The development and functions of the army in new , 1760-1798

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Link to Item http://hdl.handle.net/10150/319751 THE DEVEIOPMENT AND FUNCTIONS

OF THE ARMY IN , 1760-1798

Vincent Peloso

A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the


In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of


In the Graduate College



This thesis has been submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for an advanced degree at The University of Arizona and is deposited in the University Library to be made available to borrowers under rules of the Library.

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This thesis has been approved on the date shown below:

• >SELL C. EWI Date Professor of Hisstory TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter Page

Io INTRQLU CTION eo»*eeaoe6*oeee®eeeooooo 1




SUMMARY . . oooeeoooooooooooooeeooeooo89

APPENDIX . . oeooooeoooeeoooooeoooooooo92

BIBLIOGRAPHY oooQooooooooaeooooooooo 93


Spain’s efforts to retain her empire in the latter half of the

eighteenth century caused notable revisions in her colonial policies

which came in part from unjustified fears in , New Orleans and

Mexico City of enemy political designs upon the colonies of Louisiana

and New Spain* These changes took form in New Spain most dramatically

in the creation of a colonial arny.

The army came into being ostensibly to protect the colony from

English military invasion through after the Seven Years War,

American invasion of and through Louisiana after the American revolu­

tion, and American and British invasion after the French revolution*

Consequently, the military forces, raised largely among the colonials, were, dispersed throughout the realm and even in the vulnerable northern

borderlands* Instead of repelling foreigners, however, the army grappled with nomadic hostile Indians who wanted booty, sustenance and

ammunition from Spanish and haciendas, and who refused to retire

to sedentary living. The Indians in the borderlands thus formed a genuine opposition to local military and religious aims*

Ineffective as it was, the army became a tool of the crown to

block threats to its political power, then a device to thwart the

potential power of New Spain’s viceroys, and finally an instrument by which the viceroys themselves concentrated their power despite the efforts of the Spanish kings* Through it all the army increased

steadily in size so that where it had stood at a mere cadre of about

iv lf>00 professional soldiers in 175»8, it to a formidable corporative body of 32,000 amateurs and professionals by 1798. CHAPTER I


Evidently the ideas of ’’enlightened despotism” penetrated Spain

at least with the crowning of her third Bourbon king, Charles III.

Indeed, reforms were attempted in all spheres of Spanish domestic life, for the vigorous and austere king worked hard to lift the country out

of the morass of control by private corporations and the nobility5 in a

sense, he worked to put the king back on the throne o

His grandiose hopes included bringing Spain back to the eminent

European position from which she had gradually fallen since the six­ teenth centuryo To do this he was forced to contend with England, a

douhtry -which had earned his undying enmity when he was the Prince of

Naples in 1739» Meanwhile, by the implications of the treaty ending

t:hd War of Spanish Succession in Ehrope, Spain was politically related,

to Prance, and the tie was formally sealed in two agreements before

175>9<> Charles would not, or could, not, easily' hreak the strongest, link

in his opposition to; Great Britain*

; . In the imperial sphere, the reforms characterizing ’’enlighten­

ing, despotism’’ meant -ip' part that the American colonies had to be

brdu'ght once more under the sway of Spain after the long hiatus of economic control through various means by foreign merchants* At the

same time, the colonies were permitted freer, 'trade among themselves" and. with the mother country to win the favor of their most powerful citi­

zens * Internally they also faced reforms, among which was the notion that citizen soldiers with their informal approach to military life could no longer suffice as the needed source of power upon which the king could rely; for citizen soldiers did not take military life seri­ ously, or were satisfied merely to take advantage of its benefitso

When he turned to the colony of New Spain, however, Charles III faced the fearsome prospect that the army could become a power base for the , for whatever purposeo Consequently, while he assumed that an army was a necessity in New Spain for defense against foreign rivals as well as internal threats to his power, Charles III did not want it turned against himself« The working out of these assumptions and aims of regal policy with reference to Louisiana and New Spain are consid­ ered in this essay in light of their implications for the growth of an army in New Spain, 1760-17980 CHAPTER II



Near the close of the Seven Years War the Duke of Choiseul,

France's foreign minister, began to devise a scheme to win a decent peace from England with minimal losses to s One way to soften the blow was to divert England's attention to Spain and her colonial possessions by somehow inducing Spain to enter the war® Charles III was urged by his own ministers and Choiseul to enter the conflict, but he hesitatede England solved Choiseul's problem by capturing Havana in

May, 1762, forcing Charles III to act upon the renewed Family Compact, a reciprocal guarantee of aid in case of war= Through this compact,

Spain had become the owner of Louisiana, though in the peace of

1763 she lost the to - Great Britain®

The shift of Louisiana to Spain created more problems that it solved® At the end of the war Charles III decided to reform his colon­ ial armies in New Spain, swelling the professional ranks with militia­ men® For the future Louisiana raised the possibility of an imperial war, but for the present Louisiana raised economic problems for Spain®

Though in the 1760s Spaniards did not control the fur trade directly in the new colony, nevertheless French trappers kept their English compet­ itors out and consequently kept them from contacting the Indians in the

Red and southward, Indians whom Spanish missionaries wanted to convert and with whom secular administrators wanted to trade® In the 1770s western American immigrants clamored increasingly for use or control of New Orleans mostly because of their frustration over lack of convenient markets for their furs* These cries opened up the possibili­ ty of American trespass upon and Texas5 with the consequent disturbance of the delicate Indian relations which Spain retained there and in other border provinces * Spanish ownership of Louisiana was thus gradually tied to the problem of military reform in New Spain, for the militia placed in the borderlands were needed to keep the Indians sep­ arate from English and American traders, to protect the provinces from filibustering expeditions, and to create a monopoly of the Indian trade in the'sparsely settled northern provinces0

Before the late 1760s, the need to defend from an attack by sea through Veracruz or had,filled the thoughts of Spanish authorities, primarily because it had proved difficult to distinguish piratical raids from conquering expeditions Certainly in 1760 there was still reason to assume that a foreign power might attempt to take advantage of the weak defenses in the Caribbean» England held several islands in the lesser Antilles from which South Sea Company ships abused the asiento by trading on Spanish coasts0 French contrabandists from Guadeloupe, Martinique, and competed in these illic­ it operations and the very same bases might, in Spanish eyes, serve as points for both powers to launch military expeditions against New Spain,

Furthermore, French ambassadors in Madrid, such as the Marquis d ’Ossun,

1„ Peter Gerhard, Pirates on the West Coast of New Spain (Glen­ dale: The Arthur He Clark Co,, I960), 139-Hs.l, 231i,-237| Richard Pares, War and Trade in the West Indies, 1739-1763 (London: Frank Cass Company, 1963), & 6 - & 9 o : ; ; stressed the notion that Spain might soon have to oppose English ag­ gression in the Western Hemisphere, and Charles III seemed willing to listen to these arguments despite the pro-English sympathies of his 2 foreign minister. General Richard Wall®

Ironically, neither France nor England was actually interested in political hegemony over New Spain during or after the Seven Years

War® Even a cursory consideration of English policy at this time leads to the conclusion that Charles III was mistaken to rely upon the

French, who wanted a Spanish ally for future wars of revenge with Eng­ land, and that he probably misinterpreted Great Britain * s intentions®

Most English political factions and George III were ready by 1760 to end the war with France, but they disagreed among themselves as to the gains to be made from it® Thus negotiations dragged and nearly failed when the elder William Pitt, who was reluctant to accept an incomplete victory, learned that France had brought Spain into the peace discus­ sions in 1761® For his part, Choiseul naturally wanted to lose as little as possible and first offered England all Canada and then east­ ern Louisiana in an attempt to save France’s Caribbean sugar islands®

After Lord Bute declared war on Spain in mid-1762 and British ships cap­ tured Havana, Choiseul saw another way out by offering Louisiana to

Spain if the latter would give up West to Britain in order to regain Havana® In his view, this would please the British by "rounding out" their North American possessions® George Grenville, London's

2® Pares, War and Trade, 532-533; Vera L® Brown, "Studies in the History of Spain in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century," Smith College Studies in History, vol® XV (October, 1929-January, 1930), secretary of state for the Southern Department» had already insisted

strongly on some decent compensation for Havanae Spain was in no po­

sition to reject an offer, but it was clear to Charles III that neither

of his rivals wanted western Louisiana*, Nevertheless he accepted the

new territory, hoping as did his advisers that if Spain could better

control the River commerce New Orleans might be eliminated

as a center of contraband | he also thought the area might fall to Eng­

land later in the peace negotiations if he refused it at the outset0

The British seemed, to bear out his views by quickly occupying Mobile 3 and Pensacola after the signing of the peace«

The dangerous proximity of England in West Florida and of

France in the Caribbean may have prompted Charles Ill's military re-

. forms in New Spain, but it is questionable whether he ordinarily would

, have acted on this score alone as soon as he dido After all, the

treasuries of both the mother country and New Spain were depleted and

there existed a small corps of veteran royal soldiers already on guard

at strategic points in the viceroyalty«, There was, however, another

consideration which may have tripped the scale in favor of immediate

military reorganization; church-state relations in Spain with their

foreseeable repercussions in the empire

3o ' Clarence W e Alvord, The Mississippi Valley in British Pol­ itics , 2 volSo (; Russell and Russell, 195>9), I, 66-73; Elijah Lyon, Louisiana in French Diplomacy, 1759-1801; (Norman; Okla­ homa University Press, 193U), 2it-33; Arthur S 0 Aiton, "The Diplomacy of the Louisiana Cession," American Historical Review, XXXVI, no* 1& (July, 1931), 701-720o

ho Brown, Smith College Studies * 17-18© In Spain the Jansenist-ultramontane dispute strengthened the suspicion that the Jesuits would make an effort to counter a crown at­ tempt to weaken their hold on the universities in the metropolis and on the Indians in the colonies® Charles was more than aware of the

Jesuits' anti-regal position and the consequences this had for them in

1759 when they opposed the Marques de Pombal in Portugal® There were signs in Spain that their anti-nationalism would provoke a crisis when the newly appointed head of the Inquisition aligned himself on the side of the Pope in 1760* thereby signaling a Jesuit attack upon Jansenist writings in the universities® For New Spain* this could mean further assertions of Jesuit power on the frontiers indeed, complaints had grown more forceful over the years that the Jesuits refused to heed the secularization law in and Chihuahua, a law which required that each be surrendered to the secular clergy upon pacification of d the Indians®

Charles III had* therefore* several factors to weigh after the

Seven Years Mar in deciding upon specific action with regard to the new strategic positions in the Caribbean0 England had established Gulf coast bases in Mobile and Pensacola along with her island possessions and British Honduras from which she could interfere in Spain's commer­ cial monopoly5 France had Santo Domingo and several other islands to serve the same purposes® . Louisiana was thus of value to help eliminate

5® Richard Herr, The Eighteenth Century Revolution in Spain (Princeton; Princeton University Press, 195$)* 13-18$ Herbert Ee Bol- ton* "The Mission as a Frontier Institution in the Spanish-American Colonies" (El Paso; Academic Reprints* Inc®, i960), 5-60 another center of contraband trade and as an outpost for observing

British behavior on the east bank of the Mississippi, The problem of

preventing illicit trade, however, served in part as a disguise for a

military answer to a political problem: the contest for crown control

of the Church, Thus orders went out after detailed conferences in

1763 to reform the royal army and build a native militia in New Spain

to guard the approaches to the from Acapulco and Vera­

cruz, as well as strategic interior cities.

The viceroy of New Spain in this period of conflict faced ex­

acting military problems. His predecessors had made fumbling attempts

to erect an efficient defense of New Spain with the veteran royal

troops stationed in the major cities. Defense of the Caribbean supply

and export systems was fixed by Phillip II to include fortifications

in , Cartagena, and Havana, supplemented by forts at Cam­

peche on the Yucatan coast, Isla de Carmen, Veracruz, and finally at

St, Augustine, This arrangement had its advantages for the fleet

system, and English merchants in the Caribbean complained to London '

about continual loss of their trading vessels. But there were still

too few Spanish warships in the fleet to cope with French and British


6, Maria del Carmen Velasquez, El Estado de Guerra en Nueva Espana, 1760-1808 (Mexico: El Colegio de Mdxico, 195>0), lii-20j Pares, War and Trade, chs, 11 and 125 Instrucciones que los virreyes de nueva espafia de.jaron a sus sucesores (Mexico: Imprenta Imperial, 1867)9 Ca- gigal to the Marques de Cruillas, 1760, lllu 9 Military defense of the roads to Veracruz and Acapulco, more­

over, was highly disorganized. Viceroy the Marques de Cruillas tried .

to construct an army capable of defending the coastal cities but he was hampered by the fact that tribute collection had fallen off in the

preceding fifteen years and that the newer mines could not be relied

upon for high yields of revenue. For the time being he chose to ignore

the in the interior where the soldiers complained about poor 7 supply practices and insufficient pay. He heard most of these prob­

lems before Spain joined the war against England, After the loss of

Havana he had to relocate Cuban and Floridian refugees, and when the

peace went into effect he assigned families from Pensacola and Mobile

to the militia companies already stationed around Orizaba and Jalapa,

Local businessmen were pressured to provide additional regiments to

guard the Veracruz approach now that the British were in Florida, The

crown never disapproved of these measures and within a year Charles III

had sent out a contingent of military reformers headed by General Juan

de Villalba y Angulo to build upon the meager foundations laid by the

frustrated Cruillas, Thus the Spanish reaction to the first diplomatic

loss in the period under consideration was given credence by eagerness

on the part of the viceroy and other Mexican officials to erect a mili­

tia, partially or potentially under their own control, and this fact 8 played no small part in the military reforms of 1?6U in New Spain,

7o Cagigal to Cruillas, 1760, Instrucciones, 116-117,

8, Carmen Velasquez, Estado de Guerras 35-365 Lyle N, McAlis­ ter, ”The Reorganisation of the Army in New Spain,11 American Historical Review, XXXIII, no, 1 (, 1953), 1-1&, 5-7, 10

After the signing of the in 1763 Charles III resolved to maintain a detached equanimity toward England 0 He hoped to avoid war in the future with as few concessions and as much dignity as possiblee The Marques de Grimaldi was now made foreign minister, however, and he was known for his strong attachment to the vengeful

Frenchman, Choiseule Perhaps the tension created in Madrid by these opposing attitudes brought the Louisiana question to a head once more0

Louisiana was also affected, indirectly, by new British policies toward 9 the North American colonies 0

London cabinet ministers wanted in May, 1763, to test the ma­ chinery of control over the American colonies e Decisions were made to keep a military force in America and to strengthen the imperial depart­ ment of Indian affairs to protect Indian hunting grounds beyond the

Appalachian mountains® Lord Shelburne, as president of the Board of

Trade, was instructed to implement these measures, and he reluctantly decreed the Appalachian Line of 1763 and offered American settlers land in Quebec as an alternative® The Lords of Trade recommended that two controlled colonies be established in East and West Florida, know­ ing that nearness to New Orleans would attract people interested in trade® The resulting British movement into Mobile and Pensacola fright­ ened Spanish administrators and Charles III, even though the British

9® Brown, Smith College Studies, 20® 11 intention was only to establish trading posts and nots as yet, military 10 positions.

By 17669 howevers the elder Pitt was back at the helm of govern­ ment demanding a military alliance with Russia and Prussia against the

Bourbons, Shelburne, now secretary of state for the Southern Department, was his closest advisor, and he in turn was befriended by a group of

Americans headed by a general and known as the "Military Ad­ venturers," who wanted to see developed a chain of colonies across

Florida to the Mississippi River, To this end the promised to bring 10,000 settlers to the area within four years. Their stated purpose was to protect the area against the Spaniards, keep the Indians between the Floridas and the River quiet with offers of trade and thus make possible the exploitation of the fur trade along the Mississ­ ippi River, Shelburne was attracted by these arguments. Meanwhile, complaints were received in London from Canadian and Detroit merchants that the government!s res trietive policies allowed Frenchmen in Spanish

Louisiana to monopolize the fur trade and direct it to New Orleans and away from Montreal, Shelburne made inquiries, especially of General

Thomas Gage, in the early Of. 1767b admitted that the portion of the fur trade flowing to New Orleans seriously detracted from British gains and advocated the building of forts at the mouths of the Ohio and , Gage realized that Great Britain had either to control New Orleans or find a way to use the river without — ' ■ 10, Alvord, Mississippi Valley, I, 163-16%, 17^-176; Jack D,L, Holmes, "Some Economic Problems of Spanish Governors of Louisiana," HAHR, XLII, no, k (November, 1962), $29, 12 going through Spanish territory; both British interests and military necessity called for this, since in case of war Spain could easily close the mouth of the river6 He readily5 along with the northern mer­ chants and the ”Military Adventurers," caught Shelburne8s ear and the latter took forceful stand on settlement and fortification of British 11 positions in the Mississippi Valley®

Up to this point it seemed that England had reverted to mili­ tant colonial expansion* and Spanish administrators may have taken that view® It is evident* however* that the aim of advocates of an expan­ sionist policy was largely trade* supported militarily only in emergen­ cies® The next year* in any case* the Lords of Trade rejected Shel­ burne 8 s views and instead decided that expansion would ruin the fur trade; consequently only three forts were to be built and these around the Great Lakes* and the Proclamation of 1763 was enforced in the

South® This was a defeat for Shelburne* but even more important* it paved the way for grievances by settlers already in the lower Mississ­ ippi Valley who complained that the government had deserted them® This left them a choice of pulling back* combatting the Spanish on their own* or making seme independent accommodations with Madrid® Also em­ bittered were a few colonial legislators and their fellow members of the Illinois Company* who were not allowed to settle below the Tennes- 12 see River in country®

11® Alvord* Mississippi Valley® I* 269-271* 306-307* 315-316®

12® Alvord* Mississippi Valley* II* 26-28; Thomas P® Aber- nethy. Western Lands and the American Revolution (New York: Russell and Russell* 1959)* 33-32*® Bow much Spanish diplomats knew of the controversy on western

settlement within the British cabinet would be difficult to know* but they must certainly have been aware of Shelburne *s public utterances• the Spanish crown's reaction to the affair can at any rate be gauged by the activities of Spanish Louisiana administrators» Don Antonio de Blloa arrived in lew Orleans on March 1766, and early reported that the defenses of the colony were in a sad state o Charles I H re­ sponded by sending a battalion of troops and money to the colony in 13 December, 1766, but not enough to allay Blloa 9s complaints» By the following summer, 1767, whan Gage9s remarks on the fur trade must have become known. Blloa sent three expeditions north to fortify strategic positions§ forts went up on the Iberville River, at San Luis de Hatches, and on the Biver, all built by late 1767

Spanish officials in Louisiana, unsure of their control over the colony and its fur trade, having few funds to counter British con­ traband, easily overlooked the military withdrawals ordered by the

Board of Trade# Moreover, Jesuits were suspected of aiding the famous

Louisiana Revolution of 1768 which led to Blloa's ignominious depart­ ure in November, 1768, and this added to Spanish feeling that interna­ tional forces were at work in the colony# Thus Charles III sent

Alexander O'Reilly to calm by force Hew Orleans in , 1769, as a

13# Jack Del# Holmes, “Some Economic Problems,11 521-523s John W# Caughey, Bernardo de Galvez in Louisiana, 1776-1783 (Berkeleys University of Press, 193^)> 10»

li)# Lyons, Louisiana in French Diplomacy# 1)6* defensive maneuver to put military control of Louisiana definitely in 1S> Spanish hands e

English interests reacted in turn to the disturbance created by the ill-fated Louisiana uprising and General O'Reilly's strong assump­ tion of power. General Gage was ordered by London in Februrary, 1769$

to leave his troops in West Florida$ and at the end of the year he was told to add to them. When he hefrd of this the governor of West

Forida tried to take advantage of the opportunity to divert the flow of the fur trade to the British Gulf ports by suggesting to Lord

18.11s bo roughs a moderate imperialist and Secretary of the newly created

Colonial Office$ in Septembers 1770$ that land grants be given at

Natchez to immigrants there* who could be supplied with

merchandise from Mobile to bypass the New Orleans monopoly. Troops$ he added, would be needed at Fort Bute and Natchez to protect the settlers as well as to attract Frenchmen dissatisfied with Spanish rale from across the river. Both Hillsborough and Gage felt that England ought to control New Orleans before trying to compete in the Mississippi

Valley fur trade, but the Colonial Secretary backed off somewhat from

his stand, although he never sanctioned the building of forts in the

Illinois country. When the Falkland Islands dispute arose in 1771$

Hillsborough took the position that Mobile could be developed to

15. Lyons, Louisiana in French Diplomacy). 1j8j Charles Gayarre$ History of Louisiana/ ij vols. (New Orleans s Armand HawkinS) 1885)$ II) 80-91)$ gives details of the Louisiana Revolution) Choiseul's refusal to help the conspirators, and the colorful O ’Reilly takeover. 15 compete with lew Orleans if it were not for the French traders, and so he ordered Gage to mobilize for an attack on the city on these groundse

But a diplomatic settlement on the Falklands ensued, and the Cabinet forced the General to destroy Fort Pitt and withdraw completely from the Illinois countrye Charles Townshend 8s ideas on the inutility of the west were adopted and Shelburne8s militancy was rejected*16

British policy at this point was thoroughly unaggressive, yet the position taken by General Gage and the governor of West Florida bad within three years gained its adherents among the frustrated immigrants to the British side of the Mississippi River as well as among colonial legislatorso By late December, 1775, dissatisfaction in the American colonies had reached the point where the Continental Congress leaders were facing the problem of securing aid and supplies from outside sources and within months some clandestine trade had developed through the Mississippi Valley. They made their first contracts for munitions and powder with French agents. In the spring of 1776 Louis XVI agreed with his foreign minister Vergennes, who had talked with the American representative Arthur Lee, to pursue a policy of secret assistance.

Vergennes soon loaned two million livres to the American rebels, one half of which came from Spanish coffers.17

Some Americans also contacted Spanish officials in Mew Orleans in August, 1776, in the hope of securing more than monetary aid. A trader, Oliver Pollock, had established a partnership in a flour

16. Alvord, Mississippi Valley, II, 1|6-1|7, 50, 167-168*

17. Samuel F. Be mis. The Diplomacy of the American Revolution (lew Haven & Tale University Press, 1937), 29-30, 35-37® monopoly in the same year with the outgoing Spanish governor, Luis de

Unzaga, Pollock persuaded Unzaga to send gunpowder by Spanish boats up as far as the Arkansas River and he did so in the winter of 17760 The trader remained in New Orleans to meet the new governor as of

January 1, 1777$ Bernardo de Galvez» When he realized that Galvez was favorable to American supply purchases and the use of the Mississippi for shipping against Britain, Pollock asked for his help® In turn, he introduced Galvez to Colonel George Morgan, an American officer, on

April 22, 1777. In July the Second Continental Congress had convened in Philadelphia and, wanting foreign help, authorized Morgan to suggest to Gilvez a joint attack upon Pensacola and Mobile. Galvez was cau­ tious in his enthusiasm. He told Morgan that he could not openly sup­ port or engage in military action tot he practically guaranteed that

American trade would be allowed at New Orleansj as a matter of fact, by the end of the year he had sent nearly $70,000 worth of goods up the river to the Americans

A Spanish official had thus given concrete aid to the American cause against Spain's enemy, England. At the same time Galvez had left room for the opinion to gain credence among the Americans that Spain did not oppose their efforts to take over former British (and former

Spanish) territories in the remote parts of the colonies as well as outside them in Florida. Spanish diplomats ignored this possibility

18. Abernetly, Western Lands, 19lj-196s Caughey, Galvez. 86, 91-921 Gayarrd', History of Louisiana, III, 109-111. 17 until they realized the significance of the Franco-American alliance of 1778c19

Pro-French leanings among Spanish ministers in Europe were again to place Spain in a dilemma similar to that of 1761-1762.

Grimaldi, still in Paris as ambassador, continued to assure Madrid that

Spain could benefit with a weak new nation as a neighbor inthe

Mississippi Valley. In the late summer of 1775 he had even used information given him by Vergenhes to suggest that England planned to win over the Americans by offering them some benefits from a joint attack upon Spanish holdings in North America. As a result of his strong attachment, however, Grimaldi's reliability declined and he was replaced by the Count of Aranda. The new ambassador did not entirely agree with Vergennes, for he feared that the English were only waiting for France and Spain to join the rebels openly to pounce upon Bourbon holdings as indemnities for the cost of the Seven Tears War. Neverthe­ less, Charles III was eager to strike at England, and in February,

1776, Jose de Galvez, Minister of the Indies, sent orders to the gov­ ernor of Havana to place secret agents in Pensacola, Jamaica, and other British colonies to learn whether there was a possibility that

England would make an accomodation with her disturbed colonies

1 9 o Bemis, American Revolution. 75-77«

2 0. John Rydjord, Foreign Interest in the Independence of New Spain (Durham: Duke University Press, 1935), 78-793 Kathryn Abbey, "Efforts of Spain to Maintain Sources of Information in the British Colonies before 1779,n Mississippi Valley Historical Review. XV (1929), 56-68. 18

Evidently the reports from these agents to the effect that the

English were preparing a campaign against the colonials were encouraging) for Florida blanca took a sharp turn away from friendship with the Americanse When the agent Arthur lee arrived in February,

1777, and asked for recognition and an alliance Floridablanca told him that his presence was embarassing to Spain® Though he did not say so to lee, the approaching armistice with Portugal over the Rio de la

Plata probably motivated his behavior at this tine® At any rate, Lee was given enough money to keep him in Madrid but England had been able to take advantage of Vergennes' overeagerness toward his ally to the south®^

Floridablanca was also unwilling to make an American alliance because he could not handle England without France *s help® His fear was assuaged by the Franco-American alliance of February 6, 1778, in which the French agreed to aid the Americans® He changed his mind when be heard soon afterward that Congress supported the James Willing expedition of January 10, 1778, which captured British property on the

Mississippi River and crossed Spanish territory before it failed to capture Pensacola® Moreover, the treaty made no clear stipulations about the western American boundary® These two steps led Florida­ blanca to take the defensive step of signing the Convention of

Aranjuez with .France in May, 1778® Both parties agreed to execute the Family Compact, more particularly agreeing to launch an attack on the Saglish mainland; in return for which Spain wanted Mobile,

21® Bemis„ American Revolution® 5i)"56| Paul A® Varg, Foreign Policies of the Founding Fathers (Ann Arbors University of Press, 1963), 30, 57. 19 expulsion of the English from the Bay of Honduras and revocation of

British woodcutting privileges on the coast, plus Gibraltar and ■ 22 Minorca o

The Spanish diplomats had made a decision which seemed to resolve their dilemma«, They had grasped at an opportunity to damage

England without formally recognizing the existence of the ®

The Continental Congress, despite its disapproval, acknowledged the arrival of a Spanish agent, Juan de Miralies, in July, 1778, who immediately began to plot with his French counterpart, Conrad Alexandre

Gerard, to exclude the United States from, the Mississippi Biver and secure West Florida for Spain® Vergennes had instructed Gerard, though the latter sympathized with the Spanish position, to avoid such difficulties® Indeed, Vergennes tried to bring Spain into the war by persuading Floridablanca that republican neighbors without much unity could be of little danger to Spain's interests® As if to give luster to his arguments, the Congress, on October 31, 1778, quashed a plan devised by Patrick Henry, Colonel George Morgan, and Bernardo de Galvez to eliminate the British from the Mississippi Valley and

West Florida® The pretext was that Congress did not have the means to support such an expedition® To Floridablanca, however, this meant that the United States might be looking for a way to go ahead in the

Mississippi Valley without Spanish help® Indeed, Congress became

22® Be mis, American Revolution® 61-62, 81|-85>| Abernathy, Western Lands® 1965 Varg, Founding Fathers® 38-i|Oj Kathryn Abbey, "Spanish Projects for Beoccupation of the Floridas during the Revolution," HAHR, IX (August, 1929), 265-279? Caughey, Galvez, 71-76® 20

more and more emphatic about its rights to a river boundary as the

winter passed. Patrick Henry, for example, sent an expedition down the

river ostensibly to purchase supplies at Hew Orleans. Iti an accom­

panying letter he told Galvez that he planned to build a fort at the

mouth of the Ohio to protect river commerce and asked if United States

annexation of West Florida would curtail British trade there as well as

their contraband in Hew Orleans. Galvez hurried this note off to

Madrid. Receipt of it after the agreement with France, along with his desire to recover Gibraltar, must have prompted Floridablanea to send the ultimatum of April 3, 1779, to England.

Louisiana officers took some crucial steps after Spain entered the American war. A detachment of troops on the Arkansas River took possession of lands across the river in November, 1780, and in the next year a raiding party from St. Louis went north to take the British fort at St. Joseph. Meanwhile, Bernardo de Galvez very effectively

attacked and defeated the British defenders at Mobile! thus Spanish

claims could extend down the Mississippi Valley from above the Ohio

River to West Florida. Such advantages provoked the foreseeable

conflicts with the United States and exacerbated the demands of

American frontier farmers and traders for outlets in the Gulf of


The negotiations that ended the Treaty of Versailles did little to allay Spanish forebodings about American pressure that might lead to penetration of Louisiana and Hew Spain. John Jay was appointed United

23. Abernathy, Western Lands. 199, 203, 235>! Be mis, American Revolution. 99-100, 1025 Gayarre, history of Louisiana. Ill, 115-1195 Caughey, GAlvez. 200-211. States minister to Spain in September, 1779, and he was in Madrid from

January, 1780, to May, 1782„ Although Floridablanca was pleased with his presence, for it iriced the British, he paid little attention to

Jay, never seriously discussing recognition of the United States with him*^ From the start Jay was willing to guarantee that Spain would receive Florida and even offered to forego recognition and military aid if Spain would only agree to give the Americans a port on the river below the thirty-first parallel. Despite urging from Vergennes.

Congress was unyielding on the points of navigation and a port,

Floridablanca, with Spain in financial straits, tried to hold off a decision until the western boundary question was settled. In February,

1781, Congress conceded that Spain should retain sole control of the

Mississippi River if she would become an effective ally. Jay disagreed with this position since Spain had already gone to war with Britain and

Floridablanca refused these terms in the hope of winning Gibraltar from

England as well as getting a more favorable Louisiana boundary. The

Spanish position had improved with the capture of Mobile and Pensacola 25 by Bernardo de Galvez in 1781,

But when negotiations began in Paris which led to the peace of 1783, Louisiana was not directly involved, Vergennes nevertheless made a futile effort to keep the Americans from the Mississippi River boundary to satisfy Spain, The latter claimed both banks of the river

2lj o Be mis, American Revolution, 10li-105s Rydjord, Foreign Interest, 88-89; Vara, Founding Fathers, 1)0,

25® Varg, Founding Fathers, lil-li2s Caughey, Galvez, 215-216, 22

in the hope of preventing English and American traders from crossing

into her territory in large numbers» United States negotiators finally officially recognized the Spanish conquests in Florida, but

since Spain did not have the resources to make the area into a strong

colony she had to compromiseo The final treaties were ambiguously written and both Spain and the United States followed their own con­

flicting interpretationso England's treaty with the United States

mentioned that both countries would have free access to the Mississippi

River0 Spain’s treaty with Great Britain, on the other hand, did not

mention navigation rights on the riverWhat is more, Spain was unwilling to give up any of her wartime conquests, especially West

Florida, and did not want to see Britain take over any former French islands in the Caribbean* Neither did France and Spain want to see the peace-minded Shelburne government fall and so they accepted Minorca and

Florida for Spain and let Britain keep Gibraltar* Britain also agreed to restrict Bay of tfonduras woodcutting to the area between the Belize

and Hondo Rivers with Spanish sovereignty intact

Whether or not Charles III and Floridablanca and their subordi­ nates in Mexico believed that the outbreak of the American revolution

could militarily affect New Spain, they took precautions which make this

thinking seem evident* In 1776 Charles III sent orders to viceroy

Antonio Maria de Bucareli for the erection of a Commandancy- General of

26. Herbert E. Bolton, Athanase de Mezleres and the Louisiana- Frontier, 2 vols, (Cleveland: The Arthur H. Clark Co*, 19ill), I, 76-79, ?arg. Founding Fathers, 5>9-61| | Bemis, American Revolution, 218-227, Appendix III.

27* Bemis, American Revolution, 2l|$-263* 23

the Interior Provinces3 to be a militarily independent administrative

district composed of the present-day Southwestern United States and

most of northern Mexico3 the little protected borderlands0 The

king also appointed Teodoro de Croix as Commandant-General and ordered

him to provide for the defense of the areas depending for finances upon

the viceroy of New Spain

There were two further reactions in to the Spanish

involvement in the British-American war and the consequent peaceo One

came when viceroy Martin de Mayorga learned of the Spanish entry into

the war against England on August 12, 1779» The other came with the

publication of a critical review of the military establishment in New

Spain by the of Mexico City, Francisco Crespo« The viceroy

took practical actions based on his orders, but the corregidor pleaded

for severe and far reaching reforms of the army*

Viceroy Mayorga immediately asked for the enlistment of large numbers of militia and ordered the veteran troops to make ready for

battle - as if he expected an invasion by sea at Veracruz» Lastly, the viceroy charged his subordinates with appraising the exact preparedness of the militia forces, Within a year 7892 additional militamen of all

classes were enlisted and armed in New Spain, bringing the total of

militia and the 23ijl regulars to 20,931° Although an invasion never

came, these companies were not disbanded; on the contrary, even more men joined the militia within five years after the war alert. By 1781} there were a total of 39,106 men in uniform, 3^,717 of whom were in

28, A, B, Thomas, Teodoro de Croix and the Northern Frontier of New Spain (Norman; University of Press, 19!|1)» "Introduc- tion." cumbersome urban and provincial militia units, with 25,031} of them dis­ tributed in the provinces immediately surrounding Mexico City<> The re­

maining 9683 men were in poorly organized units, in small towns along

the Atlantic and Pacific coasts

Francisco Crespo was unhappy about the expenditures that main­ tained this sluggish military machine, and he proposed that the veteran troops be augmented and the number of militia be severely reducedo He urged that those militia components that were kept be made more effi­ cient and mobileo & focused his attention on the colonial militia who could not easily be mobilized in emergencieso Buttressing his argu­ ments with figures to show how useless it was to maintain so large a colonial element in the arny, he advocated a cutback to l6,ljlii militia in wartime and 11,075 in peacetime. Charles III thoroughly approved of the economy and mobility sections of his report but did not order the viceroy to .implement them until 1788® Officials in the viceroyalty, out of jealousy as much as fear of invasion, concurred in the king’s opinion. At any rate, the Crespo reform proposals received little at­ tention in New Spain until 1788, and then cries of a possible military advance upon the colony grew loud enough to make all parties forget

military economy.Thus the irony of Spain's involvement in the

American Revolution became plain. Though she had successfully helped

29. Carmen Velasquez, Estado de Guerra, 139; Lyle N. Mc­ Alister, The 'Fuero Militar8 in New Spain, 1761}-1800 (Gainesvilles University of Florida Press, 195>7), Appendix I, tables 2, 3> % exact figures exist for the numbers of soldiers in 1780.

