders, as that the jealous enemies of these tribes opposed the passage of the traders to their foes with supplies of weapons. It is a matter of interest that in the nine- teenth century the American pioneers found almost identical con*- ditions in the same region. As the fur traders and official explorers pushed rapidly west, one of their constant aims was to open the way to New Mexico by effecting peace between the Comanche and the tribes further east. In 1718-1719 La Harpe ascended the Red River and es- tablished the Cadodacho post ; Du Rivage went seventy leagues further up the Red River; and La Harpe crossed over to the Touacara villages on the lower Canadian. At the same time DuTisne reached the Panipiquet, or Jumano, villages on the Arkansas, north of the Oklahoma line. Finding further advance 2D 389 390 THE PACIFIC OCEAN IN HISTORY cut off by the hostility of the Jumano for the Comanche, he tried, but without avail, to effect a treaty between the tribes. 1 Two years later La Harpe reestablished the Arkansas post, ascended the river half way to the Canadian, and urged a post among the Touacara, as a base for advance to New Mexico. 2 In 1723 Bourg- mont erected a post among the Missouri tribe to protect the fur traders there, to check an advance by the Spaniards such as had been threatened by the Villazur expedition in 1720, and as a base for commerce with New Mexico. To open the way thither he led Missouri, Kansas, Oto, and Iowa chiefs to the Padoucah (Comanche), near the Colorado border of Kansas, effected a treaty between them, and secured permission for Frenchmen to pass through the Comanche country to the Spaniards. 3 Shortly afterward the Missouri post was destroyed by Indians, the Missouri valley was made unsafe for a number of years by the Fox wars, and French advance westward was checked. Although there are indications that in the interim traders kept pushing up the Missouri, the next well known attempt to reach New Mexico was made in 1739. In that year the Mallet party of eight or nine men left the Missouri River at the Arikara villages, went south to the Platte River, ascended that stream, and made their way through the Comanche country to Taos and to Santa Fe. After being detained several months in friendly captivity, six or seven of the party returned, unharmed by the Spanish authorities, and bearing evidence that the residents of New Mexico would welcome trade. Four of the party descended the Canadian and Arkan- sas rivers, the others going northeast to the Illinois. The Mallet party had succeeded in getting through the Co- manche country to New Mexico and had returned in safety and with good prospects for trade two important achievements. Immediately there was renewed interest in the Spanish border, on the part of both government officials and of private adven- 1 Miss Anne Wendels, a graduate student at the University of California, has clearly shown that the Panis visited by DuTisnS were on the Arkansas River south- west of the Osage, and that DuTisne did not, as is sometimes stated, pass beyond to the Padoucah. French Interest in and Activities on the Spanish Border of Louis- ana, 1717-1753, Ms. thesis. * Miss Wendels, in the paper cited above, has made a most careful study of the routes of La Harpe on this and his former expedition, with convincing results. For Bourgmont's route I follow Miss Wendels, who differs somewhat from Parkman, Heinrich, and others. FRENCH INTRUSIONS INTO NEW MEXICO, 1749-1752 391 turers. At once, in 1741, Governor Bienville sent Fabry dela Bruyere, bearing a letter to the governor of New Mexico ana guided by four members of the Mallet party, with instructions to retrace the steps of the latter, open up a commercial route, and explore the Far West. 1 Shortly afterward a new military post, called Fort Cavagnolle, was established on the Missouri at the Kansas village, and the Arkansas route was made safe by effecting in 1746 or 1747 a treaty between the Comanche and the Jumano. The effect of the treaty was immediate, and at once there were new expeditions to New Mexico by deserters, private traders, and official agents. The fact that they occurred has only recently come to light. The incidents are so unknown to history, and reveal so many important facts concerning the New Mexico- Louisiana frontier, that they deserve narration, and have therefore occasioned this paper. Their records are contained in two expedi- entes in the archives of Mexico, discovered by the present writer. 2 Before proceeding to the narration of these intrusions, a word further must be said regarding the position of the Comanche on the Spanish border. At that time the tribe roamed over the plains between the upper waters of the Red River and the Platte, the two divisions most frequently mentioned being the Padoucah and the Laitane, or Naitane. They followed the buffalo for a living and had large droves of horses, mules, and even burros, 1 Lettre de MM. Bienville et Salmon, April 30, 1741, in Margry, Decouvertes, vol. 4, pp. 466-467; Instructions donnees & Fabry de la Bruyere, ibid., pp. 468-470; Ex- trait des lettres du sieur Fabry, a r occasion du voyage projetes a Santa Fe, ibid., pp. 472-492; Wendels, French Interests and Activities on the Spanish Border of Louisiana, 1717-1753. After proceeding a short distance up the Canadian, Fabry was forced through lack of water for canoes to go back to the Arkansas post for horses. Returning, by way of the Cadodacho, he found that the Mallet brothers had continued toward Santa Fe, on foot. Giving up the project, Fabry crossed over from the Canadian to the Red River, where he visited the Tavakanas and Kitsaiches (Towakoni and Kichai), two of the tribes which La Harpe had found on the Canadian in 1719. The further adventures of the Mallets have not come to light, but it is known that in 1744 a Frenchman called Santiago Velo reached New Mexico. He was secretly despatched to Mexico by Governor Codallos y Rabal. Twitchell, R. E., The Spanish Archives of New Mexico, vol. 1, p. 149. 