The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939 Page: 85
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Laredo During the Texas Republic
Before discussing the life of Laredo during the period of dis-
pute over this narrow strip of territory, it is well to review briefly
the earlier history of the town. Laredo was an old town when the
Alamo fell and when Houston fought at San Jacinto. Nor do
we stop to think that when Thomas Jefferson penned the immortal
Declaration of Independence, which severed the colonies from Eng-
lish rule, Laredo was a full-grown town, twenty-one years old, with
an established city government under the Spanish king. Laredo
is one of the oldest independent cities in Texas. It was founded
by a man who bore all the expense of its settlement, one of the
nobles of old Spain in America, Don Tom6s Sanchez de la Barrera
Almost from the day Cortez landed at Vera Cruz, April 21,
1519, Spain started her course of conquest and colonization of
the territory of the ancient Aztec empire. Under the direction
of the viceroy the territory to the north was gradually settled
with Spanish and Creole stock. Towns were established and mis-
sions founded. To the north of these settlements was the province
of Nuevo Santander, extending almost to the Great Plains of our
western frontier. Tribes of barbarous Indians roamed at will
over this territory, committing atrocities almost unbelievable. The
new settlements suffered, and it was imperative that Spain colonize
this section. At the same time the French in Louisiana threat-
ened settlements in the province of Texas. To counteract this
movement on the part of France, and at the same time to chris-
tianize the heathen and place a barrier to the raids of these savage
Indians on the settlements to the south, the king of Spain deter-
mined to populate this region.
The selection of a leader to subjugate and colonize this wild
country was the cause of many bitter political controversies in
Mexico City and Madrid. The discussion finally resulted in the
appointment of an old and tried soldier, who had already distin-
guished himself in the conquest of the Sierra Gorda region, for
which service he had been rewarded by his king with the title of
Conde de la Sierra Gorda.0 This man was Don Jos6 de Escand6n,
knight of the Order of Santiago, regimental colonel of the city
of Quer6taro, lieutenant captain-general of Sierra Gorda, its mis-
sions, fortresses and frontiers. His name is indelibly written into
6Fundaci6n de la Colonia del Nuevo Santander, Vol. II, pp. 307-9.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939, periodical, 1939; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/m1/99/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.