San Antonio de Bexar: A Guide and History Page: 21
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MISSION SAN FRANCISCO.
drawn and easy to distinguish. There is one of these figures over the frescoed
arch of the door. It is a mandolin player. The player is indistinct, portions of
his chair and instrument plainer, the latter can be made out to be of dark brown
color with the finger board and keys, red. To the right of him is a violin player,
the best preserved sample of all-the violin and bow are quite distinct, so are the
features of the face of the figure, his hair is black, lips red, face and legs or-
ange, feet black, the body of the violin orange, the rest of him and the bow red. To
the right of him again is a guitar player, dressed in a bluish green color, sitting
in a red chair, the instrument is quite distinct. Directly opposite this figure vis
a vis is a viol player; the instrument being held by the player, finger board up,
from the left shoulder across the body ; head, hands, instrument and bow being
distinct, but the body of him is "played out." To the right of this ghostly
looking viol player is a harp and a chair but the player is either invisible or van-
ished. The lower rail, which is the much more elaborate of the two, supports here
and there a flower pot and flowers in incongruous colors of bluish green and dull
red-carnations and roses being prime favorites, with an occasional cross on a
painted pedestal or dado.
If there is any record of the partition of the lands of this Mission it has not
been discovered, at any rate with regard to the rooms in the ramparts it seems to
have been customary at the Missions that a number of years occupation of rooms
or barracks in any Mission gave some kind of title or claim to those rooms to the
occupants. The Mission Government was generous to its converts and depend-
ants. The Missions were projected for their benefit. This must explain such
documents as that which may be found in the County Records dated January 28th,
1826, which relates that Maria de las Santos Lopez and Bartara de las Santos
Lopez who were then occupying three rooms in the Mission San Juan conveyed
the same to the Province of Texas for the sum of $34.00 January 28th, 1826.
This sum was paid to them by Antonio Saucedo, then Chief Justice.
Mission San Francisco de la Espada.
The Fourth Mission or Mission San Francisco de la Espada, was "erected"
as were Missions Concepcion and San Juan, in the year 1716, but it was not lo-
cated and begun to be built until March 5th, 1731. It is situated on the
right or west bank of the San Antonio River about nine miles from the city, and
is dedicated to San Francisco de la Espada, that is, to St. Francis of Assissi, the
founder of the great order of Franciscans, but the question arises, whence " de la
Espada? " St. Francis of the sword ? Tradition says that the old tower of the
Chapel was built in the form of the hilt of a sword, and that the imagination of
the founders supplied length to the blade to complete the similarity to the whole
weapon. Perhaps it was that they were possessed with a portion of the spirit of
that Greek parent whose son complained of the shortness of his sword; " Add a
step to it, my son ! " The allusion to the sword may have had some reference to
the period of the awakening of St. Francis after his early illness, for it is related
of him that he did not know at first whether he was called to be a valiant soldier
and knight, or to be a faithful servant of the Church Militant.
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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/m1/57/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.