MEXICO CITY - 1930
Of the abundant documentation conserved in this Archives about the original province of Pánuco
and the colonization of Nuevo Santander whose territory, in its majority at present, forms the rich state of
Tamaulipas, we have chosen for publication in this first volume the detailed account of the general view
made in the province by Dragoon Captain D. José Tienda de Cuervo, who, in the company of the
engineer D. Agustín López de la Cámara Alta, was named by the Marquis de las Amarillas in 1757 to
inspect the said area. The second volume contains the report of that visit tendered to the viceroy by the
commissioner himself, as well as an appendix with documents of interest within which the noted historical
account of Fray Vicente Santa María stands out for its outstanding importance.
Certainly no province, of those included in Nueva España, resisted the colonization so steadfastly
as that of Nuevo Santander. As an extensive coast exposed to the pillaging of the pirates which marauded
in the gulf and traversed by the eastern Sierra Madre, safe shelter of unruly tribes opposed to all intent of
civilization, this province constituted, for a long time, a serious problem in the administration of the
colony. Besides the permanent vigilance of its coast, obligated by the memory of the black slave captain
John Hawkings who in 1568 -it is said- presented himself in the waters of el Pánuco with the intent of
sacking the port of Tampico, and the unfortunate expedition of the Frenchman de la Salle whose privateers
were seized and killed by their own natives, the province had to defend itself from the frequent raids of
the barbarians who, at the slightest negligence, would descend the mountain assaulting the missions and
devastating the few towns formed by the Spaniards, perhaps because of the bloody memory which they had
of the implacable killings done by Gonzalo de Sandoval and the sinister Nuño de Guzm�n in the first
years of the viceroyalty.
Such precarious conditions, interrupted only by episodes of relative calm, prevailed until the middle
of the XVIII century when the Spanish government decided to undertake the conquest of the entire region
persuaded, as it was, of the potential wealth which an area, fertile in the most varied products, afforded.
As a matter of fact, one of the first acts of the viceroy and the first count of Revillagigedo, at the beginning
of his term in 1746, was that of commissioning, with that end, of D. José de Escandón, prominent resident
of Querétaro, who two years later would initiate his triple task of conqueror, founder, and colonizer,
epiloguing it with the definitive subjection of the province to the existing system. As a prize for his zeal
and ability, well demonstrated in the difficult mission, the king distinguished him with the rocky title of
Count of Sierra Gorda, symbolic testimony of the last stronghold where the brave natives defended their
liberty. It is already known from the Marquis del Valle to the Count of Venadito, everywhere in which
the history of the colony enlightens the name of an adventurer with a naturalistic heraldry, of geographic
or zoologic resonances; that it is because the blood of the oppressed, or that of him who aligns himself with
its cause, fills the fields of heraldry.
In the case of the conquest of the Sierra Gorda, one can say that its pacification was realized with
a minimum of cruelty, thanks to the political capacity as well as the humanitarianism which the named one
had for this venture. Lieutenant in the militia of Querétaro since 1721, D. José de Escandón was in a
continuous campaign with the remaining diverse tribes expelled by the conquest to the underbrush of the
Sierra Gorda from where, with the generic denomination of Chichimecas, they never tired of harassing the
neighboring settlers of Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, and Guanajuato. In this involvement the future
patriarch of Nuevo Santander began to inspire admiration for his ability to attract Indians to form missions,
above all the so called Olives, a tribe or cast more pervious than others to the Spanish influence and which
was the nucleus of various partialities.
Before the campaign, as a result of which the province of Nuevo Santander remained definitively
founded, Escandón made expeditions many times to the least accessible sites of the sierra due to the
thickness of its woods as well as their being the encampments of the barbarians. He knew the area by heart
and in those entries he studied the causes which hindered the pacification. The main ones were slavery
with all its humiliations to which the Indians, confined to the so called "congregas," were condemned and
the permanent poverty in which the missions resided.
The congrega -the first contact of the Indians to civilization- was a rough draft of the encomienda.
In this, whoever constituted it counted, at least, on the indispensable support, the miserable recompense
for the daily hard labor. In the first one, the ones congregated were subjected to, after complying with the
work imposed by their "protectors," crude euphemism which disguised the merciless exploitation, to scour
the mountains in search of fruits and roots to feed themselves and to supply, as well, the larder of their
The notes of Father Santa María are revealing: "In order to sustain them they sent them to the
woods to collect and bring wild fruits, roots, and herbs, which they recognized and with which they
sustained themselves in the times of their liberty, to the converted Indian villages denying them, as a
consequence, the fruits which they themselves planted and reaped. During the absence of the men on this
expedition, the protectors remained with the women and children in order to assure the return of those sent
as well as to guard against the insurrection and flight of all of them."
But the flight and insurrections were constant and the means of repopulating the converted Indian
villages, the easiest way to achieve it since the justices of those towns, in the formation, authorized the
citizens "to go to the woods in convoys in pursuit of the fugitives and take them by force." Those
commissioned for this hunt of Indians would actually return with a great number of them, naturally less
disposed than before to accept a civilization which they had to pay for so dearly and more resolved than
ever to recover their nomadic life.
In regard to the missions, their total lack of resources made the propagation of evangelism difficult.
Outside of the synod or wages established by the royal hacienda to maintain its titled people, the mission
of itself did not provide for the necessities of the Catechumen. So it is that, since these Catholics in
bitterness observed that the new faith was offered to them orphaned of the daily and essential ration of
corn, they abandoned the religious flock, renewing their barbaric life and converting themselves, through
the knowledge that they had already acquired of the customs of the settlers, into their worst and boldest
enemies. Spokesmen, indignant at the hell suffered in the converted Indian villages, prevented their being
replaced by new converts already warned of what was expected of them, and they were the first to incite
theft and the destruction of the settlements. Those to whom languages turn to eulogy of the generous spirit
of the Laws of Indies, let them ask so many weak tribes how viceroys, court clerks, and masters of the
estates interpreted them, generally speaking,
Even the optimists of the problematic docility of the indigenous character for conversion recognized
the necessity of assuring, as much as possible, the subsistence of the budding christians. "The hope that
I conceive," confesses the missionary Fr. Agustín Fragoso, "is that they have secure food and clothing,
they being by nature very docile and loving of the Spaniards and the mission, not having sufficient provi-
sions, simply obliges them to leave it and I have knowledge that in having them, it would have in the
mission congregation so many Indians that this coast offers, such that new missions would be necessary
to educate them."
The report of Tienda de Cuervo to the Viceroy is not less explicit: "For the formal establishment
of the missions there is no other means that offers hope for the subdual of the Indians, but to provide them
with a daily ration of corn and perhaps the gift of some tobacco."
On their part the Indians, with a glimmer of materialistic logic on their neophyte awareness,
defined the problem thus: "Religion is good and being a christian while there is something to eat and bad
when it is lacking." Others ignored the distinction and, when asked if they wanted to be christians, they
simply responded: "Christian not good."
But there was something as grave as that pointed out, immediately resulting from the prior causes
which detracted from the objective of the missions. The missionaries, without Indians to catechize nor
established missions, only had the name of such; for all practical purposes they performed the function of
parish priests dedicated to the mere services of worship in favor of the old catholics. This transgression
of the rule, in which the schools of Propaganda Fide based their existence, created with the exclusive aim
indicated in its title, was generalized in such a manner within the budding towns of Nuevo Santander that
the senior council of the College of Guadalupe of Zacatecas could do no less than send representatives to
the viceroy manifesting to him that, it being contrary to their institute, the priests had to renounce their
apostolate in that province, "because of there not being in it any performance of missions nor propaganda
Without ignoring the courageous work of the missionaries, inclined mostly to make the doctrine
which they preached more fertile with their blood, the observer Tienda de Cuervo alludes, moreover, to
the deficient services of these priests which Escandon himself was unable to correct, managing only to set
himself against the said Colegio de Guadalupe in whose charge the missions were.
In the town of San Fernando, for example, its missionary, Fr. Buenaventura Rivera, was an
octogenarian ailing with senile deafness, incapable of conversation. As for Fr. Joaquín García, the parish
priest, he had abandoned the town months before which did not impede the two of them charging their
Other settlements having a large congregation had a missionary such as that of Mier, and in those
that had them, like the one of Revilla which also had a multitude of congregated Indians, the apostolic
envoy of Zacatecas, instead of testing the christian patience in the harsh treatment of the infidels, preferred
to dedicate himself to the comfortable services of worship for the benefit of the Spanish families, very
complicated for their part, in order to do his ecclesiastic duty in the heart of the Sierra Madre itself.
Not lacking either were violent and evil-minded redeemers who, like the one of Reinosa, came to
the education of the doctrine by opposite means from those who used persuasion and goodness.
Once in a while elevated examples of apostolic virtue interrupt these irregularities. The missionary
Fr. Juan Llanos, observer of Michoac�n, carried the cross on his shoulder with the cordial paternal
gesture of the venerable Margil. Without having a synod he instructed the Indians, he dressed them, he
cared for their subsistence through the harvest of the corn fields which he would teach them to cultivate;
in a word, he civilized them.
But these were the exceptions; in general, the Indians from the converted Indian villages, although
nominally subjected to curfew and doctrine, could obtain little help for their spiritual advancement from
those who did not begin by acquiring the knowledge of their various dialects to communicate the excellence
of faith to them, their retaining, because of this, their primitive barbarism now enraged by the systematic
exploitation of which they were victims. The observations of Tienda de Cuervo leave no room for doubt:
"The missionaries lack the fervent zeal which, apart from their other virtues, is necessary for their mission;
they do not learn the language of the Indians and are there in the settlements as priests instead of living with
the Indians in the designated places."
Such abandoning of the indigenous flocks by their pastors brings due respect to the following note
of the report: "In some towns the book of baptism of the mission does not register, during the period of
fifteen years, one single baptism."
These antecedents give us the key to the continuous desertions of the congregated Indians who,
having returned to freedom, received from their oppressors the exaggerated epithet of apostates, very
unjust charge, it treating of unhappy savages who carried the gospel so superficially attached in their
intelligence, even more superficially. We even know the reason why the said apostates were, as it was
already said, the most terrible enemies of the colonizers. "The ones who commit the most hostilities and
deaths -again Tienda de Cuervo- are the apostates who, deserting their missions, run through Real de
Borbón or its immediate territory and go to Tamaulipa la moza to seek refuge." Here dwelt the
conciliatory group of Escandon hammering them without rest in spite of declaring in his communications
to the viceroy, "that the method which the Spaniards have practiced till now with the Indians (referring to
the converted Indian villages), is even more barbaric than his with them." But not only that; having to do
with the irreducible apostates, the smooth colonizer did not hesitate to use, in its turn, recourses clashing
with his habitual deliberation and which he confesses frankly: "It was impossible to continue their pursuit
because of the impossibility of passing through said swamp, but afterwards they were harassed so much
that they offered to congregate again and to no longer cause injury with which I made it understood that
I was satisfied; but it was only to give time for a better opportunity to finish with these perverse apostates
without risk." In reality they were poor victims who preferred death to returning to experience suffering
which they could not forget.
We have spoken of the various dialects, which the missionaries would not learn in order to
communicate with the Indian converts and those which can be measured by the number of teeming tribes
in the area. Found camping in the foothills of the Sierra Gorda were the Jenambres, Pames, and Pisones,
the most daring and valiant who, in screams and hand blows, became fearsome not only to their own kind
but even to the Hispanic soldiers. From the thick woods of both Tamaulipas, the arrows of the Maratines,
Bocas-Prietas, Mezquites, Cueros-Quemados, Mariguanes, Negros-Lobos, Pajaritos held back the
appearance of agriculture in the lands extracted for their domain. The Carrizos, Malincheros, and Pasitas
spread along the coast hindered the exploitation of the salt mines and the use of the abundant pastures. In
the extensive plain which stretches to the province of Texas, the Pintos, Come-Camotes, and Venados -nickname which christened their agility- would harass the convoys and they would take over the herds in
bloody rustling. The Garzas in the swamps, the Tejones in the ravines, the Narices snooping around for
anything were a few more obstacles opposing each step of the christian civilization, lovely expression, on
the other hand, which so frequently served as covering to disguise so much the cruelty, such as the
insatiable greed of the invaders.
This enumeration of tribes of picturesque names, which sound like synthetic biographies, is a long
way from being exact; it is enough to state that when the expedition of Escandón took place, its notes
registered more than sixty represented in the majority or the minority by warrior Indians, the least
unsociable who, with a confused instinct of tradesmen, would come down in a peaceful manner to the
towns without staying in them; the "converted ones" who, at the point of a whip, were initiated into the
advantages of civilization and the sweetness of christianity, working their fingers to the bone from sunrise
to sunset in chores beneficial only to their lords, and finally, through the subjection to bell and doctrine
over whose already decimated numbers of the have-nots the missionary preached the divine command-
ments, condemning a little paradoxically the homicide and the plunder, invariable threads in the scheme
of all conquest.
Justly the noblest ray of the glory of Escandón rests in the ample sentiment of humanity which he
carries to an undertaking of which magnitude he himself is surprised even when, as a good Spaniard, he
does not exclude the intervention of the marvelous in his success: "And I also confess that everything has
been miraculous because the sovereign Lady of Guadalupe, whom I have always carried in the royal
standard and to whom from the beginning I dedicated the general patronage of this colony, has visibly
protected us with the admiration of the many who accompanied me." What would the fortunate captain
say if he had seen this same image serving the flag of liberty? Men, taking the silence of the images as
acquiescence of their intent, play inconsiderately with the integrity of the gods.
Anyway, that that undertaking was difficult is revealed in the long lapse of two centuries in which
exception made of the two visits (1715 and 1719) of the "Alcalde de Corte" D. Francisco Barbadillo,
intelligent and discrete man who, without bellicose displays and with prudent measures, among others the
abolition of the converted Indian villages, was successful in attracting the will of the Indians- the
colonization of Nuevo Santander constituted a problem for the established authorities. Because of this,
such a considerable part of New Spain would enter into the normal life of the colony when the system
began to rot, when D. Miguel Hidalgo had already been born in Corralejo, and when even the ministers
of Carlos III thought about modifying the politics of the monarchy in its possessions of the New World.
As a consequence they needed a man who possessed, apart from knowledge of the indigenous
character, qualities more of a statesman than a warrior, who would be permitted to penetrate the original
causes of the unsolvable conflicts, and who would intercept them at their source. That quality was the best
weapon used by Escandón in his purposes.
His condition as statesman offers, effectively, varied facets in harmony with his wide field of
action. He is the first to catechize the Indians, facilitating for them a life in the missions that they might
be baptized. He is untiring in the management of livestock and seeds for the development of livestock and
agriculture, the best stimulants for the conversion to Christianity. With the perspective of the mining
dream, he occupies the impatience of the demanders and, with the realities of its fairness and material
benefit, he causes the parties to multiply to the edge of the rivers so that the land can be irrigated with the
least effort, which explains that singular aspect of long and narrow belts which, to the present time, the
Tamaulipan topography shows. Escandon, more than a military man, is an administrator who confronts
continuous needs and who resolves them easily.
He scorned the useless cruelty, traditional fierce ally of the Conquistadors, convinced, through the
interminable war with the Chichimecas, that its use is at least the gravest obstacle for pacification. His
primitive idea -states the report- was never the one of conquering by violence and making war with the
Indians, rather occupying and protecting the land with settlers so that, as a forced consequence, they would
be christianized. And it concludes: "I took the most special care that all would be conquered by art, for
which the sword had little exercise." Unusual phrase in the mouth of a conquistador and one which should
serve as a motto on his shield, if the heraldry of the time were less hollow and theatrical.
Given the eminently political form with which he gave a finishing touch to his undertaking,
Escandon belongs to the class of the grand conquistadors. But that can be identified with him in these
words of D. Carlos Pereyra: "The conquistador, as his schemes reveal to us, is not an idealistic crossbreed
nor a beast of destructive instinct. He has astuteness, shrewdness, versatility, and talents. These four
Judaic virtues of capitalism are effectively tested in the great conquistador, astute as one can be, shrewd
up to guessing 20 plays of his adversary, subtle in his means, and master in his judgement." These are
qualities which appear at each step in the pages which follow, characteristics of the competent colonizer.
In the appendix we reproduced the Historical Relation of the Colony of Nuevo Santander written
by Fr. Vicente Santa María, venerable forerunner of our independence. This priest toured, from top to
bottom, the province which he describes with the pen of a geographer and a poet; he enumerates for us,
in a thorough inventory, its natural riches distributed in salt mines, mines, and fertile lands, but where the
relation has the most importance is in the indigenous datum referring to the number of tribes, to their habits
and customs, to their religious and warring rituals, to the comparative and agreeable study of the dialects
which he mentions; all of this interesting for the historian, the ethnographer, and the philologist. In
semantics he is not satisfied with a simple exposition of the significance of the indigenous words, rather
he ennobles them in the form of true romance. He devotes his attention to the famous culture which his
knowledge of anthropology reveals. There is no doubt that Padre Santa María was a scholar and a
philanthropist; he believes in the social improvement of the Indian and he allows his protest against
extortions of all types, which burden him, to show through. It is thought that since this trip to Nuevo
Santander, Padre Santa María, penetrating into the indigenous suffering, must have felt, in his illustration
of the creole, the imperatives of conscience which later caused him to take an active part in the aborted
conspiracy of Valladolid, where one finds him at the side of García Obeso cultivating the seed which
would ripen into such pleasing fruits in the insurgent autumn of 1810. Having returned to his Historical
Relation, we add that, in the tribeal Library there is a copy of the first volume, model of calligraphy, and
that it was possibly the one dedicated by the children of José de Escandón to the second count of
Revillagigedo. Nowhere were we able to find the continuation of the work but, as incomplete even today,
it has been recognized; it is a unique and irreplaceable document of its genre.
They represent, moreover, the record of the settlement of the city of Tampico and the assignment
of land of this same one; a copy of the record of matrimony of José de Escandón and another of the
baptism of his brother Antonio. These documents, as much as the picture and the photograph of the family
home of Escandón in Spain, we owe to the deference of P. Meade of Tampico.
It remains to us to make evident the praiseworthy zeal of Luis Castillo Ledón, director of the
tribeal Museum, towards the publication of this work, the collaboration which, for the ordering of this, he
lent us the well-known historic competence of Luis Gonz�lez Obregón, and the work of copying and
paleography laboriously directed by Luis G. Ceballos, paleographer of this office.
Don Agustín de Ahumada Villalón Mendoza y Narv�ez, Marquis of Amarillas, queen's
commander, in the order of Santiago, gentleman in waiting of His Majesty with authority, lieutenant-general of the Royal Army, lieutenant-colonel of the Royal Guard of the Spanish Infantry, governing
viceroy, and field marshal of this Nueva España and president of the Royal Court thereof, etc.
Finding myself with orders from His Majesty to name individuals who, with proper integrity, may
examine and recognize the settlements, converted Indian villages, congregations, and missions established
by Colonel Don José de Escandón on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, with the aim that through the
businesses that they form their royal spirit be completely trained from the beginning, progress and present
condition in which that colony is found with the other particulars attached and dependent on this matter,
and at the same time assured that in the persrsons of Don José Tienda de Cuervo, dragoon captain of one
of the companies that is garrisoned in the port of the new city of Veracruz, and Don Agustín López de
la Cá'mara Alta, lieutenant colonel of the Royal Army and second engineer, meet the necessary
circumstances for the fulfillment of this very important matter: I have resolved, in conformity to my
decree, from toy this date, to dispatch the present whom I elect and name the declared Captain Don José
Tienda de Cuervo as deputy judge examiner of said coast, its settlements, congregations and converted
Indian villages obtained and established by the aforesaid Don José de Escandón in those boundaries; and
to this end I give and confer to him an ample mission and enough of that which by right be required such
that in going, accompanied by the stated lieutenant colonel Don Agustín López de la Cámara Alta, they
proceed to their inspection with organization, each one in the part which he is due, the instructions which
I have formed for this result and shall be given to said captain by my chamber secretary; and placing at
the beginning of the proceedings that this commission would perform and at its realization the cited
instruction, they shall pass into the practice of these responsibilities. Expecting, as I expect of their well
accredited behavior, they shall discharge this very important matter, and that in the execution of the affairs
that they might perform they shall omit none that leads to their most clear individual intelligence, so that
the royal spirit of His Majesty remain as he wishes, perfectly instructed satisfied with the operations in that
colony, its state and that which in the following demands for the service of both Majesties; and for the
work and occupation which in this commission the reported commissioners must undertake; in respect to,
which, in agreement with the Royal Board of Hacienda, held the twenty-sixth day of this month, it was
resolved that they be supported with twenty-five pesos daily: I declare this to be the salary with which each
one should be supported, valid from the day they leave this capital until the day that they return to it; not
to satisfy any payment of the annates of the half year, however their being property of the Royal Hacienda
to be considered essential for their transport to those distances; and from this office a record shall be made
by the tribunal and Royal Court of Accounts of this Nueva España by Royal Officers of these Accounts
and by the Privative Judge of the Royal Rule of half-year profits. Mexico and March twenty-nine of
seventeen hundred fifty-seven.
The Marquis of Amarillas. - (Rubric)
By order of His Excellency
José de Gorr�ez. -(Rubric)
Your Excellency, using the powers which His Majesty has conferred upon him, names D. José
Tienda de Cuervo captain of Dragoons of the new city of Veracruz, as inspector judge of the colony of
the Gulf of Mexico, and at the same time the lieutenant colonel D. Agustín López de la Cámara Alta,
engineer second in command.
Tribunal and Royal Court of Accounts of Mexico, 31 of March of 1757. Let it pass to the table
of memories so that the reason which prevents the preceding decree of His Excellency be taken - (a rubric.)
Before me, Agustín Guerrero y Tagle.- (Rubric.)
It remains to take the message which anticipates the decree preceding the written one, and its copy
in the portfolio of titles number four, table of memorandums and collections, of Mexico, March 31, 1757.
-Santiago Abad. - (Rubric.) - Juan de la Fuente. - (Rubric.) - Gratis. - (a rubric.)
