By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: No Man's Land - A History of El Camino Real
Author: Nardini, Louis Raphael
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "No Man's Land - A History of El Camino Real" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

source courtesy of Ron Box


                             NO MAN’S LAND

                      _A History of El Camino Real
                         Louis Raphael Nardini_

    [Illustration: Publisher Logo]

                           PELICAN PUBLISHING COMPANY
                          NEW ORLEANS—U. S. A.

                            © Copyright 1961
                          by Louis R. Nardini

                Printed in the United States of America
               by the American Printing Co., New Orleans



In acknowledging the sources of information and the assistance of the
many persons I consulted in the preparation of this book, the author
wishes to thank the following: The staffs of the Sabine Parish, the
Natchitoches Parish and the Northwestern State College Libraries—with
especial thanks to Miss Catherine Bridges who so patiently and ably
assisted me in gathering data for this writing. Acknowledgment is
gratefully and appreciatingly given to those excellent authors and their
publishers listed in the bibliography at the back of this book, for it
was through their talent and efforts that a whole new experience was
opened to me.

I must remember too my History Teacher, Mrs. Lucille Roy Caffery, who so
thoroughly planted in my mind the desire to read and study History, for
it was she who told me, “It is the History and the Present which
foretells the Future.”

I am likewise grateful to Miss Margie Harrison and Mrs. Mabel Fletcher
Harrison who corrected and typed this book and to Mrs. Bernice A. Authur
of Many, La., who also assisted in the typing of this manuscript.

                                                        Louis R. Nardini


There are two ways to write the history of an area. First, the
actual-fact-data way, which gives dates, important events and the names
of the leaders. But this does not fully explain the reasons for their
occurrence, nor show the effect of mass participation. It omits many of
the names of others involved in the incident or incidents, so that a
clear picture of all the people involved is lacking. Even while one is
reading, he is conscious of a mass effect and realizes that a sort of
team is present. He then stops and asks himself, “Who were the others?”

The second way is to combine the legends and folklore with the actual
fact-data of an area and to use reason and imagination—to seek out the
names of others connected with the adventure. Those who went their way,
but most important, those who remained to establish, fortify and settle,
and by their so doing, give permanence and purpose to the area.

By using the second method, the writer believes he has given a true
history of the locality of which he writes, because he has used the
actual-fact-data of the area, and added to it the economic and social
life of the people involved, especially of those who remained to become

To write a history of such an area as that which includes Natchitoches,
El Camino Real, Los Adais and the Neutral Strip, one must be blessed
with the knowledge of several languages, and feel that he can comprehend
the nature of the people, who for nearly three and one half centuries
have passed before him, from the time of Cabeza De Vaca in the year 1530
to the establishment of Fort Jesup by General Zachary Taylor in 1823.
One must specially be familiar with the Adais Indians, who were a branch
of the great Caddo Federation of Indians and their Nation when Cabeza De
Vaca visited the Adais.

At Los Adais an incident occurred which changed the social life of the
wilderness frontier. Two sets of Latin eyes met; in them reflected
desire, passion, and love. Out of the distance, on a pine-scented wind,
came the singing voice of a Spanish serenader, accompanied by the soft
music of a string instrument, a bright sun to cause light on shade and
in the shade Spanish and French lips met and arms entwined.

A half-naked savage lurks in the shadows nearby. Entranced by the magic
of this moment, he speaks and the spell is broken. To the Senorita in
Spanish and to the Frenchman in French; “Come, it is time to go.” What
kind of Indian is this, who speaks both French and Spanish fluently?
Only Dachiacoin of the Adais could do this and because of it he ranged
far and wide in both the French and Spanish Territories. Dachiacoin had
this to say to Padre Certa, “A man needs only one wife, the right one
for him, and the woman needs only one husband, the right one for her.”

For over fifty years Los Adais was the Capital of the Texas Country and
the end of El Camino Real. Here anything was expected to happen and
usually did.

El Camino Real, The Royal Road, The King’s Highway, The Contraband
Trail, The Old San Antonio Trace, The Old Texas Trail, and, lastly,
Louisiana Highways 6 and 21 through Texas. This Southland’s busiest
highway served the outlaw, the murderer, the slave trader, and the
priest, as well as the sinner. Regardless of which direction one
traveled he had to pass the Adais and the Neutral Strip—this area so
filled with love, hate, jealousy, generosity, selfishness, prosperity,
and despair. If at all this be possible, then this was El Camino Real,
Los Adais and the Neutral Strip.


The Buffalo migrated southward through Texas and then to Louisiana,
following the same trail in the winter of each year. Then the powerful
Caddo Nation split and each group followed a leader. The Adais came to
settle along this Buffalo Trail near Spanish Lake. El Campti originated
the meeting place on the great Sand-bar near Campti, Louisiana, so that
each fall of the year all tribes of the Caddo Confederacy could come and
trade. Francois Hidalgo desired to establish Missions and settlements to
bring more freedom and prosperity to his people and to bring the
teaching of the Catholic Faith to all savages of the Tejas country. He
wrote a letter to the French Governor of Louisiana, using the pretext of
trade as bait.


The Trading Post at Natchitoches established; the Missions established.

The French Post St. Jean Baptiste, the Spanish Presidio, Del Neustra
Senora del Pilar de Los Adais. Both Nations now had to maintain these
outposts to prevent encroachment from the other.


The desire of both Nations to populate this Frontier. When Mexico won
her independence from Spain the Neutral Strip was formed. This lawless
unpoliced strip of land became the back door of the United States.
Because of this ruthless lawlessness Fort Jesup was established.

The independent spirit of the settlers along the El Camino Real and
their desire for freedom resulted in the establishment of the State of

As I lolled one summer’s day beneath an oak near the ruins of Post St.
Jean Baptiste des Natchitoches and closed my eyes to give my fancy free
play, I thought I heard sounds of all kinds, sounds that had undoubtedly
resounded down the years. Could that squealing be the swine of the De
Soto adventurers or the shriek of automobile tires coming to a braked
stop? Is that rumble I hear that of thundering herds of buffalo or the
approach of a diesel locomotive with its long train of cars? Those
drums, are they the drums of the Caddo Indians or the drums of a
marching high-school band? The whistling roar that reaches my ears, is
it a jet plane or the swishing, whistling wings of diving ducks?

Awakened to reality I began the research and study that enabled me to
write this book.


  Preface                                                              IX
  Chapter I El Camino Real                                              1
  II Some Early History                                                 4
  III Dachicoin—A Noble Indian—Los Adais, 1723                         33
  IV St. Denis and the Spanish                                         42
  V Doctors and Early Medicine—1722 to 1744                            45
  VI Romance at Los Adais                                              51
  VII Incidents of the Years, 1735-1742                                60
  VIII The Three Cabins                                                63
  IX After St. Denis                                                   74
  X After the Louisiana Purchase                                       80
  XI The Devil’s Play Ground                                           83
  XII Satan’s Agent—John A. Murrell                                    89
  XIII The Break-up of the Neutral Strip                               92
  XIV The Filibuster of 1812-1821                                      95
  XV Fort Jesup                                                       103
  XVI Texas and Independence, 1831-1836                               116
  Addenda Land Grants                                                 129
    St. Denis’ Family Tree                                            137
    Baptismal Records of Natchitoches, 1734-1740                      138
    Soldiers in Natchitoches—1742                                     141
    Merchants, Farmers, Traders in Natchitoches, 1742                 142
  Reference Bibliography                                              145
  Personalities                                                       149


  Celebration of the Opening of the Museum at Fort Jesup,
          1959                                               Frontispiece
  Map Showing Locations of Members of Caddo Indian Federation          XV
  Map of El Camino Real from Mexico City to Natchitoches              XVI
  Hinta-sak—a Caddo house                                               8
  Hinta-sak—top view showing construction                               9
  Plan of Fort at Natchitoches, 1733                                   17
  Plan of La Presidio Nuestra Senora de los Delores, 1716              19
  Mission of San Miguel De Cuellar De Los Adais, 1717                  21
  Map Showing Location of Mission and Presidio of San Miguel De
          Cuellar De Los Adais                                         22
  Plan of Presidio De San Antonio De Bexar                             24
  Plan of Fort Del Pilar De Los Adais                                  26
  La Presidio Nuestra De Senora Del Pilar De Los Adais                 28
  Map of Natchitoches by Breutin, 1722                                 30
  Map Showing Neutral Strip                                            87
  Map of Fort Jesup Defense Area                                      102
  Map of the Buildings of Fort Jesup                                  107
  Map of Area Around Camp Sabine, 1836                                113
  Old Ambroise Sompayrac House at Natchitoches                        124

                               WRAP AROUND
                                                            Opposite Page
  Fort St. Jean Des Natchitoches                                      116
  Old Kitchen at Fort Jesup                                           117
  Officers’ Quarters at Fort Jesup—Reproduction                       132
  Original Plans of Fort Jesup                                        133
  Officers’ Quarters—Another view                                     133



  1. Mission San Maria de Los Delores                   1698.
  2. Mission San Francisco Solano                       1700.
  3. Presidio San Juan Bautustia                        _near_ 1685.
  4. Mission San Bernardo                               1690.
  5. Mission San Jose                                   1722.
  6. Mission San Exavier Naxere                         1722.
  7. Presidio San Antonio de Bexer                      1722.
  8. Mission Yo Juan                                    1709.
  9. Mission de Bucareli                                1714.
  10. Mission San Francisco                             1690.
  11. Mission San Maria                                 1690.
  12. Mission San Francisco                             1690.
  12.a. Mission Guadlupe                                1716.
  13. Presidio de Los Texas                             1716.
  14. Mission Conception                                1716.
  15. Mission San Jose                                  1716.
  16. Mission de Los Delores                            1717.
  17. Mission de San Miguel Cuellar de Los Adais        1717.
  18. Presidio Neustra del Pilar de Los Adais           1721.
  19. Post St. Jean Baptiste des Natchitoches           1714.

                             EL CAMINO REAL

Each fall of the year the buffalo came out of the Great Plains through
Oklahoma and into Texas. At the Trinity River in Texas many of these
herds turned eastward to cross the Sabine River into Louisiana, to
travel ever eastward and to cross the Red River in the Natchitoches
area. The buffalo, being a heavy beast, left a well-marked trail from
the Trinity River to the Red River in the Natchitoches area. The buffalo
trail now became part of the Caddo Indian Trail system. And later it
became El Camino Real.

In Spanish, the words “El Camino Real” mean “The King’s Road.” That is
the exact translation of these words. In Spain, even before the time of
the discovery of America, there were several roads or highways listed as
El Camino Real. All roads leading to the city in which the King of Spain
resided were known as El Camino Real. Actually, the meaning to the
Spanish people of the words “El Camino Real” meant _The Road to the
King_, hence El Camino Real, _The King’s Road_. So here in America when
Mexico was conquered and settled by the Spaniards and Mexico City came
into being, expeditions were sent out to conquer this new land for the
King of Spain. In all directions from Mexico City, Ranchos, Missions and
Presidios were established and all roads leading from these
establishments back to Mexico City—to the Viceroy, who was the direct
representative of the King—were called El Camino Real because these
roads led to the Viceroy who was actually the King and Ruler of this New

This El Camino Real, which we in Louisiana and Texas are interested in,
began in Mexico City and ended at the “Old Darkey” Statue, at the North
end of Front Street in the City of Natchitoches, Louisiana. Some say
that El Camino Real begins in San Antonio, Texas, and ends in
Natchitoches, Louisiana. I believe this is wrong because the very name
of the Road, “El Camino Real, the Road to the King,” bears out my
theory. I will explain: if one left Natchitoches (I speak of the time
when Louisiana was under Spanish domination) and wished to go to the
King by El Camino Real, or to the one who directly represented the King
in this new country, he would have had to travel to Mexico City and
there tell his troubles to the Viceroy, the direct representative of the
King of Spain. This would have been between the years 1762 when France
gave Louisiana to Spain, and ten years later when Los Adais was
abandoned and the site of government moved to Natchitoches, thus filling
in the last gap on the Road now known as El Camino Real, (the section of
road from Los Adais near Robeline, Louisiana to Natchitoches). Until the
year 1762 Los Adais was the site of Government of the “Tejas,” or “Texas
Country.” This area extended from the Presidio Del Norte, as the French
called this Spanish Outpost on the Rio Grande River, or El Presidio San
Juan Bautista, as it was known to the Spanish. Now, let us pick up the
traveler again who had business with the King, past Los Adais,
Nacogdoches, San Antonio, the Presidio Del Norte, Saltillo and Queretaro
and then to Mexico City and the Viceroy, whose word was final on all
matters concerning the Government and the people, and, of course, that
covered everything.

                    The Caddo Federation of Indians

The southeastern part of Oklahoma, the southwestern part of Arkansas,
the Northwestern half of Louisiana and the Northeastern part of Texas
was Caddo land, and claimed by the Caddos as their hunting ground. The
Caddos were traders and developed trade-routes. Many of the highways of
today follow the Caddo trails of yester-year, such as El Camino Real,
that portion from the Trinity River in Texas to Natchitoches, Louisiana.

When the Caddo Nations split they settled themselves as follows:

  1. The Attaquopois, at the confluence of the Kiamechi River and the
  Red River in southern Oklahoma.

  2. The Caddoquopois or Caddo proper remained on the Red River near
  Fulton, Arkansas.

  3. The Peticaddo on Caddo Lake hear Shreveport, Louisiana.

  4. The Koasatti near Coushatta, Louisiana.

  5. The Destonies on Saline Bayou near Winnfield, Louisiana.

  6. The Yatasse on Nantanchie Lake near Montgomery, Louisiana.

  7. The Natchitoches on the Red River at Natchitoches, Louisiana.

  8. The Adais near Robeline, Louisiana, on a large lake now called
  Spanish Lake.

  9. The Ais at San Augustine, Texas.

  10. The Nacogdoches at Nacogdoches, Texas.

  11. The Hasinai consisting of four tribes on the Trinity River in
  Texas, referred to by the Spanish as the Tejas (some historians
  classify them as Caddos. They spoke the Caddo language).

The Ais Indians had as their neighbors to the west the Hasinai
federation of Indians which was composed of four tribes: The Nacogdoches
at Nacogdoches; the Bidais, the Nasoni and the Nabidache, the latter
three were located on the Trinity River.

Such was the situation when the first aliens came in contact with the

                           SOME EARLY HISTORY

In his book, “La Relacion que Dio Alvar Nunez Cabeza De Vaca delo
Acaescido unlas Indias”, De Vaca writes in the year 1530 that “we were
among the Adayes (Adais), the others were Juan Castillo, Andrea Dorantes
and Estabancio of Azmor who was a slave of Dorantes.” These four
survivors were of 300 of the Panfilio Narvez expedition that went into
Florida in 1528.

Narvez’s expedition, beaten by the Apalache Indians, unable to return to
their ships, killed their horses, ate the meat, used the hides to make
bellows and water casks; they forged their armor and weapons to make
tools and nails, then constructed four boats. They skirted the coasts of
Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, foraging for food. During a storm
the boats were wrecked, four survived to become slaves of the coastal

De Vaca and his companions became traders and medicine men. Meanwhile
they learned to live off the land as the Indians did. They planned and
successfully escaped.... And now they were among the Adais seeking
directions. They were the first white men to travel westward over the
Buffalo Trail. They wandered ever westward and finally found a Spanish
patrol from Mexico.

De Vaca was the only one of the three hundred to return to Spain and
even before he published his book in 1542, he had inspired the Hernando
DeSoto expedition into Florida with his story of the City of Cibola, a
city built entirely of gold.

Hernando DeSoto, the Golden Eagle, led the next expedition into Florida.
Continuously harassed by the Appalachie tribes of Indians of the
southeastern states he crossed the Mississippi and now in the year 1540
he marched into Louisiana, pillaging, raping and destroying. He was
assisted by these trusting Lieutenants: Don Luis Moscoso, Don Juan de
Anasco, Don Baltazarde Gallegardo, Don Juan Labillo, Don Carlos
Chinquez, Juan de Quizman, Don Vasco de Procello, and Don Diago Vasquez,
and these Captains: Espilando, Gallegardo, Maldamando, and Luis Fuentes.
The Chronnicalor, Gonzado Quadrado Charmillo de Zafra who wrote (From
the translations of B. F. French):

“We marched one day west from the Rio de Cannis in all this cold country
this Wednesday, March 21, 1541, at the end of the day we came to a place
called _Toalli_. All the Indians have houses built so, the houses are
built of reeds in a manner of tules and daubed with mud which show as a
mud wall, they are very clean and have a small door; when you shut it up
and build a fire within it is as warm as in a stove.”[1]

Don Luis De Moscoso and a scouting party traveled westward over the
buffalo trail as far as the Trinity River before returning to the Adais.

For the next hundred and forty years this area was devoid of white

By early 1682 Cavalier Robert de LaSalle had begun descending the
Mississippi River accompanied by Henri De Tonty, the “Iron Hand”, and a
party of other Frenchmen.

April 9, 1682, LaSalle discovered the mouth of the Mississippi River and
established a plaque there, claiming all land drained by this river for
the King of France, Louis XIII. He named this land LOUISIANA in honor of
King Louis and Queen Anna.

Returning up the Mississippi near a location in the Illinois country at
Starving Rock in that same year he established Fort St. Louis and left
Captain Henri De Tonty in command.

LaSalle went to France and received assistance so that he could return
and establish a settlement at the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Through erroneous navigation the expedition missed the mouth of the
Mississippi River and traveled westward, landing at Matagorda Bay, and
in the Texas country established another Fort St. Louis in 1685.

LaSalle, realizing that this area was not suitable for colonization,
began land excursions in an attempt to reach Canada.

Father Joutel’s diary reveals that in January, 1687, he was with
LaSalle, and a scouting party, were among the Nakassa Indians which
resided on Nakassa Lake.[2]

In 1682 at Quaerataro, Mexico, The College of the Holy Cross was founded
by Priests; Father Francois Hidalgo, Father Jose Diaz, Father Felix
Isadore Espinosa, Father Nunez, Father Antonio de San Buenaventura
Oliverez, Father Francisco Marino, Father Juan Parez, Father DeVaca,
Father Salazar, Father Massinettes and Father Margil de Jesus, the last
named, Father Margil de Jesus, being chosen as President of the College.
These priests, so as to distinguish their work from the work of others
called themselves _Zatachinies_, their purpose being to prepare others
for frontier missionary duties. By 1684 they had succeeded in
establishing missions south of the Rio Grande.

The most northern Spanish presidio at that time was Fort San Juan
Bautista, located on the south bank of the Rio Grande near present day
Eagle Pass, Texas. The land of the Coahuile Indians extended from
present day San Antonio southward into the Monte Clova-Saltillo area of
Mexico. The Matagordo area on the Gulf Coast was included in the land of
the Coahuile.

Aside from the duties of the Spanish missions to spread the Catholic
faith, they were also, in reality, observation and trading posts of the
Spaniards. From one of these missions it was learned from an Indian who
came to trade, that other white men had come out of the sea in large
houses that floated on the waters of the gulf and had settled on the
coast land.

On March 20, 1689, LaSalle was assassinated by some of his own men on a
tributary of the Trinity River. Father Joutel reported the men
responsible for the assassination were in turn killed by the Indians.
The remnants of the party returned to Fort St. Louis and finding it
deserted, retraced their journey into the Trinity River area.

Alonzo DeLeon and Captain Flores were leading a scouting patrol when
they found Santiago Grislet, Jean Lavaschevque and two very young boys,
the Tulon brothers, Roberto and Pedro. This Spanish patrol searched for
the next two months for other Frenchmen, but not being successful,
returned to Mexico.


Juan Jarri had, during the absence of LaSalle, deserted Fort St. Louis
and had risen to a lordly position among the tribes of the Coahuile
Indians. During the search by DeLeon and Flores he had been shifted from
tribe to tribe so that the Spanish Patrol failed to capture him. The
Spanish now realized that this one Frenchman had the power to upset the
semi-peacefulness of the Spanish frontier. The College of the Holy Cross
was desiring to extend its Missionary work north of the Rio Grande.

Don Alonzo DeLeon, now the Spanish Governor of the Coahuile Territory,
led an expedition to establish three missions among Hasinai Indians
south of the Trinity River. He now also found himself in pursuit of a
party of Frenchmen (Father Joutel’s party).

Henri De Tonty at the Fort St. Louis near Starving Rock in the Illinois
country, realized something was amiss and came in search of LaSalle. It
is interesting to note how De Tonty, in all this vast country of the
southern United States area chose the exact direction in which to
travel. Probably the Caddo federation of Indians had trade agreements
with the Indian tribes as far north as the Illinois and even further
north among the Ouisconsins, to the west they traded with the Hasinais
who in turn traded with the Coahuile Indians.

The Amole root (a species of the Yucca plant) was supplied to the
Hasinais by the Coahuile Indians. The Caddos traded for this root, which
had cleansing properties such as soap and when boiled in water this
liquid was used for bathing purposes, it left a pleasant odor on the
body of the user.

    [Illustration: Hinta-Sak: A home of the Adais Indians.

    This drawing of a Caddo hinta-sak, or house, was made from the
    description of an eye-witness, Gonzado Quadrado Charmillo, one of
    the chroniclers of the De Soto expedition which visited the El
    Camino Real area in 1540.

    This Indian home was that of the Adais tribe near Robeline, La. of
    the Caddo Federation. It was made of cypress poles and cane
    interlaced with vines and daubed with a mixture of mud and moss. The
    roof was covered with alligator skins which had been treated with
    bees-wax to make it more impervious to rain. The broad leaves of the
    cat-tail plant were inserted in the mud to prevent erosion from
    rain. Thus the Spanish called the place toai_l_le, a deprecatory
    description of a house built of tules. (Drawing by the author)]

    [Illustration: _Top view of hinta-sak showing frame work and
    construction (Drawn by the author)_]

The Jumas, traders of the Caddo Indians, were also linguists and it
would not have been impossible for them to distinguish the difference of
the French and Spanish languages. The same Jumas of the Caddos traveled
all of the Caddo trails. The Old Buffalo Trail extending from the
Trinity River in Texas to the Red River in Louisiana was now considered
part of the Caddo trail system.

In 1690 in the early spring De Tonty, “The Iron Hand,” was among the
Adais Indians and the Natchitoches Indians. He, too, went as far as the
Trinity River in Texas, but there his guides refused to go further; he
gave up his search for LaSalle. In the same year the Joutel Party found
the Buffalo Trail beginning at the Trinity River. There among the
Hasinai they learned of the Frenchman with the iron hand. They followed
the Caddo trail and finally came in contact with De Tonty among the
Arkansas Indians. Strangely enough, De Tonty actually came within one
days march of finding the Joutel Party.


From the missions south to the Trinity River came the report of two
French patrols in the vicinity of the Hainais which also coincided with
the report of Don Alonzo De Leon.

Late in 1690 the Don Domingo Teran Del Rios’ expedition left Mexico, and
scouted the complete area of the Caddo and Hasinai Federations of
Indians; Teran listed the four tribes of the Hasinai as Bidia,
Nabadache, Nadaco and the Nacogdoches. Of the Caddos were the Ais, the
Adais, the Natchitoches, the Koasatas; he missed the Pedicaddo but
listed the Caddoquopois near present day Fulton, Arkansas. He was the
first white leader to sight Lake Bistineau. It is believed that the
location Father Massinetes, who was with this expedition, established
was La Mission Loretteto, near present day Ringgold, Louisiana.

For the reason Teran had not contacted any Frenchmen in all the
territory and much to the disappointment of the members of the College
of the Holy Cross, all missions north of the Rio Grande were withdrawn.

Padre Francois Hidalgo, being determined to establish missions north of
the Rio Grande and among the Texas Indians, which were called by the
Spaniards the Federation of Hasinai Indians, secured the support of the
College of the Holy Cross to appeal to the Viceroy of Mexico. They only
succeeded in obtaining permission to establish a mission at their own
expense south of the Rio Grande but in an area visited by the Hasinai
Indian traders. On November 7, 1698 Father Francois Hidalgo, assisted by
Father Salazar, established the mission Maria de Los Delores, ten
leagues north of Lampassas and ten leagues west of the Rio Sabinas.
(Note: this Sabine River is not to be confused with the Sabine River
which is the boundary between Louisiana and Texas).

From this outpost mission Francois Hidalgo conceived the idea of a
“Chain of Missions” to extend to the very eastern edge of the Texas
Indians’ territory. He had at his disposal the reports of Father
Massinetes and those of Teran and DeLeon. He knew that the land with its
fertile soil and the enormous growth of forests, together with an
abundance of wild game of the forests and fish of the lakes would supply
many families of the frontier settlers with food and shelter. These
families, who at this time were no better off than when they left Spain
to settle in Mexico, would welcome such an opportunity.


From the Journal of Father Paul De Ru. February 1, to May 8, 1700.

“Iberville, having founded the Fort at Biloxi, ascended the Mississippi
River. At the village of the Tensas Iberville became ill but sent
westward St. Denis and Bienville with nineteen other Frenchmen, two of
whom were the Tulon brothers, Roberto and Piedro;[3] at the village of
the Tensas was a Wichita Indian whose tribe had settled near the
Tensas.” This Indian declared he had visited a Spanish mission in the
Texas Country (The mission Maria de Los Delores). The Indian was
immediately employed by Bienville as a guide.

On April 20, 1700 the St. Denis-Bienville party reached the Yatasee
village on Nantanchie Lake near present day Montgomery, Louisiana (See
Location 5 on map).

The Frenchmen were among the Natchitoches Indians (Location 8 on map),
on May 8, 1700 for on this day Bienville departed with Father Paul De Ru
leaving St. Denis to scout the locations of the Caddo Indians.
Bienville, having secured pirogues from the Natchitoches Indians,
returned by water down the Red River to the Mississippi and back to
Biloxi. St. Denis soon followed and brought with him a number of the
Natchitoches Tribe of Indians, who settled on the north shore of Lake
Pontchartrain. St. Denis settled near by at Fort Louis.


During these years Father Hidalgo and Father Salazar were trading and
preaching to the Indians at Mission Maria de Los Delores. Father Hidalgo
traded with the Indians for gold; Anya, who was then the Governor of
Coahuile, was aware of this. There are several historical records
referring to the raiding of the Hidalgo mission in search of gold.
Hidalgo at first did turn the gold over to the government, part of which
was to be given to the College of the Holy Cross. A Captain Hernandez
was broken in rank when he gave Hidalgo a receipt for the gold. Padre
Hidalgo realized that very little, if any, of the gold was reaching the
King of Spain.

Anya conceived the idea of cutting off the supplies of trade goods to
the mission so that the Indians would then have to come and trade at the
Presidio San Juan Bautista. Captain Hernandez upon the urgence of the
Priests of the College was restored to rank. Father Hidalgo, realizing
that no one would actually know how much gold he was accumulating, began
to hoard the gold.

Allarge Bejoux, operating from a location near present day Pointe
Coupee, had cut a road or trail overland northwestward to intersect the
Buffalo Trail west of the present town of Many, Louisiana, and had by
the year 1708 established trade agreements for horses with the Ais
Indians (See Location 10 on map). Francois Hidalgo through his trade
with the Indians of different tribes soon learned of this.

                     A Legend of the Flores Family

Hidalgo and Salazar with assistance had solicited the aid of the Flores
families of Saltillo, some of whom were merchants and others owners of
landed estates. The merchants supplied the mission de Los Delores with
trade supplies.

Through Bernardino, Sub-chief of the Hasinai Indians, Hidalgo learned of
a meeting place called Campti, where each Fall of every year all of the
tribes of the Caddo Federation of Indians gathered for sports and
trading purposes. (Campti was the name of the Chief of the Natchitoches
tribe who had organized this meeting, held on a great sand-bar near
present-day Campti, Louisiana). These meetings were of a secret nature
and not sanctioned by the Spanish Government, and the tradition of their
occurrence had remained with the Flores family. Hidalgo prevailed on the
Flores family, who knew the value of land and what it could produce for
settlers, to assist him by sending men to go on a trading expedition to
the Campti. Bernardino was to act as guide.

Ramone Flores and a cousin, Joseph Colliea, were designated by the elder
Flores to go and assist the Spanish priests. These two made four trips
in the Fall of the years 1708, 1709, 1710 and 1711 to the Sand-bar near
_Campti, Louisiana_.

                               The Letter

Francois Hidalgo committed an action which might well be considered
treason by the Spanish Government. He wrote three letters of the same
content, all dated January 17, 1711, addressed to the Governor of
Louisiana. Only one reached its destination. In mid-summer of 1713 the
Governor of Louisiana, La Mothe de Cadillac, had the letter in his
possession. (There is always an incident in history which incites a
chain reaction in such a way that a new era begins, always resulting in
the establishment of new frontiers. The Hidalgo letter was such an

One must surmise how such a letter could travel through nearly a
thousand miles of wilderness and reach its destination. The whole new
frontier of El Camino Real hinged on this accomplishment.

The contents of the letter showed that Father Hidalgo had first-hand
knowledge of the land of the Hasinai and the Caddos as well as the
waterways of the adjoining area. He wrote that the French traders were
to ascend the Mississippi to the confluence of the Red River, then
ascend the Red River to the tribe of the Natchitoches Indians, thence to
travel westward over the Buffalo Trail to the Hasinai Indians and there
procure guides to the Hidalgo Mission.

Father Hidalgo could have acquired knowledge of the Caddo area from the
reports of De Leon, Teran and Father Massinetes, but he would have not
had the knowledge of the waterways, which could have only been obtained
from the Natchitoches Indians who may have come to the Campti from their
location on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain; information was given
to Flores and Colliea and passed on to Hidalgo.

The letter was an invitation “to come and trade” with the Hidalgo
mission, the word “trade” being used as bait could have come from two
sources, that of Bejoux to the Ais and that of Flores and Colliea. It is
possible that Hidalgo wrote the letters very early in the year so that
one could be sent to the Ais Tribe ahead of the arrival of Allarge
Bejoux. The later two letters were carried in the Fall of the year by
Flores and Colliea, who in turn gave the letters directly to a
Natchitoches Indian who had come to the Campti, but who was living on
the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Several historians say that St.
Denis had the letter in his possession before it was presented to
Governor Cadillac. St. Denis through his association with the
Natchitoches Indians, who were settled near his Fort Louis, would have
been the most logical Frenchman to receive the letter. Then, too, St.
Denis, while vying with Cadillac to be sent as the leader on the trading
expedition to the Hidalgo mission, had stated that he and Jules Lambert,
who was at that time in the Illinois country, had been on a trading trip
to the Natchitoches Indians in the summers of 1710 and 1712. Here, then,
is another possibility that St. Denis may have received the first letter
sent by Francois Hidalgo by an Indian messenger to the Ais, and who was
instructed to give the letter to the first Frenchman who came to trade
in his area.

The letter had the desired effect; St. Denis was appointed to lead the
expedition. Cadillac chose wisely because St. Denis was an educated man,
and was a third generation Canadian and, further, he understood the ways
of the Indians. He was a linguist and could speak many Indian dialects,
and also speak, read and write in Spanish.

The trading expedition, consisting of Indians of the Natchitoches tribe,
left Biloxi in mid October, 1713. Among the Indians were the White
Chief, his son, Koanan, and two daughters, one called _Quilchil_, “the
pretty weaver,” and the other called _Olchogonime_, “the good girl.”

The Jean Penicaut narrative is an actual eye witness account of St.
Denis’ journey to Natchitoches and on to Mexico. The party consisted of
nearly forty Indians and twenty-three Frenchmen, two of whom were St.
Denis and Penicaut, and several French traders, Pierre Largen, Jean
Lagross, Roberto Talon, Pedro Talon, Lafrinaries, Allarge Bejoux,
Labinaries, Enrique Lantillac; Medar Jalot, who was valet and doctor to
St. Denis; the two Barberousse brothers were hunters for the party’s
food; _Rambin_ was a tailor. Soldiers in the party included Lt.
Phillippe Blondell, De Lery, De Muy, Williard Anvillaries, De Beaulieux,
De Voixant, Frainbouis, and Lavasseur, who was also a map maker.

Leaving Biloxi, the party traveled what was then known as the Iberville
passage, crossing Lake Pontchartrain and through Manchac Pass to Lake
Maurepas, then into Manchac Bayou and a short portage to the Mississippi
River; ascending the Mississippi to the confluence of the Red River at
Baton Rouge, then ascending the Red River to a point opposite the
present day town of Colfax. Here the stream divided and Penicaut wrote,
“we took the left and larger branch of water.” After some distance
upstream he describes the Ecore de La Croix, which must have been the
high bluffs near Chopin, Louisiana.

On November 25, 1713, the St. Denis party arrived among the Natchitoches
Indians, living on an island that the river formed by dividing into two
branches and flowing around it.

St. Denis spent the first few weeks cultivating the friendship of the
Indians. Trade was vigorous and profitable, he sent at least twice back
to Biloxi for more trade goods. He had traveled at least once as far as
the settlement of the Nacogdoches Indians before deciding on an exact
location for a trading post. In early Spring of the following year two
block houses were erected in the Natchitoches Village, one to store the
merchandise and the other to house the ten Frenchmen who were to remain
in Natchitoches while the others went west in search of the Hidalgo

While St. Denis was among the Hasinai Indians, an incident happened
which causes one to wonder at the foresightedness of Francois Hidalgo.
Among the Indians was an Indian maid named Angelica who had received
instructions at a Spanish mission and who spoke Spanish fluently. She
became the interpreter between St. Denis and Bernardino, Chief of the
Hasinai. Bernardino, with some of the members of his tribe, acted as
guide, for St. Denis, but instead of bringing the Frenchmen to the
Hidalgo mission, they were led to Presidio San Juan Bautista on the
south bank of the Rio Grande River on July 19, 1714. Surely these
Indians would have known where the Hidalgo mission was located; the
leading of the Frenchmen to the Spanish post was just as Hidalgo would
have wished, or planned.


