Chronology of Colonial Period
of County of Bejar

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1513 – Juan Ponce de Leon of Spain lands in Florida.

1518 - Alvarez de Pineda sent to explore and sketch Amichel from Florida to Tampico.

1519 - Hernan Cortez sets out from Cuba to conquer and seize wealth from Mexico's Aztec Indians for Spain.

1527 - Panifillo de Narvaez sent to explore from Tampico to Florida but shipwrecked; Alvar Nuez Cabeza de Vaca survives and wanders across Texas for 8 years; reaches Mexico in 1536.

1540 - King Carlos V of Spain concerned about the treatment of the Indians of Mexico by Spanish soldiers.

1540 - Francisco Vasquez de Coronado leads expedition thru Arizona, New Mexico and Texas looking for City of Cibolo( 7 cities of gold).

1540 - Hernando de Soto and Louis de Moscoso from Spain, cross Texas on way to Florida; discover the Mississippi River.

1565 – 1st permanent European colony in North America is founded at St. Augustine (Florida) by the Spanish.

1607 – Jamestown is founded in Virginia by the colonists of the London Company (England).

1680 - Settlement of Ysleta and Mission of Corpus Christi de Ysleta in west Texas.

1682 – French explorer La Salle explores the lower Mississippi Valley region and claims it for France, naming the area Louisiana for King Louis XIV.

1685 - Settlement of Fort St. Louis by Frenchman Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle in Texas Matagorda Bay.

1690 - Settlement of Querétaran Mission San Francisco de los Tejas in east Texas.

1691 June 13 - Gobernador Domingo Teran de los Rios of Coahuila and Father Damian Mazanet arrive at the camp of the Payaya Indians. Gov. Teran designates the site "San Antonio de Padua". The Indians called their rancheria "Yanaguana".

1699 - Querétaran Missions San Francisco de Solano, San Bernardo and San Juan Bautista established near Presidio del Rio Grande on western side of Rio Grande.

1700 – The Anglo population in the English colonies of North America reaches 250,000.

1707 - Diego Ramon expedition comes into Texas to punish Indians in the area of San Antonio.

1709 April 13 - Father Antonio Olivares names San Pedro Creek "Agua de San Pedro".

1715 - Early civilian families of San Antonio come from Monterrey, Saltillo and Monclova.. “…bringing with them their families, wives and their children but also their livestock (horses , cattle, sheep and goats), returning from time to time to the Presidio of San Juan Bautista del Rio Grande for their worship. They had no trained soldiers to defend them and had to rely solely upon such troops as they formed from their own numbers. The foremost among them were Don Mateo Carabajal, Don Cristobal Carabajal and Don Francisco Hernandez. There is not adequate appreciation of the services of these brave men, no adequate honors bestowed upon them as our first settlers”. (Memorial, Explanation and Defense presented by Citizens of Villa de San Fernando in 1787 to Don Rafael Martinez Pacheco, Acting Governor.

1716 - East Texas Querétaran Missions of San Francisco de los Tejas, San Jose de los Nazonis and La Purísima Concepcion established under Father President Fr. Isidro Felix de Espinosa.

1716 - Capt. Diego Ramon establishes 1st military post in San Antonio near San Pedro Springs; Father Olivares establishes Mission San Antonio de Padua (later to be called Valero).

1717 - East Texas Zacatecan Missions of San Miguel de Linares, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe and Nuestra Señora de los Dolores established under Father President Fr. Antonio Margil de Jesus.

1717 – Establishment of Presidio Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de los Tejas in East Texas.

1718 - In San Antonio, Gov. Alarcon named the combination of the Presidio, Mission Valero and the civilian settlement "San Antonio de los Llanos".

1718 May 1 - Mission San Francisco de Solano merges with Mission San Antonio de Padua and Fray Antonio de San Buenaventura y Olivares renames the Mission San Antonio de Valero; Valero is established between the San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek about one and one half to two miles south of San Pedro Springs.

