Texas Almanac, 1939-1940 Page: 56
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THE TEXAS ALMANAC-1939.
tion to be made about it is that it had its
beginnings within the sphere of Latin
influence on the Western Hemisphere
and later swung over to the Anglo-
American sphere. At the beginning of
the Nineteenth Century Texas was at
the vortex of Spanish, French and Anglo-
American contention in North America.
The French effort passed in 1803 with
the Louisiana Purchase, which extended
the boundary line of the United States to
the western watershed of the Mississippi-
Missouri basin. Here it might have re-
mained while 4Q per cent of the present
area of the United States became perma-
nently part of Latin America. Had not
Moses Austin and his son, Stephen,
caught the vision of an Anglo-American
colony in Texas, and had not Houston
overcome the forces of Santa Anna at
San Jacinto, it probably would have re-
mained permanently a part of Latin
America while the people of the United
States settled down to subsistence on the
resources of the Mississippi Valley and
the Atlantic Seaboard. This metamor-
phosis of Texas from Latin to Anglo-
American domination furnishes a thread
of continuity in the plot of early Texas
history; its influence is found today in-
delibly impressed on Texas culture.
MISSIONS AND SPANISH DOMINION.
Until La Salle's venture into Texas the
Spanish civil and military authorities in
Mexico had directed their northward
expeditions into the basin of the upper
Rio Grande. It was in this region, ac-
cording to persistent rumor, that the
Seven Cities of Cibola could be found.
The priesthood, knowing of the great In-
dian population of Texas coastal region,
had urged that settlements be made in
this area for the purpose of spreading
the Christian religion. The military au-
thorities little heeded these appeals until
La Salle gave them reasons, other than
those offered by the priests, for wanting
to plant Spanish sovereignty firmly in
Early East Texas Missions.
In 1689 an expedition by Capt. Alonso
de Leon, Governor of Coahuila, set out
to find and destroy Fort Saint Louis. The
expedition was accompanied by Father
Massanet, whose purpose was to estab-
lish a mission in Texas. The abandoned
Fort Saint Louis was discovered in 1690,
and the expedition of De Leon proceeded
eastward as far as the Neches River.
The first East Texas mission, San
Francisco de los Tejas, was established,
near the Neches, probably at a point
near the present town of Weches, in the
northeastern part of Houston County.
This was in 1690, and a little later in the
same year the mission Santisimo Nombre
de Maria was established near by. These
missions were maintained by a handful
of soldiers and priests until 1693. Fear
of French infiltration from Louisiana
gradually subsided after the destruction
of the Fort Saint Louis, and Spanish ef-
fort in Texas was withdrawn.
Texas Is Named.
One lasting development came out of
this expedition, however, the naming of
Texas. Up to this time there had been
no name for the approximate present
area of Texas. Mention has been made
of Amichel, the name applied by Pineda
to the hinterland north of the Gulf in-
cluding present Texas. Other early Span-
ish maps included in Florida all of the
land from the Cape of Florida to the
Rio de las Palmas (Rio Grande). An-
other early designation, which was more
nearly co-extensive with the present
bounds of Texas, was Apacheria (Land
of the Apaches), and the name Nueva
Felipinas (New Philippines) was some-
times applied to the coastal territory on
both sides of the Rio Grande. Quivira
was still another name applied vaguely
to the territory north of the Rio Grande.
During the expedition of Capt. De
Leon and Father Massanet, so the story
goes, an Indian was asked the name of
his tribe, to which he replied "Tejas."
ADDarently the word, meaning friends or
allies, referred to an intertribal confed-
eracy of the Hasinai Caddoes. The exact
meaning of the word, and the exact pro-
cedure by which it came to be applied to
the region by the Spaniards, probably
will never be known. It is noteworthy,
however, that Tejas or Texas has the
same stem used in the formation of the
names of a large number of Caddo
Probably the most definite thing that
can be said about the origin of the word
"Texas" is that it was an intertribal
name or watchword of the Caddoes and
first came into use as the result of the
expedition of De Leon and Father Mas-
sanet. While the application of the name
to the territory is dated from the expedi-
tion of De Leon and Massanet in 1689-90,
it is interesting that Coronado applied
the name "Teyas" to the Indians of
North Central Texas (probably the Wich-
ita Caddoes) a century and a half earlier.
Far West Texas Missions.
It is interesting that the long sweep of
Texas from the Sabine to the Rocky
Mountains intersected two widely diver-
gent routes of Spanish missionary activ-
ity Even before the founding of San
Francisco de los Tejas several missions
had been established in the upper Texas
Rio Grande Valley, along the route of
communication between Mexico City and
Spanish mission and military activities
in the upper valley around Santa Fe,
New Mexico. Thus, while the advance
of civilization in Texas was primarily
from east to west, nevertheless, the very
first stirrings of religious and cultural
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Texas Almanac, 1939-1940, book, 1939; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117163/m1/58/: accessed June 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.