The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902 Page: 143
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The Early Settlers of San Fernando.
ginia." The time even of the founding of the city is so uncertain
that there is a difference of about forty years between the first and
last dates given. The composite character of the early foundation
of the city-military, political, and ecclesiastical as it was-is but
imperfectly understood by those to whom it should be wholly famil-
iar. One possible explanation for this condition of affairs lies in
the fact that another stock than that of the founders now controls
the affairs of this section, and, consequently, much that is really
interesting and important in their early history is lost in the gen-
eral feeling of indifference, if not of contempt, displayed by the
dominant race toward its weaker predecessors. But even a Spanish-
Mexican past may contain some lessons for an Anglo-American pres-
ent and future, and an occasional jotting from the brief and rela-
tively unimportant annals of another age may prove of interest and
profit to the people of the imperial State of today.
In the year 1718 the presidio of San Antonio de B6jar was estab-
lished on the San Antonio river. During that same year, the mis-
sion of San Antonio de Valero was moved from the Rio Grande to
the vicinity of the presidio. During the next decade, by the found-
ing of San Jos6 and the removal of three missions from Eastern
Texas, the number of religious establishments on the San Antonio
was increased to five. The lack of success in peopling the province
by means of the missions and presidios, led the Spanish government
to take other measures, and, in 1730 and 1731, we have the momen-
tous (for Texas) journey of the Canary Island emigrants1 to people
the villa of San Fernando, near the presidio of San Antonio de
The story of their journey may be briefly told. After two pre-
liminary decrees, one in 1722 and the other in 1729, a company of
some fifty odd emigrants for Texas was gathered at the port of
Santa Cruz, Teneriffe. In that port, on March 27, 1730, there was
promulgated another royal decree, expressing the wish of the king
that the viceroy of New Spain and all other officials who had to do
with the new colonists should show them the kindest treatment po,-
sible.2 This decree was probably published just before the sailing of
the company. We next hear of them in Vera Cruz, where they ar-
'See QUARTERLY for January, 1899, pp. 218, 219.
"Representation of Cabildo of San Fernando, March 5, 1735.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902, periodical, 1902; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101021/m1/149/: accessed March 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.