Spanish missions in Texas
Overview
 
The Spanish Missions in Texas comprise a series of religious outposts established by Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 Catholic Dominicans
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

, Jesuits, and Franciscan
Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

s to spread the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 doctrine among the local Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

, but with the added benefit of giving Spain a toehold in the frontier land. The missions introduced European livestock
Livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

, fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

s, vegetables, and industry
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

 into the Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 region. In addition to the presidio (fort) and pueblo (town), the misión was one of the three major agencies employed by the Spanish crown to extend its borders and consolidate its colonial
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 territories.
Encyclopedia
The Spanish Missions in Texas comprise a series of religious outposts established by Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 Catholic Dominicans
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

, Jesuits, and Franciscan
Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

s to spread the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 doctrine among the local Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

, but with the added benefit of giving Spain a toehold in the frontier land. The missions introduced European livestock
Livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

, fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

s, vegetables, and industry
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

 into the Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 region. In addition to the presidio (fort) and pueblo (town), the misión was one of the three major agencies employed by the Spanish crown to extend its borders and consolidate its colonial
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 territories. In all, twenty-six missions were maintained for different lengths of time within the future boundaries of the state.

Since 1493, Spain had maintained a number of missions throughout New Spain
New Spain
New Spain, formally called the Viceroyalty of New Spain , was a viceroyalty of the Spanish colonial empire, comprising primarily territories in what was known then as 'América Septentrional' or North America. Its capital was Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire...

 (Mexico and portions of what today are the Southwestern United States
Southwestern United States
The Southwestern United States is a region defined in different ways by different sources. Broad definitions include nearly a quarter of the United States, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah...

) in order to facilitate colonization of these lands. The East Texas
East Texas
East Texas is a distinct geographic and ecological area in the U.S. state of Texas.According to the Handbook of Texas, the East Texas area "may be separated from the rest of Texas roughly by a line extending from the Red River in north central Lamar County southwestward to east central Limestone...

 missions were a direct response to fear of French encroachment when the remains of La Salle's
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, or Robert de LaSalle was a French explorer. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico...

 Fort Saint Louis were discovered near Matagorda Bay
Matagorda Bay
Matagorda Bay is a large estuary bay on the Texas coast, lying in Calhoun and Matagorda counties and located approximately northeast of Corpus Christi, southeast of San Antonio, southwest of Houston, and southeast of Austin. It is separated from the Gulf of Mexico by Matagorda Peninsula and...

 in 1689.

Following government policy, Franciscan
Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

 missionaries sought to make life within mission communities closely resemble that of Spanish villages and Spanish culture. In order to become Spanish citizens and productive inhabitants, native Americans learned vocational skills. As plows
Plough
The plough or plow is a tool used in farming for initial cultivation of soil in preparation for sowing seed or planting. It has been a basic instrument for most of recorded history, and represents one of the major advances in agriculture...

, farm implements, and gear for horse
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

s, oxen
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

, and mule
Mule
A mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. Horses and donkeys are different species, with different numbers of chromosomes. Of the two F1 hybrids between these two species, a mule is easier to obtain than a hinny...

s fell into disrepair, blacksmith
Blacksmith
A blacksmith is a person who creates objects from wrought iron or steel by forging the metal; that is, by using tools to hammer, bend, and cut...

ing skills soon became indispensable. Weaving
Weaving
Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The other methods are knitting, lace making and felting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling...

 skills were needed to help clothe the inhabitants. As buildings became more elaborate, mission occupants learned masonry
Masonry
Masonry is the building of structures from individual units laid in and bound together by mortar; the term masonry can also refer to the units themselves. The common materials of masonry construction are brick, stone, marble, granite, travertine, limestone; concrete block, glass block, stucco, and...

 and carpentry
Carpenter
A carpenter is a skilled craftsperson who works with timber to construct, install and maintain buildings, furniture, and other objects. The work, known as carpentry, may involve manual labor and work outdoors....

 under the direction of craftsmen contracted by the missionaries.