1718 May 5 - Entrada of Gobernador Martin de Alarcón comes to San Antonio; finds 10 families already living here (Hernandez, Carvajal, Valdes, Castro and Perez were the names of some of the families); formally names the settlement near San Pedro Springs "Villa de Béjar".

1718 May 5 – The military presidio of the Villa de Béjar is formerly established just south of San Pedro Springs about one and one half to two miles north of 1st side of Mission San Antonio de Valero.

1719 Jan 9 – France declares war on Spain.

1719 June - St. Denis expels Spanish missionaries from east Texas. Most of the Spanish soldiers, priests and civilians from the four east Texas missions and presidios arrive at the Villa de Béjar as refugees in early November, 1719.

1720 Feb – Mission San Antonio de Valero moves to second location in Villa de Béjar to the east side of San Antonio River to the northeast corner of present La Villita area.

1720 February 23 - Zacatecan Mission San Jose founded by Father Antonio Margil de Jesus on east bank of San Antonio River a few miles south of Villa de Béjar.

1721 - Establishment of Presidio de Nuestra Señora de Pilar de los Adaes near Mission San Miguel; served as the Capital of the Province of Texas. Captain Don Matias Garcia commanded a company of fifty soldiers and their families and other additional civilian families. Purpose was to establish a Spanish presence near the border of French Louisiana.

1721 June – Mission San Jose moves to new location 3 miles to the south of old location but now on west bank of San Antonio River.

1722 - After fire destroyed original site of Presidio de Béjar in 1721, Gobernador Marquis de Aguayo moved Presidio de Béjar to west side of San Antonio River (at present site of Military Plaza); just west of the original site of Mission San Antonio de Valero.

1722 March 10 - Father Gonzales establishes Mission San Francisco Xavier de Najera below present site of Mission Concepcion; it closed by 1726.

1722 May 31 - Now that Texas is back under rule of Spain, Presidio de Bejar is fortified with 25 soldiers to protect San Antonio missions, Presidio at Los Adaes with 100 soldiers and Presidio at Bahia del Espiritu Santo with 90 soldiers.

1724 – 2nd location of Mission San Antonio de Valero is destroyed by heavy winds and rain from a hurricane which hit the Gulf Coast; Valero moves to 3rd location just north staying on east side of San Antonio River.

1726 - Population of "Villa de Béjar" was 200; 45 military families and 4 civilian families.

1731 March 5 - Three Missions moved to San Antonio; San Francisco de los Tejas which became San Francisco de la Espada, La Purisima Concepcion which became La Purisima Concepcion de Acuna, and San Jose de los Nazonis which became San Juan Capistrano.

1731 March 9 - Arrival of the 16 Canary Island families to the military presidio in the "Villa de Béjar" by order of King Felipe V of Spain. "Villa de Béjar" re-named "Villa de San Fernando" by Canary Islanders. First settlement was around plaza which was previous location of Mission San Antonio de Valero; plaza later renamed “Plaza de las Islas Canarias” by Canary Islanders.

1734 May 13 - Cornerstone for San Fernando Church is laid.

1739 - A great epidemic of smallpox and measles ravaged the lives of the inhabitants of the Missions, the Villa and the Presidio in San Antonio.

1740 February 20 - Fr. Benito Fernandez writes "the harvest of converted souls has been abundant, and at present, thanks to the Lord, all the Indians (of the Missions in San Antonio) are content and happy, devoting their lives in all docility to the spiritual welfare of their souls and building their pueblos...".

1744 May 8 - Cornerstone for permanent Church of Mission San Antonio de Valero is laid.

1748 or1749 – Twenty years of war with the Apaches ended. “The Province of Texas was quiet and tranquil, the settlers of this villa, the presidio and the missions breathed freely and everybody stacked their arms, desiring to develop his hacienda, his goods and chattels, horse and cattle”.

1752 - In mid-1752, Fray Juan de los Angeles of Mission San Antonio de Valero began the construction of a new church building at the second site of Mission San Antonio de Valero at the northeast corner of present La Villita. This church was to be called “Capilla de Santa Cruz” and mass would be administered specifically by a secular priest.

