Spanish Missions in Texas

Spanish Missions in Texas
Summary So Far
Europe Eyes the Americas
Columbus came to the New
World looking for gold and a new
trade route to Asia. Although he
found neither, his four voyages
inspired others to seek their
fortunes in the Americas.
The French Explore Texas
Spain’s claims on Texas lands
prompted France to establish a
colony of its own. Although La
Salle’s Texas colony did not
survive, France’s presence
renewed Spain’s interest in
settling Texas.
Spanish Explorers
Come to Texas
Following Columbus’s lead, Spain
established colonies in the Caribbean and
Mexico. Reports of riches drew the
explorers north to Texas where they
established a successful mission.
Race to Claim Texas
- In the late 1600’s, Texas lay between
Spanish Mexico & French Louisiana.
- Both countries needed control of Texas
in order to claim the area.
For France and Spain, two of the most powerful countries in Europe
in the late 1600’s, the race was on for control of Texas. Texas lay
between Spanish Mexico (Mexico was a colony of Spain) and
French Louisiana, and neither country had yet colonized the area.
Both countries knew that their claims to the region would
continue to be challenged until the permanently occupied the
land. From the late 1600s through most of the 1700s, Spain moved
to secure its claim to Texas.
LaSalle unsuccessfully
establishes a colony in
Texas. His colony fails,
but it marks Frances first
presence in Texas.
Frances colony renews
Spain’s interest in
establishing their
presence in Texas again.
Why the need for Spanish Settlement?
- Spain needed to colonize Texas in
order to hold onto the territory.
- They needed missions to carry out the
“God” part of the 3 G’s, spreading
- Presidios provided soldiers for
- Civil settlements provided colonists to
inhabit the territory.
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
Event: Corpus Christi de la Ysleta (El Paso)
Time: 1682
First mission built in Texas. It
was only one of few missions
that was built in West Texas. It
was very successful, and more
were promised by Spain.
- In late 1600’s, Spain settled Mexico & New
- La Salle had established Fort St. Louis for
-Found out about the French Ft. St. Louis in
- June, 1686 – sent Alonso de Leon to find
and destroy Ft. St. Louis
Alonso de Leon
- April 22, 1689
- Found abandoned Ft. St. Louis in ruins
- Explored East Texas
- Met Caddo Indians, called them “Tejas”
meaning “friendly.”
- Took friendliness as eagerness to
become Catholic
Father Damian Massanet
• Was with de Leon requested help from Mexico City to
convert the Caddo, or the Tejas as they called them, to
• Convinced the viceroy of New Spain to colonize East Texas
and convert the Caddoes to Catholicism
• 1690 - Del Leon and Massanet were sent with several priest
and about 100 soldiers to colonize East Texas
• Resulted in many missions in East Texas even though these
missions failed
Event: Mission San Francisco de los Tejas
Time: 1690
By: Fr. Damian Massanet
This is the first mission to be built in East Texas.
Marks the beginning of Spanish dominance in
Texas and Mexico. Missions begin to pop up all
over East Texas.
Event: San Antonio de Valero (Alamo)
Time: 1718
This mission is founded in San Antonio Texas as a central point
between Mexico and East Texas missions. It becomes famous for
its part in the Texas revolution. A major battle is fought here
where Texas is defeated by Mexican forces. It would later be
known as the turning point in the war, and a major reason Texas
rallies to become independent from Mexico.
The French Return
- In 1699, France built a trading post at
Biloxi, MS then one in Mobile, AL
- Purpose was for trading with Natives
- French didn’t want land
- Spain saw this as competition for the
land and renewed colonization
French/Spanish Territory
Fr. Francisco Hidalgo
- A priest at San Francisco de los Tejas
- Wrote letter to French Governor
Cadillac of Louisiana requesting he
send French priests to minister to
the newly baptized natives in East
Texas, using French to pressure
- French saw this as invitation to visit
Spanish territory
Louis de St. Denis
- 1714, Frenchmen sent into Spanish
territory with trade goods to investigate
Fr. Hidalgo’s request.
