Southwestern Historical Quarterly
constantly before them. The year 1737 was a black year in San
Antonio. All from Espada, one hundred and thirty-seven in num-
ber, most from San Juan, and a few from Concepci6n, left the
The Indians of the missions were largely of a nomadic char-
acter, with a rather low level of culture. The glamour of free
rations and clothing often wore off when the neophytes found
they had to work diligently. They had little concept of material
values; they would gladly exchange a copper kettle, an ax, a hoe,
or even a metate for a piece of brown sugar, or a horse for a
pint of liquor."9 Some Spaniards considered the Indian inher-
ently lazy.60 One wrote:
Although the Indians in every other way are very limited in com-
prehension and lacking in reasoning ability, in the matter of con-
cealing idleness or laziness by unostentatious excuses and appearance
of pious sanctity, which they do with consummate hypocrisy, they are
very skillful. Thus they avail themselves of the assignment to the
gardens or private work, only to slip away from the task and very
shamelessly profit from the toil of others, regardless of whether the
latter be their fathers, sons, or brothers.61
Historian George P. Garrison wrote that the system of con-
fining these natives in pueblos "was hardly calculated to make
them love either Christ or the Spaniards."62 Henderson Yoakum,
another historian, maintained that if the Franciscans had gone
with their converts on hunting trips and adapted to the Indian
culture instead of demanding a new sedentary way of life, they
"would have met with greater success."'6 Perhaps the mission
policy was not flexible enough, but such a plan as Yoakum's would
have defeated the crown's purpose of settling the area and would
probably have been of questionable civilizing influence.
Large tribes in Texas, such as the Apache and Comanche,
simply refused to settle in the missions.64 San Antonio was in
69Castafieda, Our Catholic Heritage, V, 25-26.
6oGarrison, Texas, 58; Dabbs, "Texas Missions in 1785," Preliminary Studies of the
Texas Catholic Historical Society, III, 21.
62Garrison, Texas, 86.
6eYoakum, History of Texas, I, 57-58.
64William Edward Dunn, "Apache Relations in Texas, 1718-1850," Quarterly of
the Texas State Historical Association, XIV, 186-187.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/. Accessed June 29, 2015.