Texas Almanac, 1945-1946 Page: 53
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HISTORY OF TEXAS. 53
the mission of San Jose, which belonged signs on Texas. In 1736, the Arroyo
to the Zacatecan group, but a report of a Hondo, east of the Sabine, had been tern-
little later date showed that it had over porarily fixed as the eastern boundary
200 neophytes in its pueblo and that of Texas. However, doubt as to the
there were over 2,000 head of cattle, actual boundary continued and the ter-
1,000 sheep and a considerable annual ritory between the Sabine and the Ar-
harvest of corn and other crops. royo Hondo became a "neutral ground,"
The effect of the missions on the sub- a lawless no-man's land and home of des-
sequent history of Texas is incalculable. perate characters.
They planted the first seeds of cultural Circumstances along the eastern boun-
progress in the soil of Texas. Undoubt- dary of Texas, in the Umnited States and
edly there would have been military ex- in Spain and Mexico conspired to lead
peditions north of the Rio Grande even venturesome Americans to try their for-
had there been no missionary work. But tunes west of the Sabine, and several ex-
it was the faithful padre that stayed be- peditions were. led into Texas for the
hind to maintain these outposts. It is purpose of making it independent of
true that more than 100 years of mis- Spamin, alone or min conjunction with
sionary effort succeeded in establishing Mexico.
in Texas probably not more than 7,000 On behalf of the expeditions of this
white inhabitants. Nevertheless, had era, it must be said that the spirit of
there been no missionary effort min Texas adventure was not unmixed with the zeal
there probably would have been no nu- of patriotic Texans and Mexicans for
cleus of civilization to attract Moses throwing off the oppressive Spanish yoke
Austin and his son in their enterprise, and establishing an independent democ-
which resulted in the introduction of racy min Texas, alone or min conjunction
Anglo-American civilization. It was to with Mexico. The success of the young
San Antonio, which had been the princi- United States of America, together with
pal center of missionary activity north the spreading doctrines of the French
of the Rio Grande, that Austin made his Revolution, was largely responsible for
way when he first conceived the idea of the flame of revolt that swept Latin
a Texas colony. America from 1810 to 1830, generally re-
ERA OF STAGNATION-FREEBOOT- moving Spanish sovereignty.
ERS AND BUCCANEERS The Green Flag.
Following the secularization of the The most noteworthy of these attempts
missions in 1793, there was a period of to free Texas from Spain was the Magee-
waning of Spanish religious and political Gutierrez expedition of 1812-13. Augus-
influence in Texas. There were several tus Magee, an army officer of the United
reasons: Spain was in difficulties min Eu- States stationed in Louisiana, became in-
rope and was losing her grip on Mex- trigued by the plans of Bernardo Gutier-
ico. In turn, the growing sentiment of rez, a Mexican who had been an adher-
revolt in Mexico created a situation ent of Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
which permitted little consideration of in his unsuccessful attempt to free Mex-
Texas. Spanish influence reached a low ico in 1810-11. Magee resigned his com-
ebb in Texas after 1811, when the revolt mission in. the army and, with Gutierrez,
in Mexico led by Hidalgo broke out. had little difficulty in collecting a force
Though it was suppressed temporarily of venturesome men along the turbulent
there was a state of smoldering rebel- border. Marching westward, the little
lion until 1821 when Mexico finally suc- army captured Nacogdoches, Goliad and
ceeded in throwing off the Spanish yoke. San Antonio, Magee dying a mysterious
During this period authorities of neither death at Goliad, however.
Spain nor Mexico had much time to de- This Republican Army of the North
vote to the raw province between the marched under the Green Flag, which is
Rio Grande and the Sabine. recognized by some authorities as having
In the development of Texas history, a legitimate claim to a place among the
it should be kept in mind that the early sovereign flags of Texas. Admission of
political, as well as the early church this claim would raise the customarily
history, was divided between the east recognized six flags to seven flaps.
and the west. The administrations of the Whether the expedition deserves the dig-
Governors did not extend into the ter- nity of a place among the flags of Texas
ritory of extreme Western Texas, which possibly is a matter of definition. No
was under the authority of the adminis- recognition was ever given by any for-
tration at Santa Fe. Those portions of eign government to the new state, yet
Texas now included in the Trans-Pecos, it is a fact that during four or five
Pecos Valley and Great Plains regions months in the spring and summer of
were identified in their early develop- 1813, Spanish sovereignty in Texas was
ment with the history of New Mexico completely deposed, a formal declaration
rather than that of Texas. of independence issued and a constitution
New Problem on the East. written. Capital of the new state was
In 1803, France sold Louisiana to the at San Antonio. In view of the difficul-
United States and Spain recognized a ties Spain was having in Mexico, it might
still greater menace east of the Sabine. have been a successful new nation, but
The virile new republic was more feared dissension arose among the members of
than France, and several incidents, no- the expedition and the capable Gutierrez
tably the Aaron Burr conspiracy, con- was deposed from leadership. The Re-
tributed to Spanish fear of American de- publican Army of the North finally met
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Texas Almanac, 1945-1946, book, 1945; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117166/m1/55/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.