Missions of Texas (and one in Mexico) Some other missions you should know about are: SPANISH MISSIONS: Attempt #1 The Spanish sent Fray Damien Massanet to East Texas to start a mission for the Tejas tribe of the Southeastern Culture. At the time, (1689) the only Spanish settlement in Texas was in the Mountains and Basins Region in El Paso. The first mission in East Texas, San Francisco de los Tejas, was started in 1690. When we last left our story… La Salle had been killed, his settlement called Ft. St. Louis had been destroyed. Alonso de Leon had returned to Mexico City to tell the viceroy about the fate of the French settlement of Ft. St. Louis. After the failure of the Tejas Mission, the Spanish started building missions a little farther west. That’s right!!! They stopped ignoring Texas and started building missions as close to French Louisiana as possible in their attempt to colonize Texas!!! So… what did the Spanish government DO in response to de Leon’s news? Difficulties with the Tejas Indians, problems with floods, failed crops and supply shortages doomed the East Texas missions So, in 1693, Massanet and the surviving frairs burned the missions and went back to Mexico. One of the “Gateway Missions” was San Juan Bautista. Built in 1699, it was known as a halfway stop between Mexico and the missions farther east. • San Saba de la Santa Cruz – known as the “San Saba Mission” was built in 1757 and was an attempt to Christianize the Plains tribes. Umm… that went well… • San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo – known as “Mission San Jose” it was built in 1721 on the San Antonio River and was the most successful of all the Spanish missions • La Bahia del Espiritu Santo – known as the “Goliad Mission” was built in 1722 on the Guadalupe River. It was first built on top of the site of Fort Saint Louis, but was moved farther up river a little later • San Antonio de Valero – known as the “Alamo” it was built in 1718 on the San Antonio River Some of them were known as “Gateway Missions”. Those were mostly along the Rio Grande and served as supply stops for the missions farther east. However, that was WEST Texas… it’s time to move EAST! It was called Corpus Christi de Ysleta. It was founded in 1682. E Ft. St. Louis 1st Ft. St. Louis 1st Corpus Christi de Ysleta (Rio Grande) E San Francisco de los Tejas (Neches R.) ½ ½ San Juan Bautista (Rio Grande) San Antonio de Valero (Alamo – San Antonio R.) San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo (San Antonio R.) La Bahia del Espiritu Santo (Guadalupe R.) San Saba de la Santa Cruz (San Saba R.) Mexico City Alonso de Leon
Mapping the Missions Official Name We’re going to call it… Symbol Date Founded and River Native Americans Served Claim to Fame 1st permanent settlement of Europeans in Texas Corpus Christi de Ysleta Ysleta 1682 Rio Grande Jumano and Tiguas 1st 1st Spanish mission after La Salle (East TX) San Francisco de los Tejas Tejas Mission E 1690 Neches Caddos (Tejas) San Juan Bautista San Juan Coahuiltecans ½ -way supply station between Mexico City and Missions of East Texas – not in TX (a “Gateway Mission”) 1699 Rio Grande ½ San Antonio de Valero Valero (Alamo) Tonkawa Coahuiltecans 1718 San Antonio Known as the Alamo – built b/c they needed a midway point b/t Bautista and E. TX San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo “Queen of the Missions”, the most successful mission in TX (on the SA Mission Trail) San Jose 1721 San Antonio Tonkawa Coahuiltecans La Bahia del Espiritu Santo La Bahia (Goliad) 1722 Guadalupe First established on Ft. St. Louis site, then moved to Guadalupe River (became Goliad) Karankawa San Saba (The Plains Mission) Apache & Comanche San Saba de la Santa Cruz 1757 San Saba Apaches asked for the mission to protect them from Comanches – MASSACRE!! Failed b/c Plains Indians were too independent
Most of the missions built in the 1600s were along the Rio Grande… until La Salle established Ft. St. Louis… then the Spanish started building farther east in order to claim more of this area (what would be Texas) for Spain
This Catholic mission in San Antonio now stripped to bare stone was originally plastered white and adorned with red, blue, yellow, and black painted designs. It was built to serve as a barrier against French expansion into Texas. Made using local materials and artisans, the stone-faced adobe structure features a floor plan that reflected Catholic traditions. Conception
Rancho de las Cabras Local ranchers had long been aware of the crumbling stone walls that protruded from a tangle of thorny brush at this Wilson County site. Situated on a high point above the San Antonio River, the ruin was a distinctive landmark. And given its proximity to San Antonio, with its rich Spanish Colonial heritage, some thought it might even be another Spanish mission. After researchers sifted through historic maps and records, however, it became apparent that the site had to be the ranch of Mission San Francisco de la Espada—Rancho de las Cabras, or the Ranch of the Goats. The ranch was built in the 1750s after early San Antonio residents—Canary Islanders—complained that mission cattle were trampling their crops. Espada had large herds—as many as 1,150 head of cattle, 740 sheep, 90 goats, 30 horses and oxen, according to a 1745 report. To meet the resident’s demands, the friars