The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 62
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
In 1785 Father JosC Francisco L6pez made a tour of the mis-
sions and he, too, protested against the order. He wrote that
formerly the income from the cattle and the missionaries' allow-
ances had been enough to pay for the mission expenses; currently
the missions were reduced to want. They had to pay four reales a
head to eat their own cattle, "like any strangers." They saw the
Apache permitted to damage their cattle, Apache and soldiers
drive off their herds, and soldiers and settlers kill them. L6pez
declaimed that the Indians might cry like the Prophet Jeremiah,
"Remember, O Lord, what is come upon us. Consider and behold
our reproach. Our inheritance is turned to aliens; our houses to
strangers." To cinch his argument, L6pez added that not a real
had been sent to the royal treasury.'
Disregarding pleas on all sides, a royal decree of September
21, 1787, upheld the order, and allowed a four months' grace
period for the settlers and missionaries to gather and brand their
cattle. The San Antonio missions lost their unbranded cattle be-
cause they did not have enough tame horses or Indians for a
Hence political, human, and economic factors were interwoven
to influence the decline of the missions. The actual degree of
success or failure of the civilizing scheme and the mission as a
whole is still a matter of academic debate. It is true that the
missions were a temporary institution, but the self-sufficient, civ-
ilized communities which in theory were to replace the missions
did not develop. Yet some of the Indians were civilized enough to
marry into the villa and presidio. As an instrument for holding
the frontier, the missions did help to hold and settle San Antonio
from 1718 to 1794.
Compared with the Anglo-American philosophy that the only
good Indian was a dead one, the theory of civilizing the Indian
was a humane effort regardless of the outcome.80
soBlackmar, Spanish Institutions of the Southwest, 55; Yoakum, History of Texas,
I, 6on; Bolton, "The Mission as a Frontier Institution," American Historical Review,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/80/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.