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The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire, 1713-1763$
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Paul W. Mapp

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833957

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807838945_Mapp

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French Borderlands Encroachments and Spanish Neutrality

French Borderlands Encroachments and Spanish Neutrality

(p.330) 12 French Borderlands Encroachments and Spanish Neutrality
The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire, 1713-1763

Paul W. Mapp

University of North Carolina Press

This matter continues a discussion from the first chapter regarding the arrival of French traders Jean Chapuis and Louis Feuilli in New Mexico in 1752, their interrogation by Spanish officers, and their subsequent incarceration in Spain. The matter did not end with the traders in jail, moving instead into French and Spanish diplomatic conversations and deliberations. In November 1754, the Spanish Council of the Indies recommended that Ferdinand VI discuss the wayfarers in “official correspondence” with the French court. In January 1755, Don Jaime Masones de Lima, Spain's ambassador in France, complained to French foreign minister Rouille about Chapuis and Feuilli. Not only had the traders violated Spanish laws by appearing in New Mexico, but they seemed to have done so with the connivance of French officials. The commander at Michilimackinac, Duplessis Falberte, had given them a passport, and his counterpart at Fort Chartres in Illinois, Jean-Baptiste Benoit de Saint Claire, had given them a license to discover a route to New Mexico and trade with the Spanish there.

Keywords:   French traders, Jean Chapuis, Louis Feuilli, diplomatic conversations, Spanish Council of the Indies, Ferdinand VI

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