The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913 Page: 25
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The Spanish Occupation of Texas, 1519-1690
Again the country of the Texas had been approached but not
reached, and again was recorded a description of that promised
but unseen land. On the basis of this conference, preconceived
notions, and the reports made by some rescued Frenchmen who
had been farther east, De Le6n wrote in May, 1689, as follows:
The Texas . . . are a very well governed (politica) people,
and plant large quantities of maize, beans, calabashes, cantaloupes,
and watermelons. They say that they have nine settlements, I
mean towns (pueblos), the largest one being fifteen leagues long
and eight or ten wide. It must contain eight hundred heads of
families (vecinos), each one having a large wooden house plastered
with clay and roofed with lime, a door attached to- the house, and
its crops. In this way they follow one after another. . . . .
They are very familiar with the fact that there is only one true
God, that he is in Heaven, and that he was born of the Holy
Virgin. They perform many Christian rites, and the Indian gov-
ernor asked me for ministers to instruct them, [saying] that many
years ago a woman went inland to instruct them, but that she has
not been there for a long time; and certainly it is a pity that peo-
ple so, rational, who plant crops and know that there is a God
should have no one to, teach them the Gospel, especially when the
province of Texas is so large and so, fertile and has so fine a
To this argument for occupying the Texas country, De Le6n added
the report of a, rumor that there was another French settlement
farther inland, in the region which he had not explored.
True to their promise, and with the co-operation of the govern-
ment in Mexico, in the following year, 1690, De Le6n and Mas-
sanet returned east with a party, reached the westernmost village
of the Texas (Hasinai)2 confederacy, near the Neches River, and
founded there the first establishments in Spanish Texas." This
Ano de 1689." Memorias de Nueva Espaiia, XXVII, fol. 1, et seq.; Bol-
ton, "The Native Tribes About the East Texas Missions," in TI-IE QUAR-
TERLY, XIT, 263-266.
"'Carta en que se da noticia de un viaje heeho, a la bahfa de Espiritu
Santo, y de la poblaci6n que -tenian ahi los franceses." In Buckingham
Smith, Documentos para la historia de la Florida.
'For a discussion of the meaning and usages of the words Texas and
Hasinai, see Bolton, "The Native Tribes about the East Texas Missions,"
in TIHE QUARTERLY, XI, 249-276.
'E1 Paso being in what was then New Mexioo.
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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/m1/31/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.