Attentive to being appointed by the Most Excellent Viceroy of this Kingdom to the present office,
that the two military officers that are assigned to it for the inspection of the Colony of the Gulf of Mexico,
its coast, settlements, congregations, and other establishments, they should not pay anything to the Royal
Rule of Half-Year Profits by the daily equivalent of twenty-five pesos which it designates to each one,
however, it being their allocation to the Royal Hacienda and this declaration providing for considering the
occupation purely military: in its conformity thus I declare it so that it be held present in the Accounting
of the Royal Rule and this declaration be recorded in it. Mexico and March 31, 1757. -Domingo de
Trespalacios y Escandón. -(Rubric.)
In the Accounting of the Royal Rule of Half-Year Annates of my charge, the report of this
appointment was made and thus is this declaration prepared. Mexico and March 31 of 1757. -Manuel Ruiz
Pino. - (Rubric.)
In the books of Accounting of the Royal Hacienda of this Court in my charge, the report is made
literally from the Superior Dispatch which precedes. Mexico, 31 of March of 1757. -Pedro Toral Valdéz.-(Rubric.)
Instruction which Captain of Dragoons of Vercruz D. José Tienda de Cuervo and Lieutenant
Colonel, Second Engineer, D. Agustín López de la Cámara Alta should observe, each one in the part
provided, in the utilization of the commission which I have delegated to them by order on this date for the
inspection of the Coast of the Gulf of Mexico of the new Port of Santander, and of the Sierra Gorda, its
areas, settlements, establishments, converted assemblies of subdued Indians, their number and that of the
families within the limits and frontiers which the conquest and the conversion encompasses which has been
and continues in the charge of Don José Escandón, and for the examination of the other points and
documents which are turned over to them.
1. In order to have an idea of what is titled the New Conquest and its limits, as Don José Escandón
has it delineated, a writing of that reported accompanies it; but this and other notices with which this
commission will be aided shall not testify to anything else or serve any other use than to practice the most
opportune legal inspection of them [limits] in the areas and sites of which they treat, such that the true
knowledge of the consistency of the conquest, of all its parts and true property.
2. For the cited inspection, inspection of land, and other particulars which may be declared, the
commissioner Don José Tienda de Cuervo with Lieutenant Colonel, Second Engineer, Don Agustín
López de la Cámara Alta, whom I have named as well, the first one performing everything judicial for
the practice of that which would be conducive to its institution, and especially for those ends which this
instruction states as being the least.
3. It shall be put on record how the Sierra Gorda was before the conquest and which settlements
and converted Indian villages are established at present, the condition in which they are found, their names
and those of the lands where they are situated, the number of settlers that they have and that of the
converted Indians and those congregated; how many of them have already received holy baptism; how
many there are without this advantage, for what reason, and by which apostolic ministers they are assisted.
4. From where the settlers proceed, how long ago they were established, who financed their
condition and establishment and which means have favored their subsistence, as well as that of the
congregated Indians and to what these excessive expenses may rise in general and in particular if it would
be possible to ascertain them.
5. If the Indians have quarters for their congregation and living within the settlements separate from
the Spanish settlers; how far apart are they and whether they live and dwell all mixed and in the best
comfort or then why the sites do not permit another.
6. If, in the name of the converted Indians and congregations, possession has been given to the
apostolic ministers of the lands and sites over which they must found their subsistence, how, and what
reliability the execution of this rule had, whether it was extendible to settlers or not, and if the pieces of
land thus pointed out are already put into work and cultivation.
7. How many rivers and where do they flow in the colony, if there is a cord of their origin or not
and where they empty, how are they called and which settlements are situated at their edge and at what
8. Which irrigation canals have been built from these rivers or are being built for the irrigation of
the lands, and what areas are fertilized by them or can be fertilized, and to what settlement do they
9. If there are other settlements that do not enjoy these comforts, [but] have those of some spring
or other water source from which they can get the same benefits, how many are they and what areas do
they cultivate in this manner.
10. What use is made of these lands with these benefits; if to plant seeds, which are the most
accredited in the crops; and if there are lands for fields of vegetables and other fruits or not, and how many
already have this application.
11. What number of fanegas of grain have been planted in the settlements, of how much would
its annual harvest constitute more or less in the crops; if these have been benefited by rains or by irrigations
and have been enough for the subsistence of the settlements and converted Indian villages, or it has been
necessary to supply themselves from the contiguous or nearby provinces; at whose cost, whether the kings,
Escandón's, the settlers'.
12. Which settlements are situated in what is truly the coast of the Gulf of Mexico; at what distance
from the ocean, and what ports, bays, anchorages are observed either provided by nature or because
workmanship perfects them for the security of major or minor embarkation.
13. Without prejudice of that prepared in the previous number, the situation of the Port of
Santander is to be particularly explained, its distance to the sea and to the port of the same name, it should
be sounded as much as possible, individualizing its lows, if it has any, its entrance and exit, whether it is
subjected to one or more winds or not, with everything else that be valued as to its convenience to the
recognition of the advantages which this settlement and the same port may offer either for a suitable and
convenient maritime and interior commerce of the colony of its frontiers subjected to the domination of the
king and even of the more cultivated provinces of the kingdom where these thoughts can be expanded with
probability, or also for the regular or irregular works on which to found its defense and security of its
14. This last provision should be understood even when that which is considered Port of Santander
be owing to the river which passes and flows into the gulf near the settlement about which is being spoken.
But whatever the situation, this river next to it shall be inspected making evident, by its three dimensions,
how far it is discovered to be navigable from its entrance from the sea, commenting upon the óningunos"
hindrances and the impediments of the barras or others which they might have at their mouth and extension
and the actual distances at which it might be found from the settlement of Santander.
15. If the land of all the colony is appropriate for the raising and conservation of major and minor
livestock. What haciendas of this type are already found on it, and what progress can be felt of its profit.
16. If it is well-known or particularly known or there is an indication that the same territory might
have mines, what ores are they and where are they situated and if there are some in use, in whose name
are they charged, what purpose do these profits have with all the rest that concern the obligations of these
and of the mining.
17. If there are some streams or salt deposits which crystalize and the salts are consumable, in
which area are they, and if ultimately the settlements of the colony can be supplied and even the borders
of these kingdoms, be it by sea or by land.
18. If, within the circle which forms the colony, the settlements, converted Indian villages, and
haciendas are found in calm and complete peace and its natives subdued, or if in all or part they cause some
disturbances or they are experienced or they have fear only along the borders in the area of the heathen
Indians that is not conquered, and what idea is formed about them and of the territory they occupy.
19. It shall be specified whether the Sierra Madre or Sierra Gorda is one and the same known by
both names, and if they are different, what distance is there from one to the other and whether both are
within the new colony. The Sierra Tamaulipa should also be acknowledged, expressing the proportions
it might have for some settlements, and if these are considered essential not only to enjoy the good lands
which assuredly are in it, but also to deprive the barbaric Indians, who can disquiet those of the plains, of
this refuge or retreat with the security of the free pass which they have to it from the Sierra Gorda.
20. What settlements of the Nuevo Reino de León or of other old provinces are borders of the new
colony; at which distance are they situated, and what benefits have they felt after the conquest regarding
the vexations which they could suffer from the natives which occupied it.
21. What number of captains, corporals, and soldiers are there enlisted under those titles; what
salaries do they receive, in which manner are they satisfied, and of which posts, detachments, affairs, and
safeguards have they been given charge.
22. All the deeds and affairs that are practiced consequent to this commission and to the points here
related are to be judicially ordered by the commissioner Don José Tienda de Cuervo, forming the part
or parts which he might find advantageous in the principal or in the incidence if they would result and be
worthy of my participation and conducive or evident of the truth which it purports, authorizing it all
through the clerk who would be named or the witnesses present with which he would act in its defect.
23. With reference to this legal order provided, the engineer Don Agustín López de la C�mara
Alta shall form, over the land at the proper time, and the two agreeing to the method of directing, in parts,
all the operations with the aim of completing them into one, a universal plan of the colony marking its
settlements, converted Indian villages, and hamlets on the coast and in the interior, the distances, the river,
irrigation canals, sweet water springs, lakes, salt deposits, and mines, the port or river of Santander, the
Sierra Gorda, the borders from all sides, and everything considered to be the most notable, so that it
identifies this letter with the judicial affairs and with that provided in numbers 3, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16,
17, 19, and 20 of this instruction and with the rest which might be ordered through it.
24. That regarding the inspection of the Port or Santander River, it's measurements and its
soundings, this being the most serious point which shall be observed with complete reflection and for which
the most care and vigilance should be taken to prevent all inconvenience which could occur due to any
slight carelessness or omission, it shall be practiced precisely and essentially by the two, Don José Tienda
de Cuervo witnessing the act and putting this affair on record in agreement with the cited numbers 13 and
And the two needing to respond to the provided uniformity with which they shall govern their
operations, the first in the opinion which he might form and propositions he might establish, and the second
in the arrangement of that concerning the discharge of that which is entrusted, I make to both the strictest
provisions to both so that, cooperating together and in the best harmony, those warnings, which might
affect and be suitable, be indiscriminately facilitated to the ends to which they are directed, as interested
in the service of God and the King, advancing all the time possible for the most prompt carrying out of
everything, and once obtained, the two commissioners, Don José Tienda Cuervo and Don Agustín López
de la Cámara Alta, shall deliver into my hands the deeds, plan, records and papers which might be
collected at this instruction and dispatch of commission, expounding unanimously and according to the
judgement and opinion that they form and whatever they might find suitable with agreement to the
proceedings and acknowledgements made in order to be able to come into full knowledge and to give it
to the court of the preceeding and of the present-day state of the new colony.
Mexico and March 15 of 1757. -The Marquis of the Amarillas.- (Rubric).
DOCUMENT- In the town of San Francisco de G�emes, at eighteen days of the month of April
of seventeen hundred fifty-seven years, Don José Tienda de Cuervo gentleman of the Order of Santiago,
Captain of Dragoons of the New City of Veracruz, and Judge Inspector for the Most Excellent Viceroy
for the inspection of the Gulf of Mexico, having arrived in this settlement and finding it proper to begin
in it the affairs of his charge, ordered that the office and instruction, conferred to him for this end, be
placed as head of the documents which are to be formed in this affair in order to follow that which is
ordered in them. And in regard to the fact that, through the first article of said instruction, the report, that
Colonel Don José Escandón had given of the state of the colony, is cited and that this should have been
given to him by the secretary to be attended to according to said provided article which was not executed
due to it not being found, it was desirable to send his official paper to the said Don José Escandón asking
him for a copy of the aforesaid State so that it be put at the end of these documents and serve as the
documents which said instruction orders. And at the same time said Inspector Don José Tienda de
Cuervo, said that by virtue of the powers which are given by said instruction to perform with the witnesses
present, appointed at the present moment and he appoints as such witnesses, to assist him to take action
and write everything which might come up in this inspection in this town as well as in all the other
settlements of the colony, Don Roque Fern�ndez Marcial and Don Francisco José de Haro, and from
this proceeding they should begin to sign all that offers itself, and thus I provided, ordered, and signed.
- José Tienda de Cuervo. - (Rubric.) - Roque Fern�ndez Marcial. - (Rubric) - Francisco José de
Haro. - (Rubric)
PROCEEDINGS- in the said town of G�emes, in twenty-eight days of the month of April of
seventeen hundred fifty-seven years, in virtue of the preceeding mandate, the official paper of the following
tenor was dispatched to Colonel Don José de Escandón:
The honorable Don José de Escandón. My dear Sir: In order to have an idea of what is called
the New Conquest and of its limits, as Your Majesty has it delineated and put in the House Secretariat of
the Most Excellent Viceroy of this New Spain, you shall be served to pass to me an expressive copy of it
with the aim that its report can communicate to me those which would lead to the inspection of which I
have ordered, and to prepare the proceedings which I must practice for its completion, trusting in the zeal
of His Majesty to communicate to me this information to all the extent to which he passed them into the
hands of said Most Excellent Lord.
I remain the servant of Your Majesty and pray that Our Lord protect your life many years. Town
of G�emes and April twenty-eight of one thousand fifty-seven years. Your major servant kisses the hand
of Your Majesty. - Don José Tienda de Cuervo.
And so that it be evident, it is placed as a proceeding. -José Tienda de Cuervo. (Rubric) -Roque
Fern�ndez Marcial. -(Rubric) -Francisco José Haro.- (Rubric)
DOCUMENT- In the said town of G�emes, in twenty-eight days of the month of April of
seventeen hundred fifty-seven years, Don José Tienda de Cuervo, having received a written answer of
that which was passed to Don José Escandón, with the copy of the consultation and the map which
contains the first chapter of the Instruction which gives origin to these documents, ordered that the said
original letter with the said copy of the consultation and map, which accompanies it, be added to them for
the necessary purposes and that it be set out as a proceeding, and he signed it with the witnesses present. -
Tienda de Cuervo. (Rubric) -Roque Fern�ndez Marcial. -(Rubric) -Francisco José de Haro -(Rubric).
PROCEEDING- In the said town, said day, month, and year, by virtue of that ordered placed at
the end of these documents for those purposes necessary, are the letter, the map, and a copy of the
consultation requested by Colonel Don José Escandón and, so that it be put on record, it is put in as a
proceeding. Tienda de Cuervo. -(Rubric) -Roque Fern�ndez Marcial. -(Rubric) -Francisco José de Haro.
My dear Sir:
In a letter of this date Your Grace is served to make known to me that he needs an idea of that
which is titled New Conquest and of its limits, according to how I have it outlined and placed in the
Chamber Secretariat of the Most Excellent Viceroy of this New Spain, with the aim that its information
can communicate to him the ones that might lead to the inspection and proceedings of his mission.
In your view, I pass into the hand of Your Grace a copy of the consultation and map with which,
on the date of the eighth of August of the past year of seven hundred fifty-five, I gave an account to the
military headquarters of his Excellency, and a résumé of settlements, settlers, squadrons, missions,
congregated Indians and those which are not, which seems to me to be the same as what Your Grace
requests; if anything else be needed, His Grace shall be served to make it known to me.
I remain the servant of Your Grace whose life, I pray, Our Lord will protect for many years.
Town of G�emes and April 28 of 1757.
Your trustworthy servant kisses the hand of Your Grace.
José de Escandón. -(rubric)
Captain Don José Tienda de Cuervo.
Map of the establishments made by order of the Most Excellent Count of Revillagigedo, Viceroy,
Governor, and Field Marshall of this Nueva España, in this Colony of Nuevo Santander, Coast of the Gulf
of Mexico by Don José de Escandón, gentleman of the Order of Santiago, Colonel of the Regiment of
Querétaro, Lieutenant Field Marshall of Sierra Gorda, its missions, presidios, and borders, and Locality
Lieutenant of said Excellence in this reported Coast of the Gulf of Mexico and yours; its names, those of
the missions, saints of its dedication, names of the captains and priests who administer; its distances and
directions; number of families of settlers, persons forming them, squadrons, and congregated Indians, and
goods which they have, consequent to the consultation of 26th of October of 1747, in which he gave an
account of the inspection he made of the aforesaid coast upon which fell the resolution taken for the
expedition of his conquest, appeasement, and population.
1.--TOWN OF ALTAMIRA
The town of Altamira was founded on the 2nd of May of 1749, at the bank of a cove formed by
the sea entering through the Barra de Tampico with the dedication to Nuestra Señora de las Caldas; the
City of Horcasitas will be at a distant of 14 leagues from it to the northeast, Tampico 7 leagues to the
south-southeast, Pánuconuco 10 leagues to the south-southwest both at the southern part of the harbor; the sea
3 leagues to the east, the town and port of Soto la Marina 45 leagues to the north; its captain Don Juan
de Barberena has 68 families with 285 persons and his squadron which is composed of said captain, a
sergeant, and 9 soldiers, with 20 persons who, with that of the settlers, make 305 persons.
Its mission, Suanzés, with the dedication to San Juan Capistrán, administrated by the R. F. Fray
Joaquín José Manzano, has 40 families of Indians subject to bell and doctrine, with 150 civilized persons
normally applying themselves to fishing on the mission's account concerning that which is prudent, and
they support themselves with their product, some corn which they plant, and that which, up to now has
been furnished to them by my order; many more peaceful ones found in the outskirts can be added.
Said town, even though almost all of its settlers are negroes and mulattos, is rich because of the
large amount of major livestock they have for which the land is superior, they are of good nature; they
move forward very well in fishing with the convenience of the immediate salt mine.
The boats entering through the Harbor of Tampico at 4 leagues distance transport their goods to
be unloaded in landing crafts up to the edge of the houses. They have just finished their church of three
naves and, even though the roof and its vaults are of grass and fenced in the Huasteca manner, it has
turned out very well, and from the same material and some adobe they are building their homes. For this
summer I am arranging for them to begin navigating in canoes to this Port of Santander, a distance of about
45 leagues to the north, so that, trading among themselves, the settlers can have success and can dispose
of their products since there are many here that are necessary there and a shortage of various ones which
abound in said town. I refer myself to testimony number one of the visit and inspection which I made of
the settlers and squadron the 19th of January of last year of 1754, in which is inserted the extract of the
goods with which they were found in that season, that at the present time, according to the last letters, they
find themselves very advanced. And the mission, although it was not specified, has a reasonable amount
of major livestock and in like manner the assignation of land made to the town and the mission.
2.--CITY OF HORCASITAS
The city of San Juan Bautista de Horcasitas was founded on the 11 of May of 1749; the town of
Altamira is about 14 leagues to the east-southeast, that of Santa María de Llera 14 leagues to the northeast,
that of Santa B�rbara to the east 15 leagues, that of Escandon 7 leagues to the northeast, the town of los
Valles Frontera de Huasteca 25 leagues to the south-southwest, and that of Soto la Marina 35 leagues to
the northeast; its captain Don José Antonio de Oyarvide has 65 families of settlers with 295 persons, said
captain, a sergeant who acts as lieutenant, and 9 soldiers which comprise 11 groups with 46 persons and
with that of the settlers they make 341.
There are in said city, in two districts, 56 families of half-breed Olive Indians of the ones who had
remained and descendants of the old mission of Tamaulipa, which the barbarians destroyed, with 190
persons; these entered with a brief assistance in cost with another 6 who have died, the 5 at the hand of
the Janambres, they give reasonable assistance in the campaigns which occur.
Its mission, the Puente de Arce with the dedication to San Francisco Javier, is administered by the
R. F. Fray Miguel de Jesús Rada, has registered 230 persons of the Palagueque tribe who have been there
from the beginning, indoctrinated, and many other peaceful ones found in the outskirts can be added; the
said mission has a competent number of livestock.
This city is found at the edge of the north of that great river which abounds in fish and at a short
distance [there are] good salt mines. The land is desirable for seasonal plantings and also irrigative
plantings, some irrigation canals can be built, it is of select pastures and woods. The settlers entered very
poor and from the beginning have been battled by the rebellious Janambres at whose hands seven have
died. The first three years they experienced a great necessity for supplies due to the total lack of them in
the frontiers; last year they had a good crop and they are now moving ahead with the cultivation; the
extension of said rebels having been obtained, it offers being a grand place for the comforts afforded by
the lovely valleys and the immediate mines of Tamaulipa, which are quite pure and have not been able to
be worked as yet due to the lack of safe escort, and that the settlers not slacken the cultivation until being
sure of competent grains since, these abounding, everything else shall be easy. They have built a church
like the one of Altamira, the living quarters are shacks like those of all the Huastecas.
They have made an assignation of land and also the mission, as it seems from testimony number
two which also contains the inspection and proceedings practiced in said city the past year of 1754.
3.--TOWN OF ESCANDON
The town of Escandon was founded with the Advocation of el Dulce Nombre de Jesús, on the 15th
of March of 1751, by the one who was her captain,[sic] Don Nicol�s Alvarez, Don Miguel de Zepeda,
Don Gregorio Alvarez, and Don Miguel de Castro, who found themselves obligated to lead 100 families;
a short time later the Janambres Indians, who were there, rebelled, stealing from them a major part of the
livestock which they had brought; they killed three settlers, one of them being the said Don Miguel de
Castro, by which they were so intimidated that some deserted, others who had not even entered and some
who were on the way changed their mind and apologized, until on the 22 of November of 1753, they
deserted the town and those thirty families, who were the ones who lived with said captain whom I had
imprisoned, went on to the one of Santa B�rbara, and he was charged with his misconduct as is recorded
in the document of the matter.
With three thousand pesos, which the said Captain Alvarez gave so that he be absolved of the
charge and of the contract he had made (because Miguel de Castro, as it is said, died at the hands of the
Indians, the other two are very poor), and two thousand pesos that, as it appears from the cited judicial
proceedings, were contributed by some of the settlers who had deserted, the designation of one thousand
one hundred pesos was used for the building of the irrigation canal, one hundred to provide rifles to some
poor settlers whose rifles had broken, and the three thousand eight hundred pesos left over were turned
over to Captain Antonio de Puga so that, with it, he could recruit 38 families of settlers at the borders
giving one hundred pesos to each one in financial assistance.
