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St. Denis arrives at San Juan Bautista


On this day in 1714, Louis Juchereau de St. Denis arrived at San Juan Bautista Presidio. The French governor of Louisiana had dispatched St. Denis, born near Quebec in 1674, and a company of men from Mobile in 1713 to assist Francisco Hidalgo in reestablishing missions in East Texas. The commandant at San Juan Bautista, Diego Ramón, placed St. Denis under house arrest while awaiting instructions on what to do with a foreigner bearing goods banned by Spanish mercantile restrictions. So mild was St. Denis's confinement that he ended up engaged to the commandant's beautiful granddaughter, Manuela Sánchez, whom he married in early 1716. He subsequently participated in the founding of six missions and a presidio in East Texas. St. Denis died at Natchitoches in 1744.

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