2 They are : (1) Autos fhos sre averiguar qu& rumbo han ttraido ttres franzeses que llegaron al Pueblo de taos con la Naz* Cumanche q benian a hazer sus aconstum- brados resgattes. Juez, El S' Z> Thomas Velez, Govr de esta Provincia. Archivo General y Publico, Mexico, cited hereafter as Autos fhos sre averiguar. (2) Testi- monio de los Autos fhos a Consulta del Govm del nuebo Mexfio sobre haver llegado dos franzeses cargados de efectos que conduzian de la Nueba Orleans. Archivo General y Publico, Mexico, Provincias Internas, tomo 34. These expedientes consist of the declarations of the intruders, correspondence concerning them, documents confiscated from them, and records of proceedings in Mexico regarding them. Ad- ditional light is shed by some documents published in Twitchell's Spanish Archives of New Mexico, vol. 1, pp. 148-151. 392 THE PACIFIC OCEAN IN HISTORY which they bought or stole from the Spaniards. In order the better to exploit the buffalo and find pasturage, they lived scat- tered in small bands. They were bitter enemies of the Apache tribes living to the south, 1 and until shortly before had been hostile to the Jumano, Pawnee, and most of the other tribes to the east- ward. Hemmed in by this wall of enemies, they had had little contact with the French, and had depended mainly upon the Spaniards of New Mexico for supplies. Their principal trading mart was Taos, where each spring they went in large numbers to attend a great fair, where they exchanged peltry and captives for horses, knives, and other merchandise. 2 In spite of this trade with the Spaniards, the Comanche were overbearing, and often stole horses and committed other depredations in the settlements. During the quinquennium of Governor Codallos y Rabal (1744- 1749) they several times attacked Pecos and Galisteo, killing one hundred and fifty residents of Pecos alone. In view of this situation, Governor Velez, the successor of Codallos, was forced to fortify and establish garrisons at both Pecos and Galisteo. Thus, the Comanche situation was already precarious before the peace with the Jumano and the coming of the French traders; and their advent made it worse. 3 One of the trading parties which followed upon the Comanche alliance with the Jumano was among the former tribe early in 1748, but we know little of the history of the expedition. On February 27 of that year seven Comanches from a village on the Xicarilla River entered Taos and reported that thirty-three Frenchmen had come to their settlement and traded muskets for mules. All but two had gone back, but the two were waiting at the village to accompany the Comanche to the Taos fair. In consequence of the report Governor Codallos wrote the viceroy a letter in which he surmised some conspiracy between the Comanche and the French, recalled the destruction of the Villazur expedition in 1720 through French influence, pointed out the increased danger from the Comanche now that they were securing firearms, and 1 Carlanes, Palomas, Chilpaines, Pelones, Natag6s, and Faraonea. 1 Many of these facts concerning the Comanche situation are gleaned from the two expedients cited above, note 5. 1 Governor Tomas Velez Cachupin to the viceroy, Santa Fe, March 8, 1750, in Autos fhos sre averiguar, fol. 31. FRENCH INTRUSIONS INTO MEXICO, 1749-1752 393 proposed a military post on the Xicarilla River, the avenue of approach for both the Comanche and the French. 1 So far as we know, the party of which Codallos wrote did not enter the New Mexico settlements, but this is not true of one which arrived the following spring. Near the end of his term, early in 1749, Codallos sent his lieutenant, Bernardo de Bustamante y Tagle, to attend the Taos fair. When he returned to Santa Fe on April 12 he brought with him three Frenchmen whom the Cornanche had conducted to the fair and who had requested Bustamante to take them to the capital. 2 The new governor, Tomas Velez Cachupin, had the strangers promptly lodged in the Palacio de Gobierno and duly interrogated. Since they did not know Spanish, they were questioned through an interpreter named Pedro Soutter, who was " sufficiently versed in the French language." The formal interrogatorio drawn up for the purpose contained fifteen points, and was quite typical of Spanish adminis- trative thoroughness. It asked each of the strangers his name, marital status, religion, residence, his route in coming, the coun- try and tribes passed through, the names, location, and condition of the French settlements, their relations with the Indians, the extent and nature of the fur trade, whether the French had mines, and numerous other items of interest to the frontier Spanish authorities. 3 The first examination of the three strangers took place on April 13, another being held subsequently. Since the first state- ments were in some respects confused and indefinite, due in part, it w r as claimed, to the inefficiency of the interpreter, and since much new light is shed by the subsequent depositions, my narra- tive will be drawn from the two combined. 4 1 Antonio Duran de Armijp to Governor Codallos, Taos, February 27, 1748, in Twitchell, The Spanish Archives of New Mexico, vol. 1, p. 148 ; Joaquin Codallos y Rabal to the viceroy, Santa Fe, March 4, 1748, ibid., pp. 148-151. 8 Aulto of Velez, April 12, 1749, in Autos fhos sre averiguar, ff. 1-2. 1 Notification y juramento de d n Pedro Souter in Autos fhos sre averiguar, 2-3 ; " Ynterrogatorio," ibid., 3-4. 