Franco-Spanish Rivalry in North America, 1524-1763

By Henry D. Folmer | Go to book overview

The Mississippi and the Rio Grande

The other plan to conquer . . . New Biscaye is to ascend the river called by the Spaniards Rio Bravo [ Rio Grande] and which fortunately happens to be the same [river] called by the Indians Mississippi which . . . La Salle . . . has just explored to the sea.1

By the end of January, 1682, the French government had received several plans for the seizure of the northern provinces of New Spain. Peñalosa's project of 1681 to conquer Quivira and Thegayo had apparently not been favorably received by the French court. The Peruvian's proposal to land an expeditionary force on the Mexican coast, however, was considered. This last plan was further amplified by Peñalosa in his project of January 18, 1682, whereby New Biscaye was to be attacked from a French post to be built on the Rio Grande.

In October, 1682, La Salle sent to France his plan to use the Mississippi river as a basis of operation against the Spanish colonies in North America. La Salle tried, on his return to France in 1683, to convince Seignelay that his Mississippi colonizaton project would be of considerable aid in the conquest of the Spanish mines. In a memoir written early in 1684, La Salle pointed out that from the settlement that he proposed to make on the Mississippi, "one can make considerable conquests for the glory of the King."2 This document suggested that should peace between France and Spain force

____________________
1
Memoir of [ Renaudot?] January, 1684, Margry, III, 56.
2
Memoir of La Salle to Seignelay [early 1684] ibid., p. 20.

-145-

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Franco-Spanish Rivalry in North America, 1524-1763
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 5
  • Contents 9
  • Illustrations 11
  • Preface 13
  • Abbreviations Used in the Footnotes 17
  • Spain's Claim to the New World 19
  • France Sails the Ocean 31
  • France Challenges Spanish Claims 43
  • Peace in Europe but War in America 63
  • Pedro Menendez D'Aviles and the End of the Huguenot Colony 91
  • Sixteenth Century Justice 117
  • The Gulf of Mexico 125
  • Penalosa and La Salle 137
  • The Mississippi and the Rio Grande 145
  • La Salle's Expedition of 1684 155
  • The Spaniards and La Salle 167
  • Ruins and Survivors of Fort St. Louis 177
  • Iberville Rediscovers the Mississippi 197
  • The Beginnings of Louisiana 209
  • Mobile and Pensacola 219
  • The French Expand into Texas 1717-1719 241
  • Pensacola and the War of the Quadruple Alliance 253
  • Texas During and After the War of the Quadruple Alliance 265
  • French Efforts to Penetrate New Mexico 277
  • The Last Years of Rivalry, 1727-1763 291
  • Bibliography 311
  • Index 335
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