A new history of Texas for schools : also for general reading and for teachers preparing themselves for examination Page: 39 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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1731.] ERA OF DISCOVERIES AND MISSIONS.
sions alone would not suffice. Colonists were needed. In
1728, therefore, Spain decided to spend $75,000 -in
bringing over from the Canary Islands thirteen families
of pure Spanish blood and marked religious fervor. These
people, with others from Mexico, settled about the Plaza
of the Constitution, which is now known as the Main
Plaza of Sal Antonio. Here, in 1731 and 1732, they
built up the church now called San Fernando. From
these colonists many of the best families in Texas are
proud to trace their descent. Had Spain been able to
settle in Texas more such people the future of the prov-
ince would have been greatly changed, but the experi-
ment was considered too expensive to permit repetition.
killed. On the contrary, taking him to their village, they sent him to an old
squaw, who used him as her servant, but gave him plenty to eat and was not cruel
to him. As his strength returned, he learned their language, and soon gained so
much influence over the savages, that they began to look upon him as their chief.
But they took good care that he should not escape. One day some Nassonite In-
dians came to visit the tribe, and were brought to Belisle's hut, to admire the
white prisoner. On looking at him one of the Nassonites said: 'We have near
us many pale faces like this.' Belisle's heart beat fast with happiness as he heard
that his own people were near. Mfixing soot and water he made some ink. A
stick did for a pen. On his officer's commission, which he had managed to keep
through all his misfortunes, he wrote a message, and begged one of the visitors
to take it to the white chief. The Indian, being promised a great reward, took
the paper to the French captain at Natchitoches, who was none other than St.
Denis. As soon as St. Denis read the paper, he began to make signs of the deepest
grief, after the manner of the red men. As the savages loved St. Denis, they were
troubled to see him so distressed, and crowded around him to find the cause of his
trouble. 'Alas l said he, 'I weep for my dear brother, who is a lonely prisoner
among the Indians you have just left.' 'Is that all ?' asked one of the warriors.
'Then let our pale chief weep not, for ten of our braves will go, and in two moons
bring your brother to you.' Having received horses, guns, pistols, and clothes
from St. Denis, the Indians returned to the village where Belisle was a captive.
They rushed up, fired their guns, and' frightened all the Indians into running.
The Nassonites, quick as a flash, seized Belisle, placed him on a horse, and gal-
loped away back to St. Denis. Belisle afterward became an officer in the Louis-
iana army. He was sent out to settle a colony in Texas, but was unsuccessful."
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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/m1/39/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .