The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 288
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
wards and equipment were merged with those of Refugio4 and
its lands were returned to the supreme government. In Septem-
ber, 182o, Father Antonio Valdez, presidial chaplain at La Bahia,
filed a petition for the lands of the mission Rosario.5 His petition
was repeated in July, 1821, and, accompanied by another in the
name of Jos6 Trejo, a farmer of La Bahia, was forwarded to the
governor by the local ayuntamiento.6 No definite action rewarded
these petitions, but following the establishment of the Iturbide
government in Mexico, the authorities permitted settlers to occu-
py the Rosario lands temporarily until some policy concerning
the mission lands near La Bahia might be formed.
After the establishment of Mexican independence the move-
ment for the secularization of the missions was taken up by the
La Bahia ayuntamiento, which, in a meeting held on January
o0, 1822, drafted, passed, and sent to Governor Antonio Martinez
for forwarding to the provincial assembly, a petition stating the
argument of the civil authorities for the secularization of the
mission Espiritu Santo.7
This petition pointed out that the chance of the mission's
being rehabilitated was remote, that its church was destroyed
and its walls were in ruins. The wood used in its construction
was rotten and splintered, and a considerable amount of money
would be needed to rebuild the mission structure. The fixtures,
ornaments, and images were kept by the missionary in his resi-
dence; the bells of the mission remained silent; and those articles,
which constituted a stimulus to religious observance, were needed
in the parish church, for it had no funds with which to buy its
own. Fertile and adequate for small farms, the mission lands lay
idle. These lands, protected from Indian attack by their prox-
aThe mission of Nuestra Sefiora del Retugio had been founded in 1792 in a last
effort to Christianize the savage Karankawas. For details of its founding and
history, see W. E. Dunn, "The Founding of Nuestra Sefiora del Refugio, the Last
Spanish Mission in Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XXV, 174-184, and
W. H. Oberste, History of Refugio Mission (Retugio, 1942).
@Valdez to Martinez, September 15, 1820 (MS. in Bexar Archives, University
of Texas Library).
OTomas Buentello to Martinez, July 17, 1821 (MS. in Bexar Archives, Univer-
sity of Texas Library).
7Copy of minutes of the Ayuntamiento of La Bahia, January 1o, 1822 (MS. in
Bexar Archives, University of Texas Library).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/400/: accessed April 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.