4 Declarations of the three Frenchmen, April 13, in Autos fhos sre averiguar, 4-12 ; Velez to the viceroy, June 19, 1749, in ibid., 13-14 ; declarations of the three Frenchmen March 5, 1750, in ibid., 16-20. They declared that the first of the three rancherfas of Comanche comprised eighty-four tents and eight hun- dred persons; the second forty and the third twenty-three tents, with people in proportion. They declared that they saw five fusees among the Comanche, and that the Indians would not permit them to enter the village. The Comanche lived 394 THE PACIFIC OCEAN IN HISTORY As first recorded the names of the strangers were given as Luis del Fierro, Pedro Sastre, and Joseph Miguel; they later emerged as Luis Febre. Pedro Satren, or Latren, and Joseph Miguel Riballo. According to the declarations, Febre was twenty- nine years old, a native of New Orleans, and by trade a tailor and a barber. He had been a soldier at New Orleans, had deserted to Canada, going thence to Michillimackinac ("San Miguel Ma- china "), to Ysla Negra, Illinois (Silinue), and to the Arkansas post. Pedro Satren, forty-two years old, was a native of Quebec, where he had been a carpenter and a soldier. He had also been at Michillimackinac and at the Arkansas post, whence he had deserted after fifteen days' service. Riballo, twenty-four years old, was a native of Illinois, a carpenter by trade, and had been a soldier in Illinois and at the Arkansas post. All stated that they were bachelors and Catholics ; none could sign their names. All claimed to have deserted from the Arkansas post because of harsh treatment. They had heard of New Mexico and its mines from certain Frenchmen who had returned from Santa Fe a few years before. They had been encouraged to make the attempt to reach it by the alliance made some two years before between the Jumano and the Comanche, which made it possible to go through the country of the latter. These statements illustrate clearly the effect of the safe return of the Mallet party and of the treaty between the Indian tribes. The point of departure of the Febre party was a village of Arkansas (Zarca) Indians a short distance west of the post. From there twelve men had set out together in the fall of 1748. Going up the Napestle (Arkansas), they passed the two villages of the Jumano, to which point French traders went regularly in canoes to trade. 1 Being conducted from here by Jumano Indians, after going one hundred and fifty leagues they reached a Comanche settlement of three villages, where they remained some time, hunting with the Indians and being asked by them to join in a campaign against the A tribe. From the Comanche settlement chiefly on buffalo but utilized some wild cattle for food. Deposition of Febre, in Autos fhos sre averiguar, 6. 1 In the depositions the two Panpiquet, or Jumano, villages were said to com- prise about three hundred warriors, and the tribe to be fierce cannibals. Autos fhos sre averiguar, 6-7. FRENCH INTRUSIONS INTO NEW MEXICO, 1749-1752 395 Febre, Satren, and Riballo were conducted, in the course of a month, to the Taos fair, whence they were taken by Bustamante to Santa Fe, arriving there six months after setting out. 1 Upon reaching Santa Fe they were dispossessed of their fusees, lodged in the Real Palacio, and set to work. Two months later (June 19) Governor Velez made a report of the occurrence to the viceroy which is an interesting commen- tary upon the economic needs of the old Spanish outpost, and of the local attitude toward intruding foreigners who could add to the economic wellbeing of the province. At that time, Velez said, the strangers were working quietly and proficiently at the Real Palacio, two of them being employed as carpenters, and Febre as tailor, barber, and blood-letter. He added, "since there is a lack of members of these professions in this villa and the other settlements of the realm ... it would seem to be very advantageous that they should remain and settle in it, because of their skill in their callings, for they can teach some of the many boys here who are vagrant and given to laziness. It is very lam- entable that the resident who now is employed as barber and blood-letter is so old that he would pass for seventy years of age ; as for a tailor, there is no one who knows the trade directly. These are the three trades of the,, Frenchman named Luis. And resident carpenter there is none, for the structure of the houses, and repeated reports which I have from the majority of the in- habitants, manifest the lack of carpenters suffered in the province." In view of these conditions, the governor recommended that the Frenchmen be permitted to remain in New Mexico, promising to deport them to Mexico City if they should give cause. 2 The governor's report reached Mexico in due time, and on August 29 was sent to the auditor general de guerra, the Marques de Altamira, the man at the capital who at this epoch had most to do with the government of the provinces. 3 In view of the in- definiteness of the declarations of the three Frenchmen, particu- larly in matters of Louisiana geography, he was suspicious of their honesty, and he therefore advised that new depositions be 1 Depositions of Febre, Satren, and Riballo, in Autos fhos sre averiguar. J Velez to the viceroy, June 19, 1749, in Autos fhos sre averiguar, 13-14. 8 Decreto of the viceroy, ibid., 13 (bis). It is to be noted that in the origi- nal the numbers 13 and 14 are repeated in the numbering of the folios. 396 THE PACIFIC OCEAN IN HISTORY taken. On the other hand, he approved the governor's request, and advised that the strangers be allowed to remain at Santa F6 to teach their trades, on condition that they be duly watched. 1 The auditor's advice was acted upon, and on October 3 a de- spatch was sent to Governor Velez. 2 It was in consequence of these instructions that new depositions were taken, March 5, 1750. The Frenchmen had been in Santa Fe nearly a year now, and no interpreter was necessary at least none was officially appointed as had been the case before. The preeminence of Satren among the three is indicated by the fact that his was the only declara- tion written in full, the other two men saying little more than to subscribe to what he stated. 3 In his new deposition many of the shortcomings of the former were corrected and many new details added. In the meantime seven other men from Louisiana had arrived at Santa Fe at different times. Satren declared them to be fur traders whom he knew, and that they had left Louisiana, like himself, in order to make a better living among the Spaniards. 