The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 36, July 1932 - April, 1933 Page: 21
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Forerunners of De Leon's Expedition to Texas
Spaniards of Mexico across the Rio Grande into Texas.49 As
stated in the official report of the expedition,50 the Manosprietas and
other tribes of the Rio Grande region had asked that missions and
towns be established in their country. Evidently, they presented
their petition through Father Larios and the missionaries, who in
turn finally prevailed on the alcalde mayor to explore the Rio
Grande region and negotiate with the Indians. Balcarcel did not
conduct the expedition personally, but entrusted its military phase
to his lieutenant, Fernando del Bosque, and detailed ten soldiers
to accompany him in addition to the Indian governor of San
Miguel de Luna and twenty-one Bobole Indians. Two mission-
aries were to look after the spiritual affairs of the expedition,
Fathers Larios and Dionisio de San Buenaventura, the former as
commissary missionary and the latter as chaplain. As stated in
the official report of the expedition, its purpose was "to reconnoitre
the nations of the following of Don Esteban Gueiquesale, who live
toward the Sierra Dacate and in its vicinity, and the others of their
district and neighborhood"51 and to see whether "they wish to
settle in pueblos and be Christians, with religious to catechise and
On Tuesday, April 30, 1675, the expedition set out from Guada-
lupe and proceeded almost due north toward the Rio Grande.
Practically every day the friars were given opportunity to impart
religious instruction to the Indians who accompanied them or whom
they met on the way. Wherever a halt was made, Bosque had a
wooden Cross erected and took formal possession of the region in
the name of the Spanish king. On May 7, after covering about
forty-six leagues, they reached San Ildefonso, where a year before
Larios and his companions had tarried with the Indians and wel-
comed Captain Elizondo. The "ruins of two grass huts, already
almost rotten," which Bosque found at San Ildefonso, were "per-
a'Estevan Portillo, Apuntes, pp. 104-106.
"This report or diary is in Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542-
1706-Original Narratives of Early American History (New York, 1925,
pp. 283-309), translated and edited by H. E. Bolton. For the Spanish text
see Estevan Portillo, Apuntes, pp. 106-130. After comparing the transla-
tion with Portillo's text, I followed it verbatim.
"1The reader will recall that it was this that Larios had in mind four
months before, when he spoke of entering the Rio Grande region in
5'Diary of Fernando del Bosque, 1675, in Spanish Exploration, p. 307.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 36, July 1932 - April, 1933, periodical, 1933; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101093/m1/29/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.