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Blancpain, Joseph (unknown–1756)

Kaye A. Walker Biography Entry

Joseph Blancpain was a French trader of Natchitoches, Louisiana, whose activities in Texas heightened bad feeling between France and Spain in the middle of the eighteenth century. In 1754 Blancpain, Elias George, Antonio de la Fara (Antonio Dessars), and two black men from Louisiana were caught by Lt. Marcos Ruiz trading among the Orcoquiza Indians in Spanish territory. The Frenchmen's stock of goods was confiscated and divided among their captors; their huts were given to Chief Calzones Colorados; and they were taken to Mexico City and imprisoned. Blancpain testified that he lived on a plantation near New Orleans and that he had been licensed by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, governor of Louisiana, to trade for horses among the Attacapa Indians. A list of his goods showed him to be furnishing the Indians with firearms, and his diary caused the Spanish to believe him to be an agent for the French government. On February 6, 1756, Blancpain died in prison in Mexico City. His companions were sent to Cádiz, Spain, and imprisoned for life. As a result of this incident, the king of Spain issued an order that any Frenchman found in Spanish domains without a permit would be sent to Acapulco and shipped to the island of Juan Fernández or the presidio of Valdivia in South America.

Herbert E. Bolton, "Spanish Activities on the Lower Trinity River, 1746–1771," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 16 (April 1913). Carlos E. Castañeda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas (7 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1936–58; rpt., New York: Arno, 1976).

Categories:

  • Peoples
  • French
  • Business
  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Native American
  • Exploration
  • Traders

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Kaye A. Walker, “Blancpain, Joseph,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 21, 2020, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/blancpain-joseph.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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