History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 18
HISTORY OF TEXAS.
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another among the Aes Indians, near the site
of the present town of San Augustine. The
mission and fortress of San Antonio de Valero
was soon after this established on the San
Pedro river, near the site of the present city
of San Antonio.
In 1721 a post and mission was located at
the crossing of the Neches, and another on
the bay of San Bernard, called Our Lady of the
Loretto. In the same year the mission of La
Bahia (the bay) was established at the lower
crossing of the San Antonio river.
In 1730 the church of San Fernando, in
the present city of San Antonio, was founded.
In 1731 was established, not far from the
same place, the mission La Purisitna Concepcion
All the buildings are yet standing.
Under the old Mexican regime Texas was
a province controlled by a "commandant,"
who resided at Chihuahua, and whose powers
in this control were independent of the viceroy.
Each province was ruled by a military
and political governor, who by his delegated
powers had cognizance of all causes, being
dependent as regards military matters upon
the commandant general. In financial affairs
he was subject to the intendant at San Luis
Potosi, with recourse to the supreme council
of finance at the city of Mexico. Of course,
in those times of sparse settlement and poor
government, it was generally difficult, and
often almost impossible, for one to transact
any business with either the executive or judicial
department of the government, so remote
were the seats of government and difficult
and dangerous the methods of travel.
The same difficulties were encounters in ecclesiastical
matters, under the Roma% Catholic
A NEW CIVILIZATION.
During the first decade of this century the
germs of another and a better civilization began
to become manifest in the province of
Texas. The Anglo-American race was pushing
westward and southward. Bold, restless
men, impelled by the fascination of wild adventure,
Boone-like made their way into new
regions, regardless of danger and hardships.
Rough, hardy men were indeed a necessity to
go in advance of a more settled and refined
community, and at this period the wave began
to move, rough side foremost. The Mexican
government did not like the influx of
foreigners, especially of Americans, and
passed laws to imprison them if found on
their territory; but, while this law was indeed
sometimes executed, it seemed to serve
only as an incentive to the daring spirits who
were on the crest of the west-bound wave.
Like large, rough boys at school, when the
master defied them or laid down any rule
which they thought unreasonable, they gloried
in taking advantage of such an opportunity
to show how bravely and successfully
they could defy the unreasonable regulations.
The contraband trade carried on with New
Orleans, and connived at by the Spanish authorities,
opened a gateway to these intruders.
The most conspicuous of the adventurers
just referred to was Philip Nolan, engaged
in trade between Natchez and San Antonio
as early as 1785. In the Texas Almanac for
1868 is published the most extended account
of Philip Nolan that we have seen. We condense
from it as follows:
Philip Nolan, of Irish origin and a citizen
of the United States, residingin Natchez, Mis
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/19/ocr/: accessed December 5, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .