Southwestern Historical Quarterly
A Report on the Spanish Archives in San Antonio, Texas. By
Carlos Eduardo Castafieda. Yanaguana Society Publica-
tions, Vol. I. (San Antonio: Yanaguana Society, 1937.
The appearance of this "Report" is of major significance in the
study of local Texas history. It is the inaugural number of the
first publication series ever undertaken by a Texas local historical
society and the first printed calendar of local Texas archives. It
is particularly commendable that the Yanaguana Society should
begin its series with an investigation of public records, the basic,
but often neglected, source of municipal and county history.
Forty years ago the Commissioners Court of Bexar County
transferred to the University of Texas some 175,000 manuscript
pages comprising the Bexar Archives of the Spanish period, pre-
sumably retaining in San Antonio only those documents, such as
land grants, deeds, and wills that needed to remain a part of the
public records. Dr. Castafieda's careful study includes these largely
routine papers, but in addition reveals over a thousand documents,
overlooked when the transfer was made, which relate intimate
details of governmental, business, and religious life. In thus giving
unity to the collection, the compiler has performed a lasting
service for all students of Texas history.
The calendar is divided into six parts on the basis of method
of filing used by the county clerk--a method which Dr. Castafieda
greatly improved in his preliminary work. The land records num-
ber 690 documents and cover the years 1736-1836; wills and
estates, 110, 1742-1836; protocols, 58, 1782-1825; "lands outside
of present limits of Bexar County," 116, 1778-1835; mission
records, in five parts, 171, 1793-1834; and miscellaneous records,
918, 1761-1838. The miscellaneous group includes pardons, de-
crees, official correspondence, petitions, newspapers, royal orders,
receipts, mail reports, and expense accounts.
A short historical sketch of San Antonio de Bexar and an
adequate index make the book readily usable.
Hillsboro Junior College.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101103/. Accessed May 7, 2015.