In order to subdue the said rebellious Janabres who, being fickle, had many times broken the
peace, I went that reported year of 1754 to that mountain chain and they were so restrained that, delivering
themselves with many demonstrations of emendation and I discussed something permanent since they
remained well punished, I condescended in that they be reestablished in their old mission which in a few
days they reconsructed, they built a church and they were beginning to open lands for which, plus the
necessities of life, I furnished them that which was necessary without shortage. These rebels calmed in
the said manner, I settled the affairs of the recruiting of settlers so that, with the thirty remaining in Santa
B�rbara, the squadron, and other small detachments which I had arranged to detach, they passed to
reestablish the chosen town, but the R.F. Fray Francisco Javier de Salazar, the one who arrived at that
of Santa B�rbara, minister assigned by his Apostolic College to the previously mentioned town of Escandón
and its mission, having come unexpectedly, and the said Janabres coming to see him with many tears
assuring him that if he would go with them to the mission they would care for him and heed him, he did
it against my expressed order, taking with him the provisions and other decorations furnished for the
mission, declaring that one could not deny those repented miserable ones the consolation of his assistance
and that, in suspending it, he would return to his college, in which view it was necessary for me to order
that the captains of the town of Llera and the city of Horcasitas, alternatively, notwithstanding how they
would be missed in their positions, accompanied him with a detachment of eight soldiers and in the interim
the recruit would arrive. Captain Puga arrived the 5th of November leaving the families he led in Llera
and the surrounding areas during the march, and on the morning of the 7th, going out to reacquaint himself
with the area in which he was to place the town and from where the irrigation canal was to be constructed
and the priest and the captain of Llera Don José de Escajadillo remaining at the mission with only two
soldiers, when they were the most satisfied with the Janambres, and simply inattentive, they saw them
coolly setting fire to the shacks, and shooting arrows with such ferocity as if the many favors which were
being done for them were offenses, then they killed a soldier and, although the captain was not able to put
on his defensive armor, he fought thus until dying, the rebels thus diverted by him, it gave time so that the
priest with a wounded wrist and the other soldier could hide in some thickets of the immediate river. They
also killed a mulata cook and two children and the ornaments were burned and whatever had been brought
from the mission after which they took to flight, whom the captain, with five soldiers accompanying him,
followed; then, when he return from his duty, furious at seeing such sad destruction and the perfidy of
those hypocritical rebels, he killed twelve and the rest sheltered themselves in the woods, an accident which
doubled the work of the reestablishment because of how much it thus intimidated the settlers who were
marching along as well as those who were preparing themselves to do it.
On the 18th of December of the aforementioned of 1754, having already settled there 28 families
of the 30 which had remained in Santa B�rbara (two of them having deserted), 30 of the ones recruited by
Captain Puga and the squadron, led by the commanding captain Don Juan Francisco de Barberena, the
town of Escandón was refounded, in the same area where it had been before, with 58 families of settlers
and nine of which the squadron is composed, that those and others make 277 persons, and although three
of them had fled, one came back and the other two were sent for; outside of those aforementioned there
are others which were not yet recruited of which, I am informed, six have entered with 25 people added
to those reported to comprise 64 with 302 persons, with which I judge it to be a competent number to
subsist and establish themselves.
The said Don Antonio de Puga was left in the aforesaid town as captain, this one is seven leagues
to the northeast of the city of Horcasitas, that of Llera lies seven leagues to the north northeast of it, the
one of Santa B�rbara 12 leagues almost to the southeast, the Sierra Madre to the west about six leagues,
and the one of Tamaulipa la Huasteca about six to the north; it is situated on the border of the north of the
lovely river named Guayalejo, abundant in fish and easy irrigation possibilities; the land, being all beautiful
valleys, is very fertile and fruitful and its pastures of the best quality. In said Tamaulipa there are signs
of many mines of competent quality and it has a temperate climate, the lovely qualities making the place
desirable and at the same time its populating is very important, for its being the needed pass for all the
mountain chain of the south and the one of the north.
The town reestablished in the said method and the Janambres gone for the moment, it was not long
before they were able to enlarge their number with others of their own tribe which were found at peace
in the vicinity of the town of Llera, and they made an effort to finish off the settlers, making the judgement
that they could at least set them in flight, as they had been able to do the to the ones before this one, and
although things have not gone as they had imagined, due to the valor with which the captain, the squadron,
and the settlers have purported themselves, they managed an assault which has been very pernicious to us;
the captain'swife and four other women decided to go to Llera with some muleteers of Horcasitas who
were carrying about one thousand pesos in merchandise goods; the said captain went to escort them out,
so careless that he didn't even have his leather vest. And the said ladies going down noisily in a narrow
wooded valley, an ambush of Janambres in front gave a shout and, at the first shot, the captain's wife and
a settler fell dead, and the captain ended up with five arrow wounds, so badly wounded that he was not
even able to take out his sword: with the confusion of the women, mixed with the goods in the narrow
pass, the drivers fled and, with two soldiers, they took out the captain and the women whom they took to
the town, the rebels taking the goods, of which they were very proud. This damage originated from the
grave carelessness with which, against its custom and that which I have ordered, the captain proceeded and
those which have occurred in this conquest have been damaged from the same problem. I then sent 15
soldiers of the company of the town of Valles so that they might serve as guards while the settlers build
their houses and they move into them and, with a detachment I made of the squadrons of Padilla and
Hoyos, they have followed with good effect and it shall continue until being able to send them to houses
of correction or overseas presidios, since it does not leave hope that anyone of that tribe be converted, well
certainly they have practiced with them an excess of mercy which they ridicule, attributing them to fear.
The captain now finds himself cured of his wounds.
Its mission, Rumiroso, with the dedication to Nuestra Señora de la Luz; its minister the R.F. Fray
Francisco Javier de Salazar; it has no Indians at present, although other than the Janambres, there are
many of peace in the immediate Tamaulipa which, once the land is dominated they will be able to be
joined. It is found with a goodly number of major and minor livestock, it has its designations of land and
the same for the town, as it appears from the testimony number 3 to which I refer.
4. --TOWN OF SANTA BARBARA
This town was founded the 19th of May of 1749, with the dedication to Santa Barbara; its deputy
acting as captain is Don Tom�s de Soto, it has 108 families with 460 persons who have entered with no
Its mission, Igollo, with the dedication to Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, is administered by the R.F.
Fray Francisco de Escandón from the said apostolic college of Guadalupe de Zacatecas, ex-definer of
the province of San Pedro and San Pablo de Michoac�n, retired preacher and officer of the inquisition, it
has 117 families of Indians with 474 persons, 52 of the Pisona tribe and the others Pames who have been
gathered from those who inhabit that mountain ridge; they are subject to the doctrine and, nevertheless,
they generally plant their corn for which, that and the feeding of livestock, the land is unique; they also
do it as a community and the mission gathered this year more than three million bushels of corn, many
beans and garbanzos; it has a reasonable irrigation canal that is found running and some orchards, a church
of rough stone and mortar; the living quarters of the priest is decent with good granaries and all of the
Indians have begun building their small homes in an orderly fashion with a plaza and quality streets, such
that it already looks like a town of many years of founding and, to encourage them more, I named a
governor, mayors, and a captain for whatever military needs might occur with which the said mission
begins to formalize and it finds itself well provided with oxen, implements for farming, and cattle; it is a
distance of one fourth league from the town.
The reported town has been made desirable because of its fertile lands and abundant crops, and
in spite of the fact that at the beginning it was often accosted by the Janambres by whose hands several of
the settlers died, it is rising in quality such that I expect it to be a good place in time.
The town of Escandón is situated 12 leagues almost to the northeast; the city of Horcasitas 15
leagues to the east; the town of Llera 12 leagues to the northeast; the town of Valles 18 leagues to the
southwest; the Valle del Maíz Sierra Gorda, in the center 15 leagues south one-fourth to the southwest; the
mission of Tula 10 leagues to the west, mountain in the center, and the settlement of Jaumave, also Sierra
Gorda in the center, 10 leagues to the north. Said town and mission have assignation of lands as it is found
in the testimony number 4.
5 --TOWN OF LLERA
It was founded on the 25th of December of 1748, with the dedication to Our Lady of Carmen, its
captain Don José de Escajadillo, it has 67 families of settlers with 237 persons, a captain, a sergeant acting
as lieutenant, 10 soldiers and a small enclosure, with 20 persons which, with those of the settlers, make
Because of the death of said captain, it having happened as it is related in the town of Escandón,
the lieutenant of the company of the town of los Valles, Don José Ignacio de Odriosola, entered into the
aforesaid plaza; its land is beautiful and fertile, it has been the most persecuted by the Janambre rebel, as
he has invaded it incessantly since it was founded and, in spite of the fact that in various skirmishes some
settlers and soldiers have died, they have frightened them such that the amount of problems that they cause
The town of Escandón is 7 leagues to the southeast; that of Santa B�rbara 12 to the southwest, and
that of Aguayo 14 east-north-east at the foot of the Sierra Gorda, the edge of a beautiful river which springs
Its mission, Peña castillo, with the dedication to la Divina Pastora; as minister, the R.F. Fray
Tom�s Antonio Cortés, whose apostolic zeal and economic governing has contributed much to the
perfection of said mission. It has 41 families of Pisones Indians with 152 persons congregated on the site.
This town has a lovely running irrigation canal with which they water orchards and cornfields, they
can build others easily; they already reap corn, beans, and competent vegetables for their consumption;
they are beginning to plant sugar cane in the corners of the mountain which ripens well and they have built
10 flat roofed houses; it offers much growth to its population and it has made assignation of lands as it is
all evident in the testimony number 5 to which I refer.
6. --TOWN OF AGUAYO
It was founded on the 6th of October of 1750, with the dedication to the Immaculate Conception;
its captain Don José de Olazar�n; it has 39 families of settlers with 179 persons; there is no other wage
than that of the said captain. This town has a very select situation, its land is admirable for all types of
irrigable grains and it is temperate and of good pastures, abundant in fish, is irrigated with a lovely
abundant irrigation canal taken from the San Marcos River, at whose edge it is found; it has been
persecuted by the Janambre Indians, and by seven Indians called the Siguí, the first ones for their being
on the plains although around this coast, it being somewhat mountainous, it has restrained them, but the
last seven, covered by the ruggedness of the immediate Sierra Gorda, have caused much trouble; it can be
a great place in time because of the conveniences it offers. They are harvesting a competent crop of grains
and building a church and houses.
Its mission of Trespalacios, with the dedication to Saint Peter of Alc�ntara; it is administered by
the R.F. Fray Antonio de Aréchiga; it is situated at the edge of the river which comes from the mouth of
the Sierra Gorda, called San Felipe, at about one league distance to the northeast, it being a superior place
and very pleasant; it has 44 families of Indians residing, with 134 persons congregated in a settlement in
which they are being instructed in cultivation with reasonable application, and this past year the said
mission reaped corn for their consumption and, it being put into practice, they can continue adding other
Indians from those in the immediate areas, it finished its irrigation canal which turned out beautifully and
the said priest works with great diligence.
The town of G�emes is seven leagues to the north-northeast; the one of Llera, 14 to east-southeast;
the one of Hoyos, 14 leagues to the north. Assignation of land has been made to the said town and mission
as it appears from the testimony number 6 to which I refer.
7. --TOWN OF HOYOS
It was founded on the 19th of May of 1752; its captain is Don Domingo de Unzaga Ibarrola, who
established it without any cost to the Royal Treasury at a time in which the apostates of the Nuevo Reino
de León,in possession of that land, had forced out the residents who had remained in the nearby town
called San Antonio de los Llanos which they had almost completely destroyed. It has 58 families of settlers
with 272 persons, and 11 civilized Indians who also serve in whatever is needed in the campaign, which
compose 66 families with 298 persons; it has a large flowing irrigation canal from the San Antonio River
and a few other smaller ones from nine springs with which they water and fertilize their lovely valley
which is very fruitful, and this past year the settlers reaped from it much more corn than they needed for
their use and some sugar cane and beans. A church of stone and mortar and part of it of adobe is being
built at the cost of said captain with the help of the settlers for the well adorned statues and good jewels
which he has brought from Mexico.
To the north of said town at a distance of about six leagues, at the mountain called Santiago situated
between the point of Tamaulipa and the Sierra Gorda, they have found a mine with good veins which,
according to the tests that have been made, show a superior pure silver and it has begun to be worked by
some settlers of the said town and others from Real de Matehuala where they made the tests, they are
getting into the quality of the new metals and as they continue, according to how it looks, that town which
I called Real de Borbón with the dedication to Nuestra Señora de Begoña could take shape due to its good
climate, sufficient water, fish, good lands for pastures, and seasonal fields, timber, and the easy provision
of supplies of said town of Hoyos in whose jurisdiction it is and, outside of the interests that it can produce,
it offers the possibility of populating that area that, being as it is, precise road to the town of Linares, to
other various places of el Nuevo Reino de León, to the town of Burgos, Camargo and others of this colony,
it has always been the most risky because of it being situated between the two aforesaid mountains and the
apostates of said Nuevo Reino de Leon have inflicted very many deaths and robberies which no amount
of assistance can prevent because of the covering of the said two immediate mountains and, the said mine
being put into use, the laborers, which are very limited at present, abounding, they can go to work those
of the sierra called Versebú at the eastern point of that same Sierra de Tamaulipa, which are also tested
and they have good pure metal and, for its procurement, I am giving the dispositions that correspond.
It is situated at the foot of the said Sierra Gorda; the one of Aguayo is situated 14 leagues almost
to the south; the one of G�emes, 9 south-southeast; the town of Linares of el Nuevo Reino de León, 20
to the north-northwest. Administering it is the R.F. Fray Fernando Ruíz Junco, priest of Santa Provincia
de San Francisco de Zacatecas, to whom it was charged and it is maintained from the profits which the
settlers pay fully with no cost to the Real Hacienda. It has the assignation of lands made as it appears in
the testimony number 7 and the certification to which I refer.
8. --TOWN OF GÜEMES
It was founded the 1st of January of 1749, with the dedication to San Francisco; its captain Don
Felipe Téllez Girán due to whose death the lieutenant of the cavalry company of the town of Maíz Don
Juan Elías de Moctezuma entered. It has 58 families of settlers with 268 persons, a captain, a sergeant,
and six soldiers with 35 persons which comprise 303 persons.
Its mission, Llanes, with the dedication to Santo Toribio de Liébana, is administered by the R.F.
Fray Francisco Javier García, as of yet there are no Indians residing in it but there are enough in its
environs who, with time, shall be collected; it is well provided with livestock.
It is situated between two very full rivers whose floods have demolished three irrigation canals
which they have built for which reason, on petition of the said priest and settlers, I am now considering
moving said town to the other bank of that one called San Felipe, only some 400 yards distant due to it
being easier there to get the water to it and still be at a great distance without the vexation of said river in
floods. It is already reaping competent grains for its use, its land is fertile and lovely with good pastures
and very abundant in fish. At a distance from it is the town of Aguayo about 7 leagues to the south
southwest; the one of Padilla 7 north-northwest; the one of Hoyos 12 north-northeast. It has made the
assignation of lands as it appears in the testimony number 8 to which I refer.
9. --TOWN OF PADILLA
It was founded on the 6th of January of 1749, with the dedication to San Antonio of Padua, its
captain Don Gregorio de la Paz, due to whose death Don Martín de la Peña entered; it has 44 families
with 209 persons, a captain, a sergeant who acts as lieutenant and 10 soldiers, one lieutenant and 4 soldiers
in that itinerant squadron with 71 persons which make up 280 persons.
Its mission, Guarniz�, with the dedication to Nuestra Señora de los Dolores; the minister the R.F.
Fray Joaquín M�rquez. In this mission there are only two female Indians in residence, but there is a
competent number in the area who of, necessity, will begin to join at the moment that there are grains with
which to feed them, to which end the zealous minister, who already has a competent number of cattle and
a reasonable crop, neglects no work.
It is situated between the two rivers of Purificacíon and Santa Engracia, 7 leagues north-northeast
of G�emes, and 8 to the southwest of the town of Santander in a valley formed between the two Tamaulipas
due to which, and the many trees, it has been attacked from the beginning by the Indians although at the
time it enjoys more than enough serenity, it is harvesting more seasonal corns than it needs for its use, it
abounds in fish and good pastures and they have been able to build a large irrigation canal to water the
major part of it lovely valley with which, I hope, its population will increase, which is very important in
the area for its being a precise pass for all the colony and at risk for the crossing of the rivers which, in
time of rain, is done in canoes. The mission has its assignation of lands made as it appears in the testimony
number 9 to which I refer.
10. --CAPITAL TOWN OF NUEVO SANTANDER
It was founded on the 17th of February of 1749, with the dedication to los Cinco Señores, its
captain is José S�nchez Dovalina, it has 101 families of settlers with 408 persons (besides servants and
other vagrants), a captain, a sergeant acting as lieutenant, a second sergeant and 15 soldiers with 42
persons that, with those of the settlers, comprise 450 persons.
Four families, which are found in my immediate hacienda are joining with 15 persons.
On salary and rations I have at said hacienda 40 families of Pame Indians, who had been apostates
at the missions of Río Verde and whom I took out, as I have informed, from the ruggedness of the Sierra
Gorda and they are being instructed in the rudiments of Our Holy Faith and social life; they comprise 160
persons which are converted.
Its mission, Helguera, with the dedication to San Juan de Nepomuceno, its minister the R.F. Fray
Buenaventura de Rivera, it has 81 families with 300 persons who, as yet, have not been able to be put
into doctrine because of the great scarcity there has been of provisions such that, that which has been
furnished to them up to now serves solely to keep them in the mission, aided by hunting and the wild plants
which they go out to gather. It is situated in a delightful site, three leagues to the northeast of this capital,
and admirable lands, much water from which they have their irrigation canal working and some shacks
built and one for the priest. Grains obtained, which is all my earnest desire, not only could the aforesaid
be drawn into the doctrine but also many others who, having built settlements in the outskirts of this town,
continually live in it and, with treatment and communication, they are becoming fond of it and learning
and some of them, when they are in peril of death, have come to ask for the waters of baptism; the said
mission has a competent number of major livestock, some minor livestock, and implements for farming
and I expect they will give much benefit to God in the great harvest there is.
The situation of this said town is of the best that can be asked for, it is situated in the middle of a
very spacious valley in the highest part of it with a lovely irrigation canal of rich water and very abundant
in fish, which passes through the middle of it, big enough for pirogues in which they carry the materials
for work and it is easily distributed for the irrigation of orchards and plantings for which the soil is most
fertile with many running springs and select pastures, its weather is temperate, healthy, and clement in cold
and heat. In its plaza I am constructing a strong house with a permit that I obtained for it, in which more
than twenty-three thousand pesos have been spent, with one hundred yards in front and 200 in depth,
capable in whatever occasion of lodging all the inhabitants and 300 horses inside, with two bastions in the
two facing corners and six cannons with three in each one, which dominate the entire valley; the
construction is of rough stone and mortar and good quarried stone and the rest near at hand which serves
as a wall, well cemented of rough stone and mortar and a mud wall with its battlement; the construction
is about 50% complete, but it is already capable of any defense and it is the admiration of these barbarians
to whom it causes much respect whose acquaintance and the motive of attracting settlers stimulated me to
make such an expense.
At the same time I am constructing a church also of rough stone and mortar and ashlar and it being
finished, it is my intention to place a water trough in this plaza, works which contribute much to its
splendor, beauty, comfort, and growth of the population, for which I have caused to bring all types of fruit
and trees and seeds which normally do well, all types of garden plants of quality which within a few years
I hope this will be a luxuriant vegetation; I have put into motion at this river mouth along the Barra de Soto
la Marina the maritime commerce at my cost and, although the said sandbank, because of its little water
at times of drought, only allows schooners and this type of vessel, it can be utilized to transport that which
is necessary from Veracruz (as it has been done so far), Campeche and Havana not only to this colony but
also to the immediate provinces of la Huasteca, San Luis Potosí, el Nuevo Reino de León, Coahuila and
Texas, since they all surround it.
To facilitate the getting of seeds and so that these settlers begin learning to plant, I began
cultivation, as is reported, and we are having success, not only in the provision of grains, sugar, as
molasses and refined but, stimulated at seeing how well they produce, they are encouraged, in general, in
farming to which I have paid most attention since it is so important.
It is located in the center of the colony between the two Tamaulipas whose outskirts form its valley
having the one called el Nuevo Reino de León about 12 leagues to the northwest by west, the point of the
one they used to call la Huasteca from 12 to 14 leagues to the south, the town of Santillana 4 leagues to
the east, in the same direction the town and port of Soto la Marina, east by south 14 leagues, the one of
Padilla 8 leagues to the southwest, the one of San Fernando 14 to the north, east by north, and the one of
Burgos 16 to the northeast. It has made its assignation of lands as it appears in the testament number 10
to which I refer.
11. --TOWN OF SANTILLANA
It was founded on the 26th of October of 1752, with the dedication to Nuestra Señora del Rosario,
its captain Don Tom�s Conde, with 17 families of settlers which comprise 67 persons.
It is situated at the edge of a lovely rivulet which goes down from Santander with ease for an
irrigation canal and near the river which comes from Padilla, a beautiful, fertile site for all types of
irrigable and seasonal grains between the edges of Tamaulipa which they called la Huastca and the Cerrito
del Aire, very desired by the Indians due to the abundance of fish, a wild area, a guava orchard, and a
medley of other eatables which it produces, and a direct road to the port to whose security it contributes
much. Said captain has collected more than 400 persons [composed] of Indians who, since the founding,
have been supported without remarkable occurrence of difficulty always asking for a mission, which I then
took into consideration asking for a minister whose lack, for it not having been ordered, is notable because
it impedes the growth of settlers so necessary at that site as well as the conversion of so many souls which
could already have progressed so much. It is situated four leagues to the east of Santander and 10 to the
west, east northeast of the town of Soto la Marina. This year corn was harvested for its use and it has very
select pastures and running springs for all kinds of livestock for which, plus the commerce of the immediate
port, it is made desirable and it can be a great place and a good mission, a minister being placed there.
It has made its assignation of lands as it appears in the testament number 11 to which I refer.
12. --TOWN OF SOTO LA MARINA
It was founded on the third of September of 1750, with the dedication to Nuestra Señora de
Consolación y los Santos M�rtires Emeterio y Celedonio: its captain Don Juan José V�zquez Borrego
with 51 families, with 197 persons of which six have fled and they are charged, and its squadron, which
is composed of said captain, its sergeant, and nine soldiers making 28 persons which, with the one before,
Its mission, el Infiesto with the dedication to la Purísima Concepción, is administered by the R.F.