30. Carmen Velasquez, Estado de Guerra, Appendix III5 Mc- alister, Fuero Militar, 61-63, Appendix I, table 1}. 25 to defeat Englands she was still the victim of exaggerated fears that

New Spain would suffer a wartime invasion* The treaties signed at Ver­ sailles only heightened this illusion and helped to perpetuate an almost useless and expensive army in lew Spain®

In the years that intervened between the peace of 1783 and the

French Revolutions Spain's fears of penetration of her North American colonies turned on her relations with the American frontiersmen®

Louisiana was the major concern of Spanish administrators who wanted to keep the Americans out of the Indian trade south of the River to discourage their approach to Louisiana and West Florida® Lack of mney and resources with which to pacify the Indians, however, forced the Spaniards to relinquish control to Saglish merchant groups, such as

Panton, Leslie and Company. The latter quickly took over the entire fur trade in the Cherokee and Choctaw lands although the Indians nomi­ nally acknowledged Spanish sovereignty® Meanwhile Americans migrated in large numbers into , Tennessee and West Georgia®

1783 there were 75$000 settlers in the trans-Allegheny area pressuring for land and also for navigation rights on the Mississippi®

The claim to navigation rights stemmed from the American treaty with

Britain of which Spanish diplomats had no official knowledge® Florida- blanca's first response to these pressures was to close the river to foreign navigation in June, l781j» He then sent Diego de Gardoqui as charge to negotiate a treaty in Philadelphia, with orders to offer the

Americans direct trade with Spain and the Canary Islands, a pact of 26

military alliance and mutual guarantees of territory in lieu of naviga­

tion of the Mississippi River.31

Spanish blockade of the river brought pressures from American

settlers to politicians at the state and national level which forced

Congressional leaders to refuse the Spanish offer and led Floridablanca to reverse himself within a year. These facts coupled with the reports sent to him fcy an unofficial agent induced the Spanish foreign minister to try to conclude with Congress an agreement to study further the nav­ igation claims. He also told Gardoqui to hint that immigration to

Louisiana and West Florida would be encouraged. Floridablanca wanted the southern boundary of the United States fixed at the thirty—first parallel in return for which Spain would give up her hegemony over

Indians in the area between west Florida and Tennessee. James Madison and James Monroes representatives of , refused to give up on the navigation question mainly because they feared that sacrificing western interests in the early summer of 1786 would irreparably harm their moves to maintain national unity. Monroe asked Vergennes to warn Floridablanca that his obstinacy was driving the westerners into the hands of Great Britain, a contingency which the Spanish Minister had reason to fear. Consequently, on December 1, 1788, eager to

counter the separatist plans of James Wilkinson and others, Florida­

blanca sent an order to Governor Esteban MLro of Louisiana to allow all

Americans to use the river as far as New Orleans, subject to a six to

31. Abernathy, Western Lands, 260-2615 Arthur P. Whitaker, Spanish-Ameriean Frontier, 1763-1795> ( and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1927), 62-63. ~ 27 fifteen percent tax* He also established general rules for the admis­ sion of immigrants into Louisiana. The new immigration policy was an effort by Floridablanca to legalize what in fact was going on* and it paved the way for contacts with the Texan tribes by Americans with con­ siderable experience with I n d i a n s *32

Spain had tried through diplomacy, intrigue, and commercial strangulation to check the growth of American settlement in the

Mississippi Valley and was largely unsuccessful* Floridablanca?s wavering stand in his relations with the United States was seriously affected by his mistrust of England* He had heard of a British effort to win over the separatist element in Kentucky, and by late 1788 diplo­ matic entanglements in Europe had produced, by virtue of Spain’s tie to

France, a tense situation which could lead to a war from which Spain could not hope to profit*

The younger William Pitt as prime minister of England in 1786, faced problems in Ireland and India* The London exchequer was weak, which required him to keep his country on the fringe of continental diplomacy* Vergennes, on the other hand, had isolated Prussia, won the . confidence of Joseph II of Austria and the sympathy of Catherine of

Russia, and virtually controlled the Netherlands| in addition to his alliance with Spain* The younger Pitt, in desperate straits, persisted through negotiations on a commercial treaty with France and finally signed it in September, 1786, to pave the way for the lessening of

32* Whitaker, Spanish-American Frontier, 81-85, 9li, 102, 118- 119; Varg, Founding Fathers, 611-65; Abernethy, Western Lands, 299; Holmes, "Some Economic Problems," 532* 28 tensions in Europe. Two years later, in August, 1788, Pitt won an al­ liance with Prussia while England suffered through the Regency crisis <>

These conditions allowed the prime minister to concentrate on domestic and imperial problems. As a result, in 1789 Pitt was quite prepared to take a neutral and cautious stand toward the French Revolution despite the pressures of Burke and the French emigres» France, however, was beset by problems in 178? and 1788 which led her ministers to appeal to

England for help* Vergennes had died in the fall of 1787, and was re­ placed by the lackluster Count of Montmorin as foreign minister© The new diplomat felt hedged in ty the Anglo-Prussian alliance, yet when

France was in dire economic need in 1789 he did not hesitate to ask the younger Pitt for greater exports of flour to France© The Englishman refused to deal with the problem and thus frustrated one of the aims of

French reformers in 1789• His caution underlined the ever-widening breach between England and France in the 1790*8.33

The implications of the gap between these two powers reverber­ ated through the Madrid ministry most clearly in 1789 and 1790 as a result of a distant colonial conflict with Bigland© Spain’s claims in northwest North America were put to the test when Spanish officials arrested British shipowners trying to trade in Nootka Sound in 1789©

By the following year Pitt had lodged a complaint in Madrid and in

April, 1790, the Marques del Campo, Spanish envoy to London, countered with a demand that the. intruders at Nootka Sound be punished for

33© J • Holland Rose, William Pitt and National Revival, (Londons G© Bell and Sons, 1911), 316-317, 337-3^1, ^ 3 - ^ , ^60-5&lj Leo Gershoy, The French Revolution and Napoleon, (New Yorks Meredith Publishing Co’©, 196i|j, 183, 185© 29 trespassing on Spanish territory. Pitt refused to acknowledge this demands but with the backing of the cabinet he sent an envoy to Madrid to try to weaken the Family Compact by making overtures to Spain. He was uncertain about the combined naval strength of France and Spain and could expect little support from other European powers at this junc­ ture c

% October, however, the French National Assembly had begun to exert its influence over the king's right to conduct diplomacy. Mont- morin and Gabriel MLrabeau, a leader of the Assembly, had even led that body to an ambiguous statement of policy two months earlier. Mean­ while, Pitt had received definite assurances of support from Holland and Prussia. Charles IV distrusted MLrabeau as well as the Assembly.

Floridablanca had received notice of French efforts to propa­ gandize Spain from his ambassador, the Conde de Fernan-Nu'nez. By

October he also had learned from his agents in Philadelphia of treaties made between the United States and Indian tribes in west

Georgia as well.as the rising possibility of an invasion of Spanish territory from and Georgia. Suspicious and lacking sup­ port from Louis XVI in France, and realizing that he could not deal with the United States and France at once on vital colonial questions,

Floridablanca agreed to British terms. These terms were; Spain would make reparations for damage to British ships and both powers would share the trade in the northwest, while Spain would withdraw her monop­ oly claims back to . Though the Mootka clash did not become a major conflict it was illustrative of Spain's delicate diplo­ matic position vis-a-vis France, England and the United States. 30

The Family Compact had been broken by France in this crisis in which England gained and there was increasing concern for the Louisiana frontier on the part of Governor MLro and Floridablanca<> With the col­ lapse of the separatist movement in Kentucky they feared that Americans under land speculator James 0 ‘Fallon would make an overland military move into Louisiana and east Texas as first steps to take over the land and mineral wealth of New Spaino"^

Though the attack never took places Floridablanca envisioned a conflict in Louisiana and Texas as risky for Spain and not worth a con­ frontation with England in the northwest® These considerations formed the basis for his decision to withdraw from the English challenge at

Nootka Sound® At the same time he requested that the viceroy of New

Spain make military changes to cope with the contingency on the eastern frontier® Viceroy Antonio Flores left instructions to that effect to his successor, the Gonde de Revillagigedo, and the latter expanded these directives® Revillagigedo shifted large numbers of frontier troops to the eastern posts from Sonora, alerted the frontier intend- ants, and took the opportunity to plead for more money, troops and officers with which to combat foreign intruders® For the most part he rejected the Crespo Dietaroen of 1788 except that he supplemented its suggestions to improve militia mobility by organizing nineteen mounted

Rose, Pitt, 565-56?, 570-577, 58ii-585| Gershoy, French Revolu­ tion, 175, 187; Whitaker, Spanish-American Frontier, 130-133, liiO-UjSj Charles Chapman, The Founding of Spanish California (New forks The MacMillan Co®, 1916), chapter 8® companies in the northeast of New Spain totaling 1320 men against a possible invasion from Louisiana.^

Squeezed into an isolated diplomatic position especially dan­ gerous in Europe, Floridablanca could easily have been led to believe that an attack was imminent from across the Mississippi River® In fact, he gave up Spanish claims in Nootka Sound in light of these beliefs® His fear of growing sentiment for a republic in France was made even more evident by his efforts to throw a blanket of ignorance over Spain beginning in 1789o He wanted to keep her from the insidious influences of events across the Pyrenees, of which he had learned from his Versailles ambassador, the Conde de Fernan-NuHez*36

Ih France there was hardly an inkling in early 1789 that a rev­ olution was in process* Montmorin had relied upon Vergennes• alliances for security, yet the reports of 1781 and 1785 made hy Jacques Necker, the king’s highly influential director-general of finance and minister of State, indicated strongly that the financial apparatus of the country was in horrible condition * After all, Louis XVI had convoked the Estates General specifically to confront that problem, and Mont- morin’s pleas to Pitt for flour imports in 1789 illustrated the poor domestic condition of France. Political conditions also became con­ fused, especially in 1789 when the Nootka controversy helped to bring a constitutional dispute to a head in the country. As a result,

35® Rydjord, Foreign Interest, 105-107; Lillian E. Fisher, The Background of the Revolution for Mexican Independence (Bostons Christopher Publishing House, 193h), 358-359% Viceroy Flores to Viceroy Revillagigedo, 1789, Instrucciones, 125-126$ McAlister, Fuero Militar, 66-67. Louis XVI's right to conduct diplomacy was limited, the Assembly broke the Family Compact and opted for peaceful foreign relationso The Euro­ pean monarchs consequently considered France a weak nation in 1789 and thus felt that the Assembly’s movement for a constitution would fall of its own weight,3?

However, Montraorin remained as foreign minister throughout the period until his rejection by the Assembly in October or November,

1791o Consequently the question of foreign affairs was in the air until May, 1790. Then the revolutionary assembly took control of for­ eign affairs and made the Nootka decision. Through the same period, from mid-summer, 1789, to his attempted escape from France in late

1791, Louis XVI maintained close contacts with other European monarchs in.an effort to break his opposition at home. He especially stayed close to Spain through his correspondence, thinking that the Iberian power could help him most. His reliance Upon Spain became evident when the queen, Marie Antoinette, involved the Spanish ambassador. Fernan-

Nunez, to whom she was very close, in Louis’s efforts to win monarch­ ical help. Fernan-Nunez was also asked to help Louis XVI to escape, but the ambassador thought that both ideas were silly and his attitude tended to put a chill on both movements. He seemed to favor seeing

Louis battle through to achieve a constitutional monarchy for France and he apparently saw no military threat to Spain or the empire from this divided"country until 1791 when Montmorin fell for his part in

37® J, M, Thompson, The French Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 19ii5)$ 196, 271. 33

aiding Louis’s escape attempt and the National Assembly promulgated the

Constitution and annexed Avignon province on the southeast coast

The Conde de Fernah-Niffiez reported all this to Floridablanca, who, in order to keep his position, suppressed the news despite his

ambassador’s assurances« Three forces pushed him in this direction*.

One was a Barcelona riot against a grain shortage in February and

March, 1789• A second was the emigration to Spain after the fall of the

Bastille in July, 1789? of French noblemen who put pressure on the

Spanish minister to help the king of France« Last, and most important, were Floridablanca’s own delicate relations with the Inquisition»

Under Charles III he had enjoyed considerable safety after the

king intervened to prevent an Inquisitorial attack upon him. Charles

IV, was not as effective, however, and the Inquisition had grown more

powerful especially as French propaganda and emigres crossed the

Pyrenees, Then the head of state could save himself most effectively

by catering to the demands of the religious, and so after the Declara­

tion of the Rights of Man in August, 1789? Floridablanca, with the help

of the Inquisition, stepped up efforts to prevent the spread in Spain

of information about.the democratizing developments in France,

Despite the aid he received from the clergy, he was somewhat unsuccessful in his campaign of silence. The publication of the Civil

Constitution of the Clergy in 1791 became public knowledge in Spain in early 1792, Earlier, in June, 1791, after the return of Louis XVI to

38, Thompson, French Revolution, 217-218®

39® Herr, Eighteenth Century Revolution, 230, 2lj3, 2li7® Paris, Spain had apparently feared war and so Floridablanca had moved

troops to the northern borderj he added to the mounting tension with

France by writing strong notes of protest in the late months of 1791 to

the French government« Partly for this last action, he was accused by

Charles IV of leading Spain into war, and in February, 1792 he was dis­

missed and his place was taken by the Conde de Aranda

Aranda was in office for several months and was replaced in

November, 1792, by Manuel de Godoy as Secretary of State* The new

minister, a close friend of Queen Maria Luisa,/-had a difficult problem

in French relations* In September, 1792, the French Republic was

declared but Godoy was determined to save the life of Louis XVI, if

only to ingratiate himself with the nobility of Madrid who were jealous

of his position* Despite his efforts Louis went to the guillotine in

January, 1793, and Godoy, resting in part on the English alliance which

was quickly worked out, declared war on France in March, 1793® Bigland

followed Spain into war in April.^

France, under the control of the Girondins with Pierre Lebrun

as foreign minister, wanted in 1792-1793 to expand to "natural*

frontiers, eschewing the declaration of peaceful foreign relations of

1790® Though most of the war was fought in Holland and Belgium by

England and Prussia against France, Lebrun nevertheless tried to take

jjO* Herr, Eighteenth Century Revolution, 26ij| Jacques Chastenet, Godoyi Master of Spain, 1792-1808 (London: The Batchworth Press, 1953), 55®

111* Thompson, The French Revolution, 3h2j Herr, Eighteenth Century Revolution, 282j J. Steven Watson, The Reign of George III, 1760-1815 (Oxford % The Clarendon Press, I960), 364® 35 advantage of Spanish entry to win support in Catalonia« His efforts were unsuccessful and Spanish troops invaded France. In early June,

1793, the Jacobins took over direction of France and settled down to defend the country in the souths Then, in 179ii, a new French general,

Jacques Dugoummier, made large advances into Spain and spread consider­ able propaganda for establishing a "sister" republic in Cataloniao

This too failed, due in part to the work of the Inquisition, and in

July, 1795s the Treaty of Bale concluded the war for Spain

When the Girondins had eome to power in 1792 they tried to stir public opinion to recover Louisiana as a market. Floridablanca refused to give up the colony and the French Assembly appointed Edmund Genet as minister to the United States, one of his duties being to gather sup­ port for an attack on Louisiana. American cooperation was to be re­ warded with free navigation of the Mississippi River® In June, 1793, however, the Jacobins had recovered power and their foreign minister dismissed Genet to clear relations with the United States.. After some unsuccessful attempts to compromise among themselves, the Jacobins brought up the Louisiana question in the peace talks with Spain. They were influenced in their desire to recover the territory by their minister to the United States, Joseph Fouchet, who saw possession of

Louisiana as a way to release the French West Indies from dependence

!|£® Herr, Eighteenth Century Revolution, 282-28ii, 286-287, 289-295. / 36 upon United States wheat and timber, which were by then being produced in considerable quantity in Louisiana

The Jacobins hoped also to be able to use Jay's Treaty, lately concluded between England and the United States, as a lever to extort

Louisianao French peace negotiators told the Spanish that England had promised free navigation of the Mississippi River to the United States so., this would be an opportune time for Spain to get out of the colonye

Godoy hesitated, however, because he was set upon by rumors of intrigue against him led by the nobility in Madrid, tie could not afford to lose any prestige at this point and he offered France Santo Domingo in place of Louisiana. France looked ahead to a continuation of the war with

England and hoped, to win the Spanish navy to her side. Consequently, the negotiators accepted the eastern half of Santo Domingo and French troops moved quickly to Italy. The peace delighted Madrid but left

Godoy to face American pressures again oh the Mississippi River

Godoy's agreement with France broke the English alliance of

1793. This, along with the existence of Jay's Treaty, made him more receptive to an American understanding, for which United States ministers had pressed since 1792. Pinckney's Treaty, concluded

October 27, 1795$ gave the United States free navigation of the

Mississippi River and the right of deposit of Mew Orleans for at least

■ 1)3® Lyon, Louisiana in French Diplomacy, 69=70, 72-73, 79$ Holmes, "Some Economic Problems,11 531°

liljo Lyon, Louisiana in French Diplomacy, 83=85$ Chastenet, Godoy, 67j Herr, Eighteenth Century Revolution, 325. : 37 three years» The agreement was in part an effort by Godoy to prevent an Anglo-American attack upon Spanish territory in North America

Godoy’s plans went awry primarily because of French pressures upon him* Angered at the treaty with Pinckney, the French Directory instructed their ambassador to Madrid to try to get Louisiana back from

Spain by promising Godoy Gibraltar and fishing rights in Newfoundland *

The Prince of Peace knew that the Directory could not guarantee these proposals and he feared that the French would in turn give Louisiana to the English* However, in the interest of keeping Spain at peace and eager to recover Gibraltar he concluded on August 19, 1796, the Treaty of Sanildefonso, whereby Spain and France were defensively and offen­ sively allied. The alliance was binding on Spain only against Ehgland, and not against any other French enemy

Godoy viewed the treaty as an assurance against aggression by the Directory, but the Directory insisted that Spain become an effec­ tive ally against England. In response to French pressures, to recover

Gibraltar and to stem a possible English attack upon Louisiana and New

Spain, Godoy declared war on Great Britain in October, 1796. The only

European result of the war was the destruction of a Spanish fleet by the Ehglish. The French alliance proved ineffective, and the result of

1j5>® Samuel F. Be mis, Pinckney's Treaty (New Havens Tale University Press, I960), 28l-28i|g Lyon, Louisiana in French Diplomacy, 87.

