The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 36, July 1932 - April, 1933 Page: 27
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Forerunners of De Leon's Expedition to Texas
mitting it to the alcalde mayor, Antonio de Balcarcel, Bosque sum-
marized what he had learned concerning the Indians and their
lands and offered a number of recommendations for the proposed
establishment of the Indians in organized settlements. "To main-
tain these nations under instruction in Christian doctrine," he sug-
gested that the entire region, including what is today south-central
Texas, be divided into three distinct and mutually independent
districts. Each district was to have at least four missionaries and
these were to confine their activity to the Indians of their re-
spective district. This recommendation was made in view of the
fact that the Indians, as Bosque learned, "do not wish to have those
of one nation attend to others, because they are of different lan-
guages, the people numerous, and their homes far apart." In this
way it would be possible to convert and civilize the Indians of the
North, presuming that the government would furnish "seed grain,
oxen, and some families of Tlaxcalteco Indians" for the new mis-
sions and settlements.
Had conditions in Coahuila been more favorable at this time and
during the ten years following, Balcrcel's project would have been
carried out and central Texas made the scene of Spain's first at-
tempt at occupation in the Lone Star State. But this was not to
be. Disorders within Coahuila, disputes with Nuevo Le6n, and
new outbreaks of hostility among the disappointed Indians delayed
action. A decade later, as a direct result of Jolliet's and of
La Salle's exploration of the Mississippi River, France encroached
upon Spain's west-Mississippi claim, thereby necessarily fixing
Spain's attention on eastern Texas and furnishing the occasion for
its occupation by Alonso de Le6n.
In 1683 the Franciscan Missionary College of Santa Cruz of
Queretaro was founded for the training of such friars as desired
to devote themselves to the conversion of the Indians in the distant
missions. A few years later a member of this college was stationed
as missionary at San Bernardino de la Caldera. This was none
other than the well-known Father Damian Massanet. Mission
de la Caldera, as it was called, was one of the four principal mis-
sions of Coahuila, erected and supported since 1675 by the Francis-
can Province of Jalisco. It was the easternmost of the Coahuila
missions and lay on the border of Nuevo Le6n. Among its Indian
converts were some Tejas, doubtless those who had come with
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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/m1/35/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.