4 Clearly, however, they were not of the party of twelve in which Satren had set out in 1748, for they left Arkansas a year later. Among the newcomers was a Spaniard named Felipe de Sandoval, who made a deposition at Santa Fe on March 1, 1750, four days before the second declaration of Satren was given. According to his statement he had left Spain in 1742. Near Puerto Rico his vessel had been captured by the English and taken to Jamaica. After remaining there a prisoner for two years he fled on a French vessel to Mobile, going thence to New Orleans and to the Arkansas 1 Altamira noted especially the fact that the deserters failed, in their descrip- tions of Louisiana, to mention the Natchitoches and Cadodacho posts. By a misreading he understood the declarations to state that New Orleans was six hundred leagues from the Mississippi River, whereas they meant that it was that distance from Santa F6. Altamira also misunderstood the declarations to state that the Comanche settlements were one hundred and fifty leagues from Santa F6. What they stated was that the settlements were that distance from the Jumano villages. Altamira, dictamen, in Autos fhos are averiguar, 13 (bis)-16. The nu- merals here and below refer to folios. 1 Decreto of the viceroy, September 30, 1749, Autos fhos sre averiguar, 15 ; memorandum, October 3, ibid. 1 Declarations of Satren, Febre, and Riballo, March 5, 1750, in Autos fhos sre averiguar, 16-20. Satren told in his new declaration of the military post among the Canse (Kansas) and stated that this was the tribe who "defeated the Spaniards who in the year twenty, to the number of twenty men, penetrated as far as this place under the command of Don Pedro de Billasur, this kingdom of New Mexico being then governed by Don Antonio de Balverde y Cosio," ibid., 18. * Ibid., 19. FRENCH INTRUSIONS INTO MEXICO, 1749-1752 397 post (Los Sarcos). There he became a hunter. In all he re- mained in Louisiana five years. 1 In Arkansas he learned of New Mexico through members of the Mallet party who had descended the Arkansas River. In the fall of 1749 he set out for New Mexico from the Arkansas post with six companions, one of whom was a German. Ascending the Napestle (Arkansas) River in canoes, at the end of fifty days they reached the Jumano settlement, where a French flag was flying. This tribe was at the time living in two contiguous villages of grass lodges, situated on the banks of the Napestle, surrounded with stockades and ditches. They were a settled tribe, raising maize, beans, and calabashes. According to Sandoval the two villages comprised five hundred men. At this time they were still at war with the Pananas (Pawnees). They were fierce cannibals, and while Sandoval was among them he saw them eat two cap- tives. They had extensive commerce with the French, and a short time before Sandoval's visit they had received presents, including a French flag, from the comandante general of Louisiana. They had a few horses, which they had secured from the Co- manche. 2 After remaining twenty days with the Jumano, Sandoval's party set out, accompanied by twelve Indians. They went south- ward and then westward for twenty days, looking for the Co- manche, but did not find them. At the end of that time Sando- val's companions turned back with the Jumano, leaving him alone. Soon becoming lost, he returned, by twelve days' travel, to the Jumano. His companions had not returned there. After remaining with the Jumano a few days, Sandoval set out again, guided by a Comanche Indian who had gone to the Jumano to trade. Ascending the Napestle (Arkansas), at the end of forty days they reached a Comanche settlement at the foot of a mountain whence flowed the Rio Case (Canse, Kansas?). Here Sandoval remained four months, hunting with the Comanche. While at the village twenty Jumano and two Frenchmen came to trade. When the Jumano returned they left the Frenchmen, 1 Declaration by Felipe de Sandoval, Santa Fe, March 1, 1750, in Autos fhos are averiguar, 21-24. 2 Declaration by Sandoval, Santa Fe, March 1, 1750, in Autos fhos sre averiguar. 398 THE PACIFIC OCEAN IN HISTORY who decided to accompany Sandoval to Santa Fe. In another party there arrived at the Comanche village a German and a French priest. There are indications that they were members of Sandoval's original party. 1 They, too, contemplated going on to Santa Fe, but the German, not being a Catholic, feared the Inquisition. Accordingly, after remaining nine days, they went back. Sandoval and his two companions set out again, guided by a Comanche who was going to New Mexico to sell slaves to the Spaniards. Proceeding slowly for seven days to another Co- manche village, and then three days through a difficult mountain, they reached Taos. Sandoval estimated the distance from Taos to the Jumano as twenty or twenty-five days northeast by east, and from the Jumano to the Arkansas post down the Napestle River by boat as nine days. After taking the new depositions, on March 8, 1750, Governor Velez reported again to the viceroy. 2 The burden of this com- munication, aside from a long geographical description, 3 was the 1 In my transcript of Sandoval'a declaration, it is stated that he left Arkansas with "four Frenchmen, a sargente, and a German" ibid., fol. 21. In view of the presence of the religionario and the German among the Comanche I am led to sus- pect that sargente here is a miscopy for religionario or religioso. J Governor Velez Cachupin to the viceroy, Santa Fe, March 8, 1750, in Autos fhos are averiguar, 25-31. 