Ij6. Lyon, Louisiana in French Diplomacy, 78,; 88o 38

Godoy's maneuverings was the isolation of Spain from effective connec­

tion with any major European power<,^7

iThe governor of Louisiana in 1796, the Baron de Carondelet,

took action to thwart an attack by England or the United States after the signing of the Treaty of Sanildefonso. Despite the American treaty of 1?95, Carondelet had not carried out orders to allow the Americans the right of deposit at New Orleans because he was haunted by visions of American supremacy in the Mississippi Valley which he believed would eventually bring them into Mexico• late in 1796, Carondelet instructed

Manuel Gayoso de Lemus, the governor of Natchez, to fortify St. Louis and abandon some minor posts® tie also informed the Marques de

Branciforte, the viceroy of New Spain, of his preparations ® Branci- forte, the brother-in-law of Godoy, responded with haste® Forgetting the Crespo Dietamen and the Revillagigedo economy measures, he shifted a considerable body of troops into Nuevo Leon, El Paso and San Antonio to block an invasion® E(y the end of his reign in 1798, the number of militia had grown in New Spain to over 18,000, many of them stationed in frontier posts, and the total number of military forces in the colony exceeded 31,500, All of the soldiers enjoyed strong military privileges, most of which were expanded by Branciforte before he resigned in May, 1798® Once again a diplomatic crisis in Europe had incited fear, real or imagined, of foreign invasion upon the valuable colony of New Spain® The reaction of officials in Madrid, New Orleans,

1|7« lyon, Louisiana in French Diplomacy, 89-91; Steven Watson, George III® 371-372; Chastenet, Godoy, 78® 39

and Mexico was ty then nearly stereotyped, despite the lack of factual basis for expecting a military invasion of New SpainJ4®

Three major phenomena of the late eighteenth century - the

Seven Tears War and the American and French Revolutions - wrought changes in Spain's policy toward her North American possessions« Where prior to 1760 the emphasis of Spanish policy lay upon prevention of foreign intrusion in her trade monopoly, after the Seven Tears War military reasons for changes in policy were given more weight» This shift may have come about in Madrid because of Spain * s diplomatic losses, but it was given credence by the concurrence of military and political leaders in New Orleans and Mexico City* The most dramatic illustration of the increased importance of political decisions in imperial affairs was the rise of a strong array in New Spain, composed of professional and amateur soldiers. Though in reality New Spain was never attacked by foreign troops through either Veracruz or Louisiana, this army grew steadily from 1760 to 1798. Diplomacy, then, was the fiction that supported the growth of the army of New Spain. The real reasons that it became a powerful segment of colonial society will be examined in the remainder of this essay.

l|8o Whitaker, The Mississippi Question, f>2-5>6j Branciforte to Azanza, March 16, 1797, Xnstrucciones, i30j McAlister, Fuero Militer, 85-87. CHAPTER III



After 1760 New Spain witnessed increased domestic uprisings against established authority and serious attacks by northern, nomadic

Indians, especially the Apacheso Urban and provincial disturbances usually stemmed from dissatisfaction with administration or, in one

case, a church-state dispute 6 The attacks by nomadic Indians upon

Spanish or Indian frontier towns.and haciendas, however, formed the crux of the problem faced by the military and religious leadership of

New Spain. Military men wanted to defend their presidios and towns in order to gamer the rewards of victory in the pacification processo

Religious men were usually more interested in conversion and accultura- of the Indians. Though the ends of both groups diverged at times, their means became inseparable on the frontier. Internal sedition and

Indian conflicts consequently served as underlying reasons for estab­ lishing a colonial arny.

Viceroys were often a moving force in promoting the growth of a colonial army, and they usually used their capacity as captain- general with considerable initiative. They provided troops for key positions, inspected the major forts, and drew up military instruc­ tions. The viceroy also acted as a final court of appeals in judicial cases arising out of conflicts between military and civilian courts.

ijO 1)1

In part for these reasons, rarely was a viceroy in the late eighteenth century not a professional military mane^

The creation and administration of a standing army received most of the attention of the captains-general, but they were not allow­ ed to do even this job unassisted0 Military specialists became impor­ tant to the Spanish kings and frequently were sent to deal with particular colonial problems0 These specialists often conflicted in the pursuit of their duties with vicroys who were jealous of their pre­ rogatives. The junta de guerra, an ad hoc council, also advised the commander-in-chief in troubled times, and since there was no organized officer staff in New Spain, an auditor de guerra dispatched the busi­ ness of the junta. Often the king also appointed a subinspector- general, supposedly second in command to the viceroy, whose activities easily provoked jurisdictional disputes between the two leaders.2

Opposition to viceregal power even came from outside the formal political structure. Powerful families, such as the Ibarras and

Zavalas, who owned mines and land in the north of New Spain, had little regard for the growth of a strong colonial aray. Moreover, they

1. Fisher, Viceregal Administration, 5-7, 252-251), has pointed out some of the advantages and disadvantages of the viceroy. While as captain-general he could quickly meet emergencies, some viceroys used the office solely to enrich themselves. Also see Donald E. Smith, The Viceroy of New Spain (Berkeley: University of California Press, 19157, 200, wno notes that the viceregal office took on a decidedly more military cast after 1768.

2. Smith, Viceroy of New Spain, 199-200$ Fisher, Viceregal Administration, 255-257$ Haring, , 12li« expressed no fears of enemy invasion# and this sense of security mount­

ed as one descended the social ladder. Most people deemed the forts at

Acapulco and Veracruz as sufficient bulwarks against enemy attack^ and

the struggle against northern Indians had# in its early stages# little 3 impact upon people settled south of New Vizcaya.

Nevertheless# the viceroys managed to maintain some of their

prerogatives intact. Among these were the apportionment of money to

the Caribbean situados and the presidios. The outposts reported what they needed in the way of munitions and provisions# and the viceroy#

if he approved# passed their requests to the treasury officials. After the attempted reforms of I76I1 in New Spain and the ensuing arguments#

the viceroy was limited to appointing colonels and lieutenant-colonels

to office# while the subinspector-general appointed other officers.

Though viceroys were hampered in the number of promotions they could

make# they did erect a broad patronage base because they controlled salaries and pensions, especially for widows and military orphans through their control of the montepio mllitar# a retirement and illness fund

3. Franpois Chevalier# Land and Society in Colonial Mexico (Berkeley: University of California Press# 19o3)# 180-l8lj Carmen Veldsquez# Estado de Guerra# 89-91.

ij. Fisher# Viceregal Administration# 289s 291; Hubert H. Bancroft# History of Mexico# 6 vols. (San Francisco: A.L. Bancroft Company# 1883)# III# see Josefina Muriel# Los Ho spit ales en La Nueva Espa'ha# 2 vols. (Mexico: Editorial Jus# 1960)# II# chapter 21# for the extent of hospital services given the military. This service grew in conjunction with the fueros gained by the army in the late eighteenth century. When Viceroy Cruillas tried, therefore, to strengthen the army, he received little cooperation despite the king’s support. Neverthe­ less, he went ahead with defensive innovations.^ On the frontier he found twenty-two presidios in existence from California to the border of French Louisiana, guarded by fixed garrisons of regulars and militia totaling 90? men. In addition, there were mobile squadrons of lli9 men each in New Leon and New Santander. For the most part, the militia was in a lamentable state and money for their upkeep was scarce. The regu­ lar army was in no better condition despite the efforts of some of

Cruillas’s predecessors.

Cruillas first tried to counter his opposition by naming offi­ cers from among the aristocracy for several of the existing regiments around Mexico City. However, his efforts to gain power in the urban militia met with stern opposition from the merchants who controlled them. Hoping apparently to bypass merchant and aristocratic political strength, the viceroy concentrated on distributing militiamen in pro­ vincial battalions. Cruillas was somewhat relieved when, in early

1762, several towns contributed troops, all of which were sent to

Veracruz in the autumn.^

The viceroy next turned his attention to the frontier presidios where expenses mounted as squadrons battled the Indians. Occasional optimistic reports, however, made him unwilling to discontinue the

5. Cagigal to Cruillas, 1760, Instrucciones, 113-116.

6. McAlister, "Reorganization," 3; Carmen Velasquez, Estado de Guerra, 33-3ii, 92-93, 2lj0-2ljlj Haring, Spanish Empire, 12$. kh northern fights. Shortly after Cruillas had arrived in New Spain,

Felipe Rabagd y Teran, Commander of the of San Saba", Texas, had attempted to make an alliance with the Indians of the North, though his subordinates advised him to spend more time and money fighting the

Apaches. By mid-1?62 he had persuaded some of the to settle near the presidio, but the majority continued their raids. A priest,

Fray Diego Ximenea, had urged Rabago y Teran to gain,time by luring the

Apaches with an offer of protection from their bitter foes, the

Comanehes. Meanwhile, the friar suggested, the Spanish ought to estab­ lish better communications among the presidios, regardless of the added expense. The viceroy refused to take this opportunity to win the allegiance of a powerful priest in the borderlands. He was swayed from this decision by a turn of events in the Seven Tears War.?

When the English took Havana in June, 1762, Cruillas overrode internal disputes and sent IjOO militiamen from to Veracruz.

There, however, he faced overwhelming administrative problems. Sol­ diers grew panicky as the disease rate and epidemics mounted. Men and officers who were sent from the highlands were usually in poor physical condition and improperly equipped, and there were few private citizens willing to help them. Firearms were scarce, even when all private arms were bought up in Mexico City. Pay scales had not beep worked out, nor

z 7» Cagigal to Cruillas, 1760, Instrucciones, 117j Fray Augustin Mbrfi, History of Texas, 1673-1779, trans. Carlos Castaneda, 2 vols. (Albuquerquei The Society, 193$), 39ii-395, Fray Diego Ximenez to Rabago y Teran, November 23, 1761, Castaneda, Mbrfi History, II, 397-398; Ximenez to Mexico City, October 28, 1762, Castaneda, Mbrfi History, II, i|03. were there orderly provisions for financial reports, and most cavalry

officers had to pay for the care of their horses from their own pock­

ets. Desertion, illicit selling of equipment, brawling and drunkenness were commonplace. Viceroy Cruillas had taken on more than he could handle and after the peace was signed in February, 1763, he begged

Charles III to provide training facilities to avoid such chaos in the future

Large numbers of militiamen finally left Veracruz after Janu­

ary, 176^, but administrative problems continued. Housing grew scarce as temporary quarters burned down. Citizens protested when permanent

garrisons, such as the Regiment of of Veracruz, were quartered

in private homes. Storage of arms left behind was a puzzle, for they would rot if stored improperly. Cruillas ordered that they be kept in the Casa Real of each , to he distributed only for military re- 9 views.

Despite the setbacks, Cruillas managed to mobilize 2600 regu­

lars and $900 militiamen ostensibly to defend Veracruz in the war. He wanted many more and complained that the militia had to be completely reformed. Bills for hospital treatment had accumulated, supplies had to be replaced, and rbads had to be rebuilt. Landlords were owed

money for quartering troops in the coastal city. Also militia units

8. Carmen Velisquez, Estado de Guerra, 3l|-lj0, l|2-b9, $l-$2.

9. Ibid., $2-51), 58-59. Technical problems arose concerning refurbishing of forts. For the tactical quarrels which occurred between leading engineers and the viceroys from Cruillas on, see Jose C aide refn Quijano, Historia de las Fortificaciones en Nueva Espana (Sevillas Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Arnericanos, 1953). were falling apart, despite more frequent inspections, and soldiers had begun to avoid their military duties. Meanwhile, the Apaches refused to stop raiding Sonoran towns. They bypassed the presidios, stole livestock, and hampered production. Frontiersmen pleaded for more arms and although some leaders, such as Governor Tomas Velez

Cachupifn of , took stringent measures, Spanish presidials could not vigorously pursue the Indians. Cruillas was powerless to do anything more during his reign, in part because of a lack of popular enthusiasm for military service. Quarrels with his advisers only added to his confusion and completely reversed his efforts to base his power on a strong colonial army.

Consequently, Charles III decided to send a military specialist to New Spain. Lieutenant-General Juan de Villalba y Angulo arrived at

Veracruz in early November, I76I1, as inspector-general with orders to cooperate with the viceroy in a total reorganization of Mexican de- . fenses. Personal antagonism arose immediately between the military expert and the partially defeated viceroy, a condition aggravated when

Villalba removed from office some of Cruillas ?s personal friends. The inspector-general also cut down the numbers of urban militia and incorporated them into the regular arny units which were more obli­ gated to the king. Reforms of the provincial militia, however, pro­ ceeded slowly. Villalba ignored the correct steps for instituting a draft, thus antagonizing local cabildos and powerful landowners. The

10. Hubert H. Bancroft, and New Mexico (San Francisco $ The History Company, 1889), 2$7-2^8; Documentos para la historia de Mexico, segunda serie (Mexico, F. Escalante y compania, 1858,. film 118, University of Arizona library, hereinafter cited Documentos), I, 568-565, 615-616. conflict between the two men resulted in a stalemate when Cruillas decreed in 1765 that cabildos did not have to provide soldiers with any supplies not authorized by the viceroy.^

Another facet of the attempted reforms of these years subverted

Cruillas*s apparent ends® The crown sent Jose de Galvez to New Spain to make a general visitationo In the main, Galvez was instructed to improve the administration of the treasury and the collection of reve­ nues, He.also carried the title of Intendant of the Army, a nebuous rank which he exploited wholeheartedly, Charles III hoped that Galvez could reduce the cost of organizing the new armed f o r c e

The visitador had not teen in New Spain four months when he quarreled with Cruillas, Galvez refused to submit his instruction from the Council of the Indies for the viceroy’s approval. In rebuttal, the fiscal of Mexico City argued that he must, because the viceroy had prior military authority. The problem was partially solved when the king removed Cruillas from office in mid-1766 and replaced him with

Carlos Francisco de Croix, the Marques de Croix, who was a close friend of Jose de Galvez and supported his policies. Personal quarrels thus prevented the establishment of a useful militia before 1766, More importantly, the dispute had kept absolute control of the colonial

11, McAlister, "Reorganization," 8-18j also see Arthur S. Alton, "Spanish Colonial Reorganization under the Family Compact," HAHR, H I (1932), 273-275, Carmen Velasquez, Estado de Guerra, 63J Bancroft, History of Mexico, III, i|02, -

12, For the earlier visitations to New Spain, see Herbert I, Priestley, Joss' de Galvez, visitor-general of New Spain, 1765-1771 (Berkeley| University of California Press, 1916), 88-125j Chapman, Founding Spanish California, 5l*> us array out of the hands of the viceroy, as perhaps Charles III had intendede

Cruillas nevertheless complained that Villalba and Galvez had disturbed the tranquility of the realm and he garnered some support on this point among citizens angered by Villalba's exemption of militia uniforms from the aleabala, a sales tax. In November, 1765, Puebla disturbance in protest against tax increases by Galvez reached alarm­ ing proportions, and in the following spring the same people attacked royal troops. Cruillas refused to call out the militia, evidently hoping that the king would see the error of his ways, tut when another uprising broke out in Hucatan, the king ordered Cruillas to use all his military facilities to stamp out such wanton acts.-^

Charles III sought two developments in New Spain. First, he wanted a colonial army established in the colony, though not under the complete control of the viceroy. Second, he wanted the army to act as a counterpoise in a political confrontation with the Church. His order to stamp heavily upon the rioters, therefore, had political implica­ tions far beyond a simple insurrection. The king of Spain anticipated that the Jesuits would take the lead in opposing royal orders in New

Spain, for within months after the Marques de Croix took office in July, 1766, he received secret instructions to expel the Jesuits.

