Texas Almanac, 1939-1940 Page: 59
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HISTORY OF TEXAS. 59
Comanches and destroyed. Missions were sequent history of Texas is incalculable.
established also on the Nueces, but They planted the first seeds of cultural
proved failures. progress in the soil of Texas. Undoubt-
The last mission founded in Texas, Re- edly there would have been military ex-
fugio, was established in 1791, only two peditions north of the Rio Grande even
years before the secularization of the had there been no missionary work. But
missions of the Franciscans and the vir- it was the faithful padre that stayed be-
tual end of the mission era of Texas his- hind to maintain these outposts. It is
tory. true that more than 100 years of mis-
Nacogdoches Founded. sionary effort succeeded in establishing
When the East Texas missions were in Texas probably not more than 7,000
abandoned in 1776 the white population white inhabitants. Nevertheless, had
was removed to San Antonio. In 1779, there been no missionary effort in Texas
however, a number of these settlers re- there probably would have been no nu-
turned under the leadership of Gil Ybar- cleus of civilization to attract Moses
bo and settled around the old Mission Austin and his son in their enterprise,
Guadalupe, permanently establishing which resulted in the introduction of
what is today the city of Nacogdoches, Anglo-American civilization. It was to
though Nacogdoches also has some claim San Antonio, which had been the princi-
to having been founded in 1716, year of pal center of missionary activity north
the building of the old Guadalupe Mis- of the Rio Grande, that Austin made his
sion. This community, San Antonio and way when he first conceived the idea of
Goliad for many years were the three a Texas colony.
dim lights of civilization in the vast wil-
derness of Texas. ERA OF STAGNATION-FREEBOOT.
Accomplishments of the Missions. ERS AND BUCCANEERS.
The purpose of the missions was two-
fold: (1) To christianize the Indian, and Following the secularization of the
(2) to extend the frontier of Spanish do- missions in 1793, there was a period of
minion and aid temporal authorities in waning of Spanish religious and political
establishing civil law. The missionaries influence in Texas. There were several
in Texas were faced with a peculiarly reasons: Spain was in difficulties in Eu-
difficult problem because the Indians, rope and was losing her grasp on Mex-
excepting the Caddoes of East Texas, ico. In turn, the growing sentiment of
were characteristically nomadic. The' revolt in Mexico created a situation
padres had found an environment suit- which permitted little consideration of
able to their missionary effort in the Texas. Spanish influence reached a low
characteristic Indian villages and pueb- ebb in Texas after 1811, when the revolt
los in Mexico and in the Upper Rio in Mexico led by Hidalgo broke out.
Grande Valley of New Mexico, but it was Though it was suppressed temporarily
necessary to establish a new way of life there was a state of smoldering rebel-
for the nomadic tribes of Texas before lion until 1821 when Mexico finally suc-
the process of christianization could be- ceeded in throwing off the Spanish yoke.
gin. During this period authorities of neither
Nevertheless, appreciable progress was Spain nor Mexico had much time to de-
made. A report on Queretaran missions vote to the raw province between the
of San Antonio in 1745, according to Rio Grande and the Sabine.
Dr. Carlos E. Castaneda, in his recently Domingo Teran de los Rios, appointed
published Vol. III of "Our Catholic Her- in 1691, is generally accepted as the first
itage," showed that a total of 2,282 In- royal Spanish Governor of Texas, al-
dians had been baptized and that there though earlier Governors of the northern
were living at the four missions 885 In- Mexican states had jurisdiction over por-
dians at the time of the report. There tions of Texas at intervals. From this
were 5,115 head of cattle; 2,662 sheep; date Texas had a definite status as a
664 goats and 257 horses. There was province, at times separately and at
produced annually about 8,000 bushels other times jointly with Coahuila. The
of corn, 2,000 pounds of cotton and a administration of De los Rios came to an
quantity of beans, melons, pumpkins and end in 1693 and though Texas continued
other crops. The missions were well sup- to have the status of a province there
plied with agricultural implements, and was no government to maintain head-
Indian women had been taught to spin quarters north of the Rio Grande until
and weave. This report did not include 1720 when Marquis de San Miguel de
the mission of San Jose, which belonged Aguayo established his headquarters at
to the Zacatecan group, but a report of a Los Adaes, which was on the Red River
little later date showed that it had over at the approximate location of the pres-
200 neophytes in its pueblo and that ent Robeline, La. This place was the
there were over 2,000 head of cattle capital of Texas until San Antonio be-
1,000 sheep and a considerable annual came the seat of government in 1772.
harvest of corn and other crops. In the development of Texas history,
The effect of the missions in the sub- it should be kept in mind that the early
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Texas Almanac, 1939-1940, book, 1939; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117163/m1/61/: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.