arranged for the animals to be moved to mission grazing lands some 30 miles to the southeast, and appointed Indians from the mission to tend to their needs. Apparently, the herders and their families were left largely on their own, as long as the animals were well cared for and the designated allotment of animals was supplied weekly to meet the mission’s needs. Removed from the protection of the soldiers at Presidio San Antonio de Bejar, the native workers were vulnerable to attacks by Lipan Apaches and other hostile raiders. Researchers found little in historic records describing the structures at the ranch complex. The 1772 inventory of Mission Espada made on the eve of its closing, however, described the compound as consisting of four jacals, or structures of upright poles with thatched roofs, one of which was sometimes used as a church or shrine; corrals and pens; and a fenced field for corn. A later account mentions that 26 persons lived at the ranch. This likely included herders and their families. Ethnohistorian T. N. Campbell, attempting to ascertain which native groups might have been represented at the ranch, found a list of 11 names in Mission Espada records for the period 1753-1767. These included the Assaca, Caclote, Caguamama, Carrizo, Cayan, Gegueriguan, Huarique, Saguiem, Siguipan, Tuqrique, and Uncrauya. Although we likely will never determine which group or groups were represented at the rancho, Campbell believes none of the 11 were native to the area, nor did they speak the Coahuiltecan language. Rather, all of the groups were from extreme south Texas and the Mexican state of Tamaulipas and may have been remnants displaced by Spanish colonies established by Jose de Escandon along the Rio Grande river around 1750. When archeologists visited the site in the 1970s, they found a large standing ruin, enclosed within a perimeter wall of sandstone blocks, remains of several rooms, and bases of defensive towers, or bastions. In 1976, the site and adjacent acreage was acquired by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Archeologists from the Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio were contracted to conduct field investigations prior to the historical development of the site for the public. In month-long stints over a period of five years, archeologists from UTSA-CAR mapped the site, tested along interior walls, and probed trash heaps near the two entry ways where gates once were located. They determined almost immediately, based on differences in stone at different points, that the present outline of the compound is not the original, and that there had been at least two different building phases. Later additions after 1772 apparently included extensions to the wall and completion of a chapel. The hexagon shaped compound was accessed by two gates. Archeologists also found a kiln for making plaster, likely from the chapel interior. Postholes around the south wall were determined to represent jacals, and household items were found on floors. Most artifacts were found in large trash heaps, or middens, located outside the wall. In addition to chipped-stone tools and crude, bone-tempered pottery, which pointed to the persistence of earlier native traditions, archeologists found the remains of imported ceramics, including tin-enameled, Mexican majolicas, oriental porcelain, and French faience; coins; gunparts, and other metal objects; and an array of ornate personal items—fancy metal buckles, jewelry, and crucifixes. They also found chipped-stone gunflints, indicating use of European flintlock guns, and a quantity of bone, indicating a diverse diet of domestic animals augmented by wild resources including turkey, deer, javelina, opossum, squirrel, fish, and turtle. One of the research interests of the archeologists had been to try to ascertain the degree to which acculturation had taken place among the Indian neophytes, particularly when separated from the mission fold. They found a surprising indication of adherence to mission teachings, given that a chapel was erected, religious items such as rosaries were employed, and European merchandise was used. Although traditional native practices continued, the native vaqueros apparently fulfilled their duties in tending the herds. As noted by UTSA-CAR archeologist Anne Fox, in a 1989 article on Rancho de las Cabras: Life at the ranch, away from direct supervision and under extreme stress of threat of Indian attack, might tempt Indians who were a bit shaky in their indoctrination as Spanish citizens to slip back to their earlier habits. The fact that they apparently did not could be an indication that only Indians of long standing and proven loyalty to the mission were chosen for this job since it was so essential to the well-being of the mission residents. The site has been acquired by the National Park Service and there are plans to include it within the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park Trail.
Sources • http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/st-plains/images/he15.html • http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/sansaba/index.html
Map of Mexico in 1777 What do you see that you recognize from a Texas map today? What do you see that looks different? List some words or names that you recognize? List some words or names that you do NOT recognize.