1 Governor Velez's geographical statement is of great interest as showing the outlook from New Mexico at that time. The distance from New Mexico to Louisi- ana was commonly regarded as about two hundred leagues to the east, that to San Antonio, "of the government of Coaguila," as one hundred and fifty southeast. To the east and southeast were the Carlanes, Palomas, Chilpaines, Natagees, and Faraones, the last two tribes living to the south. To the northwest were the Comanches and Jumanes, the latter called by the French Panipiquees. The two tribes, now allied, made cruel war upon the Carlanes and other Apache bands above named. The entrance of the French into New Mexico was facilitated by the Comanche-Jumano alliance. The Rio de Napestle, "well-known in this realm," had its source in a very rugged mountain range, about eighty leagues from Taos ; the Arkansas was shallow in its upper reaches, but at the Jumano village, he had learned from the French, it was large, and farther down, after being joined by the Colorado (Canadian) it was still larger. Soldiers of New Mexico, in pursuit of Comanches, and led by Don Bernardo de Bustamante y Tagle, had reached the vicinity of the Jumano, following the banks of the Rio de Napestle, "on which expedition were acquired adequate reports of those regions, in the summer very delectable and pleasing, and inhabited by innumerable buffalo, which the Divine Providence created for the support of the barbarians and the greed of Frenchmen." To the north of New Mexico, in the rugged mountains, at a distance of one hundred and fifty or two hundred leagues, were the nations of Chaguaguas, and less remote, the Yutas, with whom also the Comanche were at war. For this reason they (meaning the Comanche, I understand) went northwest, joined the Moachos and fought with the settlements of New Mexico, namely the Navajoo, Zuni and Moqui. From reports given by the Moachos it was thought that to the northwest the sea wasjess then two hundred leagues distant. FRENCH INTRUSIONS INTO NEW MEXICO, 1749-1752 399 danger to New Mexico arising from the new alliance between the Comanche and the tribes of the east, the danger of Comanche attacks on New Mexico, and the bad policy of Governor Mendoza in permitting the Mallet party, "who were the first who entered," to return after having spied out the land. "I regard as most mischievous the permission given to the first Frenchmen to re- turn," he said, because "they gave an exact account and relation, informing the Governor of Louisiana of their route, and the situ- ation and conditions of New Mexico." He was convinced, more- over, that it was French policy which had "influenced the minds of the Jumanes or Panipiquees to make peace with the Comanches, recently their enemies, with the purpose of being able to intro- duce themselves by the Rio de Napestle, thus approaching near to New Mexico." None of the newcomers were soldiers, he said, but all were paid hunters, in the employ of fur merchants. Now that they knew the way, he feared that they would come with increasing frequency, "which to me appears less dangerous to these dominions than that they should return to their colonies with complete knowledge of and familiarity with the lands in- spected through their insolence." Better distribute them, he thought, as settlers in Nueva Vizcaya or Sonora, without per- mission to return, especially since all were good artisans, already at work at their trades, and since they were crack shots, and therefore would be very useful in defending the provinces against the Indians. The governor's report reached Mexico by August, and on January 9, 1751, Altamira reviewed the whole matter. 1 The new depositions of Satren and his companions satisfied him on geographical matters. In view of what Velez had written, he urged keeping out the French, on the one hand, and the opening of communication between New Mexico and Texas, on the other. 2 1 On August 14 it was sent to Altamira, the auditor general de la guerra. On September 14 Altamira asked for the documents relating to previous French in- trusions into New Mexico, and on the 16th the viceroy ordered them furnished. Autos fhos sre averiguar, 25. On November 18 a testimonio of the governor's report was made. Memorandum, ibid., 31. 2 Altamira estimated that from Santa Fe to Los Adaes it was less than two hun- dred leagues, and still less from Albuquerque or El Paso, "and it would be very fit- ting that the transit and communication be facilitated from one province to the other, in order that with mutual and reciprocal aid of arms, intervening tribes who per- secute both realms, should be forced into subjection, which would be aided greatly 400 THE PACIFIC OCEAN IN HISTORY He approved, also, sending to the interior the six new intruders and others who might come later, designating Sonora as the place, because it was the most remote possible from Louisiana. 1 On January 14 the viceroy approved the recommendation, and on the 31st the corresponding despatch was written. 2 Two distinct parties of Frenchmen had thus entered New Mexico in less than a year by the Arkansas River. They were soon fol- lowed by others over the northern route. In the meantime the Jumano had made peace with the Pawnee (Panana) and had se- cured an alliance of the Comanche with the Pawnee and even with the A tribe. 3 In these arrangements the French no doubt had a hand, as in the case with the earlier Comanche-Jumano treaty. In 1751 four traders from New Orleans reached New Mexico by way of the Missouri River, it is said, but who they were and what the circumstances of their journey has not yet come to light. 4 In the following year, however, another party came by that route concerning whom our information is quite complete. This expedi- tion, it will be seen,, had official sanction in Louisiana. 5 On August 6, 1752, two Frenchmen arrived at the cemetery of the mission of Pecos, bearing a white flag, and conducted by Jicarilla and Carlana Apaches whom they had encountered fifteen leagues before, on the Gallinas River. They had nine horses and nine tierces of cloth, or of clothing. Father Juan Joseph Toledo, missionary at Pecos, deposited the merchandise in the convent of the mission, and at once wrote to the governor. Fray Juan was clearly not a French scholar, for the names of the strangers he wrote as Xanxapij and Luis Fxuij. In later correspondence they emerged as Jean Chapuis and Luis Feuilli (also Foissi). 