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West Texas Missions

West Texas Missions

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West Texas Missions

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  1. West Texas Missions 1598 Spain decided to establish a colony in their northern territories. Don Juan de Onate set out with 400 men, families, priests, and livestock settled in New Mexico. In 1682, the Spaniards established the first Texas missions of Corpus Christi de Ysleta in present-day El Paso. The purpose of the mission was to spread Christianity to the Jumanos and other Native Americans in the area and to make a claim on the region. The mission was successful and Spain decided to build more in the area.

  2. Corus Christi de Ysleta • Built in 1682. • First mission in Texas • Built among the Tigua Indians near present-day El Paso

  3. Jose de Escandon (1700-1770) • In the 1740’s the viceroy of New Spain chose Escandon to lead an expedition to continue expansion in the northern frontier (Texas). • In 1748, Escanondon set out with 3000 settlers, soldiers, and priests to settle the land between the Rio Grande and the Nueces River. • 15 missions were established in this area, La Bahia was relocated to present day Goliad, and many towns were established through out Nuevo Santander (present-day Larado) • Known as “Father of the Lower Rio Grande Valley”

  4. West Texas Problems/Solutions • Spain continued to build missions in western Texas but the war-like Indians continued to cause problems for the Spanish • Most Indian groups did not want to participate in mission life, but Comanche raids were too great threat for many of the Indians in western Texas. • Groups like the Tonkawa and other smaller groups were no match for the Comanche and they needed protection. • Missions provided protection for the smaller groups.

  5. East Texas Missions • After the Spanish found the remains of French Fort St. Louis, Spain sent several priests and 100 soldiers along the Neches River to establish missions • Mission San Francisco de los Tejas and SantisimoNombre de Maria were built in East Texas. • Mission Santa Maria was abandondon due to the priest becoming ill and dying. • Spaniards believed that the friendliness of the Caddoes and their trade network would allow the mission to survive and the Catholic religion to spread among the native groups

  6. Nuestro San Francisco de los Tejas • 1690 • First mission in East Texas • Located among the Caddo • Near present-day Weches, TX (Crockett) • Later abandoned and destroyed

  7. East Texas Problems • 1691 problems included crop failures, drought, and Native American deaths due to disease, and lack of interest by the Natives to convert to the Catholic religion • Spain decided to abandon the east Texas missions due to cost to maintain, French threat was gone, and all of the serious problems

  8. East Texas Missions II • After 20 years, the Spanish returned to East Texas due to the French threat. • In 1699, the French began building trading posts in Louisiana Territory, way too close for Spain. • Spain decided to reopen the east Texas missions. • The missions once again were not successful. • The east Texas Indians saw no benefit to having access to the mission and the French were too great a threat to Spain in east Texas.

  9. Father Massanet • Wrote a report to establish a claim in East Texas with missions • Given permission to colonize the “land of the Tejas” with several priests and soldiers along the Neches River • Built the first mission in East Texas with the Nabedache Indians (Caddo) • Massanet returned to Mexico City to encourage more missions to be built in Texas • He went back to East Texas in 1691 and decided to close the missions due to all the problems

  10. Father Francisco Hidalgo (1659-1726) • In 1699, he tried to reestablish the East Texas missions. • He was worried his flock and asked the French priests to check on the Native Americans • He was dedicated to the Indians in East Texas • When the Spanish found out about the French, Hidalgo was given permission to reestablish the missions among the Caddoes • He stayed at San Francisco de los Tejas until it was abandoned

  11. San Miguel de los Linares de los AdaesLos Adaes • 1717 • 15 miles from French Settlement of Natchitoches • Spanish named Los Adaes the capital of the province of Texas • Site of “Chicken War”

  12. East Texas III • Since the Natives did not see the benefit to the mission life and the French were threatening the Spanish land claim, the Spanish decicided to try one more time to build successful missions, build more mission and settle San Antonio (1/2 point between East Texas and the Rio Grande), and bring in settlers from the Canary Islands

