Founding the First Texas Municiality. 217
THE FOUNDING OF THE FIRST TEXAS MUNICIPALITY.
I. J. COX.
[In the preparation of this article three original manuscripts have been
consulted and these will be referred to by appropriate abbreviations, as
follows: (1) "Historia del Descubrimiento y Poblacion de Texas hasta el
aio de 1730. Escrita por el Padre J. Melchor y Talamantes," will be
referred to as " Talamantes." The original of this is found in the Archivo
General de Mexico, Seccion de Historia, Tomo 43. (2) The collection of
the various decrees relating to the transportation of settlers from the
Canary Islands to Texas is found in Volume 84 of the same section, under
the title "Colonos para Texas." Reference will be made to the separate
decrees and reports. (3) "Representacion de la Villa de S Fernando al
S.r Gobernador de Texas, Varon de Ripperda," is found in Volume 28 of
the same section. The manuscript will be referred to simply as "Repre-
sentacion. "-I. J. C.]
Previous to 1730, Spanish operations in Texas were either of a
military or religious character, and were only temporary in effect.
The object of the Spanish authorities, to prevent the encroach-
ments of the French upon Texas territory, was but imperfectly real-
ized. After three successive attempts, the missions of Eastern
Texas were abandoned. The only result of four costly entradas by
the governors of Coahuila was the extension of the frontier line of
Spanish occupation from the Rio Grande to the San Antonio river,
where five struggling missions and a presidial garrison of forty-three
men remained as the only outposts of Spanish civilization in Texas.
The method of reducing the province by the combined efforts of
missionary and soldier had resulted in utter failure. The reasons
for this are not hard to find. In the first place, the friars were
working with hopeless material. The Texas Indians had neither
the aptitude nor the desire for civilization. Then the scanty re-
turns of the friars' labor were wholly lost by lack of ,support, at
critical times, from the home government. This may have been
due, in a measure, to some possible dissension between the rival
Franciscan colleges of Queretaro and Zacatecas. But even on
1 Talamantes, par. 30.
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101011/. Accessed December 27, 2014.