The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

system. Father Morfi concluded "that in New Spain, there is no
better country, but on the other hand, no worse people.""'71
Disputes between the missions and presidios centered largely
in the military's refusal to give the missions guards for helping
train the Indians and searching for lost neophytes. In 1729 the
viceroy ordered the captain of the presidio at San Antonio not to
furnish soldiers to help recover Indians. Father Miguel Sevillano
pleaded that such an order would result in the "irreparable ruin
of the missions," for the missions would soon be abandoned; if
this had been the original policy, there would have been no
A personal feud between a missionary and a governor even
prefaced the founding of the first San Antonio mission, Valero.
The most dramatic altercation, however, between missionaries
and a governor was the case of Carlos Franquis Benites de Lugo
in 1736 and 1737. Among other things, the governor used mission
Indians for work without pay, abused and insulted the mission-
aries before their charges, opened their mail (a federal charge
in those days, also), gave citizens power to kill mission cattle,
cut down the number of mission guards, and transferred mis-
sionaries at will. One of his favorite threats was to pack a mis-
sionary from the province, to home or to hell, on a mule. The
missionaries protested his acts, saying "by actions, words and
writing he has interfered with" the missions "to the extent of
threatening their work with ruin,"'7 and "the Governor is dan-
gerous only as a wolf is malicious but without plan."74 The gov-
ernor responded in kind with the charge that the missionaries
were grasping and concerned only with their own interests.
"They are," he said, "exceedingly covetous and adhered to the
vows of poverty only by appearances." He felt misunderstood
when he wrote:
For almost two years, now, I have been in this city and have en-
dured so many and such unspeakable humiliations, outrages, and
7'Chabot, Morfi Excerpts, 59.
72Castafieda, Our Catholic Heritage, II, 247-248. Later the government allowed
the use of soldiers.
73Margaret McGill, The Administration of Carlos Franquis de Lugo, Governor
of Texas, 1736-1737 (Master's thesis, University of Texas, 1928), 78.
74Ibid., 81.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed September 1, 2014.