HISTORY OF SAN ANTONIO
"On the 5th of May, the governor, in the name of his Majesty, took possession of the place called San Antonio, establishing himself in it, and fixing the royal standard with the requisite solemnity, the father chaplain having previously celebrated mass, and it was given the name of villa de Bexar. This site is henceforth destined for the civil settlement and the soldiers who are to guard it, as well as for the site of the mission of San Antonio de Valero, established by the said governor about three-fourths league down the creek". - 1718 Francisco Celiz
Timeline of the History the First European Spanish in the Americas, Texas and San Antonio
1718 Presidio Soldiers and Families
The narrative is a specific paraphrased account, created by 1718 SAFFD and its promiment advisory board comprised of professional historian and registered archaeologist) that will depict the specific and detailed history (but not limited to) of the founding of 1718 San Antonio as shared by the 1718 San Antonio Founding Families and Descendants. Obtained from historical archives. This narrative will detail and outline the facts and is by the 1718 SAFFD as they portray the history. The narrative will provide the latest and up to date information which will accurately relay historical accounts. This narrative is factual and contains information that some other publications may not include. Please keep checking in as we will continue to update as new findings and information being discovered!
The terms narrative and script may be used interchangeably to express the type of document and its use.
General Narrative and List of the 1718 Presidio Soldiers and their Families
Spanish Interest and Settlement in Texas 1519-1718
1519-1525 Hernan Cortes lead the Spanish and some allies, the indigenous Tlxcalan, through Mexico to colonize “New Spain”. At this time Silver mines are discovered in central Mexico.
1528-1535 Spanish explorers Narvaez, Cabeza de Vaca, African “Moor” Estabanico and two other Spaniards are ship-wrecked and spend seven years among natives as captives and as shamans.
1531 - December 12 Our Lady of Guadalupe appears to native Juan Diego at Tepayac, near present day Mexico City.
1542 - King Carlos I of Spain, issues laws called “Law of the Indies” to set regulations for social, political and economic life in the New World.
1686-1689 Alonso de Leon, Spanish explorer and Governor, led four expeditions into Tejas, the last one founding the first Mission in East Texas.
1691 Expedition Naming of San Antonio
FIRST REPORTS OF SAN ANTONIO The first official description of the San Antonio region was recorded during the third official entrada into Texas in 1691 by the expedition of Don Domingo de Teran on the way to the newly formed East Texas missions (Hatcher 1932:14): “On the 13th [June 1691] our royal standard and camp moved forward in the aforesaid easterly direction. We marched five leagues over a fine country with broad plains - the most beautiful in New Spain. We camped on the banks of an arroyo adorned by a great number of trees, cedars, willows, cypress, osiers, oaks, and many other kinds. This I called San Antonio de Padua, because we reached it on his day.”
June 13, 1691 Gobernado Domingo Teran de los Rios of Coahuila and Father Damian Mazanet arrive at the camp of the Payaya Indians.
excerpts from father Mazanet’s diary “We found at this place the Rancheria of the Indians of the Payaya nation. This is a very large nation and the country where they live is very fine. I call this place San Antonio de Padua because it was his day. In the language of the Indians it is called Yanaguana.”
1709 Expedition Naming of San Pedro Creek and the San Antonio River
Expedition with Spanish militia Capitan Pedro de Aguirre with 14 soldiers from the Presidio del Rio Grande arrive in San Antonio along with Franciscan fray Isidro de Espinoza and Fray Antonio de Olivares.
Father Olivares names San Pedro Creek “Agua de San Pedro.”
Father Olivares states in his dairy “This river (San Antonio River) not having been named by the Spaniards, we call it the river of San Antonio de Padua
1716 Expedition Establishing Missions in East Texas
In July 1716, Capitan Jose Domingo Ramon, accompanied by Father President Fray Isidro de Espinosa and Father President Fray Antonio Margil de Jesus, lead an an expedition into East Texas to re-establish presence by founding a mission.
The entourage included twelve priests or friars, three Frenchmen, and several dozen civilians which traveled across a path which came to be known as “Old San Antonio Road” or “Camino Real.”
Seven of the soldiers were married and brought along their families; their wives the first recorded Spanish women in Texas.
On April 14, 1717 a trading expedition through San Antonio on its way to the Presidio de San Juan Baptista del Rio Grande and in a diary by Derbanne it is stated “the Spaniards are going to establish a settlement there.”
1718 Gobernador Martin Alarcon Expedition
Founder of San Antonio, Mission San Antonio de Valero, Presidio de Bexar and
the Villa de Bejar's first settlement of families.
Two hundred years have passed since the Spaniards have been exploring and then establishing missions, presidios and settlements that they now have come to finally establish and settle San Antonio.
In April 1718 Alarcon crossed the Rio Grande into the province of Tejas with an entrada numbering 35 soldiers, seven with families and a total of seventy-two persons in all. larcon's company was made up "as recommended by the fiscal and as provided for by the council of war and the instructions." He was supplied with 100 head of sheep (ganado menor), the greater part of which were females (obejas) there were some nanny goats and their males (padres); 200 head of cattle; and 150 loads of flour. There were also war supplies and offensive arms.
List of the Alarcon Expedition included:
General Don Martin de Alarcon knight of the order of Santiago Governor and Lieutenant Capitan-General of the Provinces of Coahuila, New Kingdom of the Philippines, Province of the Tejas, appointed by Viceroy of New Spain by the Marqués de Valero as commander of the Presidio San Francisco de Coahuila and as Governor of the province of Tejas.
