The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941 Page: 142
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
province of Texas in 1762. The source of the description is a
comprehensive report prepared by order of the Commissary
General of Missions. It is to be found in the Archivo General
of Mexico and in transcripts at The University of Texas.
Through it one learns the equipment of the various missions
in tools, buildings, land, livestock, and improvements; as well
as the achievements of the missions in baptising, burying,
marrying, and partially civilizing the Indians who came under
the ministrations of the missionaries over a period of 40 years.
The Mission San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo, had four
rooms for weaving the cotton and wool raised by the mission.
The crops of the mission were corn, beans, chile, cotton, and
some garden vegetables. There were forty yokes of oxen, thirty
plows, the necessary ploughshares and harrows, twelve carts,
fifty axes, forty hoes, twenty-two bars, twenty-five scythes.
For carpentry, there were planes, saws, vises, hammers, chisels,
files, and braces. And to sharpen the tools and shoe the stock,
there was a blacksmith shop. The mission owned 115 saddle
horses, 1115 head of cattle, 2300 sheep and goats, 200 mares,
15 donkeys, and 18 mules. Other missions were equipped simi-
larly, but not so abundantly.
Dr. Castaieda defends the efficiency and value of the mis-
sions against the thoughtless charge of failure. The argument
rests primarily upon definition. One of his points tends to en-
courage irreverent humor. For example, the priests of this
same mission (the Alamo) in forty years "had baptized 1572
Indians. Of these 1247 received Christian burial"-a deadly
ratio, if the Indians only knew the statistics. A more impres-
sive assertion of the usefulness of the missions declares: "The
archaeologist, the anthropologist, and the serious investigator
into origins of the numerous tribes that roamed the vast ex-
panse of present Texas are beginning to realize how valuable
and how thorough is the information gathered by the patient
soldiers of Christ concerning the customs and habits, the re-
ligion and habitat of the aboriginal races now completely de-
parted from the land."
The bibliography of manuscript materials is exhaustive, par-
ticularly when examined in connection with the bibliographies
of previous volumes.
EUGENE C. BARKER.
The University of Texas.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941, periodical, 1941; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/m1/150/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.