San Antonio de Bexar: A Guide and History Page: 14
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SAN ANTONIO DE BEXAR.
It was just in this neighborhood that the first battle was fought for Texan
Independence, in 1835. After crossing the River, you take what is called the
River Road, but you do not catch sight of the River again until you reach
the Mission of San Jose, not four miles from the city. It should be noon by the
time that you have done these two Missions thoroughly, so if you choose you
can drive down a short distance to the River and water your horse, tie, and at a
very pretty spot under the Pecans, take your lunch. You must return to San
Jose to take the road to the Third Mission, passing the Pyron homestead on the
left, keeping on between fences until you reach a branch of the road, one towards
Berg's Mill, where there are both a bridge and a ford. The Third Mission is on
the other side of the River. It will be noted that the Missions are alternately on
different sides of the River. The First on the east bank, the Second on the west,
the third on the East and the fourth on the West. Leaving the third you return
over the bridge a short distance to the branch of the road that you left, and
go down abruptly to the wooden bridge over the Piedra creek. Quite close to
this bridge to the left is the old aqueduct made by the Franciscan brothers nearly
150 years ago. Alight and examine it. It is indeed a substantial and interest-
ing work, a series of low massive arches on the top of which runs the Mission
irrigating ditch. Leaving this, follow this branch road to the fourth Mission and
return to the City at pleasure.
"To ruinate proud buildings with thy hours
And smear with dust their glittering, golden towers."
In the report of the Viceroy Count Revilla-gigedo, referred to many times in
this work, the date of the "ereccion" of this Mission as well as those of the Missions
of the Alamo, San Juan and San Francisco de la Espada, is given as
1716. San Jos6 is given as being "erected " four years later 1720. This
does not mean that the buildings were then erected, but simply that in
that year it was determined to establish Missions in suitable localities on
Spain's frontiers for the purposes of subjecting, christianizing and civilizing In-
dian tribes and of firmly establishing Spain's right to these regions of territory
to which she laid a just claim. It was in the year 1730 that the Mission of Nues-
tra Sefiora de la Concepcion Purissima de Acuiia was located as the report says
on the site that it now occupies in the neighborhood of the Capital Town of the
Province. The Church records show that the foundation stone of this Mission
was laid March 5, 1731, about the time that the Mission San Josd was completed,
and that taking twenty-one years to build it was completed in 1752. The won-
* Translation from the " Informe Oficial " of Count-Revilla-gigedo, Viceroy of Mexico 179:1.
ARTICLE 196. " On the third expedition of the year 1716, nine friars of the College of Santa Cruz of Que-
r6taro and of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Zacatecas together with the Superior or President, V. 1'. Fr. Antonio
Margil de Jesus established six missions in the most northerly part of the Province (Texas) and a few years
thereafter another was built near the Presidio of Our Lady del Pilar de los Adaes distant seven leagues from
the fort of Nachitoches in Louisiana.
ARTICLE 197. In the year 1730. three of these missions, viz, Our l,ady de la Coucepcion. San Juan
Capistrano and San Francisco de la Espada were transferred to the sites they now occupy in the neighlbor-
hood of the Capital Town of the Province (Sani Antonio) anid the other three were extinguished1 in the year 1774
as may be seen 1by Article 22 of the instructions contained in the Royal Regulations of the Presidios which
His Majesty ordered dispatched under date of 10th September 1772."
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Corner, William. San Antonio de Bexar: A Guide and History, book, 1890; San Antonio, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143549/m1/32/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.