The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912 Page: 2
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly
some seven or more leagues southwest of Natchitoches, Louisiana.1
The first three were under the charge of the Franciscan College
of QuerBtaro, with their capital at the Mission of La Purisima
Concepci6n, the last three under that of Zacatecas, with their cap-
ital at the Mission of Nuestra Sefiora de Guadalupe.2 The small
garrison of soldiers that protected them was near M1\ission Con-
cepci6n. In the center of the province were the as yet weak
Mission of San Antonio, de Valero and the presidio of San
Antonio de Bexar, established in 1718 by Father Olivares and
The condition of these establishments was far from flourishing.
The expedition of Alarc6n had been charged with the replenish-
ment of the impoverished missions of eastern Texas and the set-
tlement of their surrounding Indians in pueblos.3 These things,
however, it failed to do, and the missionaries continued to suffer
from extreme want. In the years 1717 and 1718 the crops of
beans and corn failed, and the Spanish were forced to resort to
wild herbs; game was so scarce that the unpalatable crows were
used for meat; while the church supplies, the wax for candles and
the necessary articles for the celebration of the mass, were all but
exhausted. Urgent requests for alleviation were sent to the home
government both before and after Alarc6n's expedition, but for
various reasons no relief came.4
Thus when our narrative opens, there were in eastern Texas a
few missionary priests caring for the six missions, relying for sup-
'For the location of the first four of these missions, see Bolton, "The
Native Tribes about the East Texas Missions," in THE QUARTERLY, XI,
249-276. The location of the last two is more definitely discussed below,
'Representacid hecha a su Exa. por los R. R. Padres Misioneros, in
Colecci6n de Memorias, XXVII, 163. Clark, The Beginnings of Texas, 67,
Bulletin of the University of Texas No. 98, says that Concepci6n was made
the capital of the missions founded and to be founded by the Zacatecan
friars. This is evidently only a slip, for he cites the above mentioned
document for his authority.
aDirectorio o Ynstrucciones para el Viage a la Provincia de Texas, in
Coleccidn de Memorias, XXVII, 228-235.
4Espinosa, Chr6nica, 443-445. Also, Carta Escrita por el Padre Mis-
ionero Espinosa [al] P. N. Guardian F. Joseph Diez, in Colecci6n de
Memorias, XXVII, 224. La Harpe, writing from the Cadodachos, May 1,
1720, says that he has heard that Alarc6n was removed from office for
not having gathered the Indians into pueblos and for not anticipating
La Harpe at the Nassonites. Margry, Decouvertes et Etablissements,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912, periodical, 1912; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101056/m1/6/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.