The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913 Page: 19
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The Spanish Occupation of Texas, 1519-1690
2. The Settlement of the El Paso District
Meanwhile, the center of the province of New Mexico had been
transferred to the El Paso district, where it remained till near
the end of the seventeenth century. This change of base not only
resulted in the planting of considerable establishments on what is
now Texas soil, but also served to increase interest in the country
toward the east.
In 1659, a mission, Nuestra Sefiora, de Guadalupe, was begun at
El Paso, on the south side of the river, and a small civil settle-
ment grew up there. Before 1680 another mission, San Francisco
de los Sumas, was founded some twelve leagues down the river.
In 1680 the colony received a large accretion through the revolt of
the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico. As a result of this event all
the Spanish inhabitants and the Indians of three pueblos retreated
down the river and settled at the Pass and at different points be-
low that place on both sides of the river for a distance of twelve
or more leagues. There were now in or near the valley six mis-
sions, Guadalupe, San Francisco de los Sumas, Seneca, Socorro,
Isleta, and Santa Gertrudis; four Spanish villages or pueblos, San
Lorenzo, San Pedro de Alcintara, San Jose, and Isleta; and the
presidio of El Paso.
In 1683 and 1684 missionary work was temporarily extended
from El Paso to the junction of the Conchos with the Rio Grande,
a point then known as La Junta, among the Julimes and their
allies. Already two Franciscans, Fray Garcia de San Francisco,
founder of the mission of Guadalupe at El Paso in 1659 and guar-
dian there till 1671, and Fray Juan de Sumesta, had separately
visited the Indians at La Junta, but had not remained. Requests
for missionaries at Parral proving without avail, the Indians
turned in 1683 to the settlement of El Paso. In response to. their
appeal, Fray Nicolas L6pez and Fathers Juan Zavaleta and An-
tonio Acevedo went in December, 1683, to La Junta, and before
the end of 1684 seven churches had been built for nine tribes,
living, apparently, on both sides of the Rio Grande, and five hun-
dren persons had been baptized. Father L6pez tried to secure a
settlement of Spaniards for the place, but failed, and within a
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913, periodical, 1913; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101058/m1/25/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.