- Was arrested by Spanish
- Released to lead an expedition into
East Texas to establish a bunch of
East Texas Missions
- 1716
- 1st – Fr. Francisco Hidalgo reopened
San Francisco de los Tejas
- Opened 6 more missions to reclaim
East Texas
- A steady stream of supplies from
Mexico was needed for success
San Antonio Founded
- Needed a support post near the San
Antonio River for supplies
- ½ way between Mexico & East Texas
- May 1, 1718, Mission San Antonio de
Valero was built
- Across river, Presidio San Antonio de Bexar
& La Villa de Bexar were built
San Antonio Settlement
- Mission = San Antonio de Valero
- Presidio = San Antonio de Bexar
- Civil Settlement = La Villa de Bexar
- Together, these would become the most
important Spanish colony in Texas, then
the important city it is today.
San Antonio de Valero
“The Alamo”
“The Alamo”
Los Adaes
- Spain’s easternmost establishment
- Built a mission, a presidio, and a small
- Became the capital of the newly
created province of Texas
- Texas
New Colonists Arrive
- Colonies needed settlers to grow &
- 1731 – East Texas missions are moved
to San Antonio
- 55 immigrants (15 families) arrived at
San Antonio de Bexar from the
Canary Islands
- Spanish gov’t gave them supplies
Spain Reexamines
- Spain needs to save money
- Inspection is made of Spain’s
northernmost frontier
- Recommendations:
1. combine East TX missions
2. reduce troops at presidios
- Spain reduces military forces in the
- Missions are left open to Native attacks
- 1731 – East Texas missions were
moved to San Antonio
- Spain and France agree on an
“unofficial” border between
Spanish TX & French LA
- A stream named the Arroyo Hondo
became the boundary
Presidio La Bahía
• Fort dates back to 1749
• La Bahía’s job to protect Mission Espíritu Santo
• Site of many skirmishes during the Mexican and
Texan revolutions
• Karankawa Indians not hospitable
• Moved to the Guadalupe River
• Goliad
• Moved to the Guadalupe River because there were
conflicts with American tribes in the region
Jose de Escandon
• Military commander and governor of present day
• Led Spain’s expansion effort in South Texas
• Sent settlers to the land between the Rio Grande
River and the Nueces River
• Moved La Bahia mission and presidio from the
Guadalupe River to Goliad
Missions Are Built
• 1782 - Antonio
Margil de Jesus
established the
San Jose’ y San
Miguel de
Aguayo Mission.
San José
What about the Natives?
- Most rejected mission life
- Tonkawas & Lipan Apaches used
missions for protection against
other tribes
- 1758 - Comanches attacked Mission San
Treatment of Natives
- Spanish tried to change the Native’s way
of life and take away their freedom.
They were often unfriendly and
mean to the Natives. They forced
them to do their will and often
took advantage of them.
- The French were friendly, did not try to
change them, only wanted to trade.
Problems Arise
- 1763 – French & Indian War ends
- Spain got all of French LA west of the
Mississippi River
- Too much land to settle or defend
- US settlers would soon begin invading
Father Hidalgo gave a speech
encouraging Mexicans, Texans, and
others to fight for their independence
The First Spanish Missions Failed
Because. . .
1.Their crops failed because of
2.They did not get supplies
3.Native Americans became
4.Diseases wiped out many Native
Why was 1718 a significant year in
Texas history?
a. Father Massanet established the Mission
San Francisco de los Tejas
b. San Antonio de Bexar was established and
later became the city of San Antonio
c. Texas’s Gulf Coast was first mapped by
Alonso de Pineda, bringing in more
What was a negative effect of the
Spanish missions in Texas?
a. Native Americans starved because buffalo
were wiped out by the missionaries
b. Native Americans were moved to the coast
to make room for the missionaries
c. Native Americans died from diseases
brought by Spanish missionaries

similar documents