El Rancho in South Texas: Continuity and Change From 1750 Page: 8
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sion Espiritu Santo at Goliad claimed about 5,ooo
cattle and zoo milk cows, along with about ioo horses,
30 mules, and as many as 7,000 sheep and goats (Leh-
mann 1969). Because the missions did not maintain
control over many of their cattle, large herds of mes-
tenos-wild, unbranded cattle-grew in the regions
surrounding the missions.
Between 1682 and 1793, as many as forty-one mis-
sions were established by the Franciscan missionaries
in Texas. Some of these lasted less than a year, while
others lasted over a century before being secularized.
At any given time, however, there were hardly more
than a dozen in operation (Weddle 1992).
Four missions were established in the El Paso region
before 1795, and five missions were established in the
La Junta (Presidio, Texas) area. In East Texas, a total of
nine missions operated at one time or another between
i69o and 1773. The early ones were abandoned shortly
after they began, but in 1721 they were re-established
along with the Presidio de Nuestra Sefiora de Pilar de
los Adaes near Mission San Miguel, which served as
the capital of the Province of Texas for half a century.
Between 1719 and 1830, seven missions operated in
the San Antonio area and six others between the
present-day town of Goliad and the Gulf Coast. These
would play an important role in the development of
mission ranching activity until the missions in the San
Antonio area were secularized in 1824. The two mis-
sions in Goliad-Espiritu Santo and Rosario were
not secularized until 183o and 1831, respectively.
Presidios in Texas
During this same period of time, the Spanish gov-
ernment established twelve presidios to serve and pro-
tect the missions and settlements in Texas, eight of
which were located within the present boundaries of
the state. Of these twelve, three were in the West Texas
region, three were in East Texas, and three were in
the San Antonio/Goliad region. Another existed briefly
(about five years) between the Colorado and Brazos
rivers, and still another one near Menard on a branch
of the Conchos River lasted about thirteen years. An
additional presidio was established in 1701 to protect the
missions near Eagle Pass, and it lasted until 182i.
Presidios had four main functions: (i) to protect the
missions, (2) to campaign against hostile Indians, (3) to
accompany supply trains, and (4) to explore new ter-
ritory (Weddle I992). Because of this, the presidios had
no direct connection to the development of ranching,
although many of the officers and soldiers associated
with them became involved in private ranching in vari-
ous regions of the state.
8 El Rancho in South Texas
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Graham, Joe S. El Rancho in South Texas: Continuity and Change From 1750, book, 1994; Denton, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28328/m1/20/?q=el%20rancho: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.