  Plan du Fort des Natchitoche.
    A. Church.
    B. Home of the Commandante.
    C. Gunpowder and arm storage.
    D. House of the priest, and where records were kept.
    E. Barracks of the militia.
    F. Guardhouse.
    G. Dining hall for soldiers.
    H. Houses of domestic servants and kitchen.
    I. Privy.

There was quite an uproar at Post Du Nord, as the French called the
Presidio San Juan Bautista. The French trade-goods were confiscated, and
St. Denis was confined to the area inside the presidio. Somehow St.
Denis found out about the plans of the Spanish priests to establish
missions to the east, and sent word back to Bienville. The Frenchman
knew that very often presidios followed the establishments of missions.
Bienville was informed by St. Denis that this land belonged to the

Claud De Tisne was dispatched to Natchitoches to build a Fort in 1716,
Post St. Jean Baptista Des Natchitoches, naming the post after the title
given by St. Denis when the two block houses were built in the spring of

St. Denis remained in the custody of the Spanish from 1714 until
February 17, 1716, when he arrived at Presidio San Juan Bautista. When
the Don Domingo Ramone expedition left Saltillo, Mexico, St. Denis was
selected as guide, along with several other Frenchmen, Medar Jalot, the
two Talon brothers, Pierre Largen and Jean Lagross. The other Frenchmen
who were with St. Denis had previously returned to Natchitoches,
undoubtedly carrying messages for St. Denis. Medar Jalot declared later
that he had delivered messages four times for St. Denis, thus the French
had been kept well informed of the goings-on of the Spanish.

St. Denis while on this adventure married a Spanish wife, Manuella
Sanchez Ramone, daughter of the Alverez, Don Diego Ramone at the Spanish
Presidio. He left her at the presidio, which was also her home, and
returned to Natchitoches.

The Ramone expedition established the following Missions:

  San Francisco de Los Delores on the Neches River, La Purisima
  Conception on the Angelina River, Mission San Jose, North of
  Nacogdoches, and Mission Neustra Senora de Guadelupe at Nacogdoches.

All of these were established in 1716.


    La Presidio Nuestra Senora de Los Delores was erected by Domingo
    Ramone in the summer of 1716. It was later repaired by the Marquis
    De Aguayo in 1722. The plan of the fort is the work of Aguayo. The
    fort overlooked Los Torres, or Mill Creek, near the intersection of
    the lower Douglas Road and the road from Douglas to Wells just west
    of Nacogdoches, Texas. This presidio was erected and garrisoned to
    protect the three Missions in the near Nacogdoches vicinity.

    La Presidio Nuestra Senora de Los Delores was abandoned in 1731.
    (Drawing by the author).]

In 1717 father Margil de Jesus and Father Francois Hidalgo established
two missions further to the east, La Mission Nuestra de Los Delores
among the Ais Indians, near the present day city of San Augustine,
Texas, and on the first day of St. Michael the Archangel, September 29,
1717 established La Mission de San Miguel Cuellar de Los Adais, among
the Adais Indians, one mile north of present Robeline, Louisiana.

At this moment Father Francois Hidalgo’s vision had come into
being—after twenty-five years of dreaming, he had established his chain
of missions to the very end of the Texas Country.

With the establishment of this last mission among the Adais Indians just
fifteen miles away from the French post at Natchitoches, both the French
and Spanish realized that each must maintain settlements so as to hold
the territories thus far gained.

War broke out between France and Spain in 1719 and in that same year
Phillipe Blondell from the French post among the Natchitoches Indians,
raided the mission among the Adais and allowed one prisoner to escape
after making known to him that the French were coming in multitudes to
drive the Spanish back. This caused a withdrawal of all Spanish Missions
in the Texas area as far as San Antonio.

Every country has its “man of the minute”, and this country of New Spain
was no exception. He offered his wealth and abilities to restore the
Texas missions and to re-occupy the Texas country. The new governor of
Coahuile and the Texas region was the Marquis de San Miguel de Aguayo,
his title was Don Joseph de Alzar, Knight Commandante de Aragon,
Governor and Captain General of the Provinces of Texas-New Phillippines
and of Coahuile, New Kingdom of Estrandura—and he had earned every one.


    The Mission de San Miguel de Cuellar de Los Adais was founded by
    Padre Margil de Jesus and Padre Francois Hidalgo on September 29,
    1717. September 29 was also the Feast Day of St. Michael the Arch
    Angel and the Mission was named for him.

    The site of this Mission is one-half mile northwest of Robeline,
    Louisiana, on a hill which overlooks a small valley, and across the
    valley one-half mile north of another hill was the Presidio de
    Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Los Adais.

    Fra Jose de Solice visited the Adais area in 1767 and kept a Diary
    of his visitation in which he noted that the Mission Records showed:
    256 Baptisms, 64 Marriages and 116 Burials.

    In this Diary were listed the names of families he visited in the
    Adais area: Bano, Cachon, Flores, Bustamenta, Garcia, Solice,
    Martinez, Sanchez, Rodriguez, Sanchon, Mora, Benetis, Cartinez,
    Carlos, Vega and La Lima, y Barbo, Cazorla, Fuente, Gallerado and
    Gonzalez. Cardova, Duro, Mancheca, Solice, Mercado, Guerra, and


    [Illustration: Explanation of map of: La Mission San Miguel de
    Cuellar de Los Adais and Mission established September 29, 1717; Del
    Presidio de Neustra Senora del Pilar de Los Adais, presidio
    established November 1721.

    PLAN. This presidio shown on this map of 1722 was the Capitol of the
    Providence of Texas and is located at 32 degrees and 15 minutes
    latitude and 285 degrees and 52 minutes longitude. The scale, Toise,
    one Toise equals six feet. The present day location is one mile
    north of Robeline, Louisiana, just one quarter mile west of Highway
    Six from that point.]

  Camino del Bayuco, road to Bayuco. (Bayuco, a house of Entertainment—A
          Night Club of that period.)
  Camino de los Ais, road to the Ais tribe of Indians at San Augustine,
          Texas. This was the dry weather trail and passed through
          Marthaville, Belmont, Zwolle and Ebarb, Louisiana.
  Camino de la Laguna, road to swampy lake area, Spanish Lake.
  Camino del Bano, road to Rancho Bano, allotted to the Mission, also a
          part of El Camino Real.
  Arroyo de Chacon, small river of Chacon, named after Chacon who had
          settled on the Creek—Winn Break today. (Chacon is also a
          Spanish dance which had its own music set to special tempo.)

By the middle of October, 1720, the Aguayo expedition was well on its
way to the Los Adais area, with three thousand nine hundred fifty horses
and six hundred mules, loaded with powder, shot, food, clothing and six
cannons, five hundred eighty-four men _AND_ two hundred thousand
piastres to build presidios on the frontier.

Aguayo, while en-route to Los Adais, received word the war between
France and Spain had ended and there would be no war on the frontier,
never the less, Aguayo established the missions and the Presidio San
Antonio de Bexar at San Antonio. At the tribe of the Adais he began
proceedings to establish a presidio there. France, too, had their “man
of the minute” in the person of St. Denis.


    La Presidio de San Antonio de Bexar, established by Aguayo in 1722,
    was located at San Antonio, Texas.

    The work of Aguayo in establishing the presidios along El Camino
    Real gave permanence and protection to the Spanish settlers who were
    to follow, from San Antonio to the Adais in Louisiana, seeking a new
    kind of freedom. Their source of food and other essentials was so
    far away that they learned to live “off the land”, and became
    dependent on no one. As far as they were concerned the head of the
    Spanish Government was so far away he was only a figure of speech to
    them. This freedom was bred into their descendants—the seed cast by
    Francois Hidalgo, fortified by Aguayo, nourished by El Camino Real
    and the Neutral Strip was to blossom into the State of Texas at San

    [Illustration: PLAN OF FT. DEL PILAR DE LOS ADAIS]

  1. House of the Governor.
  2. Church, which was enclosed within the Presidio.
  3. Houses of the Soldiers stationed there.
  4. Powder Magazine.
  5. La Mission San Miguel de Cuellar de Los Adais.
  6. Priests’ home.
  7. Dwellings of the Adais Tribe of Indians.
  8. The Rancho of La Lima, possibly the first merchant and Indian
          trader of the Spanish in this area.

With St. Denis came the balance of power, which is necessary on any
frontier. The Spanish had the French out-numbered ten to one, but they
also knew that the tribes of the Caddo Federation favored St. Denis and
the French. The gold piasters were of special attraction, as they would
have been in any locality, to St. Denis, who was an accomplished trader.
Aguayo was quick to realize that the Spanish must trade with the French
for food and their very existence. He turned a deaf ear to Captain
Reynaud, St. Denis and Bienville, who was now the Governor of Louisiana,
and their protests concerning the building of a presidio at Los Adais,
and on October 12, 1721 celebrated the rebuilding of the mission. On
November 1st in the same year was celebrated the re-establishment of La
Presidio de Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Los Adais—the Presidio housing
the Governor of all the province of Texas.

In 1722 St. Denis was made Post Commandante of Fort St. Jean Baptiste
des Natchitoches and all of the Red River Territory.

Breutin’s map of 1722 of the Natchitoches area, shows the names of
inhabitants who owned land: Durion, Derbonne, Duplisses, Marachal,
Lebrun, Boquet, Prudhomme, LaFleur, Roland, St. Denis, Dauphine,
Rondain, Frainbouis, Rambin, Robert and Frainaries.

Other known inhabitants of the Natchitoches area were: Redot, Lieutenant
of the Company of the West; Marley Dupuy, Ensigne; Medar Jalot, St.
Denis’ valet; Pierre Cotolleau, farmer; Pierre Fausse, Farmer; Francois
Berry, soldier; Francois Lemoine, soldier; Estinne LeRoy, soldier;
Pierre DuBois, blacksmith; Marainne Benoist, housewife; Louise Francois
Gillot, housewife; Pierre Dupuy, called Gaupillion, to distinguish him
from Dupuy the ensigne; Jeanne Grinot, housewife; Collette de Poissot,
housewife; Marie Cathern de Poutree, housewife; Martine Bonnet,
housewife; Antoniette Audebrands, housewife; Pierre Marineau; Sieur De
Champingnole, sergeant; Lieutenant Maillard; Louis Reclos, soldier;
Emanuella Sanchez Ramone, wife of St. Denis; Sieur Barme, storekeeper;
and Jean Lagross and the two Barberousse brothers who had settled near
Campti, establishing a trading post among the Yatasee Indians, which had
moved from Nantanchie Lake in 1722.


    Established in November 1721 and completed early in the Spring of
    1722 by the Marquis de Aguayo.

    Knights in Armour are usually associated with the European countries
    and the valiant deeds accomplished by such men, but here on this
    tiny hill among the Adais Indians two Knights met, The Marquis de
    Aguayo, a Black Knight of the Argonne, and Louis Juchereau de St.
    Denis, who had previously received The Order of the Cross of St.
    Louis delivered to St. Denis by D’Artagnan, a direct envoy of the
    King and Queen of France. Thus, two Knights met at the Adais, supped
    and visited, each recognized the abilities of the other, each having
    received the highest honor which could be bestowed by their
    respective King.

  _Camino de Los Ais_
  _Camino de la Lag_
  _Camino de Natchi_

  1. Governor’s House.
  2. Church.
  3. Soldier’s Barracks.
  4. Guardhouse.
  5. Stables.
  6. Mess Hall.
  7. Kitchen.
  8. Privy.
  9. Powder Magazine.
  10 and 11. Water wells.

     This Spanish Fort was erected in the shape of a hexagon. Aguayo had
    six cannons and building the Fort in this shape permitted the
    greatest amount of cannon fire in all directions. One will notice
    that on the hilltop, the site of this Spanish presidio, several
    hundred yards in all directions there is an absence of large trees
    and that those that are growing are second and third-growth trees.
    The reason is that Aguayo followed the same methods a trained
    military officer would have done. He would have cleared the Land of
    all trees and undergrowth for at least three hundred yards in all
    directions, so that should an attack occur, the enemy would not have
    the benefit of any kind of natural cover. The shoulder guns of that
    period had a fairly accurate killing effect for a distance of 150
    yards. Therefore the Musketeer in the presidio would have some extra
    150 yards in which to sight the enemy, take aim and fire. This
    presidio is unique in this respect: It stood for nearly fifty years
    as a frontier command-post and never once had to defend itself.

    This plan of the Presidio at Los Adais, showing the effectiveness of
    a hexagon shaped fort with cannon spaced to give the maximum
    protection to the fort, was submitted to Aguayo to his superiors at
    Mexico City in 1722.

    The Presidio Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Los Adais has a very unique
    history, it stood guarding a frontier against another nation and
    among the Indians, who were at that time, considered savages, for
    nearly fifty years, yet this fort never had to defend itself against
    any hostile demonstration.]

    [Illustration: _Carte des Natchitoches_
    _J.F. BREUTIN. 1722._]

Pierre Largen was trading among the Peticaddos and the Caddoquopois.

La Petit was among the Peticaddos on Caddo Lake near Shreveport, he had
the year previously established a trading post there.

Jean Lagross, who had also married an Ais maiden, had a trading post
among the Ais Indians on the Angelena River near the present town of San
Augustine, Texas. He was not molested by the Spanish because of the
marriage he was considered a member of the Caddos of which the Ais was a

In 1723 St. Denis sent Lieutenant Antoine Layassard to establish Post Du
Rapides near present Alexandria. The year previously LaPerrier and his
two daughters had been assassinated at the rapids portage by a band of
roving Indians, and Post Du Rapides was established to protect travelers
en-route to Post des Natchitoches.

In this same year, 1723 St. Denis received reinforcements, Doctor
Alexander, Lt. Basset, Lt. Renault de Hautrive and Paul Muller. Michael
Robin, a Notary for the Company of the West was also in the group.

Augayo, tiring of the frontier, left for the interior of Mexico. He
appointed as Lieutenant Governor of Los Adais, Lieutenant of the King,
Almazon, who immediately set up a new trade restriction, forbidding
fraternalization and trading of any sort with the French. It was during
the tenure of Almazon that a land grant was issued to Juan Sanchez
comprising one square league of land (the grant was an area now
consisting of high ground astraddle Toplecot Creek in the Allen area
between Robeline and Powhattan, Louisiana). Almazon allotted land to
Cadet Chacon. There was also land allotted for the support of the Adais
mission called Rancho Bano. Manuel Guiterez, who had wed Maria Garcia,
also received an allotted land grant. The last three allotments of land
were in the immediate Robeline township area.

St. Denis could see permanence in this establishment of farms in the
Adais area. The presidio there now had a fighting force of one hundred
men-at-arms, many of which were well-mounted and excellent cavalry men.
He could to a certain extent visualize a self supporting Spanish
frontier if the farmers’ production of crops were successful. The
Spanish would need only slight assistance from the Indian farmers with
the sale of their produce to the Spanish.

St. Denis retaliated by inviting all of the chiefs of the Caddo tribes
of Indians to come to the Post St. Jean Baptiste to receive presents,
knowing that all of the chiefs would bring their families and a number
of followers and that many would have to pass the Spanish presidios on
their way to Natchitoches. He was successful in working out a trade
agreement with all of the tribes to buy their entire surplus food

This alliance of the Caddo federation with the French restored the
balance of power on the Spanish-French frontier. St. Denis assured the
Caddo chiefs that each year such presents would be available as long as
the alliance was kept.

This one move by St. Denis brought safety to the French of the area.
Thus any unpleasantness which arose thereafter was confined to verbal
statements or letter writing.

                        DACHICOIN—A NOBLE INDIAN
                            LOS ADAIS, 1723

Dachicoin had only two years before he reached the considered age of an
adult, which according to the Adais law was sixteen. He had ignited the
council-fire of the Adais and was demanding audience. The Elders came
and seated themselves in their proper places and bade him speak.

He brought to the attention of the Adais how nice the Spanish or French
treated an Indian of position in any Indian tribe—they dared not molest
this Indian or any of his family. Also, the Indian of position seemed to
get a better deal in the matter of trade-goods. “If we make all the
Indian adult males of the Adais an officer or man of position then the
whole tribe will benefit by it. I wish first to test this and, if I am
successful, then I demand to be made a _conachas_”.[4] Dachicoin
explained his proposed test to the Elders.

Dachicoin went to the Natchitoches Post and demanded of Sieur Barme, a
merchant of certain trade-goods, a supply of such goods, saying that he
would bring all the profit back to the merchant in return for which he
expected something that he could trade for himself at profit. Sieur
Barme saw possibilities in Dachicoin because he agreed to the Indian’s
terms. Sieur Barme did not overlook the fact that the Indian spoke to
him in French. Later he found out that the Indian also spoke Spanish.
Dachicoin was made a _conachas_ among the Adais.

When Dachicoin was fifteen years old the Spanish priests came to the
Adais. Even at this young age he must have realized that a new way of
life was beginning among the Adais, and decided to follow the new trend
by working with the Spanish priests, guiding them among the tribes of
the Caddos and commuting back and forth with them to the Natchitoches
post. Soon he mastered the Spanish language. When he was sixteen and had
successfully filled the agreement of his first test with Sieur Barme,
the Natchitoches merchant, three other men, Lotbotiniere, Lagross and
Largen, saw the possibility of profit in the use of Dachicoin. One or
the other of these traders was continuously traveling back and forth to
the Hasinai Indians who lived deep in the Tejas Country. So Dachicoin
began a tutorship with the traders, and at the same time began to master
the French language.

In 1719 Dachicoin, because he could understand French, heard of the salt
shortage at the new post at New Orleans. By this time the young Indian
trader had acquired five horses as his part of profit while trading with
the Hasinai Indians. He went to Sieur Barme and asked for ten knives,
explaining that he wished to trade the knives to the Destonies for salt,
this salt would be taken to New Orleans and traded for more knives which
would be returned to Sieur Barme. He would replace the ten knives and
the other remaining knives would be divided equally between himself and
the merchant. He would leave two horses with Sieur Barme as security.
Dachicoin then went to Largen, who had dug-out canoes. He wished use of
the largest one, explaining his intention to Largen, and leaving one of
his horses with him as security. In return for the use of the canoe
Dachicoin would take some of Largen’s merchandise of furs to New Orleans
and trade the furs for knives, all Largen needed to do was to say how
many knives he expected in trade for the furs—of course this service
would be free for the use of the boat. The Indian then went to
Lieutenant Blondell, the Post Commandante, and told him his intentions,
wondering if the officer had letters he wished to be delivered to his
French superiors, saying that he would deliver the letters which at the
same time would explain to the officials at New Orleans that Dachicoin
was a high-ranking Indian of the Adais tribe. “This will be important in
my getting a fairer trade for salt and other merchandise”, he said. “I
would also like for you to request Quitlami, Son of Koanan, who is
called the White Chief of the Natchitoches Indians by the French, to
insure safe passage among the Indians I might encounter because Quitlami
will have the arm band of the Son of a Chief and I the arm band of a
conachas of the Adais. These marks of distinction will be observed by
those tribes who are not on friendly terms with the French, but who
would not wish to arouse an undesirable antagonism between two tribes
such as the Adais and the Natchitoches. The letters will safe-guard us
from white men who might be inclined to forget the _calumet_ of the
French and the Caddos of whose Federacy we are members. For this service
I will expect a French soldier’s coat, one of the things I most desire
in life. I will leave two horses at your disposal as a guarantee of my
return and my true intention to serve the French. Because of my
association with the Caddo Federacy I can be of many uses to the
French.” The Commandant was no fool. He quickly realized the importance
of Dachicoin, and agreed to his wishes even paying Quitlami’s expenses
in the form of presents from the company merchandise.

To the average reader it would seem that Dachicoin was risking five
horses which were of more value on this frontier than the supposed
profits of this particular trading trip, but Quitlami revealed to
Lotbotiniere that Dachicoin distributed these horses in good hands and
those people were obligated to take as good care of them as if the
horses belonged to them. Thus Dachicoin was assured of the good care of
his animals with no expense to himself.

The canoe or dug-out of Largen was a four-place canoe, which is a boat
that required four men to paddle it and would at the same time, besides
the human cargo, carry fourteen hundred pounds of freight. Thus equipped
Dachicoin and Quitlami set out from Natchitoches to the Distonies on
Saline Bayou in Natchitoches Parish, where he traded five of the knives
for two hundred gourds of salt, each gourd contained approximately one
pound of salt. From Natchitoches he carried the furs of Largen and small
gourds of finely chopped matot, ground leaves of the Sassafras tree.
This spice was an excellent trade goods of the Natchitoches tribe. The
spice, however, was sent by Blondell and was to be exchanged for some
personal things for the Commandant. He did, however, pay for Dachicoin’s
coat out of his own merchandise. Because of the success of the trading
trip Dachicoin’s name became popular along the frontier. His character
was such, that his word was his bond. He never bought any trade goods
outright to sell them for a profit as did the French traders. Always he
asked for goods on consignment. It was a familiar sight at Natchitoches
and at Los Adais to see Dachicoin arrange what he had received for a
consignment into three piles—one pile represented the cost of trade
goods and one the profits. The one who supplied the merchandise could
take his choice of two of the piles, the other went to Dachicoin for his

Dachicoin had taken for his wife, a squaw of the Hasinai said to be a
daughter of Bernardino, Chief of that tribe. Upon returning to the
Adais, Dachicoin spoke to Largen, who was at the time at the Adais,
explaining to him that he wished to be blessed in marriage by a priest
just as white men and women were when priests married them. Largen
explained to Dachicoin that if he were married by the Church it would be
contrary to the beliefs of the Caddos. (The Caddos believed in
separations or divorce—that a squaw or man being dissatisfied could
separate, the squaw taking the male children and the man the female
children. These separations occurred quite often among the different
tribes of the Caddos.) At this Dachicoin replied, “A man will have need
for only one woman if she is the correct woman for him and a woman needs
only one man if he is the correct man for her, my squaw and I understand
these things and I, Dachicoin say that it can be no other way.” Pierre
Largen sponsored the wedding at the Los Adais Church. It is said that
Father Margil De Jesus performed the ceremony.

The squaw, or shall I say wife of Dachicoin, was allowed by her husband
to ride a horse instead of walking as most Indians required their squaws
to do, and, not only that, but to add to her comfort she was seated on a
good Spanish saddle, and even had a pack horse to carry such things that
a squaw was required to carry. This caused much dissatisfaction among
the other squaws and the Indian men alike.

Dachicoin lit the Council Fire of the Adais and when enough of the tribe
had gathered, spoke to them. “You of the Adais are cooking in metal pots
that I, Dachicoin gave to you. Because all that I have also belongs to
my squaw, then she too gave the pots”. There was no one to criticize her
then, for it is a law of the Caddos that no other person can be
concerned in the private affairs of a Caddo family unless invited to do
so. If one violates this law then he is to be punished by the elders.
“If there are any more envious remarks about my squaw I shall see that
the law is fulfilled. What I have said shall now be forgotten, it must
not occur again.”

At the Natchitoches council fire he berated the Natchitoches in much the
same way. Such was the power of Dachicoin that he could demand the
obedience of two tribes of Indians.

In 1722 St. Denis returned to Natchitoches replacing Captain Reynaud as
Commandante. He, too, was quick to learn the importance of Dachicoin.

In 1723 St. Denis received a demand from Bernardino of the Hasinai for
the ransom of a Frenchman. He then sent the small, tin box containing
papers of the French officer. St. Denis recognized the name of the
officer, a man who once had fought a duel with him. This French officer,
Belle-Isle, with St. Denis had attended the Royal School in Paris. They
had always seemed to be at odds with each other, and now St. Denis was
being asked to pay ransom for him. But St. Denis was not one to hold a
grudge, and he knew that Belle-Isle had the makings of a good French
officer. He could not bring himself to believe that there was a
possibility of Belle-Isle being a deserter and had somehow become a
slave of the Indians. Too, he realized the possibility of the Spanish
rescuing him, and from gratitude Belle-Isle might have been inclined to
offer his services to Spain. St. Denis personally knew French officers
in the service of Spain, but now he had the problem of going behind the
Spanish Fort at Los Adais to rescue Belle-Isle.

St. Denis sent for Quitlami and had him go to the Adais and bring
Dachicoin back with him. When the two Indians returned he sent for
Lagross, Largen and Lobotiniere for a conference. All were given the
details about Belle-Isle.

The ransom was to be ten French rifles with 100 shots and enough powder
to fire those 100 shots for each rifle. This was an impractical and
dangerous form of ransom because if the party delivering the rifles
should be intercepted by the Spanish they would have grounds to think
that the French were trying to supply the Indians with fire arms to be
used against them, which could create a disastrous incident on the

Dachicoin asked if he might speak, and without waiting for a reply,
asked St. Denis if he would settle with Bernardino for two rifles and
the requested powder and shot. St. Denis would be glad to agree to such
a settlement, but continued Dachicoin, “why not turn this trip for
ransom into profit?”, which caused a raising of eyebrows. All those
present were traders and the word “profit” was music to their ears.
Dachicoin explained, “Bernardino is a trader and a clever one, and also
the father of my squaw. If I go as a member of the ransom party my squaw
must also go as she will wish to see her father again. Also this party
will need someone to cook for them, she can do that. Bernardino has sent
five of his braves and ten extra horses. He fully expects each of those
ten extra horses to have something on them. We must send five men to
accompany the Hasinais; to send less would show carelessness, to send
more would show we were afraid, five men to ride five of the horses sent
by Bernardino. We must fix a box of wood the size of one which would
contain ten rifles, but instead of rifles it will contain lengths of
cane filled with the seeds of watermelons, squash, gourds, corn and
beans. The Hasinais are farmers, but because they move around for place
to place, staying in one place only long enough to raise and harvest a
crop; they are often short of seed, we will also send salt, honey,
pecans, hickory nuts, walnuts; these are the things that we have plenty
of. In return we will ask for the Frenchman and horses and some amole
root.[5] The last two things are the cheapest trade-goods of the
Hasinais. Bernardino has often admired my French coat and has often
tried to trade me for it, but I explained to him that it would be too
small for him. If M. Rambin can make a coat the size of the one that
would fit M. Largen, then Bernardino would try to trade for it
especially if Largen pretends he does not wish to trade for the coat. We
will have to explain to Bernardino that we have no extra rifles
available but the one I am carrying. The other rifle mentioned will be
given to me when I return as payment for my assistance in this trip. My
squaw will have among the things necessary for her to take some of the
knives from the company store, each of us will also have some knives to
trade. We will trade for horses and the amole root and anything else
that Bernardino has. Quitlami must tell Bernardino that the coat that M.
Largen is wearing is magic and is Largen’s trading coat. That when
Largen has it on he always makes more profit on his trades. That it
would be a great service to the Natchitoches and the Adais if Bernardino
could trade Largen out of the coat. So far no one has been able to do

The trip from Natchitoches to the Hasinais was roughly about 360 miles.

Immediately on the arrival of the party Bernardino brought the slave
Belle-Isle forward and demanded the rifles when he was told that there
was only one rifle and it belonged to Dachicoin. He was furious and
threatened to kill the slave on the spot. Dachicoin explained that there
were many other trade goods of value and things that the Hasinais
needed. Largen was not then wearing the coat made by Rambin the tailor.

In true Caddo fashion Bernardino either spit upon or kicked the trade
goods offered for Belle-Isle (this was characteristic of the Caddos, any
trade goods was treated in such a way as to cheapen it in the eyes of
the one offering it for trade. Those things that they wanted most they
spurned the most). Each time Bernardino spit on the trade goods, Largen
in turn spit upon Belle-Isle, meanwhile telling him in French that this
was necessary. Largen picked up a bundle and went into the Hinta-sak of
Bernardino. Quickly Quitlami went to Bernardino and explained to him
about the coat of Largen. When Largen came back he was strutting and
showing off the coat. He explained the designs on the coat, the hawk on
one side was an emblem of the Caddos. He was a Caddo because he had
taken an Ais Squaw. The Fleur De Lys because he was also French. Twenty
buttons, more buttons than on any French or Spanish officer’s coat
(Rambin had surely done his best work here). Bernardino began wanting to
trade for the coat but Largen would hear none of it. Finally Bernardino
offered the slave for the coat and explaining that if the slave was a
Frenchman and Largen was a Frenchman then they were brothers—surely a
brother would give a coat to save his brother’s life and if they did not
come to an agreement about the coat then the slave was sure to die.
Largen then surprised Bernardino by saying he would give the coat if the
Chief would given ten horses to the slave and ten horses to him and then
trade horses for the other trade goods along with the amole root and
some wolf hides. This Bernardino agreed to.

St. Denis was awakened by the sound of thundering hooves. Lobotiniere
called to him. St. Denis wiped his eyes as he witnessed the success of
the trip—eighty horses, many of them loaded with hides and other

After all settlements were made among those who participated on the
trip, Belle-Isle told St. Denis of his misfortune. The ship he was on
left France in 1718. After they had entered the Gulf of Mexico a storm
came up and the ship was blown off course. Then scurvy broke out aboard
ship. Finally land was sighted. The ship’s captain, believing that the
ship was at a point east of Biloxi, put ashore those who were not yet
affected, instructing them to go west overland where they would be sure
to find the French. However, it must have been west of the Mississippi
instead of east of it. Belle-Isle related, “there were five of us, all
died except me. In the distance one day I saw a camp fire and went to
it. The Indians took me captive and made me a slave. I was with them
eighteen months when Bernardino bought me from them. Bernardino could
understand a few words of French. He sent the tin box to you. You know
the rest. Bernardino, however, did treat me very well”. (Belle-Isle was
indeed lucky; that ship and its entire crew were never heard of again).

I suggest a toast to Dachicoin, who thought like a Frenchman, spoke like
a Spaniard, had all the cunning of an Indian, and the honesty of a
Pilgrim. Such was the importance of Dachicoin.

By the year 1740 Belle-Isle had become a power in politics at New

In 1737 the Natchitoches tribe was able to ship 350 head of horses to
New Orleans as part of its surplus trade-goods, and all because of
Dachicoin, a _conachas_ of the Adais.

                       ST. DENIS AND THE SPANISH

In 1724 St. Denis and Almazon affixed the Arroyo Hondo as the boundary
between the French and the Spanish. There was also an agreement to allow
the French traders, who were to go to the Upper Caddos during the wet
season, to pass through the Los Adais area. In this same year Jean
Muller was permitted to establish La Post du Bayou Pierre[6].

By 1725 St. Denis had won the Spanish commandant over to his point of
view and persuaded him to allow free trade in the area. The French were
also allowed at Los Adais on Sundays to attend religious services. (The
French, up until a few years later, were without the services of a
priest at Natchitoches).

Word reached the Viceroy in Mexico City that Almazon was too lenient
with the French and that he was actually encouraging open trade with
them. In 1730 Almazon was replaced by Don Juan Antonio de Bustillio y
Zavalles, who was quick to realize that La Presidio de Los Adais was
entirely dependent on the French for its very existence. He sent a
letter to the Viceroy to that effect, further advising that the Spanish
settlers of the area scarcely produced enough crops to sustain
themselves and their families. Zavalles was an experienced military
officer and understood the importance of maintaining a modicum of
friendship on the frontier with the French and the Indians. Zavalles in
1730 issued a land grant to Juan de Mora.[7]

In 1730 Natchitoches welcomed the arrival of its first French priest,
Father Vietry.

In April of 1731 Zavalles received an urgent message from St. Denis
saying that the Natchez Indians were on their way to attack the French
Post and asked for assistance. Zavalles sent fifteen men, which may just
have been enough to help St. Denis gain a victory over the Natchez
Indians. One Spaniard lost his life in the battle.

Zavalles was criticized by his Spanish superiors at San Antonio and
Mexico City for assisting the French, but Zavalles reasoned that if the
French Post had fallen to the Natchez Indians nothing would have
prevented the Natchez from attacking the Spanish presidio. There was
also the possibility of the Caddos aligning themselves with the Natchez.
Such a procedure had often happened among warring Indian tribes against
the white man. It is far better, if a battle is to be fought, that it
take place in foreign territory. He reasoned that even if the French
lost, there would be other Frenchmen to return and settle the land. If
the Spanish had gained control of the Adais-Natchitoches frontier their
dominance would not have been for long. As a result of this assistance
of the Spanish, food and trade-goods from the French became more
plentiful and cheaper in price.

Manuel de Sandoval in 1734 replaced Zavalles as Governor of Los Adais.
After a few months on the frontier he left and assigned Jose Gonzales as
Governor of Los Adais. Zavalles in the meanwhile was being prosecuted at
San Antonio de Bexar because of his leniency with the French. An
investigation of the conditions on the Spanish frontier proved that
Zavalles was correct in his actions. His rank and prestige were
restored. St. Denis took advantage of the unrest of the Spanish, and in
the midst of protests and letter writing, he moved the Post St. Jean
Baptiste “one pistol shot” distance to the west bank of the Red River.

Jose Gonzales was commandante of an ill-equipped presidio, the crops
were failures and the French had control of the food, but the Spanish
always had time for fiesta. And the French came to visit and trade. Much
to the discomfort of Gonzales, fraternization became the order of the

It was the year 1735, when Chamard erected his home and added a chapel
so that civil marriages could be blessed by the priests from Los Adais
on their monthly visits. Natchitoches was quite often without the
services of a priest at this time. Chamard came to the Natchitoches area
in 1730 as an agent and notary for the Company of the Indies. Chamard
was a very devout Catholic and was a leader in rebuilding the church
which had burned in 1734. He set an excellent example on the frontier
for those who were not inclined to attend religious services regularly.

