Texas Almanac, 1939-1940 Page: 58
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58 THE TEXAS ALMANAC-1939.
established among the Texas Indians. At
a place a few miles from the old San
Francisco de los Tejas mission, a new
mission called San Francisco de los
Neches was established. This was in
1716. Nuestra Senora de la Guadalupe
was established at the present site of
Nacogdoches and the Mission Nuestra
Senora de los Dolores was placed near
the site of present San Augustine. Two
other missions, La Purisima Concepcion
and San Jose de los Nazones, were locat-
ed in this vicinity, and still another
mission, San Miguel de Linares, was lo-
cated across the Sabine in Louisiana. It
later became Los Adaes and was for half
a century the provincial capital of Tex-
as. It was on the site of the present
town of Robeline, La.
The East Texas missions, unlike those
later constructed near San Antonio, were
built of timbers and hence soon decayed
without leaving a trace. As a result, not
a great deal is known about the exact
location of these early outposts. The first
mission, San Francisco de los Tejas, has
been pretty definitely located near the
present town of Weches and a public
park has been established in that area
and a small museum of native materials
has been erected.
Founding of San Antonio.-The Alamo.
In 1718 the Viceroy, wishing a halfway
post between the little East Texas mis-
sions and the Spanish presidios in north-
ern Mexico, established a mission and
presidio at San Pedro Springs, laying the
foundation for the present city of San
Antonio. The, mission, founded in 1718,
was called Sdn Antonio de Valero and
the accompanying presidio was called
San Antonio de Bexar. The mission San
Antonio de Valero is usually accepted as
the predecessor of the Alamo; however,
the present structure of the Alamo was
not erected until about 1754, nor was
the original de Valero on the present
site of the Alamo. In fact, the present
Alamo was not a mission building itself,
but a chapel attached to San Antonio de
Valero and possibly to other missions in
the vicinity. The early history is shroud-
ed in obscurity, including the name. The
word, "alamo," means poplar, or cotton-
wood. There is one legend that the
name of the Alamo came from a grove
of cottonwoods near by. Another story
relates that it took its name from a
company of soldiers bearing this name,
who were quartered there.
Other San Antonio Missions.
In 1720 the Mission San Jose de Aguayo
was established and in succession came
the founding of the missions La Purisima
Concepcion de Acuna, San Juan Capis.
trano and San Francisco de I'Espada.
Three of these missions at San Antonio
were really re-establishments of the old-
er East Texas missions which had been
abandoned. They were San Francisco,
Concepcion and San Juan Capistrano, the
latter succeeding San Jose of the Neches,
the name being changed because of the
prior founding at San Antonio of San
Jose de Aguayo. The heavy. stone walls
of several of these early mission build-
ings, particularly the Alamo and to less
extent San Jose and Concepcion, played
an important part in the history of Texas
for more than a century.
First Governor of Texas.
This era of mission building, which had
been brought about because of the activ-
ity of the French on the Riviere Rouge
(Red River) and the journey of Saint
Denis, marks also the beginning of Texas
statehood. It had been officially de-
clared a Spanish dominion and Domingo
Teran de los Rios had been named Gov-
ernor in 1691. However, after an ex-
pedition across Texas by De los Rios, po-
litical authority was relaxed and little
attention was given Texas until the ad-
ministration of Martin de Alarcon, Gov-
ernor of Coahuila-Texas, who founded
the mission of San Antonio de Valero and
the presidio of San Antonio de Bexar in
1718. In 1721-22 the dominion of Spain
was definitely established between the
Rio Grande and the Riviere Rouge by
the expedition of Marquis de Aguayo,
who established new missions and presi-
dios and strengthened old ones. In or-
der to further strengthen Spanish au-
thority a scheme of colonizing Texas
with Spaniards was hit upon. One re-
sult of the project was the establishment
of fifteen families from the Canary
Islands at San Antonio. From the
standpoint of immediate results the proj-
ect was not very successful, but the
Canary Island families and their descend-
ants played a large part in subsequent
Three missions were established about
1746 on the San Xavier River, a stream
which for many years of modern re-
search defied identity, but which is now
assumed to be the San Gabriel of Cen-
tral Texas. They were the San Francisco
Xavier San Ildefonso and the Cande-
laria. They soon were abandoned. Site of
these missions is in present-day Milam or
Williamson County. The San Xavier
Missions were later removed to locations
in present Hays County.
Mission La Bahia del Espiritu Santo
was established at the present site of its
ruins at Goliad in 1749. It had earlier
been established near the site of old Fort
Saint Louis on Espiritu Santo Bay and
was removed once or twice before being
permanently located at Goliad.
At the request of the Apaches, just
then sorely pressed by the Comanches, a
mission and a presidio were established
on the San Saba River in 1756, near the
present site of the town of Menard. The
San Saba Mission was attacked by the
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Texas Almanac, 1939-1940, book, 1939; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117163/m1/60/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.