Fray Buenaventura Ruiz de Esparza, has 50 families of Indians with more than 200 persons but these,
with the lack of corn in the region, have not been able to be incorporated into the doctrine, notwithstanding
that since its founding they have been supported in their hamlets immediate to the said mission without
having done any harm, helping to fish and to guard the territory with the Spaniards when some frontier
Indians who abound in the southern part of the bay enter, as they often do, and, at present, two other tribes
have joined here which, up to now, it had not been feasible to obtain, and they live there with provisions
with more than 70 families whose captains I clothed providing the others with tobacco, small wares, and
some clothes and corn so they can begin to become friendly and so that the said priest can gain their
apostolic zeal, since it is the best means found in my long experience that helps me to attract them to the
holy fold of the church. This mission, I believe, should be one of the best of the colony; it finds itself with
a good number of major livestock, some minor livestock, and tools for farming which could already be
working if there were not such a lack of intelligent laborers. The sight it has assigned for a mission is very
appropriate, fertile and of good running water that can be extended for the irrigation of the orchards.
The settlers of said town were the poorest and most useless of all of those which were recruited
for this colony; their first destination was to the Río de las Nueces which was frustrated by the total lack
of reaped grains and the death of its captain Don Pedro Gonz�lez de Paredes, which happened on the
march and they suffered some months at the edge of the Río Grande del Norte where, likewise, some of
them died and, having brought them to this reported port, whose town was considered very important, it
was necessary to support them on corn almost the first three years; among them all there was not one that
knew how to plant, the largest number being shepherds, and it has meant a lot of work to get them to begin
to apply themselves to cultivating the lands and to fish from which, plus the salt that they get from the
immediate lakes, they could produce to be able to support themselves and, if they were industrious people,
they could enjoy the commodities offered by the large abundance of fish, salt, and copious fruits for which
the land is good since, even though in few of the areas there is some irrigation, it is extremely fertile with
many running springs, select pastures, abundance in grape, Paraguay tea, and guava. This settlement, it
can be said, has been the only one from which some of the settlers deserted, of which some returned, some
were brought back, and even yet some are still away; with the coming of the ships they are beginning to
be encouraged and, in brief, I expect to add new residents who, attracted by the ease of commerce, seek
to move to it.
The town is situated immediate to the part of the sea which forms the bay, such that the barges
come up close to the houses and the ships a little farther down on elevated land with good valleys which
form various belts of woods. The rivulet of the said town has good water although, when it is very
diminished in times of drought, it becomes dense and somewhat heavy but it does not lack for good water
at a short distance. At the beginning they suffered much with the Indians at whose hands some settlers died
and at the present time the risk is little although the vigil does not cease.
The bank at the mouth of the harbor, which frequently has been sounded, consists of a sandbank
of only 20 meters wide, in rainy season it is not lower than 20 palmos of water and in rigorous droughts
it has gone down to little more than eight but it is a type of volatile sand that, just touching the keel to it,
the water washes it away and it opens a canal; on the outside there are four from meters upward and at a
distance of one league six; on the inside part it has, at the time of major drought, from three to seven
fathoms which is what it continually maintains in front of the town. The entrance is southeast-northwest
at a scant 25 degrees, it has no curves and beyond the bay the bends of the river are so beautiful, that on
the southeast, which it commonly runs every evening, the loaded schooners set themselves up in the town
which is at a distance of nine leagues. From Veracruz arrived the last one which came in less than four
days and those, which have come from Altamira through the sandbar of Tampico, cast their anchor before
24 hours were up; at the moment I am expecting some barges from the said town of Altamira which should
come laden with fruits and some types of cotton of the type that are fabricated there.
So that there can be a continual vigil in the port without cost, I formed a company of fishermen
that I brought from Tampico and Altamira, providing them with the necessities; they have built their
settlements in a prescribed manner and have put in cannons whose handling they do not ignore, either for
the security from the Indians or for signaling on the occasions that it could be needed.
It has made its assignation of lands and they are measured and marked as is found in the testimony
number 12 to which I refer and the same for its mission.
It is situated ten leagues east-south-east of that of Santillana.
HACIENDA OF SAN JUAN
From the rivulet pass of the goats[sic], which is the boundary of the territory of Santillana to the
so-called el Pinole where the territory of the Villa de Soto la Marina begins, there are five measured
leagues northwest-southeast, which form a corner or pocket against the Sierra of Tamaulipa where, in that
area, the river that goes down to the town of Padilla comes close and, incorporated with that of G�emes
and St. Engracia, it runs to the sea, whose travel, due to the great distances and sparse habitation, being
that it is a direct road to the port, would not be able to be cleared of the attacks of the Indians who,
concealed, easily surprised the passengers and stole the livestock of the two aforesaid towns with the
assurance that, once they passed to the other shore of the river, they could not be followed; and not having
been able to find subjects who, at their own cost, would populate that site having the known risk to which
they were subjected, I found myself forced to do it myself as I executed it three years ago with one
thousand cows which I led from the borders, some herds of mares and lesser livestock, although at first
I suffered enough losses of such livestock along with the death of two servants. I have succeeded in putting
it in such a state, that it only requires the continuous watchfulness and distrust, which is always required
with infidel Indians, and that there be provisions of meat and oxen, which were very scarce in these towns,
as well as that of horses and sheep. I have in it 15 families at my cost, the most acting as soldiers, outside
of the small[sic] people who care for the minor livestock, which comprises 64 persons.
From the south to the north the aforesaid lands encompass 10 leagues of which the major part is
occupied by several very wooded hills which only produce feed for cattle in some valleys formed within
them, with very few springs with the exception of the edges of said river, nor their being a convenience
for irrigation; with said population they have obtained the security of the road, and one they cannot damage
as before, leading to the aforesaid towns of Santillana and Soto la Marina to which a great benefit has been
assured; and the heathen Indians, being familiarized with the milk which is abundantly granted, some
tobacco, goods and corn, are beginning to be rewarded such that they now enjoy the good treatment given
13. --TOWN OF SAN FERNANDO
It was founded on the 19th of March of 1749, with the dedication to the patronage of el Señor San
José, its captain is Don Francisco S�nchez de Zamora, it has 63 families with 321 persons, one captain,
one sergeant, and eight soldiers with 30 persons which comprise 351 persons outside of another 20 families
which have not yet been registered.
Its mission, Cabezón de la Sal, with the dedication to Nuestra Señora del Rosario, the minister the
R.F. Fray Joaquín S�enz, has 95 families of Indians with 280 indoctrinated persons in residence and many
others that are living in peace in shacks in the immediate area can be added when grains are available for
their support; they are beginning to get involved in farming, fishing, and the removal of salt. Outside of
these there are another 65 families which have not registered.
Said town is situated on the north edge of the Río de Conchas, 14 leagues to the north northeast
of that of Santander, 14 almost to the west of that of Burgos, 30 to the southeast of that of Reinosa, and
6 to the west of the coast. On its territory of select pastures for all types of livestock which abounds and
also for seasonal plantings to which they are being applied, there is much fish and most of the years the
salt deposits evaporate reasonably from which they provide themselves for their expenses and to solicit
corn. They had the setback of having lost their homes and part of their household goods and some
livestock to the flood which occurred the year of '51; I removed it to higher ground to protect it from such
risks. I had built a good irrigation canal which the flood destroyed and once they have recovered some
strength they shall reconstruct it anew; it has the possibilities of being an important place and it has its
measurements assigned and the lands that belong to it marked, as it appears in the testimony number 13
to which I refer.
14. --TOWN OF BURGOS
It was founded on the 20th of February of 1749, with the dedication to Nuestra Señora de Loreto,
its captain Don José Antonio Leal, it has 46 families of settlers with 193 persons, a captain, a sergeant,
and 10 soldiers, with 36 persons that, with the previous ones, comprise 229 persons.
Its mission, Cueto with the dedication to San Judas Tadeo, had congregated two settlements of
Indians who had been apostates many times and, when they were best attended, they deserted it doing as
much damage as they could. At present they support only one resident Indian in it but there probably is
hope that, when the land is dominated, some settlements from the environs might be added. The R.F. Fray
Simón del Hierro is the minister, it has some livestock and farming tools although they cannot yet plant
due to the lack of operatives. The church, although of adobe with a thatched roof, is very well decorated
with an aisle and statues which Manuel de la Canal gave as an offering, may he rest in peace.
This town was founded with only a few very poor people, it was often invaded by the apostates
of the Nuevo Reino de León but, due to the fertility of the land which is irrigated by a beautiful irrigation
canal from its permanent rivulet, it is getting beautiful and harvests sufficient grains for its use, beans,
vegetables, and sugar cane. It is situated at the foot of the Sierra de Tamaulipa which they call el Reino
de León, on the north side in a lovely area at the edge of a rivulet which comes from the same sierra, 14
leagues almost to the west of the town of San Fernando, 14 to the northeast of that of Santander, about 30
to the north northeast of that of Camargo and 22 almost to the east of that of Linares, which is where this
colony of Nuevo Reino de León is divided. They have made their assignation of lands although as many
times as it has occurred they have not been able to complete the measurement; I refer to the testimony
number 14 which contains that which was executed since I sent the former ones.
15. --TOWN OF REINOSA
It was founded on the 14th of March 1749, with the dedication to Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe,
its captain Don Carlos Cantu, it has 50 families of settlers with 238 persons, one captain one sergeant,
and 9 soldiers with 41 persons which comprise, with the ones above, 279.
Its mission, el Monte with the dedication of Señor San Joaquín, as minister the R.F. Fray Agustín
Fragoso, it has in residence 96 families of Indians with 300 persons who attend indoctrination in which
they are already reasonably well instructed and, although the corn which I have furnished is not sufficient
for their support, they are used to going out to hunt and to find their food, they return quickly and, grain
obtained, many more which are at peace in the environs can begin joining; I expect this to be a great
The settlers of this town entered very impoverished but, with the salt from the immediate salt mime
and skins of deer which abound, they have made a reasonable commerce such that they have supplied
themselves with major and minor livestock, but until now they had not dedicated themselves to planting
which now it looks like they are doing. The irrigation canal, which had been built at that río grande del
Norte, due to the problem of not having been able to make a flood gate of stone and mortar, was
demolished by a flood; it can be built in time and also they can divert water from the San Juan River which
I have considered even though it is a distance of 10 leagues.
It is situated at the south edge of the Río Grande del Norte on good land for pastures, the running
springs outside of the river are scarce and, in spite of the fact that we have noticed that the rainy seasons
do not abound, there are areas suitable for planting corn. It is about 35 leagues to the west of the coast,
about 50 to the southwest of the Presidio de la Bahía del Espíritu Santo placed in Santa Dorotea, 10 to the
east of that of Camargo and 30 to the east-north-east of that of San Fernando.
That town suffered much in those first years due to the great lack of corn and increased freight
whose transportation cost due to the distance, but now reinforced, I expect it to begin increasing and, at
present, they are encouraged to cross some livestock to the other part of the Río Grande, which is very
convenient so that the many Indians which live there can begin to familiarize themselves and it can facilitate
a direct road to the said Presidio de la Bahía del Espíritu Santo. It has its assignations of land made as it
is found in the testimony number 15 to which I refer.
16. --TOWN OF CAMARGO
It was founded on the 5th of March of 1749, with the dedication to Señora Santa Ana, its captain
Don Blas María de la Garza, it has 66 families of settlers with 378 persons to which are added 19 families
which, according to the listing of said captain, have been added after the last registration of married
couples with 24 persons from the outside because the others were sons and daughters of the same settlers
and, with the previous ones, it comprises 85 families with 402 persons, the said captain, a sergeant, and
11 soldiers who moved from the old Presidio de Cerralvo with 129 persons which, with the ones above,
comprise 531 persons.
Its mission, Laredo with the dedication to San Agustín, the minister the R.F. Fray Juan Bautista
García has 500 persons of congregated, indoctrinated Indians and there will be many more which abound
in the environs who will join, attracted to the good style of the said priest; he has already started his field
of corn and of common seasonal beans for which he has farming tools and a good number of major and
minor livestock; they have finished the construction of a decent convent of stone, mortar, and adobe, and
its flat roof of beams and a kind of bitumen and now the construction of the church has begun; among the
reported Indians there are many who are employed as workmen in the construction, as laborers in farming,
in making adobe bricks, soap, and other very suitable jobs to which they apply themselves and, according
to how it goes, it shall be, in short, one of the best missions of the Indies.
The settlers of this town are, as is evident from their registry, generally Spaniards; they came in
with some major and minor livestock which has produced so much that it causes admiration; goats
commonly produce two, three, and four broods and the sheep two and all of them live, and the mules are
commonly large bodied, with which they already find themselves rich due to the great fertility of the land;
this last year they harvested a reasonable corn and seasonal bean crop to which they have taken a fancy.
The great flood of last year of 1751 did some damage to it for which reason I moved it a little
farther down to a higher site. They have built some flat-roofed houses and the settlers are preparing for
The situation is beautiful and very merry at the eastern edge of the San Juan River which forms
a square with the one of the north (abundant in fish) which is introduced at a short distance and, for the
extension of their livestock, they have passed part of them to the north of the latter one which has helped
since it is very important to dominate that area, attract the many Indians that are there, facilitate the
removal of salt, and the transit and communication with the Presidio and Mission de la Bahía del Espíritu
The irrigation canal which had been built at the said San Juan River, because of their not having
trimmed the opening to the canal with stone and mortar, was destroyed by a large flood, but it is easy to
build another although those, who ignore the method, think it is difficult, with whose benefit the perfection
of the said town shall be complete, which offers much growth. It is situated 10 leagues to the west of that
of Reinosa, 30 nearly to the north-northwest of that of Burgos, 25 nearly to the east of that of Cerralvo,
boundary of the Nuevo Reino de León, and 10 to the southeast of the settlement of Mier.
It has made its assignation of lands which are marked by the directions of the east and west and
they only need to measure the distance of the north and south, for which there has been no time. It is all
set in the testimony number 16 to which I refer.
17. --PLACE OF MIER
It was founded (with no cost to the Royal Treasury) on the 6th of March of 1753, with the
dedication to La Purísima Concepción, its captain without salary, Don José de Chapa; it has 27 families
of settlers with 166 persons excluding others which have not registered and several servants.
This settlement, although the number of settlers being small they are of good quality and wealthy,
is most suitable in this area which is fertile, and an irrigation canal is operating from the immediate Alamo
River which, a little farther, down unites with that of the north which it already has in good condition. The
land has good pastures for planting and they enjoy plenty of fish; there are many heathen Indians who
reside there, working with the settlers who support them and it can become a great mission; as yet it has
no priest or ornaments, which is a shame since it impedes others from entering in the conversion of the
Indians and those, who are there are very low-spirited, as it has been reported to me repeatedly.
It is situated 8 leagues to the northwest of Camargo, 10 to the southwest of Revilla and 18 to the
northeast of Cerralvo; it has made its assignation of lands as it appears in the testimony number 17 and it
is already passing its major grains to the other side of the Río Grance del Norte, in the same way as the
one of Camargo, each one at its respective boundaries.
Its administration is under the charge of the town of Camargo until they get a priest.
18. --TOWN OF REVILLA
It was founded on the 10th of October of 1750, with the dedication to San Ignacio de Loyola, its
captain (without salary) Don José B�ez Benavidez, it has 73 families with 336 persons outside of another
19 which, at this time, are conveying their goods and a reasonable number of servants.
Its mission, Ampuero, with the dedication to San Francisco Solano, its minister at present the R.F.
Fray Miguel de Santa María; it has no congregated Indians with the exception of 27 families with 115
persons, who reside in the nearby settlement of Dolores at the other part of the Río Grande del Norte which
is of its administration, whom he educates and indoctrinates, and there are many, who inhabit the banks
of said river, who, with the treatment of the settlers, have started to become friendly; and having harvested
the grains with which to support them in the main, it can become a great mission, for which they have
repeatedly said they are ready.
Said town is situated in a triangle which the rivers Sabinas and Grande del Norte form, on good,
fertile land and with good pastures; it has a good irrigation canal which I had built from the said Sabinas
River and they are already beginning to work in it; it abounds with fish.
Said town has had no cost to His Majesty with the exception of the priest's stipend and ornaments;
its inhabitants are very honest, it has much livestock, some of which they are already passing to the other
bank of the Río Grande del North and I believe it will have much growth when the irrigation canal is
completed and they shall have a great mission there. It is situated 10 leagues to the northwest of the
settlement of Mier and 10 to the southeast of the settlement of Dolores, the Río Grande del Norte in the
The aforesaid, town because of being in the area which was thought of as having the greatest risk,
caused me to work more than two years to contract families to populate it and some of them it was
necessary for me to encourage by supplying them with corn, which was totally lacking at that time, and
other necessary things which, although it was with the purpose of gratifying them to me as it has happened
with many of the other settlements, some time will pass before it is done. Assignation of lands have been
made as it all appears in the testimony number 18, to which I refer.
19. --SETTLEMENT OF DOLORES
It was founded on the 22nd of August od 1750, at the area of the north of the Río Grande of this
name with the dedication to Nuestra Señora de los Dolores; it has 13 families with 50 persons paid by its
captain, Don José V�zquez Borrego, who began it at his own cost with a large number of major livestock
and, at the moment, some minor livestock,
In the same fashion there are another 12 families with 51 persons with which the settlement has
been augmented by Don Juan Antonio Vidaurre, son-in-law of said captain who, in the same fashion, has
added a portion of major and minor livestock.
In residence there are the 27 families of Indians mentioned in Revilla, with 115 person which are
already reasonably instructed in the rudiments of Our Holy Faith and they are administered, like the said
settlement, by the priest of the town of Revilla and, through his work, those of several other hamlets,
inhabiting the borders of that full river, are becoming friendly and offer abundant conversions.
The aforesaid town was the first one to be placed on the other bank of said Río Grande with the
exception of the Presidio del Paso to the New Mexico and is of great importance in the area to facilitate
the union of this new colony with the Presidio de la Bahía del Espíritu Santo, the transit to it and to those
of San Antonio de Béjar and Adaes or Province of Texas, removed to Santa Dorotea, which is already
made through said town without risk with the ease of a large canoe which said captain maintains at his cost
It is situated 10 leagues to the northwest of the town of Revilla, 60 to the southwest of the Presidio
de la Bahía del Espíritu Santo, 80 to the south of the Presidio de San Antonio de Béjar and 40 to the
southeast of the one of San Juan Bautista de Río Grande, one or another deserted ones, of the Presidio de
Santa Rose 60 leagues to the southeast, of the Monclova Capital of Coahuila 65 to the east, of the mission
of la Puente borders of the Reino de León 30 east east-north-east, and of the Real de Sabinas of said Nuevo
Reino de León 30 to the northeast.
The aforesaid town in place, it opened the way to begin populating that north bank of the said Río
Grande which has been thought of as very difficult and they are transporting the livestock to it from
Revilla, Mier, Camargo, and Reinosa, all which are found at the southern part and, once they are rebuilt
and settled, it could effect the populating of the Nueces River and lands in between up to the aforesaid
Presidio de la Bahía which has good weather, pastures, fish, and salt, although springs for irrigation are
Almost ten leagues to the northwest of said settlement of Dolores, above the Río Grande on the
north part of it what they call el Paso of Jacinto, which the one of San Antonio and Province of Texas used
to be it [the pass] for el Presidio de la Bahía, there is a reasonably proportioned site for populating on the
same shore and, even though it has no water to be obtained for irrigation, it can abound in cattle and extend
itself to the rivulets or pools called el Pato and el Salado which are on the northeast road to the said
Presidio de la Bahía with which the passes of said River of the North would be open and safe, putting a
canoe there and following the ridge of mountains in it up to the beginning of the town of Reinosa, from
where they can begin extending themselves to the east and northeast all along the coast with great growth
in population and the conversion of the Indians since there are many who live in those places. The
reported Paso de Jacinto is on this south side three leagues inside of the division line made between this
new colony and the Coahuila Province running towards the north up to that area.
Knowing the usefulness which results from the population of said pass, I have transacted several
affairs and they have resulted in that Don Tom�s S�nchez has presented himself and 12 Spanish inhabitants
with a reasonable number of major and minor livestock, obligating themselves to found a town in it at their
own cost giving them sufficient land for themselves and for those who would begin joining and, for the said
Don Tom�s S�nchez, 15 sites for major livestock in the area of el Pato, a distance of about 4 leagues,
more or less, to the northeast from where they offer to place the said town and they will maintain a canoe
for the passing of mail and anything thing else that might occur like the one which is in Dolores.
The population of that area, to which I have referred, is very important since the settlers will serve
as if they were soldiers on salary without any other interest other than that of the land, to be able to
establish themselves which, experience has shown, means they defend and pacify with more love and
diligence than in the presidios, for which I shall ordain the necessary for the said population if Your
Excellency does not determine otherwise.
It has made its assignation of lands and as everything appears in the testimony number 19 to which
20. --REAL DE LOS INFANTES
It was founded on the 26th of May of 1749, with the dedication to San Miguel, its captain Don
Nicol�s Antonio de Santiago y Castillo; it has 33 families with 162 persons.
It has, as well, 7 families of Pison Indians with 27 persons who, from the beginning, have been
maintained in residence and have been instructed in christian doctrine and administered, like the said
inhabitants, by the R.F. Minister of Palmillas, who belongs to the custody church of Río Verde.
This establishment has cost no expense to the Royal Treasury and it is very important in the area
for the reasons I have set down in the proceeding regarding its foundation whose originals are found in the
Provincial Government since I gave the accounting to them and now I do it with a testimony of the
registration and the certification of its state, number 20, formed by said captain. The mines of said
establishment, due to the lack of people, have not been able to be expanded, the sample is of little pure
silver and a great abundance of alloys which are desirable in Guadalc�zar and San Luis Potosí. The land
is good for planting as well as for pastures; it is 12 leagues to the north- northwest of the mission of Tula
in a valley which the Sierra Gorda forms between the settlement of Jaumave and the Hacienda of la Soledad
and about 10 to 12 to the east-southeast of los Valles of this coast, the Sierra in the center all mineral. [sic]
The families that, as it appears in the accounting I gave on October 31 of 1749, entered with
financial assistance to populate this colony were 481 which, with 59 Olive and Huasteco Indians that were
added to the city of Horcasitas, compose 540. Those that exist there at present are 1,245 with which, it
seems, they find themselves increased with 705 families, besides many otherswhich have not registered as
settlers and a reasonable number of servants which, adding the 144 officers and soldiers, compose 1,389
families of settlers, the aforementioned officers and soldiers being in that catagory with the exception of
4 of the first ones which have been accepted with the [stipulation] that if they be dismissed or demoted it
be their choice to continue in the colony or not.
