The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 401
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Beginnings of Mission Nuestra Senora Del Refugio 401
The founding of the mission of Nuestra Sefiora del Refugio
was closely connected with plans for Texas of great breadth and
importance; or, it might be said, its founding was the slender
outcome of these larger plans, which had to be set aside by force
of untoward circumstances.
Its inception reaches back many years before 1790, but it was
in that year that the developments began which led immediately
to the establishment of the mission. The proximate occasion seems
to have been inter-college rivalry. In 1790 news reached the Col-
lege of Guadalupe de Zacatecas that the College of Pachuca had
asked permission to enter northern Texas to undertake missionary
work. This led "the Apostolic emulation" of the members of the
College of Guadalupe, who already had more than twenty missions
in various parts of New Spain, to renew their efforts in northern
Texas. It was asserted in the college that it had never abandoned
the field in question, and that the sister college would be an inter-
loper. As a result of several meetings of the Discretorio, Fray
IM anuel Julio de Silva, who had recently been elected to the high
office of comisario y prefecto of the missions of New Spain, was
authorized to undertake the launching of a broad program for
work among the Tawakoni, Kichai, Taguayas, Tonkawa, Comanche,
and other northern tribes, none of whom had been under mis-
sionary influence. In other words, the field of northern Texas
opened by De M6ziBres through his recent journeys had attracted
the attention of the college.
Father Silva accepted the charge, and chose as his companion
Father Jos6 Mariano Garza, who had figured in the founding of
the town of Pilar de Bucareli on the Trinity River, and who had
subsequently served at Nacogdoches. Leaving Zacatecas by dif-
ferent routes, on January 1, 1791, the two met at the Hospice of
Boca de Leones. Continuing thence, they reached La Bahia (now
Goliad) on February 19, 1791.
At the outset the great scheme for northern Texas was inter-
fered with by one of the ever-present difficulties of the Indian sit-
uation. It was at this time that Colonel Ugalde, comandante of
the Eastern Interior Provinces, was undertaking his campaigns
against the Lipan, and the authorities would permit no expedition
to the northern tribes. In consequence, Fathers Silva and Garza
turned their attention to a lesser problem, as a temporary occu-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/428/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.