6 by practical acquaintance with the watering places, pastures, and other features of that unknown intervening space," ibid., 26. 1 Altamira, dictamen, January 9, 1751, in Autos fhos sre averiguar, 25-30. *Decreto, January 14, 1751, ibid., 30. On January 25, a testimonio of the expediente was made and deposited in the archives of the Secretaria del Vireynato. Memoranda, January 14, ibid. 8 According to the Spanish documents these tribes were now making war on the Kansas and Osage. Testimonio de los Autos (see note 5), fol. 14. *Ibid., 11. 8 The account of this party is gleaned from the expediente entitled Testimonio de los Autos fhos a Consulta del Goy T del nuebo Mex sobre haver llegado dos fran- zeses cargados de efectos que conduzian de la Nueba Orleans, hereafter cited as Testi- monio de los Autos. 9 Fray Juan Joseph Toledo to Governor Velez, Pecos, August 6, 1752, in Testi- monio de los Autos, 2. FRENCH INTRUSIONS INTO MEXICO, 1749-1752 401 Father Toledo's message was received at Santa Fe on the day when it was written, and the alcalde mayor of Pecos and Galisteo, Don Tomas de Sena, who happened to be at the capital, was at once sent to conduct the Frenchmen thither. Next day he re- turned with the strangers and their goods. Their papers were confiscated, and on the 9th their depositions were taken, Luis Febre, who by now was "slightly versed in the Spanish tongue," acting as interpreter. From the confiscated documents, the declarations, and the related correspondence, we learn the follow- ing story of the advent of Chapuis and Feuilli into the forbidden territory. 1 . Chapuis, forty-eight years old, was a native of France and a resident of Canada. On July 30, 1751, he had secured a pass- port from the commander at Michillimackinac, Duplessis Falberte, permitting him to return to Illinois to attend to his affairs, and to embark the necessary goods to sell in Illinois those later confiscated at Santa F. Reaching Ft. Chartres, he conferred with the commander, Benoit de St. Clair (Santa Clara in the docu- ments), relative to opening a trade route to New Mexico, his object being to deal in fabrics. St. Clair encouraged the enter- prise, and on October 6, 1751, issued a license to Chapuis and nine other men to "make the discovery of New Mexico and carry the goods which they may think proper," permitting Chapuis to carry a flag, and commanding the men not to separate till they should reach their destination. Chapuis was therefore the recog- nized leader of the expedition, which had a semi-official sanction. As transcribed into Spanish records, the names of the others men- tioned in the license were Roy, Jeandron, Foysi, Aubuchon, Calve, Luis Trudeau, Lorenzo Trudeau, Betille, and Du Charme. 2 Feuilli was evidently not at Ft. Chartres at the time when the license was issued, but joined Chapuis at the Kansas (Canzeres) Indian village, 3 said to be one hundred and fifty leagues from 1 Decreto of the governor, Santa Fe, August 6, 1752, ibid., 9 ; Obedecimiento by Thomas de Sena, Alcalde Mayor and Capitan a guerra of Pecos and Galisteo, Santa Fe, August 7, 1752, ibid., 9. Decreto of the governor, Santa Fe, August 8, ibid., 9-10 ; Juramento del Interprete, August 8, ibid., 10. 2 Declaration of Juan Chapuis, August 9, 1752, ibid., 10-14 ; license signed by Benito de Santa Clara (translation), Fuerte de la Charte, October 6, 1751, ibid., 8 ; license signed by Duplesis Falberte, Fuerte de San Phelipe de Michilimacinac, July 30, 1751, ibid., 8. * In his first declaration Feuilli stated that he joined Chapuis at the Kansas 2D 402 THE PACIFIC OCEAN IN HISTORY Ft. Chartres, where for eight years he had been official interpreter in the pay of the king of France, and where, during the same period, there had been a detachment from Ft. Chartres. The Kansas detachment is called in the documents Fuerte Cavagnol. 1 Where the other eight men joined Chapuis does not appear. Chapuis set out promptly, and on December 9, 1751, was at Fuerte Cavagnol. On the way thither, or after reaching there, he passed among and traded with the Osages and Missouris, who, together with the Kansas, comprised five villages, all under French domination maintained by soldiery. At Fuerte Cavagnol Chapuis formed a partnership with Feuilli, "to go together to Spain, under contract to arrive during the month of April near the settlements of Spain, beyond Sta Bacas," Chapuis agreeing to advance to Feuilli four hundred pounds in merchandise for the journey, on condition that if Feuilli should break the agreement he should pay Chapuis five hundred pounds. Feuilli could not sign his name. The agreement was witnessed by Pedro and Lorenzo Trudeau. On the same day Feuilli acknowledged a debt to Chapuis of four hundred and nine pounds, due in the following April, to be paid in beaver skins or other peltry, at the price cur- rent at Fuerte Cavagnol. 2 Leaving the Kansas about the middle of March, 1752, the party continued to the Pawnee (Panana). Either there or at the Co- manche 3 eight of the men turned back, 4 through fear of the Co- manche, who could not be trusted. The two partners continued to the Comanche, who levied a heavy toll upon them as a condi- tion of letting them pass, but having received liberal presents post, ibid., 13; but in the later one he stated that he left "the city of Los Yli- nueses in October, 1751, which was about the time that Chapuis set out ibid., 36. 1 Declaration of Feuilli, ibid., 13. 