13. Priestley, Jos/ de Galvez, 128-133; Bancroft, History of Mexico, III, 369-370; Carmen VeMsouez, Estado de Guerra, 78-8I, 97.

llj. Carmen Velasquez, Estado de Guerra, 8^-863 among |he complaints, as far as Cruillas could tell, was the fact that Galvez tried to impress Indian elders into militia service. See Priestley, Jos/ de Galvez, 357-359, for the taxes; Rydjord, Foreign Interest, 60=61, for the uprisings. Jose de Galvez apparently had expected just such instructions Q The visitor-general had already organized some small militia companies in provincial towns. In Junes 1767# just before arrived, he distributed trained officers from his personal entourage in provincial capitals to lead the militia companies and erect others

Shortly after the expulsion was hastily carried out on June 25#

1767# the awaited disturbances flared up in Patzcuaro, # San

Luis de la Paz# and San Luis Potosi# where the Indians were rumored to be plotting a massacre of local Spaniards, A month earlier they had tried to kill an and an hacendado, so when Galvez entered San

Inis Potosi he held summary trials of the riot leaders and deprived their village of local autonomy indefinitely. The sams procedure was repeated with a vengeance in the small Indian villages around the city# and in the entire district# in July and August, In each town he left as a legacy a new militia force# created from among the Indian and population. To provide weapons for the new companies# each tributary was ordered to donate twelve reales within three months.

Viceroy Croix later complimented the urban militia of the larger cities by acknowledging that they were a great help during the expulsion of 1A the Jesuits,

Galvez left in his wake a much cowed peasantry and a body of militia of some permanence# supported by local levies. Usually the

15, Priestley# Jose de Galvez# 2U-213# 215=216) Carmen Velasquez# Estado de Guerra# 105=107«

16, Fisher# Viceregal Administration# 281) Priestley# Jose de Galvez# 216=221# 223) for information on the Jesuits expelled# see Alberto F, Pradeau# La Expulsion de los Jesuitas de las Provincias de Sonora# Ostimuri* y Sinaloa en 1767 (Mexicos Jose Porrua# 1959)® — 50

assessments were distributed among the lower classes and the ayunta-

mientos of the various towns. Lastly he left one of his trusted

lieutenants in each place to see that his orders were carried out and,

incidentally, to provide him with power when he might need it.^

The viceroy wholeheartedly approved of Galvez’s actions. While

the visitor-general moved through the inland cities, Croix raised three

more regiments totaling 10,000 men at Veracruz and, under the guise of

a possible foreign attack, armed Veracruz and Acapulco with new cannon.

Added to the urban and provincial units, the viceroy had at his command

in 1767, 13,039 regular and provincial soldiers. The companies raised

by Galvez in 1767-1768 brought the total to over lib,000. Charles III,

however, must have been wary of these measures for fear of the politi­

cal power which Croix and Galvez could bring to bear. As a counter­ weight the king created the office of subinspector-general of New Spain,

an officer to be in direct charge of the troops, especially in the event of the viceroy's death. In addition, on October 22, 1768, he

promulgated the Ordinance for the Regimen, Subordination and Service of

the Army, which broadened the application of the fuero militar to reward those soldiers who accumulated fifteen years of service. Though

Charles III appreciated the effective handling of the secular-religious

17. Priestley, Jose de Galvez, 223-226. His lieutenants would become important later. Among them were Felipe de Neve, Pedro de Gorostiza and Felipe de Barri. See Herbert E. Bolton, Guide to the Materials in the Archives of Mexico for the History of the United States (Berkeley; University of California Press, 1913), b73-b79. conflict which resulted in an expanded colonial army, he had to provide against the possibility that the allegiance of the militia would enhance the power of the viceroy and/or the visitor-general,^

Meanwhile, the Indians in Sonora refused to remain quiescent and Galvez argued that the brigandage in the north, though unrelated to events in the south, could engulf the entire colony in turmoil. With this rationale, he had prepared, before the Jesuit expulsion, to under­ take a military campaign against Pima and Seri renegades in Sonora, \ From. 1755 to 1765 the white population in Sonora had steadily increased, but this had only brought on sharper conflicts with the unsettled

Indians and had harmed the local economy. In Ostimuri, below Sonora, there were 57 haciendas before the Pima and Seri outbreaks in 175l» but a few years later only, four were left. In the same years perhaps

17l| mining camps and settlements were depopulated. The Marques de

Croix, like Jose de Galvez, felt that the militia would not be an effective instrument to promote peace in the northern province. Only the veteran troops would be brave and hardy enough to withstand the rugged.fighting that would be required.19

18, Bancroft, History of Mexico, III, .Ijl5"ljl6| McAlister, Fuero Mllitar, Appendix I, tables 1, 2s Richard Konetzke, CoHecion de Documentos para la Historia de la Formacidn Social de Hispanoam6rica, Id93-l8lO, Ij voIs, (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientlficas, 1962), III, i, 3U"3ii3.

19. Russell C. Ewing, "The Pima Uprising, 1751-1752$ a Study of Spain's Indian Policy'6 (unpublished Ph. D. dissertation. Dept, of History, University of California, 193ii| film 518, University of Arizona library), contains the details of the i?ima outbreak of 1751 and its effects upon military and economic policy in Sonora, See Donald W. Roland, "The Elizondo Expedition Against the Indian Rebels of Sonora, 1765-1771)" (unpublished Ph. D. dissertation. Dept, of History, Galyez pressured and pleaded with landlords and urban mer­

chants for money to finance a campaign in the north. The merchants

of Jalapa and the Consulado of Mexico finally offered him 78,620 pesos,

which he used to build the boats at the seaport near Tepic from which

the major part of the troops were transported to Sonora, The visitador v"

himself gathered another 180,000 to 200,000 pesos to support the royal

veteran troops, for Viceroy Croix opposed the use of militia on the

frontier, final war councils were held in Mexico City in January,

1768, at which the viceroy confirmed that the militia were needed more

urgently in the capital. Galvez chose Colonel Domingo Elizondo of the

Regiment of Dragoons of Spain to lead the expedition. In all, some

800 troops would travel to the frontier, to which would be added 200

veteran cavalrymen from Sonora, and 100 men from flying companies

erected by the governor of Sonora, Juan de Pineda. The junta apparently

decided that vacancies left by these detachments would be filled in 20 the presidios by 110 new militiamen and 300 Indian auxiliaries.

Colonel Elizondo met Pineda at Guaymas in March, 1768, with

the preliminary detachments of troops. They planned to combine the

soldiers from the six Sonora presidios with the new arrivals and

force the Seris and Pimas to make their last stand in the Cerro Prieto

mountain range. They would be driven into the mountains and a massive

University of California, 1930; film 522, University of Arizona library), 32-33, 62, for the Sonoran background to the coming of Gilvez. Also see Chapman, Founding Spanish California, 67.

20. Ibid., 71; Rowland, "Elizondo Expedition,” 714-75, 88-91; Priestly, Jose de Galvez, 12)0, 23^-236. 53 attack would be launched from three points to end the struggle. 21 From

August to October, 1769, the military leaders concentrated their atten­ tion on breaking the Cerro Prieto strongholds0 At year's end Galvez fell sick, and Elizondo and Pineda were left in full command» For nearly twelve months their guerrilla tactics proved fruitless, and in

December, 1770, they began a "war of attrition®" Finally, in the fall of 1771, the Indians agreed to terms and 100 of their families were settled into ® Where there had been 600 Spanish households in

1766 there were then 181® Moreover, the "extravagant military expedi­ tion . « . did not serve to establish in a permanent manner the north­ ern limits of the intendancy of S o n o r a . "22

Nevertheless, this was the first time that a grand campaign was conducted in the northern frontier against fearful allies. Val­ uable lessons were learned by men who later commanded important posi­ tions in times of great crisis for the empire. The apparent disagree­ ments between Croix and Gl’lvez point up the possibility that each feared that the other would have too much power. Nevertheless, mili­ tiamen did gain some experience through.police duties. What is more, the Sonora campaign aimed military growth in the direction of Sonora

21. Rowland, "Elizondo Expedition," 126-128, 11j5=,155| chapter III describes the geography of the area.

22. Alexander yon Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, trans. John Black, 3rd ed®, Ij vols. (Londons Longman, Hurst, et al», 1822), II, 253» Rowland, "Elizondo Expedition," 195- 231, notes that all troops except the Volunteers of Cataluna left in May, 1771, for Mexico City; Priestley, Jose' de Galvez, 277-279® See Hubert H. Bancroft, History of the North Mexican States and Texas, 2 vols. (San Francisco? A.L. Bancroft, l88ii-l889). I, chapters 20, 21, for the background of the Indian wars in Sonora, v rather than Texas and Louisiana despite the New Orleans revolution of

1768 and the English policy changes that accompanied it.

The effect of the Elizondo campaign upon the size of the army was starling. When the forty-eighth viceroy of New Spain, Antonio

Marfa de Bucareli, entered Mexico City on September 23, 1771, the army had only retired from battle five months previously. Yet Bucareli found a regular corps, though depleted by the Sonora expedition, of nearly l^OO men,23 Spain was in the midst of the Falkland Islands dis­ pute with England, but Bucareli saw as his prime task the strengthening of New Spain's finances by military . He quickly discharged three militia battalions from active service in Mexico City and sent back to Spain the Battalion of Flanders and the Battalion of Savoy,

His opinion of the militia was very low and he found them poorly armed, badly mounted, inadequately instructed, understaffed, and rife with unfair recruitment and bribery to avoid service. The viceroy expected to refurbish the whole system without imposing unduly upon the treas­ ury,2^

Pascual de Cisneros, the new inspector-general of the troops, arrived in New Spain a year later. He and the viceroy cooperated ad­ mirably in the military projects, Cisneros reviewed the veteran and militia corps in the vicinity of the, capital and declared that all the

23, Bernard E, Bobb, The Viceregency of Antonio Marfa Bucareli in New Spain, 1771-1779 (Austin; University of Texas Press, 19627, 370-372, says there were 3751) troops, Fisher, Viceregal Administration, 279, gave the total as 10,000 infantry and 6000 cavalry. The latest figure, that of Bobb, seems too limited. He did not, for example, include the Volunteers of Catalans stationed in Sonora,

224, Bobb, Bucareli, 88-89= veteran companies lacked men and that the militia was in a horrible con­ dition. He replaced the regular army units sent home earlier with two companies of Catalans who were called to the capital from and disbanded other units because they were too expensive to maintain.

The superior officers faced opposition from mayores and officials in various cities. The alcaldes wanted the right to appoint officers on the local level, and they protested that they could not meet the quotas assigned to them for militia units in their areas* Consequently, militia absenteeism rose and complaints flooded the viceregal palace that militia and army units pre-empted homes and food in outlying districts. Regulars and militiamen themselves decried the lack of equipment* The Regiment of Infantry of Puebla, for example, had served for eight years with no uniforms. Lodging of soldiers and care of the horses of units also came under review by Cisneros, who noted that leaders of the militia often solved their problems by resorting to violence.^5

Cisneros recommended that ten battalions of militia infantry and two regiments of cavalry and dragoons be erected* Bucareli quickly agreed to the formation of the battalions in Cordoba and Jalapa. Head­ quarters for the first would be in Cordobaj it would recruit princi­ pally from that town, Orizaba, and the immediate environs. The unit, would have nine companies of about sixty men each, with mixed militia and regular officers* The men should come from the same pueblos if possible, with the veterans in each unit serving as the instructors of

25>. Carmen Velasquez, Estado de Guerra, 109, 117"121s Bobb, Bucareli, 10f> = the militiamene The second battalion# headquartered in Jalapa# would contain the same numbers# bit it would recruit from the Perote area.

Some people were exempted from military service by the Cisnero reforms»

Among them were leaders of ecclesiastical communities# employees of the

Inquisition and the Church# only sons# and people in vital local posi­ tions# such as druggists# teachers# lawyers# scribes# and administra­ tors of Rentas Reales» In sum# the battalions of the Regiment of Mili­ tia of Provincial Infantry of Cordoba and Jalapa would total 1358 men# with 566 militiamen proportionately distributed in each battalion. If these worked out successfully the others would then be formed. The

Cisneros-Bucareli project was the first combined enterprise of a vice­ roy and an inspector-general in New Spain.^

Cisneros left Mexico City for Cordoba in January# 1775# and re­ ported in the spring that he had finished his work. Bucareli ordered the new units to be equipped and armed from the royal warehouse in

Puebla# and the Cordoba-Jalapa battalions had their first general assembly in February# 1776# with Cisneros in attendance. Bucareli# cautious as ever# used the news that war was near in North America to ask Charles III for thirty new army officers to help complete the

Cisneros plan. Joss' de Galvez# Minister of the Indies# replied that

26. Bobb# Bucareli# 91-95* says that the new regiment would total 1800 men# though he gives no source. For the exemptions# ^ee “El Ejercito de la Nueva Espana a fines del siglo XVIII#.18 Bo let in del Arc hi vo General de la NacidTn# To mo IX (1938)# 21)0-269# in which Cisneros recounted the exact numbers recruited in his letter to Bucareli. Cf. Konetzke, Historia de la Formacion Social# III# i# 398# for a royal order# dated April 29# 177ii# conceding the complete fuero militar for life to militiamen who managed to attain twenty years of service in the militia. the king received the idea well, so Cisneros began in November to erect a new militia regiment in the Puebla-Tlascala area. When the thirty officers arrived they were assigned to the new units, and Cisneros com­ pleted his work in December, 1776.^

The Cisneros plan reached its zenith by the early winter of

1778, when four regiments and a battalion of militia was erected in the capital area. In December, the viceroy assigned another three hundred conscripts from Spain to the under-strength regular army units» Before

Bucareli died he organized and controlled an effective fighting force of 24527 regular army, not including those assigned to frontier duty.

Moreover, provincial militia units near Mexico City had grown under the

Cisneros plan and in March, 1779, contained approximately 3300 men. An arny of 7800 regulars and provincial militia, considerably larger than the one that fought alongside Elizondo in Sonora, now existed to put down insurrections or repel hostile Indians.

Frontier troops were not so well organized since the Interior

Provinces received less attention during Bucareli’s reign. Presidios were few and far between, and they were garrisoned by poorly trained and badly equipped soldiers whose morale was impaired by modest sala­ ries, usually long in arrears. The Elizondo campaign did not really

27. Bobb, Bucareli, 96-98.

28. Ibid., 100-101, 108, for the figures on the regular army. Although he carefully outlined the work of Cisneros, the author never hazarded an estimate of the size of the militia. The figures here are based on an approximation of the standard size of a company, plus the extant information on the work of Cisneros after the Gordoba-Jalapa experiment. help them, for the Indian attacks were not haltedo Conditions in the presidios were brought to light by the inspection conducted by the

Marques de Rubi in 1767-1769o^

At the close of the inspection Rubi and his secretary, Nicolas de Lafora, recommended that a small military force be kept in presidios placed at intervals of about forty leagues on a line formed by putting

Altar presidio at the mouth of the Concepcion River in the west and moving others into close adherence with an east-west line running to

Bahia del Espxritu Santo in Texas. The most important point was to establish fortifications above the BoIson de Mapimi, the desert in the north, to eliminate the great desert as an entry way for marauding

Indians e Each presidio was to have 50 officers and men, though San

Antonio arid Santa Fe were assigned 150 each. This would leave 960 soldiers on the frontier at an annual cost of 373*575 pesos5 a savings of 79*928 pesos» Lafora also recommended, with a macabre sense of humor, that a continuous offensive be waged against the Apaches so that

"by making prisoners of the women and children their numbers would be diminished even though few braves or warriors were killed or taken prisoner .."^O

29© Joseph F© Park5 Spanish Indian Policy in Northern HexTco^ 1765-1810," Arizona and the Mest, IV (1962z), 327, believes, as do others, that the Rubi inspection was prompted by Viceroy Croix and Joss' de Galvezj Theodore La White, "The Marques de Rubi's Inspection of the •Eastern Presidios on the Northern Frontier of New Spain," (unpublished Fh® Do dissertation. Dept» of History, University of Texas, 1951J Uni­ versity of Arizona Library, film 527), 16, says that it resulted from a royal directive«

30« Herbert E. Bolton, Texas in the Middle Eighteenth Century (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1915)* 378-379* Bancroft, Texas and the North Mexican States,. I, 585* 629-630j Lawrence Kionaird The Apaches fortified the arguments of Rubi and Lafora by con­

stantly raiding the eastern presidios in 1770e Fray Antonio Reyes

reported that they were marshalled near El Paso where they made a sham­

bles of militia operations and threatened to make allies of the

Gilenos, a related tribe The king ordered the Elizondo campaign

ended at this point and demanded that the Rubi plan be followed by the

viceroy and his military experts, Jose' de Galvez ignored the directive

because he was involved in the politics of the Sonora campaign and the

eastern border was left uhreformed for the time being,^

, When Bucareli took office in September, 1771, he thought it

sufficient to appoint Hugo Oconor as commandant of the frontier,

Oconor knew the area well, having been captain of the presidio of San

i f ' > 1 ‘ Saba, Texas, and apparently an ambitious man. At any rate, two months

later he noted in alarm that the pueblos and towns of the north were

being deserted, cattle losses were mounting, and the'presidios were in

danger of losing contact with each other; this despite the fact that

Governor Pedro Fermin de Mendinueta of New Mexico had recently conclud­

ed a peace treaty with the in New Mexico. Nevertheless,

(ed. and trans.), The Frontiers of New Spain. Nicolas de Lafora’s. Description, I766-I768 (Berkeleys the Quivira Society, 1958), 37-li2, 211-217; White, “Rubifa Inspection,” 2i|2-2lj3» , ,

31, Fray Antonio Reyes, to Governor Juan de Pineda, , 1768, Archive General de la Nacio'n Mexico Documents relating to the history of Spain in Arizona and the southwe~st (hereinafter cited AGN Docs.; Fray Francisco Garces to Pineda, February 21, 1769, AGN Docs.

