A new history of Texas for schools : also for general reading and for teachers preparing themselves for examination Page: 25 of 412
This book is part of the collection entitled: From Republic to State: Debates and Documents Relating to the Annexation of Texas, 1836-1856 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the UNT Libraries.
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ERA OF DISCOVERIES AND MISSIONS.
This placed Spain on the alert, for she saw that she
must either occupy Texas herself, or see it pass into the
hands of the French. To build a chain of missions from
the Rio Grande to the Sabine, and thereby gain entire
control of the country, was the plan adopted and almost
immediately put into execution.
Wherever Catholic nations bore their conquering arms,
two purposes were ever held in view-to make the coun-
try subject to their king, and to win the natives as con-
verts to the Roman Church. This was plainly shown in
every mission, for each was a combination of chapel and
fortress, while Presidio (prA se' de 6), meaning a garrison
for soldiers, was used -synonymously with missions. In
erecting these missions, a nrassive stone structure of
great thickness was first built; this was the chapel, and
refuge in time of greatest danger; some of them were
large enough to hold six or seven hundred people. The
church faced upon a square, or plaza, as it was called.
Other necessary houses, such as granaries, homes for
the priests, barracks for the soldiers, and prisons for the
criminals, were built on all sides of the square. At a lit-
tle distance were huts for the converted Indians.
Religion of thie Indians.-To appreciate the task un-
dertaken by the Spanish priests, the moral condition of
the Indians must be understood. They knew nothing of
the God of civilized nations, yet they believed in and
worshiped one all-seeing and over-ruling spirit, whom
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Pennybacker, Anna J. Hardwicke. A new history of Texas for schools : also for general reading and for teachers preparing themselves for examination, book, 1895; Palestine, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2388/m1/25/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .