The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912

186 Texas Historical Association Quarterly
MISSIONARY ACTIVITIES AMONG THE EASTERN
APACHES PREVIOUS TO THE FOUNDING
OF THE SAN SABA MISSION
WILLIAM EDWARD DUNN
I. THE APACHES IN TEXAS, 1718-1750
From our modern viewpoint we are able to see many causes for
the comparative failure of the Spanish system in New Spain.
Undoubtedly her exclusive commercial policy, discouraging trade
between different parts of her own dominions, her strict and some-
what tyrannical methods of government, and her exploitation of
her colonial dominions for the benefit of the home country were
largely responsible for her ultimate lack of success in the New
World. But the chief causes for this failure, perhaps, were those
general conditions for which Spain can not be held accountable,
and which would have hindered to an equal degree the efforts of
any other colonizing nation in similar circumstances. And one
of the most unfavorable of these conditions was the hostility of
the natives in the various regions in which Spanish institutions
were established.
The truth of this is seen by a study of the region which is
now included in the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and
Texas. The varying degrees of success in permanent establish-
ments in the different areas is explained chiefly by the differences
in the Indians of the respective sections. In California, for in-
stance, the Spanish system reached a high stage of development,
while in Texas, where efforts were begun more than a century
earlier, there was little to show after two centuries of labor. In
California, the natives were indolent and sluggish, indisposed to
warfare; in most of Texas the reverse was true. The fact that the
Indians in the greater portion of Texas could never be perma-
nently subjugated and reduced to mission life explains in large
measure the comparative failure of Spanish establishments there.
To be sure, there were a few small tribes in southwestern Texas
which were peaceably inclined, but this was due to their weakness

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101056/. Accessed October 21, 2014.