When Father Margil returned to East Texas, he left Fray Miguel
Nifiez de Haro in charge at San Jos6. With gifts of trinkets Father
Ni'fiez attracted the culturally backward Coahuiltecan Indians and
began giving them instruction in Christian doctrine and teaching
them to work in field and shop. Through the years the mission with-
stood attacks by the Apaches and the Comanches, deadly epidemics of
smallpox and measles, and two moves (the last in 1740) . At the third
location, where the present restored compound stands, the Mission
San Jose came to its period of greatest development and achievement.
Father Marion Habig, O.F.M., details this development in an
authentic and interesting manner in his book, which he wrote for
"the general reading public" rather than for the student or the scholar.
This account is drawn from a more complete study, fully documented
and annotated, which as yet remains unpublished.
When Fray Juan Agustin Morfi visited San Jos6 in 1778, he de-
scribed it as the Queen of the Missions, "in truth the first mission
in America . . . in point of beauty, plan, and strength." But soon
thereafter began the decline.
Partial secularization reduced the mission in 1794, but not until
1824 did final secularization take place. Reclamation and restoration
efforts culminated in 1941 in a cooperative agreement between the
Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio and the State of Texas, whereby
the entire compound became both a State and a National Historic
The San Jos6 visitor should find most helpful Father Habig's "Tour
of the Historic Site" given in the concluding chapter. While the
author has made a contribution to the popularization of the missions,
however, the serious student may choose to await publication of the
more complete and fully documented version.
University of Texas Press ROBERT S. WEDDLE
Six Spanish Missions of Texas: A Portfolio of Paintings. By E. M.
Schiwetz. Historical notes by Robert S. Weddle. Austin (Uni-
versity of Texas Press), 1967. $15.00.
This handsome historical portfolio is an addition to any collection
of Texana. Many people will want it and most people will need it.
It contains beautiful full-color prints-each suitable for framing-of
the Alamo, missions San Jose, Espiritu Santo, Concepci6n, Espada,
and San Juan Capistrano, all done by the important Texas artist,
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/. Accessed December 18, 2013.