1 Agreement between Juan Chapuis and Luis Foissi, Fuerte Cavagnol, December 9, 1751, ibid., 3; acknowledgment of debt by Luis Foissi, December 9, 1715, ibid., 3. Among the papers found in the possession of Chapuis and Feuilli at Santa Fe were two which throw further light on their operations. One was a letter signed by Languemin to an unnamed person, requesting him to aid Chapuis in recovering a slave sold by the former to the latter, and saying, "I have delivered thirty pounds of merchandise to the said Chapuis to give to the savages. I will give more if necessary. I would have gone myself to if the Truteaus had not gone up." Another was a letter by Foissu (Feuilli) to Sefior Moreau to come and report what was happening in the district, ibid., 4. Feuilli stated that it was four and a half months from the time of leaving the Kansas to that of arriving at Pecos, ibid., 14. 4 There is a discrepancy in the documents regarding the place where the eight turned back. FRENCH INTRUSIONS INTO NEW MEXICO, 1749-1752 403 they directed them to New Mexico. From a point north of the Arkansas they were guided by an Ae Indian who had been a cap- tive in New Mexico and was fleeing, and whom they induced to return with them as guide, bringing them in from the north. At the Gallinas River, fifteen leagues from Pecos, they met Jicarilla and Carlana Apaches, who conducted them to the Pecos mission, which they reached, as we have seen, on August 6, forty days after leaving the Comanche, four and one half months after leaving the Kansas, and ten months after leaving Ft. Chartres. 1 In the course of the interrogation by Governor Velez, Chapuis explained that his plan for trade was to convey goods up the Panana (Missouri) River by canoes, to the neighborhood of New Mexico, and thence by caravan, with horses bought from the Pawnee and Comanche. On account of risk from the Comanche, " in whom they have not complete confidence," they would escort each caravan with fifty or sixty soldiers. Feuilli stated that by leav- ing the Missouri to the left (sic), it would not need to be crossed. The other six rivers, excluding the Mississippi, he said, could be forded by horses. In a later statement Feuilli said that the goods could be taken in canoes up the Panana River to the Panana Indians, thence to New Mexico by horses bought from that tribe for the trade, a distance of three hundred leagues. 2 On being in- formed that their project was entirely illegal, both Chapuis and Feuilli emphatically declared that they were ignorant of the fact, and had supposed that by paying duties they might trade. Hav- ing learned that such was not the case, they begged permission to go back to report to their commander. But their request was not granted. On the contrary, Governor Velez decided to send the intruders to Mexico. Their goods were confiscated, put up at auction for three days, and sold to Thomas Ortiz, a cattle ranchman, for 404 pesos, 3 reales, 11 granos, the proceeds being devoted to defraying the expenses and conducting the prisoners to the capital. Of the amount the governor him- self took one hundred pesos for the expenses incurred in New Mexico. On the 18th Velez reported the incident to the viceroy, 1 Governor Velez to the viceroy, September 18, 1752, ibid., 24 ; declaration of Feuilli, Mexico City, November 23, 1753, ibid., 37. Ibid., 12, 38. 404 THE PACIFIC OCEAN IN HISTORY and expressed renewed fear at the Comanche alliance with the eastern tribes. About the first of October the prisoners were sent south, in charge of Pedro Romero, of El Paso, and on October 29 they reached Chihuahua. From there they were conducted to Mexico by Lorenzo Alvarez Godoy, "muleteer of the Mexican route," who received fifty pesos for the service. 1 In January, 1753, the governor's report was handed to Altamira, who in return expressed the fear that the proposed trade was a pretext for "other hidden and more pernicious ends." The matter being referred to Dr. Andreu, the fiscal, it was July before he re- plied. The original declarations of the Frenchmen were then handed to a translator. Meanwhile the prisoners were languish- ing in jail and clamoring for release. In November Andreu again took up the matter and had new depositions taken from the foreigners. They contained a few contradictions and a few ad- ditions to the former stories. 2 Immediately after the declarations were taken, orders were issued requiring kind treatment given the prisoners, and on January 18, 1754 the fiscal gave his opinion. Since the Frenchmen had come to open up a trade route with the permission of a French official, one of them being in the pay of the French king, he rec- ommended that the prisoners be sent at once to Spain, in order that the king might decide the matter. On the 19th this recom- mendation was approved by the viceroy. 3 The French advance through the Comancheria at this time, encouraged as it was by Governor Bienville and the commandant St. Clair, gives significance to the proposal of Governor Kerlerec of Louisiana, in 1753, to break through the Apache barrier and open up trade with the more interior provinces of Mexico. In a memoire addressed to the king in that year the new governor spoke of Spain's jealous frontier policy, the weakness of her out- 1 Governor Velez to the viceroy, September 18, 1752, ibid., 24; declaration of Feuilli, Mexico City, November 23, 1753 ; ibid., 14-24, 29-30, 37. * Decretos of the viceroy, January 12, 1753 ; Dictamen of the auditor, January 12, 1753 ; Respuesta fiscal, July 28, 1753 ; Decreto of the viceroy, July 30, 1753 ; es- cripto by the prisoners ; Dictamen fiscal, November 15, 1753 ; Citacidn de Inter- prete, November 21, 1753 ; Deposition of the prisoners, November 21-23, 1753 ; Notorio al Alcalde, November 23, 1753 ; Respuesta fiscal, January 18, 1753, ibid., 2425 ; 3240. * Pro jet de Paix et D' Alliance avec les Cannecis et les Avantages qui en Peuvent Resulter Envoy e par Kerlerec, Gouverneur de la Province de la Loiiisianne, en 1753, in Journal de la Societe des Americanist es de Paris, Nouvelle Serie, vol. 3, pp. 67-76. FRENCH INTRUSIONS INTO MEXICO, 1749-1752 405 posts, and the ease with which the mines of Coahuila and Nuevo Leon could be conquered. As a base for securing them in case of any rupture, he proposed taking possession of the country of the Apache, at present attached neither to Spain nor France, he said. But unless peace were established between the Apache and all their numerous enemies to the eastward, access to their coun- try would be impossible. He proposed, therefore, to remove the barrier to the Apacheria by securing an alliance between the Apache and these eastern enemies. Under the existing circum- stances of the French monarchy, it is not strange that the proposal was never made the basis of a program, but the fact that it was made at all is significant. 