In the closely supervised setting of the mission the native Americans were expected to mature in Christianity and Spanish political and economic practices until they would no longer require special mission status. Then their communities could be incorporated as such into ordinary colonial society. This transition from official mission status to ordinary Spanish society, when it occurred in an official manner, was called "secularization." In this official transaction, the mission's communal properties were privatized, the direction of civil life became a purely secular affair, and the direction of church life was transferred from the missionary religious orders to the Catholic diocesan church. Although colonial law specified no precise time for this transition to take effect, increasing pressure for the secularization of most missions developed in the last decades of the 18th century.

This mission system was developed in response to the often very detrimental results of leaving the Hispanic control of relations with native Americans on the expanding frontier to overly enterprising civilians and soldiers. This had resulted too often in the abuse and even enslavement of the Indians and a heightening of antagonism.

In the end, the mission system was not politically strong enough to protect the native Americans against the growing power of ranchers and other business interests that sought control over mission lands and the manpower represented by the native Americans. In the first few years of the new Republic of Mexico-between 1824 and 1830-all the missions still operating in Texas were officially secularized, with the sole exception of those in the El Paso district, which were turned over to diocesan pastors only in 1852.

Within boundaries of Spanish Texas

Spanish Texas
Spanish Texas
Spanish Texas was one of the interior provinces of New Spain from 1690 until 1821. Although Spain claimed ownership of the territory, which comprised part of modern-day Texas, including the land north of the Medina and Nueces Rivers, the Spanish did not attempt to colonize the area until after...

 was a part of New Spain
New Spain
New Spain, formally called the Viceroyalty of New Spain , was a viceroyalty of the Spanish colonial empire, comprising primarily territories in what was known then as 'América Septentrional' or North America. Its capital was Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire...

. On its southern edge, Texas was bordered by the province of Coahuila
Coahuila
Coahuila, formally Coahuila de Zaragoza , officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Coahuila de Zaragoza is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico...

. The boundary between the provinces was set at the line formed by the Medina
Medina River
The Medina River is located in south central Texas, USA, in the Medina Valley. Named after Pedro Medina, a Spanish engineer, by Alonso de León, Spanish governor of Coahuila, New Spain in 1689. It was also known as the Rio Mariano, Rio San Jose, or Rio de Bagres...

 and the Nueces River
Nueces River
The Nueces River is a river in the U.S. state of Texas, approximately long. It drains a region in central and southern Texas southeastward into the Gulf of Mexico. It is the southernmost major river in Texas northeast of the Rio Grande...

s, 100 miles (161 km) northeast of the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
The Rio Grande is a river that flows from southwestern Colorado in the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it forms part of the Mexico – United States border. Its length varies as its course changes...

. On the east, Texas bordered French Louisiana. Although Spain claimed that the Red River
Red River (Mississippi watershed)
The Red River, or sometimes the Red River of the South, is a major tributary of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers in the southern United States of America. The river gains its name from the red-bed country of its watershed. It is one of several rivers with that name...

 formed the boundary between the two, France insisted that the border was the Sabine River
Sabine River (Texas-Louisiana)
The Sabine River is a river, long, in the U.S. states of Texas and Louisiana. In its lower course, it forms part of the boundary between the two states and empties into Sabine Lake, an estuary of the Gulf of Mexico. The river formed part of the United States-Mexican international boundary during...

, 45 miles (72.4 km) to the west.

Mission San Francisco de la Espada

The first mission established within the boundaries of Spanish Texas
Spanish Texas
Spanish Texas was one of the interior provinces of New Spain from 1690 until 1821. Although Spain claimed ownership of the territory, which comprised part of modern-day Texas, including the land north of the Medina and Nueces Rivers, the Spanish did not attempt to colonize the area until after...

 was San Francisco de la Espada. In 1689, Spanish authorities found the remnants of a French settlement, Fort Saint Louis. During their expedition, the Spanish met representatives of the Caddo
Caddo
The Caddo Nation is a confederacy of several Southeastern Native American tribes, who traditionally inhabited much of what is now East Texas, northern Louisiana and portions of southern Arkansas and Oklahoma. Today the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma is a cohesive tribe with its capital at Binger, Oklahoma...

 people, who lived between the Trinity
Trinity River (Texas)
The Trinity River is a long river that flows entirely within the U.S. state of Texas. It rises in extreme north Texas, a few miles south of the Red River. The headwaters are separated by the high bluffs on the south side of the Red River....

 and the Red
Red River (Mississippi watershed)
The Red River, or sometimes the Red River of the South, is a major tributary of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers in the southern United States of America. The river gains its name from the red-bed country of its watershed. It is one of several rivers with that name...