The soldiers enlisted for the expedition, according to Alarcón were:
1. Francisco Hernández, Alférez, who was going with his family. (most likly his wife, Ana Garcia and 3 son’s; Andres, Diego and Jacobo, and two daughters, Ana and Maria, total of 7 family members, plus two sons listed below.)
2. Diego de Escobar, with his family. (most likly with his wife)
3. Francisco Varreyro, (Barreyro), engineer, who was put under arrest September 20, for complicity with Diego Ramón.
4. Miguel Martinez de Valenzuela.
5. Diego de Zárate y Andizávar.
6. Juan Varrera. (Barrera)
7. Cristóbal Carvajal. (probably the brother of Mateo, married Josefa Guerra, he died in San Antonio in 1734.)
8. Joseph Flores Quiñones. (married Maria Flores de la Peña on May 6, 1721 at the mission San Antonio de Valero.)
9. Juan Valdés and wife Maria Zappopa de Iruegas
10. Joseph Gaona, with his family. (most likly with his wife, there are no records for this family in the San Fernando records.)
11. Juan de Castro, with his family. (most likly his wife Ana de Padilla)
12. Nicolás Hernández, (he married Simona de Sepulveda.)
13. Francisco Hernández, son of the Alférez. (he married Marciana Longoria)
14. Joseph de Neira.
15. Joseph Velásquez.
16. Francisco Menchaca. (Minchaca)
17. Lázaro Joseph Chirino, with family. (most likly his wife, Maria Gonzales de la Torre.)
18. Gerónimo Carvajal. (he married Maria Zapopa Minchaca, he died prior to 1722.)
19. Sebastián Peniche. (There are no records for this name in the San Fernando records.)
20. Antonio Guerra. (he married Catharina Ximenes y Menchaca.)
21. Francisco de Escobar.
22. Domingo Flores, with his family. (most likly his wife, Manuela Marcela Treviño)
23. Cristóbal de la Garza. (he married Antonia Guerra, the daughter of Miguel Guerra and Maria Josefa Longoria on February 24, 1722 in La Villa de Béxar.)
24. Sebastián Gonzáles.
25. Joseph Plácido Flores.
26. Joseph Jiménes. (Ximenes) (he married Maria Flores de Valdés.)
27. Manuel Maldonado.
28. Manuel de Vargas.
29. Pedro Rodriguez.
30. Francisco Juan de la Cruz, master mason.
31. Santiago Pérez, carpenter.
32. Joseph Menchaca.
33. Joseph Antonio Menchaca. (may also be known as Francisco Menchaca, he married Antonia Urrutia, the daughter of Capitán Jose Urrutia and Antonia Ramón.)
34. Vicente Guerra.
35. Cristóbal Barrera. (Varrera), (possibly Cristobal Barrera who married Maria de Zapopan.)
May 1, 1718 MIssion San Antonio de Valero is re-established for the third time. The first having been in June 1699 as Mission San Juan Bautista and re-established in January 1700 as Mission San Francisco de Solano. In January 1803 a company of 100 Spanish Lancers arrive in Texas to occupy the secularized Mission San Antonio de Valero at which time it receives its nickname “The Alamo.”
Fray Mezaqui stated in his diary “The mission of the Fray Antonio de San Buenaventura y Olivares is near the first spring (San Pedro Creek).
May 5, 1718 Fray Celiz stated in his diary “the Gobernador (Alarcon) in the name of his Majesty, took possession of the place called San Antonio, establishing, himself in it, and fixing the royal standard with the requisite solemnity, the father chaplain having previously celebrated mass, and it was given the name of the villa de Bejar. This site is henceforth destined for the civil settlement and the soldiers who are to guard it, as well as for the site of the mission of San Antonio de Valero.”
San Antonio Settlement 1718-1730
“It is well to remember that Alarcón's expedition of 1718 was not a purely military undertaking since the Presidio Soldiers who were part of the founding expedition were chosen because they had families and their families, along with the Presidio Soldiers and and the Natives would meet the Crown of Spain's requirements need to establish a Villa. The Villa de Bejar is the only settlement in San Antonio, which met the criteria and was sanctioned by the Crown to earn this status. Current written historical information will reflect that by the year 1731, San Antonio was a bustling and thriving community of nearly or around 2,000 citizens.
Since the 1718 expedition, other colonizers have joined our community to help colonize and bring different influences and perspectives that help to create what San Antonio is known for today.
Many of the descendants from the early Spanish who voyaged from Spain in the 15th century are still here today in San Antonio, Texas and other parts of the America!
The Tejano or Tejana are these landed people (of ancestors who acquired land) and these are the stories of those who have transcended time and are here to share the history of our beloved San Antonio.
Cross of Bourbon Flag
The Cross of Burgundy (Spanish: (top left) Cruz de Borgoña, Cruz de San Andrés), a form of St. Andrew's cross, was first used in the 15th century as an emblem by the Valois Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled a large part of eastern France and the Low Countries as effectively an independent state.
The Duchy of Burgundy was inherited by the House of Habsburg on the extinction of the Valois ducal line. The emblem was then assumed by the monarchs of Spain as a result of the Habsburgs bringing together, in the early 16th century, their Burgundian inheritance with the other extensive possessions they inherited throughout Europe and the Americas, including the crowns of Castile and Aragon.
The Spanish monarchs continued to use it in their own arms even after they lost their Burgundian lands. From 1506 to 1701 it was used by Spain as a naval ensign, and up to 1843 as the land battle flag, and still appears on regimental colours, badges, shoulder patches and company guidons. The emblem also continues to be used in a variety of contexts in a number of European countries and in the Americas, reflecting both the extent of Valois Burgundy and the former Habsburg territories.