1755 Dec 12 - San Fernando Church is completed and officially dedicated.

1760-1770 - Prosperity and limited wealth of the San Antonio Missions is derived from the cultivation of corn, beans, chilies, pimentos and fruits like watermelons, cantaloupes, pumpkins and garden produce as well as from the successful breeding and raising of sheep, goats, cattle and horses.

1763 - After the War between Great Britain and France, terms from the Treaty of Paris provided for lands east of the Mississippi River to be controlled by England and lands west of the Mississippi River plus the New Orleans portion of Louisiana belong to Spain; basically thus removing France from Louisiana.

1764 – Population of Villa de San Fernando was more than two hundred families or about one thousand people including children.

1765 - The San Antonio Missions and their respective ranches: Mission Espada = Rancho de las Cabras, Mission San Jose = Rancho Atascoso, Mission Concepcion = Rancho El Paistle, Mission San Juan = Rancho San Lucas and Mission San Antonio de Valero = Rancho Monte Grande.

1767 - During his visitation to the Missions of the Province of Texas, Fray Jose de Solis writes that the “Indians of Mission San Jose de Aguayo are in complete charge of the Mission's ranching operations. At the Mission compound, the Indians take care of the work in the cloth factory, carpenter shop, forge, tailor shop and quarry. They are industrious and diligent and are skilled in all kinds of labor. They act as mule-drivers, masons, cow-boys, and shepherds".

1767 - During his visitation to the Presidios of the Province of Texas, the Marques de Rubi made 15 recommendations which included the recommendation that the Presidios at Los Adaes and Orcoquisac were to be closed. The Presidio Loreto at La Bahia was to be retained and the Presidio de Bejar at San Antonio was to be strengthened to over eighty men (with the garrisons from Los Adaes and Orcoquisac being reassigned to Bejar). He also recommended that San Antonio be designated as the Capital of the Province of Texas and that the Governor reside there and also command the Presidio. Rubi asserted that the foreign menace was gone (France) but that the Indian menace was greater. He reported that the frontier provinces should be maintained not as a buffer against foreign encroachment as before, but as a first line of defense against Indian depredations.

1767 - Jesuit priests were expelled from New Spain (California and Arizona); Franciscan priests from the Colegio de Querétaro were assigned to administer their Missions.

1771 - Gov. Ripperda establishes a new military post a few miles southeast of San Antonio on the road to La Bahia. It was named Santa Cruz del Cibolo but was commonly called El Fuerte del Cibolo. In his report, the Marques de Rubi recommended that 21 men from the Presidio of San Antonio de Bejar be permanently stationed there.

1772 - Control of the existing Queretaro missions in Texas were transferred to the Franciscans from the Colegio de Zacatecas.

1773 - The capital of the Province of Texas officially moved from Los Adaes, near present Robeline, Louisiana, to San Antonio.

1773 - Based on the recommendations of Marques de Rubi and Jose de Galvez, this was the beginning of the arrival of the "Los Adaes" families to the Villa de San Fernando after the closing of the East Texas Missions of Guadalupe (Nacogdoches), Dolores (Ais) and Pilar (Adaes) and the removal, from East Texas of the civilian population.

1776 - Only three military posts existed in Texas: Presidio de Bejar, Presidio La Bahia and the outpost El Fuerte de Arroyo del Cibolo. Only three civil settlements: Villa de San Fernando (San Antonio), settlement around the Presidio La Bahia (Goliad) and the Villa de Bucareli (near present Antioch in Madison County which was subsequently moved in 1779 to become the Villa de Nacogdoches).

1778 - In the report of Fr. Juan Agustin Morfi's inspection of New Spain's northern frontier, he states "the Villa of San Fernando, which together with the Presidio of San Antonio de Bejar, constitutes a town so miserable that it resembles a most wretched village".