 Rivers. The Caddo expressed interest in learning about Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, and the following year Alonso De León
Alonso De León
Alonso de León wasexplorer and governor, who led several expeditions into the area that is now northeastern Mexico and southern Texas.-Early life:...

 led an expedition to establish a mission in East Texas
East Texas
East Texas is a distinct geographic and ecological area in the U.S. state of Texas.According to the Handbook of Texas, the East Texas area "may be separated from the rest of Texas roughly by a line extending from the Red River in north central Lamar County southwestward to east central Limestone...

. It was completed near the Hasinai
Hasinai
The Hasinai Confederacy was a large confederation of Caddo-speaking Native Americans located between the Sabine and Trinity rivers in eastern Texas...

 village of Nabedaches in late May, and its first mass was conducted on June 1, 1690.

In its first two years of existence, the mission faced much hardship, as floodwaters and then drought destroyed their crops. After an epidemic killed half of the local population, the Hasinai became convinced that the missionaries had caused the deaths. Fearing an attack, on October 25, 1693 the missionaries buried the mission bell, set the building ablaze, and retreated to Mexico.

The mission was reestablished on July 3, 1716, as Nuestro Padre San Francisco de los Tejas. In 1721, it was renamed Mission San Francisco de los Neches. It was moved in 1731 to San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in the United States of America and the second-largest city within the state of Texas, with a population of 1.33 million. Located in the American Southwest and the south–central part of Texas, the city serves as the seat of Bexar County. In 2011,...

 where it was named Mission San Francisco de la Espada. The surviving structure is now part of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park preserves four of the five Spanish frontier missions in San Antonio, Texas. These outposts were established by Catholic religious orders to spread Christianity among the local natives...

 operated by the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

. A commemorative representation of Mission San Francisco de los Tejas, is located near Grapeland
Grapeland, Texas
Grapeland is a city in Houston County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,451 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Grapeland is located at ....

 (in Weches) at Mission Tejas State Park.

Mission Santísimo Nombre de María

Mission Santísimo Nombre de María was the second mission established by the Spanish in East Texas. Built for the native Neches population, the mission opened in September 1690 6 miles (10 km) northeast of Mission San Francisco. The mission consisted of a straw chapel and a house for the priest. It was destroyed by a flood in 1692.

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission San Juan Capistrano had been known as Mission San José de los Nazonis in East Texas. When the mission was relocated to San Antonio in 1731, it was renamed so as not to cause confusion with Mission Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo. Located 3 miles (5 km) south of Mission San José, San Juan Capistrano served Coahuiltecan natives. It was the most distant of the missions from the presidio at Bexar and was often raided by Apaches.

By 1762, the mission consisted of a stone chapel with stone rooms for the priests and the soldiers who lived at the mission. Rooms made of adobe were built along the walls to house the 200 resident native American peoples. The mission was secularized in 1794, with the property divided among the remaining mission Indians. A priest continued to hold church services there, but other mission activities ended. The church has been restored and is still an active parish.

Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña

This mission was originally established on the Angelina River in East Texas in 1716 as Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de los Ainais. It served the Ainais tribe. It was closed because of the French threat and reopened in 1721. In 1730, it moved temporarily to present-day Austin
Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

 before moving to San Antonio in 1731, where it was renamed Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña. The name was changed because the mission no longer served the Ainais tribe, and its new name honored the current viceroy of Mexico.

The mission inherited the lands of the closed Mission San Franscisco Xavier de Najera 3 miles (5 km) south of San Antonio de Valero. Most of the native Americans at the mission were Coahuiltecans who disliked the hard work of mission life. The native Americans often ran away and were brought back forcibly by soldiers or priests.