The settlements which I proposed in my project that could be established were 14, those established
are 20 which find themselves with more than double the families that I set out would be needed with
financial aid. In the number of Indians, the only ones settling are the ones found in residence indoctrinated
into the mission, which seem to compose 2,824 persons but there are many converted ones which offer to
join them, which has not been done in some parts due to the lack of ministers and, in others, because the
provisions were not yet sufficient for their daily support; in the interim they are instructed and they are
harvesting fruits to be able to accomplish it, my being satisfied, for now, with beginning to dominate the
territory and that the settlers begin taking root and attracting them, which is having a good effect since,
enthusiastic about the profits that the work produces, they are becoming adjusted to the place and there is
success of the principal aim of their conversion due to the easy conditions prepared by the true zeal of His
Majesty (may God keep him) and even from those, who are not congregated, the experience has been
almost always that, when they are found in danger of death, they solicit holy baptism with eagerness and
there are many who have died with it, a comfort which softens, in part, the continual efforts which have
been expended for their conversion.
At present, with the exception of the small Janambre tribe which revolted, as it is affirmed in the
Town of Escandón, the rest remain in tranquility and only some, inclined to be bad, tend to steal horses
or cattle to eat which is punished with prudence because its tolerance does not precipitate them to major
From the beginning of the expedition, it was proposed that each settler and soldier would receive
two tracts of land for minor livestock and six caballerias for planting, with water wherever it be found
shared among all as long as it lasts and for the captains, two tracts for major cattle and twelve caballerias
and, although I have prepared the execution of said distribution, I have not done it for three reasons: the
first, because no matter how good the site of the foundation is, it can never have enough in its environs to
be able to accomodate all of them and unhappiness and dejection would occur about the choice which could
be very harmful in these beginnings; the second, that once the lands were distributed there would be a lack
of this principal incentive of becoming interested in them which attracts new families every day that are
much more able and decent than a great number of the ones who entered from the beginning, for which,
those that correspond to each settlement according to its inhabitants and their quality regulated in one body,
it has occurred to me to make assignations to them with set terms so that, enjoying them in common, they
can unite their fields and livestock such that the Indians do not bother them, and when they would have it,
they would share and divide it for their benefit, with which they would enjoy the irrigation, pastures and
watering holes for cattle together, which would not be easily verifiable if the main areas would have fallen,
as it would have to be, to half a dozen settlers; and the third is because, the time not being sufficient for
the needed office and things which incessantly occur, it was not feasible that I occupy myself in such a
cumbersome business nor is there, in these parts, an intelligent person to entrust with it and, moreover,
when it is needed, it be such that, in executing that which is just, I leave those interested ones happy, since
each one would want to be favored in the best way.
All the missions have made their assignation of lands in the areas that have been deduced to be the
most suitable, competent for that which a mission needs, and to the satisfaction of the priests, as likewise
the land-tax to the settlements has been made firm in their respective book as can be seen in their
testimonies of which I have made an accounting and of those that fit in this occasion of what has been
The area of Maliaño, to which Captain Francisco Gómez, resident of el Valle del Pilón, obligated
himself by contract to settle at his expense in the region of el Paso de la Laja among the towns of Burgos,
San Fernando, and Camargo, as I gave notice, he has deferred its execution with several very frivolous
pretexts for which I have required that he comply with that which he stipulated with the warning that, if
he did not execute it, there shall be proceedings against him. It is extremely useful that the said site be
settled for the secure transit from la Cordillera del Norte and there are also other places which are very
necessary to settle by contract, not only to do away with the cover from which the Indians can attack at
their ease, but also so that the passengers and travelers have a protection and a place to buy that which they
need for their transport. For some of them there are some well known families whose deliverance I shall
follow until its attainment.
The apostate Indians of Nuevo Reino de León who, separated from the protection of this coast,
continued for so many years destroying lives and haciendas without there being enough arbitration,
measures, and costs to subdue them, as is reported in more than forty books of documents which are kept
in the Office of the Interior and War, after the most exacting measures dictated by compassion for their
conversion being fruitlessly practiced; they have been beaten by this colony with such zeal that, no longer
finding secure cover, they have found themselves needing to ask for refuge in said Nuevo Reino de León.
And although, to my knowledge, they will only remain the time that they would be dominated by arms,
they have been able, in this conquest and settlement, to control such ferocious devils when they were in
their greatest arrogence, since they had ravaged, destroyed, and burned places, ranches, and haciendas,
this not being one of the least exploitations that this conquest has produced.
The apostates of la Custodia de San Salvador de Tampico y Río Verde, on the southern part, were
so insolent when I began to get acquainted with this coast, that they had caused the desertion of the barras,
haciendas, and towns with many deaths and robberies even within the towns of Valles, Pánuco, and
Tampico which they, united with the heathens of the borders, incessently persecuted, of their trouble, on
the whole, they were freed and the same with the borders of Real de San Pedro de Guadalc�zar, something
that never could have been accomplished without the benefit of this aforesaid conquest.
The extension of this new colony from south to north is about 130 leagues, about 45 from the town
of Altamira next to the Barra de Tampico up to the port of Soto la Marina at the bay of this Nuevo
Santander, 35 from it to the Río Grande del North and 50 to the Presidio Bay and Mission of el Espíritu
Santo. The coast is completely clean; I have not noticed any islands on it, as a rule it is not very deep near
the shore. From said port of Soto la Marina up to Altamira, it runs at a slight incline to the south-southeast
and from said port of Soto la Marina up to the reported bay of el Espíritu Santo it also runs at an incline
to the north-northeast. From east to west at its beginning on the south part from the town of Altamira,
which is next to the sea, up to that of Hoyos, which divides the line with el Nuevo Reino de León, 50
leagues. From said coast through the towns of San Fernando and Burgos up to 5 leagues from that of
Linares which belongs to the said Reino de León, through which the reported line goes, another 50. And
from the named coast up to the rivulet of Carrizo Prieto (12 leagues from the settlement of Dolores) 60
leagues. This most fertile, incognito pocket, which the Sierra Gorda or Madre forms against the sea, is
surrounded by the provinces of Tampico, Pánuco, town of Valles, and San Luis Potosí to the south. From
the Nuevo Reino de León and Coahuila to the south and from that of Texas to the north, such that it unites
them all and facilitates straight roads, which used to be made with very long detours, risks, and costs,
which would impede commerce and communication among them and at present it is already easy and with
the convenience of this barra whereby, with medium ships, a good commerce can be encouraged which
can substantiate it and it can increase in inhabitants, which in general are scarce in all of them, and to make
many minerals available, which due to the lack of commerce are not mined.
The method in which this conquest was established, according to the aforesaid project which I
presented, has manifested its good effect, which is the only one that can facilitate any others that, by means
of presidios, drag on with useless costs[sic]. And if the first three years of this expedition had not been
so terrible because of the rigurous general drought which, at the same time, caused me to battle with
hunger and with the Indians, the progress would be much greater and, due to God's glory, the livestock
abounds and they are beginning farming, building irrigation canals, and beginning to construct churches
and houses which, up to now, had not been possible due to the difficulties that occur at such beginnings.
And in spite of fact that the natural inconstancy of the Indians always inclined to incite necessitates
the greatest precaution to be taken as this begins to grow, I judge that within a few years one can save the
cost of the few soldiers that are garrisoned there, leaving only that of the essential synods for the priests
which, in substance, it is no new cost since the much greater one that was made in various missions which,
from the review I made of them, it resulted that they should not be satisfied, for which reason they were
suspended and even the one of the said squadrons should be extracted, the one which those of Cerralvo,
Boca de Leones, and Tanjuco endangered which, at my consultation since they were no longer necessary
in the areas, the conquest having been made, were extinguished, applying to it for the payment of these.
The message of the good state in which this named colony finds itself is so well established in the
testimonies of the documents that I do not beleave it leaves even the smallest doubt nor shall it be found
at any time. In them is the establishment of the settlers, officers, and soldiers, their class, number of
children, ages, and goods with which they find themselves, quality of lands, irrigation canals, and all the
rest of which it is composed, signed by said settlers, their respective officers and also by the Reverand
Missionary Fathers, in such detail that I have gone into verbosness, for which it has seemed to me pointless
to ask for new separate certifications of the same thing that those who could give them already have set
The many Indians dispersed from the missions of las Custodias de Tampico y Río Verde who (as
I have repetedly stated) live dispersed in the mountains and woods of the Sierra Gorda, the conquest having
already been made of this part of the north of it in which they were garrisoned and, pursued along that of
the south by the companies of those frontiers, they have been converted (in number more than seven
thousand souls) to the reported missions with only the foresight of having brought as prisoners about 35
families which were the most rebellious and they are maintained in this capital, as is set in the paragraph
which corresponds to it, which is a very desired benefit and would not have been obtained if this conquest
had not been made.
All of the 20 aforesaid settlements are situated in what used to be inknown and unpopulated, with
the exception of Real de los Infantes, where they used to bring in some cattle with an escort for short times,
and the one of Santo Domingo de Hoyos, in whose environs was the town of San Antonio de los Llanos
which the apostates of the said Nuevo Reino de León, who found themselves in posession of all that
frontier, had deserted.
This is the most succinct message that I can give, at present, of the happy state of this glorious,
most important expedition in which, with such success, the zeal and great experience of Your Excellency
have expended the provisions which have facilitated its achievement in the great service of both Majesties
and the benefit of the public cause in which he is so interested. What I have spent in almost nine
continuous years which I have expended in its inspection, pacification, and population, can be not less than
that which the Royal Treasury has spent and of no less consideration is what has happened in such a long
absence from my home, family, and businesses, tormented by the jealousy that they even thought me crazy
for having risked myself in such a difficult untertaking. That which I experienced in the conversion of the
Sierra Gorda in a space of more than 15 years not having been less, but all of them well utilized, since it
has produced the conversion of so many souls, an extension of the Crown of Our Catholic Monarchy, and
that of having succeeded in fulfilling the confidence of Your Excellency -Nuevo Santander and August 8th
of 1755. -José de Escandón.
Most Excellent Lord:
In a letter of the 29th of May I announced to Your Excellency what, up to then, occurred and now
I give an account in the attached report of the most happy state in which the conquest, pacification, and
population of this colony of Nuevo Santander, Coast of the Gulf of Mexico, which Your Excellancy
deigned to trust to my command, finds itself, with the respective testimonies, which complete those
remitted before, and the one which contains number 21 in which the R.F. Fray Ignacio Antonio Cipri�n,
president of all these missions, expresses the state of that which is established.
The conquest, Most Excellent Lord, in substance, is concluded although the Indians in these first
years need the greatest vigilance to guard against rebellions, to which they are naturally inclined, and warm
up their congregation to missions; this is a caution without which (as experience has shown me) not even
the old towns can be secure.
The 20 settlements founded are in select areas, as is found in the reported testimonies, and so well
ordered that they form a chain capable of dominating all the land and of helping one another in the attacks
that can occur, this capital of Santander being in the middle, and the strong-hold which I have built there
(at my cost) and (It causes plenty respect.) up to now the houses, in general, are of sticks and palms
becasue new establishment would not permit anything else, but they are already beginning to construct
some of stone and mortar and others of adobe and mud walls and, in general, the breeding of cattle
abounds and they are opening good fields which they fertilize with abundent irrigation canals such that I
can affirm that the foundations found in this great work are such that, through natural conditions, being
how I expect it be served by the true compassion of Our King and Lord (may God keep him), it should
raise itself in a few years to one of the most beautiful and richest provinces of New Spain and, beginning
the labor of its mines to which I have not yet been able to turn because of attending to the mort important
pacification, settlement, and the fields that they bear grains, I expect it will produce much interest to your
Royal Crown and, if the compassion of Your Excellency would deign to declare said expedition at an end
and I, having fulfilled the confidence given to me for it, as your state requires it, I shall be eternally
greatful and with the comfort of having served both Majesties so many years at so much of my expense
and my fortune, as it is evident in the Military Headquarters of Your Excellency, since up to now it cannot
be verified that I accepted salary, financial assistance, or any other gratification, no less having taken fees
nor the least gift of officers, soldiers, and settlers, maintaining at my cost so that everything be official,
secretary, clerk, an increased number of families and with free meals for the priests, officers, and others
that take part, giving to some settlers, supplementing and financing other, such that it has facilitated the
growth of the families found here.
In a letter which I just received from the town of Llera, your Captain Don José Ignacio de
Odriosola informs me that the 400 persons of Janambres Indians, who were joined in that mission of Peña
Castillo and had left after the rebellion of the town of Escandón, having observed the rigor with which they
have pursued the rebels of which only 12 remain, came asking to be allowed to join them again, arguing
that only some of them, by mistake, found themselves in the ambush of the death of the commander and
the theft of the cargo which I related, but that all of the others had kept themselves without having done
the least injury. And it being true what they said, according to the report given to me at the borders of
Tamaulipa where I went at the beginning of June to reassure those Indian friends, I ordered that they be
admitted with certain qualifications leading to their permanancy, with which there only remain those
reported 12 Janambres in that south mountain range which, finding themselves without the protection of
the other tribes to which end I have omitted no measures, I expect they will soon fall.
The accounting of the notions, tobacco, and cloth for the gratication of the Indians that, as I related
to Your Majesty, were bought and were sent in July of last year of 1751 and that of corn with which, on
the order of Your Excellency and the determination of the Royal Council, they and the settlers were saved
on those three sterile years, besides the very much with which I have helped them; I shall prepare it and
send it [the accounting], and I had not executed it because even today it is necessary to help some of the
missions with corn so that its lack not bring the congregation, where they are found, to ruin; I suppose that
it is of little importance because my principal aim has always been directed toward not disturbing the Royal
Exchequer as much as possible.
Your Excellency shall determine what he might estimate to be His greatest pleasure which, as
always, will be the best. Town of Nuevo Santander and August 8th of 1755. - José de Escandón.
Most Excellent Lord:
On the 8th of August of this present year, I reported to Your Excellency of the happy state of the
conquest, pacification, and population of the Coast of the Gulf of Mexico which Your Excellency was
served to put into my command, and utilizing the license which Your Excellency deigned to grant me to
travel to Mexico City with the aim of removing whatever doubt could occur about the business, I left it the
2nd day of the current month leaving in command until my return Lieutenant Colonel Captain Commandant
Don Juan Francisco de Barberena and for his absences and illnesses, the captain of the town of Nuevo
Santander Don José Sanchez de Dovalina with the corresponding instruction. It is without problems in
great tranquility and, in spite of the fact that the drought was long and rigorous, I report that they will
harvest grains for the the year's use, which is the fundamental base of its permanence.
Repeatedly I have reported to Your Excellency that that new colony abounds in good minerals
which, up to now, we had not been able to work either because of the lack of security or that the settlers,
distracted by it, might not increase the fields of grain to which I ordered they principally dedicate
themselves to avoid the great difficulty which their transport from the frontiers offered. And these
inconveniences having ceased, I gave permission to begin to work at the cerro called Santiago, 8 leagues
to the north of the town of Hoyos and I founded Real de Borbón, with the dedication of Nuestra Señora
de Begoña, in the same way and with the proper conditions as are the others of that colony and, although
it only has 40 families of settlers at present, there are many which are coming because of the great quality
they have observed in its metals because, even being a virgin vein, it has not lessened in the repeated
assays that have been done in marks of silver per quintal of metal. The site is admirable for populating,
of good weather, abundant in water, fish, wood, select pastures, and land for planting and its populating
very important due to its being a direct transit for said colony to the Nuevo Reino de León whose apostates,
because of being between the Sierra Madre or Gorda and the Cerro de Tamaulipa, robbed and killed with
the assurance that they would not be able to be followed. I turned over its command and escort to the
captain of said town of Hoyos, Don Domingo de Unzaga, with the commission for the registry of mines
and the perception of the royal duties which the silver began producing which shortly will begin emerging
in some haciendas which are already being constructed and, so that the Royal Treasury does not burden
itself even with the synod of priests, I entreated the Very Reverand Provincial Father of the province of
San Francisco de Zacatecas, from where the said town of Hoyos is administered, to place a priest in it, that
he set a tariff for said settlers, satisfying the needs for its upkeep and also for the Indians which congregate
at the mission.
In the area called the Mission of Palmillas, center of the Sierra Gorda, direct road for entering into
said Coast of the Gulf of Mexico, with 53 families of settlers which I was recruiting for some days, I
founded the Settlement of Palmillas with the dedication of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves and I ordered its
administracion to the R.F. minister of that mission, which belongs to the custody of Río Verde of the Holy
Province of San Pedro and San Pablo de Michoac�n, with the order that they satisfy the regular needs for
their support which, as the preceeding, causes no expence to the Royal Treasury, and I named a lieutenant
as captain and two sergeants so that the he organize it and govern it in the military and political things and
procure its security so that some band of Indians does not infest it, which they tend to do supported by
hopes, and with the 20 settlements which the cited report contains, they make up the number of 22 to which
others will be added for which I have prepared families, since today they are more easily obtainable
without fincncial aid than before with it. -Querétaro and October 13 of 1755. - Don José de Escandón.
This copy agrees with the description in which the honorable general Don José de Escandón gave
an accounting to the Military Headquarters of this New Spain, the day of its date, of the state of the
conquest, pacification, and population of this Coast of the Gulf of Mexico put into his command and also,
with the two consultations entered at its continuation, that everything is in its respective file to which I refer
from which I, the secretary of war, caused to remove and removed by verbal mandate of Your Lordship.
It has been corrected and arranged in 24 sheets, all of them common paper. Witnesses were Don Luis de
San Crist�bal, Antonio Morales, and José de Arcila, present in this town of G�emes, where it was done
on the twenty-eight of April of seventeen hundred fifty-seven years.
In testimony of truth, I signed it. - José de Guevara. - Secretary of War. - (Rubric)
CERTIFICATION. - Fray Francisco Javier García, apostolic preacher and missionary minister
in this town of N.S.P. San Francisco de G�emes, son of el Colegio de Propaganda fide de Nuestra Señora
de Guadalupe of the city of Zacatecas:
In complying to the exhortation made by the honorable Don José Tienda de Cuervo, Knight of
the Order of Santiago, Captain of the Dragoones and Inspector Judge of this colony of the Gulf of Mexico:
First of all I say that found as residents and settlers in this town of G�emes at this time are 78
families, as is evident in the census of this year of '57. There are no converted Indians or any in residence
in this settlement; instead, in the preceeding years, the residents of this settlement from two years ago to
now have received much injury; it seems they are not acting so rigorously, only if the rivers rise they tend
to steal horses. Among the campaigns that have been made they have brought three male Indizuelos and
one female that have been baptised; of these, two have died here and the other two are found alive living
The settlers of this town, from which they proceed so I have been told, the others aver being of
Nuevo Reino de León, have been established already nine years; their transportation and establishment and
cost have been through the honorable Don José de Escandón and financial aid, I suppose, must have been
on order of Your Majesty.
They separated a spot for the Indians, the best for a mission, which is in el Paso de Corona, which,
from here to there, must be a league and a quarter by the road which goes from here to Santander down
along this river where I plant a couple of measures of corn and other residents which have assembled to
plant, according to how far its possibilities reach; I have not taken possession of said region since the
Indians have not wanted to come down to mission.
Rivers immediate to this town are the one of San Felipe at whose shores is the town, the one that
begins on the west side of Sierra Madre from the mouth called San Felipe, the one which runs to the east
and about at three-fourths of a league joins with the river called Santa Engracia, the one which comes to
the west, the one which begins at the said sierra and runs towards the east and joins with the cited one and
goes to join itself farther over here from the church, region of the Indians thus called, with the one of
Padilla, the one of Aguaya and Salado and they go into Soto la Marina where they end. At the Santa
Engracia River they have built four irrigation canals and, for it, the General gave 150 measures of corn
to help with the said irrigation canals, which were not built due to the lack of an intelligent man. It is the
most abundant river, in my opinion. If the water could be taken from it, it would be very suitable to this
town for farming. In this San Felipe River they have built two irrigation canals in which the same has
happened as was said. In the seasonal cultivation they plant more than 20 measures of corn; when it is a
good year it has come to 300 measures per measure although not generally since the residents are not
farmers. The land is fertile and good. A league and one-half from here there is a marsh on the west side
that they call el Cargador where something like a string of water comes out and joins with the Santa
Engracia River, and said Santa Engracia River is a distance of about one league from here on the north
side. I cannot give a report about crops because they started to farm only a short while ago this past year,
regarding that there might be some experience, there is none since the wind and water knocked down and
rotted the corn. When the settlers here lack corn, those who need it are provided by the closest towns.
The land of this town is good for the raising of major and minor livestock. As it seems to me they
will have more than four thousand horses, of cattle they could have about one thousand five hundred, sheep
and goats they could have more than six thousand; this is among all the residents.
In regards to mines, the captain who was from Aguayo worked one or two of silver, from a test
he made where he found that they had silver, but he could not find out if it was of good quality so that it
could be worked. In this state they were abandoned due to the death of said Captain Olazar�n.
This settlement is peaceful and gets along with the neighbors around; they have experienced no
harm, only on the sheep ranches have thay experienced some damage in the pastures.
Of the enemy Indians it is not feared that they would attack the large population.
This is the truth which I have seen and experienced, which I certify and swear in verbo sacerdotis
and so that it be put on record I give this my certification in this town of our H.F. San Francisco de
G�emes on the 29th of April of 1757 years. - Fray Francisco Javier García.--(Rubric.)