32, Prestley, Jose de Galvez, 276-277. Galvez dismissed the problem by ordering the eastern governors to attack the Apaches on their respective borders. 60

Oconor and the governor of , Josi Fayni, continued to

appeal to the viceroy for more troops.53

Oconor reported that Indian attacks mounted through the summer

of 1772, with further losses of livestock and men, and that he had

erected at high cost a flying corps of militia, to consist of four com­ panies of mixed Spaniards, , and Indian auxiliaries, totaling

$20 men.Moreover, the commandant warned that although Governor

RipperdaA in Texas made further alliances with the Indians of the North, some of them had become too friendly with the Apaches, which might lead to all-out war. No doubt there was truth in the entreaties that came out of Chihuahua, but Oconor also found himself in a pleasing political position as frontier commander. Bucareli may have had this possible

affront to his power in mind when he dismissed Ripperda’s anxiety in

Texas by ordering him simply to observe the treaties he had signed with the Indians of the North.

Charles 111, mindful of the Falkland Islands threat of 1771 and

aware of British movements in West Florida, took the side of the fron­

tier commander when he published on September 10, 1772, a New Regula­ tion for the Presidios, based on the Rubi-Lafofa recommendations. Fif­

teen presidios with fifty or more soldiers were to be placed in the

33» Viceroy Croix to Arriaga, February 18, 1771; Croix to Oconor, September 10, 1771, Oconor to Bucareli, December 20, 1771i in "El Teniente Corpnel don Hugo Oconor y la Situacion en Chihuahua, Ano de 1771," Boletin del Archivo General de la Nacidn, XXX (1959), 358- 361, 373-375T" ~

3l|. Oconor to Bucareli, August 16, 1772, in "Itinerario de Teniente Coronal don Hugo Oconor de la ciudad de Mexico a la villa de Chihuahua," BAGN, XXX (1959), M3-1|1j5.

35° Bobb, Bucareli, 136. 61 line drawn fcjy ftubi3 and all Spanish settlements east of San Antonio were to be abandoned to the Indians. A vigorous war would be waged against the Apaches of Texas and Coahuila at the same time to pressure them to sue for peace. The Regulation also lent attention to the morale of the soldiers when it forbade illicit pay practices in the presidios, established the responsibility of captains for provisioning the troops and provided for an habilitado (paymaster) officially 36 elected by the officers and men of each company»

Bucareli capitulated to the wishes of Madrid and in January, 1773, he could report that he had sent two veteran dragoon regiments to the frontier. He also ordered the frontier governors to obey 0conor, though he left the leaders of New Mexico and Texas somewhat independ­ ent. Ripperda took this, opportunity to ignore the new plan and at the instigation of religious advisers, traded guns to the Indians of the

North. Oconor, meanwhile, received orders from Bucareli, who still tried to make his influence felt, to oust the Apaches from the BoIson de Mapimi before he made the presidial transfers according to the Regulation of 1772.3? The commandant-inspector ignored

Bucareli and occupied himself with problems in the eastern frontier.

Two of his assistants erected militia units at Robledo and Carrizal

(north and south of El Paso), which totaled four compahies of fifty- three men each, as part of the new plan of 1772. He admonished

36. Bolton, Texas in the Middle Eighteenth Century, 377, 381- 383| Chapman, Founding Spanish California, 11)2-1^3^ Moorhead, nContract System,” 33; Bancroft, History of Mexico, II, 11-1) 12.'

37. Bobb, Bucareli, 138-HjO| Castaneda, Morfl History. 1)21)- ll21)-1)255 Bardn de Ripperda to Athanase de Mezieres, October 7, 1771, Bolton, Athanase de Mezieres, I, 255-256. 62

Ripperda' in Texas to stop dealing with the Indians of the North and to

force the settlers in and Orcoquisac in the east to move to

San Antonioo By October,, 1773, Oconor turned west to drive the Apaches north of the BoIson de Mapimi and at year's end Bucareli reported that

peace prevailed in most of the frontier and the presidio realignment

program could proceed with greater haste,^8

Through 177b the disagreements between Oconor and Bucareli con­

tinued, centered primarily on a question of priority® The viceroy felt

pressured by civilian and religious leaders in Spanish and Indian towns

in Sonora, New Vizcaya and New Mexico, and he wanted the Apache raids

halted by the frontier troops. The commandant-general, on the other

hand, viewed the problem from the point of his personal prestige in

Madrid and hesitated in favor of carrying out the commands of

Charles III embodied in; the Regulation of September, 1772® However, by

the spring of 1775, Oconor had completed enough of the rebuilding meas­ ures to take major action against the Apaches® He planned to drive them north into the mountains where they could be trapped by Oconor and

Francisco Crespo, governor of Sonora, moving west and northeast respec­ tively. New Mexico, however, could not contribute the 600 men Oconor

asked for5 Governor Mendinueta had suffered raids against

38, Alfred B. Thomas, "Antonio Bonilla and Spanish Plans for the Defense of New Mexico, 1772-1778,“ New Spain and the Anglo-American West, 2 voIs. (Lancaster? Lancaster Press, 1932), I, 38'5-bOb? Bobb, Bucareli, ll|0-li|l| Park, “Spanish Indian Policy," 332-333; Chapman, Founding Spanish California, 130. 63

Santa Fe of up to 1000 men each between June and September,

Bucare11 encouraged the New Mexico governor, saying that Qconor could do well without Mendinueta11 s help and agreeing to send the governor

1!?00 horses to better deal with the Comancheso^®

Meanwhile, Oconor had prepared for his combined campaign ✓ against the Apacheso Be had received reports from friars in Pimeria

Alta, especially Fray Francisco Garces, that the Gila Apaches, number­ ing 25,000 men, were not on friendly terms with the 9000 Yu mas and

Cocomaricopas and that dissension among these groups might help to bring about the defeat of the Apaches® The stories were accurate enough, for in September, October, and November, 1775, the Spanish under Oconor and Crespo administered a series of fifteen defeats to the

Apaches® Yet numberless bands of marauding Indians continued to roam from New Mexico to New Vizcaya, and as the American Revolution ap­ proached, the Council of the Indies viewed the precarious Indian situa­ tion with increased fear.^"*" Partly for this reason, as well as the harm done to imperial policy by the Oconor-Bucareli dispute, Charles III decided to amputate, the borderlands from the viceroyalty and place them under a single military government to be called the Commandancy-

General of the Interior Provinces of New Spain® The king appointed

39® Bobb, Bucareli, li|2j Mendinuet a to Bucareli, September 30, 177b, in Alfred B. Thomas, The Plains Indians and New Mexico (Albuquer­ que : University of New Mexico Press, l&jOj, l69-173j Frank b® Reeve, "-Spanish Diplomacy, 1770-1790,11 New Mexico Historical Review, XXXV (I960), 210-212.

bO® Mendinueta to Bucareli, August 19, 1775$ Bucareli to Mendinueta, October. 2b, 1775, in Thomas, Plains Indians, I8b-l89®

bl® Documentos, 230-2b0, 250® Teodoro de Croix as the first Commandant-General in May2 1776® With

its capital at , the new military government comprised the prov­

inces of Nueva Vizcaya, Coahuila, Texas, New Mexico, Sinaloa, Sonora,

and the ® Nearly viceregal powers went to the commandant-

general, whose chief duty was to pacify the long and troublesome fron­


Croix’s orders allowed him to communicate directly with the

king and gave him general superintendency of the royal treasury, tut

limited his control of California.^3 Though his first duty was to use

the colonial arny to fully pacify the country, he was also expected to

organize civilian settlements near the frontier presidios. The king

insisted on the strict observance of the New Regulation of Presidios of

September 10, 1772. Although he was directly subordinate

Charles III, Croix was ordered to keep, the viceroy well informed of the

situation in the interior provinces and was to obtain all of his sup­ plies from Mexico City® Thus if the two men disagreed or argued, each

could hamper the operations of the other®

Teodoro de Croix remained in Mexico City for a full year after

his appointment. During that time he and the viceroy received periodic

1}2® Alfred B® Thomas, Teodoro de Croix and the Northern Fron­ tier of New Spain, 1776-1783 (Normans University of Oklahoma Press, 1%1), 16-171 Chapman, Founding Spanish California, 383-389, Bobb, Bucareli, Ib3-lij5®

li3o Thomas. Teodoro de Croix. 18j cf . Chapman, Founding Spanish California, 389, who said that Croix was specifically told to, . work first for the preservation and development of California® The instructions may have been ambiguous, but it is important to note that Chapman exhibited a severe bias against Teodoro de Croix® :

lii®. Bobb, Bucareli, llif). 65 reports from the frontier which indicated that while some pacific I Indians performed usefully in the mines and other work, great hordes of

Indians from the east threatened to inundate New Mexico, Nueva Vizcaya, and Sonora. Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Bonilla in New Mexico pleaded for a vigorous offensive, because the Seris and PImas were about to ally with the Apaches to endanger the Cieneguilla mines where workers fled in the face of possible depredations.^ fhough Bucareli seemed unruffled, Croix reported in somber tones:

I look upon a dismal stage. Although some try to persuade me that the provinces under my command have taken on a better as­ pect than that which they had in 1771 . . . I cannot reconcile these favorable reports with the adverse ones that are fre­ quently proffered in this capital, and with those sent from the Interior Provinces . . . It would please me greatly if the first ones were true, but on the other hand the second ones frighten me . . . for I see the greater disaster which they foreshadow . . . .^6

The commandant-general surmised that the major trouble on the frontier stemmed from poor planning of the presidial line and over­ emphasis on the Rubi plan, and he decided that a solution called for adding 2000 troops and erecting a string of fortified towns behind the presidios to give the frontier a double line of defense? He also stationed two mobile militia companies at opposite ends of the BoIson de Mapimi and created a third company to prepare the way for the second

15. Documentos del Archivo de Hidalgo del Parral (University of Arizona library, film 305), 1776, G-l (hereafter cited Archivo Parral, followed by the year and number of the specific document).

16. Bancroft, Arizona and New Mexico, 263| Croix to Galvez, April 25, 1777s in Thomas, Teodoro de Croix, 22.

l7« Thomas, Teodoro de Croix, 23-25; Chapman,; Founding Spanish California, 76. defense line. Clearly his request for 2000 men would have to be

doubled at least# but Bucareli complained that there was not enough

money to meet these demands. The viceroy suggested to Josd' de Galvez

in Madrid that the reports Croix received were grossly exaggerated^ and

he deemed sufficient the 1997 troops placed on the frontier six years

earlier. A heated conflict between the two men thus had its inception

in Mexico City and would end only with the death of the viceroy

In August, 1777# the commandant-general finally left JMsxico

City in disgust for the Interior Provinces# and when he reached Mon-

clova# Chihuahua# in mid-November# 1777# he held war councils that kept

him occupied over the next seven months. The major officials on the frontier attended these meetings, at which policies were formulated for dealing with the Indians throughout the eastern frontier. In sum, they

opted for alliances with the Indians of the North and the Comanches in

an all-out campaign against the eastern Apaches if they could obtain at

least 1800 more men and sufficient materiel. If not they intended to

ask that they be allowed to move seven of the eastern presidios to

their former sites for better protection of the settlements.^

Before the offensive planned by the military experts began, the

turn of events again reminded frontier commanders that Madrid saw

Indian policy in the perspective of imperial defense. Teodoro de Croix

- If8. The evidence for both sides of this prolonged argument has appeared in Thomas, Teodoro de Croix# 25-27j and Bobb,- Bucareli# llj8- igi.

ii9. For details on the proceedings of the war councils# see Bolton# Athanase de Mezi&res# II, il;7-170# Bolton# Texas in the Middle Eighteenth. Century# Jf2lj-[|37. For some initial reorganization efforts by Croix# see Croix decree of November 2, 1778, Archivo Parral# 1778, ■

G-1|. fell ill in January, 1778, when a royal order arrived which directed

him to avoid open warfare with the Indians and to resort to gentle

means of winning their allegiance * . Croix had no choice but to obey,

but he still hoped that the crown would approve the recruitment of the

new soldierse Then in the summer of 1779 Viceroy Bucarsli, the great­

est antagonist of the commandant-general, died in office and was re­

placed by the lackluster Martin de Mayorga« Teodoro de Croix thus

became the arbiter of military policy in Hew Spain shortly after Spain

entered the British—American war on the side of France«

Once his principal antagonist was removed, the commandant-

general of the Interior Provinces was able to develop his own military

aims, bound only by the Regulation of 1772 which called for peace with

the Indians and gradual withdrawal of Spanish forces to specific

presidiose Charles III hoped that this strategy would prevent American

rebels from moving into Louisiana and Texas, an unnecessary considera­

tion. Teodoro de Croix, his subordinates and some frontier religious

leaders held mixed views® The friars and civilians who traded with the

Indians were unwilling to abandon the east Texas missions and settle­


Croix nominally agreed with crown policy at this point, for within the year he completed the planned rearrangment of presidios. A new frontier line in Sonora centered on keeping open the presidios of

Altar and Tucson to prevent the closing of the route to California and the re-entry of Gila Apaches into Sonora where they might make allies

5>0. Mazieres to Teodoro de Croix® August 23, 1779, Bolton, Athanase de Mszieres, II, 1160-2627 68 of the Seriso New flying companies, under the command of Captain

Joseph de Vildosola, added hi6 militiamen to the frontier defenses, plus another 1?2 in the presidios at Pitic, Buenavista, and Altar in the west. In eastern New Vizcaya, Croix had created two divisions in the presidial line. Three forts on the north line added 335 men to the mobile forces. The second line included El Paso and added 199 men to patrol the areas between the two lines of forts, as well as to provide, escorts to Santa Fe.^1

The colonial militia was the backbone of the new defense pro­ gram, Coahuila and New Vizcaya contributed men to the militia around the west and south of the BoIson de Mapimf, A second line of presidios ran from Chihuahua in a semicircle and curved southeast to El , then north to Nbnclova and ended at Cuatro Cienegas, The two bulwarks included seven presidios which housed 686 men and four flying companies totaling 561j men. The militia performed two functions in this plans they defended the civilian settlers.from Indian raids and they pa­ trolled the rim of the Bo Ison de MapinrL, In 1781 there were 1250 men available to defend this frontier and they apparently held regular practice sessions and cavalry maneuvers,^

Afterward, in 1781, Croix completed a general report on con­ ditions in the Interior Provinces in which he showed that he had gone beyond his original plans for defense by creating militia corps in New

Vizcaya that added 1892 militiamen to the arny roles, forming a large

51, Thomas, Teodoro de Croix, ^5-52; Croix to the alcalde of Cerro Gordo, October 15, 1779, Archivo Parral, 1779, G-101, G-102.

52, Thomas, Teodoro de Croix, 53, 69

portion of the 321)2 soldiers stationed in New Vizcaya® Croix justified

the added expenses on the basis of continued Indian depredations from

Texas to Sonora®

In Texas9 for example, he argued that the alliance made earlier

between the Indians of the North and the Comanches was no help, for the

Comanches still raided Spanish towns, especially San Antonio® He rec­ ommended that Domingo de Cabello, the new governor of Texas, be told to destroy the Lipan Apaches and the coastal Karankawas after he increased . his troops by $00 men® Croix himself had added to the San Antonio con­ tingent, bringing it to 100, and suggested that the Indians of the .

North be won away from the Comanches with gifts® Since, however, the war with England had greater priority, Croix allowed that it might be best to concentrate all of the Texas forces at one or two points»

Cabello apparently agreed with him on all these m a t t e r s. 51)

If Coahuila, the asylum for the marauding Lipan and Mescalero

Apaches, fell under Indian control, they would go on unhindered to San

Luis Botosi® That was why he stressed an alliance with the Indians of the North and why he needed more troops. New Mexico's defense, on the other hand, depended on Santa Fe, where a brief peace had followed the offensive of the Comanches in 1779? One year later this fearful people had attacked New Mexico again, hampering operations against the Gila

$3® Thomas, Teodoro de Croix, $l)-$7, 62-631 Croix to the alcalde of Cerro Gordo, November 7* 1779, Archivo Parral, 1779A, G-lj.

$li ® Thomas, Teodoro de Croix, General Report, 1781, articles 1-11, 21-33, 35-55. 70

Apaches to the westo^ Croix noted that there were ill5 military units in New Vizcaya which he stationed closer to the presidios, and he strengthened the frontier with two flying companies and added 1$0 regu­ lars from the Dragoons of Spain and Mexico. If these troops maintained continual patrols, the enemy Apaches could be kept guessing in the western sector of the frontier and be defeated in the east.

The commandant-general's report was a justification for his military policies against the Indians of the borderlands. Clearly, he was forced to back up his claims against the skepticism of the vice­ roys, but more importantly, he felt called upon to give reasons for his attempts to go beyond the New Regulation for Presidios of September,

1772. In large part he based his actions on the seriousness of Indian, especially Apache and Comanche, depredations into New Vizcaya and

Sonora. Croix also relied upon support from his subordinates in the provinces and the interests of religious leaders in Texas who seemed to have close contacts with the Indians of the North. Whenever the friars opposed him, however, Croix unhesitatingly blocked them by calling upon the directive of 1772 from Madrid. He was continually aware of, and played upon, the fears in Madrid of possible English and American inva­ sion of New Spain through alliance with the Texas Indians and he ex­ ploited these fears to build his military and political position. His success can be measured by the fact that in 1783 he was rewarded for his work with appointment to the viceregency of . Despite the hin­ drances placed in his path by jealous viceroys, Croix had enlisted

55® Thomas, Teodoro de Croix, General Report, 1781, articles 57-60, 81-88, 123=137, l2jij~i59. 3183 men for frontier duty after 1778 and had stationed L686 men in presidios from Texas to Sonora° Yet Apache depredations of Spanish and

Indian towns continued to plague frontier settlers, and by 1783 vice­ regal administrators found that they still spent fully one-fifth of their funds maintaining the frontier defenses of New Spain* Between

1786 and 1797* for instance, the annual cost of pacifying the Apaches ranged from 18,000 to 30,000 pesos out of an average budget for the period of 120,000 pesos per year*56

56» Thomas, Tepdoro de Croix, General Report, 1781, articles 227, 507; Croix to Matlas de Galvez, 178b, Archivo Parral, 1787A, G=32; Humboldt, Political Essay, IV, 221; Priestley, Jose*' de Galvez, 372-37b> i|25. CHAPTER I?



Near the end of the reign of Teodoro de Croix, administrative changes in New Spain paved the way for the implementation of frontier maneuvers more in keeping with the policies of Charles III and Jose de

Galvezo The king promoted Felipe de Neve to commandant-inspector in

1782, ostensibly to relieve the commandant-general of some of his dutieso Neve himself was commandant-general for a year in 1783 and then was replaced by Jose Rengel* Bernardo de Galvez, as the new vice­ roy in 1785, recaptured the direction of frontier military policyo The northern provinces were then divided into three military districts by order of Charles IIIo Juan de Ugalde, the comandante de armas, took charge of Texas, Coahuila, New Leon, and New Santander® Joss' Rengel, the new commandant-inspector, presided over New Vizcaya and New Mexico, and Jacobo Ugarte y Loyola, commandant-general and superior to the other two men, controlled Sinaloa, Sonora, and the Californiaso

Bernardo de Galvez left no doubt, however, that he ruled the entire colony as he worded his instructions to Ugarte with the confi­ dence of maturity®. The viceroy delineated the Indian policy to be carried out on the frontier, provided guide lines for military reform, and laid down methods by which he insisted peace must be maintained®

1. Bolton, Guide, 75>®

72 73

Galvez perhaps had the backing of his uncle, the Minister of the

Indies, who earlier had experienced the frustration of confused leader­ ship in New Spaino

Galvez called for the waging of war "without intermission1’ against any Apache groups that asked for it, but he noted in his in­ structions that since 1729, as more troops were stationed on the fron­ tier, Indian hostilities increased = Moreover, by 1786, 1|00,000 people lived on the frontier and the crown paid over one million pesos a year to administer to their needso He could only conclude that the "great­ est army of veteran troops cannot pacify the interior provinces." Con­ sequently, Galvez made a major tactical change. Since it would be foolish to drive the Indians into the mountains, he urged that the dif­ ferent hostile Indian groups be encouraged to fight each other, for "a bad peace with all the tribes which ask for it would be more fruitful than the gains of a successful war."2

While fomenting discord among the Indian factions, the military leaders were told to acquiesce if some Indians asked for their help— even to the extent of giving them horses, food, and clothing, "since

. . . it will cost the king less than what is now spent in considerable and useless reinforcement of troops." But if any Indians continued to destroy Spanish property, a war of extinction, with no quarter given, should be carried on against them.^

2. Donald E. Worcester (ed. and trans.), Bernardo de Galvez, Instructions for Governing the Interior Provinces of New Spain, 1786 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 19^1, hereinafter cited Instructions for Interior Provinces), 32-38.

3. Instructions for the Interior Provinces, 0-147* More specifically, in Sonoraj, Galvez thought the peaceful

Indians could be made use of against the warlike ones; the and

the Pimas, for instance, would help in the fight against the Gila

Apachese For the rest, he suggested that Spanish families be settled

into the Indian towns to promote better relations with the Indians.

G/lvez intended, however, that New Vizcaya rely on the system of forti­

fications built by Teodoro de Croix, aid that the monies to support

them and the three flying companies that were needed there be obtained

from the ranchers of the province, despite their complaints

The viceroy thought it would be especially beneficial in New

Mexico to promote the discord that already existed between the

and Gila Apaches. Perhpas the Navajos could be encouraged with gifts

exchanged for their coarsely woven blankets. The only real enemies

Galvez could see in Texas, Coahuila, New Leon, and New Santander were

the Mescalero Apaches. He urged that the friendship with the Indians

of the North and the peace treaty with the Lipan Apaches be preserved

at all costs to widen the breach between the Lipans and the .

Only Indian campaigns that employed 15>0 to 200 men could be fruitful, for a group this size had considerable maneuverability. Since surprise was the greatest advantage on the frontier, Galvez told Ugarte that he wanted command of those detachments to be given to officers of proven

ii. Instructions for the Interior Provinces, 56-68. Galvez at the same time suggested that the and Mayos of Sonora could be employed in the mines of La Cienequilla and Bacoache. 75 ability in Indian warfare, meaning that strict rules of seniority could be ignored

In addition to the policy outlined for frontier strategy in New

Vizcaya, Galvez pondered the problem of military fundso He hinted that it might relieve the Hacienda Real somewhat if Indian auxiliaries re­ placed regular soldiers in Sonora, New Vizcaya and New Mexico„ Some non-commissioned and subordinate officers might also be eliminated and replaced with men of the ranks« Galvez had the support of Gommandant-

Inspector Rengel in his care for the militiamen, for Rengel, basing his reforms on those of Teodoro de Croix, did his best to work out an effi­ cient supply system in the presidios and flying companies.&

Soon after the appointment of Galvez to the viceregency, the crown issued, on January 15, 1786, the Ordinance of Intendants for New

Spaino7 Though the immediate incentive for Charles III was the tension produced try separatist intrigues east of the Mississippi River, the ordinance was really a product of two phenomena t the usual inability, or lack of desire, on the part of viceroys to put imperial legislation into practice, and the wish of the Council of State in Madrid to deal with this disparity at all levels of government. For example, graft in the production and collection of revenue was common in New Spain and the intendant system was designed to try to overcome this deficiency.

5. Instructions for the Interior Provinces, 72-75, 82-85* Reeve, "Navajo-Spanish Diplomacy," 200-206. ~

6. Moorhead, "Contract System," 37-38.

7. Lillian E. Fisher, The Intendant System in Spanish America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1929), 12j Galvez took office January 17, 1785* see Caughey, Galvez, 253= The intendants also had military duties overlapping their financial

responsibilities. The Ordinance of Intendants contained forty articles

which outlined the intendants * duties with respect to the inspection

and supply of troops, relations with subordinates and superiors, and

care of equipmento®

When the ordinance arrived in New Spain in 1786, it called for the establishment of twelve intendancies whose officers were made imme-

lately responsible to the intendant-general in the capital, who was in turn responsible to the Council of the Indies« The effectiveness of the whole system depended on the officers in charge of the partidos

(sections within each intendancy), who served the intendant for five years without salary. Ostensibly, the purpose of this arrangement was to relieve the overburdened viceroy and to better aid him in the col­

lection of tribute.

In military affairs, however, the intendant-general had to bow

to the absolute independence of the viceroy as well as that of the

commandant-general of the Interior Provinces. Such ambiguities as this

soon provoked misunderstanding and antagonism between the intendant-

general, who saw himself as superior in financial and Indian affairs,

and the viceroy, who felt his power draining away.^

The military aspects of the intendant system did, in fact, add to the powers of the new officials. Concentrated in them were the

8. Fisher, Intendant System, Appendix I, is a translation of the Ordinance of Intendants for New .Spain, issued in 1786s see articles 250-305 for military duties.

9. Ibid., 25-30| Lillian E. Fisher, The Background of the Rev- olution for Mexican Independence (Boston5 Christopher Publishing House, 1934), 271-273. 77 political, judicial, and military functions of the former alcaldes0

They supervised the paying of the troops, supplying of provisions and equipment, quartering of soldiers, inspecting of depots and magazines, and planning the movement and distribution of troops in viceregal coun- cilSo^O

Despite their heavy involvement in military affairs, the in­ tend ants were not actually military peopleo The distinction became ap­ parent when, for example, the commandant-general of the eastern provinces asked the intendant of San Luis Potosi for 30,000 pesos to fight hostile Indians0 The intendant could provide the money, as indeed he did for Juan de Ugalde in 1788, but he could not interfere in the strategy and logistics of the campaign to be conducted with those financeso Intendants were, however, useful observers of the Indian campaignso The intendant of Guadalajara sent many reports to the vice­ roy because his area had insufficient troops to defend the coast, and he was finally allowed, in the mid-1790*s, to set up a battalion of provincial militia for his capital and the outlying towns» They also kept a close watch upon quartermasters and supply officers, as well as this could be done0H

Implementation of the intendant system proved to be haphazard for the first few months, primarily because Bernardo de Galvez was hostile to the new arrangements, % the time Manuel Antonio Flores

10e Fisher, Intendant System, li5-5>lj Haring, Spanish Empire, 131j- 135o

11 o Fisher, Intendant System, 5.7-61J Carmen Velasquez, Estado ,de Guerra, 98-99; see Moorhead, "Contract System," li9-5^, for the complications arising from these arrangements in the 1790’s. took office as viceroy in August^ 1787, he had to face not only the problem of establishing a working relationship with the intendants, but also some imperative orders from the crown concerning the defense of the realm, Jose de Galvez was dead, and so the colony lacked experi­ enced guidance from Madrid, Flores was told to wage relentless war on the Indians, because the frontier administrators had pleaded with the crown for such a directive, Ms had to fit the intendants into this 12 situation as efficiently as was possible.

Coupled with the confusion initially created by the intendancy system and the reforms in the interior ordered by Bernardo de Galvez, were the demands made by the Crespo Dietamen, A royal order of 1788 that came in the midst of approaching English-French hostilities or­ dered the viceroy to implement the military reforms outlined by Fran­

cisco Crespo in 1781|, Fibres met these demands by simply creating veteran regular corps, such as the Fixed Regiment of Puebla, from the dregs of the Regiments of La Corona and the Dragoons of Spain and Mexi­ co, and reforming two companies at the fort of San Juan de Ulua, though there was no apparent reason to fear a foreign Invasion of New Spain,^

On the frontier, however, Flores found an angered and more in­ dependent group of tti.litary commanders, owing in part to the eight months of neglect they had enjoyed between the end of the Galvez regen­ cy and his own, as well as their hostility toward the intendants, A controversy ensued once again over supply of the presidios, centering on whether or not a single merchant ought to monopolize the supply

. 12, Bancroft, History of Mexico, III, 1}61|-1|67»

13, Carmen Velasquez, Estado de Guerra, lli5>-ll|6. 79 system* The commandant-general, Jacobo Ugarte, favored the single merchant idea and awarded a contract to Francisco Guizarnotegui, a

Chihuahua dealer® Moreover, he promised Guizamotegui that the royal treasury would guarantee him 80,000 pesos for purchasing goods®

Ugarte, in his effort to bypass the old paymaster system controlled by presidial captains, neglected to get the approval of the intendant. of

Durango, under whose jurisdiction in matters of finance lay the prov­ ince of New Vizcaya® The commandant-general pleaded innocent on the ground that he had awarded the contract before he knew of the Ordinance of Intendants® Suspecting collusion, the auditor of Mexico City argued that Ugarte had ignored the intendant on purpose and that the contract would cost the treasury more for the five year period 1788-1792 than if the presidios depended on competing frontier merchants.

Viceroy Flores entered the conflict late in 1787° He decided that the instructions of Bernardo de Galvez had allowed the commandant of the Interior Provinces to make presidio supply contracts, and since the king had approved the Galvez instructions, the Hacienda Heal had to respect them® Flores decreed in September, 1788, that the Guizarnote- gui contract would remain in force on a provisional basis, but if the contract ever worked against the best interests of the provinces and presidios it should be suspended immediately. The incident shows that

Flores willingly allowed the commandant-general to retain considerable independence in military matters, thus helping to undermine aims of the intendant system. Momentarily, at any rate, the viceroy had found iJ. common interest with the borderlands commanders.^

Hi. Moorhead, ”Contract System,” 38-53« 80

The supply controversy led Flores to take a deep interest in the conduct of the Indian campaigno He had complained in.the fall of

1787 that the 3639 troops stationed on the frontier were spread too thinly to combat the incessant Indian invasions at every pointo Flores wholeheartedly supported the strong offensives envisioned in the Galvez instruction of 1786, but he did not see the worth of conducting com­ merce with hostile Indians. He suggested that this effort be abandoned in favor of a campaign of obliteration of all who opposed Spanish he­ gemony on the frontier, and after he regained command of the provinces, he tried to arrange the troops to counteract Apache attacks

The leaders in the Interior Provinces made strenuous efforts to carry out the Galvez plan* Ugalde led IjOO men and some in 1787 on a six months’ campaign into the Pecos River region, after which he concluded peace treaties with the Lipan and Mescalero Apaches, and the next year he convinced the Mescaleros to join him as allies in war against the Comanches to the north * Commandant-general Ugarte, meanwhile, attacked the Gila Apaches in the northwest, striking their rancherias in 1787* The Ugarte raids against the Gilas brought them, by 1790, to ask that they be allowed to settle near the Spanish presidios* Thus the extermination policy advocated by Bernardo de

Galvez and supported by Antonio Flores worked quite we 11*^

15* Flores to Senor Antonio Valdes, Minister of Indies, October 23, 1787; Flores to Valdes, June 2ks 1788j "Politica del virrey Flores en la comandancia general de provincias internes, 1787-1789," BAGN, XXIV (1953), 232-231), 252-255; Flores to Revillagigedo, 1789, Instrucciones, 12^-125*

16* Park, "Spanish Indian Policy," 31)1-31)2. 81

With relative calm in the borderlands. Viceroy Flores and his staff could pay more attention to reforms in the structure of the arny.

He considered the possibility of instituting the reductions advocated by Crespo and sanctioned by Charles III, but he hesitated to lose the support of Ugalde and Ugarte on the frontier, as well as that of the ranchers who favored competitive presidio supply contracts. Conse­ quently, when the diplomatic position of Spain once more excited the fears of Charles III and the Conde de Fioridablanca in 1788, Flores willingly created the new regular army units but did nothing to reduce the size and power of the militia. Within a year, pressures upon Spain produced by the Nootka Sound incident gave the next viceroy an excuse to discourage any more thoughts of stabilizing the growth of a Mexican militia. Future viceroys referred frequently to the changes sought by

Crespo, but they continued to build militia defenses.^

Don Juan Vicente de Guernes Pacheco de Padilla, the second Conde de Revillagigedo, made only half-hearted attempts to put the Crespo changes into effect after 1789, partly because he had a professional disdain for the militia. Revillagigedo was also the most economy con­ scious viceroy of the late eighteenth century, and with good reason.

The inflationary policy carried on by the crown since 1759 had wreaked havoc on the Mexican economy; taxes were inefficiently collected, and the colonial and regular armies in New Spain and the Carribbean took 18 the largest part of the colony's budget,

17. Carmen Velasquez, Estado de Guerra, 100-102; Bancroft, History of Mexico, III, I4O6 ; Flores to Revillagigedo, 1789, Instruc- ciones, 126-127,

18, The economic situation received detailed treatment in 82

For these reasons, Revillagigedo valued the Crespo reforms, yet the tensions produced in Spain by the formation of a republic, the

United States, and Spain’s detachment from France made increases in the army imperative in his eyes. He supposed that the veteran regulars were reliable fighters, but he was unsure of the militia. In a census he ordered it was found that there were 19,1|19 men of limpia

(white blood) between the ages of sixteen and forty, and 31,890 men of the pardo (Negroid) caste in the same age bracket. The viceroy con­ cluded that since there were only $603 men classed as militia in 1790, the potential of New Spain had not been exploitedj therefore,

Revillagigedo reunited dispersed companies into homogeneous regiments and brought about a few reductions in the militia to achieve better discipline. Though he wanted an all white colonial army, he found that he had to settle for mixed companies with the non-Spaniards relieved of tribute payment because many Spaniards refused to join the army.