  13. San Antonio • Spain’s expansion into Texas was a constant struggle • Marques de Rubi wrote a report to the King of Spain that France was no longer a threat due to Spain controlling Louisiana • He recommended that the eastern and western missions needed to be closed and moved to San Antonio. • San Antonio was the new capital of the Texas area and an alliance would be needed to be made with the Comanches

  14. San Antonio II • The recommendations were adopted, but were not easy to carry out • Settlers around the missions to be closed were very upset about moving. • Some settlers decided to stay in East Texas. They established the town of Nacogdoches. • In western Texas, an alliance was made with the Comanches and a peace agreement was made with the Apaches. • The El Paso Missions continued to be successful even though there was less support and money

  15. San Antonio III • San Antonio area, the missions, presidios, and settlements grew and flourished. • They were self-sufficient and stable communities • Spain opened the area to Spanish colonist who wanted to relocate. • Large ranches, small farms, and businesses were founded around the mission communities. • 1731, Canary Islanders helped establish the civil settlement of San Antonio de Bexar and La Bahia

  16. Fray Antonio Margil de Jesus (1657-1726) • Founded San Jose Mission y San Miguel de Aguayo due to San Antonio growing as a community • San Jose is one of five major missions in San Antonio • They still exist today, but as churches

  17. Missions System in San Antonio • San Antinio was the home of five of the 36 missions founded in Texas between the years of 1680-1793 • Their main goal was to “Christainize” the Coahueltican Indians and make them Spanish citizens • They had 10 years by Spanish law to convert, but there were many obstacles along the way • Most successful mission • Most missions stayed open until 1830 and still operate as churches today (except the Alamo)

  18. Mission Buildings • The mission floor plan was built like a fortress. • There was a stone wall that surrounded a center plaza (open air public area) • Along the wall were private rooms, offices, and workshops. • The convent, monastery, or friary was home to the friars and priests • At the main gate, there was a tower that was equipped with guns, ammunition, and cannons and at each corner there was a swivel gun

  19. Mission Plans • Once a mission was built, planting began and irrigation ditches (acequias) were dug channeling water throughout the mission • The granary (storehouse for grain) was built next and then shelters for the Indians • The church was the last to be built because of the time it took to make the sculptures, ornaments, woodwork, and ironwork • The church was the most important and beautiful building in the mission. • Over time, other areas were constructed for the Indians and the few families of the soldiers to live in the mission

  20. Mission Government • Based on the Spanish system • Each mission was independent of one another with limited powers • Native Americans who were trusted by the mission leaders of special abilities were chosen to represent the different tribes • Indians had their own jail and could determine punishment • There were Indians who instructed other Indians who worked in the fields • Indians did not always have this much freedom, and were expected to stay in the mission, learn Spanish language, and the Catholic religion and to do whatever the soldiers and priests instructed them to do

  21. Mission Problems • Indians would run away • Soldiers and priest would try to bring them back • Other times, the Indians would return on their own • They returned because of hunger and the threat of Comanches and apaches • Most of the Indians living in the missions were smaller and weaker tribes

  22. Mission Successes • Spain allowed the missions to stay open as churches because of some of the success they had “Christianizing” the Indians • Missions Indians were very useful in teaching other Indians in teaching other Indians the Spanish language and as scouts when there were conflicts with the Apache and the Comanche

  23. Nuestra Senora de la PurismaConcepction • Originally in East Texas along the Angelina River • Established in 1716 to serve the Ainais Indians • Threat of French encroachment (intrusion) caused it to relocate • Moved and reopened in 1731 at current location in San Antonio

  24. San Antonio de Valero • 1718 • Located in present-day San Antonio • Halfway point between Rio Grande and East Texas • Mission chapel is known as the Alamo

  25. San Antonio de Bexas • 1718 • Presidio built across the San Antonio River • Village sprang up nearby named San Fernando de Bexar (La Vallita) that later became know as downtown San Antonio

  26. Santa Cruz de San Saba • 1757 • Built for the Lipan Apaches • LOCATED in Comanche Territory • Lipan Apaches had hoped to start a war between the Spaniards and the Comanches (idea was to get rid of both) • Mission was destroyed but presidio remained for a few years.