                DOCTORS AND EARLY MEDICINE—1722 TO 1744

Medar Jalot had some learning under the direction of Dr. Ambroise
Benoist Gendron of Quebec, Canada. Jalot became a member of a party
under the guidance of Henri De Tonty (The Iron Hand) that left Quebec in
1710. They came to Biloxi via the Great Lakes, the Illinois River, the
Mississippi River, Lake Manchac and Lake Pontchartrain. Jalot was with
the St. Denis expedition to Mexico in 1714 as the valet to St. Denis,
and in 1722 was listed in the Natchitoches census. Jalot, although not a
doctor by title, served the Natchitoches Post in that capacity because
of his skill in treating wounds and body sores. Jalot also had knowledge
of many Indian remedies for the sicknesses of the country.

It was the custom at this time for Kings to issue certificates to men of
the medical profession, designating them as _Docteur du Roi_, Doctor of
the King. Doctors who would accept such a commission for frontier duty
would receive a year’s salary in advance, clothing, a chest of medicine,
an allotment of paper, note books and the personal best wishes of the
King. The physician would then in turn be obliged to render his services
free to the militia and others connected with the service of a post and
the Indians of the surrounding area. The post of his designated-location
would place at the doctor’s disposal, an office, lodging and food at the
officers’ table. Transportation was obligingly supplied by the King, “a
one way ticket.”

To the young Doctor who had thus qualified himself this would seem to be
a golden opportunity. Dr. Le Beau was the first to arrive at the
Natchitoches post. He was the first Doctor to realize that this golden
opportunity did not supply medium-of-exchange. The post personnel, their
wives and children were exempt from payment for his services. All of the
inhabitants and their families supplied the post with food and produce,
so they were also exempt as were the Indians. The doctor knew that he
would have to wait two years before he would receive his next salary
from the King. He could receive payment for his services to the Spanish
at Los Adais, but traffic with the Spanish was forbidden. He was soon to
realize that the first year’s pay that had been issued would only buy
three pairs of pants at Rambin’s Tailor shop ... and that Rambin was
making his livelihood by redoing old clothing rather than tailoring new
garments. Too, he was duty bound to stay one year in the service to
fulfill his obligation to the Crown. By not doing so he was subject to
arrest. Needless to say, after his year was up Dr. Le Beau resigned his
commission and struck out on his own.

In 1727 Dr. Alexander was the next “Docteur du Roi” to arrive in
Natchitoches. He was killed in a duel by Captain Jentzen, a Swedish
officer in the service of the King of France.

In 1730 Dr. Godeau arrived with a King’s Commission. He wed the Widow
Brossilier, and adopted his two-year-old stepdaughter. The Widow
Brossilier had land, and so this doctor became a farmer and notary, with
his medical profession becoming a sideline.

The people of the Natchitoches area did not like the idea of having to
pay for doctor’s services. Doctor Godeau had, after his first year
resigned his commission, and now could charge legally for his services.
They waited but no new Docteur du Roi arrived.

Dr. Godeau was at the Natchitoches Post at the time of the Natchez
Indian attack. In this two-months war on the Natchitoches frontier the
Doctor won the friendship of the fifteen Spaniards who assisted in the
defense of the French Post. In 1733 Dr. Godeau travelled to the Adais
Post on Saturdays and Sundays to render his services to the Spanish, and
to attend mass on Sunday. Thus, in the Robeline area was set up the
first form of medical clinic in all the territory later comprised in the
Louisiana Purchase. The Spanish had money to pay for professional
services which naturally attracted men of any profession.

The people’s voice must have been heard, for the Good King Louis XV sent
in 1737 Dr. Tontin. By this time King Louis must have decided that it
was easier to send new doctors each year as soon as they were qualified
_medecins_. He realized that the “one way ticket” was just another way
to populate Louisiana with learned men. Doctor Pain (or Payne) was sent
in 1738, Doctor Jaubaer in 1739, and Doctor Bonnafons in 1740.

So now it was Dr. Bonnafons’ turn to match his wits with this French
frontier. In sizing up his predicament Dr. Bonnafons found that the
recognized occupations listed on the post roster as ones that were to
obtain free medical service were: Trappers, Traders, Commercial Hunters
and Fishermen, Druggists, Farmers, Blacksmiths, Store owners, Tailors,
Bakers, Carpenters, Gunsmiths, Butchers, Soldiers and the Indians. The
good commandante, Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, saw to it that all of
these men obtained their just share of the Post business. I feel sure,
too, that the doctors, Pain, Jambare and Tontin advised Doctor Bonnafons
what to expect. This doctor, however, had the wits to fit the occasion.
He demanded of St. Denis that because the office space inside the fort
was too small, that a building be erected outside the fort for his home
and office. He showed the commandante that according to the rights
enumerated in his commission that the Post Commander must furnish him
with these suitable conveniences. St. Denis complied with the doctor’s

Dr. Bonnafons became a barber and for this privilege he paid a license.
Being a barber he was allowed to sell drugs. The druggist was part of
the Grocery Guild, so that he was now qualified to sell “stuffs” (bolts
of uncut cloth). Sieur Ignace Antee, a farmer and part-time cobbler, was
encouraged to erect a lean-to on the opposite side of the doctor’s
building. Because he had assisted Laignon and Antee to erect their
lean-tos, Dr. Bonnafons considered himself a carpenter. He informed
Jacques Turpeax, a soldier and baker at the Natchitoches Post, that he
would purchase the surplus bread which was baked and not used by the
militia, thus furnishing quick lunches for weary, hungry travelers.
Because the Doctor was in the grocery business, he could sell wine which
went well with the cheese brought to the French Post by the inhabitants
of Campti.

One must realize that we are at a time between the dates 1740 and 1744,
because St. Denis died in 1744, and that the location of Dr. Bonnafons’
building would have been near the new fort which had been erected by St.
Denis “one pistol shot to the west” from the location of the Fort St.
Jean Baptiste as shown on Breutin’s Map of 1722. This placed the new
fort in the environs of what was later the American cemetery. As to the
location of Dr. Bonnafons’ building we have this clue. In his ledger he
states that he obtained land adjoining his from Duplessis. On Breutin’s
map the Duplessis land would have been in the vicinity of the south bank
of Bayou Amulet near G. W. Black’s Grocery and Market. Also, in this
same area along Bayou Amulet the traders coming to Natchitoches tethered
their mules.

Having obtained this land adjoining his building, Dr. Bonnafons erected
a blacksmith shop for Jean Baptist Marin. As the doctor’s business grew,
so did the buildings and the good doctor had his eye out for more
business and reasoned that “where their is a demand, there should be a

About 20 years preceding Dr. Bonnafons’ arrival in Natchitoches, some of
the farmers had obtained slaves from New Orleans. The slaves, coming
directly from Africa, believed in voodoo, and for a generation had sold
their charms, amulets, love potions and cure-all charms to the Indians,
as well as the white inhabitants.

Dr. Bonnafons, being a druggist and grocer was allowed, according to the
Drug Guild, to sell notions. So he added a trinket department to his
store which had such items as earrings, necklaces, mirrors and of course
the voodoo charms. Bonnafons reasoned that the local natives and
inhabitants might just as well have the imported kind from New Orleans
where the voodoo charm-makers were more skilled and the charms had more
power. He reasoned with himself that according to law, slaves were not
allowed to have money or engage in a business which would supply them
with money. So he decided to put them out of business. Naturally Dr.
Bonnafons told his customers that he did not believe in voodoo, that he
was a doctor and that only a doctor could cure illnesses—that the charms
were just novelties and that some people bought them in ignorance.

Commercial traders with the Indians who bought such trinkets from Dr.
Bonnafons at a discount were Jean Camion, Nicholas and Jean Lassard,
Pierre Gaigne, Lantallac, Nicholas Tibaud, Francois Gueno, De Lima of
Los Adais, Francois Moreau, Jean Robalet, Louis Barme, Joseph Le Douc,
Jean Baptiste Derbonne, Le Bomme, Henri Vidol and Pierre Bossier. By
supplying these traders Dr. Bonnafons became the first wholesaler of
merchandise in the Natchitoches section.

As the following bill testifies, Dr. Louis Bonnafons served the
Natchitoches area well. The bill concerns the services rendered to
Pierre Fausse’s young son.

  1. Pour _6_ bouttiles de quillendive[8] per l’order du chirurgiens.
  2. Pour _6_ denier (6 articles of merchandise.)
  3. Pour 12 boutilles d’eau de vie. (Brandy used as a sedative to
          settle nerves and upset stomach.)
  4. Pour _6_ bouttiles de medecine laxatif (laxatives).
  5. Pour le cerceuil de defuma. (For making the coffin.)

The child was given 6 bottles of nausea medicine, 12 bottles of brandy
(that is, if the child was given all of the brandy—he may have had help
in disposing of this medicine) and 6 bottles of laxatives. This was
enough of such medicine to kill any patient. Dr. Bonnafons, being the
doctor in attendance, would also be the first to know of the child’s
death. Thus being a carpenter he was also a cabinet maker which made him
a coffin-maker. Thus Dr. Bonnafons was also an undertaker.

From Dr. Louis Bonnafons’ ledger, covering a six-year period from 1741
to 1747, come these names and families: Joseph Lattier, soldier; Claud
Bertrand, soldier; Jean La Berry, soldier; Louis Juchereau de St. Denis
family; Antoine Chesneau family; Michel Chesneau family; Pierre Baillio,
soldier; Vencient Perrier family; Remi Possiot family; Louis Rachal
family; Gaspard Barbier, brother of Madam Cheveret—“bought violin sold
to me by Bartholmey Rachal”; Joseph Robideux (Robeaux), one powder horn;
Jean Baptiste Gonnin, carpenter; Francois Gurno, carpenter; Pierre
Allarg, carpenter; Pierre Mercer, farmer; Andre Barringer, farmer; Remi
Possiot, soldier; Fancois Langlois, soldier; Edwardo Lattier,
soldier-farmer; Louis Badin, farmer; Andries Rambin family; Louis Rambin
family; Madam de La Chaise. There were many more, but to list them would
be a repetition of names mentioned earlier in this book.

Dr. Louis Bonnafons died in 1759. He never married. His ledger brings
out but one important fact: Natchitoches and El Camino Real area has
always had possibilities for the right sort of man. Likewise, these
so-called, one-stop, shopping centers are nothing new to our country.
Too, during this early period of the Natchitoches community there was a
form of socialized medicine, which proved even at this early period a
doctor could not exist by merely depending on his chosen profession for
a livelihood when controlled or limited by the state.

                          ROMANCE AT LOS ADAIS

There was quite a stir on the fine spring morning of April 8, 1735 at
Los Adais. Senorita Victoria Gonzales, daughter of the Lieutenant
Governor of this Spanish presidio, had eloped with a Frenchman, Jean
Baptista DerBonne, assisted by two other Frenchmen of the Post St. Jean
Baptiste des Natchitoches after the High Mass that Sunday. Governor
Gonzales, holding office during the absence of Governor Manuel de
Sandoval, and Reverend Padre Ignacio Certa were talking when word of the
elopement was brought. A searching party was immediately organized but
was unsuccessful in capturing the culprits.

The next day Gonzales wrote a letter to his superiors, stating the above
details and adding that, even though DerBonne was a French officer and a
gentleman, he had refused permission for the marriage. He was so
infuriated that he disowned his daughter, thereby wishing to show to the
officials over him that he had nothing to do with this matter. However,
he did suspect Padre Certa and his brother-in-law Juan de Mora, because
both had intervened in DerBonne’s behalf. He also added that de Mora was
in jail and at present he had not decided what to do with him. He
received word that the party arrived in Natchitoches at midnight, and
Father Pierre Vietry, a priest of the Jesuit Order, had married Victoria
and DerBonne immediately, thus violating the laws of the Catholic Faith.
He wrote: “As you know the banns of betrothed have to be announced at
three Sunday Services before the wedding. I am told that the elopers
traveled by pirogue, going from arroyo to arroyo and finally reaching
the Red River and then on to Natchitoches, which explains why our land
searching-party did not find them. Padre Vallejo of the Mission Margil
de Los Adais is going to Natchitoches to request wine so necessary in
the procedure of the Mass. I am sure Victoria will accompany him back to
Los Adais to get her things and the family blessing. Now that she has
been married by the Church there is nothing I can do. She is seventeen
and of marriageable age.”

The two nationalities had much to say to each other about this wonderful
new topic of conversation. The Spanish would give credit to Victoria for
planning the whole thing, after all a woman of Victoria’s intelligence
must have planned it because certainly a Frenchman could not have had
the head for such clever thinking—DerBonne was just the lucky one who
won her heart. The French would say that DerBonne was a sly one, that he
had stolen Victoria from under their very eyes. The stupid Spanish
bachelors, allowing such a pretty prize as Victoria to slip away from
them. And so the talk went, but there has to be a formula for each and
every elopement that is successful.

Now in this case, take three bayous, a little river and a larger river,
mix with one uncle, a willing duenna, two willing assistants, two
understanding priests, a friend. Add a handsome French officer, a
beautiful senorita and an irate father. Then allow a certain amount of
time for observation to turn into fascination, watch closely as
fascination develops into desire and desire materializes into love, then
you will have the correct ingredients for a successful elopement. So
explains the material gathered from John Eskew, Belisle, J. Fair Hardin,
Ross Phares and Poitre-Babinsik. All of these authors have shed some
light on this incident.

Now, as a certain character would say, let’s add up the facts.

Jean Baptist Der Bonne or Derbonne as the French would write it, was an
officer at the French Post, Jean Baptist Des Natchitoches. The Spanish
Post, Del Presidio Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Los Adais, was roughly 17
miles due west. The dividing boundary was the Arroyo Hondo, a small
stream that ran roughly north and south midway between these two
outposts. True, both nationalities respected this boundary to a certain
extent, that is they visited openly but hid their trading with each

The Spanish had use of the good Doctor Payne (Pain), the post Doctor at
Natchitoches, in return the Spanish Fiesta was open to all. If a
Frenchman visited the Spanish Church for Mass or Confession he was very

Father Ignacio Certa admitted in one of his letters that he had spoken
to Gonzales in behalf of Der Bonne. Certainly this priest must have
approved of the Frenchman or he would not have intervened for him.

The foster brother of Gonzales’s wife, Juan de Mora, was a very good
friend of Der Bonne because he helped and was put into prison because of
the incident. Even this imprisonment was a sham, as de Mora could have
gone to the post at Natchitoches a guest of DerBonne. He could have left
immediately after the two eloped and with a fast horse, reached
Natchitoches well ahead of any searchers. I believe de Mora remained at
Los Adais and allowed himself to be imprisoned so that his
brother-in-law, Gonzales, might save face with his superiors in Mexico
and the Tejas country. There are no records revealing a trial or
punishment of Juan de Mora. One thing is certain, there was a food and
clothing shortage at Los Adais and de Mora was one of the Spaniards who
was on very good terms with the French officer, DerBonne. And DerBonne,
being an officer, would have enough influence at the French post at
Natchitoches to assist the Spanish traders in getting more reasonable
bargains when purchasing food and clothing there. Too, DerBonne being a
French officer, as a side line, also was a trader among the Indians and
certainly with the Spanish. Now that the Frenchman had taken a Spanish
wife and she being the daughter of Gonzalez, the Gonzalez family would
certainly profit by this marriage. The deals, however, having been
transacted through DerBonne and de Mora and both men now being of the
Gonzalez family would leave the Lieutenant Governor in the clear as far
as his superiors were concerned.

The duenna (chaperone) of Victoria Gonzalez must have assisted the two
lovers, reasoning that the duties of a duenna, are to look after her
charge’s morals and religious training and to teach her things she must
know concerning her social standing and her responsibilities to her
family in respect to marriage. A duenna, therefore accepted or rejected
those who wished to court her charge. Quite often the duenna had to be
won as well as the young senorita. The chaperone’s duty was to channel
her young charge’s affections and thoughts toward the suitor considered
most able to support the young lady in the manner to which she was
accustomed; but the duenna would also observe the suitors that the
senorita liked best, and by elimination, to these she thought most
suitable, certain privileges would be allowed. In this case the suitor
was DerBonne. Now came the time for observation to turn into
fascination. To watch closely as fascination develops into desire, and
then when desire materializes into love, arrangements must be made so
that the wedding can be solemnized. The duenna or chaperone was also a

Now for allowing those certain privileges. At a fiesta at Los Adais,
DerBonne and Victoria danced, and after a while walked out into the
patio for a breath of fresh air. The man, being a gentleman, would not
on first meeting attempt to guide his companion to a darkened shadowy
spot for closer conversation. The duenna naturally followed and observed
at a discreet distance. She would locate herself at such vantage point
where she could see and yet not be seen.

At Church on Sunday, DerBonne having received an invitation from de
Mora, with de Mora advising DerBonne to be there early, arrangements
were made so that DerBonne sat next to Victoria, with the duenna on one
side of the couple and de Mora on the other. Perhaps at sometime during
the services of the Mass the duenna suggested a walk in a certain
direction, making sure that DerBonne overheard the suggestion intended
for Victoria. Just to be sure, immediately after the Church Services de
Mora would suggest a stroll before eating the noon meal, and, as if by
chance both parties met at some point on a secluded footpath, the young
couple would find that for the moment they were alone and unobserved,
while the elderly couple was engaged in some topic of conversation. Now
for a quick embrace and kiss while the old duenna was not looking. To
these well planned, or chance meetings as the young couple thought,
surely fate was lending a helping hand. So fascination turns into desire
and desire into love. Now to ask for her hand in marriage (the old
duenna and de Mora must have felt proud of themselves.) DerBonne asked
the father, Jose Gonzalez, but the irate father refused. Then the
priest, Father Ignacio Certa, interceded on behalf of DerBonne. Another
refusal as the obdurate father explained that the Spanish authorities
would not permit such a thing on the frontier. After all, the Spanish
and the French were rivals here, and such a marriage might even lead to
war among the two nationalities at these outposts of empire.

DerBonne was well aware of the dire consequences that might result from
the marriage and without a doubt had discussed the situation with his
Commandante, St. Denis. Now, Louis Juchereau de St. Denis was one of the
slyest and most commercial-minded men who ever trod the soil of
Natchitoches, certainly the most adventurous. Without accusing him of
entering into a conspiracy, he evaluated the circumstances concerning
this elopement, and weighed the risks of the outcome.

First, DerBonne was a good French soldier and officer and if he were to
get married this would bring about family ties on the frontier, which
would keep him in the Natchitoches district (quite often when a
soldier’s enlistment expired he left the Natchitoches area for greener
pastures). DerBonne would settle land nearby so that his wife to be
would be near her own people. Eventually when his enlistment expired,
the French would have an experienced officer in this area without having
to pay for his services. DerBonne was also a trader, and his supplies
were furnished by the store at the Natchitoches post and St. Denis
received a commission on all merchandise sold at the post as well as on
all trade merchandise sent back to New Orleans. This marriage between
DerBonne and the daughter of a high ranking official at Los Adais would
naturally bring on better trade relations, even if it was to be effected
in a slightly underhand way.

Secondly, St. Denis understood the love of a Spanish parent wishing to
see his offspring happily married. He probably thought of his own
marriage to Manuella and how her family risked all their worldly
possessions and position of office to protect his marriage into the Don
Diego Ramone family. The Spanish, to be sure, had their faults, but also
they must be commended for their forgiving and understanding nature when
the welfare of their families was concerned. In this respect Jose
Gonzalez, the Lieutenant Governor of Los Adais, would be no exception.
He knew that this man would have to do a great deal of letter writing
and pretending but in the end would be a forgiving father-in-law. St.
Denis, after weighing the risks, secretly consented to lend his support
to this marriage. Even if the risks had been greater St. Denis would
have given his consent because his whole life, if one studies it
carefully, was full of risks and intrigue. One more incident would have
made no difference to him. The fact is that he probably enjoyed the
entire situation, for this affair would bring a new topic of interest
and conversation to the dull life of the frontier.

The whole procedure of the successful elopement suggests the cool,
calculating mind of one such as St. Denis possessed, not the flustrated
mind of a young lover.

Let us examine the water-route that these two elopers traveled: The
Arroyo Adais, a small stream of water that ran near the Presidio De Los
Adais and then into the Bayou Mayoux. This bayou ran into La Petite
Rigolet (Little River, as it is known today) in turn ran into Bayou
Pierre, which drained into Red River (just above Grande Ecore) flowed
past the French fort at Natchitoches. The distance traveled would be
about twenty-four miles.

Governor Gonzalez’s letter states that DerBonne and two Frenchmen ran
off with his daughter. These two Frenchmen would have to be hand-picked
men capable of carrying out an assignment without a flaw. Men who could
stand the rigors of twenty-four miles of continuous paddling, part of
the time being in the black of the night, men who could be trusted to
keep their mouths shut, and above all men who were not afraid of danger
for which there would be no profit to them and certain imprisonment if
they were caught. Evidently the post at Natchitoches had two such men.
However, their names are not mentioned. So by process of elimination of
the known inhabitants of Natchitoches at this time let’s see if we can
determine who these two men were. But first, one most important point
that should be brought out, because as they were to travel by water
there could be no risk of a drowning, especially of the girl—if this
were to happen war would certainly follow. The inhabitants of
Natchitoches in 1736 were: St. Denis, Commandante, his wife, Manuella
and his children; Pierre Largen, trader, married to an Ais Indian
maiden; Lt. Basset next in command; Lobotiniere, trader and farmer,
married; Duterpints, soldier and baker for the post; Jean Lagross,
trader and merchant, settled across the river from Campti; Dr. Payne
(Pain), Doctor and Notary, married; Jean Baptista Deherbonne (BerBonne,
Derbon, Derbonne); Lt. Gautren, married; Lafreniere, soldier; Joseph La
Duc, soldier; Prudhomme, planter and trader, married; Sieur Barme, store
keeper, married; Jacques De La Chase, government storekeeper, married;
P. Duplessis, Notary, married; Father Pierre Vietry, Jesuit Priest;
Sieur Bacque, farmer, married; Pierre Mercer, farmer; Andre Berrange,
farmer; Antoine Germaine, soldier; Juan Biseros, merchant, married;
Antonio Charbonnet, merchant; Gilbert Maxent, merchant; Pierre Gaignie,
trader, married; Nicholas Tibaud, trader; Paul Muller, soldier; the two
Barberousses, hunters contracted to supply meat for the Post;
LaRenaudiere, a miller; Rambin, a tailor, married; the Dupress brothers,
hunters and trappers; DeLame, storekeeper and trader; Jean Layssard and
Nicholas Layssard, brothers, soldiers and traders; Lantallic, farmer and
trader; Sieur Badin, farmer, trader and storekeeper; Francois Lemoine,
soldier in love with Victoria Emanuella Garcia; Sieur Jambare, doctor.

According to a 1735 census there were only 32 people at Natchitoches,
however, this must have meant the personnel of the Post St. Jean
Baptist. It will be noticed that there were many traders listed,
undoubtedly many of these were also soldiers, but not listed as
soldiers, because a soldier’s pay was so small, and that they were paid
only once a year, if at all. Many of them drew from the Army Post
Exchange and sold this merchandise either to the Indians or the
Spaniards, who seemed to have many gold coins, but there the army post
had nothing to sell them. The reason being that Los Adais was too remote
from its base of supplies.

Of all the names listed, the two most likely to have assisted DerBonne
would have been Francois Lemoine and Jean Lagrosse. I give these
reasons—Francois Lemoine was young, strong and ablebodied or he would
not have been a soldier. He was in love with a Spaniard, Victoria
Emanuello Garcia. Therefore, if someone was willing to break the barrier
between the two nations he might profit by assisting and observing the
outcome. Jean Lagross, Indian trader had married a Caddo maiden of the
Ais tribe. By so doing he was recognized as a member and friend of the
Caddo federation of which the Adais Indians at Los Adais was also a
tribe of this federation. This being the case the Adais would not take
part in a search for a member of their own nation if their assistance
was requested by the Governor of the Spanish Fort. Lagross had been with
St. Denis during his stay in Mexico, he had a good knowledge of the
Spaniard’s abilities, and too, Lagross had many friends among the
Spanish. Being a trader he had traveled this water route many times. His
skilled hands would surely be the ones to steer the pirogue safely back
to Natchitoches.

The good friends, St. Denis and Manuella, would have met the boat when
it arrived at Natchitoches. Manuella would not have missed this wedding
for anything. After all Victoria was of her own people and who in
Natchitoches could best represent her.

Now for the part of Gonzalez’s letter stating that a priest could not
marry a couple without the proper notices of the betrothal being read on
three consecutive Sundays. This is true in most cases, but, there is an
old saying that the French always had a way for everything, and so in
this case they had a way which was recognized by the Church. Due to the
shortage of priests in Louisiana there was a ceremony of marriage called
“jumping the broom” and in the eyes of witnesses this was considered a
just and true marriage. The couple vowed that the wedding would be
solemnized as soon as a priest was available (Quite often in recent
years this procedure was looked upon as a joke but in the year 1735 in
Louisiana it was no joking matter). Here, too, a time element was
necessary. Possibly somewhere en-route to Natchitoches this party pulled
the boat onto the bank long enough to make a broom of switch cane and
the two witnesses, Lagrosse and Lemoine, watched as DerBonne and
Victoria jumped the broom. This was necessary. You will note that the
wedding took place after mid-night or right at mid-night, the beginning
of another day. When the couple told Father Vietry that they had jumped
the broom yesterday they did not lie, they had witnesses to prove it.
Father Pierre Vietry had no choice but to marry them.

Just so you do not get the wrong impression of Jose Gonzalez you should
know that in his letter he states that Padre Vallejo was going to
Natchitoches the next day and that Victoria would return with him to
receive blessings of her family. Later maps of Natchitoches show that
DerBonne owned more land than St. Denis, the Commandante of the
Natchitoches Post. Gonzalez could have refused Victoria her dowry
because she eloped. Either she got the dowry or DerBonne was an
excellent trader. With twenty eight known competitors in the same
profession, I believe he got the dowry, and Papa Gonzalez saved face and
his position by the elopement happening as it did. And, too, I believe
Jose could have written that letter before the elopement and put down
the facts just as they occurred.

In July of the same year Francois Lemoine married Victoria Manuella
Garcia. And so ... the Arroyo Honda barrier came down.

                   INCIDENTS OF THE YEARS, 1735-1742

In 1735 Justine de Louche was the first to settle in the area of
Cloutierville, Louisiana.

In 1736 Manuel Flores and Carlos Bustimento demanded the same privileges
allowed Sanchez, that the Spanish Governor of Los Adais give them title
to their land. This was granted and soon to follow were grants to
Solice, Toro, Rodriguez, Martinez and Garcia. These family men soon
became independent and also became traders among the Indians.

In this same year Benites Franquis de Lugo replaced Sandoval as Governor
of Los Adais. An old enemy of Sandoval, he placed him under arrest and
stripped the ex-governor of his wealth and rank. He was charged with
deserting the post at Los Adais and going to live at San Antonio de
Bexar, thereby neglecting the duties of his office; and for recognizing
the Arroyo Hondo boundary instead of the west bank of the Red River,
thus allowing the French to build a new fort on that side of the Red

The friends of Sandoval appealed to the Viceroy to send witnesses to Los
Adais to investigate the charges of Governor Lugo.

In 1737 Fernandez de Jauregui y Urritgua, who was at that time Governor
of Nueva Leon, a region which adjoined the Coahuila and Tejas country,
came to Los Adais as a _visatador_ (witness). He questioned the
population, visited the post at Natchitoches and made inquiries there.
Lieutenant Gonzalez explained the conditions of the presidio, the
shortage of manpower and food and how nearly all the necessities
necessary to sustain life had to be obtained from the French.

Urritgua left Prudincio de Orbito as temporary governor, arrested Lugo,
sent a message back to the Viceroy clearing Sandavol of all charges and
requesting that the prisoner be restored to his position. In the same
year San Antonious Bazaterra was sent as Governor of Los Adais and all
of the Texas Region. Bazaterra was a merchant from Saltillo in Mexico,
and he used his new position to transport his personal merchandise to
the Adais frontier. He demanded that the Spanish cease trading with the

In April, 1738, he detained and arrested Jean Lagross, a French trader
en-route to the Upper Caddos on the big bend of the Red River. According
to the Arroyo Hondo agreement between Sandavol and St. Denis, the French
traders were to be allowed to pass through the Spanish held Adais land
during the wet season. Jean Lagross had a passport to that effect, but
Bazaterra refused to recognize the passport and had Lagross’ merchandise
burned in front of witnesses.

Word of his action soon reached St. Denis and messages were sent to Los
Adais, to San Antonio and to Mexico City, by means of Indian carriers.
Bazaterra was accused of trouble making and charged with making advances
toward Lagross’ wife, who, although an Indian, had been legally wed to
Lagross at La Mission Senora de Guadelupe at Nacogdoches. Therefore she
was a French woman and had been recognized as such by the French at
Natchitoches and by the Spanish at Los Adais since her wedding. St.
Denis also reminded the Spanish officials that due to the fact that
Lagross had taken an Ais maiden for his wife, in the eyes of the Caddo
Federation of Indians, Lagross was a Caddo according to the Indian’s
viewpoint, therefore, this injustice could lead to serious trouble if
the Frenchman were not compensated for his loss. Much to the
disappointment of Bazaterra, he was ordered to pay Lagross for his
merchandise out of his own pocket. “Such”, remarked St. Denis, “is the
power of the pen”.

Bazaterra, however, in spite of his difficulties, piled up the
equivalent of forty thousand dollars during his nearly four-year tenure
as Governor on the Adais frontier. It must be said on his behalf that he
was an excellent tradesman. St. Denis admitted that he was glad to see
him leave.

In 1741 Thomas Phillip Winthuisin replaced Bazaterra as Governor of Los
Adais. The new governor was a civilian and lacking in the knowledge of
the military. This in itself presented a dangerous situation on the
Adais frontier. The inhabitants requested that a man of the military be
sent to Los Adais.

And in 1742 the talk of the year was how two ex-French soldiers,
Lavespere and Brossilier, maintained _travasser_ (a kind of flat boat)
service from New Orleans to Natchitoches, bringing additional medical
supplies to Dr. Bonnafons. These two men had rigged their boat with
pulleys which enabled them to pull the boat through the shallow places
in the river at low-water stage.

                            THE THREE CABINS

Jose Guiterez, a _mestizo_ (a person of mixed Indian and Spanish blood)
was returning from Natchitoches after having visited the store of Dr.
Bonnafons. As he descended the trail down the side of Grand Montania he
allowed his horse to pick its way. At the foot of this high hill a small
creek flowed called the Arroyo Hondo and at the bank of the small creek
he must rest his animal for a while before continuing on to his home
near the Presidio de Los Adais. The spring of the year 1742 had been a
very trying and wet year, the Arroyo Hondo would be wider now because of
so much rainfall. He always felt good when he reached this small
rivulet, considered the half-way distance from Los Adais to
Natchitoches, for in his mind he felt he was more than half-way home.

As Guiterez rested he thought of his horse, a beautiful stallion. He
often wondered if the Indian who had traded the mare, which was with
foal at the time and later delivered this colt, envied him now because
of the trade. Certainly many of the French officers at Natchitoches and
Los Adais had tried to buy the animal, but Jose would always refuse to
consider even talking of a trade or sale. Not only because he was such a
fine animal, he loved the horse, _El Trumpitero_, named so because of
the shrill whinnies the horse voiced when a female of his species was in
his vicinity. And Jose had reaped generous profits in stud fees. The
horse had made quite a name for himself and for his owner, Jose

The year before the young Spaniard had been sent to the Presidio de San
Antonio de Bexar to deliver a message from the Governor, Winthusin, to
the alvarez of San Antonio de Bexar asking his opinion about paying the
French trader, Jean Lagross, for goods that had been confiscated by the
former Governor of Los Adais, Bazaterra, after he had granted a passport
to the Frenchman to travel through the Spanish territory when going to
trade with the Caddos on upper Red River.

The alvarez at San Antonio de Bexar did not see the situation as clearly
as did the Governor of Los Adais and was inclined to advise against
paying Lagross. He first asked Guiterez’s opinion concerning the
contents of the message because he was the only one present who would
know some of the events that led to the new Governor of Los Adais’
request. Guiterez explained to the alvarez that this particular
situation was important because the French trader had married an Ais
Indian maiden, therefore, in the eyes of all of the Caddo tribes he was
considered a Caddo and the whole Caddo Federacy might take offense if
the goods were not paid for; that on the Adais frontier it was necessary
to maintain friendly relations with the French in order to purchase
much-needed food supplies for the Spanish troops at el Presidio de Los
Adais. Jean Lagross was one of the Frenchmen with the Ramone Domingo
expedition that established the Spanish missions as far as the
Nacogdoches Indians, and from that year, 1716, he had traded among the
Indians of this frontier. For the last twenty-five years he had been
known favorably in all this country.

“This is no ordinary French trader but one who is loved by the Spanish,
French and the Indians, it is best to pay him for his merchandise.”

El Trumpitero had carried his master to San Antonio de Bexar and back to
Los Adais in less than three weeks, a distance of over a thousand miles.
Another time the horse went to Natchitoches and back to Los Adais for
medicine for a sick soldier, over thirty miles, in five hours. Because
of his horse Guiterez had become the official messenger of Los Adais,
which had by now realized the importance of his horse. The children at
Los Adais greeted the horse and waved at him as if the animal was a
human being. Jose and his horse were such a common sight at Natchitoches
even inside the post.

On each occasion when he arrived at Natchitoches he always felt obliged
to go by the house of St. Denis, whose wife was Spanish, and tell her of
the news at Los Adais. He was likewise welcomed at the house of Jean
Baptist DerBonne who had wed Victoria Gonzalez, the daughter of a past
governor of Los Adais. Another hospitable friend, Francois Lemoine, was
a cousin of Louis Juchereau de St. Denis of the Lemoyne family as were
Iberville and Bienville. This young French soldier had married Victoria
Emmanuella Garcia, the daughter of a Spanish sergeant of the Presidio at
Los Adais. Thus Jose Guiterez was most welcome at these three homes of
Frenchmen in Natchitoches. Aside from bringing news to these three
Spanish ladies, they in turn found out through Guiterez what the needs
of the women of Los Adais were and then purchased these necessities for
them from the stores at Natchitoches because trade between the two posts
was forbidden. As a result the Spanish women at Los Adais did their
trading through the Spanish women at Natchitoches, which custom
continued even when trade between the two posts was not forbidden.

As Jose sat on the bank of the Arroyo Hondo admiring his horse, he
leaned against the trunk of a tall, slender tree and began to think
about his future. For a long time he had felt that there was something
lacking in his life but he had not been able to put his finger on the
cause of his unrest. He questioned himself about his status in life,
concerning his accomplishments and his ability to support himself and
his parents, and came to the conclusion he needed a wife and property of
his own—either a farm or a business of some kind. He knew that his
parents did not need support from him and that his older brothers
actually operated the small rancho and farm—they were all married and
therefore would continue to remain on the family estate. According to
the custom of the times, the oldest brother would inherit the estate,
that is the profits from the operation of it. He, Jose Guiterez, decided
he would strike out for himself, perhaps engaging in some kind of
business for he did not like rancho or farm work. Being a soldier had
too many disadvantages. True, in the end after an enlistment period, a
soldier was given a certain amount of land, farm animals and equipment.
He could get them from his own family if he needed them. Being a settler
on a frontier was just as important as being a soldier, each in his own
way was serving the purpose of making the frontier secure.

There was a chatter of birds in the tree tops just above his head which
broke his train of thought and brought him back to reality. As he looked
upward Jose marvelled at the size and the straightness of the trees from
which the chatter of the birds had come. Then he noticed how nearly all
the trees were of uniform size, straight, and all nearly sixty feet
high. Here was definitely cabin material and even in this small grove
there were enough such trees to make several cabins. Odd, he thought, he
had passed this place many times and did not notice the surroundings as
he did this day. As his thoughts raced ahead he remembered that he had
stopped to rest, almost always everyone else who passed this way also
stopped. Here would be the place to establish some sort of tavern, wine
shop or eating place. Why, he wondered, had not someone thought of this
before, to erect such a place here on the Arroyo Hondo where people must
pass and where they always stop to rest a while. Jose reasoned that the
wine shop, tavern and inn, must be available for the French, Spanish and
Indian trade, and regardless of what would be traded to him, whether
furs or trade goods, sooner or later he could turn them into gold and
silver. Now, for obtaining the land. The east side of the Arroyo Hondo,
where he intended to establish this new business, belonged to the
French. According to an agreement between St. Denis and Governor Almazon
in 1724, the dividing line between the French and Spanish would be the
Arroyo Hondo instead of the west bank of the Red River as previously
claimed by the Spanish. To acquire this deed would require some tact.
First, he would get the land and then a wife who could be able to help
him operate his business. Which nationality owned this land on the east
bank of the Arroyo Hondo made no difference. Jose decided that he would
get a grant-title from both representatives of their respective
governments. It would be interesting to see if he, a Spaniard, might
obtain a land grant from the French, too, and if this could be done, it
would be quite a feather in his hat, making him more popular among his
Spanish friends.

The grove of trees and the slight rise of the earth there formed a sort
of flat shelf. The land was about ninety _toises_ (540 feet) square and
extended from the Arroyo Hondo to the base of Grand Montania, and the
trail leading up the face of Grand Montania divided the land. This was a
good feature and he would ask for all land on each side of the trail so
that no one else could come in and establish another business near this
resting place and be his competitor.

Guiterez was excited. Even he, with no experience in the operation of
such a tavern, could see the immediate success of it.

El Trumpitero with a loud whinney announced the presence of other horses
in the vicinity, and, as Jose looked across the Arroyo Hondo, he could
see a small pack train composed of eight horses and three riders. As the
train neared and the animals began to ford the stream he recognized the
party of Jean Lagross with his Ais squaw wife, Isobel, and their
daughter, Francine Manuella, named “Manuella” to honor Madam St. Denis,
who was her godmother.

Because of so much rainfall the water of the stream was swift and deep,
and Jose rode El Trumpitero out to the ford to offer assistance to the
party if needed.

One thing that both the French and Spanish had learned from the Indians
was the maintenance of markers on fordable streams such as the Arroyo
Hondo. Slender, cypress poles were placed in a line and at intervals
across the stream, each pole was painted in rings of green, yellow and
red; the red being at the top of the pole. By looking at the poles and
their markings the depth of the water could be ascertained. The markers
were on each side of the crossing marking the now submerged trail. This
ford crossing of the Arroyo Hondo was only about sixty feet from bank to
bank, but on occasion it could be very dangerous if one were not careful
and allowed the current to get the upper hand. The water at this time
had risen past the red markings on the poles, denoting the stream to be
nearly six feet deep and warning that fording it would be dangerous.
Jose had noticed the markings and this was the reason that he rode his
horse part way out into the water.

Jose shouted across to Lagross to have the women mount the largest
horses, and in the meantime he cast his long rawhide rope to Lagross.
The rope was put around the lead-horse’s neck and other rawhide ropes
were placed around the other horses’ necks and attached to the packs. In
this manner the single file of horses and their burdens crossed the
Arroyo Hondo without mishap.

As is common in the Los Adais-Natchitoches area in the month of March,
rains can come suddenly and frequently and this day was no exception.
While the party was crossing the stream, a cold, peppering shower began
which turned into a steady downpour. Immediately the two women began
unpacking one of the horses. This pack contained several hides sewn
together, the four corners were attached to four nearby grouped trees, a
long pole was quickly cut and placed beneath this square of hides and a
shelter was completed, the pole raising the center of the square about
the four corners and causing the rain to run down the sides.

Meanwhile, Lagross and Jose had gathered firewood, being careful to
split the branches to expose the dry inside halves of the wood. Soon a
warm, drying fire was going. Jose whistled and El Trumpitero came to the
shelter and Jose removed from the saddle bag two bottles of wine, some
cheese and a loaf of brown, hard bread.

Guiterez spoke as he passed one bottle of the wine to the two women,
“For you Senora and Senorita, one bottle of the priests’ wine, which is
the reason I am here. I had gone to the Post Jean Baptiste des
Natchitoches to get wine for the priests, Father Certa and Father
Balligo. The bread from the good miller, Sieur Le Renaudiere, baked by
Jacques Turpeaux, was sold to me by the good Doctor Bonnafons at Sieur
Barme’s Store; I bought the cheese, which was brought to Nachitoches by
Joseph Lattier, from the two Barberousses who have a trading post among
the Yatasse Indians at El Campti. It is wonderful the Lord has granted
man the power to prepare food in such a way that it is preserved for
future consumption, here we sit on the Arroyo Hondo and enjoy a meal
just as if we were sitting in our own homes.”

While they were eating Guiterez had become conscious of the beauty of
Francine Manuella. She seemed to have inherited all the beauty of both
the Indian and French races. Here thought Jose is the woman for me, this
one I intend to make my wife. Jose thought of the dowry and wondered if
Lagross had provided such for his daughter. He knew this young maiden
would be the ideal helpmate in his future business because she could
speak French, Spanish and the Caddo languages.

Jose decided that he would make his intentions known to Lagross. Both
the Lagross and Guiterez families had known each other for many years,
and he felt that there was at least a bond of more than business, so he
decided to ask Lagross’ assistance in obtaining this land east of the
Arroyo Hondo. He began explaining his idea to the French trader about
building a kind of trading post, and eating place which would have
accommodations to sleep weary travelers. Lagross liked the young
Spaniard’s idea and told him so, but, said Lagross, “one would need a
wife to make such a venture complete.” At this Jose made his intentions
toward the trader’s daughter clear by stating that he wished perhaps
that he might have permission to pay court to his daughter. Lagross did
not seem surprised of Guiterez’ intentions, as many had asked for his
daughter. “My daughter,” said Lagross, “has had many suitors, some
offered marriage and some only a proposition. You understand how some of
the French and Spanish regard a half breed woman, however, those who
offered a proposition now wear the mark of the short leather whip she
always carries. As for my permission to pay court to my daughter, that
is entirely up to her, she is certainly old enough to be married,
according to other young women her age in this area. Many fathers of
young girls are now pampering a grandchild. Francine is a very
head-strong woman and it will take an unusual man to win her hand.”

Meanwhile Francine, listening to this conversation, was amused, and
first inclined to be angry, but then she thought, Jose offered marriage,
not just a proposition as many had done. Guiterez cut quite a figure,
either astride El Trumpitero or afoot, so this man might be just the one
for her, but she wondered if his talk about the Three Cabins was not
just so much talk.

“Jose Guiterez”, said Francine, “Jose Guiterez, a _mestizo_, a half
breed, wishes the hand of Francine Manuella Lagross, who is also a half
breed; Guiterez who talks big and has nothing to offer a wife but an
assumption of what he intends to do; my father who sits there agreeing
with him while he drinks the Priests’ wine and talks about me as though
I were some sort of trade-goods; my mother sits there nodding her head
in agreement, as if she would be glad to get rid of me; all of you
talking as if I would have nothing to do with the situation. Do you
think, Jose, that you can offer my father and mother wine, bread and
cheese, that would be sufficient to win me as a wife? I notice that El
Trumpitero does not have a whip mark on his hide, that the bit in his
mouth is not the cruel Spanish bit used by the dragoons; you do not have
the sharp Spanish spurs on your boots, do you think you can bend me to
your will as you have El Trumpitero?” “Ha,” she laughed, “that would be
something to see. Now, mestizo, I have a proposition. The moon will be
full tonight. If on the third full moon from this one, there are three
cabins here on the Arroyo Hondo, then I will be your wife. If not I will
have El Trumpitero, the horse I will ride when I leave here, you can use
mine. You see, I know you have no money, no land to sell and no possible
way to stock such a building with trade-goods and in the meantime you
will not have El Trumpitero which is the only thing of value you do
have; now Senor Jose Guiterez what do you say to that?”

“Well,” said Guiterez, “for so small a woman you certainly have a large
mouth, but first I must do this.” He quickly grabbed Francine and put
her across his knee as one would do a spoiled child and spanked her
soundly. “First,” he said, “for talking so to her parents and second,
that she should show more respect to the man she is going to marry;
third, he was holding her to her proposition; fourth, that if, when she
was released, she struck him with her whip, he would use the whip on her
so thoroughly that she would not be able to sit down for the three moons
which she had previously mentioned.” Lagross roared with laughter as his
squaw whispered to him that Francine had finally met her match.

The rain had ceased and the group headed for Natchitoches, Francine
astride El Trumpitero and Guiterez astride the horse of Francine. Not
much was said until the train had reached the top of the steep hill
called Grand Montania. Jose remarked that the horse of Francine had
probably had the same temperament as her owner and she undoubtedly bit
and kicked. Francine, not without a retort, stated that M. St. Denis
could not grant land to a Spaniard, he would be a fool if he did, El
Trumpitero was as good as hers right now. Guiterez said he had one thing
that Francine had overlooked when she stated her proposition and that
she was as good as married to him right now. So the two passed the time
on the way to Natchitoches arguing with each other.

At Natchitoches Guiterez went to Sieur Barme’s Store and obtained more
wine for the priests at Los Adais. He then went to see St. Denis and
told him of the occurrences of the day, and his intentions. St. Denis
said, “I have no authority to do this other than to a Frenchman.” “Now,”
said Madame St. Denis, who had evidently been eavesdropping on the
conversation, “since when has M. De St. Denis ever questioned the word
‘authority’, especially in such a matter advantageous to the French as
well as the Spanish, not to mention the extra profits in commissions to
be received from trade goods sold Guiterez at this prospective trading
post.” “Madame,” said St. Denis, “you underestimate me. I merely stated
that I did not have the authority, I did not say that I would see that
Guiterez did not get the land. Now go quickly and send someone to fetch
Sieur Barme.” When Sieur Barme arrived St. Denis explained all to him.
“Now”, said St. Denis to Barme, “I will sell to you 10 arpents of land
at the base of Grand Montania this side of the Arroyo Hondo for ten
percent of the first year’s profits of the first year that this new
trading post is in operation. I will sell this land to you in the name
of the King of France, what you do with this land is your business. Now,
Senor Guiterez wishes to buy some land, on this land he intends to build
a trading post called The Three Cabins. If you wish to sell this land to
Senor Guiterez for ten percent of the profits of his first year’s
business, you would be in accord with the law to do so. As far as
merchandise for this said trading post I am sure your store could supply
the necessary merchandise. As for payment, I am sure Senor Guiterez can
be trusted, and as for security there would be the dowry given by Jean
Lagross. If you are in agreement I will send for the Notary and draw up
the papers. In the meantime you can issue a bill of sale to Senor
Guiterez for the land.” Addressing Guiterez, “Senor, you now own 10
arpents of land, but building the three cabins in the allotted time will
take some doing. In the meantime you have many friends here at
Natchitoches and I will see that they know about your problem.”

Back at Los Adais Guiterez obtained an interview with the Governor,
Winthuisin, to ask for permission to establish the Three Cabins on the
French side of the Arroyo Hondo. The Governor at Los Adais agreed to
Guiterez’ request. Almazon had settled the question that the Arroyo
Hondo was the boundary between the territories of France and Spain, and
any Governor could give away land which did not belong to his country.
Guiterez now had the sanction of both the French and the Spanish. When
he explained all the details to his family and his many Spanish friends,
all turned to with willing hands and the wilderness of the Arroyo Hondo
rang with the echoes of many axes. Indians and Frenchmen from
Natchitoches brought food and extra assistance. In less than the first
moon two of the cabins were completed. Guiterez had Father Certa at Los
Adais begin reading the banns for matrimony, and on the fourth Sunday
Francine came down the steep trail of Grand Montania and looked at The
Three Cabins finished and stocked with trade goods.

As the two left The Three Cabins to go to Los Adais to be wed, Guiterez
said to Francine, “Remember when you are estimating my values, I told
you I had one thing that you had forgotten to name, that one thing was
friends.” “So you have”, said Francine, “but did you not wonder where so
much food came from to feed those who were building the three cabins, I
am not without friends”, and she smiled, “so, my high and mighty
Guiterez, I think we are going to make a good match. Many of our friends
think so too. Doesn’t the female bird always help her mate build the
nest? Look behind you at all those people coming to our wedding, they
are your friends as well as mine”. Guiterez gazed at Francine admiringly
and said, “there is a blessing in rain in more ways than one.”

                            AFTER ST. DENIS

In 1743 Justo Bonev y Morales was sent to replace Winthuisin as
Governor. Morales, a Knight of the Order of Santiago, was a man
befitting the ideals of St. Denis, who was now a Knight of the Order of
St. Louis. These two visited often, two knights on a tiny western
frontier. By now the French and Spanish had intermarried frequently so
that the Arroyo Hondo barrier stood in name only.

On June 11, 1744, St. Denis died. Morales came to offer his condolences
as did many from Los Adais. Indians and slaves alike bowed their heads
to the memory of this man.

Governor Morales, in keeping with the false cold front of diplomacy,
wrote his superiors, “St. Denis is dead, thank God, now we can breathe

Captain Caesar de Blanc, a son-in-law of St. Denis, was appointed Post
Commandante at Natchitoches and in the same year, 1744, Governor Morales
was replaced by Francois Garcia Larios. These two men had no outstanding
quarrels, for during these four years both the French and the Spanish
prospered, crops were favorable and the trail from Los Adais was
traveled daily by each of the nationalities. The Natchitoches area was
prosperous and shipped to New Orleans, tobacco, cattle, horses and other
farm products. Even those farmers at Los Adais were selling to the New
Orleans market. Young Gil Y. Barbo was importing wild cattle and horses,
obtained from the plains of Texas, driven over El Camino Real to the
Adais-Natchitoches frontier, and on to New Orleans.

There was a working agreement between Juan de Mora and Lt. Derbonne, now
retired from the French army and a civilian, farmer, trader and exporter
of note in the Natchitoches post area.

In 1748 Pedro del Barrios Jacinto y Esprilla, an Alcolade of the Santo
Hernando of all New Spain, was appointed the new Governor of Los Adais.
The humdrum life of the frontier was too much for the new Governor so he
gave up his position to Jacinto de Barrios y Gauregui in 1750. Barrios
remained as governor until 1759, having had the fortitude to be Governor
of Los Adais for a longer span of time than any of his predecessors. By
now third generation Spaniards were being born on the Texas frontier
from San Antonio De Bexar to Los Adais. These people were experiencing a
new freedom not felt anywhere else in New Spain. They now regarded this
land of Texas as their own. The seat of government was too far away to
exercise a cloistered, ruling hand over them.

In 1759 Angle de Martos y Navarette replaced Jacinto Barrios as Governor
of Los Adais. Navarette was a merchant and began to liven the frontier.
Up to this time the French were supplying the area with all needed
material, but when the new Governor came, fine Spanish lace, woolens and
linen, finer than any which had previously been offered for sale on the
frontier, and nails, which had always been scarce on the frontier,
became plentiful.

In 1762 Louis XV gave Louisiana to his cousin Charles III of Spain.

In 1762 Caesar De Blanc was replaced at Natchitoches by Adrian Francois
Le Doux as Post Commandante. He was in turn replaced by Angelus La
Perrier in 1764. Perrier was the Commandante who received the first
Catholic nuns to arrive in Natchitoches; thus 1765 marked the date of
the beginning of formal scholastic training in the area.

Through his merchandising endeavors on this French-Spanish frontier
Navarette had amassed for himself an estimated eighty thousand dollar
fortune. In 1767 Don Hugo O’Connor was appointed Governor of the Adais
and Texas country, and in November of that year, on the seventh day,
Commandante La Perrier had the sad responsibility of turning over the
Natchitoches Post to Don Antonio Ulloa representing the Spanish
Government. In this same year O’Connor received a visitor, Padre Jose de
Solice, who kept a diary of his visitation which was translated by
Reverend Peter T. Forristal and was published as one of the preliminary
studies of the Texas-Coahuila Historical Society.

Father Solice records the work of the priests of the Mission de Los
Adais. There were 256 baptisms, 64 marriages and 116 burials. At the
Natchitoches Post he found records of 20 baptisms, 13 marriages and 15
burials. (Natchitoches was quite often without the services of a priest
and the padres of Los Adais supplied their spiritual needs).

Also, in 1767 Athanase De Mezieres, a Frenchman, was appointed
Commandante of Post St. Jean Baptiste Des Natchitoches.

In 1770 Baron de Ripperda was appointed Governor of Los Adais and it
befell his duty to see to the evacuation of Presidio Senors del Pilar de
Los Adais. The Spanish authorities decided that now that the Louisiana
Territory was entirely under Spanish jurisdiction, this presidio was no
longer necessary.[9]

Ripperda issued orders that all settlers and army personnel were to be
ready in three days to leave the area. Many of the farmers fled to the
Natchitoches area with their families and worldly goods.

With Natchitoches now the seat of Government of the Texas area westward
to San Antonio, El Camino Real was lengthened at least fifteen miles in
extent from Natchitoches to Mexico City. De Mezieres had under his
jurisdiction an area extending from Post Du Rapides (Alexandria) to the
Ataquapois in Oklahoma southward to San Antonio.

The inhabitants of Los Adais and those residing around the missions in
the Nacogdoches area were rebellious and Baron Ripperda extended his
ultimatum to five days.

Antonio Gil y Barbo and Gil Flores became the heroes of the evacuation
of Los Adais, some five hundred men, women and children moved to the
vicinity of San Antonio. The former inhabitants of El Camino Real were
not happy. They longed for the fertile soil and forests which abounded
in wild game of the East Texas and West Louisiana area. Flores and y
Barbo were sent with a petition to the Viceroy of Mexico. The two
returned with the news that the people would be allowed to settle in a
new area. They moved to a settlement on the Trinity River at Robbins
Crossing, the present day location in Madison County, Texas.

Floods and the danger of hostile Indians soon forced the settlers to
seek a new environment. They moved eastward to Nacogdoches under the
leadership of y Barbo. There in 1779 was established the Town of

Y Barbo and a party of followers went back to Los Adais and dug up four
of the six cannon buried there just prior to the evacuation of the area.
They returned to Nacogdoches and re-established La Presidio de Neustra
Senora de Los Delores de Nacogdoches and in the same year Antonio Gil y
Barbo was appointed Commandante of the Presidio.

At Natchitoches in 1773 Commandante De Mezieres kept contact with all of
this vast area by assigning traders to establish trading posts among the
different Indian tribes and suppliers were assigned to each trader:

  Pierre Bison was sent to the Calcasieu Indians, the supplier was Reme
  Louis Pablo Villeneuve De Blanc to Caddoquopois, Bisadorewas to supply
  Jose Antonio Bonetis was sent to Atachapois, this man was an
          independent trader;
  Pierre Blot was sent to the Nacogdoches Indians and Joseph Blancpain
          was to supply him;
  Caesar Barme was sent to the Yatasses near Campti, Louisiana;

Nicholas Chef was an independent trader to the Tokawanes; these were in
an area fifty miles northwest of the present-day city of Fort Worth,
Texas. It was one of the most remote trading posts from Natchitoches and
De Mezieres assigned a supply-patrol of the militia at the Natchitoches
Post to supply the necessary trade goods. Sergeant Joseph Trichell, who
had been assigned to the Natchitoches Post in 1749, was to command the
patrol which consisted of Corporal Nicholas Tournier and an accountant,
Nicholas Le Noir. Four musketeers, Francois Hugue, Louis Moinet,
Nicholas Pent and Andries Compiere. Domingo De Soto was to act as

This patrol was responsible for the arrest of four Englishmen who had
crossed the Mississippi River and were trading among the Tokawanes. The
four men were William Warden, John Cross, John Hamilton and Jerome

De Mezieres was vexed with Sgt. Trichell for allowing the Englishmen to
sell all of their trade goods to the Indians and threatened him with
imprisonment, but Trichell explained that the Indians would have gone on
the war path if they had not been allowed to trade for the English
merchandise. Trichell countered with the fact that all of the profits of
the English traders were now in his hands and that there was no
difference if De Mezieres had the trade-goods or the profits. De
Mezieres paid the Englishmen in French and Spanish coin equal to the
original cost of the merchandise, and this same patrol was ordered to
escort the Englishmen fifty miles east of Natchez before setting them
free. The Englishmen were charged with the Patrol’s expenses.

  Luis de Quindise was an independent Spanish trader and was sent to the
          Adais Indians.
  Pierre Dupain was sent to the Peticaddo;
  Andre D’Hutrive was sent to the Bidias on the Trinity River;
  Alexis Grappe was sent to the Ais and Guierlero Lestage was to supply

In 1770 DeMezieres following St. Denis’ method of keeping peace with the
Indians, invited the Chiefs to come and stand before him at Post Du
Natchitoches to receive presents in the name of the King of Spain. Along
El Camino Real traveled such great Chiefs as:

  Tinhioune, Chief of the Caddoquopois.
  Santo, head Chief of the Bidias and Don Melchor, otherwise called
          Gorgorritos, a sub Chief of the Bidias.
  Quirotaches, Chief of the Nacogdoches Indians.
  Christobal, Chief of the Taouaizes.
  Vigotos, head Chief of the Hasinai Federation of Indians.

Thus, by gaining the friendship and allegiance of the most important
Indian Chiefs of the territory, DeMezieres established an easy feeling
between the Indians and the Spanish Government.

As of February 16, 1776 DeMezieres sent this Census Report to Unzaga,
Governor at New Orleans:

  113 homes; 105 heads of families with 86 women; 77 youths able to bear
  arms; 106 infants; 34 unmarried women; 84 bachelors and non residents
  engaged in hunting and fishing and trade with the Indians; 2 male and
  2 female free people of color; 2 male and 1 female mulattos; 410
  Indian and negro slaves (men, women and children); 277 pieces of fire
  arms; 1258 head horses, 842 head cattle, 3000 head sheep and goats and
  783 hogs and 481 mules. There was shipped from Natchitoches: 1000 head
  horses; 100 mules; 9 quintals of indigo; 15 fenegas of indigo seed;
  30,000 packages of tobacco; 120 buffalo hides; 36,000 deer hides; 5000
  ambrias of bear oil; 5000 pounds of tallow, quantities of bacon and
  meats, both salted and dried.

                      AFTER THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE

In 1802 Louisiana was ceded back to France by Spain by the Treaty of
Ildefonso. On May 2, 1803 Livingston and Monroe signed with
Barbe-Marbois the purchase treaty which was dated back to April 30,
1803; thus Louisiana became a possession of the United States.

Spain did not approve of the sale of Louisiana and decided to reclaim
all of the land originally occupied prior to the time when Louisiana was
ceded to Spain.

There was a movement of Spanish soldiers under the command of General
Hurrera as far as Nacogdoches and from there patrols were sent across
the Sabine River.

Fort Claiborne, established in 1805 at Natchitoches by orders of General
Wilkinson, was occupied by several companies of the Second Infantry of
the United States Army under the command of Major Porter.

Dr. John Sibley had been appointed Indian Agent for this area of the
Southwestern Frontier by Governor Claiborne. Dr. Sibley had been keeping
an account of the Spanish patrol movements east of the Sabine River
through contact with the Indians of the area. On February 2, 1806, he
sent a letter to Major Moses Porter at Fort Claiborne saying that there
was a detachment of Spanish militia encamped at Juan Mora’s Lagoon, also
known as Conichi Ranch, one league east of Los Adais on Bayou Dupont.

Lt. Piatt was sent with a letter to Nacogdoches, demanding that all
Spanish patrols east of the Sabine River retire immediately to the west
bank of that stream.

Captain Edward D. Turner left for the Los Adais area with a detachment
of soldiers on February 5, 1806. The Spanish patrol was contacted and
Captain Turner delivered the ultimatum of Major Porter that it retire to
the west bank of the Sabine River.[10]

This document from the U. S. Army records shows the result of that
meeting: The beginning of the Neutral Strip.

  At the Adais
  February 6, 1806.

I, Joseph Maria Gonzalez, commandante of his most Catholic Majesty’s
troops on this side of the Rio Sabinas, hereby having agreed with
Captain Edward D. Turner, Captain in the United States Army, to return
all troops of his Catholic Majesty’s to the other side of the said Rio
Sabinas, as soon as my horses will permit it or in five days, or at the
most six, and to make my march this day and I also oblige myself to not
send any more patrols on this side of the Rio Sabinas.

                                    Signed: Ensign Joseph Maria Gonzalez
                                 Witness: John V. Duforest (Interpreter)

The above document was the result of an agreement establishing a
no-man’s land between the Arroyo Hondo and the Sabine River, which
neither the United States Government nor the Mexican Government would
use, until a final settlement could be reached between the two said
governments about a boundary. This agreement was made by two young
officers representing their respective countries, both willing to fight
for their countries, but both having the intelligence and initiative to
declare a stalemate to prevent a war.

This forty mile wide strip of land became known as the Neutral Strip,
and in it gathered the lawless of both countries. Even so, from within
this lawless area were to come men who would strike the first blow for
Texas independence.

In 1807 several slaves of Louis Derbonne and other planters owning land
adjoining the Neutral Strip, fled into the Neutral Strip and from there
they went to Nacogdoches and on to Trinidad de Salcedo on the Trinity
River, where they were given refuge by the Spanish Government.

On September 5, 1807, Don Manuel de Salcedo, Governor of Texas at
Nacogdoches, received a letter saying:

  The planters of the Natchitoches area are threatening to organize a
  force of 250 men to go after slaves known to be in the Texas area of
  Nacogdoches and at Trinidad de Salcedo unless the slaves are returned.

The letter reminded the Spanish Governor of Article XX of the treaty
between the United States and Mexico which said fugitive slaves must be
returned to their owners. The letter was signed by Judge John Carr, and
Justices Rouquier and Paillette.

The above letter and a letter from Governor Claiborne brought about the
desired results. The governor might have been influenced by the
knowledge of the Phillip Nolan filibustering expedition in 1800 which
spent itself at Waco-Texas vicinity. Nolan had for several years
traveled westward from the Alexandria, Louisiana area and established a
trail straight westward into the Texas-San Antonio area, where he was
trading for and capturing wild horses and cattle. This trail later
became known as Nolan’s Trace.

                        THE DEVIL’S PLAY GROUND

When Generals Wilkinson and Herrera agreed to the boundaries set by
their two junior officers, Turner and Gonzalez, they created a back door
to the United States of a forty-mile-wide strip which was to become one
of the most lawless places that ever existed within the confines of the
United States.

Every outlaw and murderer made this Neutral Strip his destination, The
Free State of Sabine, it was called. Neither Spain nor the United States
wished to have the responsibility or the expense of policing this outlaw
state, although the southland’s busiest road cut through the center of
it. But traffic was heavy just the same. Many found that the only safe
way to cross the strip was to travel in force, therefore, either at
Natchitoches or on the west side of Sabine River, the travelers waited
until a large enough group was gathered to guarantee safe travel.

The outlaws of the Strip dealt in horse stealing, cattle rustling,
counterfeiting, or any other form of crime that might strike their
fancy. There is no definite data or history of the goings-on inside the
area, but many men who lived in, or traveled through the district
recorded their experiences in diaries and stories or just handed down
hearsay tales of the happenings in this lawless land. There, a person’s
security was strapped at his hips or carried in his hands in the form of
pistols, long rifles or knives. Even the long, rawhide whip was
considered a deadly weapon in the hands of an expert.

Los Adais was a waystation and on the bulletin board appeared one day a
word with a new meaning, Sabina 28, the same sign appeared on the
Rendezvous Oak at Natchitoches. To the average citizen it meant nothing,
but to those in the know it meant slaves would be for sale at a point
near Pendleton at the ferry on Sabine River on the 28th of that month.

With the discovery of a new way to granulate sugar and with the
invention of the cotton gin, the land around Los Adais and Natchitoches
became highly productive when planted in sugar cane and cotton and more
slaves were needed, but the United States had forbidden their

To Jean Lafitte, the pirate, the Sabine River with the protection of the
Neutral Strip, became the back door to the United States. Slaves for
wagon loads of food were commonly exchanged, according to the statements
of a Mr. Tulley at Los Adais and Mr. Gunlineau at Natchitoches. Lafitte
needed food for his pirate operations. Up the Sabine River the boats
were pulled, poled or paddled by the slaves to be sold. From the Los
Adais and Natchitoches areas came wagon loads of food, smoked hams, kegs
of salted bacon, cornmeal, kegs of molasses, wine, corn whiskey, dried
beans, peppers, tobacco, sweet potatoes and gourds of honey, with spiced
cake sent by hopeful wives to the pirates so that their husbands might
make more profitable deals.

Back on the same wagons came the slaves, bolts of cloth, jewelry and
perfume (Lafitte’s storehouses was filled with goods from every Spanish
and British ship that he could capture). Everything was legal as far as
the bills of sale went. A certain honest merchant in New Orleans, with a
good reputation and scruples, signed blank bills of sale, to be filled
in by Tulley and Gunlineau.

This may seem rather crude to the average reader—the smuggling of slaves
and the ladies sending spiced goods to the pirates on the Sabine River.
At this very time the United States was confiscating where it could
slaves that had been smuggled in, selling them and giving the informers
half of the proceeds of the sales. Nothing was said about putting the
slaves on a boat and returning them to their homeland. (Question: Are
there very many people today who try to beat the Income Tax?) There was
some good to come out of all this. Lafitte assisted the United States in
the defense of New Orleans in the war of 1812, furnishing men,
ammunition and food. Where did he obtain the food? From the Los Adais
and Natchitoches area. Lafitte, Tulley and Gunlineau were merely
supplying the demand for a necessary merchandise and certainly the
slaves were better off because of it.

Noah Smithwick, who had visited the Strip, wrote of the murders,
robberies and numerous violations of law there. He gives us one tale
that falls in line with the demand and supply of the times. Because the
man he wrote about was still alive he calls this character, John Doe.
Doe was a counterfeiter of money, especially the Mexican silver dollar.
The people at that time had no “jingling” money for their pockets and
Doe supplied this demand, with a silver-coated copper coin. Because of a
slight flaw in the press the coins were easily identified and called
Doe’s dollars.

An Indian approached Doe one day and handed him one of the counterfeit
dollars requesting that Doe put a new skin on it. Doe obliged by giving
the Indian a new counterfeit dollar for the old one, explaining to the
Indian that dollars were like snakes, they always shed their skins.
Doe’s dollars, although not recognized outside the Strip, were regarded
as legal tender therein.

It was said that Doe’s dollars were of more handsome design than the
original Mexican Eagle Silver Dollar.

Doe, however, minted pure silver dollars of the same design. He mixed
enough of these with the bogus dollars so that on occasion when a dollar
was questioned and the dollar tested, it was found to be of pure silver.

Doe, like all counterfeiters, wished to extend his operations but he
wandered out of the Strip on the American side and was arrested.

Every old place has its ghost story and “Spanish Town” is no exception:

    [Illustration: THE NEUTRAL STRIP
    (shaded area shown)

  1. Spanish Town and Scuffelville.
  2. Half-way-house or Twenty-mile-house, near Many, La.
  3. Kisatchie Caves, near Kisatchie, Louisiana.
  xxxx. The Sabine Trail, from Montgomery to the Half-way-house near
          Many. The Planters on Red and Cane Rivers used this road when
          going to the Sabine River to trade for Slaves.

    Nolan’s Trace, cut across the southern part of the Strip from Point
    Coupee. Phillip Nolan blazed this Trail and used it to trade for
    horses in the Texas area.

    This Lawless Strip of land lasted from 1806 to 1821. It was often
    referred to as “The Free State of Sabine”.


    I show Cane River on this map. However at the time of the beginning
    of the Strip, Cane River was Red River. I show Red River as it is
    today, to show the locations of the Towns, whose People were
    involved in trade in the Neutral Strip.

    By the year 1821, the Red River had begun to change its course to
    the Rigolett de Bon Duex, which was a Bayou extending from a point
    just above Natchitoches to Colfax, La. Thus you see the actual water
    ways as they are today. (Drawn by the author)]

A young Spaniard had successfully traveled the Strip, bringing with him
wealth and many fine cloths. He settled at Spanish Town and became the
target of every single maiden there. Mariea Guiterriz, who had many
suitors, won his heart. Anyone attempting to pay court to her ran the
risk of losing his life in a duel with other jealous suitors.
Immediately after the wedding at the reception a disappointed lover
insulted the groom. Swords flashed, Mariea rushed between the duelists,
a sword stabbed her—not a serious wound all were assured but infection
set in and she grew worse. An old Indian gave some herbs to the young
Spaniard with instructions how to use them to stop the infection. “Boil
these herbs together over a small fire, the odor of the brew will change
and when the odor is this”, the Indian allowed the Spaniard to smell the
brew, “remember the odor because now will be the time to soak the
poultice with the solution”, then the Indian was gone.

The young husband followed the instructions and Mariea began to improve,
but the herbs ran out and the Indian could not be found. Mariea sickened
again. The Spaniard went to the creek banks and the marshy places
searching for the herbs, building countless tiny fires, brewing grasses
and leaves, trying to re-discover the combination of herbs that would
produce the exact odor he was seeking.

Mariea’s infection worsened and she died. The young man’s mind, not able
to grasp the reality that his love had gone, became affected. His brain
ceased to function past the last day that he had left her, assuring her
that this would be the day that he would discover the correct blend of
the herbs. From that time on, fires, tiny fires could be seen on the
creek banks in the swamps and on the hillsides—a lover, true and
devoted, still seeking the odor that would save the life of his beloved

The crazy Spaniard, they called him, and those who came in contact with
him, those who knew the details of his sad story, made the Sign of the
Cross when he passed and silently said a prayer for him.

Night and day he searched for the elusive odor, always searching. Those
of his age, grew old and died, and so did their sons and grandsons, but
the legend lived on.

Some say they can still see him in his never-ending search, smartly
dressed as he kneels by a tiny fire, others say he is old, dirty, ragged
and ugly; but all say there is no need to be alarmed because this ghost
walks with God.

If some day or night you see a tiny fire with a shadow kneeling by it,
then you, too, are walking with God, because you, too, are one possessed
of devotion and love.

                     SATAN’S AGENT—JOHN A. MURRELL

One of the many buried treasures of the Sabine strip is claimed to
belong to John A. Murrell, who possessed a brilliant mind which he used
to break all the Commandments that God gave Moses on Mount Sinai. He was
the type of man who could recite to another the entire books of the Old
and New Testaments then shoot him down in cold blood.

John A. Murrell was born about the year 1800 in Williams County,
Tennessee. His father was a Methodist Minister and his mother, a
mountain woman, who at that time operated a wayside tavern. Through the
teachings of his father he learned the Gospel and through the teachings
of his mother he learned to steal. Murrell, well equipped with the
knowledge of the good and the bad often passed as a preacher. In this
guise he made his appearance in the Neutral Strip.

About the year 1825 Murrell went about preaching the Gospel and at the
same time was organizing a band of outlaws. At Los Adais which was now
called Spanish Town, at Twenty Mile House or Midway Station near Fort
Jesup, in the hidden caves near Kisatchie, he established his
headquarters and from these places he ranged out of the Strip to preach
to the more populated communities.

Murrell could mimic the voices of many people and was an excellent
actor. In each community where he preached he adapted their tone of
voice and mannerisms. One of his favorite gospels was the one he called
“Directions”. As he addressed his audience he may have been standing in
the pulpit of a church, or atop a stump or standing in the bed of a
wagon, wherever a crowd gathered Murrell felt that he should preach to

“Directions,” he would shout, “always when one begins a journey, he has
a destination. The road to this destination is similar to the Road of
Life, often along this road one has to inquire about directions, and it
is so through the Journey of Life, one must follow directions laid down
by the Church and the Ministers, they are the sign posts that point the
way. Quite often a man while traveling this road, decides to take a
short cut, instead of following the Good Book as laid down by the
Church, these short cuts become his mis-deeds or his sins.

We shall assume that this Bible is the Book of Judgment and in it will
be the names of every living person on the face of the earth. By each
name there are two columns, one for his assets or his good deeds of life
and the other column for his mis-deeds, which we shall call his

From here on Murrell becomes the actor in what he called, The Drama at
the Gates of Heaven.

“Batiste had made the journey through life and was knocking on the Gates
of Heaven, a voice from within asks, who knocks? Batiste answers and
gives his full name. The voice is that of St. Peter who looks up
Batiste’s record of life in the Book of Judgment. Then St. Peter
explains to Batiste, we take out the pages which contain your assets and
place them on one side of the scales of justice and on the other side we
place the pages of your de-sets. If your assets out-weigh your de-sets,
then naturally you can come in, as we place your assets and de-sets upon
the scales we will review them.”

(Now Murrell becomes the comic for the benefit of his audience). “Right
here Batiste on May 25, you done de-setted enough to carry over on the
next three pages. Boy, you was really de-setting that day.

Here, we see your Pastor found you hunting on Sunday and you had a nice
bag of squirrels, the Pastor spoke to you about it and you gave the
excuse that you had your days mixed up. Again he caught you fishing on
Sunday and a nice bunch you had too, you gave the excuse that you had
your days mixed up again.

Now, if you had given the Pastor some of those squirrels or fish, then
those de-sets of that day would have turned into assets. But all along
the Road of Life you gave the excuse that you had your days mixed up.
‘Now,’ said St. Peter, as he looked at the scales, ‘because you had your
days mixed up you now have your directions mixed up. You all done come
the wrong way’, and he shut the door in Batiste’s face. Batiste begged
for another chance but this could not be, as you know you can only
travel the Road of Life once.”

Along the Neutral Strip the inhabitants catered only to hard money, that
is gold and silver coins, and Murrell asked that fees for his service be
paid in coin.

Murrell would place a set of balancing scales where everyone could see,
on one side he placed the Bible, then he said, “this Bible will
represent the Book of Judgment and I place it on this side of the
scales, it will represent your mis-deeds or de-sets. Now, we are all
going to stay here until you people give enough to tip these scales to
the asset side.” While the collections were being made, Murrell would be
expounding of the good things he intended doing with the money, he even
had a few henchmen in the audience to begin the contributions and to
urge the others to do the same.

Murrell becomes another legend of Los Adais and of his hidden treasures,
it is believed that he had many hidden treasures which he called large
banks and small banks.

No one is certain how Murrell’s death came about. Murrell’s gold and
silver, and he must have had much of it, with nearly a decade of
preaching, lying, robbing and murdering in the strip, could have been
the cause.


There were rumors in 1806 that Aaron Burr was attempting to organize the
settlers of the Neutral Strip and that an actual Free State of Sabine
was to be established, Breastworks at Sabine-Town and a Block House with
two companies of the United States militia were established near the
confluence of Bayou Negrett and the Sabine River on the El Camino Real.

The establishment of the Block House by General Wilkinson resulted in
the Spanish bolstering their strength in the western part of the Neutral
Strip by giving presents to the Indians and thereby establishing an
Indian barrier in the area.

The gifts amounted to two thousand seven hundred-nine pesos from the
Mexican Government to be given at Nacogdoches. The Indians received
muskets, lead, powder, shot, knives, razors, scissors, combs, mirrors,
glass beads, war paint, copper and iron pots, ribbons, coats, bells,
needles, belt buckles, ramrods, cotton goods and rum. The Indians asked
for tobacco which was not available, but five hundred eighty-nine pounds
of tobacco twists were smuggled from Natchitoches through the Neutral
Strip to Nacogdoches by orders of Manuel de Salcedo, the Governor.
Although trade was forbidden on El Camino Real by the Spanish from
French Louisiana there was a continuous stream of contraband goods being
smuggled into Texas. The “Contraband Trail” ran parallel to the El
Camino Real about four miles distant from the El Camino Real, but
crossing it intermittently in areas that were uninhabited.

The Americans retaliated by supplying the Takuays and the Towanoni with
articles of trade and a blacksmith shop so they could sharpen the knives
and scissors obtained as presents from the Spanish.

Outlaws left the Neutral Strip to raid isolated farms and plantations.
Slave stealing and cattle rustling were not overlooked. The citizens
complained to the United States Government.

Lieutenant Augustus McGee and Lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike were ordered to
disperse the bandits of the Neutral Strip. The orders of General Hampton
expressed a desire for cooperation from the Spanish at Nacogdoches. A
detachment under Captain Bernardino Mantero was sent from Nacogdoches to
assist Captain W. H. Overton, who was at that time the senior officer at
Fort Claiborne, issued orders for the clearance of the strip on March 5,
1812. The military only succeeded in destroying the hideouts which were
occupied by the bandits by burning everything in sight. The bandits knew
every sneak trail of the Neutral Strip and were successful in avoiding
the policing parties.

By the year 1821 the Anglo-American Civilization had crossed in
substantial numbers the Mississippi River in two main divisions,
Louisiana and Missouri.

General Edmund Pendleton Gaines considered that the most vital and
important area of the southwest was: “The Southern section of the
Western Frontier, from the mouth of the Sabine River eastward to the Red
River and thence to the Mexican boundary at a point where the western
boundary intersects the Sabine River.”

General Jackson had transferred General Gaines, at that time commanding
the Florida frontier, to the western frontier in 1817. General Gaines
was aware of the constant unrest of the so-called “neutral strip,” known
as “The Free State of Sabine” and _No Man’s Land_.

The proclamation of the Treaty of Washington in 1821 fixed the western
boundary of the United States as the Sabine River, thus the agreement
with the Mexican Republic transferred the Neutral Strip to the United

General Gaines was aware of the feeling of those settlers from the
Sabine River westward along El Camino Real to the Rio Grande near Eagle
Pass, Texas. These were Spaniards that had felt the freedom of being so
far from their government’s head in Mexico City. They, with the
Anglo-American settlers, wanted a different kind of freedom, not
allegiance to Mexico or to the United States. Thus, the Fort
Jesup-Natchitoches and El Camino Real Area on the eastern end from
Nacogdoches and San Augustine was ripe for the filibusterers.

There were many in this area, Gaines was certain, who did not recognize
the Treaty of Washington, Frenchmen of the fifth and sixth generations
who had settled this area, likewise the Spanish, and the Indians for
countless generations before either of the other two nationalities.

“This land ’tis mine—’tis yours—’tis mine,” said the French and the
Spanish. “The land is mine,” stated the United States, “we bought it
from the French.” The Indian declared, “’tis mine, was so even before
either the French or Spanish came.” The settlers questioned which
government will recognize our claim to the homesteads, the land grants,
“this is mine by right of occupation.”

There were the half-breeds, descendants of a French or Spanish father
and an Indian woman. These were demanding their birthright. And they
held sway over many Indian tribes. They were intelligent, they could be
friendly, or a ruthless enemy. But the United States’ ownership backed
by the Army soon restored peace and order to No Man’s Land.

                      THE FILIBUSTER OF 1812-1821

Don Jose Bernardo Maxmilliano Gutierrez de Lardo, often called Bernardo,
was a merchant and blacksmith at Revilla, a village near the junction of
the Rio Salado and the Rio Grande. He was a follower of Padres Miguel
Hidalgo y Castillo and Jose Maria Morelos, who were encouraging a revolt
among the Indian and Indian halfbreeds called _mestizos_.

Gutierrez with Captain Jose Manchaca, a Texas rebel and a deserter from
the Royalist Army of Mexico, and ten others left Revilla with thirty
thousand dollars in Mexican silver. Their objective was to reach
Natchitoches, a border town on the Neutral Strip. The money was for
organizing a filibuster campaign into Texas. They were pursued by the
Royalists and were caught up with near the village of Bayou Pierre (a
village at that time located on a road between the present-day Pleasant
Hill and Lake End on Red River). Gutierrez and Manchaca escaped but lost
the silver, finding refuge at a small trading post at Campti, Louisiana.
When they arrived in Natchitoches and began recruiting men for the
filibustering campaign they found many ready and willing to participate.
The merchants, sensing enormous profits, offered every assistance.

Captain Manchaca went immediately into the Neutral Strip to solicit
recruits among the bandits, or anyone else who desired to join the

Gutierrez wrote a letter to James Monroe, Secretary of State in
Washington, explaining that although Texas was not yet a Republic the
people of that area had all the necessary qualifications for becoming a
nation, that it would be to the advantage of the United States and the
people of the future Republic of Texas for them to seek assistance where
they could find it. It would, therefore, be advantageous to the United
States, should their undertaking be successful in overthrowing the yoke
of the Mexican Government, and Texas become a Republic.

Gutierrez secured letters of recommendation and two hundred dollars from
Dr. John Sibley and departed immediately for Washington where he met
with officials and made requests for men, money, munitions and other
supplies necessary for the filibustering campaign. Gutierrez brought out
the importance to the United States of the Texas commerce. The proposal
was dropped by the officials when Gutierrez insisted that he be in
command of the expedition. However, Monroe did see the advantage of the
United States having a Republic to the west to help guard the border, as
at that time the United States was having difficulties with Spain and
England, and because of the Florida question. Therefore the Secretary of
State did offer encouragement to Gutierrez.

Don Jose Alvares de Toledo was at the same time in Washington seeking
assistance for a revolution in Cuba, which if successful, would result
in the establishment of an Antillean Confederation of the Islands. This,
too, met with the approval of Monroe, but again he offered only
encouragement and no assistance. Don Luis de Onis, the Minister from
Spain, having learned of Toledo’s plans, conspired with Diago Correga to
do away with Toledo. Toledo, because of his failure to get the necessary
assistance he desired, cast his lot with Gutierrez. He cultivated the
friendship of General Ira A. Allen, who was looked upon with disfavor in
the State of Vermont. Allen helped Toledo and Gutierrez by gaining the
confidence and support of those who were interested in such an
adventure, namely: Samuel Alden, a young adventurer; Aaron Mower, a
printer by trade; Evariste Calvettes, a Frenchman of unusual but
intriguing reputation, and William A. Prentis, a merchant who interested
Henry Adams Bullard in the adventure of the filibuster campaign. This
group of men, with several others departed for Natchitoches. Gutierrez
in Natchitoches had enlisted under his banner, the aid of Lieutenant
August McGee, who resigned at Fort Claiborne to join the filibusterers;
Samuel Kemper, a well-known figure in the politics of Florida; Rubin
Ross, an ex-sheriff from Virginia; Henry Perry of the Army
Quartermaster; Joseph B. Wilkinson, son of General James Wilkinson; J.
McClanahan; Rubin Smith; James Patterson; A. Cole and Alexis Grappe,
traders who had many contacts in Texas as far as San Antonio de Bexar;
and James Gaines, brother of General Gaines. The merchants in
Natchitoches hired some of the local youths, Tenoss Moinet, two
Prudhommes, Henry Derbonne, Jose Benetis, Anthony Dubois, Peter Dolet,
Michael Chesneau, Andrew Chase, Stephen Wallace, Matthew Bonnette,
Walter Young, Joseph Ruth and Chesneau Tontin to go along to protect
their interests and to bring back the contraband which they were sure
would be obtained on such an expedition.

William Shaler arrived in Natchitoches almost on the heels of Gutierrez,
a special agent sent by the Secretary of State Monroe to assist the new
so called Gutierrez-McGee expedition. Shaler’s letters to Monroe give an
excellent account of the organization and execution of this expedition.
Shaler, who had been trained as a military man, contributed greatly to
its efficiency.

Samuel Davenport of the firm of Davenport and Barr, licensed traders,
established themselves in the Soledad building in Nacogdoches. Davenport
wrote to Don Manuel de Salcedo, Governor of Texas at Nacogdoches, from
Natchitoches, “John Adair was gathering troops in Rapides (Alexandria,
Louisiana) 500 men were being gathered along the Mississippi River and
at Natchez. Captain Jose Manchac has gathered over a hundred men out of
the Neutral Strip and they are now camped on the west bank of the Sabine

A letter was sent from Washington to the district judge notifying him
that the United States would not sanction an organization of men on its
land which would constitute an act of aggression against the government
of another country. Judge Carr’s answering letter dated July 22, 1812,
stated that he was aware that some sort of movement of aggression was
being talked about in the Natchitoches Area, but that to his knowledge
there were no men grouped east of the Sabine River congregating with
filibuster intent.

“Young men in groups of two, five, ten or fifteen arrive here in
Natchitoches every day, many are from our immediate local area, they are
mild-mannered and quiet and cause no disturbances, they purchase
supplies at the local stores and when questioned about their
destination, they declare that they are going on a hunting trip. I have
no grounds with which I can detain such a small party of men, for to be
sure groups fewer than fifteen or twenty cannot be classed as a
filibustering party. If rumors are true and there is a location on the
west bank of the Sabine River where men are gathering with the intent of
invading Texas, that area is out of the jurisdiction of any one person
representing our local or federal government.”

On August 8, 1812, the campaign began with a total strength of one
hundred eighty men.

At Nacogdoches was the proof that the people of the area, according to
the statements of the traders Smith, Grappe, Patterson and McClanahan,
were ready for a rebellion against the Spanish Government. At
Nacogdoches on August 11, 1812, when the attack began, the filibusterers
met only token resistance and one hundred ninety of the inhabitants
joined the patriots. The easy fall of Nacogdoches was a shot in the arm
for the filibusterers. Fifty of the Spanish soldiers joined with the
rebels. A mule and horse train with booty of wool, hides and Spanish
silverware, estimated to be valued at one hundred thousand dollars, was
sent to Natchitoches to be exchanged for the necessary provisions to
conduct the campaign. Henry Perry of the army quartermaster was there to
receive the merchandise. Now he had something to work with. Supplies
which could not be obtained in Natchitoches were purchased in Natchez,
Mississippi. The merchandise was brought over the old Natchez-Vidalia to
Natchitoches Indian trail (highway 84 today) which had its share of
bandits and land-pirates.

Gutierrez was an old hand at spreading propaganda and at Nacogdoches the
“rebels” paused long enough to make use of the talents of Aaron Hower,
the printer. The news of the fall of Nacogdoches would be sure to bring
volunteers from the Natchitoches-Neutral Strip area. On September 1,
1812, circulars were found as far as San Antonio, announcing that the
filibusterers army had reached a thousand in number of well equipped
men, and that more volunteers were arriving every hour from ten to one
hundred in number to join Gutierrez, and that they now had cannon which
had been taken from the Spanish in Nacogdoches.

Governor Salcedo, who had previously sent a message asking for
assistance, received news that no help could be sent because the
“Patriot Army” in Mexico was marching on Camargo and Nueva Santanadar
(this was a group of rebel followers of Padres Castillo and Morelos).
The propaganda news leaflets and the news from Mexico caused Salcedo to
withdraw all outlying Spanish detachments and concentrate them at San
Antonio de Bexar. At this stage of the campaign the McGee-Gutierrez army
numbered no more than seven hundred men.

Now, Salcedo’s military ability began to show. He needed a day or two so
that the troops in the west under General Herrera could reach San
Antonio. He left La Bahia (now Goliad, Texas) without defense and spread
his troops along the Guadelupe River twenty-eight miles north and east
of San Antonio. The filibusterers could not overlook the opportunity of
taking a defenseless town. La Bahia fell without a struggle and the
filibusterers were jubilant. Meanwhile the Spanish forces met, forming a
total strength of nearly nine hundred men. Over fifty of the Spanish
soldiers with the filibusterers deserted and returned to the Royalist
troops, explaining they had been captured and were finally able to

Up to now McGee had been in charge of the filibusterers and Gutierrez
was the commander in name only. There was friction between McGee and
Gutierrez, and at the same time Toledo was vying for the position of
commanding them. Samuel Davenport, the unfaithful Indian Agent of
Salcedo, who had joined the filibusterers, suddenly decided he had some
important, unfinished business and departed for Nacogdoches. A day or so
later Rubin Ross left to contact Indians encamped on the Sabine River
with the intention of joining the filibusterers. McGee died at La Bahia
under mysterious circumstances. Gutierrez claimed that McGee took poison
to keep from being shot. Davenport stated that McGee was sick when he
left for Nacogdoches, and Rubin Ross declared McGee was in good health
two days prior to his leaving Davenport, and that at no time was he
aware that McGee was sick.

When Ross contacted the Caddo Indians on the Sabine River Chief Tohois
refused to fight under any flag other than that of the United States.
Groups of the Alabamas, Choctaws, Conchattas and Attapaws on learning of
the refusal of Tohois also refused to assist in the cause. However,
nearly a hundred of the warriors did join with Rubin Ross.

The second attack of the Royalists was also a disappointment to Salcedo
and the Spanish forces retired to San Antonio. On March 19, Ross
returned with nearly two hundred Indian, Spanish and American volunteers
and the march on San Antonio began. They met no opposition until they
reached Rosillo, about eight miles from San Antonio; there, Samuel
Kemper and Rubin Ross led a vicious charge and the main force of the
rebel drive carried well into San Antonio.

The Spanish were defeated and surrendered unconditionally. Atrocities
followed under the orders of Gutierrez who had declared himself
President of the New Republic of Texas. Several of the Spanish officers
were killed, their clothing stripped from their bodies and left exposed
to the elements. The Americans were enraged by this action. After going
to the scene of the atrocity and burying the dead, many followed the
example of Warren D. C. Hall, deserted the filibusterers and left for
their respective habitats.

A Junta was called after the arrival of Henry A. Bullard and James B.
Wilkinson; Major James Perry and Captains Kemper and Ross threatened to
leave with the Americans unless Gutierrez was ousted and Toledo named
leader of the New Republic.[11]

The battle on the Madina River was the downfall of the filibusterers.
The Spanish gathered their forces under the command of Colonels Joquine
de Arrendondo y Miono and Ignacio Elizondo.[**or Elinzondo, see below]
After the battle the victors were lenient with the many Americans they
had captured. Colonel Elinzondo issued a horse and rifle to each along
with a passport for safe conduct back to the Sabine River. The Indians
were included with the group freed, but with instructions to return to
their tribes and never take up arms against the Spanish again.

It is interesting to note that many of these Americans were later
successful in attempting to make the Texas area a Republic. On September
28, 1813, the first blow for Texas independence failed, but it had been
proved, however, that the Spaniards north of the Rio Grande were
influenced by the freedoms of the American traders along El Camino Real.
They had been forced to provide for themselves from the fruits of the
land, thus becoming independent in their own right. The easy fall of
Nacogdoches was outstanding proof of their feelings.

    [Illustration: FORT JESUP DEFENSE AREA]

                               FORT JESUP

It seems odd that all that had happened in the nearly three hundred
years preceding was merely a prelude to a settlement on a vital point,
this one hill top in Sabine Parish.

The Caddo Nation of Indians was first to recognize the importance of
this land extending from San Antonio to Natchitoches and settled it.
What these Indians did not settle or cultivate they commercialized, and
they established trade routes there.

Cabeza De Vaca and his companions came in 1530. They claimed no land but
were searching for a way out.

Hernando De Soto in 1541 came, but by the time he had reached the Adais,
he, too, was searching for a way out. He claimed no land.

Robert de La Salle came down the Mississippi River in 1682 and claimed
all land drained by that River for the King of France. In the history of
a country there is always one man who has the imagination to see its
possibilities and the ability and push to realize his ambitions. Such a
man was La Salle.

La Salle’s second venture to the mouth of the Mississippi River resulted
in failure. He came by sea, missed the mouth of the Mississippi River
and settled on the coast of Texas where he later was killed. La Salle’s
expedition, however, aroused the Spanish of Mexico, who then began to
extend their operations further to the north.

Padre Hidalgo’s letter and St. Denis’ answer resulted in the settlement
of El Camino Real from San Antonio to Natchitoches. Here, then, was cast
the first seed, in form of settlers, who learned to live as the
Indians—free as the wind, this newly found freedom had been felt by
settlers and their descendants for over a hundred years.

The land of Sabine, “’tis mine,” said the Americans, “by right of
purchase”; “’tis mine,” said the Spanish, “by the claim of Domingo Teran
Del Rio of 1690.”

And so the Neutral Strip was established. Each nation begrudging the
other every inch of it. A lawless land which must now be policed for the
good of both nations.

The southwestern border of the United States was established by the
Adams-Onis Treaty at Washington on February 22, 1821, as being the
Sabine River; Adams representing the United States and Onis representing
the New Republic of Mexico.

Would the settlers of the Neutral Strip and those from the Sabine River
to the Rio Grande recognize the treaty of Washington? The
Gutierrez-McGee filibuster expedition had proved that these people
wished a new freedom. Not that of the United States or that of Mexico.
Many men had cast their eyes toward the land of Texas, there was so much
of it for the taking. But the Indians were not just sitting on the
sideline observing what was happening, they were pressing for their
rights, too, against any and all nations. Surely they realized their
prize possession was slowly slipping from them. The Indians recognized
no treaty among the white men. Only the agreements with the whites which
concerned their welfare were of importance to them.

Many young adventurers of all nationalities and from all walks of life
had come into the area and found the excitement to their liking. They
would align themselves with the side which offered them the most
advantageous opportunities.

General Edmund P. Gaines found himself in a predicament when he received
orders on Dec. 21, 1819, to establish a new command post near the border
of the Sabine River. He was ordered “to establish a new post in a
location that will protect our southwestern border as well as all of the
inhabitants within the boundaries of the United States in your area.”

In the Southwest area he had federal troops under his command; at New
Orleans, 96 men under Major Many; at Baton Rouge, 212 officers and men;
at Fort Claiborne, Natchitoches, 56 men under the command of Major
Coombs; and, at Camp Sabine, on the Sabine River, 105 men under the
command of General Wilkinson.

On November 15, 1820, Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Taylor and four
Companies of the 7th United States Infantry had established Fort Selden
on the south bank of Bayou Pierre on the highest hill in the area, one
and one-half miles from the confluence of Bayou Pierre with Red River,
six miles north of Natchitoches and three miles west of Grand Ecore.
Taylor named the Fort, “Selden,” in honor of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph
Selden, who fought in the American revolution and who was at that time
stationed in the Arkansas Territory.

From the vantage point of Fort Selden on Bayou Pierre there was a
one-mile view of the channel of the bayou. There was flat-boat traffic
on the bayou to the town of Bayou Pierre and on northward to the Petit
Caddos in the vicinity of the present day city of Shreveport. Taylor was
in position to control the water traffic on the bayou.[12]

At Fort Selden Lieutenant Colonel Taylor received this message:

  Special Order No. 19.
                                                Headquarters West Dept.,
                                                 Fort Selden, Red River,
                                                         March 28, 1822.

  Lieutenant Colonel Taylor with the troops under his command, will as
  soon as possible, occupy the position at Shields Springs, 25 miles
  south southwest of this place, where he will canton the troops in huts
  of a temporary kind. The buildings will be constructed by the troops.
  Supplies necessary, will be sent by the Quartermaster.

  Lieutenant Colonel Taylor is charged with the south western frontier
  of Louisiana. To defend and protect its inhabitants, as well as those
  of the frontier.

                                                Signed: Edmund P. Gaines
                                               Commanding General of The
                                                     Southwest Frontier.

  Order No. 20
                                                Headquarters, West Dept.
                                                 Fort Selden, Red River,
                                                         March 29, 1822.

  The General congratulates the Troops on the prospects of their
  immediate occupation of an eligible position near the National

                                               Signed: Edmund P. Gaines,
                                                     Commanding General,
                                                     Southwest Frontier.

These two orders confirmed a previous order issued to Taylor by Gaines
in November of 1821 while he was in Arkansas—an order to explore the
vicinity of Natchitoches and the Neutral Land and to locate a site for a
cantonment of a permanent nature, which would be nearer the Louisiana
and Texas boundary.

    [Illustration: MAP of the BUILDINGS of FORT JESUP
    Explanation of the Map of Fort Jesup. 1831.

    In 1831 Fort Jesup had reached maximum in size and no new buildings
    were added after this date. The scale of the map thus shown, is 132
    feet per inch.

  A. Dragoon Stables.
  B. Stable.
  C. Blissville.
  D. Soldier’s Quarters—3rd Inf.
  E. Officers Quarters—3rd Inf.
  F. Mess House—3rd Inf.
  G. Officers Quarters No. 1.
  H. Officers Quarters No. 2.
  I. Officers Quarters No. 3.
  J. Store House.
  K. Powder Magazine.
  L. Guard House.
  M. Adjutant’s Office—3rd Inf.
  N. Quarter Master’s Office.
  O. Quarter Master’s Office.
  P. Commissionary Store.
  Q. Soldier’s Quarters 6 Buildings.
  R. Cottage.
  S. Officer’s Quarters—7th Inf.
  T. Officer’s Quarters.
  U. Adjutant’s Office.
  V. Hospital.
  W. Kitchens to Soldier’s Quarters.
  Y. Soldier’s Quarters.
  X. Band’s Quarters.
  Z. Officer’s Quarters.
  P. Parade Grounds.
  - - - - El Camino Real.

    Note: Today’s Museum is a replica of one of the buildings listed as
    Z and Kitchen is original of those listed as W.]

Lieutenant Colonel Taylor selected the site and then wrote to General
Gaines informing him of his selection—on a hill which was the division
between the watersheds of the Red River and the Sabine River. He went as
far as he could to the west to establish a permanent command post. Camp
Sabine on Sabine River which was established by General Wilkinson was
not considered a permanent position, but only an encampment for the
benefit of the United States Police Patrol established in the Neutral
Strip to police the Sabine River border and to look after the safety of
the settlers within the area known as The Neutral Land.

General Wilkinson and his detachment were never entirely successful in
quelling the activities of the lawless element. Federal troops stationed
at Sabine Town or Camp Sabine or Sabine Block-house (all one and the
same site) had some 5000 square miles of territory to patrol. A patrol
at that time would have consisted of ten mounted men and one officer.
There were approximately 112 men and officers at Camp Sabine, and the
detachment post would have consisted of ten patrols. If all were in
activity at the same time each patrol would have had 500 square miles to
patrol, which, of course, was an impossible task. At this time there
were about 50 men and officers in Natchitoches at Fort Claiborne and
even the two combined groups would not have been adequate for policing
such an enormous area. The outlaws knew this and in the Neutral Strip
the lawless roamed and pillaged at will and remained hidden in its
thousands of hills and hollows.

It is interesting to note that at the time of the battle of New Orleans
in 1815 General Jackson thought the Neutral Strip frontier so important
that he did not withdraw the troops from that post to assist in the
battle with the British.

In 1822 when Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Taylor established a cantonment
at Jesup at Shields Spring by the order of General Edmund Pendleton
Gaines, on the highest hill between the Sabine River and the Red River,
he had taken into consideration the claim of Cavalier Robert de La
Salle, when in 1682, this Frenchman claimed all the land drained by that
river for the King of France. With the Louisiana purchase, which
consisted of all land claimed by France west of the Mississippi River,
this would include the site of Cantonment Jesup on that hilltop. The
rainwater falling on the western slope would drain into the Mississippi
River via Bayou Adais and Bonna Vista into Bayou Dupont to Little River
to Bayou Pierre to the Red River and thence into the Mississippi River.
Waters falling on the western slope would find the way to the Sabine
River via Phillips Bayou to Bayou LaNann, thence to the Sabine River.
Thus, the establishment of Cantonment Jesup at this particular spot had
argumentative value in favor of the United States against any outcome of
the melting-pot development which could arise west of the Sabine River.

By November 9, 1822, the Quartermaster General’s report stated that the
Federal militia was consolidated and located at the Garrison Post at
Baton Rouge, three hundred fifteen officers and men of the First
Infantry; and at Cantonment Jesup, one hundred forty-one officers and
men of four companies of the seventh Infantry under the command of
Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Taylor.

1822 marked the end of the detachment at Sabine Town, Fort Selden on
Bayou Pierre, near Grand Ecore, Louisiana and Fort Claiborne at
Natchitoches, Louisiana.

When Mexico won her independence in 1821 the Empressario System was
continued and by the end of the year 1823, Stephen Fuller Austin had
executed the grant which had previously been given to his father, Moses
Austin, in which nearly three hundred American families were allowed to
settle in the Texas area. Colonel James B. Many, Commandante at
Cantonment Jesup, was there to greet the emigrants on their way to
Texas. The same year General Gaines decreed that Cantonment Jesup would
be known as Fort Jesup, and made it a permanent establishment of the
Army of the United States Government, which resulted in a more thorough
settlement of the Sabine area known as the Neutral Strip.

Shawneetown, two miles to the west of Fort Jesup on El Camino Real, came
into existence to supply the evil demands of the immediate
area—gambling, horse-racing and other auxiliaries of dis-order.

The twenty-five-mile house, or Midway House, two miles east of Fort
Jesup on the road to Natchitoches was a wayside tavern and Inn.

By 1826 the Mexican Republic had forbidden further immigration into
Texas—the direct result of a contract which had been acquired by Hayden
Edwards to establish eight hundred families in the Nacogdoches area.
Here Edwards organized the short-lived Republic of Freedonia which
resulted from the Freedonia Rebellion. Edwards was driven out of the
Nacogdoches area and his contract revoked.

