The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979 Page: 267
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Memorial of Father Ferndndez
documents: the letter of Father Mariano Francisco de los Dolores, 1739;7
the letter of Father Benito FernAndez de Santa Ana (November 24,
1739);, and of Captain Toribio de Urrutia (December 17, 1740)".
Toribio de Urrutia had succeeded his father, Jose, as captain of Presidio
de San Antonio de Bexar, after the latter died July 16, 1740. At that
time Toribio learned of the order against the missionaries, which his
father, a friend of the missionaries, apparently had not enforced. Jos6
de Urrutia must have told Father Dolores and Father FernAndez about
the order, enabling them to point out in their 1739 letters to the
viceroy how the execution of the order (hiring mission Indians to do
farm work for the Canary Islanders) would spell ruin for the missions.
Captain Toribio says the same thing in his report of December 17,
1740, to Viceroy Castro Figueroa y Salazar, who had succeeded Viceroy
Archbishop Vizarr6n on August 17, 1740. The captain wrote: "When I
arrived at the presidio I learned of a dispatch in which his Excellency
the Sefior Archbishop and Viceroy [Juan Antonio Vizarr6n], your
Excellency's predecessor, directed that the Indians of the pueblos [that
is, the mission pueblos] be hired out to the Islanders for work on their
farms."'1 This clear statement, strangely enough, has been overlooked
by historians. Castafieda, for instance, asserted that Toribio de Urrutia's
Middle Eighteenth Century: Studies in Spanish Colonial History and Administration (Aus-
tin, 1970), 25; Morfi, History of Texas, II, 291-292.
7Father Mariano Francisco de los Dolores to Viceroy Archbishop Vizarr6n, 1739, micro-
film, Roll lo, frame 4474, Old Spanish Missions Historical Research Library (San Jose
Mission, San Antonio, Texas). Father Dolores lived in San Antonio, mostly at Mission San
Antonio, from 1733 until his death in 1763. He was president of the Querctaran missions
from 1750 to 1763, having succeeded Father Benito Fernandez de Santa Ana.
8Father Fernindez's 1739 letter is entitled: "Letter of Father Vergara to the viceroy about
the Islanders," microfilm, Roll io, frame 4486, Old Spanish Missions Historical Research
Library. This title is in error. Father Gabriel de Vargara, president of the Querctaran
missions (1728-1731) and father guardian at the Apostolic College of Santa Cruz de Quere-
taro, Mexico (1737-1739), had died on February 7, 1739. The letter is dated Nov. 24,
1739, at Mission Concepci6n-the mission Father Vergara had helped to establish along
the San Antonio River in 1731. According to the baptismal records in Berin, Province of
Orense, Spain, Benito Fernandez y Rana de Santa Ana was born on June 4 and baptized
on July 7, 1707. He went to Mexico, became a member of the College of Queretaro, and
was the missionary at Mission San Antonio de Valero, 1731-1733. Father Fernandez be-
came president of the Querctaran missions in San Antonio (1731-1749), and took up resi-
dence at Mission Concepci6n de Acufia in 1733. Father Fernandez went to Mexico City in
1749 and remained for three years. He died at the College of Queretaro in 1761. We learn
of his death from the Lbro de los Difuntos, found at the College of Zacatecas. At Zaca-
tecas the news of Father Fernindez's death had been received on April 12, 1761. Habig,
The Alamo Chain of Missions, 240-241, 255, 272.
OReport of Captain Toribio de Urrutia to the viceroy, Dec. 17, 1740, Provincias In-
ternas, vol. 32, pp. 89-98 (Archivo General de la Naci6n, Mexico City).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979, periodical, 1978/1979; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101206/m1/319/: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.