The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902

142 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.

THE EARLY SETTLERS OF SAN FERNANDO.1
I. J. COX.
[The greater part of the documents used in the preparation of this arti-
cle are to be found in the collection, now in possession of the State Uni-
versity, known as the "Bexar Archives." As these documents are still
unclassified, it will be impossible to give exact references for the various
points mentioned, but so far as possible, the title and date of each docu-
ment cited and the name of some individual connected with it will be
given. In addition to the Bexar Archives the writer has consulted the
standard authorities, the Bexar county land records, and documents in the
Archivo General in the City of Mexico. The documents in the Bexar
Archives for the years 1730-'50, inclusive, consist, for the most part,
of three kinds: (1) petitions from residents of the villa, presidio, or mis-
sions to the head authorities in Mexico, the viceroy and the bishop of
Guadalajara, to the governor, and to the captain of the presidio, who acted
as justicia mayor (general, or chief justice) for the province, and received
petitions in the absence of the governor; (2) proclamations of the authori-
ties to whom these petitions were addressed, together with those of the
local alcaldes of San Fernando; (3) records of judicial processes, both
civil and criminal; (4) land records and other transfers. In addition,
reference is made to Testimonio de un Paraeer as given in the appendix of
Yoakum, Vol. I.
Citations are made also of the following documents in the History Sec-
tion of the Archivo General, in the City of Mexico: Vol. 84, Colonos para
Texas; Vol. 43, Historia del Descubrimiento y Poblacion de la Provinia
de Texas hasta el a~io de 1730. EIscrita por et Pe. J. Melchor y Talaman-
tes; Vol. 28, Representacion de la Villa de Sn. Fernando at Sr. Gobernador
de Texas, Varon de Ripperdd; and, Vol. 43, the report of Caballero de
Croix, to the Viceroy Galvez in Expediente sobre Comcrcio reciprico entre
las Provncias de tla Luisiana y Texas.]
In every community there exists a tendency to bestow a certain
amount of honor and dignity upon those families who claim the
proud title of "first settlers." In a general way San Antonio offers
no exception to this tendency, but in the matter of exact knowledge
concerning those settlers, their names, their number, their char-
acter, where they came from, when they arrived here, and other
kindred points, there exists a most profound ignorance. In our
city the term "descendants of the first settlers" is loosely applied to
almost every family of Mexican name, so that, on a small scale,
these descendants remind one of those of the "first families of Vir-

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101021/. Accessed October 22, 2014.