In this same year a letter, originating at Fort Jesup, to the Governor
of Louisiana, appeared in the Natchitoches Courier, one of the two
newspapers published at Natchitoches at that time, answering the
President of the United States, who wanted to know about the possibility
of establishing steam navigation on the Red River above the Town of
Natchitoches. A duplicate of the original, which sent to the President,
was placed at the disposal of the Natchitoches Courier. Colonel James B.
Many at Fort Jesup wished the local citizens of the area to know that
the personnel at Fort Jesup was useful in ways other than military.

                                                The Natchitoches Courier
                                                              Fort Jesup
                                                 Natchitoches, Louisiana
                                                          March 13, 1826

  Captain Berch and Lieutenant Lee with a detachment of men from Fort
  Jesup, have been up the Red River examining the great rafts of debris
  which block the channel of Red River. This detachment returned a few
  days ago after an absence on that duty of about two months. We have
  conversed with these scientific and learned gentlemen on the subject
  of their excursion, the object of which was to ascertain the
  practicability of opening steamboat traffic through or around these

  They report that in a distance of one hundred miles above the Town of
  Natchitoches, there are 181 log jams, ranging from ten yards in length
  to a distance of one-half mile. To clear these obstructions would be a
  tremendous and expensive task.

  I wish to be remindful that in as much as the Sabine River which lies
  west of this place, usually maintains enough water to afford its usage
  by steamboats. In these trying times such as exists between ourselves
  and our neighbors to the west, I think it advisable that such an
  excursion be made up the Sabine River, for military if not to mention
  commercial purposes.

                                          Signed: Colonel James B. Many,
                                              Commander of the Southwest
                                                   Teritory, Fort Jesup,
                                            Natchitoches, Louisiana.[13]

In the same newspaper on this date appeared the advertisement: “Just
arrived on the Steamship-Packet, _Superior_, Captain Alex Le Sardo,

And in the same paper on the same date was an advertisement of John
Baldwin’s Store on El Camino Real:

  “Liquors—Maderia, Teneriff, Malaga, Claret wines, Cognac, Brandy,
  Holland and English Gins, West Indian Rum, Old and Common whiskey,
  coffee and tea. Loaf lump and brown sugar. 100 sacks of salt. Boots,
  Shoes and Headwear. Cravats, Shawls, Collars and Cuffs (In Sets),
  Handkerchiefs and Lace. Belts, Ribbons and Buckles. Full and half
  cotton and wool hose. Mosquito bars. English gingham. Satins—black and
  blue. Bleached and unbleached cotton shirting. Modes de Fasion
  Casimers, Fancy Calicoes, Superior, friction-matches. Arm and Leg

  Medicines ½ bbl. of hops, Jujube and Pectoral pastes, Swain’s Panacea,
  Stillman’s Sasparilla pills, Liverwort, Arrowroot, Horehound, Southern
  Cough drops, New England Cough Syrup, Oldridge’s Balm-Columbia,
  Lavender Water and Rose Water.

  Ready to wear trousers and overcoats from $1.00 to $25.00. Tobacco for
  chewing and smoking. Extra sweet Havana cigars.

  Exquisite Organdies and Embroideries.

  Harness Buckles and Pistols. Also Suspenders and Corsets, $1.00 each.

John Baldwin with his wife and two daughters must have established their
store prior to 1826. The location of the Baldwin Store marked the site
of the later town of Many, Louisiana, which derives its name from
Colonel James B. Many. Baldwin’s Store, Tavern, Inn and Blacksmith Shop
comprised the area of the Stille home and the present sites of the
Sabine State Bank & Trust Co., and The Peoples State Bank in Many.

During this period Manuel and Jose Chellettre operated the “Two
Brothers’ Freight Line” between Natchitoches and Nacogdoches. Also at
this time the firm of Barr and Davenport had a freight line service
between the same two destinations.

The newspaper also listed the names of the steamboats which were vying
for the Natchitoches-Texas trade: _The Florence_, _The Superior_, _The
Alexander_, _The Chesapeak_, _The Courtland_, _The Eliza_, _The Governor
Shelby_, _The Hornet_, _The Kiamechi_, _The Plaquemine_, _The Raven_,
_The Teche_, _The Telegraph_, _The Shepardess_ and _The Arkansas_.

Henry Stoker, having received a government land grant, had by now
established his home, and he enlarged his holdings by trading eleven
horses for land belonging to several families of the Adais Indians who
were living near his homestead.

Fort Jesup during its existence trained such men as Second Lieutenant
Phil Sheridan, Lieutenant Thomas Lawson, Captain Bragg, Lt. L. B. E.
Bonneville, Lt. James E. Goins, Captain Davie E. Twiggs, Capt. J.
Hardee, and Lt. Rufus Ingalls. These men during the war between the
states, became generals either for the North or the South. Lieutenant U.
S. Grant, who was stationed at Camp Salubrity near Grand Ecore, was
often a visitor at Fort Jesup.

    [Illustration: Map of Area Around Camp Sabine—1836]

Such important men as David Crockett, James Bowie, Stephen F. Austin and
Sam Houston; and such famous scouts as Ben S. Lilly and “Big Foot”
Wallace visited there. Because they were welcomed and entertained at
Fort Jesup, accusations were made by the Spanish that Fort Jesup was a
meeting place for those planning the overthrow of the Mexican
government. And this may very well have been true, for supplies
necessary for the conduct of the war for Texas independence undoubtedly
passed through Fort Jesup.

There is evidence that the United States did render secret support to
the fighting Texans in their struggle for independence. This fort at
such a strategic location could have blocked revolutionary movements in
this frontier area if it had chosen to do so. Because of this Fort Jesup
became recognized as the heart of the Texas-Mexican revolution. The
garrison at Fort Jesup assisted by checking the border Indians of
Louisiana, Arkansas and northern Texas, who may have otherwise aided the
Mexican forces against the retreating Sam Houston just before the Battle
of San Jacinto.

                  The Gaines Military Road, 1827-1828

The Military Road or The Gaines Military Road, sometimes referred to as
General Jackson’s road, connected the two most remote western outposts
of the United States’ army, Fort Jesup and Fort Towsin. This last was
located at the confluence of the Kiamechi River of Oklahoma and the Red
River. The military road was nearly three hundred miles long.

In 1831 Fort Jesup came under the command of Brevet Brigadier General
Leavenworth, with six companies of the Seventh Infantry. In 1832 the
garrison was increased to two hundred ninety-six men and officers, and
Colonel James B. Many again assumed command.

It was during the command of Gen. Leavenworth that some of the settlers
or squatters that had moved into the area, some within a half-mile
distance of the Fort, made themselves objectionable by selling whiskey
to the personnel at Fort Jesup. In order that the sale of whiskey near
the fort might be stopped the following order was issued:

  Order No. 69

  To all whom it may concern:

  Having received instructions from General Leavenworth to take
  possession for the United States, for the purpose of supplying fuel
  for the garrison, of all public land within three miles of the
  flagstaff of Fort Jesup; all persons having a “donation or
  pre-emption” claim are hereby ordered to vacate the said premises
  immediately, or at the earliest possible date, otherwise they will be
  dealt with according to the law.

                                                     Signed: Francis Lee
                                          Acting Assistant Quartermaster
                                                              U. S. Army

  Fort Jesup, Louisiana, 7th November, 1831.

                         TEXAS AND INDEPENDENCE

James Bowie, David Crockett and Sam Houston were entertained at Fort
Jesup by Colonel Many while en-route to cast their lot with the Texans.
To greet these men in Nacogdoches were Thomas J. Busk, Frost Thorn,
Adolphus Sterne, Charles S. Taylor, Henry Raguet, Doctor Irion, John
Drust and William C. Logan, all of whom were to have a hand in winning
the Texas independence.

The municipality of San Augustine was organized in 1833, and was the
first town in Texas to be laid out on the American plan of forty-eight
blocks, consisting of three hundred fifty-six feet with streets forty
feet wide, and two lots in the center for the Courthouse.

The history of San Augustine dates back to the very earliest Texas
history, with its location astraddle the El Camino Real, previously the
Buffalo Trail and then part of the Caddo Indian trail system. Cabeza de
Vaca passed this spot and later a scouting party of the Hernando de Soto
expedition. The Ais (Ayist) Indians were there to greet the Domingo
Teran Del Rios Expedition and then the Domingo Ramone Expedition. The
Ais Indians of San Augustine were the first Texas Indians to establish
trade agreements with the French, when in 1708 the Frenchman, Bejoux,
began trading with them for horses.

San Augustine became a most important port of entry, second only to
Galveston. It may very well be called the Cradle of Texas Independence
for it is said that any man entering San Augustine, be he French,
Spanish or American, became a Texan. Ninety percent of the men who
engaged in the strife for Texas independence had walked the streets of
San Augustine.

    [Illustration: Fort St. Jean Baptiste Des Natchitoches.

               Restoration of Colonial Natchitoches, Inc.
                          BUTLER & DOBSON, AIA
                        ARCHITECTS NATCHITOCHES

    This interpretation of how Fort St. Jean Baptiste looked was drawn
    by the architects, Butler and Dobson of Natchitoches, for the
    Committee for the Restoration of Colonial Natchitoches, Inc.

    It is my sincere hope that this restoration will be executed by the
    year 1964 when Natchitoches will in that year celebrate her 250th

    To the Frenchmen of that period, the title, Fort St. Jean Baptiste
    des Natchitoches, meant that the Fort or Post was named for St. John
    The Baptist and that its location was among the Natchitoches

    It was this Fort which St. Denis defended against the Natchez
    Indians in 1731.]

    [Illustration: Old Kitchen of Fort Jesup—only remaining building of
    the original fort]

The progress of the struggle for Texas independence was watched with
keenest interest throughout the United States, but the interest south of
the Mason-Dixon line was greater as most of the Texas settlers came from
the Southern states.

Louis Cass, the Secretary of War, on January 23, 1835, sent instructions
to Major General Edmund P. Gaines, ordering him to move to a position
nearer the western frontier of Louisiana, and to assume personal command
of the troops near the Mexican (Texas) border. Blockhouses were erected
to protect the supplies of the personnel of the camp. General Gaines
took personal command of the troops there.

The Red River by the year 1835 had changed its course and taken the
Bayou Rigolet de Bon Dieux as its main channel, leaving Natchitoches
high and dry except during the spring and winter months. The river port
of Grand Ecore then became the most important shipping port for the
southwestern area of Louisiana and eastern Texas. The Texas trail now
by-passed Natchitoches some four miles to the west, connecting it with
Grand Ecore.

General Gaines wrote of the decaying condition of the buildings at Fort
Jesup, and acquired a twenty-five thousand dollar appropriation for
their repair through the help of Thomas S. Jesup, Quartermaster General
of the United States, who had been given the honor of having Fort Jesup
named after him.

General Gaines possessed a war-like nature and he nourished the idea of
annexing Texas in one blaze of glory for himself. Further, he knew that
President Andrew Jackson wanted Texas as a part of the United States.

Gaines, in a letter to Cass, stated that B. F. Palmer and William
Palmer, living near Fort Jesup, had informed him that a Spaniard had
arrived at the house of one of their neighbors, saying he had been
commissioned by Santa Anna to go among the Caddos and other upper Red
River tribes of Indians and stir them up into attacking the upper
settlements of Texas. Gaines had sent Lieutenant Bonnel with Eusebia
Cartinez, to gain the good will of the Caddos without success. But they
were successful among the Indians further to the west of the Caddos.
They learned that Manuel Flores, who had established at Spanish-Town
between Fort Jesup and Natchitoches, won alliances with the Caddos.

Enclosed in the letter were communications from Henry Raguet, Chairman
of the Committee of Vigilance at Nacogdoches and A. Hotchkiss, Chairman
of a similar committee at San Augustine, both declaring that Indians had
moved into the area along El Camino Real and requesting an

Cass was informed that the Alamo had fallen and many of the troops,
including Fannin, were killed near Goliad on the Madina River and that
Sam Houston was in full retreat toward the Louisiana border.

Gaines now received orders to use his own judgment about the affairs on
the frontier, and that if he had to go into the Texas territory to
insure the peace of the frontier, he could go no further than

Gaines was still at Sabine Blockhouse when word came that on April 18,
1836, Sam Houston had defeated Santa Anna at San Jacinto Bay. Thus
Gaines’ chance for glory was gone. However, he must be credited with a
timely move, when a few weeks before he had ordered troops to
Nacogdoches, thus spoiling the counterpunch attempted by Santa Anna to
stir up the Indians. This, without a doubt, quelled the prospective
uprising of the Indians.

                     TREATY WITH THE CADDO INDIANS

In June, 1835, Colonel Many sent a contingent of soldiers to the upper
Red River country to lend assistance in the signing and execution of the
treaty between the United States and the Caddo Indians. At the Caddo
Indian Agency house, located on a bluff overlooking Bayou Pierre, nine
miles south of the present-day city of Shreveport, was drawn an
agreement with the Indians, dated July 1, 1835:

  The Chiefs, Headmen and Warriors of the tribes of the Caddo Nation of
  Indians, agree to cede and relinquish to the United States all land
  contained in the following boundaries: Bounded on the west by the
  North-south line which separates Louisiana and the United States from
  the Republic of Mexico and on the west by the Red River in the
  Territory of Louisiana and Arkansas.

  The Chiefs, Headmen and Warriors agree to relinquish their possession
  of the land and agree to move out of the boundaries of the United
  States at their own expense, and never to return to live, settle, or
  establish themselves as a nation or a community.

  In consideration the Caddo Nation will be paid $30,000 in goods and
  horses as agreed upon and $10,000 to be paid per annum in money, each
  year, for the four years following. Making a whole sum of $80,000,
  paid and payable.

  In Testimony Whereof, the said Jehiel Brooks, Commissioner, the
  Chiefs, Headmen and Warriors of the Caddo Nation, have hereunto set
  their hands and affixed their seals.

                          Signed: Jehiel Brooks

    Tarshar                                   His X Mark
    Tasauninot                                His X Mark
    Saliownhown                               His X Mark
    Tennehinun                                His X Mark
    Oat                                       His X Mark
    Tinnowin                                  His X Mark
    Chowabah                                  His X Mark
    Kianhoon                                  His X Mark
    Tialesun                                  His X Mark
    Tehowawinow                               His X Mark
    Tewinnun                                  His X Mark
    Kardy                                     His X Mark
    Tiohtow                                   His X Mark
    Tehowahinno                               His X Mark
    Tooeksoach                                His X Mark
    Tehowainia                                His X Mark
    Sauninow                                  His X Mark
    Saunivaot                                 His X Mark
    Highahidock                               His X Mark
    Mattan                                    His X Mark
    Towabimneh                                His X Mark
    Aach                                      His X Mark
    Sookiantow                                His X Mark
    Sohone                                    His X Mark
    Ossinse                                   His X Mark

  In the Presence of:

  Thomas J. Harrison, Capt, 3rd Regt Inf.
    Commander of Detachment from Fort Jesup, Louisiana.
  J. Bonnell, 1st Lieut, 3rd Regt Inf.,
    Fort Jesup, Louisiana.
  G. P. Frile, 2nd Lieut, 3rd Regt Inf.,
    Fort Jesup, Louisiana.
  D. M. Heard, M. D., Acting Assistant Surgeon,
    U. S. A., Fort Jesup, Louisiana.
  Isaac C. Williamson, Citizen.
  Henry Queen, Citizen.
  John P. Edwards, Interpreter.

Other Recommendations:

Articles supplementary to Treaty, whereas: The said Indian Nation gave
to Francois Grappe and his three (3) sons, then born and still living
named, Jacques, Dominique and Balthazar, in the year 1801, one league of
land to each, according to the Spanish custom. This being a total of
four square leagues of land.

Larken Edwards, being old and unable to work and having been a steadfast
friend of the Caddo Indians, was also given at the request of the
Indians, land which now comprises most of the area of present day
Shreveport, Louisiana.

On May 14, 1837, the following ad appeared in the Red River Gazette, a
Natchitoches newspaper:

  A. W. P. Ussery has the pleasure to inform friends and the public that
  he has taken the Fort Jesup Hotel and is now ready for company. He has
  a commodious house and stable and a delightful situation. In addition
  to the comforts of the well regulated house, the weary traveler will
  be regaled at night and morning by the delightful music of the Fort
  Jesup Band.

With the ability of Texas to maintain her independence, Fort Jesup
settled down to the humdrum existence of a peaceful, frontier post. In
the summer of 1838 the garrison was reduced to two companies of men and
officers. In 1840 the third infantry members at Fort Jesup were ordered
to Florida. This left one company of fourth infantry at Fort Jesup.

Texas threw open its doors to immigrants and daily these passed through
the Fort Jesup area, to travel El Camino Real westward. Many, however,
stopped in the Natchitoches-Sabine country. Texans knew that immigrants
represented power, power to resist Mexico.

This peaceful existence was not to last long. There was talk of the
annexation of Texas by the United States which Mexico did not want. For
as long as Texas was a Republic there was a possibility that Mexico
might recover this prize possession, a possession which also included
the present states of New Mexico and a part of Wyoming.

As early as 1843 the United States was contemplating acquiring Texas as
a state. In the meantime they had purchased the territory of New Mexico,
Utah, Nevada and Wyoming from Texas which did not set well with the
Republic of Mexico. There was a kind of cold friendship existing between
the United States and Mexico.

Late in 1843 General Zachary Taylor was ordered to the Texas-Louisiana
frontier, thus early in 1844 there came to Fort Jesup the Army of

Camp Salubrity was established three miles west of Grand Ecore on the
Texas Road May 18, 1844, where the fourth infantry companies were
encamped. One of the young officers was Lieutenant U. S. Grant.

On May 18, 1845, General Taylor at Fort Jesup received a letter marked
“Confidential” from Secretary of War, Marcey. This secretly and
officially marked the beginning of the disposition of troops and the
laying of plans for the war with Mexico. Marcey wrote, “I am directed by
the President to cause forces now under your command and those which may
be assigned, to be put into position where they may most promptly act in
the defense of Texas.”

At Fort Jesup under the command of General Taylor were seven companies
of the Second Dragoons and eight companies of the Fourth Infantry. Four
companies of the Fourth Infantry were stationed at Camp Salubrity.

Texas expressed a desire at the July 1845 session of the Texas Congress
to become a State of the Union.

General Taylor at Fort Jesup received instructions to place the Troops
under his command in the Army of Observation in such locations that
would be most advantageous to render support to Texas if such an
occasion should arise.

The Mexican conflict seemed inevitable and Taylor ordered Camp Salubrity
abandoned and the Companies of Infantry there boarded steamboats at
Grand Ecore for New Orleans along with three companies of the four
companies of the 4th infantry which were stationed at Fort Jesup.

This July 1845 Report from Fort Jesup explains the removal of the Troops
from Fort Jesup and those who remained:

  July 17, 1845, The 3rd Infantry under the command of Lt. Col.
  Hitchcock left this post for the point of embarkation for New Orleans.

  July 25, 1845, The 2nd Dragoons under the command of Colonel Twiggs
  left this post for Texas Via the Texas Trail. On this day Lt. Zill P.
  Inge assumes command at Fort Jesup.

  There remains at this Post, and all present accounted for the
  following: One Company of the 4th infantry and one company of the 2nd
  Dragoons. The names of these men appear on the July 31, 1845, Daily

  Conally Triche.
  George S. Darte.
  Quims Tomas.
  James Huntly.
  William Story.
  James Welsh.
  Francis Shaw.
  Samuel Tacker.
  George Waggoner.
  Andrew Munscle.
  John A. Goddard.
  Benjiman Peterson.
  David S. Barslette.
  John McDormott.
  Joseph McGee.
  Richard Goldring.
  Samuel H. Jordan.
  James Conway.
  Ferdinand Turkels.
  Thurman Patterson.
  Michael Sheridan.
  William H. McDonnald.
  Isaac Curry.
  John L. Creps.
  John B. Hickey.
  John Murphy.
  Paul Spencer.
  Hugh McHugh.
  John R. Bloomer.
  William Horton.
  Cazimiery Rosinowski.
  George Cassody.
  Ames W. Grimes.
  Reubin W Brenner.
  William Hearne.
  John B Rezzer.
  Alexinder Silves.
  James Sheene.
  Charles W Williams.
  John Adams.
  William Bayer.
  James Heath.
  Michael O’Keefe.
  William R Smith.
  John Mitchele.
  John W. Conway.
  William Stansbury.
  Jeremiach O’Leary.
  William Bailey.
  James Long.
  Edward Harrington.
  Patrick Connally.
  Thomas Kelley.
  Peter Savage.
  William Ashton.
  Stephen Turner.
  Joseph A Jinkins.
  Patrick Maloney.
  George Holmes.
  Louis H Tucker.
  John Hamilton.
  James Horton.
  James Foley.
  Horice Clark.
  William Howe.
  Isaac Trotter.
  William McGill.
  Berman Wellenbrook.
  William Taylor.
  Edward Melton.
  Gregory Bishop.
  John Goodele.
  Robinson McClellan.
  Michale Ryan.
  Archibald Turner.
  Samuel Turner.
  John Freeman.
  George Hendricks.
  Hamilton Taylor.
  James Doughtry.
  Asa Freleigh.
  William Pully.
  Francis Gillam.
  William R Keeper.
  Henry Burrows.
  Joseph R Steward.
  John Dorian.
  Frederick Leach.
  William Turner.
  Alexander Cody.
  William A Burks.
  John Hunter.
  Phillip Hoffman.
  Richard A Banks.
  Patrick Bigland.
  Charles W Livingston.

These men comprise the 1st Company of the 2nd Dragoons and One half
Company of the 3rd Inf. and one half Company of the 4th infantry. Most
of them were sick at the time of the dispersement of the troops at Fort

                                                      1st Lt Zill P Inge
                                                    1st Co 2nd Dragoons.
                                                         Fort Jesup, La.

July 31 1845.

On November 29, 1845, the Adjutant General ordered that Fort Jesup was
no longer required as a military post, all military supplies, buildings
and land be disposed of.

Thus Zachary Taylor when a Lt. Col. executed the order to establish Fort
Jesup and 23 years later as a Brigadier General executed the order to
abandon it.

Ironic as it may seem, Fort Jesup brought law to a lawless land. It was
a buffer zone through which passed softly, those intent on a new kind of
freedom. It was the mould which shaped the southwestern section of these
United States.

    [Illustration: Old Ambroise Sompayrac House
    Natchitoches chief depot for trade with Mexico, early 1800’s
    Washington St. at Pavie on River ... demolished in 1900.]

If one must in a few words offer a summation of all that has passed
before.... Then.

  This tiny spot, in Louisiana’s vast domain,
  High on a hill-top, a memory to remain.
  Redbuds and Dogwood, bring spring’s tender smile,
  To a land so fertile, it rivals that of the Nile.
  Yonder, the Red’s mighty currents roll.
  Gleaming, sparkling, rivaling Hidalgo’s Gold.

  In a grove, where the stately Pine trees tower,
  Blending with the Oak, the Ash and wild Flower,
  Quickly, their lips meet and arms entwine,
  Secluded they are, by the Rattan-vine,
  This love doesn’t any boundary know.
  The Savage speaks, ’tis time to go.

  They match wits, the Hidalgo and the Fleur de Lys.
  Fiesta and Fandangero, invited, they all come to see.
  This Wilderness Road, which both Friend and Enemy Travel
  This intricate-mess, shall two men unravel
  From Crescent-City to Natchitoches and on to Mexico,
  Past Los Adais and Presidios, must Saint and Sinner go.

  This Land—’tis Mine, ’tis Yours, ’tis Mine.
  To the Stars and Stripes the Savage states, ’twas Mine.
  To his God, Ayandt Daddi, in a blanketed-blue sky,
  He looks and he questions, “Whither goest I?”
  To his people, his eyes reflect his fears,
  Caddo generosity paid, with “A Trail of Tears.”


                              LAND GRANTS

In 1816 the United States Land Office sent representatives to
Natchitoches, although previously representatives had been in
Natchitoches in 1806 to register land claims within the Neutral Strip
area. Proof was demanded of people settling land in the Neutral Strip,
referring to either French or Spanish grants.

In 1730 Zavallez, then Governor of Los Adais, granted three square
leagues of land to Manuel Sanchez on Los Pedro Creek (Bayou Pierre), the
grant was listed as La Nana de Los Rio Pedro. (Note: The wife of St.
Denis was a Sanchez, her mother being Maria Esperrillo Sanchez before
her marriage to Don Diago Ramone). The Sanchez Grant is also referred to
as Los Tres Llanos (Three Plains) was approved again in 1742 by Governor
Larros in the name of Governor Winthusin. The son of Manuel Sanchez was
eighty two years of age when in 1832 a clear title was issued by the
United States Land Office. The Sanchez family had lived on the land 102
years before they obtained a clear title to it.

Juan de Mora was granted one league square of land on Bayou Dupont at
Los Adais by Zavallez which is the land located in an area known today
as “Fish Pond Bottom.”

Testimony of Gregoria Mora before the land office officials shows: “This
is a receipt of tithes I collected on land west of the Calcasieu River,
West of Bayou Kisachey and west of Arroyo Hondo. Also west of Bayou
Pedro (Bayou Pierre) dated in Nacogdoches, Feb. 27, 1797, and signed by
Jose Maria Guadiana (Rubric)

  Owner of Land                             _Location_

  Pablo Lifita                              Los Pedros Creek
                                            (Bayou Pierre)
  Andres Balentine                          ″
  Jose Lavina                               Los Cebellas Prairie
  Pedro Dolet                               Los Adais Creek
                                            (Winn Creek)
  Antonio Dubois                            ″
  Francisco Prudhomme                       In village of Adais
                                            Indians, one mile
                                            north of Robeline
                                            near site of the
                                            Presidio de Los
  Francisco Morban (Der Bonne)              Dorango Creek (west
                                            of the village of
                                            Allen and three
                                            miles northwest of
                                            the village of
  Widdow of Tontin Bisson                   On Topolcot Creek
                                            at Allen site, near
                                            Leroy Anderson
  Manuel Prudhomme                          On Lago Ocosa Near
                                            Cypress, Louisiana
  Marfil                                    On Lago de Los
                                            Adais (Spanish Lake)
  Francois Rouquier                         West of Lago Tierre
                                            Noir (Sibley Lake)
  Santiago Wallace (Englishman)             On San Juan Creek
                                            (Bay St. John in
                                            the Lake Charles
  Jose Piernas                              At Santo Maria
                                            Adelaide (vicinity
                                            of Zwolle,

             Claim of Pedro Dolet, Frenchman (Pierre Dole)

On December 29, 1795, I, Jose Cayetano de Zepede, executor to Los Adais
and by request of Antonio Gil y Barbo Governor of Texas at Nacogdoches,
went with my assistant, Don Jose de La Vega to a place at Los Adais,
where a petitioner had built a home there. I granted this land.

  He pulled up Grass,
  Planted Stakes,
  Threw dust into the air,

To show his possession.

I have granted this land and designate the aforesaid tract of land as
“San Pedro de Los Adais.”

  Don Luis de La Vega.
  Vincente Del Rio
  Jose Cayeleno de Zepeda

                         Claim of Edward Murphy

Don Edwardo Murphy, petitioner from the post at Natchitoches, states
that on a creek La Petit St. Jean and Reo Hondo I find advantageous to
collect my cattle, I humbly ask of you to give me possession of this

Nacogdoches, October 17, 1791. In consequence of petitioner and that the
land solicited is in the province of Texas and vacant I do grant in due
best form and that it may so appear.

  Antonio Gil y Barbo

(Note: This tract of land was in the area of southwest from the Country
Club of Natchitoches on Highway 1 North).

Claim of Edward Murphy for the Firm of Murphy, Smith, Barr and Davenport

  Edward Murphy, Leander Smith, William Barr, Samuel Davenport.
  (District Judge William Murray heard the plea of the Firm of Murphy,
  Smith, Davenport and Barr).

August 1, 1798, Don Jose Guadiana, Governor at Nacogdoches, granted to
Don Edward Murphy a grant of land named “La Nana Prairie” located seven
leagues east of the Rio Sabinas on the road to Natchitoches, 144
sections of land astraddle El Camino Real (a 12 square mile land grant,
extending eastward from Bayou Lana and could have very well taken the
townsite of Many, Louisiana. Murphy transferred this land to the above
mentioned firm, November 3, 1798).

                          Claim of Michel Crow

Michel Crow, son of Isaac Crow, who wed the widow Chabineau of the Post
at Natchitoches, bought the land of Miguel Viciente which has been
granted to Miguel Viciente in 1769 by Governor Hugo O’Connor, who was at
that time Governor of Los Adais and all of the Texas country. The grant
was listed as San Miguel de Los Rio Patrice and was located on the
Sabine River and Patrice Creek in the northwest portion of Sabine

One incident in which an arrest and the results of which served as
evidence in favor of the victim occurred while Lieutenant Zebulon M.
Pike was in command of a police patrol of the Neutral Strip in 1806,
when he arrested Michel Crow and brought him to the post at
Natchitoches, accusing him of contraband operations to and from the
Texas country. Captain Bernardino Mantero, leading a Spanish patrol with
the assistance of Lieutenants Pike and McGee, came to the ranchero of
Michael Crow and upon questioning Crow’s wife and her two sons, learned
of the actions of Lieutenant Pike previously. Captain Mantero went to
Natchitoches and declared that Crow was innocent of such charges and
that the unfortunate Crow was only engaged in farming and ranching;
further the Spanish did not have Crow’s name on the list of traders in
contrabrand known to the Spanish at Nacogdoches, thus, when Michel Crow
registered his claim for land, he had proof of the length of time he had
resided there taken from the arrest papers.

                   Claim of the Heirs of Widow Tontin

In 1791 Anthanase De Mezieres granted to Julian and Pierre Bisson land
called Ecore Rouge (Red Hill) located at the present day hamlet of Allen
between Robeline and Powhattan, Louisiana, one hundred ninety square
arpents of land on each side of Topelcot Bayou. The widow Tontin, nee
Possiot, wed Julian Bisson (Note: The store at Allen and the home of
Leroy—Dobber—Anderson are located atop Ecore Rouge).

                Claim of the Heirs of Anthanase Poissot

In 1792, Anthanase De Mezieres, Governor of the Texas region at
Natchitoches Post, granted land to Anthanase Poissot in recognition of
his claim of having bought the land of La Tres Cabanes (Three Cabins)
from Chief Antoine of the Hyatasses (Yatassee Indians) on Bayou Pierre.

    [Illustration: An exact reproduction of one of the officers’
    quarters at Fort Jesup which now houses the relics pertaining to the

    Fort Jesup, originally “Cantonment Jesup,” was established in the
    spring of 1821, by Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Taylor, who was
    executing the orders of Major General Edmund Pendleton Gaines.
    Taylor had under his command four companies of the United States 7th

    On November 29, 1845 the Adjutant General ordered that Fort Jessup
    was no longer required as a military post and that all military
    supplies, buildings and land be disposed of.]

    [Illustration: Original plans of Fort Jesup]

  1. Mess Hall
  2. Enlisted Men’s Quarters
  3. Officers’ Quarters

    [Illustration: Officers’ Quarters—another view.]

         Claim of the Firm of Murphy, Smith, Davenport and Barr

The Los Ormegas Land Grant of Jacinto Mora contained two hundred seven
thousand three hundred sixty acres bordering on the east bank of the
Sabine River and astradle El Camino Real. The grant was issued by Jose
Cayeleno de Zepeda, Governor at Nacogdoches and was sold to the above
mentioned firm in 1805. The land was transferred under the title of
Santa Marie Adelaide Ormegas, but was not recognized by the United
States Government until 1842.

    Claim of the Heirs of Pierre Gainnie (Pedro Gane) (Pier Gagnier)
 Hipolite Bordelon Francois Grappe (Francisco Grebb) (Franquis Grebbe)

These three men bought the land of the Chescher Indians (The area
comprises the Mibermel Ranch near Powhattan, Louisiana, and the area of
Three League Bayou or Nine Mile Bayou).

