The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 31, July 1927 - April, 1928

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

DESCRIPTION OF THE TEJAS OR ASINAI INDIANS,
1691-17221
TRANSLATED FROM THE SPANISH BY
MATTIE AUSTIN HATCHER
III
FRAY FRANCISCO IIIDALGO2 TO FRAY ISIDRO CASSOS
November 20, 1710
(extract)
[Religious Beliefs]
In the pueblo of San Francisco de los Texas a priest
went to a house near where I was to baptize an Indian. At the
door he found a Tesusan Indian dancing in a circle of live coals
without getting burned. The priest, in the name of God, forbade
the Indian to come out of the circle. The Tesusan Indian strove
to come out to keep the priest from baptizing the sick Indian,
but he could not in spite of everything he did.
I have heard it said on many occasions that the fire the Tejas
1See THE QUARTERLY, XXX, Nos. 3 and 4.
"Fray Francisco Hidalgo, who, like all the members of Linaz's flock,
had preached as a missionary in various sections of Mexico, retired from
Texas under protest in October, 1693, after he had labored zealously with
Father Manzanet and his companions. That Hidalgo's heart was left in
Texas is evident and none deserve more praise than he for final resump-
tion of work, after years of seemingly hopeless effort.
In October, 1700, Fray Francisco Esteves, Prefect of Mission, who was
at that time in Madrid, reported to the king the establishment of Mission
San Juan Bautista at a place called "Camino de Francia." Thereupon
the king issued a circular-addressing a copy to the viceroy, one to the
bishop of Guadalaxara, and one to each of the governors of Coahuila and
Nuevo Le6n-instructing them to aid the missionaries of the College of
Queretaro in forwarding their work. A little later the project of estab-
lishing settlements on the San Marcos and the Guadalupe Rivers was
urged upon the king as a means of opening the way for work among
the Texas Indians. In response the king authorized the foundation of
the College of Zacatecas so that additional workers might be available.
Father Hidalgo then prepared a lengthy report for the king and the coun-
cil but Fray Lucas Alvarez de Toledo to whom was entrusted the task of
urging the renewal of work, advised postponement because of the troubled
state of European politics. Father Hidalgo also met opposition from his
own college on account of a shortage in priests, and time dragged on.
In the meantime, however, as usual, the missionaries took the initia-
tive. In 1709 the guardian of Queretaro visited the missions along the

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 31, July 1927 - April, 1928. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101088/. Accessed November 28, 2014.