The current church building was completed in 1755 and is the oldest unrestored stone church in the United States. It is built in the shape of a cross, with walls that are 45 inches (1.1 m) thick. The mission was closed in 1794, with the property divided among the resident native Americans, all of whom has left by 1800. For a time, the buildings were used as a cattle barn, but in 1855 the land and church were given to the Brothers of Mary, who cleaned it and began conducting services again. It is now open to the public for prayer, and is part of the National Park Service.

Mission San José de los Nazonis

Mission San José de los Nazonis was the third mission established in East Texas in 1716. Located near a Nazoni village, the mission was near the present-day site of Cushing, Texas
Cushing, Texas
Cushing is a city in Nacogdoches County, Texas, United States. The population was 612 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Cushing is located at .According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , all of it land....

. Although the mission closed after the French took the presidio at Los Adaes, it was reopened several years later by the Marquis de San Miguel de Aguayo. In 1730, it was moved to what is now Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

 before being permanently relocated to San Antonio, where it became known as San Juan Capistrano.

Mission Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de los Nacogdoches

Mission Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de los Nacogdoches was established in 1716 in East Texas to serve the Nacogdoche
Nacogdoche
The Nacogdoche are a Native American tribe from eastern Texas.-History:The Nacogdoche were part of the Hasinai branch of the Caddo Confederacy and closely allied with the Lower Nasoni. They historically lived between the Angelina and the Sabine Rivers in Texas...

 tribe. It closed several years later because of threats from French Louisiana but reopened in 1721. The mission continued until 1773, when the Spanish government ordered all of East Texas to be abandoned. In 1779, Antonio Gil Ybarbo led a group of settlers who had been removed from Los Adaes
Los Adaes
Los Adaes was the capital of Tejas on the northeastern frontier of New Spain from 1729 to 1770. It included a mission, San Miguel de Linares de los Adaes, and a presidio, Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Los Adaes . The site is located in the present-day Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. The Los Adaes...

 to the area to settle in the empty mission buildings. This began the town of Nacogdoches, Texas
Nacogdoches, Texas
Nacogdoches is a city in Nacogdoches County, Texas, in the United States. The 2010 census recorded the city's population to be 32,996. It is the county seat of Nacogdoches County and is situated in East Texas. Nacogdoches is a sister city of Natchitoches, Louisiana.Nacogdoches is the home of...

.

Mission Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de los Ais

  • Established in 1716-1717 Site now in San Augustine, TX
  • Closed in 1773

Mission San Miguel de Linares de los Adaes

Mission San Miguel de Linares de los Adaes was the fifth mission established in East Texas in 1716–1717. The mission was to serve the native American village of Adaes just 20 miles (32 km) west of the French fort at Natchitoches, Louisiana
Natchitoches, Louisiana
Natchitoches is a city in and the parish seat of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, United States. Established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis as part of French Louisiana, the community was named after the Natchitoches Indian tribe. The City of Natchitoches was first incorporated on February...

. At that time the Spanish claimed the Red River
Red River (Mississippi watershed)
The Red River, or sometimes the Red River of the South, is a major tributary of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers in the southern United States of America. The river gains its name from the red-bed country of its watershed. It is one of several rivers with that name...

 to be the eastern boundary of Texas, so the mission was considered part of Spanish Texas
Spanish Texas
Spanish Texas was one of the interior provinces of New Spain from 1690 until 1821. Although Spain claimed ownership of the territory, which comprised part of modern-day Texas, including the land north of the Medina and Nueces Rivers, the Spanish did not attempt to colonize the area until after...

 despite being in what is now considered Louisiana.

The mission was attacked by French soldiers in 1719 and was closed. Three years later, the Marquis de San Miguel de Aguayo reopened the mission, but at a site closer to the Presidio of Los Adaes
Los Adaes
Los Adaes was the capital of Tejas on the northeastern frontier of New Spain from 1729 to 1770. It included a mission, San Miguel de Linares de los Adaes, and a presidio, Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Los Adaes . The site is located in the present-day Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. The Los Adaes...

. The mission remained open until 1773.

Mission San Antonio de Valero

Mission San Antonio de Valero was established on May 1, 1718 as the first Spanish mission along the San Antonio River
San Antonio River
The San Antonio River is a major waterway that originates in central Texas in a cluster of springs in north central San Antonio, approximately four miles north of downtown, and follows a roughly southeastern path through the state. It eventually feeds into the Guadalupe River about ten miles from...

. It was named for San Antonio de Padua
San Antonio de Padua
San Antonio de Padua, or plainly Padua, is a city in the Greater Buenos Aires, in Argentina. It is located in Merlo . The city has an area of and a population of around 38,000....

, the patron saint of the mission's founder, Father Olivares as well as the viceroy of New Spain, the Marquis de Valero. The mission later became known as the Alamo.

Its first location was west of San Pedro Springs, and after being moved several times, it was finally established above a bend in the San Antonio River, where it would be easy to defend. The early mission buildings were made of grass, and the first stone building was built in 1727. The building now known as the Alamo was not built until 1744, and most of its actual structure does not remain. The mission eventually grew to include a granary, workhouse, and rooms for the priests, native peoples, and soldiers. To protect from frequent Apache raids, a wall surrounded the buildings. Outside the wall were farmlands and ranches owned by the mission.

The mission served the Coahuiltecan
Coahuiltecan
Coahuiltecan or Paikawa was a proposed language family in John Wesley Powell's 1891 classification of Native American languages that consisted of Coahuilteco and Cotoname. The proposal was expanded to include Comecrudo, Karankawa, and Tonkawa...

 native Americans until 1793, when mission activities ended. AT that time the land and livestock were divided among the thirty-nine Indians remaining at the mission. The buildings later served as a home for a Mexican army unit before becoming a military hospital in 1806. During the Texas Revolution
Texas Revolution
The Texas Revolution or Texas War of Independence was an armed conflict between Mexico and settlers in the Texas portion of the Mexican state Coahuila y Tejas. The war lasted from October 2, 1835 to April 21, 1836...

, the buildings served as the site of the Battle of the Alamo
Battle of the Alamo
The Battle of the Alamo was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna launched an assault on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar . All but two of the Texian defenders were killed...

, and during the Mexican-American War supplies for the U.S. Army were stored there. The buildings are now owned by the state of Texas and operated as memorial by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas
Daughters of the Republic of Texas
The Daughters of the Republic of Texas is a sororal association dedicated to perpetuating the memory of Texas pioneer families and soldiers of the Republic of Texas. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas is best known for its role as caretakers of The Alamo. They also operate a museum in Austin...

.

Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo

Shortly after its founding, Mission San Antonio de Valero became overcrowded with refugees from the closed East Texas missions, and Father Antonio Margil
Antonio Margil
Antonio Margil was a Spanish Franciscan missionary in North and Central America.-Life:He entered the Franciscan Order in his native city of Valencia, Spain on 22 April 1673. After his ordination to the priesthood he volunteered for the Native American missions, and arrived at Vera Cruz on 6 June...

 received permission from the governor of Coahuila and Texas, the Marquis de San Miguel de Aguayo, to build a new mission. On February 23, 1720, the new mission, San José y San Miguel de Aguayo was established 5 miles (8 km) south of San Antonio de Valero. Like San Antonio de Valero, Mission San José served the Coahuiltecan natives. The first buildings, made of brush, straw, and mud, were quickly replaced by large stone structures, including guest rooms, offices, a dining room, and a pantry. A heavy outer wall was built around the main part of the mission, and rooms for 350 Indians were built into the walls.

A new church, which is still standing, was constructed in 1768 from local limestone. The mission lands were given to its Indians in 1794, and mission activities officially ended in 1824. After that, the buildings were home to soldiers, the homeless, and bandits. It was restored in the 1930s and is now a state and national historic site.

Mission Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga

  • Established in 1722 Matagorda Bay
    Matagorda Bay
    Matagorda Bay is a large estuary bay on the Texas coast, lying in Calhoun and Matagorda counties and located approximately northeast of Corpus Christi, southeast of San Antonio, southwest of Houston, and southeast of Austin. It is separated from the Gulf of Mexico by Matagorda Peninsula and...

     among the Karankawa
    Karankawa
    Karankawa were a group of Native American peoples, now extinct as a tribal group, who played a pivotal part in early Texas history....

     Indians
  • Moved in 1726 near Victoria
    Victoria, Texas
    Victoria is a city in and the seat of Victoria County, Texas, United States. The population was 60,603 at the 2000 census. The three counties of the Victoria Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 111,163 at the 2000 census,...

  • Moved in 1749 to La Bahia (now Goliad, Texas)
    Goliad, Texas
    Goliad is a city in Goliad County, Texas, United States. It had a population of 1975 at the 2000 census. Founded on the San Antonio River, it is the county seat of Goliad County. It is part of the Victoria, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. Goliad is located on U.S. Highway 59, named also for...

  • Restored from ruins by the Civilian Conservation Corps
    Civilian Conservation Corps
    The Civilian Conservation Corps was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25. A part of the New Deal of President Franklin D...

     and Works Progress Administration
    Works Progress Administration
    The Works Progress Administration was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unskilled workers to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects...

     in the 1930s
  • Currently a state historical park operated by the State of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Mission San Francisco Xavier de Nájera

Mission San Francisco Xavier de Nájera was established in 1722 as a result of a promise made by the Marquis de San Miguel de Aguayo, the governor of Spanish Texas. The previous year, Aguayo had asked the chief of a band of Rancheria Grande natives to guide him to East Texas to reopen the missions there; in return, Aguayo promised to open a mission along the San Antonio River for the chief's tribe. The new mission was established 3 miles (5 km) south of San Antonio de Valero and was initially populated by fifty native American families. The families did not stay long, and by 1726 the mission closed. Its lands were later given to Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña.

Mission Santa Cruz de San Sabá

  • Established 1757 by the Franciscan
    Franciscan
    Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

     Missionaries.
  • They lived among the Lipan Apache natives.
  • Was the first place that the Spanish and the Comanche
    Comanche
    The Comanche are a Native American ethnic group whose historic range consisted of present-day eastern New Mexico, southern Colorado, northeastern Arizona, southern Kansas, all of Oklahoma, and most of northwest Texas. Historically, the Comanches were hunter-gatherers, with a typical Plains Indian...

     went into a conflict.
  • Destroyed by a 2,000 Comanche warriors and their allies in March, 1758.
  • Even though the mission
    Mission (Christian)
    Christian missionary activities often involve sending individuals and groups , to foreign countries and to places in their own homeland. This has frequently involved not only evangelization , but also humanitarian work, especially among the poor and disadvantaged...

     was gone the neighboring Presidio San Luis de las Amarillas
    Presidio San Luis de las Amarillas
    Presidio San Luis de las Amarillas, now better known as Presidio San Sabá, was founded in April 1757 near present day Menard, Texas, United States to protect the Mission Santa Cruz de San Sabá, established at the same time. The presidio and mission were built to secure Spain's claim to the territory...

     was still running until 1772.

Mission Nuestra Señora del Rosario

  • Established 1754 4 miles west of La Bahia.
  • Closed in 1805
  • Currently the ruins are an archeological site designated as a state historical park and controlled by the State of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Mission San Francisco Xavier de los Dolores

  • Established in 1755
  • Pedro de Rábago y Terán
    Pedro de Rábago y Terán
    Pedro de Rábago y Terán was a Spanish administrator and military officer in New Spain, now Mexico. He was governor of Coahuila from August 1744 to June 1754...

     caused the mission to be established here
  • Located on the San Marcos
    San Marcos, Texas
    San Marcos is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, and is the seat of Hays County. Located within the metropolitan area, the city is located on the Interstate 35 corridor—between Austin and San Antonio....

     River headwaters in Hays County
    Hays County, Texas
    Hays County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. In 2010, its official population had reached 157,107. It is named for John Coffee Hays, a Texas Ranger and Mexican-American War officer. The seat of the county is San Marcos....

  • The Apache
    Apache
    Apache is the collective term for several culturally related groups of Native Americans in the United States originally from the Southwest United States. These indigenous peoples of North America speak a Southern Athabaskan language, which is related linguistically to the languages of Athabaskan...

     people gathered at this site
  • Assets transferred to Mission Santa Cruz de San Sabá in 1756

Mission Nuestra Señora de la Luz

  • Established 1756
  • Located near the mouth of the Trinity River
    Trinity River (Texas)
    The Trinity River is a long river that flows entirely within the U.S. state of Texas. It rises in extreme north Texas, a few miles south of the Red River. The headwaters are separated by the high bluffs on the south side of the Red River....

     north of Wallisville in Chambers County
  • Destroyed by the Karankawa natives and relocated farther North. Sickness and Indian attacks caused the mission to be relocated much farther North on the Trinity River 40 miles south of Dallas.
  • This mission then thrived in the cattle and agriculture business It was the 27th mission in Texas. Spain declined in influence in Texas and Mexico took over this mission. The Mexican Roman Catholic diocese of Guanajuato, Mexico took over the mission operations in Texas with a few exceptions. The Mission was isolated from Mexico and began to do trade with the many different groups of Indians, French and Americans. The Fathers of this mission gave the name "River of the Most Holy Trinity" or 'Rio de la Santisma Trinidad" to the Trinty river.

Mission Nuestra Señora del Refugio

  • Established February 4, 1793 in East Texas
  • Moved in June, 1794 Mosquitos Creek
  • Moved in January, 1795 to Refugio
    Refugio, Texas
    Refugio is a town in Refugio County, Texas, United States. The population was 2,941 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Refugio County. Although the town's name is derived from Spanish, a vast majority of the town's residents pronounce it re-fury-oh. The Spanish pronunciation is...

  • Materials from ruins probably used to build new structures in the early 19th century. The site is presently owned by Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church.

Mission Corpus Christi de la Ysleta del Sur

  • Founded in 1682
  • The Tigua (Tiwa) tribe
    Tiwa people
    The Tiwa are group of related Tanoan pueblo peoples in New Mexico and Texas. They traditionally spoke a Tiwa language , and are divided into the two Northern Tiwa groups, in Taos and Picuris, and the Southern Tiwa in Isleta and Sandia, around what is now Albuquerque, and near El Paso.-Name:Tiwa is...

     gathered at this site
  • Located in El Paso
    El Paso
    El Paso, a city in the U.S. state of Texas, on the border with Mexico.El Paso may also refer to:-Geography:Colombia:* El Paso, CesarSpain:*El Paso, Santa Cruz de TenerifeUnited States:...

  • Flooding destroyed the mission twice: once around 1742 and again around 1829.
  • Present church was constructed in 1851 on higher ground
  • In 1881, the Jesuits took control and renamed it Mission de Nuestra Señora del Monte Carmelo
  • In 1980, the name was changed to Mission San Antonio de los Tiguas
  • Still in use as a church

Mission San Antonio de Senecú

  • Established 1682 1¼ miles from Ysleta
    Ysleta, Texas
    Ysleta is a community in El Paso, Texas. Ysleta was settled between October 9 and October 12, 1680, when Spanish conquistadors, Franciscan clerics and Tigua Indians took refuge along the southern bank of the Rio Grande. This is the oldest European settlement in the area that is the present-day U.S....

    . Settled by Piro
    Piro Pueblo
    Piro Pueblo : The Piros were a Native American Pueblo people that lived in a number of pueblos in the Rio Grande Valley around modern Socorro, New Mexico, USA. The now extinct Piro language was in the family of Tiwa languages...

     people from New Mexico
    New Mexico
    New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

    .
  • River moved and now in Ciudad Juárez
    Ciudad Juárez
    Ciudad Juárez , officially known today as Heroica Ciudad Juárez, but abbreviated Juárez and formerly known as El Paso del Norte, is a city and seat of the municipality of Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Juárez's estimated population is 1.5 million people. The city lies on the Rio Grande...

    , Mexico.

Mission Nuestra Señora de la Limpia Concepción de Los Piros de Socorro del Sur

  • Established 1682
  • The Piros
    Piro Pueblo
    Piro Pueblo : The Piros were a Native American Pueblo people that lived in a number of pueblos in the Rio Grande Valley around modern Socorro, New Mexico, USA. The now extinct Piro language was in the family of Tiwa languages...

     people gathered at this site
  • Located near Socorro
    Socorro, Texas
    Socorro is a city in El Paso County, Texas, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 27,152. By the 2010 census, the number had grown to 32,013. It is part of the El Paso Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city was reactivated in 1986 and has been a working city since then...

  • First permanent mission, built in 1691, was swept away by flood in 1744
  • Second church was washed away in 1829
  • Present mission was completed in 1843
  • Socorro became part of Texas in 1848

Mission San Bernardo

  • Established in 1700-1702
  • Site now in Guerrero
    Guerrero
    Guerrero officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Guerrero is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 81 municipalities and its capital city is Chilpancingo....

    , Coahuila, Mexico.
  • Coahuiltecan Indians ( Ocán, Pacuache, and Pacal) gathered at this site
  • 3rd mission of the San Juan Bautista missions

Mission Santa María de las Caldas

  • Established in 1730
  • The Suma
    Suma-Jumano
    The Suma and the Jumano were people in western Sonora and Trans-Pecos region of western Texas. The Suma was the western division and the Jumano were the eastern division.-History:...

     people gathered at this site
  • Located at Socorro
    Socorro, Texas
    Socorro is a city in El Paso County, Texas, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 27,152. By the 2010 census, the number had grown to 32,013. It is part of the El Paso Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city was reactivated in 1986 and has been a working city since then...

  • Closed in 1749

Mission San Francisco Xavier de Horcasitas

  • Established in 1745
  • Founded by the College of Santa Cruz de Querétaro
  • Yojuane, Mayeye, Ervipiame, Asinia, Top, and Nabedache gathered at this site
  • Located 5 mi.from Rockdale
    Rockdale, Texas
    Rockdale is a city in Milam County, Texas, United States. The population was 5,440 at the 2000 census.Rockdale was the site of a large Alcoa smelting operation, which could produce 1.67 million pounds of aluminum per day. The ALCOA plant was closed in late 2008 - early 2009.Author George Sessions...

     in Milam County
  • First of 3 San Xavier missions
  • A presidio (Spanish military outpost) est. here in 1751
  • Abandoned in 1755

Mission San Ildefonso

  • Established in 1746 near the mouth of Brushy Creek
  • Founded by the College of Santa Cruz de Querétaro
  • Located 5 mi.from Rockdale
    Rockdale, Texas
    Rockdale is a city in Milam County, Texas, United States. The population was 5,440 at the 2000 census.Rockdale was the site of a large Alcoa smelting operation, which could produce 1.67 million pounds of aluminum per day. The ALCOA plant was closed in late 2008 - early 2009.Author George Sessions...

     in Milam County
  • Akokisa (Orocquisa), Bidai, and Deadose Indians gathered at this site
  • Second of 3 San Xavier missions
  • Abandoned in 1755

Mission Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria del Cañón

  • Established circa 1749 on the south bank of the San Gabriel River
  • Founded by the College of Santa Cruz de Querétaro
  • Located 5 mi.from Rockdale
    Rockdale, Texas
    Rockdale is a city in Milam County, Texas, United States. The population was 5,440 at the 2000 census.Rockdale was the site of a large Alcoa smelting operation, which could produce 1.67 million pounds of aluminum per day. The ALCOA plant was closed in late 2008 - early 2009.Author George Sessions...

     in Milam County
  • The Coco Indians and their allies (Tops and Karankawas) gathered at this site
  • Third of 3 San Xavier (Gabriel) missions

Mission San Lorenzo de la Santa Cruz

  • Founded 1762 among the Franciscan Missionairies
  • Located in current Real County
  • Abandoned 1769

External links

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