CERTIFICATION.--In response to that which here in this writing, which preceeds, is asked of me,
I say: that the first settlers that settled this town of San Francisco de G�emes were 40 families to whom,
each one in particular, was given 100 pesos which Your Majesty gave for their transport. It was given to
them in reales. Afterwards this population helped itself with 150 measures of corn, which I find would
cost three pesos per measure, since they were maintained at that price, which comes to 450 pesos plus
some one hundred pesos more or less that, from the order of the honorable general Don José Escandón,
were parceled out to some Pison Indians, who are now in the mission of Aguayo, by the captain Don
Felipe Téllez Girán, deceased, who was able to get said Indians to help him work on an irrigation canal
that he started on this San Felipe River at whose banks this town is. The ornaments which Your Majesty
gave to this mission, the same ones being used in the church of this town, always with the end that, at the
time that the mission be effected, the Missionary Minister take them to his mission. These are five
ornaments completed fitted out, one of each color, a missal, a chalice with its paten, a large cup, a large
reliquary all of silver, the urns with a large silver cross, the urns also of silver, two altar cruets with their
silver plate, a small silver bell, two copes, one white and the other black, the priest's sash, and a mozzetta,
the white clothes, an embroidered guidon, a large bronze cross, a tin lamp, four copper candlesticks, a
censer with its copper drawer, two large bells, the largest must weigh 10 arrobas and the little one eight,
everything could come to the cost of seven hundred or eight hundred pesos, plus one thousand eighty-four
pesos and ten grains that were included as fincncial aid to the missionary of this mission. In all it seems
to come to the quantity of 6,334 pesos and 10 grains. All this I have said the King Our Lord (may God
keep him) has paid. I do not know nor have heard whether Your Majesty has spent more in this town and
its settlers in their transportation as well as for the preservation of them themselves. These settlers support
themselves with their dealings and contracts from that which they raise in major and minor livestock,
horses and mules, in that they sell all this to the same traders who enter. There are some who help
themselves with the corn that they sow and others with their little mules either carring cargo for the Count,
or with salt which they take to el Real de Guadalc�zar or to other parts wherever it is profitable.
This is what I know and how I can respond to that which Your Lordship asks me. This is what
I certify and swear in verbo sacerdotis. Realize Your Lordship see that if you order anything else, that I
will execute it with goodwill, with which I ask God Our Lord to keep Your Lordship many years. San
Francisco de G�emes and May 1st of 1757 years.
Your trustworthy servant and chaplain kisses the hand of Your Lordship. - Fray Francisco Javier
DOCUMENT.--In the town of G�emes, on the first of May of seventeen hundred fifty-seven years,
the honorable Don José Tienda de Cuervo, Inspector Judge named by the most excellant Viceroy for the
inspection of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, ordered that a general review be made of the residents and
settlers existing in this town, of their arms, wives, sons, and families, and that it be investigated what goods
and livestock they have so that, everything done, its state be put at the end of the documents and it be made
known to the captain Don Juan Elías Moctezuma, in whom the command of justice of this settlement is
found, so that he give a list of all of its inhabitants and so that, by nine o'clock in the morning of this day,
they are all ready for this proceeding, and he signed it.--José Tienda de Cuervo.--(Rubric)--Roque
Fern�ndez Marcial. --(Rubric) --Francisco José de Haro.-(Rubric.)
NOTIFICATION.--In the said town on the said day first of May, it was made known to the captain
Don Juan Elías Moctezuma what the previous document contains and he said he was ready for its
accomplishment. --Tienda de Cuervo.--(Rubric.)--Roque Fern�ndez Marcial.--(Rubric.)--Francisco José
REVIEW.--In the reported town of G�emes, on the 1st of May of 1757 years, the said honorable
Don José Tienda de Cuervo, having received the list of inhabitants and settlers of this town given to him
by its captain, he entered into the plaza near the church where all the inhabitants already were and said
gentleman, having sent a message of entreaty to the missionary father Fray Francisco Javier García so
that he would serve to be present in the action of the review in order to have the reports that would be
suitable, the said message was given to him and with much pleasure he concurred with said gentleman and
in all forms the said review was begun calling each one by name, registering the arms, and asking them
the questions that were proper, that everything was executed in this manner.
1.-- Captain Don Juan Elías Moctezuma, present, who was a resident of Valle del Maíz, married to
María Ignacia Guzm�n. He has four children, María de la Luz of seven years, Francisco, of
five, Antonio of two, José de León at breast: with four married servants which are not numbered
in the population, one with a wife and two children, another with a wife and one son, and two
others with their wives. Besides four orphans, two boys and two girls. All arms and 20 horses.
1.-- José Miguel de Escobedo, Spaniard, soldier since the founding of the squadron, present, who was
a resident of la Frontera de Sierra Gorda, married to María Gertrudis Ventura. He has four
children, Rita of 11 years, José of 10, Gertrudis of 9, and José of 8; he is on salary. All arms
and 10 horses.
1.-- Mateo de los Santos Pérez, mulatto soldier on salary, who was a resident of Pilón, married to
Juana Albina. He has two children, Juana of 15 years and Francisco of 10. He enlisted in the
service of Simón Balboa on the seventh of September of seven [sic] hundred fifty-six. All arms
and six horses.
FIRST SETTLERS WHO EXIST TODAY
1.-- Sergeant Juan Manuel de la Cruz Marroquín, Spaniard, who was a resident of Valle del Pilón,
married to Manuela Martínez, has seven children, Tomasa of 19 years of age, Carlos of 13,
María of 10, Benita of 8, Dolores of 7, Fernando of 6, and Basilio of 1. All arms and 12 horses.
1.-- Francisco Dur�n, Spaniard, absent from San Fernando with permission, who was a resident of
Labradores, married to Micaela de Nava, Spaniard, has four children, María of 9 years,
Desiderio of 7, Joaquín of 5, and María Inés of two. All arms and 12 horses.
1.-- Marcial de los Reyes, mestizo, ill he came as settler in place of Tom�s Ventura, was a citizen
of Río Blanco, widower, has a daughter Gertrudis of 14 years. All arms, he has no horses.
1.-- Francisco Javier G�mez, Spaniard, present, was a resident of the town of San Felipe, married
to Floriana Isabel Guerrero, Spaniard. All arms and 4 horses.
1.-- Don Felipe Antonio G�mez, Spaniard, absent from la Huasteca with permission, was a resident
of the town of San Felipe, married to Doña María Manuel[a] Zamora, Spaniard, all arms and 2
horses, his goods, along with those of his father who is the one who preceeds.
1-- Paulino Antonio Pérez, mestizo, absent from Huasteca with permission, was a resident of la
Mota, married to María Basilia Martínez, mestiza, has a daughter called María Antonia of 10
years and two orphans, José of 14 years and Pedro of 10. All arms and 5 horses, with 10 young
1.-- Juan Dionisio Pérez, mulatto, absent from la Huasteca with permission, was a resident of la Mota,
married to María Josefa Ramírez, has three children, José of 6 years, María Gregoria of 5 and
another at breast. All arms and 3 horses.
1.-- Domingo de Zepeda, Spaniard, present, was a resident of Pilón, married to Isabel de Arg�ello,
Spaniard, has a son named Cayetano of 36 years, both with all arms and 3 horses.
1.-- Efigenio Balboa, mulatto, present, was a resident of Valle de la Mota, married to Tomasa Cantu,
mulatto, has six children, Miguel of 18 years, Vitoriano of 14, María of 10, María Modesta of
9, José of 8, and José Dionisio of 7. All arms and 2 horses.
1.-- Luis S�nchez Balboa, mulatto, present, was a resident of la Mota, married to María Fonseca,
mulatta, has four children, María of 10 years, José of 6, María of 5, and María Trinidad of 3.
All arms and six horses.
1.-- Pedro de la Garza, Spaniard, present, was a resident of Cerralvo, married to Basilia Balboa,
mullata, has three children, José of 7 years, José Antonio of 4, and María of one. All arms and
1.-- Blas Candelaria, Spaniard, present, was a resident of los Asientos de Ibarra, married to Gregoria
de Rivas, mestiza, has four children, Martín of 10 years, María of 9, María Barbaneda of 6,
and María Dolores twin with her, of six. All arms and 6 horses.
1.-- Manuel Bautista, mestizo, present, was a resident of San Luis Potosí, married to Pedra Gervasia,
mestiza, has five children, Juana María of ten years, Rufina of 8, Florencio of 14, Manuel of
13, and Pablo of 11. All arms less the sword, 3 horses.
1.-- Tom�s de Torres, mulatto, present, was a resident of Valle del Pilón, married to María
Gertrudis, Spaniard, has five children, Antonia of 18 years, Pedro of 14, Pedro José of 13,
María of 12, and Ana María of 10. All arms and 5 horses.
1.-- Faustino de Torres, mulatto, present, was a resident of Valle del Pilón, married to María
Emerenciana, has six children, José of 13 years, Juana of 11, José Domingo of 10, Francisco
of 7, Juana of 6, and Gertrudis of 4. All armes and 2 horses.
1.-- Crist�bal Ramírez Tangumba, mulatto, present, was a resident of Valle del Pilón, was widowed
in this town, has one son called José of 8 years. All arms and 10 horses.
1.-- Javier Balboa, mulatto, present, was a resident of la Mota, married to María Ignacia de Ojeda,
mulatta, has five children, María Rosalía of 13 years, Miguel of 7, José of 5, José Francisco of
3, and María at breast. All arms and 6 horses.
1.-- José Javier Quintanilla Serna, Spaniard, with permission in la Huasteca, was a resident of
Saltillo, married to María Balboa, has one son called Marcos of 16 years, both with all arms and
4 horses, with four head of swine.
1.-- Crist�bal Morales, Spaniard, present, was a resident of the town of Linares, married to María
de los Dolores Rodríguez, Spaniard, has all arms and 5 horses and a daughter named Manuela
1.-- Pablo Raimundo Mireles, Spaniard, absent in la Huasteca, was a resident of Pilón, married to
Ana Zepeda, Spaniard, has seven children, Pedro of 14 years, Benito of 12, María of 10, José
Domingo of 8, José Manuel of 6, José Miguel of 4, and Vicente at breast. All arms and six
1.-- Pedro Balboa, who died, and a son of his stands for him, I say José Mateo, who married his wife
María de Torres, having come from Monterrey; the said Balboa left seven children, Antonio of
17 years, in the charge of the sergeant, with all arms, four horses, Cipri�n of 12 years, Pascual
of 8, Juan Francisco of 6, Victorino of 5, Pedro of 4, and Ana María of 2.
1.-- Francisco Balboa, mulatto, was a resident of the town of Cadereita, married to María Gutiérrez,
mulatta, has three children, Martín of 14 years, Juana of 12, María of 7. All arms and a horse.
1.-- Juan Balboa, mulatto, was a resident of the town of Cadereita, married to Ana de Ojeda who
died in this town, he has four children, Feliciana of 11 years, Vicenta of 10, Josefa of 4, and José
Antonio of one. Two horses.
1.-- Santiago de la Cruz, and in his place Manuel de Figueroa, mulatto, was a resident of Real de
Bolaños, married to Juana de la Cruz Dur�n, mestiza, has five children, Manuel of 17 years,
José Gregorio of 13, José Ferrer of 11, José María of 7, and José of 15. All arms, two horses.
1.-- Juan de Escobar, mulatto, was a resident of the town of Cadereita, present, widower, has three
children, Ramón of 14 years, María of 13, and Francisco of 9. All arms and two horses.
1.-- José Fonseca, mulatto, present, was a resident of Valle del Pilón, married to María Guadalupe,
mulatta, has four children, Francisco of 7 years, Simón of 4 years, María of 3, and María Josefa
of two. All arms and without horses because the Indians took his livestock.
1.-- Juan José Paulín Escobedo, mestizo, present, was a resident of the town of Linares, married to
Juana Martínez, mestiza, has eight children, María of 15 years, Josefa of 14, María of 11,
Josefa of 9, José Miguel of 7, José Luis of 5, Francisco Javier of 3, and María Josefa at breast.
All arms and 3 horses.
1.-- Juan Antonio Treto, mestizo, absent in el Jaumave, was a resident of Valle del Pilón, married
to María de Villafranca, Spaniard, has eight children, Juan of 18 years, Miguel of 15, María
Alejandra of 12, Juan Esteban of 9, José Basilio of 7, and one at breast. All arms, 6 horses.
1.-- Juan José Mancilla, Spaniard, absent with permission in San Fernando, was a resident of Río
Blanco, married to Catarina de Zuñiga, Spaniard, has five children, Antonio of 11 years, Juana
of 9, María of 7, María Guadalupe of 4, and one at breast. All arms and 8 horses.
1.-- Simón Balboa, mulatto, present, was a resident of la Mota, married to María Martínez, mulatta,
has eight children, Antonio of 18 years, Juan of 15, María of 11, María Gertrudis of 10, María
Candelaria of 7, María Trinidad of 4, José of 2, and José L�zaro at breast. All arms and 7
1.-- Don Antonio de Valle, Spaniard, bachelor of 25 years, is living in Linares in preparation for a
judgement, was a resident of said town. Nicol�s de Acuña, present, cares for his hacienda and
serves in his place, all arms and 50 horses.
1.-- Andrés de Cuevas, present, was a resident of la Puebla de los Angeles, Spaniard, married to
María García, pure blooded, has 4 children, María of 13 years, José of 10, Rosa of 3, and
María Josefa of 2. All arms and 5 horses.
Juan Estanislao García, Spaniard, was a resident of Querétaro, died and was married to Juana
Morales, who also died and they left six children.
1.-- Juan José, his son, of 13 years, present, Juan Bernardo of 11, Francisca Antonia of 10,
Antonio of 9, José Manuel of 7, and José Francisco of 4, all arms and 10 horses. They are
under the tutelage of Juli�n Guillermo, settler.
1.-- Juan S�nchez Sereno, present, Spaniard and was resident of la Frontera de Sierra Gorda, married
to María del Carmen, Spaniard, has one son José of 7 years, all arms and one horse and he has
with him his mother, María S�nchez and a granddaughter Anastasia of 11 years.
1.-- Toribio de las Casas, Spaniard, widower, present, was a resident of the town of Cadereita, has
two children, Juan of 25 years and Juli�n of 24, all well armed, 30 horses and 4 servants from
Don Ignacio del Valle, Spaniard, absent with permission, of the age of 23 years, was a resident
of la Frontera de Linares.
1.-- Esteban Ruiz, present, serves in his place, with all arms.
L�zaro José de Aparicio, master blacksmith, he died.
1.-- Juan, son of the same, present, of 24 years, who was left with his widowed mother, María
Catarina, christianized Indian of the town of Venado, and with his [or her] sister, María of 12
years. All arms, 4 horses and their harnesses.
1.-- L�zaro Laureano de los Santos, mestizo, present, was a resident of Cerralvo, married to Juana
Gertrudis, mestiza, has three children, José of 6 years, José Gregorio of 3, and José Víctor of
one. He has no arms, three horses.
1.-- Eugenio de la Riva, deserted, bachelor who served the absences of Juan Juli�n Franco, who left
to serve the Squadron of Padilla.
SETTLERS WHO HAVE INCREASED
1.-- José Guillén, mestizo, present, was a resident of la Mota, married to Luisa de Quir�z, mestiza,
has a son Domingo of 2 years. All arms and 25 horses. Dorotea, mother of the antecedent, who
lives with him and three servents.
1.-- José Damasio, Spaniard, present, bachelor, was a resident of Huajuco, all arms and 8 horses.
1.-- José Ferrer de Valle, present, Spaniard, married to María de las Casas, Spaniard, has two
children, José of two years and Eulalia of one, all arms, three horses and two slaves.
1.-- Ignacio Mariano Valle, present, Spaniard, was a resident of Sabinas, widower, all arms and one
1.-- Juan Aparicio Bravo, Spaniard, absent with permission from el Jaumave, was a resident of
Huajuco, married to María Caballero, Spaniard, has one daughter called Ana of 18 years, all
arms and 5 horses.
1.-- Juli�n Guillermo, Spaniard, absent with permission from el Jaumave, was a resident of Querétaro,
married to Rita García, has two children, José of 3 years and José María of 2, all arms.
1.-- Marcos de Torres, Spaniard, present, was a resident of el Pilón, married to María de los Ríos,
mestiza, has three children, José of 5 years, María of 3 and María Teresa of one, all arms and
1.-- Juan José García, mestizo, absent with permission from la Huasteca, was a resident of the city
of Celaya, married to Juana Ignacia de Rivas Saavedra, mestiza, has five children, María of 10
years, Martín of 9, Florentín of 5, Pascual of 3, and José Antonio of 2, all arms and 4 horses.
1.-- Juan Zepeda, Spaniard, present, married to María Mireles, mestiza, has three children,
Francisco of 14 years, Paulo of 12, and Gertrudis of 10.
1.-- Don José Ramírez, Spaniard, present, was a resident of the city of Celaya, married to Doña
María Gómez, Spaniard, was a resident of the town of San Felipe, has two children, José of 4
years and María Ignacia of one. All arms, 12 horses and 2 pack donkeys.
1.-- Doña Tomasa Zepeda, with one daughter of 5 years, who was married to Don Antonio de
Castro, native of Galicia, whom the Holy Inquisition seized for having married twice and his wife
1.-- Juan Antonio de Jesús, mestizo, present, married to Petra Balboa, mulatta, has two daughters,
Marcela of 3 years and Juana of one, all arms, without horses.
1.-- Doña Juana Díaz Zepeda, with one son of 4 years and one daughter at breast, married to Don
José Miguel Reyes, native of Medellín, in Estremadura, and he deserted without anyone knowing
more about him.
1.-- Quiterio de la Cruz, mulatto, present, was a resident of la Mota, maied to Inés Figueroa,
mulatta, has one son Quiterio of 9 years, two horses, and he has no arms.
1.-- Damacio de la Cruz, mulatto, present, was a resident of el Fresnillo, married to Ignacia de la
Candelaria, has two children; he has no arms nor goods.
1.-- Diego de los Ríos, absent with permission from San Fernando, who was a sergeant of this
squadron, mestizo, was a resident of la Mota, married to Josefa Gonz�lez, Spaniard, has three
children, Luis of 23 years, José Antonio of 16, and Ramón of 14, all arms and 8 horses.
1.-- Juan Antonio de León Cuello, mulatto, absent with permission from la Huasteca, was a resident
of la Mota, married to Rita Balboa, has two children, Martín of 10 years, Juan of 11, and one
orphan of 2. All arms and 10 horses.
1.-- José Miguel Morales, present, was a resident of Labradores, married to Mariana Gonz�lez,
mestiza, has with him his mother, all arms, and two horses.
1.-- Simón Tadeo Morales, mulatto, absent with permission from la Huasteca, was a resident of the
town of San Felipe, married to Antonia de la Ascención, mulatta, has one daughter called María
of 10 years, all arms and 4 horses.
1.-- Ignacio Lucas Galindo, mulatto, present, married to Luisa de los Santos, Indian, all arms and
1.-- Juan Vicente Balboa, mulatto, present, married to María García, Spaniard, has one son José at
breast, all arms and two horses.
1.-- Lorenzo García, mestizo, present, married to Dionisia B�rbara, mulatta, all arms and two
1.-- José Manuel Mena, Spaniard, present, was a resident of the town of Jerez, married to María
Gertrudis Gonz�lez, all arms and 10 horses.
1.-- José Luis Gonz�lez, present, was a resident of la Mota, married to María Josefa V�zquez, has
one daughter Juliana of 12 years, all arms and two horses.
1.-- Bernardo Ramírez, mulatto, present, native of los Asientos de Ibarra, married to María de la
Encarnación, mestiza, has a son José Matías at breast, all arms and three horses.
1.-- Domingo Felipe de los Reyes, Indian, present, was a resident of Guanajuato, married to María
Antonia de León, all arms and three horses.
1.-- José Ignacio de Loza, mestizo, present, was a resident of the town of León, married to María
Vicenta de los Ríos, has no arms nor horses.
1.-- Francisco Antonio de los Reyes, Indian, present, married to Gertrudis de Escobar, has one
daughter at breast, has no arms nor horses.
1.-- José Domingo Zamora, mulatto, present, was a resident of Labradores, married to María Luisa,
has one son at breast and three horses, without arms.
1.-- Lorenzo de Izaguirre, mulatto, absent from Soto la Marina, was a resident of el Valle del Maíz,
married to Felipa Balboa, has two children, Petra of 12 years and one at breast, all arms and four
1.-- José Crist�bal, mestizo, absent with permission from la Huasteca, was a resident of Guadalc�zar,
married to Catarina, has one son Antonio of two years, without arms or horses.
1.-- Francisco Pérez, Spaniard, absent with permission from Zacatecas, was a resident of Valle del
Maíz, married to Luisa Dur�n, widow of Felipe Téllez Girán who was captain of this town, has
4 children, Vicente of 10 years, María of 8, María Gertrudis of 4, and Juana Josefa of 2, all
arms, two horses, 12 suckling pigs for breeding, and one female donkey.
1.-- José de Zepeda, Spaniard, present, was a resident of la Mota, married to María Andrea S�nchez,
Spaniard, has 6 children, María Josefa of 7 years, Brígida of 6, María Guadalupe of 4, José of
3, María of 2. and Francisco Javier of one, all arms and six horses.
FAMILIES THAT ARE NOT REGISTERED
1.-- Juan Nicol�s de Holguín, mulatto, present, married to a mulatta from outside, has three children,
without arms and two horses.
1.-- Pedro Eligio, mulatto, present, married to Sebastiana, mulatta, has three children, without arms
1.-- Juan Ventura, mulatto, present, native of Matehuala, married to Juana Sereno, Spaniard, has
one son, without arms, 4 horses.
1.-- Crist�bal García, mestizo, present, native of la Mota, married to a daughter of a settler, has two
children, his arms less the sword, two horses.
1.-- Santiago Guerrero, mulatto, present, native of San Luis Potosí, married to Mariana, Indian, has
one daughter, without arms or horses.
1.-- Antonio Ruiz, mulatto, present, native of Labradores, married to Angela de Escobedo, has four
children, all arms and four horses.
Lucas de la Cruz, Indian of reason, bachelor, without arms or horses, present.
Nicol�s de los Santos, Spanish speaking Indian from outside, bachelor, present.
Lucas, Spanish speaking Indian from outside, present.