1778 Jan. 11 - Commander General of the Interior Provinces of New Spain, Teodoro de Croix orders that all wild or unbranded cattle within his jurisdiction would now belong to the Royal Treasury. This new law had a profound affect on the Missions of the San Antonio Valley because for all practical purposes, the Missions had not been aggressively branding their cattle.

1779-1784 - Population of the branded and unbranded cattle were tremendously reduced by the consumption and by the ruthless killing of these cattle by Apache & Comanche Indians, Spanish hunters (Carneadores), Presidio purveyors, soldiers out in the fields with the horse herds, troops from the Presidios, and by rustlers.

1785 - Many of the previously prosperous Mission ranches have now become a wilderness, deserted by man and beast.

1785 - Gobernador Domingo Cabello sends Pedro Vial and Francisco Xavier Chaves to rancheria de los Comanches with purpose of getting Comanche Chiefs to come to San Antonio to negotiate a much needed peace treaty.

1786 - Previously, Mission income from herds and from the Friar's allowance was enough to clothe the Indians and to pay all Mission operational costs, but now without the herds, there is not enough income from either.

1787 - Many Mission Indians suffer diseases and much hunger from loss of cattle due to new cattle branding regulations; some dessert the Missions and go back into the “woods” and start stealing from the Missions as do the Apaches and Comanche.

1789 - Fr. Jose Francisco Lopez submits his status report "Razon e Ynforme" ("The Texas Missions in 1785") to Most Rev. Rafael Jose Verger, Bishop of Nuevo Leon.

1792 - Fr. Jose Francisco Lopez advocates the complete secularization of Mission San Antonio de Valero because the residents at this Mission were neither neophytes nor pagan Indians but well instructed Christians who were mestizos and that there were practically no more pagan Coahuiltecan Indians within a radius of 150 miles of San Antonio but those who are at a greater distance to the east, north, and south cannot be taken out of their lands without violence.

1793 - Mission San Antonio de Valero is secularized.

1793 Feb. 26 - The families from Los Adaes formally receive lands from the secularized Mission San Antonio de Valero.

1794 - Missions San Juan and Concepcion are secularized.

1808 - “Campo Santo Cemetery” is formally opened.

1810 Sept. 16 - Fr. Miguel Hidalgo launched a revolt for Mexico’s (including Texas) independence from Spain.

1811 Jan. 21 – Juan Bautista de las Casas and his group captured San Antonio in the name of the revolutionary forces. Gov. Manuel Salcedo and Bexar Presidio Commander Lt. Col. Simon Herrera arrested. Las Casas declares himself “Head of the Provisional government” here in Texas.

1811 March 2 – Juan Manuel Zambrano, a San Antonio resident and a Spanish Royalist, led a counter insurgency and defeated las Casas; re-taking the government house in San Antonio and re-establishing Spanish rule.

1811 Oct. 13 - By action of Spanish Gov. Manuel Salcedo, "Villa de San Antonio" formally becomes "Ciudad de San Antonio de Bejar".

1812 Aug - Republican Army of the North, led by insurgents Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara and Agustin Magee, take Spanish town of Nacogdoches.

1812 Nov 7 - Republican Army of the North takes Goliad.

1813 Mar 29- Battle of Rosillo Creek (aka. Battle of Salado Creek); Republican Army of the North (Texian Army led by Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara and Samuel Kemper ) defeats the Spanish Royalist Army commanded by Manuel Maria de Salcedo and Simon de Herrera. Spanish Royalist Army retreats to San Antonio.

1813 April 1 - Republican Army of the North takes San Antonio from Spanish Royalist Army and stations themselves at the Alamo.

1813 April 6 – Republican Army of the North (Texian army) drafted a Declaration of Independence which established the 1st “Republic of Texas”.

1813 August 18 - Battle of Medina; Republican Army of the North, led by Gen. Toledo, is defeated by Spanish Royalist troops under Gen. Arredondo. Less than 100 out of 1,400 Republican Army of North soldiers survived this battle. Spanish Royalist Army re-takes San Antonio and the Compania Volante de Paras de Alamo re-occupies the Alamo. 700 males residents of San Antonio arrested and punished by Arredondo’s officers. Arredondo threatened immediate execution for anyone who crossed into Texas.

