Southwestern Historical Quarterly
LOCATIONS OF THE EARLY SPANISH MISSIONS AND
PRESIDIO IN NACOGDOCHES COUNTY'
It is with the hope of being able to correct the errors into which
other investigators have fallen in their attempts to locate the
Spanish missions and presidio founded in East Texas by Captain
Don Domingo Ram6n in 1716, that I am prompted to give the
results of my search for the exact sites of these buildings, erected
220 years ago.
The first serious attempt in recent years to locate the sites of
these missions was made by Dr. Herbert E. Bolton.2 His erroneous
locations of the sites, which have since been accepted and followed
by many writers, were due to his presumption that what was and
is known as The Old San Antonio Road, was the route traversed
by Ram6n and Aguayo, when they built these missions.
The importance of the work of Captain Ram6n and his com-
panions can hardly be overestimated, since the four missions and
the presidio, as permanent settlements made in Texas by Spain,
were only preceded by Isleta in El Paso County. This is disputed
by the people of San Antonio, but I think that the diary of
Ram6n, as well as that of Espinosa, verify this statement. For
example, Ram6n says:
Crossing two dry creeks we reached a water spring on level
land, which we named San Pedro. There was sufficient water
here for a city of one-quarter league, and the scenery along
the San Antonio River is very beautiful, for there are pecan
trees, grape vines, willows, elms and other timbers. We crossed
said stream; the water, which was not very deep, reached to
our stirrups. We went up the river, looking for a camping
place, and we found a very fine location.'
Father Espinosa, speaking of the same location, has this to
say about San Antonio:
iThis paper was read at the meeting of the Texas State Historical Asso-
ciation in Austin, Texas, on April 24, 1937.
2Herbert E. Bolton, "The Native Tribes About the East Texas Missions,"
Texas State Historical Association, The Quarterly, XI., p. 269.
3Paul J. Foik, "Captain Don Domingo Ram6n's Diary of His Expedition
into Texas in 1716," in Preliminary Studies of the Texas Catholic Histori-
cal Society, II, No. 5, p. 12.
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 July 10, 2014.