This grant was recognized by Anthanase DeMezieres of the Post at

                  Families of the Neutral Strip (1805)

Records of Diago Maria Morfil, representing the Spanish of that area, in
lieu of Jacinto Mora, directive of the Governor at Nacogdoches of the
Texas Region, presented this record of families considered under the
jurisdiction of Presidio Neustra Senora Del Pilar de Los Adais to the
United States Land Agents in 1816:

  Don Marcelo de Soto, farmer, wife, Dona Maries Baillio, Frenchwoman,
          two sons, two daughters, resided on Los Pedro Creek (Bayou
  Pedro Lafita, Spanish, wife, Louise Gainnie, Frenchwoman, resided on
          Bayou Los Tres Leagues.
  Luis Beltran, Frenchman, resided on Rio Hondo (Young’s Bayou) or Bayou
          La Jeune. (Unmarried)
  Vincente Rolan, Frenchman, wed Melanie Vascoque, Frenchwoman, residing
          on Bayou Durange. (This bayou drains Cypress Swamp and empties
          into Topelcot Creek, also known as Cypress Swamp, Hall Break
          area, north of Marthaville, Louisiana).
  Don Antainse Possiot, Frenchman, wed to Juanna Elena Pabi,
          Frenchwoman. Note: This is the Anthanase Poissot who bought
          land from the Chescher Indians on Three League Bayou, which
          extended westward to Bayou Pierre.
  Michael Rambin, Frenchman wed to Theresa Baillio (Theresa Baillio,
          sister to Maria Baillio who wed Marcelo De Soto) resided on
          Los Pedros Creek (Bayou Pierre). There was one hired hand on
          this farm, Jose Crafon, Spanish.
  Jean Balbado, Frenchman wed to Lenore Tessier, Frenchwoman, resided on
          Arroyo Hondo (Hagewood or Coldwater vicinity between Robeline
          and Natchitoches, Louisiana).
  Jean Tessier, Frenchman and widower, resided in the same area as
  Louis Fortin, Frenchman, wed to Manuella Aragon, Spanish, resided on
          land of Francois Prudhomme which was among the Adais Indians,
          at Los Adais.
  Francisco Prudhomme, Frenchman wed to Anne Marie Rambin, Frenchwoman,
          two sons and seven daughters. Prudhomme in 1805 was 74 years
          old. This land among the Adais Indians was granted to
          Prudhomme by DeMezieres in 1771. Francois Prudhomme was a
          trader among the Indians and at the same time had a Spanish
          co-partner, Antonio Gil y Barbo, who traded among the Spanish
          along El Camino Real. Manuel Flores was another partner of
          Prudhomme, also Miguel Viciente who later sold his grant to
          Isaac Crow. It is very likely that Viciente at his out of the
          way home on Sabine River was a trader in contraband
          merchandise supplied by Prudhomme. The trail leading from
          Sabine River and the home of Miguel Viciente on Bayou San
          Patrice and eastward to the Red River via Converse, Pleasant
          Hill and to Bayou Pierre was a contraband trail. In 1723 Paul
          Muller established Post du Bayou Pierre, with contraband trade
          with the Spanish as his aim. Post du Bayou Pierre developed
          into the Town of Bayou Pierre. This trail was traveled by
          Gutierrez and his followers when they were pursued by the
          Royalists, Spanish Troops. Post du Bayou Pierre, The Town of
          Bayou Pierre, King Hill and Jordan Ferry are all one and the
  Pierre Dole (Pedro Dolet or Peter Dolet), Frenchman mentioned earlier
          wed Dona Rose Duprez, Spanish woman, resided on Bayou Adais
          (Winn Creek, west of Robeline, Louisiana).
  Andria Valentine (Andria Balentine) Frenchman, wed Angela Molis,
          French woman, resided on Bayou La Jeune (Youngs’ Bayou) near
          Coldwater vicinity.
  Elina Wales, widow, American, three sons, Jacob, Thomas and Benjamin,
          resided on Bayou La Jeune.
  Jacinto Gane (Jacinto Gannie, Gainnie, Gagnier), evidently a son of
          Pierre Gainnie, resided on land grant mentioned before.
  Bacitio Gane of the same family mentioned above, Frenchman, wed Marie
          Lafita, Spanish woman.
  Miguel Viciente, Spanish, mentioned before, wed Elena Roubeaux French
          woman, is the same land grant sold to Isaac Crow, which was
          being claimed by his son, Michel.
  Pedro Roblo, Pierre Roubeaux, Frenchman, wed Magdelina Baptiste,
          Spanish woman, resided on Durango Creek.
  Francisco Moran, Frenchman, wed Anna Maria, an Apache mestizo, the
          word mestizo in Spanish refers to a half-breed offspring of
          Spanish and Indian parents. Moran was an Indian trader for
          Anthanaze De Mezieres and operated along El Camino Real with a
          certified passport. He was said to speak French, Spanish and
          thirty-eight Indian dialects. He often accompanied DeMezieres
          as an interpreter. He asked for and received three acres of
          land on El Camino Real in the vicinity of Robeline, Louisiana.
          In 1805 Moran was seventy-eight years old.
  Santiago Christine, Frenchman wed Marie D’Ortigeaux, French woman,
          resided on Bayou Pierre.
  Antonio Rocquier, Frenchman, wed Marrianne, an English woman. This
          grant by De Mezieres has already been mentioned as to
  Michel Crow, Englishman, wed Margarita La Fleur (LaFleur-Flores)
          Spanish woman, resided, as before mentioned in the claim of
          the firm, Murphy, Smith, Barr and Davenport.

In 1806 the following had applied for homesteads and received quarter
sections of land: William Eldridge, George Mac Tier, Manuel Flores, John
Cartez, Asa Becherson, Stephen Wallace and Seaborne Maillard.

Peter Belieu, who had been living on Bayou Pierre for fifty years,
declared squatters’ rights, as did Walter Weathersby, Francois Dubois,
David Chase, Jean Pierre Grappe, Joseph Teanriz, Mickel Chasneau,
Benjamin Boullett, William Cockerville, Denise Dies (Diez).

In the area of Cypress, Flora Provincal and Kisatchie, Louisiana, the
land was granted by Athanase De Mezieres in 1771-1776, to: Pierre Joseph
Maises, at Cypress, Louisiana, on Lago Acasse; Baptiste Prudhomme, also
near Cypress; Madam Marie Palagie on Drunkard’s Bayou near Flora,
Louisiana; Thomas Vascoque near Provincal, Louisiana; Joseph Procell, a
Spaniard, west of Bayou Derbonne, west of Melrose, Louisiana; Pierre
Sanscalier on Bayou Kisatchie near Kisatchie, Louisiana, who used the
fresh spring water of Kisatchie and made the finest corn whiskey on the
whole Neutral Strip; and, Leander Lasso on Petite Bayou Pierre, south
and west of present-day Cloutierville, Louisiana.

Within the area of present day Sabine Parish were these settlers in
1805: Joe Leaky, John Wadell, Christopher Anthony, Thomas Hicks, Jacob
Winfree, Jose Rivers, Peter Patterson, David Weathersby, David Walters,
John Gordon, Benjamin Winfree, James Kirklin, Andres Galinto, Jose
Procell, James Denny, Manuel Bustamento, John Yocum, Jessy Yocum and
Michel Crow. E. Dillon, A. Davidson, Barbe, Beebe, Cartinez, Slocomb and

                        FAMILY TREE OF ST. DENIS
               (Born Sept. 17, 1676, Died June 11, 1744.)

  Jean Juchereau wed Marie Langlois.
  Nicholas Juchereau de St. Denis wed Theresa Giffard.
  Louis Juchereau de St. Denis wed Emanuello Sanchez de Navarro Ramone.
      Children were:
  Marie Rose Juchereau de St. Denis wed Jacques De La Chaise.
  Louis Charles Juchereau de St. Denis wed Marie Barbier.
  Marie des Delores Simone de St. Denis wed Cesair de Blanc.
    Child, Louis Charles de Blanc.
  Louise Margarite Juchereau de St. Denis.—Died young.
  Marie Patronille Feliciane Juchereau de St. Denis wed Athanase
              DeMezieres. There was one child, Louise Feliciane
              DeMezieres, who may have wed a Prudhomme.[14] DeMezieres’
              second wife was Pelagie Fazenda, whose name is noted on
              several birth records as a Godmother.
  Marie des Neiges Juchereau de St. Denis wed Manuell Antoine de Soto
      Children were:
      Marie Manuello de Soto wed Augustain Le Noir.
      Ludoric Joseph Firmin de Soto.
      Marie Joseph de Soto—died young.
      Joseph Marcel de Soto wed Marie Ballio.
      S. Antoine Gertrudes de Soto wed Manuell Flores.
      Emanuello Marie Anne de Soto wed Joseph Rambin.

                              1734 TO 1740

      _Child_          _Parents_         _Godfather         _Godmother
                                          (Parin)_           (Marin)_

 J. Avanboite.     J. Avanboite.      Francois Godeau.  Rose De St. Denis.
                   Marie Badin.


 J. Dupree.        J. Dupree.         J. Dupree.        L. Riotou.
                   Anna Maria
 H. Triche.        J. Triche.         A. Gonzales.      E. S. De Navarre
                                                        (Madam St. Denis)
                   Lorette Grenot.
 Neona Bautimino.  L. Bautimino.      L. J. De St.      E. S. De St.
                                      Denis. (Louis     Denis. (Madam St.
                                      Jauchero)         Denis)
                   Theresa Navarre
 A. Lage.          A. Lage.           A. Dupin.         Anna Verger.
                   Maria De La Chase.
 A. Prevot.        Nicholas Prevot.   J. Bossier.       Ananise Chaneau.
                                                        (Madame Chmard)
                   Yevonne Dubois.
 J. Leroy          Lise Francis       M. de St. Denis.  Madam de St.
                   Gillot.                              Denis.
                   Silveran Leroy.
 J. Rachal.        Pierre Rachal.     P. Cussin.        Jeanne Piquerey.
                   Marie Anna


 M. V. Prudhomme.  J. B. Prudhomme.   G. Chevert.       Marie
                   Celest Mestier.
 Theresa           J. Levasseur.      G. Chevert.       Theresa Barbier.
                   M. F. Bourdon.
 J. B. Brevel.     J. B. Brevel.      J. B. Prudhomme.  Marcel Bacques.
                   A. Tvianac.
 M. Chevert.       G. Chevert         J. B. Prudhomme.  Marainne Bacques.
                   Y. Mestier.
 R. Dupree.        J. Dupree.         Rime Avare.       H’Elane Dubois.
                   Theresa Barbier.
                   (Second wife of


 Ann Lage.         Justine Lage.      A. Lage.          M. de La Chase.
                   F. Buart.
 M. F. Gauthier.   J. Gauthier.       R. Dubois.        Marie Francine
                   Manuello Lorenzo
 M. L. Manne.      Francisci Manne.   J. B. Derbonne.   Marie Gonzales
                   Joan Derbonne.
 N. Prevot.        Nicholas Prevot.   P. Prevot.        Zelia Prevot.
                   Yevonne Dubois.


 R. Possoit.       R. Possiot.        H. Riche.         A. Dumont.
                   A. M. Phillipi.
 M. R. Boisselier. J. Boisselier.     J. McCartey.      E. Santhez y
                   C. Labarre.
 L. Rondin.        J. Rondin.         Luis Goudeau.     J. Piguery.
                   E. Flores.
 C. F. Lavasseur.  J. Lavesseur.      F. Manne.         J. U. Garcia.
                   M. F. Bourdon.
 M. F. Chevert.    G. Chavert.        G. Barbier.       M. F. Bourdon.
                   Th. Barbier.
 J. B. Trichelle.  L. Trichell.       J. B. Derbonne.   A. DeManche.
                   M. Demonde.


 H. M. S. Brevel.  J. B. Brevel.      L. Goudeau.       J. Piguery.
                   A. Tvianac.
 J. B. Prudhomme.  J. B. Prudhomme.   F. Daicdeau.      Donna Girtrudus
                   Celest Mestier.
 J. Rachal.        P. Rachal.         J. Rondin.        E. Rachal.
                   M. A. Benoist.
 F. Rambin.        Andres Rambin.     Louis Rambin.     Marie Cathern de
                                      (Grandfather      Poutree
                                      also)             (Grandmother)
                   Zelia Prevot.
 E. Verger.        J. Verger.         L. DeMalathe.     M. A. Rousseau.
                   A. Demont.
 L. Lager.         J. Lager.          L. DeMalathe.     M. Flores.
                   F. Buard.
 L. DeMatlathe.    L. DeMatalathe.    Manuel Flores.    Th. Flores.
                   M. Flores.
 E. Trechelle.     H. Trichell.       L. J. de St.      E. Sanchez de St.
                                      Denis.            Deni.
                   M. Charles.
 E. Possiot.       R. Possiot.        S. J. Maderne.    M. Buard.
                   A. M. Phillipi.
 P. DeLuche.       J. DeLuche.        P. Fausse.        J. Grenot.
 M. DeLuche.       M. Benoist.[15]
                   (Melanie Benoist)
 M. LeRoy.         Siveran LeRoy.     G. Bosseau.       M. de La Chais
                   Lise Francis


 A. Prudhomme.     J. Prudhomme.      L. J. de St.      Donna E. Sanchez
                                      Denis.            de St. Denis.
                   C. Mestier.
 H. D. Marine.     J. A. Marine.      H. Trechelle.     M. Dumont.
                   G. O. L. Perot.
 E. Vidol.         E. Vidol.          J. DeLuche.       M. Benoist
                   C. Lavespere.
 H. L. Lavespere.  H. Lavespere.      L. J. de St.      M. Derbonne.
                   C. Brossilier.
 M. Leroy.         Siveran LeRoy      J. DeLuche.       M. H. Guillot.
                   L. S. Guillot.
 Note: Margarite LeRoy who was Christened in 1739 wed Louis Rachall, a
 French Soldier, in 1757. She was 17 years old. Her Sister Marie who was
 Christened in 1740 wed Jean Baptiste Le Campti who was also a French
 Soldier, in 1758.
 M. J. Levasseur.  J. Lavasseur.      J. B. Derbonne.   M. V. Gonzalez.
                   M. F. Bourdon.
 C. Hernandez.     G. Hernandez.      P. Renaudier.     M. F. Renaudier.
                   J. Renaudier.
 M. F. Possiot.    R. Possiot.        L. J. de St.      M. Sanchez.
                   A. M. Phillippi.

                     SOLDIERS IN NATCHITOCHES—1742

  Louis Juchereau De St. Denis, Commandante.
  Captains: Cesar De Blanc also a son-in-law of St. Denis. Cesar Borme,
          Jean Gainard, Baltazar Villars and Louis Pablo Villenfev.
  Lieutenants: Jacques De La Chase, Bernardo Dortolen, (Dortigeux),
          Jacques Terpeux, Vincent Perrier, Jean Baptiste Derbonne, and
          Jean Baptiste De Duc, Anthanase DeMezieres and Philippe
  Sergeants: Gureilleon Lavespere, Michael Gallion, Joseph Lattier,
          Joseph Trichell (Trichel), Nicholas Tournier, _Guiellerno
          Lestage_, Alexis Grappe, Remi Possiot, Louis Possiot,
          Bartholme Rachal and Angelus Challettre
          (Schellette—Chellette-Schellet) Alarge Chabineux.
  Corporals: Antonio Le Noir, Jean Dubois, Antonio Distin, Jean Dupuy,
          Allarge Dupuy, Nicholas Pent, Christopher Perault, Felix
          Jeanot and Olivere Fredieu and Entoine Desadier.
  Musketeers: Louis Moinet, Francois Hugue, Bartholme Monpierre, Andries
          Compiere, Pierre Renaudiere, Luis Antee (also Town Crier),
          Regimigo Tontin, Marino de Muy, Domingo St. Primo, Everiste
          Possiot, Gaspard Toil, Antonio de St. Denis, Louis Bertrand,
          Jean Prudhomme, Henri Barbarousse, Louis Pierre La Cour,
          Armand Beaudoin, Pierre Baillio and Jean and Nicholas Layssard
          (brothers who were the sons of Antoin Nicholas Layssard who in
          1723 established “Post Du Rapides” The town of Colfax
          Louisiana is on the Land Grant of Jean and Nicholas Layssard
          who had established a trading post in that area in 1747),
          Siveran Le Roy, Francois Beaudoin and Andries La Cour.



Pierre Bisson, Joseph Blancpain, Jean Basquet, Pierre Blot, Jean Chapuis
(Traded as far west as New Mexico, Jean Chapuis Jr., the son, later
became known as the Father of Oklahoma he developed the largest chain of
Trading Posts which was never equalled. The territory covered the
Missouri River Area, the upper Red River Area and as far west as the
Colorado River). Pierre Gaignee (Gainnie) (Gane) (Gainiee) (Gaignie) had
a trading post on Bon Dieu Falls which was at that time on Rigilet de
Bon Dieu was later called Creola Landing and now Montgomery, La.


Sieur Barme, Nicholas Fazinda, Antoin Rambin (Tailor Shop), Louis Lemee,
Estabin Pavie, Dominec Mancheca (Tavern Owner), Michel de Chasne, Louis
Bonnafons, Luis Caesar Barme, Mathais La Courte, and Pierre Joans.

                             Horse Traders

Nicholas Chef, Nicholas La Mathie, Brognard, D’Autherive, Duviviere,
DuBuche and Pierre DuPain.


Jacques Bacquet, Ezeb Mercer, Charles de Blanc, Gailier Gallion, and
Jean Baptiste Brevel. And Soldier-Farmer, Pierre Brosset.

                            Soldier Farmers

Bartholme Charbonet, Louis Moinet, Andries La Cour, Bernardo Dartigo,
Jean Baptiste Derbonne, Guiellerno Lestage, Remi Poissoit, Angelus
Chellettree, Joseph Lattier and Alexis Grappe.

Priests at Nachitoches were Father Vitree and Dagobare.

                         Merchants at Los Adais

Antonio Flores, Edwardo Nugent, Jose LaLima, Luis De Qundise and Joseph
Antonio Bonetis.

                       SOLDIERS AT LOS ADAIS—1742

  Jose Maria Gonzalez, Captain and Commandante second to Governor.
  Captain Eucibia Luis Cazrola.
  Lieutenants: Bernardo Dortolan, Franciscio Garcia and Ensigne,
          Jauquine Cardova.
  Soldiers: Jose Duprez, Hortego Cardova, Geronimo Gallardo, Thoribolo
          de La Fuentes, Fernando Rodriguez, Franciscio Uque, Antonio y
          Barbo (Father of Gil y Barbo), Luis Garcia, Antonio Barbarjo
          De Vargez, Estaban Bonites, Elonzo Bustimento, Pedro Chacon,
          Greganzoto Martinez, Surrento Flores, Felix Solis, Luis Solis
          and Phillippe Hernandex.


Durango y Oconna, (Ocon) Sanchez, Alberto Cartinez, Jose Guierre,
Manuello Flores, Gregory Procell and Salvadore Bano, Sanchez, Juan De
More, Pedro Pasquell, Gaspardo Conterio, Patrice Lopez, Cadet Toro,
Mechell La Rouex and Antonie Sepulvado.


  _Baptismals and Death Registers, 1704-1740_, Cathedral Archives,
          Mobile, Alabama.
  _Concessions_, Louisiana Historical Society Library, Tulane Library,
          New Orleans. Transcripts.
  _French MSS., Mississippi Valley, 1676-1869_, Louisiana Historical
          Society Library, Tulane Library, New Orleans.
  _Notes and Docquements Historiques de la Louisiane_, Tulane Library,
          New Orleans.
  Hennepin, Louis A., _Description of Louisiana_, Paris 1683, edited and
          translated by J. G. Shea, New York 1880.
  Joutel, _A journal of the last voyage performed by Monsr. De la Salle_
          to the Gulf of Mexico to find the Mouth of the Mississippi
          River, Written in French by M. Joutel, a commander in the
          expedition. Caxton Club, London, 1896.
  Kelerec, _Report of 1758_, New Orleans Library.
  LePage du Pratz, _Historie de la Louisiane_, 3 vols Paris, 1758.
  _The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents_, edited by R. G. Thwaites,
          71 vols, Cleveland 1896-1901.
  _Colonial Records of North Carolina_, edited by William L. Saunders,
          10 vols, Raleigh, N. C. 1896-1901.
  La Harpe, Bernard de, _Journal Historique de l’Establissement des
          Francais a la Louisiane_, Nouvelle-Orleans 1831. New Orleans
  Le Gac, Charles (Director of the Company of the Indies) _Memorie
          d’apris les Voyages sur la Louisiana_, la Geographie, La
          situation de la Colonie Francois ou 25 Anust 1718 au 5 Mars
          1721 et des moynesd de l’ameliorer, 1722. Boston Public
  Blanchard, Rufus, _History of Illinois_, Chicago 1883.
  Breese, Sidney, _The early history of Illinois_, from its Discovery by
          the French, in 1673, until its concession to Great Britain in
          1763, including the Narration of Marquette’s Discovery of the
          Mississippi, Chicago 1884.
  Bunner, E., _History of Louisiana from its first discovery and
          settlement to the present time_, New York 1841.
  Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 43, _Indian Tribes of the Lower
          Mississippi Valley_ Adjacent to the Coast of the Gulf of
          Mexico, Washington 1911.
  Speed, Thomas, _The Wilderness Road_. A description of the route of
          travel by which the pioneers and early settlers first came to
          Kentucky. In Filson Club Publication, No. 2, Louisville,
          Kentucky. 1886.
  Thwaites, Ruben Gold, Wisconsin, _The Americanization of the French
          Settlements, American Commonwealths_, Boston and New York
  B. F. French, Editor, _Historical Collections of Louisiana_, 5 parts,
          New York 1869-1875.
  B. F. French, _Historical Collections of Louisiana and Florida_, New
          Series, 2 vols 1869-1875.
  Gayarre, Charles, _History of Louisiana_, The French Dominion, 4 vols,
          New Orleans 1885.
  Gayarre, Charles, _Histoire de la Louisiane_, 2 vols, Nouvelle Orleans
  Gayarre, Charles, _Louisiana, Its History as a French Colony_, New
          York, 1852.
  Hienrich, Pierre, _La Louisiane sous la Compaignie des Indies_,
  _Louisiana Conservationist_, January 1957, A map drawn by Simon Le
          Page du Pratz of the Lower Mississippi Valley, showing the
          location of numerous Indian Tribes.
  Delisle’s _Map, 1718_, New York Public Library.
  _Fleur de Lys and Calumet_, by Richebourg Gaillard McWilliams.
  _Analysis of Indian Village Sites from Louisiana and Mississippi._
          Anthropological Study No. 2. By John A. Ford.
  _Cavalier in the Wilderness._ By Ross Phares.
  _Alexandria and Old Red River Country_, by Harry and Elizabeth Eskew.
  _A History of the Red River Watershed_, by J. Fair Hardin.
  _Northwestern Louisiana_, by J. Fair Hardin.
  _History of Sabine Parish_, by John G. Belisle, Many, Louisiana, 1912.
  _History of Louisiana_, by Alcee Fortier, 4 vols.
  _A History of Louisiana_, by Charles Gayarre, 4 vols.
  _History of Natchitoches, Louisiana_, by Milton Dunn (Louisiana
          Historical Quarterly, 111 (January 1920) Pages 26-56).
  _Our Catholic Heritage in Texas_, by Carlos E. Castaneda, 7 vols.
  _French Civilization and Culture in Natchitoches_ (Peabody College
          Bulletin No. 310 Nashville 1941) by Portre-Bobinski.
  _Natchitoches the Up-to-Date Oldest Town in Louisiana_, by Clara
          Mildred Smith and Portre Bobinski, New Orleans 1936.
  _Natchitoches, Oldest Settlement in the Louisiana Purchase_, published
          by The Association of Natchitoches Women, 1958. Printed by the
          Natchitoches Times.
  _Ride the Red Earth_, by Paul I. Wellman.
  _A History of Louisiana_, by Elizabeth Grace King and J. R. Ficklen.
  _Commerce of Louisiana During the French Regime_ by Surry.
  _History of the Caddo Indians._ A Thesis by William B. Glover of the
          University of Texas 1932.
  _The History of Louisiana Agriculture_, by Williamson.
  _Historical and Biographical Notes_ by B. F. French. Published by J.
          Sabine 1869.
  _Pichardo’s Limits of Louisiana and Texas._ 4 vols by Charles W.
          Hackett. Published by the University of Texas Press 1941.
  _Louisiana and Florida_ by B. F. French.
  _Discovery and Explorations of the Missisisppi_, by John G. Shea,
          Published by Clinton Hall, New York City, 1852.
  Source Material on the _History and Ethnology of the Caddo Indians_,
          Louisiana State University Press.
  _Mississippi Provincal Archives_, 3 vols French Dominion by Albelt
          Godfrey Sanders, M.A., Millsaps College, published Jackson,
          Mississippi, Department of Archives of History 1932.
  Athanase DeMezieres Books 1 and 2 of the _Louisiana and Texas Frontier
          1768 to 1780_. By Herbert Eugene Bolton. Published by The
          Authur H. Clark Co., Cleveland, 1914.
  _The Sword was their Passport_, by Harris Gaylord Warren. Published by
          the Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge, La. 1943.


  (The names with stars are descended from early ancestors mentioned in
  the text or listed in the early records of El Camino Real area)

Here are some short biographies of individuals who have each in his or
her own way contributed to the progress of our El Camino Real upper

Many of them are descendants of the earliest settlers, and their
families have been in Louisiana for nearly 250 years. Very few in
Louisiana can claim such distinction, for even the founders of New
Orleans came later.

The families of others written about here settled in this area years
afterward, some in modern times. But they have adopted the land as their
own and are just as proud of its history and traditions as the “old

All have, by living up to the standard of older days, added to the well
being of the community and improved it socially, economically and
politically. They have made it attractive to tourists and visitors, and
new permanent residents find it a most attractive place in which to
live. The people of today who live along El Camino Real are worthy of
their sires.

                         Clifton Robert Ammons

Clifton Robert Ammons of Many, La., wed Ethel Jeanne Matherne of Houma,
La. Their children are: Robert Dale, L.S.U.; Dianna Drew, Centenary
College; Kenneth Ellis, Larry Wayne and Suzanne Jeanne. Mr. Ammons truly
exemplifies our modern-day citizen of the El Camino Real area. He is a
Farmer and Stockman, a School teacher and State Representative of Sabine
Parish. The Toledo Bend Dam, one of his pet projects, shall some day
prove its value to this Louisiana and Texas area. Mr. Ammons’ work with
the F.F.A. is second to none other in the State. He is truly an
excellent community worker.

                           Bernice C. Arthur

Bernice C. Arthur, owner of the Many Insurance Agency, wed Miss Helen E.
Fuglaar of Alexandria, La. Their children are Thomas C. and James R..
Mr. Arthur is a descendant of the families Roberds and Dollarhide who
had settled near Sabine Town in 1829. Camp Sabine, Sabine Town and
Sabine Blockhouse were one and the same—Camp Sabine established by Gen.
Wilkinson in 1811, Sabine town by the settlers and Sabine Blockhouse by
Gen. Gaines in 1828.

                          John Milton Belisle

John Milton Belisle for 30 years was editor and publisher of the Sabine
Index at Many, La. He was a member of the Town Council for 4 years,
Mayor of Many for 16 years and State Representative for 8 years. He was
the son of John Graves Belisle who wrote the first History of Sabine
Parish. John Milton wed Alice Wagley of Many. Their daughter, Hanna
Jane, wed W. Carlie Brumfield. Their children are Alicia and Juliannah.

                          Jack and Albert Bell

Jack and Albert Bell own and manage the Bell Brothers General Store at
the corner of Texas and Clark Streets in Robeline, La. This business
location is on what was at one time the Joe Robeline farm which
pre-dates the founding of Robeline, La. Joe Robeline had a Way-Station
at this location during the Neutral Strip period.

Jack Bell wed Carolyne Elizabeth Powell of Pleasant Hill, La. Their
children are Roy Patrick and Don Gregory. Mrs. Jack Bell is a teacher at
the Robeline Elementary School.

Albert Bell wed Mildred Marie Tooke of Homer, La. They have one child,
Judieth Carrol. Mrs. Albert Bell is the Home Economics Teacher at the
Robeline High School.

                           Lloyd Vernon Blunt

Lloyd Vernon Blunt wed Miss Lynn L. Haynes. They own and operate the L&L
Cafe in Many, La., which is located on the main street of Many. This
street is a portion of El Camino Real. Their children are: Mary Joan who
wed Harold Lloyd Southards, and Lloyd Wallace who is in the U. S.
Marines. Mr. Blunt is a Marine veteran of the Nicaraguan campaign. Mr.
and Mrs. Blunt are natives of Virginia and have become a very definite
asset to the El Camino Real area of Many, La.

                         Sidney Williams Bright

Sidney Williams Bright, Co-owner of Bright and Son Laundry and Cleaners
at 224 Amulet St. in Natchitoches, La., wed Beatrice Williams of
Bronson, Tex. Their children are: Sidney Williams, Jr., who wed Etheline
St. Andre (their children are Elizabeth Ann, Rhonda Jean and Sarah Lou);
Mary Francis Bright wed Stephen Melou Brown, Jr. (their children are
Stephen Melou III, Cheryl Anne and William Dudley). Mr. Bright, Sr.,
originally was a native of Hemphill, Tex., where he was at one time
Clerk of Court for Sabine County.

                       Joseph Frederick Brosset★

Joseph Frederick Brosset, Overseer on the Bayou Camite Plantation at
Derry, La., wed Eva Moreau. Their children are (a) Mary Jo, wed to
Doctor Elwin Adams of Belmont, La.; (b) Lester Roy, Lt., U. S. Army; (c)
Billy Jean, wed Lawrence M. Carnahan, Jr.

                        Mrs. Eli Houston Butts★

Mrs. Eli Houston Butts, neé Eleanor Irene Lovell, route 2, Colfax, La.,
is a typist, clerk and saleswoman for Blair Products. Children are
Bonnie Lynn and Marilyn Louise. Mrs. Butts is a descendant through the
Baillio Chellettre family to Jean Layssard, who was a son of Etoinne
Layssard who established Post Du Rapides in 1723, the beginning of
Alexandria, La. The present Town of Colfax, La., is on the French land
grant of Jean Nicholas Layssard.

                               James Coco

James Coco, Mortician and manager of the First National Funeral Home at
Natchitoches, La. He wed Clara Belle Stringer of Midland, Texas. Their
children are: James Gary, Lucy Dolores, Charles Anthony and Elizabeth

Mr. Coco is a son of Albert F. Coco and Rhoda Escude.

Albert F. Coco is a descendant of Dominic Baldonide who came to America
with Lafayette to fight with the American Revolutionary Army. After the
Revolution he migrated to Pointe Coupee, La. and from there to the
Alexandria area near Marksville, La.

There are several versions of how the name Baldonide changed to Coco.
This is not unusual in this section of Louisiana. For example: LeBrun,
nickname for Jean Bossier; Duprez, nickname for Francois Dion Derbonne;
and Dauphine, nickname for Charles Bertrand.

These above three nicknames are now family names in the central
Louisiana area.

                           Fred Litton Cooper
                         Mrs. Dottie Dee Cooper

Fred Litton Cooper, owner of Cooper’s Pharmacy at Robeline, Louisiana,
wed Miss Dottie Dee Scarborough. There are two children: Norman Otto who
married Doris Jordan of Robeline, and Margaret Sue who wed Aubry Ralph
Barnette of Robeline. Mr. Cooper is by far the leading historian of the
Robeline area. He and Mrs. Cooper have kept alive the value of Robeline
historywise. Cooper’s Pharmacy is a must-stop for all tourists who
travel into Robeline.

Mrs. Dottie Dee Cooper is a member of the N W P H N (Association of
Natchitoches Women for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches). She
has taken upon herself to be the Official Greeter for tourists who visit
this section.

In relating the history of the Robeline vicinity Mrs. Cooper has the
statements of these historians to refer to: John Belisle’s History of
Sabine Parish as well as earlier authorities.

Cabeza De Vaca in his book written in 1540, declares that he was among
the Adais Indians in 1530. De Vaca, a survivor of the Panfillio Narvez
expedition into Florida in 1528. De Vaca spelled the name Adais. (Atyas)
exactly as later Spaniards spelled the name.

B. F. French in his interpretations of early Spanish documents, placed
the Hernando De Soto expedition among the Adais Indians. French
translated the writings of Gonzado Quadrado Charmillio who was the
Chronnicalor for the De Soto expedition. Charmillio wrote: “This
Wednesday, March 21, 1540 we came to a place called Toalli.”

                            Lloyd Earl Dean

Lloyd Earl Dean, Stockman, Planter and Co-owner of the Boyce Gin Co., at
Boyce, La. Mr. Dean resides on the Dean Plantation south of Colfax, La.
He wed Sarah Florence Beall of Pineville, La. Their children are Sarah
Frances, William Burkett, George Carlton and Albert Lloyd.

Mr. Dean is a son of Garland Carlton Dean and Leona Creed. Garland
Carlton Dean is a son of Albert Allen Dean and Clara Price. Albert Allen
Dean founded Fairmount Landing on the Red River between Colfax and
Boyce. Shipping ledgers now in the possession of Lloyd Earl Dean show
that the Fairmount Landing did business with the Steamboats _Garland_,
_Valley Queen_, _Laura Lee_, _Keokuk_, _Peninah_, _Halliette_, _Jesse K.
Bell_, _G. W. Sutree_, _Decotah_, _E. B. Wheelock_, _The John D. Scully_
and the _Nat F. Dortch_. With Steamboat Captains John J. Dodd, F. T.
Aucoin, H. J. Brinker, G. Scully, S. J. Bozaman, A. G. White, William
Gillin and James T. O’Rey.

Albert Allen Dean was the steamboat agent for the Red River and
Coastline Steamship Co., The Red River Packet Co., and the T&P Railway
Company which had the Steamboats _E. B. Wheelock_ and the _C. W.

Lloyd Earl Dean traces his ancestry to Abraham Alexander who signed the
“Mecklinburg Declaration” of North Carolina just prior to the
Declaration of Independence.

The Dean family dates back to 1608, the birth date of Nathanial Dean who
came to America on the ship _Paul_ in 1635.

                        Alvin J. DeBlieux, Sr.★

Alvin J. DeBlieux, Sr., owner of the New Drug Store at corner of St.
Denis and Second Sts., and DeBlieux’s Drug in Broadmore Shopping Center,
wed Miss Anette Block of Bunkie, La. Their children are Alvin, Jr. and
Margaret Ann who wed Robert Ross Anderson of Chicago, Ill. Mr. DeBlieux
is a fifth generation Natchitochan. His great-great grandfather settled
land on the east bank of Red River opposite the Bluffs at Grand Ecore,

                         Jack Lestan DeBlieux★

Jack Lestan DeBlieux, Planter, Stockman and Agent 1 of the Enforcement
Division of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, wed Eloise Adkins
of Coushatta, La. Their children are: Freddy, Barry Freeman, Molly Darla
and Dan David. The Gaines Military Road from Fort Jesup to Arkansas
borders the DeBlieux property. The River-crossing was just arear of the
DeBlieux residence. Jack Lestan’s ancestors saw the coming of Yankee
Gunboats up the Red River.