1821 August 24 - Eleven years after the outbreak of the Mexican War of Independence, Spain signed a treaty to approve a plan for making Mexico an independent constitutional monarchy.

1821 - 1828 - Elite Tejanos and Anglo immigrants co-operate in "Empresario" colonization ventures to populate Texas. Moses Austin 1st Empresario.

1824 - Mission San Francisco de la Espada is secularized.

1826 Dec. - Empresario Hayden Edwards refused to follow a Mexican law recognizing land claims made by Tejanos already living within his grant area. Hayden and his colonists proceed to take Nacogdoches and declare the area the "Republic of Fredonia".

1827 Jan. 27 - Mexican troops and Anglo immigrants supportive of Mexico's immigration laws, defeat Edward's revolt.

1828 June - In a written report, Mexican Gen. Mier y Teran notes the scarcity of Tejanos living in the new Anglo towns and further described the Anglos living in those towns as the "poorest and most ignorant" peoples.

1829 Sept. 15 - Mexican President Vicente Guerrero issued proclamation emancipating all slaves living on Mexican territory which also included Texas.

1830 April 6 – "Colonization Law of April 6, 1830", Mexican government passed law which ended all further legal Anglo-American immigration into Texas from United States.

1831 - Anglo immigrants outnumbered the existing Tejano population in Texas almost 10 to 1.

1835 May 23 - Anglo-American militia attacked Mexican customs house at Anahuac. This was considered the 1st strike against the Mexican Army by the Texas militia.

1836 March 6 - Mexico initially declared its intent for independence from Mexico on September 16, 1811 and won its independence in 1821. In 1824, Mexico drew up its Constitution which made Texas a separate department (State), guaranteed state's rights, permitted slavery, called for a President to be elected every four years, called for a Senate with two members from each state, called for a member in Congress from each Mexican state for each 80,000 population , every man 18 years of age could vote, all men whether Indian, Negro, Mexican, Mestizo or Mulattos were equal. Santa Anna overthrew the Mexico's Constitution of 1824 and established a military dictatorship. When the Siege at the Alamo began on February 23, 1836, the Texians were fighting to defend the liberal Mexican Constitution of 1824. The Texians were Mexican citizens and were fighting under Mexico's flag of 1824. On March 2, 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico, so now the fight became one for “Independence”. All of Mexico surrendered to Santa Anna except for some Tejanos and Texians who were surrounded in a crumbling mission known as the Alamo. When the Texians finally defeated Santa Anna on April 21, 1836 at San Jacinto, General Santa Anna acknowledged Texas’ new independence. But the Mexican Congress did not recognize this declaration and this led ultimately to the War of 1848 with the U.S.. As a matter of fact, Mexican General Woll subsequently invaded San Antonio in 1842. Santa Anna and his troops returned to Mexico in 1836 but the Mexican people were not prepared to fight Santa Anna for their own independence.

1836 April 21 - Texians defeat Santa Anna at San Jacinto. Treaty of Velasco signed between Sam Houston and Gen. Santa Anna.

1837 Dec 14 – By action of its City Council, Ciudad de San Antonio de Bejar is renamed City of San Antonio.

1842 Mar 5-7 - Mexican Gen. Rafael Vazquez invades and occupies Texas and San Antonio. No resistance was made to Vazquez invasion.

1842 Sept. 11-18 - Mexican Gen. Adrian Woll invades Texas and San Antonio. This time two two companies of Texian soldiers offer some resistance.

1845 Mar. 1 - U.S. Congress votes to annex the Republic of Texas as a state.

1848 Feb. 2 - United States and Mexico sign the "Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo", thus officially ending the 2 year war between U.S. and Mexico and forever ending Mexico's claim to Texas.

1858 - Catholic cemetery San Fernando #1 is opened.

1922 - Catholic cemetery San Fernando #2 is opened.

Contributed by Robert Garcia