Though some colonials enlisted voluntarily, the viceroy had to resort 19 frequently to forced drafts among the vagabonds in the cities.

On the frontier, Revillagigedo had to carry forward the Galvez plan, as well as to defend against a possible invasion from Louisiana, especially when he heard from Governor Esteban Niro in New Orleans

Sanford A. Mosk, “Economic Problems in Sonora in the Late Eighteenth Century," Pacific Historical Review, VIII (19W), 3hl-3k5i Earl J. Hamilton, "Monetary Problems in Spain and Spanish America, 17$1-1800," Journal of Economic History, IV (I9ijl|), 21-1|8 =

19. Bancroft, History of Mexico, III, 1i 70 j Carmen Velasquez, Estado de Guerra, 1^7-1&9; Fisher, Viceregal Administration, 283-=281j, provides the example of New Leon citizens who complained that they had endured the burdens of serving for the Indian wars in Texas for years and were worn out in the process. about the activities of James 0 1 Fallon« After Revillagigedo provided for coastal defenses he sent a regiment of dragoons to in 1791 to help protect the border of the northeast from the expected 0 1 Fallon

republican legions. The viceroy found this a convenient time to start

buying food for 6000 Lipan Apaches at a cost of 23,000 pesos a year.

In population centers officials gave liquor and personal adornments to the Indians, and the captain-general voiced the hope that the militia could be relieved to act as buffer troops against overland invasion from Louisiana. He also recommended changes in the intendant system with respect to military matters, especially in the creation of an on intendancy of Chihuahua and another in the four eastern provinces.

Apparently Revillagigedo believed that difficulties with the

Indians would hamper an effective defense of Texas, New Mexico and New

Vizcaya. He had sent his friend, Captain F^lix Calleja del Rey of the

Fixed Regiment of Infantry of Puebla, to the frontier as his represent­

ative in late 1790 to examine the condition of the troops in Nayarit, to probe the extent of collusion among the Apaches and lesser tribes

in recent raids, and to recommend action for better Texas and Louisiana

communications with Mexico City.^ Within a year Calleja returned and

20. Park, "Spanish Indian Policy," 3lj2-3l|3j Bancroft, Arizona and New Mexico, 378-379# Fisher, Intendant System, 78-82, says that Revillagigedo asserted that paying frontier troops every six months would cut down desertion.

21. Revillagigedo to Antonio Valdes, April 30, 1790, "Don Filix Maria Calleja del Rey, Actividades Anteriores a la Guerra de Independencia," BAGN, I, serie 2 (I960), 61-62, 71-76. his comments led the viceroy to move some troops from Mazatlan to the the eastern frontier in an apparent effort to control the Lipan

p p Apaches.

In line with his policy of reducing the size of the active mil­ itia, Revillagigedo had to consider whether he should use Indian flying companies organized in Sonora in 1770 by Jose' de Galvez and Domingo de

Elizondo. Revillagigedo decided not to muster them to fight the

Apaches in the east, and in the summer, 1793, he asked for and received a summary of the real strength of the flechero companies on the fron­ tier.^3 Drawn from a male population in Sonora of 15,323, they totaled

51)2 men equipped with bows and arrows stationed in Nyarit and


The Nootka Sound controversy helped to bring on the frontier changes, but the impending war with revolutionary France in 1792 ex­ cited a greater military reaction. By June of 1793 Mexico City knew that a state of war existed in Spain and the viceroy bolstered de­ fenses on the coasts and called for volunteers. On the frontier,

Revillagigedo reunited the interior provinces and left most of them to be guided by the commandant-general, Ramcfn de Castro. However, the Californies, New Santander, and New Leon remained under military

22. Same to Conde de Lerena, February 3, 1791, Ibid., 80-82j same to crown, February 28, 1791, Ibid., 65-72.

23. Enrique de Grimarest, Intendant of Sonora, to Revillagige­ do, April 5, 1792, "Las Tropas de Indios Flecheros en Nueva Espana en 1792,M BAGN, IX (1938), 73l)“739.

2lj o Fernando Cambre to Revillagigedo, August 27, 1792, BAGN, IX, 71)2-71)5? the population figures appear in Chapman, Founding Span­ ish California, 1)25. governors directly subordinate to Revillagigedo* who wanted to be able

to alert them of any military, changes in Louisiana.

Revillagigedo could not count on full support in military mat­

ters from the creole population, for during his reign alcaldes mayores,

often creoles, were prohibited from being commanders of military units.

Despite this lack of domestic support near the end of his administra­

tion, the viceroy pointed with pride to the few reductions he had made

in the militia. His successor to the vice-regency felt, however, that

Revillagigedo was mistaken, both in disbanding provincial militia

groups and in reducing the number of militiamen who received legal

privileges from 17,761] to 10,1(67. The Marques de Branciforte, a

brother-in-law of Manuel de Godoy, noticed that the crown had not ap- 26 proved of Revillagigedo *s action.

Branciforte proceeded with the re-establishment of provincial

militia units without waiting for crown sanctions. Although he has

been accused of avarice for his actions, recent studies suggest that no

evidence is available for the charges that he appropriated money for 27 increased armaments and then lined his own pockets. The new viceroy did not, however, exactly follow the Crespo plan in augmenting the

militia. He added a full regiment of dragoons from San Miguel el

25. Carmen Velasquez, Estado de Guerra, 152-1533 Bolton, Guide, 76-77.

26. Carmen Velasquez, Estado de Guerra, 157-158.

27. The suggestion is made in Bancroft, History of Mexico, III, Ij85-ll87, and is refuted in McAlister, Euero Mllitar, 68, but Branciforte did compensate contributors of military funds with office. Many of his appointees were wealthy creole landowners. See Carmen Velasquez, Estado de Guerra, 163-165. 86

Grande, a regiment of infantry from Puebla, and one from Tlascala. In

New Galicia and Valladolid, he raised two regiments of dragoons and two

battalions of infantryo Branciforte fs program meant a net increase in

the provincial militia of three battalions of infantry and two regi- 28 ments of cavalryo He brought the strength of the army, complete with wide-ranging corporative privileges, to its greatest height of the

eighteenth centuzy.

The changes brought about were received with considerable oppo­

sition, The alcaldes lost tributaries, and local business leaders were

robbed of their cheap supply of labor, which resulted in a bare minimum

of compliance with the orders of the new viceroy. After Spain signed

the Treaty of San Lorenzo in 1796, with the hope of bringing a measure

of security to the New Spain frontier, Branciforte had even more diffi­

culty in expanding the militia. He was urged by Godoy to make quick

arrangements in view of the impending state of war with England which

followed the treaty. Yet local landowners were reluctant to contribute

horses to cavalry units outside their own areas, so it was suggested

that the viceroy try to broaden the tax base by including more products

that were marketed for strictly local consumption,^^

As the war with England approached, Branciforte activated his

new additions to the colonial army. He stationed the militia units

between Orizaba, Cordoba, Jalapa, and Perote, provisioned the fort at

San Juan de Ulua for six months, and ordered the west coast defenses

28, McAlister, Fuero Militar,- Appendix I, table 5>« 29, Carmen Velasquez, Estado de Guerra, 1$9-160, 162-163, 172- 17ij. at Acapulco and San Bias to cooperate with the commandant-general of the Interior Provinces and the intendant of Guadalajara- Felix

Calleja, still the commander of the frontier, went to San Luis Potosi under viceregal orders to clear up troubles with local suppliers. In

August, 1796, Calleja reformed the regiments in San Luis Potosi with the cooperation of the intendant and found housing for 696 men in near­ by Jesuit colleges. The great difficulty remained of finding the nec­ essary funds for assembling, arming, and supplying the troops. When

Spain declared war on England in October, 1796$ Branciforte tried to arrange an assembly of all the militia in the capital area, but he failed when the troops learned that they would not be paid immedi­ ately.^

The last point proved to be important. Turbulence with the colony increased in the last years of the reign of Branciforte.

Soldiers who started a series of uprisings in the intendancy of Guada- / lajara, one of which was led by an Indian soldier named Josef Joaquin

Arellano, had the support of the local intendant in their claims for more lands. Moreover, notices of a rebellious nature appeared in pub­ lic places in the large cities. The viceroy knew the strength of the arrry and took palliative measures to quell dissatisfaction, realizing that he needed militia support to contain popular outbreaksThus

30. Bancroft, History of Mexico, III, Ij89-ij90j Carmen Velasquez, Estado de Guerra, 17^-179, 180-183; Branciforte to Azanza, March 16, 1797> Instrucciones, 131, blames Revillagigedo for leaving the treasury in poor condition.

31. Carmen Velasquez, Estado de Guerra, I8lj-l85| Branciforte to Azanza, March 16, 1797, Instrucciones, 130-131. 88

before Branciforte left for Spain in May$ 1798, he secured control of

the army for the viceroy with the aid of cooperative frontier command­

ers and intendants over the opposition of recalcitrant businessmen who

resented the growth of the militiao To do this he had taken advantage

of the weakness of Spain's diplomatic position in Europe and the gulli­

bility of Charles IV as well as his own military subordinates. At the

end of his reign there were over 31,000 regular and militia army per­

sonnel in New Spain, all of whom enjoyed broad corporative privileges 32 with the viceroy's approval.

32. See the appendix of this essay for the tally made of the army in New Spain in 1798 at the behest of Viceroy Branciforte; cf=, Bancroft, History of Mexico, III, 1|08, who decided that there were only 15,000 men in regular and militia uniforms in 1798. SUMMARY

Three major events of the late eighteenth century brought

Englands France and Spain into diplomatic collision« They were the

Seven Years War and the American and French revolutionso For Spain’s colonies they produced economic and political changes which included the creation of colonial armies by the Spanish kings„ Ostensibly erected to repel nmch-heralded foreign invasions, in New Spain the army in reality was used to suppress internal uprisings and to subdue the

Indians on the northern frontier.

The Seven Years War brought a decision to erect a colonial army from Charles III who, under the guise of repelling an English invasion from Havana or West Florida by sea, looked ahead to a contest with the missionary arm of the Church. Clever as he was, the king unwittingly had provided a form— a fiction— -upon which future Mexican officials, would rely to build their own prestige and political power. Unques­ tionably the king realized his mistake early, for his predecessors had always teen wary of the concentration of colonial power in any one man or group.2

When, therefore, a dangerous republican ideology broke upon the hemisphere with the American revolution, Charles III sent a . 1. See Konetzke, Historia de la Formacion Social, passim., for decrees which tried to change military conditions in the other Spanish American colonies.

2. Especially see Chevalier, Land and Society, 117-13ij, on the Marqueses del Valle. 90

military specialist, Teodoro de Croix, to New Spain. On the surface he

was there to allow the viceroy to defend the vital Veracruz entrepot

while the specialist organized the interior borderlands against foreign

invasion. However, Teodoro de Croix also prevented the leader of the

colony from absolutely controlling the extensive military forces the

king deemed necessary, especially in the north. This step taken by

Charles III stemmed in part from his mistaken belief, fostered by Paris

allies and New Orleans administrators, that an invasion of New Spain

overland across Louisiana and Texas was a distinct possibility. Before

1783, consciously or not, the king had nevertheless succeeded in play­

ing military officials off against one another, a situation best epito­

mized by the heated Bucareli-Croix conflict.

In turn, however, the King's subordinates— especially in the

borderlands— capitalized upon the fiction of overland foreign invasion

to promote their own political or religious power. After 1783 vice­

roys, with the aid of farsighted Spanish officials, took firmer control

of the arrqy, yet they too fostered or accepted fears of possible

foreign invasion from Louisiana and Texas and gained the cooperation of

recalcitrant merchants and political administrators, especially the

intendants, in the outlying provinces of New Spain. The French Revolu­

tion lent no mean argument to the viceroys' case.

By 1798 the machinations of contending political powers in New

Spain had produced a large army of professional and militia soldiers

dependent upon the viceroy and heavily engaged in repelling not for­

eigners but Indians in the northern borderlands. The Indians, largely

Apaches, proved to be the real foes that challenged missionaries. hampered civilian settlement^ hindered the production of metals and cattlej, and often brought cooperation among military and religious frontier leaders. It was because of their effectiveness as nomadic warriors and recalcitrant converts that most lesser officials saw them as dangerous, not as tools of foreign enemies.

As a result of these incessant Indian wars the borderlands indeed "shifted,11 but at least until 1798 this undulation was due more to the fumblings of frontier administrators who could not, or would not, formulate and practice decisive military strategy against the

Indians than because of real invasions by foreign foes. Frontier mili­ tary men were abetted in their illusions by the fact that the kings of

Spain allowed diplomacy and the fear of concentrated military power to lead them to withhold firm political support from the viceroys until seasoned colonial officials began to guide imperial policy from


3, A, P, Nasatir, "The Shifting Borderlands," PHR, XXXI? (1965), 1-7, for a contrasting view. EXBRCITO DE NUEVA ESPANA Resumen general de sus fuerzas dlstlngulendose las que corresponden ai de Compiled May 30, 1798, by the Viceroy Marques de Branclforte; op era cl on y ezpresandose ju^dlstrlbuclon actual y el total de todas. • .31,594 enlistments, 25,502 active men; Havana, Presidio del Carmen, Tabasco militia would add 1958. Prom Instrucclones. Idem, correspondientes al en los quarteles en Veracruz y Sanan Mexico n Puebla CUBRPOS veterano inft? vetanddragn? exerclto de operaclon en sus destines ien sus provinciaies Jt6tales de las ” “.totalel" inft? ie acantonmlento% -Ujuan de Ulua suajmsion -tdegu rovl. teval^ y dragn?|total inft? rdragn? ~ inft? caval? Inft? Reg? de la Corona cavaSnfB dragn? inft? caval? y dragnfinft? Laval? y _dragn‘ 979 979.. .clases Idem. Nueva Espana 979 Bat? Plxo de Veracruz 979 979 979 502 979 979 l?Cia Volante de SanP?0 502 502 502 Idem. Fuerte de Perote 80 80 502 80 80 S 80 C*a fixa en Acapulco 30 Idem. SanBlas 72 . 80 Reg?Inft? Provincial de Mexico 102 Idem. Puebla 845 845 785 60 il 845 845 845 i Idem. Tlaxcala 423 422 845 845 785 60 845 845 Idem. Cordoba Idem. 845 845 785 845 845 845 60 845 Idem. Celaya 845 785 6 0- 845 845 845 Idem. Valladolid 845 1 60 845 845 845 845 845 Bat? de Guanajuato 845 Idem. 423 423 393 845 ‘ 845 423 423 Idem. Guadalajara 423 30 ;■ 423 423 : 461 423 423 423 ‘ 423 Reg? de Dragon? de Espana 423 Reg? de Mexico I 461 461 461 423 423 461 461 j 461 461 Reg?Cavai?provincial,Queretaro 368 % Idem. Principe 368 368 ; 461 368 368 368 1 368 368 363 Reg? Dragon? de Puebla 368 368 Idem. San Luis 368 368 184 184 368 368 368 368 368 184 368 368 Idem. San Carlos 368 368 Idem, la Reyna 368 368 368 368 368 368 368 368 368 368 Idem. Bueva Galicia 368 368 Cia Caval? de Nuevo Leon 368 368 , 368 368 100 368 368 Idem. Nuevo Santander 368 225 100 100 100 100 Cuerpode Lanceros de Veracruz 861 225 225 Idem. Sierra Gorda 861 861 : 36b 225 240 ; 861 861 Idem. Colotlan 861 720 ; 240 240 240 CiaProvintial.Nuevo Santander 2358 720 Idem. Nuevo Leon 720 720 1156 2358 2358 l?DlvisionMI'XtafCosta del Norte 2358 133 267 133 1156 1156 1156 Mr 223 447 223 ,670 i 135 i 267 133 400 253 507 447 223 ; 447 223 334 253 670 166 334 166 , 507 253 1 507 253 1?D1vision,Costa del Sur 473 760 291 473 291 334 166 33V 166 500 473 291 473 291 * 764 212 562 212 562 300 200 100 212 562 212 562. 774 : 200 100 300 200 620 410 620 410 1030 100 200 100 300 r = = = 214 186 214 186 620 410 620 410 L030 • 400 214 186 C. Suelta Milicia Inft?,Mexico 2364 788 1364 788 3152 214 ■ 186 400 2364 788 2364 788 Idem.Puebla,Guadalajara, 1942 647 942 647 2589 Bl52 Valladolid,Oaxaca 1942 647 1942 647 25.89 Reg? Inft? Urbano, Comercio 702 702 Bat? Inft? Urbano, Puebla 702 702 223 228 702 Companias de Veracruz 228 ! 222 222 Escuadron de Caval? _Urb&no de Mexl en______U a s i 25502| 4398 { 1106 2234 , 360 | l68l| 129 228 184 325 9693 1 11126 185481 13046 t3l594^


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Unpublished. Theses

Ewing, Russell C. "The Pima Uprising, 1751-1752: A Study of Spain’s Indian Policy." Unpublished Hi. D. dissertation. University of California, 193^3 Microfilm 518 in the University of Arizona library.

Rowland, Donald W. "The Elizondo Expedition Against the Indian Rebels of Sonora." Unpublished Ph. D. dissertation, University of California, 1930j Microfilm 522 in the University of Arizona library.

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