                    Mrs. Lawrence Cleveland DeLatin★

Mrs. Lawrence Cleveland DeLatin, neé Florence Adeline Case, owns and
manages Florence’s Beauty Shop at 575 West Main Street, Many, La. She
was born in Palatka, Florida. Mr. DeLatin is a descendant of Durango y
Oconna (Ocon), who, after having served his required tenure as a Spanish
soldier, acquired and settled land in the Robeline area. There are many
descendants today branching from Durango Oconna.

                       Mrs. Percy Roberts Dillon★

Mrs. Percy Roberts Dillon, neé Caroline Eloise Brook. From her marriage
are these children: Percy Roberts, Jr., wed Kathleen Lambert, their son
is Michael John; and Rilla Diana wed Garland Carlton.

Mrs. Percy Roberts Dillon is a Beautitian and owns and manages the
Petite Beauty Shoppe at 435 San Antonio St., which is a portion of El
Camino Real and is the Main Street in Many, Louisiana.

                       Mrs. Herbert Dorfer, Ph.★

Mrs. Herbert Dorfer, Ph., neé Ada Trichel of Fairview Alpha, La., taught
school in Natchitoches Parish for 25 years before studying and becoming
a pharmacist. Her business establishment, Campti Drug Store, is on
Edenborne Street. Her children by her first marriage are Blanche
McElwee, who wed Dr. A. L. Hushey of Opelika, Ala., and Ray McElwee who
wed Rosemary Peters of Austin, Texas.

Edenborne Street in Campti, La., is named for a famous steamboat

                       Exchange Bank & Trust Co.

The Exchange Bank and Trust Co., at the corner of Front and St. Denis
Streets in Natchitoches, La., will have at this printing ended its 70th
year of continuous service in Natchitoches. This bank at its beginning
occupied two other locations on Front St., and in September 1892 the
Exchange Bank erected and moved into the building which is the present
location of the bank. In the span of 70 years of service there have only
been four Presidents: Dr. J. W. Cockerham, J. Henry Williams, Arthur C.
Watson and at present Mr. Harold Kaffie. In 1826 this street corner was
called “Lescal’s Corner” because of Lescal’s Dance Hall and Theater.
This theater thrilled the local citizens with such plays as: Romeo and
Juliet, Macbeth, and Bewick and Graham.

                        Ambrose Charles Flores★

Ambrose Charles Flores wed Dovie Lea Frye of Minden, La. Their daughter,
Dolores Ann, wed Aubrey Randall Word and they reside in Shreveport. The
Flores family has been connected with the El Camino Real from the very
beginning of its occupancy by the Spanish. There were very few
expeditions from Mexico City which did not contain a Flores as a member.
Ambrose represents the 10th generation of Flores in the Robeline area.

                            C. B. Funderburk

C. B. Funderburk is owner and manager of the Starlite Motel, Highway 171
south, Many, La. He wed Miss Mahalia Eunice Johnson of Chopin, La. Their
children are: Jacquelyn, who wed Guy Cheek; Jeryl D., who wed Suzane
Chaput of Portland, Maine; Larry Don, who attends Many High School; and
Mary Jane, who attends Many elementary school. C. B. is a fifth
generation descendant of A. Taylor who settled near Kisatchie, La., in
the Neutral Strip.

                       Mr. and Mrs. Clive Glover

Miss Estelle McLean of Goldonna, La., wed Clive Glover of Natchitoches,
La. Mrs. Glover owns and manages Glover’s Gift Shop which is located on
the south end of Front Street, the oldest street in the original
Louisiana Purchase, at 459 Jefferson and Front Streets. Mr. Glover is a
Master Plumber and contractor. He is a descendant of Colonel Caspari,
who when a State Representative acquired and established Northwestern
State College. He built the Tap—a railroad from Natchitoches to Cypress,

                          Joseph Jesse Grappe★

Joseph Jesse Grappe, owner of Value Pak Grocer at 1200 Washington St.,
wed Exie Borland of Dodson, La. Their children are Bennie Evon, wed to
Robert Wayne Womack; Robbie Jean, and Shirley Ann, who wed James
Buckley. Mr. Grappe, a descendant of Pierre Batiste Grappe, who was a
French soldier at Natchitoches in 1741. Jesse represents the eighth
generation of Grappes in the Natchitoches area. Fishing is his favorite

                       Hon. Lloyd James Harrison★

Lloyd James Harrison, Mayor of Montgomery, La., a merchant and planter
and a historian in his own right, wed to Miss Gussie Teddlie. He is a
descendant of Mrs. T. O. Harrison, who when the Yankee gunboats were
firing on Creola Landing, walked out on her porch and waved an apron.
Admiral Porter, admiring such bravery, ordered the cease-fire signal to
be given.

                         Loyd Bernard Harrison

Loyd Bernard Harrison, Science-Agri. instructor at Colfax High School,
wed Doris Olene Jones. Their children are: Loyd Bernard, Jr., Janis Cay,
Melvin Lee and Connie Suse. Mr. Harrison is also a Planter and Stockman
as were his ancestors. He is a descendant of the Harrisons who were very
active in the readjustment period after the Civil War. At that time the
town of Montgomery was known as Creola Bluff Landing on Red River. Many
of the fine families of this section of Grant Parish are descendants of
those inhabitants of Creola Landing.

                         Thomas James Harrison★

Thomas James Harrison, Gen. Manager of the W. T. McCain Consignee
Distributor of Esso Products at Montgomery, La., wed Marion Blanche Wood
of Mansfield, La. Their children are: Tommy Rey, Ronnie Lee, Johnnie
Payne and Donnie Wayne. He is a 5th generation descendant of Thomas J.
Harrison, Capt. 3rd Inf. Reg., which was stationed at Fort Jesup.

                      Thomas Ortenburger Harrison★

Thomas Ortenburger Harrison, barber of Montgomery, La., wed Mabel Clair
Fletcher. Their children are: Margie Dorothy, librarian, and Thomas O.,
Jr. who wed Paula Gilbert of Minden, La. Their child, Jennifer Harrison.
T. O. Sr. is a barber on Caddo street in Montgomery, and raises fox
hounds as a hobby. He is a descendant of Thomas J. Harrison, a signer of
the Caddo Indian Treaty, July 1, 1835 who was a captain of the 3rd Inf.
of Fort Jesup.

                          Mrs. Earl Hernandez★

Leona Mai Sampite, is a home economics teacher at Cloutierville, La. She
wed Earl Hernandez. She is a descendant the Delouche, Guillot, Benoist
and Perrier families. Jean Delouche, father of Justine came to Louisiana
from LaVendee, France in 1712. By previous marriage Mrs. Hernandez’s
children are: Joseph Stanley—Louis Henry—and William Rachal, Jr. Joseph
wed Doris Ann Brosset: Louis wed Lorinne Bryant and William wed Marcelle

                        Edmond Prudhomme Hughes★

Edmond Prudhomme Hughes, is the owner and manager of Hughes
ready-to-wear, at the corner of Front and Horn streets in Natchitoches,
La. He wed Martha Lawton. Their children are: Julie, Martie and Jill.
This business location, now famous for the iron lace front and iron
spiral stair case in the rear of the building was erected 108 years ago
by Gabriel Prudhomme after having assembled the materials in Europe.
Natchitochans of a 100 years ago knew this location as “La Mason de
Faseion”, and it still is that today. Mr. Hughes is a descendant of an
early family in this Natchitoches-El Camino Real area.

                        Mrs. Maxie Mae Jinkins★

Mrs. Maxie Mae Jinkins, neé Maxie Mae Welch of Robeline, La., owns and
manages Murphys Cafe at 1215 Washington Street in Natchitoches, La. She
wed Harrison Jinkins and from this union these children:—Mar Jo who wed
Hulom Jennings (they have one child, Scott Benjamin)—Judith
Charlene—Joseph Andrew—Hannah Maudine—Monita—La Faune—Charles Ray and
Wafa Dean.

Mrs. Jinkins is a descendant of Joseph Maxim Welch who maintained a
stagecoach station in the Robeline area and who maintained stagecoach
service from Natchitoches to Fort Jesup and Baldwin’s store. All
locations were along El Camino Real. The site of Presidio de Los Adais
was owned at one time by this family.

                      Dr. Edward Everette Jordan★

Edward Everette Jordan, M.D., retired, wed Ruby Dee Burson of Bienville,
La. Their children are: Edward Eugene who wed Elaine Hammond (their
children are Eugenia and Elizabeth Anne)—Elizabeth Dixon Jordan wed
Robert L. Hibbs—Everette Neil Jordan wed Doris Jene Tinsley (their
children are Janet and Robert Edward). Doctor Jordan is a descendant of
Hanna Dixon and Eugene Erasmus Jordan who helped the wounded soldiers of
the Battle of Mansfield. They had settled Jordan Ferry for which this
location in now known.

                        Kaffie & Frederick, Inc.

Kaffie & Frederick, Inc., formerly H. Kaffie and Bros. and S. & H.
Kaffie, at 758 and 759 Front street in Natchitoches, La., will in 1963
celebrate their one hundredth anniversary as a firm in business on Front
street. The original location was in the vicinity of the Old Darky
Statue. It was from this point that the establishment saw the arrival
and the retreat of the Union Soldiers after the Battle of Mansfield in
1864. The present building was erected in 1883 by the same firm of
contractors who built the old Court House on Second street. At the rear
of the present location was a camp ground provided by Kaffie for those
who came to Natchitoches to sell their farm produce, and camp-fires
burned day and night. The firm of H. Kaffie and Bros. was some 70 years
ahead of the modern method of a business establishment providing parking
space for its customers.

                         Frank Marion Kees, Jr.

Frank Marion Kees, Jr. served as Mayor of the City of Natchitoches, La.
for twelve consecutive years. He refused to run for the fourth term,
deciding instead to become President of Timberline Mfg. Inc. which he
was a coorganizer. This manufacturing company is at present producing
several designs of chairs. Timberline has again commercialized
Natchitoches as did Anthanase DeMezieres 200 years ago when he assigned
traders to the different Indian tribes. Following those same Indian
trails, which are our State Highways today, the Timberline salesmen have
customers in Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma and

Mr. Kees has served as president of the Central Louisiana Council of
Mayors and also the State Municipal Association of Mayors of Louisiana,
thus bringing added prestige to our Natchitoches area. How true is this
quotation by Mr. Kees: “The rocking chair is the worlds first
tranquilizer.” Mr. Kees wed Helen Myrtle LeBlanc of Opelousas, La.

                            Mrs. W. M. Knott

Much of the credit for the establishment of the Fort Jesup Museum goes
to Mrs. W. M. Knott of Many, Louisiana. The building was erected
according to the plans of the officers quarters during the time of
military occupancy. Mrs. Knott’s knowledge of landscaping is seen on the
grounds which encompass this building. She is an excellent historian,
and was a member of the Research Committee which set the markers for El
Camino Real and the Old Natchitoches-to-Natchez Trace. The people of
Sabine Parish can well be grateful that they have in their midst such a
gifted personality.

                           Luddie Lavespere★

Luddie Lavespere, owner and operator of Lavespere’s Garage, Service
Station, Grocery and Cafe on Highway 1 at Cloutierville, La. He is the
son of Eugene Armours Lavespere and Carline Antee. There is one sister
who wed Sullivan LeCaze. Henri Lavespere is listed as an agent of the
Company of the West and in association with St. Denis at Natchitoches.
Luddie Lavespere represents an 8th generation descendant in the
Cloutierville-Natchitoches area.

                          Samuel LeCaze, Sr.★

Samuel LeCaze, Sr., Merchant, Planter, Stockman and Banker of
Cloutierville, La. He wed Mazie Vercher. Their children are: Mildred who
wed Kenneth David McCoy, their son Kenneth David Jr., Samuel LeCaze, Jr.
wed Marie Anita De Louche.

The names LeCaze and Vercher date back to 1728 when these two French
soldiers were sent to Post Du Rapides which was the French army post
near present Alexandria, La.

                          Samuel LeCaze, Jr.★

Samuel LeCaze, Jr., owner of the LeCaze Estate General Store of
Cloutierville, La. He is a successful Merchant, Planter and Stockman. At
present he is President of the Natchitoches Parish Fair Association. In
1958 he was chosen Parish Farmer of the Year and placed third among the
Louisiana farmers. He was the state’s Cattleman father of the year in
1960. Samuel, Jr. wed Marie Anita Delouche. Their children are: Linda
Carol, Randall Steven and Tina Jeanine. Mrs. LeCaze is a descendant of
Justine Delouche who came to the Cloutierville area in 1735. Samuel is a
descendant of the French soldier, LaCaze, of Post Du Rapides of 1728.

                         Henry Howard Lemoine★

Henry Howard Lemoine, Planter and Stockman, Route 2 Natchitoches at
Clarence, La., wed Iola Jackson of Coushatta, La. Their children are:
Linda Gail and Henry Howard, Jr. Both attend St. Mary’s School at
Natchitoches, La. The Lemoine Family of the Ark.-La.-Tex. area had its
beginning with Francois Lemoine (LeMoyne)—the name being spelled both
ways on very early Natchitoches records. This family is that of
Iberville and Bienville who were brothers of the LeMoyne family.
Francois Lemoine being a nephew, just as was Louis Juchereau De St.
Denis whose mother was a LeMoyne or Lemoine. Francois Lemoine is listed
as a soldier in Natchitoches in 1723. Thus Henry Howard Lemoine, Sr.
represents a 9th generation descendant in our Natchitoches-El Camino
Real area.

                       Henry Oscar Lestage, Jr.★

Henry Oscar Lestage, Jr., member of the law firm of Lestage & Arnette
and City Judge of City Court of Jennings, La. Wed to Juliet Xavier
Barfield. Their children are: (a) Henry Oscar III wed Anne Scates
Warton—one child, Henry Oscar IV. (b) Daniel Barfield, medical student,
LSU. (c) David Ramsey, JHS (d) Richard Butler 5th grade. Mr. Lestage’s
maternal grandmother was Aimie Barberousse. This branch of the family
tree dates back to 1713 in the Natchitoches area. A descendant of one of
the two Barberousse brothers who were with St. Denis when the Post Des
Jean Baptiste Des Natchitoches was founded in the spring of 1714.

                      William Tell (W.T.) Lestage★

William Tell (W.T.) Lestage, owner and manager of Lestage’s Hardware and
Appliances, Campti, La. He represents a 9th generation descendant in the
Campti-Natchitoches area. Mr. Lestage wed Mary Catheryn Marcelli of
Campti. Their children are: Catheryn Ann, who wed John Edward O’Shea of
Tullos, La.; William Tell, Jr., and Robert Frank. Guierlero is Spanish
for William. Guierlero Lestage was listed as a Natchitoches soldier in

                        George Washington Lucius

George Washington Lucius, Planter and Cotton Gin owner, wed Milinda
Youngblood. His children were: Mecie Lucius, who wed Tal C.
Gibson—Mattie Lucius who wed J. Henry Cain—James W. Lucius who wed Sarah
Pharis—Rupert L. Lucius who wed Laona Stone. Mr. Lucius was for many
years Secretary and Treasurer of the Masonic Lodge at Fort Jesup, La.
All of his children have added greatly to the economic welfare of Sabine

                         Christopher C. McCaa★

Christopher C. McCaa wed Eunice La Cour of Natchitoches. They own and
operate McCaa’s Grocery at the junction of the Allen Road with Highway
6, one mile north of Robeline, La. This is just three tenths of a mile
from the site of El Presidio Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Los Adais. Mrs.
McCaa is always ready to assist visitors to the Los Adais area. This
location was at one time a stage coach station on El Camino Real between
Natchitoches and Fort Jesup.

Mrs. McCaa’s family name, La Cour, appears very early in Natchitoches
history. La Cour one of the fourteen French soldiers sent by St. Denis
in 1723 to establish “Post du Rapides” which was the beginning of
Alexandria, Louisiana. This post was established at the request of
D’Artagnan, who was a direct envoy of King Louis XV, to Louisiana, and
who later became known in French folklore as one of the Three

                           Arthur R. McClery

Arthur R. McClery, owner and manager of the P&C Drug at 116-122 Tuline
street in Natchitoches, La., wed Theresa Hawkins of Parksdale, Ark.
Their children are: Barbara Joan who wed Moreland Book (their children
are Tina and David McClery Book), Patrica and Charlotte McClery.
According to Breutin’s map of 1722, the P&C Drug is located on the old
original El Camino Real which entered Natchitoches on this street. This
land was originally owned by Marichel and after the Louisiana Purchase
the land was sold to Trudeau from whom Trudeau street is named. Mr.
McClery has been one of the most successful men in Natchitoches, and has
helped in the modern development of the Natchitoches-El Camino Real

                          Giles W. Millspaugh

Giles W. Millspaugh, owner of Millspaugh’s Drug at 576 Front St., wed to
Ella Keener Charleville of Grosse Tete, La. Children are Giles W.
Millspaugh, III, who wed Zora Lee Holloman, and Lelia Elizabeth who wed
Floyd Allen Horton of Eunice, La. Mr. Millspaugh, a historian in his own
right, has in one corner of his drug store, a history of Natchitoches in
photographs and sketches. A must-stop for all who travel El Camino Real
and who visit Natchitoches. Giles is Natchitoches’ Front street
historian and coin stamp collector. Mrs. Millspaugh, III, is from
Winnfield, La.

                       Carson Meade Nardini, Sr.★

Carson Meade Nardini, Sr. of Alexandria, La. wed Pauline Marie Rand of
Alco, La. Their children are: Joseph Hall, Carson Meade, Jr. and Alice
Nanette. C. M. Nardini on his paternal grandparent’s side is a
descendant of Rouquier, Ballio, Chellettre, and Antoine Lassard who
established Post Du Rapides. His is a descendant on his maternal
grandparent’s side of Rachal and Chellettre. His children represent 9th
generation descendants in the Natchitoches-Alexandria area from 1723 to
the present day.

                      Louis Raphael Nardini, Jr.★

Louis Raphael Nardini, Jr., U. S. Army, being a descendant on his great
grandmother’s side of Possiot, is also a lineal descendant of Louis
Badin. He represents an 8th generation descendant in the Natchitoches-El
Camino Real area.

                  Norman Fletcher-Hillman Bailey, Jr.

Located on the second floor of the Prudhomme-Hughes building is the
voice of the Cane River area, K. N. O. C., the Natchitoches Broadcasting
Co., owned and managed by Norman Fletcher and Hillman Bailey, Jr. Mr.
Fletcher was educated in the Natchitoches Parish School System and is a
graduate of Northwestern State College in History and Journalism. He was
selected as the Jaycee’s of Natchitoches Man of the Year in 1958 and the
Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce’s Man of the Year in 1960. He is the
first person to serve three consecutive years as President of the
Chamber of Commerce in Natchitoches.

Mr. Hillman Bailey, Jr., President of the Natchitoches Broadcasting Co.,
a graduate of L.S.U. and a member of Delta Sigma Phi.

Mr. Bailey wed Terisa Zaunbrecher of Rayne, La. Their children are:
Kathleen, Karl and David. Mr. Bailey is a descendant of Louis Chachere,
an early settler of Opeolousas, La., and a descendant of the Bourbon
family line.

                          Rollie Edwin Patrick

Rollie Edwin Patrick wed Miss Pearl Byrd of Florien, La. Their children
are: Gerold E., who wed Bobbye Ruth Gregg of Charleston, S.C., Hubert
Leroy who wed Marcie Ann Koch of Seattle, Wash.; Martha Ann, Periodical
Librarian at McNeese College; Doris Lynelle, student at McNeese, and
Betty Carolyn, Many High School student. Mr. Patrick’s Service Station
at the corner of San Antonio St. and the Shreveport Highway is an
information stop for all tourists.

                          The Perrier Family★

Of the union of Casimere Perrier and Marie Antoinette Rachal was Oscar
Perrier, and of the union of Alexander Vercher and Natilie Gallion was
Octavie Vercher who wed Oscar Perrier. Their children are: Oscar Joseph,
Jr., James, Ruby John, Mable and Florence and Earney Grace, who wed
James Mancheck of Nacogdoches, Tex. Their children are: Marlyn Ann,
Janet Kay and Tammey Nell. The name “Perrier” is associated with
Louisiana History as early as 1713—in the Illinois Country, at Natchez
and New Orleans.

                         Elmer Lawrence Poche★

Elmer Lawrence Poche, Cloutierville, La. owns and manages Poche’s Garage
and Service Station, Highway 1, at Cloutierville. He married Alice
Brosset. Their children are: Elmer Lawrence, Jr., U.S.N.; Clara Calest
who wed Donald Vercher (they have one child, Stephen Donald); Lynn Dale
at N. S. College and Pauline Fay at Cloutierville High School. Mr. Poche
is a descendant of the Lavespere family, and Mrs. Poche is a descendant
of the Pierre Delouche family. They are 8th generation descendants in
the Cloutierville-Natchitoches area.

                           William A. Ponder
                              in memoriam

Taken from the monument of William A. Ponder, Fort Jesup, La.

“An extract from the resolution passed by the Democratic Central
Executive Committee of the Parish of Natchitoches April 7, 1890, to-wit:

Resolved, that, whether as Chairman of this Committee, Member of the
Legislature or Constitutional Convention, soldier or citizen, he was
true to every trust, zealous in every duty, honest in every conviction,
and he has left the legacy of an honest name. Unsullied by even the
breath of calumny. Conspicuous in council for wisdom and moderation,
farseeing and sagacious in the shaping of policies, courageous in the
defense of the right—knowing no fear except to do wrong—he was once a
safe leader and a successful public man.

To these characteristics he added those of a model Christian gentleman,
a steadfast friend, kind father, loving husband and a pure exemplary

                        James Woodrow Prudhomme★

James Woodrow Prudhomme, owner and manager of Sport-A-Pak on Highway 6
at the junction of the Grand Ecore-Campti, Highway. This business
establishment dispenses all the necessary needs of the hunter or
fisherman. Mr. Prudhomme is a 12th generation descendant of the
Prudhomme listed on Breutin’s map of 1722 of the Natchitoches area.
James Woodrow Prudhomme wed Beatrice Thadis Black of Natchitoches. Their
children are: James Larry, who attends N.S.C., and Catherine Diane who
attends St. Mary’s Academy.

                           Ray Joseph Raines

Ray Joseph Raines, owner and manager of Raines General Store at
Marthaville, La. wed Lillie Mae McCartney. Mr. Raines is a great nephew
of J. J. Raines who founded Marthaville, La. His maternal grand father
was John Spicher, a mess officer of the 7th U. S. Inf. who established
Fort Jesup. Mr. Raines spear-headed the drive which successfully
resulted in the establishment of the Marthaville Hospital, a community

                         Stephen Clyde Rambin★

Stephen Clyde Rambin, owner and manager of Steves Texaco Service Station
and Garage, Highway 1 at Powhattan, La. His father was Frank Louis
Rambin and his mother Zelia Possiot. The family name, Rambin, is
mentioned with St. Denis in 1713 and the Possiot name appears on
Breutin’s map of 1722. Stephen represents the 10th generation of the
Rambin-Possiot union in the Natchitoches-Powhattan area. The Rambin
family is well represented in the entire Ark.-La.-Tex. section.

                         Mrs. Elaine R. Smith★

Mrs. Elaine R. Smith, neé Elaine Russell of Cypress, La., is Deputy
Clerk of Court in Natchitoches, La. She is wed to Ellis Smith of
Natchitoches, La. Mrs. Smith is a descendant of Thomas Vascoque, who is
mentioned on another page. She is also a descendant of Armand who is
mentioned in DeMezieres’ report of 1769 on the merchants in

                        Riley John (R.J.) Stoker

Riley John (R.J.) Stoker, Principal of Pleasant Hill High School, wed to
Bernice Williams of Fair View Alpha, La. They have one daughter, Revicca
Ann who attends Louisiana Tech. Mr. Stoker is a fourth generation
descendant of Henry Stoker who settled on land two miles from the
present site of Fort Jesup in 1818. He gained extra land by trading
ponies to the Indians. This Stoker, a leading member of the Citizens
Committee, a vigilantes organization, assisted greatly in quelling the
banditry of the Neutral Strip. He later supplied Fort Jesup with farm

                          John Coleman Tarver★

John Coleman Tarver, honorable Mayor of Many, La. wed Thelma Mayer of
Woodward, Oklahoma. Their children are: Joan Tarver, who wed Wayne Dew
of Natchitoches, La.; and Mike Thayne, senior at Many High School. Mayor
Tarver owns and manages Tarvers’ Grocery located on El Camino Real,
which is Highway 6 east to Fort Jesup. Mr. Tarver is a descendant on his
great grandmother’s side of A. Cole who is listed in the 1806 period as
being a settler in the Neutral Strip. Cole is also listed as a
participant in the Guitreez-McGee Expedition to Texas in 1812.

                           Thomas Lester Ward

Thomas Lester Ward, owner of Ward’s Esso Service Station and Garage at
Robeline, La., wed Ellen E. Valentine of Jena, La. They have one son,
Thermon Lester Ward who is an Electrical Engineer at Fort Worth, Texas.
Mrs. Ward was an Elementary School Teacher at Jena and at Robeline.
Ward’s Service Station and Garage is located on El Camino Real in the
Town of Robeline, La.

                           Mrs. Kent Wardlow★

Margaret Veuleman wed Kent Wardlow, President of the Bank of Montgomery,
a member of the F.D.I.C. Their children are: Mary Ellen and Jennifer
Ann. Mrs. Wardlow is a descendant of F. Veuleman who bought land from
the firm of Smith, Baar, Davenport and Murphy in 1821 and marks the
first purchase of land in what is presently the town of Many, La.

                           Jack Eazel Whitley

Jack Eazel Whitley, owner of Whitley’s General Store at Robeline, La. He
married Ruby Alberta Nelson. There are these children: Ruby Marjorie who
wed Stanley Ford Harvey of Shreveport, La. (they have one child, Stanley
Ford, Jr.); Jack Eazel, Jr. wed Mary Alletta Coats of Marthaville, La.
(their children are: Patricia Ann and David Van); Albert Jean, who wed
Glenda Finell of Orange, Texas. (They have one child, Cynthia Jean); and
Ruby Marjorie is a school teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Jack
Eazel, Jr. is a dental technician in Shreveport, and Albert Jean is a
chemist in Orange, Tex.

The father of Mr. Whitley, Sr., Andrew Jackson Whitley, owned the first
butcher shop in the Robeline area.

Mr. Whitley Sr.’s second wife is Miss Ethyl Bates of Provencal, La. Mrs.
Ethyl Bates Whitley taught school in Sabine Parish for a number of

                      Mrs. Irma Sompayrac Willard

Irma Sompayrac Willard, neé Irma Rosalind Sompayrac, married David Milne
Willard, Jr. of New York.

Their son: Daniel D. M. Willard, Lt. Cdr. U.S.N., married Suzanne
Johnson of Arlington, Va., and their children are: Alice Darby, David
Milne III, and Richard Briand of Virginia Beach, Va.

Among forbears who served in the development of Natchitoches and of the
state are Hon. Alexander E. Sompayrac who cast the deciding vote to
abolish the Louisiana Lottery. His great-grandfather of Tarn, France,
familiar with America through overseas trade and as a French naval
officer, brought three sons to New Orleans via the West Indies. Ambrose
married Desiree Josephine Briant, (daughter of a planter there and
Colonel of a Regiment of French Dragoons, and Marie Mozard). Settling in
Natchitoches about 1800, he bought new wireless telegraphy stock, using
it in his cotton business. His place became a depot for trade with

On the maternal side Alexandre Deblieux, dissenting from Napoleon,
brought his sons from Provence and opened law and commission offices in
New Orleans and Natchitoches where he planted cotton. One of his sons
helped organize the first public parish school board. He married
Euphrosine Tauzin of the Chamard family. His son married Julie, a
daughter of Lestan Prudhomme, Sr. of the lines of Lambre, LeRoy,
Philippe and Possiot. Mrs. Willard is the Supervisor of Art Education
for the State of Louisiana.

                        Mrs. Lee Terry Williams

Mrs. Lee Terry Williams, neé Anna Louise Stille. Her home is located on
the site of the John Baldwin Store of the 1826 period. On her father’s
side, Mrs. Williams is a lineal descendant of Princess Pocahontas and
John Rolfe of early Virginia history. Through the families of Rolfe,
Bolling, Mactin, Dr. W. B. Smith, Joseph Denning Stille, Sr., and Joseph
Denning Stille, Jr., who was the father of Mrs. Lee Terry Williams.

                      Dr. William Kenneth Wimberly

Dr. William Kenneth Wimberly, dentist of Campti, La., wed Miss Bell
Russel of Peason, La. Their daughter, Lynnie Ruth who is at present
attending Natchitoches High School, was selected and honored as the
Sweetheart of the Aircraft Carrier, Ranger. This old expression
describes Dr. Wimberly perfectly: “a gentleman faultless in his carriage
and deportment.”

                          Marshall Ellis Winn

Marshall Ellis Winn, Planter and Rancher, Route 2 Robeline, La., wed
Sadie Lenora Nims of East Orwell, Ohio. Their children are: James Jerold
and Willard Allen, who wed Jacquelyn Beaver of Leesville, La. Their
children are: Jacquelyn Ann, who attends Northwestern State College at
Natchitoches, and Jimmy Jerold who attends High School in Alexandria.
Mr. Winn was active in the organizing of the R.E.A. in Natchitoches and
the adjoining Parishes. For 19 years he served as a Board Member in that

Mrs. Sadie Winn taught in public schools 31 years at Robeline, La. Part
of Mr. Winn’s estate is part of Rancho Bano which was land allotted to
the Mission, San Miguel de Cuellar de Los Adais, the profits of which
were to support the Mission.

                          Glen Lawrence Wyatt

Glen Lawrence Wyatt, owner and manager of G. L. Wyatt’s Esso Station at
St. Maurice, La., wed Audrey Adams of Verda, La. Their one son, George
Miller, wed Sherley Anne Tacker of Segreves, Tex. When St. Denis and
Bienville in 1700 were among the Yatasee Indians on Nantanchie Lake they
would have also visited the Destonies Indians on Saline Bayou and then
while en-route to the Natchitoches Indians, would have passed within 200
yards of Mr. Wyatt’s business establishment. Both Mr. and Mrs. Wyatt are
historians of this area.


[1]The Red River near Natchitoches had an unusual cane growth and was
    later referred to as Rio Cannis by later Spaniards. The Adais lived
    on Spanish Lake as it was later called. This lake had an unusual
    heavy growth of cat-tails which resembled the Tules of Spain.
    _Toalli_, a slang, Spanish expression referring to houses built of
    tules. The mud and reed houses so described were typical of the
    Caddo Indian Federation of which the Adais was a tribe. The Caddo
    home or _Hinta-sak_ was built so. The Adais were about a day’s march
    from the Red River-Natchitoches area, fifteen miles which was the
    usual distance foot soldiers traveled in that length of time.

[2]Nakassa Lake is located in the southern part of Natchitoches Parish.

[3]These were the same two brothers which were captured by DeLeon and
    Flores, and been put on a Spanish ship to be returned to France. The
    ship was captured by the French and these two were with Iberville
    when he landed at Biloxi.

[4]An official of rank next only to the chief.

[5]The amole root is a species of the yucca plant. When boiled in water,
    that water used for bathing had the same property as soap and left a
    fragrant odor on the body of the user.

[6]The present day location is in the King Hill area, which now
    comprises part of the Simp Russ plantation between Lake End and
    Ajax, La.

[7]This land grant was where what is commonly called the Fish Pond
    Bottom by present day inhabitants of the Robeline area. It was
    referred to later by Dr. John Sibley, an Indian Agent in 1807, as
    Lagoon de Mora in a letter to Major Porter, Post Commander of Fort
    Claiborne in Natchitoches.

[8]This medicine became popular among the doctors at that time according
    to the reference of an old book at the office of the late Dr. J. N.
    Brown of Campti, Louisiana. _Quillendive_ meant seeds of certain
    plants, not just one particular plant or herb. When administered,
    the medicine caused nausea.

[9]This Spanish Fort had stood for 48 years amid what was considered a
    hostile area, yet in all that time it never had to defend itself.
    This belies the statements or propaganda of the French referring to
    the cruelties and unjust rule of the Spanish against the Indians of
    the area. Had such been so, certainly the Indians would have risen
    in open rebellion.

[10]At this point one must understand the claims of the United States
    concerning the Louisiana Purchase. The United States claimed the Rio
    Grande as the boundary of the land previously owned by France
    because of La Salle’s settlement at Fort Louis on Matagordo Bay in
    1685. The Spanish claimed the land as far as the west bank of the
    Red River, basing their claim on the Domingo Teran del Rios’
    expedition of 1690. Both the Spanish and the United States’ officers
    involved in the meeting in the Adais area were aware of the claims
    of their respective countries.

[11]John Quincy Adams remarked of the Filibusterers: “The main actors
    cross and double-cross one another so frequently that suspicion and
    doubt hang over their hands like a black cloud over their actions.”

[12]Red River at this time was blocked by log jams as far as Fort Towsin
    in Arkansas. Bayou Pierre was the water route as far as the vicinity
    of Shreveport.

[13]If the address of Natchitoches, Louisiana, appearing as the address
    of Fort Jesup seems strange, it must be remembered that at that time
    Natchitoches was the nearest Post-office.

[14]Pierre Subastion Prudhomme.

[15]Note: the above is that of the Justine DeLuche Family. The Child P.
    DeLuche being named Pierre after Pierre Fausse who was the Godfather
    and perhaps also the Grandfather.

                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—Corrected obvious typos; retained inconsistent spellings (especially
  names) that may represent different documentary sources.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "No Man's Land - A History of El Camino Real" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.