1 These intrusions of Frenchmen into New Mexico were closely bound up, in their effect upon Spanish policy, with similar infringements upon the Texas border, which had been going on with greater or less freedom for many years, and the noise made by the incursions over the New Mexico border found its loudest echo on the Texas frontier. In 1751, when the doings of the Febre party in New Mexico were reported to the king of Spain, they were considered together with the Louisiana-Texas question. As a result of the deliberations, on June 26, 1751, it was ordered that French intruders in the Spanish dominions be prevented from returning to their country under any pretext whatsoever. The viceroy was ordered to keep vigilant watch of the operations of the French nation, and, if necessary, to order the commandant of Louisiana to abandon the Presidio of Natchitoches and Isla de los Labores, "without using the force of arms for the present, in case he should resist it, in order not to cause disturbances and obligations on those frontiers which might become paramount in Europe." 2 In the course of the next two or three years complaints regarding 1 Instruction Reservada que Trajp el Marquez de las Amarillas, Aranjuez, July 30, 1755 (Capitulo 8 summarizes previous proceedings), in Instrucciones que los Vireyes de Nueva Espana Dejaron a sus Sucesores (Mexico, 1867), pp. 96-97. 2 Testim de Autos de Pesquiza sobre comertio Ylicito y Demos que expresa el superior Despacho que esta por caveza de ellos, Adais, 1761, Bexar Archives, Adaes, 1739-1755 ; Report of Investigation of French trade by DeSoto Vermudez, under direction of Gov. Barrios, 1752-1753, in Archive General y Publico, Mexico, Historia, vol 299 ; Testimonio de autos fechos en virtud de Superior Decreto Expedido por el ex 1 Sefior D n Juan Fran co de Guemes y Horcasitas, etc., September 26, 1752, Bexar Archives, Adaes, 1739-1755. 406 THE PACIFIC OCEAN IN HISTORY French aggressions on the Texas border grew apace. Barrios y Jauregui, Governor of the province, made investigations, reported that the French were operating freely among all the tribes of north- eastern Texas, and that the Spaniards were at the mercy of the French, who absolutely controlled the natives who were held in check only by Louis de St. Denis, the younger. As offsets, Barrios proposed that Spaniards be permitted to sell firearms to the Indians, that freedom be promised to slaves escaping from Louisiana, and that a presidio be established on the San Pedro River, a branch of the Neches, from which to watch the French traders. 1 This was the situation in January, 1754, when it was decided in Mexico to send Chapuis and Feuilli to Spain. Immediately thereafter (January 21-22) the viceroy held a junta to consider the royal order of June 26, 1751, together with the related affairs of Texas and New Mexico. It was decided for the present to make no move to drive the French across the Red River, since it was not certain whether that stream or Gran Montana was the boundary. For the same reason the sending of an engineer to mark the boundary, which had been suggested, was regarded as unnecessary. Barrios's proposal that Louisiana slaves be publicly offered their liberty was declared to be in bad taste, and further consideration was regarded as necessary before acting upon his plan for a presidio on the San Pedro. But Barrios was ordered to keep watch that the French should not extend their boundaries ; French interpreters must be recalled from villages on Spanish soil, and Governor Barrios, "with his discretion, industry, vigi- lance, and prudence must try to prevent the commerce of the French with the Indians of Texas, observing what the governor of New Mexico had practiced in the matter, with the idea of preventing the Indians from communicating with them." 2 This decision of the junta de guerra in Mexico bore fruit in the arrest by Barrios, in the fall of 1754, of the French traders, Joseph 1 Instruction Reservada, July 30, 1755, in Instrucciones que los Vireyes de Nueva Espafla Dejaron a sus Sucesores, pp. 96-97. 1 This episode is discussed at length by Bolton, in Southwestern Historical Quar- terly, vol. 16, pp. 339-378. The connection between the junta of January 21-22, 1754, and the arrest of Blancpain is shown in Expediente sobre la aprehencion . . . de Ires Franceses, Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla, Guadalajara, 103-6-23, a copy of which I secured through Mr. W. E. Dunn. FRENCH INTRUSIONS INTO NEW MEXICO, 1749-1752 407 Blancpain and his associates, on the Texas coast, near the Trinity River, and the establishment there soon after, of a Spanish pre- sidio and mission, as means of holding back the French. Thus the whole French border question, from Santa Fe to the mouth of the Trinity, was treated as one. The French intrusion into New Mexico found another echcTin Sonora. On March 2, 1751, Fernando Sanchez Salvador, Cap- tain of Cuirassiers of Sonora and Sinaloa, cited the French ad- vance westward as a reason for haste in the Spanish occupation of the Colorado of the West. He was convinced that the French traders had ulterior ends and that they would soon reach the Colorado and descend it to the South Sea unless impeded by a Spanish advance. 1 1 Sanchez thought that the Carmelo River, of California, was a western mouth of the Colorado. Cuarta Representation, in Doc. Hist. Mex., Ill Ser., vol. 3. pp. 662-663.