According to the previous review, the number of families composing this area is 79, that of its
persons 392, its equine beasts 2,615, harnessed mules 54, yokes of oxen 90, heads of minor livestock
7,235, and those of bovine livestock 1,123, and there are 413 horses not included which their residents
have destined for working, as it appears in the same items of this list. And in regards to the best
justification of this action, the M.R.F. Fray Francisco Javier García, Apostolic Missionary there, was
asked to be present for those reports that correspond and, having been present giving those that were
requested in truth, responding to the truth of the existance of the goods and persons present, and also those
that appear to be with permission, the said Don José Tienda de Cuervo asked him to serve to concur in
signing this proceeding in consequence of it, as he executes it and, completed in this manner, he sent it to
be placed at the end of the documents.--José Tienda de Cuervo.--(Rubric)--Fray Francisco Javier García.--(Rubric)--Roque Fern�ndez Marcial.--(Rubric)--Francisco José de Haro.--(Rubric.)
DOCUMENT. - In the town of G�emes, in 2 May of 1757 years, the honorable Don José Tienda
de Cuervo, by virtue of seeing the justificatory instruments set in these documents that precede for the
knowledge of its commission, decreed that the examination and declarations received in this settlement
about the content in the instruction, which begins its formation, be set and put in at its continuation and thus
he ordered, decreed and signed it. - José Tienda de Cuervo. - (rubric) - Roque Fern�ndez Marcial. -
(ruberic) - Francisco José de Haro. - (ruberic).
Inquiry of questions that are to be made to the witnesses who testify in the reports that are to be
done according to the instruction of the Most Excellent Marquis de las Amarillas, viceroy governor and
captain general of this new Spain, committed to the Captain of Dragoons Don José Tienda de Cuervo,
for the inspection of the Coast of the Gulf of Mexico, of the New Port of Santander and of the Sierra
Gorda, its areas, settlements, establishments, congregations of converted Indians, their number and that
of the families of the boundries and frontiers that the conquest realizes and the conversion that has been
and continues to be in the charge of Don José Escandón and for the examination of the other points that
shall be explained.
1.- Firstly they will be asked how the Sierra was Gorda before the conquest and what settlements and
converted Indian villages it has established at the present, the condition in which they are found,
their names, and that of the lands in which they are situated; the number of settlers that it has and
that of the converted and assembled Indians, how many of these have received the holy baptism
already, how many there are without this benefit, by what reason and by which apostolic ministers
they are aided.
2.- Item, from where do the settlers proceed, how long have they been established, who financed their
transportation and establishment and what measures have favored their subsistence, as well as that
of the assembled Indians, and to what these extravagant expenses will rise in general and in
3.- Item, whether the Indians have quarters in the settlements for their congregation and for living,
separate from the Spanish settlers, at what distance they are one from the other or whether they
serve and dwell all mixed together either for the better comfort or because the sites do not permit
4.- Item, whether, in the name of the assembled and converted Indians, possession of the lands and
sites on which they are to establish their subsistence has been given to the apostolic ministers, how
and what reliability the execution of this ordinance has had, whether it was or was not ample for
the settlers and whether the fortunes of the lands thus indicated are already put into fields and
5.- How many rivers and where they run in the colony; whether there is information or not about their
origin and where they end, how they are called and what settlements are found situated at their
borders and at what distances.
6.- Item, what irrigation canals have been built from these rivers or are being built for the irrigation
of lands and what areas are the ones which are fertilized or can be fertilized and to what
settlements they correspond.
7.- Whether there are other settlements that do not enjoy these comforts, [but] have those of some
springs from which they could obtain the same benefits, how many there are and what areas they
cultivate in this order.
8.- Item, what uses are made from these lands with these benefits, if to sow seeds, which are the most
assured in the crops and whether there are or are not lands for the planting of vegetables or other
fruits and how many already have this application.
9.- Item, how many measures of grain have been planted in the settlements, how many have
constituted their annual compilation more or less in the harvests, whether these have been
benefitted by the rains or by irrigation and whether they have sufficed for the subsistence of the
settlements and converted Indian villages or whether it has been necessary to be subsidized from
the immediate and contiguous provinces, at whose cost, whether that of the King of Escandon, or
of the settlers.
10- Item, what settlements are situated in what is the actual coast of the Gulf of Mexico, how far from
the sea and what ports, bays, or anchorages are observed, either created by nature or such that they
can be changed for the safe docking of major or smaller vessels.
11.- Item, whether the terrain of all the colony is for the purpose of the breeding and conservation of
cattle or sheep, what haciendas of this type are found already established in it and what progress
is felt from its benefits.
12. - Item, whether it is publicly known or is particularly known or there is indication that the same
territory may have mines, what metals they are and where are they situated and whether there are
some or some in use, in whose name are they, what effects these benefits on everything else that
concerns these obligations of the mining have.
13. - Whether are there any creeks or salt pools that crystallize and their salts are consumable, in what
area they are and whether, ultimately, the settlements of the colony and even the border provinces
of these kingdoms can be supplied either by sea or by land.
14. - Item, whether its settlements are found within the circle that forms the colony, assemblies, and
haciendas in entirely peaceful tranquility, its natives subdued, or whether on the whole or partly,
they cause some vexations or whether these have experiences or are fearful solely along the
borders in the area of the heathen Indians of the unconquered (area) and what idea has formed
about them and of the territory that they occupy.
15. - Item, whether the Sierra Madre or Sierra Gorda is one and the same known by both names, and
whether they are different, what distance there is from one to the other, and if both are inside the
New Colony, what proportions the Sierra Tamaulipa contains for settlements and whether these
would be suitable and whether they are considered precise for enjoying its good lands and to
deprive sanctuary or retreat to the barbarian Indians that could disquiet those of el Llano with the
safety of the open entry that they have into it from the Sierra Gorda.
16.- Item, what settlements of the Nuevo Reino de León or of other ancient provinces are borders of
the Nueva Colonia, how far they are situated and what benefits they have felt after the conquest
in regard to the vexations that they might have suffered from the natives that occupied it.
17. - Item, what number of captains, corporals, and soldiers are found enlisted under these titles, what
salaries do they enjoy, in what manners are they satisfied and of what occupations, detachments,
affaires, and securities are they made charge.
18. - Item, in the general exceptions of the law say, etc.
And by such questions the commissioner Don José Tienda de Cuervo, ordered that they examine
the witnesses who should state what they might know in its matters giving adequate information for the full
knowledge of the truth and that they be charged with the secret of what is asked of them and what they may
answer about them and that they swear it in due fashion and he thus decreed, ordered, and signed it with
the witnesses present. In which virtue he acts according to that which chapter 22 of the instruction, that
gives birth to these documents, prepares, for which the witnesses are appointed for this purpose, Don
Roque Fern�ndez Marcial and Don Francisco José de Haro. Town of San Francisco de G�emes and
April 28 of 1757 years.-José Tienda de Cuervo.- (Rubric) -Roque Fern�ndez Marcial. (Rubric)
-Francisco José de Haro. (Rubric)
DOCUMENT. -In the town of San Francisco de G�emes, in 30 days of the month of April of 1757
years, the honorable Don José Tienda de Cuervo, gentleman of the order of Santiago, captain of dragoons
of the new city of Veracruz and inspecting judge for the most excellent viceroy Marquis of the Amarillas,
field marshal of this New Spain for the inspection of the coast of the Gulf Mexico, beginning the
formalities of his commission in this said town for its being the most suitable area to continue its destiny;
he formulated the inquiry of questions that are to be made in the organized information according to the
instructions and he appointed the witnesses that are to be present in their performance, who are Don Roque
Fern�ndez Marcial and Don Francisco José de Haro, and he decreed that the said inquiry for this
purpose be put as head and beginning of these reports so that the witnesses be examined and the other
formalities that suit the accomplishment and performance of its assignments be continued in its compliance.
-José Tienda de Cuervo.- (Rubric) -Roque Fern�ndez Marcial. (Rubric) -Francisco José de Haro.
1. STATEMENT OF FRANCISCO JAVIER GAMEZ - In the town of G�emes, in 30 days
To the first question he said: That he does not know the state that the Sierra Gorda had before the
conquest because he had not, nor has, traveled it and that there were no settlements at all in the
area of this new colony, but it is the one called San Antonio de los Llanos which was then in the
jurisdiction of el Nuevo Reino de León and today is the town called Santo Domingo de Hoyos,
with the only difference of its inhabitants and residents having moved a quarter league farther
down toward the land of this new colony to which it is attached and that he has reports that the
missions of el Jaumave, Palmillas, and Tula were already established before the conquest and that
in this town of G�emes there is no converted Indians settlement at all and, therefore, there is no
established method at all in this matter; that the number of settlers that this town has today would
be, to all appearances, about eighty and that they are accompanied by the missionary apostolic
priest Fray Francisco Javier García.
To the second question he said: That the first settlers of this town came from the jurisdiction of
Monterrey, of el Nuevo Reino de Le�n, that, in all, there were forty families and furthermore a
captain with his [wife] so that 39 were drawn from the said Monterrey, the witness and the his
[wife] of San Felipe, jurisdiction of San Miguel el Grande, and the captain, who then was Don
Felipe Téllez Girán, (he) came from Mexico and later married in the jurisdiction of el Nuevo
Reino de León from where he brought his family to this town of G�emes, and that it is about nine
years that they came to establish themselves and that, for the costs of their trip, 100 pesos in silver
were given to each family by the hand of Don Roque Barrera by order of General Escandón and
that for their subsistence, in that beginning, nothing was given to them again until after beginning
the work on a canal that was attempted for the irrigation of the land, the inhabitants were given
one hundred measures of corn and in another occasion, having done the same work in another
canal, another fifty measures, both items being given by order of the said General Escandón and
that, afterwards, not one thing has been given them nor have they had financial help nor has it been
offered to supply anything else to the settlers. And, although, at present there are no Indians
assembled, nor have there been any until now, the witness knows that in the year of '49 or '50,
these settlers being in the disposition of a canal, their captain Don Felipe Téllez Girán went to
lead some Indians to work on it and, in fact, having brought a few, the number of which he does
not remember, they worked and were given some tobacco, blankets, sackcloth, and some trousers
that, for this purpose, General Escandón had placed in the power of the said captain and that it
seems that all the value of what was given to said Indians would be about one hundred pesos. And
that Captain Girán, with the much communication that he had with this witness, he informed him
that his coming was earning five hundred pesos salary per year of whose calculation the declarer
conjectures that the excessive spending of that beginning of the first population will rise, without
including the salary of the reported captain, to four thousand three hundred twenty-five pesos.
And asked, in consequence of that which precedes, how many settlers or residents have been
increased up to the present, from where they have come and how they been financed for their trip
and establishment, he said: That today they are about 80, more or less, residents and families of
which this town is composed whose increase procedes from the fact that some are servants that
have come afterwards with their families, others that have come and have gotten married, and
other shepherds who have remained there, without any having been supplied anything for their
transport and establishment.
To the third question he said: That this town has land at a distance of one league marked for the
assembly of the Indians but, the conversion of any not having been verified, quarters have not been
built and there are only huts on those lands that the missionary father has for those, who till and
cultivate those lands, to shelter themselves .
To the fourth question he said: That the lands designated for the Indians, which are those that
appear in the previous question for the benefit of the missionary father, due to none having been
converted, possession of them has not been given, only the appointment having been made for
when the need arrives; this particular designation not being understood for the settlers, because for
them there has not yet been designated more than some in common and, therefore, they have only
put to work and cultivation that which each one has been able to support with his work.
To the fifth question he said: That what the witness knows is that the river of San Marcos, that runs
by Aguayo, originates in the same Sierra Gorda and ends in the river that they call Santa Engracia,
running through Mesas Prietas and making its end farther up than Padilla; another river called San
Diego which has its origin from the aforesaid mountain range and runs through the plains a
distance of about two leagues from the aforesaid and ends at that of San Felipe at a distance of one
league from this town; another river called San Felipe which is the one which passes through the
environs of this town at about a stone's throw and also originates at the aforesaid mountain range
and, running straight, ends at the Santa Engracia River about three fourths of a league from this
settlement; another river called Caballeros, that has its origin in the said Sierra Gorda about two
and one-half leagues distance from the antecedent and runs until joining with the San Felipe where
it ends a little more than a league from this town towards the mountain; and that this river, in the
time of drought, does not connect to the river of San Felipe because the small amount of water that
its origin produces is consumed in its transit. And the same happens in the time of drought to the
river of San Felipe which is the one which passes by this settlement since, were it not for the water
that is introduced by the of San Diego, it would have none, as is experienced from its origin until
it is joined by the aforesaid. There is another river, that of San Pedro, that begins at the same
mountain and runs about three leagues diverted from the antecedent by the area that they call
Mentidero and it ends in the Santa Engracia River about two leagues above the said Mentidero.
Another river called Santa Engracia, that has its origin in the mentioned Sierra Gorda and runs a
distance of aboutcone and one-half league from the antecedent, continuing through the area that
they call Mentidero and it continues about a league, more or less, diverted from Padilla, until
ending in the Río de la Purificación, about a league farther down from Padilla. Another river
called la Purificación that originates in the same Sierra Gorda near San Antonio de los Llanos and
continues through Padilla and ends at the sea passing, so it seems to him, about two leagues from
the Villa de Santillana, and that he has no information about the others that he has heard of to give
a report of them.
To the sixth question he said: That in this town of G�emes they have begun work and labor on six
occasions at the task of six canals to see if they could obtain irrigation, at which much time, work,
and money was spent by the residents; in the river of Santa Engracia the four occasions, and the
two in the San Felipe, and in none has it been possible to have success due to its being very low
and it being morally impossible, in the judgment of the declarant, and that last year they attempted
to put into work the same irrigation canal from the river of San Diego, about a league and two
cordels from this town, whose inspection was made through this area with the assistance of the
general Don José de Escandón, in whose sight and presence, the one who declares exposed the
difficulties that he was faced with in order to obtain it in view of the past experiences and, as
procurer of the town, he formally opposed it, knowing the fruitless work that all the residents
would face until an intelligent person would be provided who would assure them whether the
irrigation could be done and verified due to the small amount of water that this river can provide
during a drought; and the arrival of the honorable engineer to this town being arranged, this
declarant concurred with said gentleman to see and ascertain if this canal could be effective; the
said honorable engineer was of the opinion that they could bring the water forming the canal in the
terms that he explained to them to which the declarant, doubting in his mind that they could,
explained the difficulty that is offered by its depth and lack of water, since all the abundance is
barely composed of one square quarter, more or less, and that having to continue (though it might
be obtainable) to the distance of one league and two cordels on dry land and some depressions, its
consumption, before arriving at the areas where it is needed, is likely. And that he also knows that
in Padilla they have worked two canals, one in the river of la Purificación and another in the Santa
Engracia, and that in neither of them could they obtain their aim. And that he knows that in
Aguayo they have built a canal with enough water abundance, favored by the convenient origin
and height, with which their field is made fertile. And he knows also that in Santander equal
benefit has been achieved with another canal and that he has heard that in Llera the same has been
obtained and that the same occurs in Hoyos y Burgos.
To the seventh question he said: That he does not know in what condition the other distant
settlements might be in stocks of water because he has not dealt with them and he has only heard
that the spring that Soto la Marina has for its use is very sparce.
To the eighth question he said: That in the areas where irrigation is achieved, they plant anything
with success, especially corn, which is the most favorable and suitable, some beans, cane fields,
some vegetables although few, melons and watermelons, that all of this abounds with the benefit
of the irrigation.
To the ninth question he said: That regarding this settlement of G�emes, from its establishment
until the present year, the planting that has been done has been very varied due to the changes that
its settlement has had in such different regions and, calculating the present year as that of some
consideration and also the past one, he believes that they might have planted, in that one and this
one, from 14 to 16 measures in each one, because in the other previous ones the work was so light
that it could get ahead in the improvement of the lands, that there was one year that only three and
one half measures were sown and others of five, and that he does not know, due to not having
experience, what annual compilation this town produces, but that there is no irrigation nor any
other benefit than the weather. And that in some years it has been essential to make use of other
settlements in order to have corn for its subsistence, bringing it from Jamauve, Palmillas, Aguayo,
and Santo Domingo de Hoyos and not of the old provinces, whose grain and foods these residents
used to buy and have bought at their own cost, trading their horses and other livestock, which each
one raises, for the these comodities.
To the tenth question he said: That the settlements that he knows are situated in that which is the
real coast of the Gulf of Mexico, are: Tanguanchín (alias Santa B�rbara, Horcasitas, Escandón,
Llera, Aguayo, G�emes, Altamira, Padilla, Hoyos, Santander, Santillana, Soto la Marina, San
Fernando, Burgos, Reinosa, Laredo, Camargo, y Revilla; and that he does not know the distance
from these to the sea and he also does not know what ports, bays, or anchorages there can be at
the seacoast because he has heard of none other than of Soto la Marina.
To the eleventh question he said: That it is certain the terrain of this colony is suitable for the
breeding and conservation of major and minor livestock, and that at the boundary of this town,
which is where he can make calculations with some knowledge, there should be about four
thousand five hundred head of sheep and goats among all the residents and bovine livestock about
six hundred heads and about two thousand two hundred mares and horses all in the common
pastures of the residents scattered in the boundary of two leagues, more or less, in the outlines of
this settlement for which the planting of this area is retained scattered each one toward the parts
where he has his pasture and livestock, and that he believes that from these cattle good
improvements could be expected for their benefit due to the good ruling that their general has
given so that no female animal that has given birth be extracted.
To the twelfth question he said: That he has news from a friend of his, captain of Aguayo called
José Luis de Olazar�n, that at Boca de Caballero in the jurisdiction of Aguayo, a distance of
about five leagues from this town of G�emes, there is a mine territory in which his said friend had
placed his hacienda to work it and that he had drawn some small pieces of poor grade metal and
that he had carried them to Charcas to assay them and they got six ounces of silver in all and he
has word that in that same mountain there are many mines and that he has heard that in a place that
is called Versebú, to one side of Tamaulipa, there are other mines and that he does not know
anything else in this affair.
To the thirteenth question he said: That he knows that in Soto la Marina there is a saline lagoon
that produces crystallized salt in white stones and of good quality, that it is sold and trafficked up
to the border provinces and that the manner of selling it is by thirds of up to nine "almudes" for
the value of two pesos each load in the region where is taken, and that also in the reservoirs in the
immediacies of the sea around the area of San Fernando there is also a very large lagoon that
crystallizes and that from it many quantities are drawn and that it is common to all the colony, but
that the most economical are those which are more immediate and that he has no news of other
crystallizing ponds or creeks and he knows that these are sufficient to provide the settlements of
the colony and even the borders, as they have been providing and do provide.
To the fourteenth question he said: That he does not know whether the settlements of the colony
may have any anxiety among themselves nor whether they caused any vexations because all remain
peaceful, on the side of its settlers, but that they do experience some harm from the Janambres
Indians toward Tamaulipa la Vieja, especially the town of Escandón and that of Llera, and from
other various heathens and renegades who go around as vagabonds without any fixed assistance,
and that the regions most persecuted by these are Padilla, Escandón and Llera as it has been
experienced before now; but that lately the inconsistency of those assembled has been noticed,
through those who rose up in the Jaumave and took with them those of Aguayo and Sant María de
Llera from which several deaths that they inflicted resulted, and he repeats that the territory that
they occupy can not be secured .
To the fifteenth question he said: That since long ago the Sierra Madre is the one which
distinguishes the mountainous country of the entry of this colony, that thus he has always heard
it called and that the name of Sierra Gorda he believes is what it is called in other areas but that
the declarer does not know it by any other name nor does he know if they are different ones and
that he can not give information whether in the Sierra Tamaulipa settlements could be adapted nor
if they would be suitable because he has not been in them.
To the sixteenth question he said: That the town of Linares of el Nuevo Reino de Léon is a border
to this new colony and the town of Cerralvo of the same jurisdiction, and that he does not know
exactly how far they are situated from the colony and that the benefits that they receive from the
settlers of this colony are that of selling its corn, produce, and other various things with which they
come to do business; and that he has hear that in those borders they experience less damages since
this colony was populated.
To the seventeenth question he said that he does not know exactly the number of captains,
corporals, and soldiers that are found enlisted in all the colony but that he believes that in each
settlement there is a captain. And regarding this town of G�emes, it is evident that there is a
captain with a salary of five hundred pesos per year and two soldiers with 225 pesos each and that
the payment of these is made by the general Don José de Escandón in goods for their use and
development such as cloth, fine linens, "serges", woolen cloth, linens from Rouene, etc. And that
the service of the captain is the command and government of this settlement and the soldiers
occupied in guarding the fields until some occurance or excursion comes up, at which time they
go out with the captain and the other residents that are ready with the soldiers for any emergency,
although these do not have any salary; since whenever it comes up, they serve at their own
To the eighteenth question he said: That they do not concern him in anyway. and it having been
read to the declarant ad verbum all that he has said up to now so that he say whether he needs to
add or remove anything or it be ratified, he said that what he has said and has been read to him
again is the same as he has stated and which he would newly state if necessary since it is the truth
and he ratifies himself in it by the oath he has made and he signed it and stated being of the age
of 57 years and thus signed the honorable inspector with the witnesses present. -José Tienda de
Cuervo.- (Rubric) -Francisco Javier de G�mez (rubric) -Roque Fern�ndez Marcial. (Rubric)
-Francisco José de Haro. (Rubric)
2. STATEMENT OF CAPTAIN DON JUAN ELIAS MOCTEZUMA - In the town of G�emes in
To the second question he said: That the first settlers that came to this town were from Linares,
la Mota, Labradores, and Pilón of el Nuevo Reino de León and that they were 40 in number,
financed from the account of the king, giving one hundred pesos to each family by the hand of Don
Roque Barrera by the order of the honorable general Don José de Escandón, these quantities
serving for their conveyance and establishment in this town and that on the same occasion, as
captain of the squadron of this said town, Don Felipe Téllez Girán came with his family with the
salary of five hundred pesos per year, all this having been in '49 and that, besides the settlers, the
said captain brought a squadron of seven men also with their indicated salary of 225 pesos per year
for each one, and in relation to the subsistence of the settlers and by what measures it was favored,
he has no positive information, he only knows that the honorable general Don José de Escandón
supplied some measures of corn, that he does not know what quantity they were nor from what
account they were given; and that there are no assembled Indians in this town, as has already been
expressed, and that the costs and expenses that the conveyance of 40 families could have come to
were about 4,000 pesos, without including the salaries of the captain and the squadron nor that of
the corn with which their subsistence was aided.
