The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974

Comparative Demographic Analysis of Texas,
1777-1793
ALICIA V. TJARKS*
DEMOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS HAS BEEN A VERY MUCH NEGLECTED AREA IN
the history of Spanish Texas. A few historians and scientists have
provided scattered information based on some census reports from the late
eighteenth and the early nineteenth centuries.' This limited statistical in-
formation leaves, however, an important gap, as these general data are in-
sufficient for a thorough demographic and social study of the Spanish period
of Texas, and are at times even contradictory. Perhaps the political history
of Spanish Texas-accurately called the "key of New Spain"--has exerted
too strong an attraction on the researchers or perhaps those census reports
have been inaccessible because widely scattered over the world, in collections
like the Archivo General de Indias in Seville, the Archivo Hist6rico Na-
cional in Madrid, the Biblioteca Nacional of Mexico City, or the Archives
Division of the Texas State Library and the Bexar Archives at the Univer-
sity of Texas, both in Austin. For whatever reason, the fact is that a more
profound and objective study of the demographic aspect of Spanish Texas
*Alicia V. Tjarks, Ibero-American bibliographer at the University of New Mexico, has
taught and published extensively in a variety of aspects of Latin American history.
1Joseph Antonio de Villa-Sefior y Sanchez, Theatro Americano, Descripcidn general de
los Reynos, y Provincias de la Nueva Espaia, y sus jurisdicciones (2 vols.; Mexico City,
1746-1748), contains general data relative to the population of New Spain, taken from
the census ordered by Royal Decree of July 1q, 1741. This census was carried out between
1742 and 1746 under the supervision of the Viceroy Conde de Fuenclara. It is now
usually called the "Fuenclara Census." Even if royal cosmographer Villasefior covers
most of the Interior Provinces, he omits all data relative to Texas. Further analysis and
a summary of the "Fuenclara Census," supplemented by additional data on areas not
covered by Villasefior, can be found in Peter Gerhard, Mixico en 1742 (Mexico City,
1962), 30. With reference to Texas, Gerhard presents an approximate estimate of total
population, based on a 1740 report from the Franciscan missions in Texas, including the
civilian population of the towns and the inhabitants of the presidios. Juan Agustin de
Morfi, Viaje de Indios y Diario del Nuevo Mixico, edited by Vito Alessio Robles (Mex-
ico City, 1935), 275-280, presents a demographic, ethnic, and occupational structure of
the presidios of San Antonio and La Bahia, of the villa of San Fernando de B6xar, of
the ranches and missions, and also of the new settlement of Nuestra Sefiora del Pilar de
Bucareli, based on the census taken by Governor Baron de Ripperda in 1777. Vito Alessio
Robles, Coahuila y Texas en la dpoca colonial (Mexico City, 1938), 525-526, using the
same information, comments on Texas's racial and economic ties with the rest of north-
ern New Spain. The data of the census of 1777, with more details for the population of
the Texas missions, were also used by Juan Agustin de Morfi in his "Memorias para la

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117148/. Accessed September 20, 2014.