University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

French National Archives Records, 1697-1803



Descriptive Summary

Creator: French National Archives
Title: French National Archives records
Dates: 1697-1803
Abstract: Comprised of typescripts and photocopies of original manuscripts from the Archives Nationales, the French National Archives Records, 1697-1803, document French activities in Spanish and French territories in the American South, including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida.
Identification: urn:taro:utexas.cah.02133
Extent: 1.5 linear feet
Language: French , Spanish; Castilian , English , Latin .
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Historical Note

Parts of the Mississippi Valley were under French jurisdiction from approximately the late-17th century to the mid-18th century. French residents from Louisiana sought to establish trade routes with Native American tribes and Spanish outposts in East Texas. In 1699, a French-Canadian explorer, Louis Juchereau de St. Denis (1674-1744) sailed from La Rochelle, France, to Louisiana, where he was stationed at forts on the Mississippi River and Biloxi Bay. St. Denis explored parts of East Texas, including along the Red River, where he encountered Karankawa and Caddo Indians. In 1713, Louisiana governor Antoine de La Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac (1658-1730) sent St. Denis and a company of men on an expedition to assist Fray Francisco Hidalgo (1659-1726), in re-establishing missions throughout East Texas. Departing from Mobile, Alabama, St. Denis and his men voyaged up the Red River and established a fort at Natchitoches, Louisiana. He traveled to Spanish outposts on the Rio Grande, where he met and married Manuela Sánchez, the granddaughter of Diego Ramón, commander of the presido San Juan Bautista. St. Denis was then appointed a commissary officer in the Ramón expedition, and founded a presidio and several missions in East Texas between 1716 and 1717.

At the conclusion of the War of Spanish Succession, French and Spanish relations began to disintegrate, and between 1716 and 1821, trade relations became more tenuous. Additionally, an increased number of Spanish missions in East Texas led Spain to lay claim to land north of the Rio Grande. These newly established missions struggled, however, as Native American tribes in East Texas resisted conversion and joining the missions.

Source:

Chipman, Donald E. "Spanish Texas." Handbook of Texas Online.


Scope and Contents

Comprised of typescripts and photocopies of original manuscripts from the Archives Nationales, the French National Archives Records, 1697-1803, document French activities in Spanish and French territories in the American South, including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. Letters, memoirs, narratives, journals of council minutes, and reports concern the French-Spanish and French-Native American relations, sea voyages to Mexico, missionaries, as well as French government and military affairs. Correspondence and reports pertain to Fray Francisco Hidalgo, Fray Manuel Sandoval, and Louis Juchereau de St. Denis and his expedition to East Texas.


Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.


Index Terms

Personal Names
Cadillac, Antoine de La Mothe, 1658-1730
Hidalgo, Francisco, 1659?-1726
Sandoval, Manuel
St. Denis, Louis Juchereau de, 1674-1744
Corporate Names
Archives nationales France
Subjects
Discovery and exploration, French
Indians of North America
Missions
Ocean travel
Spanish colonies
Places
Florida
Louisiana
Mississippi
Natchitoches
Texas

Related Materials

Original manuscripts located at the Archives Nationales in Paris, France.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

French National Archives Records, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Accession Number(s)

1989-346

Processing Information

Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center's "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011. Subsequent revision by Juliette Draper, February 2021.


OCLC Number

746953010


Detailed Description of the Collection

Inventory

box
2Q234 [SRH1230011583] Typescript, vol. 735, French activities in Spanish southwest, St. Denis, 1697-1728
box
2Q235 [SRH1230011573] Typescript, vol. 736, French activities in Spanish southwest, St. Denis and Florida, 1714-1718
Typescript, vol. 737, The French in Mississippi Valley, 1699-1803
Typescript, vol. 738, French-Spanish relations and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1715-1803
Typescript, vol. 739, Marine activities, 1716-1745
Photocopies
box
2.325/A181 [SRH1230000327] Letter from St. Denis (French), 1700
Letter from Cadillac about the mission of Fr. Francisco Hidalgo (French), 1714
Letter from Ollivier about Spaniards and missionaries (French), 1715
Report on St. Denis' voyage (French), 1716
Report on St. Denis' voyage (Spanish), 1716
Extract from a memoir mentioining missionaires to the Asinais (French), 1716
Extract from a relation of St. Denis' voyage (French), 1716
Extract of a letter about St. Denis, Spaniards, Natchitoches (copy) (French), 1718
Memoir by a French missionary (French), 1718
Extract of a letter from Cadillac mentioning mission of Fr. Hidalgo (French), 1724
Extract from a memoir mentioning Spaniards, Mission of St. John the Baptist on the River of the northern frontier, St. Denis, Asinais and the Adaes (French), 1726
Extract from a report by a Capuchin on the mission in Natchitoches, 1727
Letter from Fr. Manuel Sandoval (Latin), 1734
Notes from Natchitoches and Texas (French), 1750
Extract from a report by B. de la Harpe mentioning Cattos and also a Spanish mission (French), 1763