And being asked, in consequence of the preceding, how many settlers or residents have been
increased, from where they have come, and how they have been financed for their trip and
establishment, he said: That the increase that is seen at this time comes from several areas and
some have been married here and others have had their families and that these have financed their
trip and establishment and that since the declarer has lived in this town as captain, which has been
the time of two years, he does not know whether they have been given any expenses.
To the third question he said: That this town has land designated at a distance of one league for the
congregation of converted Indians but, the conversion of none having been verified, quarters have
not been built and there are only some huts in those lands in which the missionary father has his
field and some livestock and in them he has his corn planted.
To the fourth question he said: That the designated lands for the Indians, which are those that
appear in the previous question, to benefit[sic] the missionary father due to none having been
converted, possession of them has not been given, only the appointment made for when the
occasion arrives and that to the settlers, although the property and boundary of this town for their
work and breeding has been designated for them, it has been done in common and not in
particular, permitting them only that which they might work and they serve themselves, each one
of those which he might be able to improve or graze and the others which they do not need they
lease to the shepherds.
To the fifth question he said: That the principal rivers of the colony are: the first which originates
in the port of el Ahorcado near Palmillas and gathers the waters of this settlement and those of
Jaumave and, crossing the Sierra Gorda, comes to the settlement of Santa María de Llera where
it takes this name and, continuing its current to that of Escandón, it receives there that name anew
and, continuing its course about a distance of three leagues, the Río Frío and that of Sabinos are
incorporated with it with whose strength it continues up to Horcasitas, where it also takes on the
name of this settlement, and continuing near Altamira, it ends in Barra de Tampico. Another
principal river, said to be that of la Purificación, which originates in the Sierra Gorda and comes
through the town of Río Blanco and continues cutting the mountain to the front of Santo Domingo
de Hoyos about three leagues distant from this settlement and continues to go out to the settlement
of Padilla and, cutting the edge of Tamaulipa, it goes until it comes out just at Santillana and
intersects through the Hacienda de San Juan, which is that of the honorable General Escandón,
and from there it goes by the environs of Soto la Marina and ends in Barra de Santander. Another
principal river that originates in el Nuevo Reino de León which they call Conchas and it comes
along the edge of the town of Burgos and continues along the border of San Fernando and
continues by a mission that is of the same town and continues until Barra del Sauce at the sea to
where it ends; another river called el Grande, of whose origin he has no information, that goes
along the border of the Hacienda de Dolores to the edges of the settlement of Revilla and continues
to a distance of one league of the place of Mier and continues a distance of one league from
Camargo and goes to the border of the town of Reinosa and goes up to the sea where it ends at the
sand bank of its name; and that, concerning the other smaller rivers that are found in the environs
of this town, they all have their origin in the Sierra Gorda and come to their end, for the most part,
in these surroundings and, before arriving at this town, the one of San Diego, gathering with the
one of San Felipe, the one of Caballeros doing the same and, continuing this union, although with
little water strength from all of them, it passes to join with that of Santa Engracia at a distance of
one league of this settlement and this one, also originating in the Sierra Gorda, runs and is joined
about three leagues farther down from Padilla with the River la Purificación and there it ends.
To the sixth question he said: That regarding that which concernes this town, it has been attempted,
with the personal work of the area on five occasions at quite a large cost of money and time, to
construct a canal, although he does not know whether they have spent anything other than the
work, but it does appear that on three occasions they set to work on this task at the River Santa
Engracia, a distance of about three leagues from this town, and on two other occasions they
attempted the same at the River San Felipe, which is the one that passes through this settlement,
and in none could it be achieved, although he cannot give a reason for it; and that it has been
almost two years that it was attempted again to make a canal, taking it from the River San Diego,
a task which has not been put to work due to the shortages that its settlers have suffered, as well
as because they wish to find someone that guarantees them whether it will be effective in order to
not risk their work in vain and that the honorable Engineer, having come to this settlement, went
to ascertain if it could be effective and he assured them that it was and that he would give the
settlers the instructions of how they must form the canal to obtain it and that, although the
missionary father and the one empowered in this town made him aware of the the shortness of
water that it has in time of drought, he nevertheless assured them that it could [succeed] and that
only the first year would they have some difficulty because of that which would soak into the land
but that, after it created mud, a current of some sort would remain; and the declarer says that
without going into it or it not being effective, it is to be felt that if it would be achieved, it would
be a supreme relief for this town because they could plant up to 50 measures of corn with its
To the seventh question he said; That he knows that the town of Aguayo has a river and an
abundant canal with which it achieves the best benefits of its produce, the settlement of Santo
Domingo de Hoyos and the one of Santa María de Llera obtaining this same parity and that he does
not know that others achieve this comfort other than the town of Santander, this serving them well
for the irrigation of the corn and the cane.
To the eighth question he said: That, for the settlements that achieve the benefits of irrigation, their
lands serve for the sowing of corn which is that which most abounds and it is almost the only
application of the fields, although they also plant some cane, and beans are sown and some
vegetables, but the land is suitable for all.
To the ninth question he said: That regarding that which concerns this town, he knows that in the
time of two years, the time that he has been there, they have planted up to about thirty measures
in each one[sic] and that in the last year there was the misfortune of flooding and the loss of the
major part of the crop due to the many rains but he who was able to rescue himself, managed to
reap the increase of two hundred measures for each one that he sowed and, in this settlement, the
sowing has no other benefit than the seasonal one and, regarding the preceeding years, he can give
no information for his not having experienced it; and that with the crop of the last year there was
not enough for the subsistence of these settlers and some of them have been availing themselves
of bringing the corn that they need from Aguayo and other settlements of this colony, buying them
at their own cost in exchange for horses, mules, and other produts of the land.
To the tenth question he said: That the settlements that are situated in what is really called the
Coast of the Gulf of Mexico are Altamira which is about ten leagues from the sea, Horcasitas
whichis thirty leagues from the sea, Escandón which is a distance of about forty leagues from the
sea, Santa María de Llera that is fifty leagues, Aguayo thirty-seven leagues from the sea, G�emes
thirty-two leagues, Padilla twenty-six leagues to the sea, Santander nineteen leagues to the sea,
Santillana eighteen leagues to the sea, Soto la Marina six leagues to the sea, San Fernando twelve
leagues to the sea. Reinosa, Burgos, Laredo, Camargo, Revilla, Mier, and Santo Domingo de
Hoyos, of these last ones I can give no information of their distances to the sea, and that the ports,
where he knows there are bays or anchorages, are la Rada de la Trinidad which is in front of
Tamaulipa la Vieja, the Port of Santander, and that of Sauce, that he does not know if it is a port
or anchorage, and that, although he has heard that there are others, he cannot give information
To the eleventh question he said: That all the land, in general, from the colony is suitable for the
raising and conservation of major and minor livestock and that there are many haciendas of this
type in all the settlements, like the general Don Domingo de Unzaga has in Santander, two in
Santo Domingo de Hoyos, Don Lucas de Zamora in the same town and various subjects in
Altamira and in many other parts of the colony, and a great benefit is experienced in all of it
because of the types of livestock; and, regarding that which relates to this town of G�emes, it is
judged that, in the common area of its small vicinity, the equine livestock comes to the number of
four thousand heads and about one thousand five hundred of bovine and from seven to eight
thousand of sheep.
To the twelfth question he said: That he knows that in the Boca de Caballeros in the jurisdiction
of Aguayo there is a mine that is not being worked because its owner died and it has remained as
lost, there not being anyone who continues it; and that he knows that in the Cerro de Santiago there
is another mine, jurisdiction of Santo Domingo de Hoyos, that, so the declarer has heard, Don
Domingo de Unzaga, captain of that settlement, is working, and that he has no news of any others
nor can he give any other report about these other than this one.
To the thirteenth question he said: That he knows that in the place that they call San Lorenzo, road
to Camargo, there is a salty creek that they call San Lorenzo which crystallizes white and good salt
with abundance, that they tend to come from the bordering settlements to load it; and that he has
heard that at the borders of Mesas Prietas there are salt deposits, although meager, but that he has
not seen them; and that he knows also that in Altamira there are abundant salt mines from which
they loaded even with wagons and also he knows that at the Anchorage of el Tordo, that is in front
Horcasitas at the sea, it crystallizes with great abundance, something which the declarer knows and
it appears to him, because they have loaded their mules in that place. And also much salt is
crystallized in the lagoon that they call los Morales which is a site that is to one side of Barra de
Santander toward the south which the declarer has seen and it appears that it is large, a size of
about three leagues. And also there is another salt deposit in Barra de San Fernando that they call
Sauce which also crystallizes abundantly; there is another salt deposit, which, although he has not
seen it, he has heard it commonly said that it is formidable, in Barra del Río Grande from which
he has no doubt that the colony and the border provinces and even all the kingdom can be provided
abundantly if it were possible to make use of it in due course.
To the fourteenth question he said: That all this colony is found peaceful and its settlements,
assemblies, and haciendas in good relations and in complete tranquility; only where there are
assembled Indians, because of their little reason, do they tend to be very little amenable because
sometimes, without anymore motive than their bad digestion, they flee and other times they return,
and that the savage Indians, who tend to cause some injuries to this settlement of G�emes, are the
I�icoples who live in the site of the churches which is in the part that projects from the River of
Santa Engracia that comes from the Sierra Tamaulipa, and also from the Indians that live in the
place that they call the Malinche; and about the other settlements he cannot give a report of the
areas that they bother and that the judicious idea that has been formulated about these is that they
are thieves of a type that are maintained by the theft of animals and livestock for their subsistences
and that they do not aspire to anything else.
To the fifteenth question he said: That the Sierra Madre and the Sierra Gorda are one and the same
known by both names and that the calling them by these two names is for no other reason than for
it having been common at that time of its origin and from before Queretaro their calling it Sierra
Gorda and from General Escandón having named it from this calling, but that generally in this
colony and in the borders and in the ancient settlements, the name of Sierra Madre is known and
frequently used which is that which is inside the New Colony. And that concerning the Sierra
Tamaulipa, there are two of the same name, one distinguished by Moza and the other by Vieja,
and that both are very suitable for settlements because of their good lands and springs and water
sources in its shoulders and the declarer believes that it would be very suitable that they situate
settlements there so that the savage Indians would not have the sanctuary of those mountains and
the plains would remain secure.
To the sixteenth question he said: That Villa de Linares of el Nuevo Reino de Léon and the town
called Río Blanco and Villa de Labradores and Cerralvo, as well as Coahuila and Sabinas, are
borders of this New Colony on the north part; and that on the southern part la Soledad, Real de
Minas de Guadalc�zar and Valle de Maíz, that one or another settlements of said borders is at a
distance of about 40 leagues; and that, regarding the benefits that said frontiers might have
received from the conquest of this colony, he believes it not being other than that of the
convenience of being able to freely have the salt and trade the livestock and products that are
available in one or another area, because from the heathen Indians they have always had the
injuries from their refuge in the Sierra Tamaulipa la Moza.
To the seventeenth question he said: That he knows that there are 16 captains in all the colony, the
14 with the salary of five hundred pesos each, such that he of which he doubts whether the one of
the settlement of Revilla has this salary, and that, concerning the number of enlisted soldiers and
with salary, he cannot say how many they might be, but he knows that the salary that each one
earns is 225 pesos but regarding this Town of G�emes, the declarer enjoys annually those five
hundred pesos and he has at hand two enlisted soldiers who earn 225 pesos each per year, these
three salaries being those which are paid solely in this said town and the manner with which they
are satisfied is that they have their attorney in Mexico and this person collects from them and sends
those things that they request of him and the declarer is occupied as the captain in carrying the
command and administration of justice of this said town and the two soldiers in caring for and
supervising the campaign.
To the eighteenth question he said: Asked regarding the General Legal Data, that they do not
concern him in anyway, and it having been read to the declarer all that up to now he has said ad
verbum so that he say whether there be anything to add or to remove or that it be ratified, he said
that what he had said is the truth by the executed oath and that there is nothing to add or remove,
that instead he does approve it and if it be necessary he will say it anew, he stated being of the age
of thirty-seven years and he signed it with the honorable Inspector and the witnesses in attendance.
-José Tienda de Cuervo.- (rubric) -Juan Elías Moctezuma. -(rubric) -Roque Fern�ndez Marcial.
(rubric) -Francisco José de Haro. -(rubric)
DOCUMENT.- In the town of G�mes in three days of the month of May of seventeen hundred fifty
seven years, the honorable Don José Tienda de Cuervo, having seen the formalities practiced in this
settlement, considering them as sufficient to become knowledgeable of its state and to be able to report that
which might be suitable to the most excellent Honorable Viceroy, by virtue of his assignments, desirous
also to avoid the expenses for the Royal Treasury which follow and not to lose an instant of time in the
execution of the rest, ordered that all of that corresponding and executed in this town be accumulated,
assembled, and put in a separate folder so that, in this manner, that which corresponds to this settlement
be found with facility and thus he decreed, ordered, and signed it. - José Tienda de Cuervo. - (rubric) -
Roque Fern�ndez Marcial. - (rubric) - Francisco José de Haro - (rubric).
On the tenth of February of 1758 evidence from this folder was drawn to give an account to His
DOCUMENT. - In the said town of G�emes on the said 5th day of May of 1757 years, the said
honorable Don José Tienda de Cuervo, in continuation of his formalities in this settlement, he ordered
that they have a general review and that the order be passed to the captain who has the command of
ordinary jurisdiction in it and, to that effect, the document having been formed in this matter for Don
Domingo de Unzaga asking him for the necessary list for this purpose, it was ordered and decreed in the
In the town of Santo Domingo de Hoyos in 5 days of the month of May of 1757 years, the
honorable Don José Tienda de Cuervo, Gentleman of the Order of Santiago, Captain of Dragoons of the
new city of Veracruz and Inspecting Judge for the most excellent honorable Viceroy for the inspection of
the Coast of the Gulf of Mexico, ordered that they pass a general review of the citizens, settlers, and
inhabitants in this town, their weapons and provisions of service and that, for this, the Captain Don
Domingo de Unzaga, who is the one in this settlement who holds the command of the ordinary
jurisdiction, give a list showing their wives, children, and families, their names and what goods, estate,
and livestock they have, attaching at its conclusion the declaration of the salaries which those listed earn
and in what manner the service is done, who they are and what the aforesaid captain also earns, passing
a transcript of this document to the aforesaid so that he cite the inhabitants and it take place soon tomorrow
which shall be counted as the sixth of the current [date] at nine in the area or plaza that would be held to
be most convenient to the end that this act be done with the necessary formality and thus he decreed and
signed it. - Don José Tienda de Cuervo. - Roqué Fern�ndez Marcial and Francisco José de Haro.
And on these terms he ordered said gentleman that it be executed and he signed it. -José Tienda
de Cuervo.- (rubric) - Roque Fern�ndez Marcial.- (rubric) - Francisco José de Haro.- (rubric)
REVIEW. - In the town of Santo Domingo de Hoyos in six days of the month of May seventeen
hundred fifty-seven years, the said honorable Don José Tienda de Cuervo; having received the list of the
inhabitants and settlers of this town delivered by the captain Don Domingo de Unz�ga, ordered that the
review, which is ordered, be passed and that, for its major justification, a message of appeal and
assignment be carried to the missionary father Fray Fernando Ruiz Junco so that he serve to attend in the
justification of this deed and be able to have the suitable reports and, this motion having been
communicated to the said reverend father, he concurred with great agreement with the said gentleman and,
in these terms, the said review was begun, calling each one by his name, registering the weapons, and
asking the questions that were considered to be suitable and everything was executed in this manner as it
will be expressed with the diversity of settlers of which the ancient town of San Antonio de los Llanos was
composed before this town was formed and of those who afterwards exist in it, that everything is as it
1. - Florencio de la Cruz, Indian, present, resident who was from the town of el Venado, of those they brought to found the town, widower, has three children, Lorenza of 16 years, Ubaldo of 14, and Ginés of 12, all arms and 4 horses.
1. - Pedro de Santiago, Indian, ill - paralyzed, native of the town of el Venado, married to Cristina, has 5 children, José of 20 years, Antonio of 17, Juan of 12, Rufina of 5, and Pedro at breast, all arms and one horse.
1. - Juan Antonio S�nchez, present, Indian, originally of el Venado, married to María Teresa, has 3 children, María of 9, María Dolores of 8, and Juan of 3, all arms and 2 horses.
1. - Desiderio Antonio, Indian, originally of el Venado, present, married to Tomasa Ibarra, has two sons, Florencio of 4 years and Ambrosio at breast, all arms with no horses.
1. - Luciano de Ibarra, present, native of el Venado, married to María Antonia García, has one daughter called Joaquina, all arms and one horse.
1. - The captain Don Domingo de Unzaga Ibarrola, present, native of los Reinos de Castilla, bachelor,
all arms, 300 horses with which, under superior order, he populated Hacienda de la Mesa,
uninhabited by the Indians for more than 30 years, in which he retains 150 service people occupied,
in the boundry of this town, in different occupations and its corresponding families established at the
Hacienda de San José de la Mesa and this town.
1. - Don Miguel de C�rdova lieutenant-captain, Spaniard, present, resident who was from la Puebla de los Angeles, married to Doña María Manuela Perales, Spaniard, five children, Miguel of 12 years, María of 11, Rosa of 9, Antonia of 4, and Mónica at breast, all arms and 20 horses.
1. - Don Juan Antonio Marmolejo, Spaniard, present, resident who was from the town of León, married to Doña Gertrudis S�nchez, has 3 children, José of 11 years, Antonio of 9, and María Francisca of 15, all arms and 20 horses.
1. - Don José de León Rodríguez, brother of the widow Doña María Rodríguez, who carries on the governing of his home, has two daughters, Ana María of 4 years and Rosalía of 2, three horses
and has no arms.
1. - Don José Rodríguez de Montemayor, present, resident who was from Huajuco, married to Isabel de Alanís, has 4 children, José of 22 years, Andrea of 16, Rosa of 13, and José Antonio of 9,
all arms and 8 horses.
1. - Don Pablo Gervasio Orozco, resident, who was from the town of León, married to Doña María Lorenza Betancour, all arms and 9 horses.
1. - Don Pedro Pititi, present, European, widower, has 4 children, José of 20 years, María of 14, Hilario, and Vicente of 5, two horses, has no arms, is tanner by trade.
1. - Don Lucas S�nchez de Zamora, present, married to Doña Juana Bautista de Olazar�n, has one son, José María of 20 years, 40 horses and his arms.
1. - Don José S�nchez de Zamora, present, married to Doña Lorenza de Olazar�n, has one daughter Juana of 12 years, all arms and 30 horses.
1. - Don Juan Cantu, resident who was from Valle del Pilón, married to Doña María Josefa Gonz�lez,
has 7 children, Leonor of 15, María Petra of 14, Marfila of 13, María B�rbara of 12, María
Damiana of 11 and Bartolo of 10, all arms and 20 horses.
1. - Felipe de la Cruz, present, Indian of San Luis de la Paz, married to Hermenegilda Susana, all arms and one horse; is shoemaker by trade.
1. - José Antonio Sandoval, resident of San Miguel el Grande, present, who governs the home of his mother the widow María Antonia, and another three children, José Miguel of 15 years, Maríaof 13, and Gregoria of 10, and this said José Ant onio Sandoval is married to María Josefa Capetilla and they all live together, he has all arms and 6 horses.
1. - Juan Ramón Ramírez, mestizo from Frontera de Río Blanco, married to Josefa Flores, has six children, Lorenza of 13, María of 12, Josefa of 10, María of 8, Isidora of 6, and one at breast,
all arms and six horses.
1. - Mateo Felipe Garza, mulatto, present, resident who was from el Pilón, married to Matea Ana de Ribera, Indian, has 4 sons, José of 12 years, Diego of 7, Eufrasio of 4, and José at breast, all
arms and 4 horses.
1. - José Antonio Horta, Indian, present, resident of San Luis de la Paz, married to Marta Dominga, has two children, María of 3 years and María Antonia of one, all arms and three horses, is
shoemaker by trade.
1. - Juan Felipe Guerrero, present, resident of San Luis de la Paz, widower, has three sons, José of 16 years, José Salvador of 15, and Juan de Jesús of 12, all arms and 4 horses.
1. - José Silguero, mestizo, resident of Río Blanco, who is detached as an Indian spy at the border with the permission of the captain, is married to María de la Cruz has all arms and 6 horses.
1. - Pablo Villegas, resident of San Miguel el Grande, married to María Josefa S�nchez, has three sons, José Antonio of 12, Jerónimo of 8, and Francisco of 7, all arms and six horses.
1. - Lucas Martín, Indian from San Miguel el Grande, married to Dominga Ramona, three sons, Francisco of 7, Juan of 3, and one at breast, all arms and 5 horses.
1. - Don Fernando S�nchez Zamora, present, Spaniard, bachelor, native of San Miguel el Grande, all arms, 20 horses and 4 servents.
1. - Don Carlos S�nchez de Zamora, present, native of San Miguel el Grande, bachelor, has all arms, 20 horses, and 4 servents.
1. - Francisco Ildefonso Saldaora, resident of San Miguel el Grande, married to María Francisca de Ayala, has three children, José Francisco of 7 years, María of 8, and José María of 4, all arms
and 15 horses.
1. - José Manuel de Rojas, native of Querétaro, married to Francisca Guillén, seven children, Antonio of 20 years, Santiago of 18, Teodoro of 17, Juana of 12, Rosalía of 9, Lorenzo of 14, and Basilia of 12, has all arms and 4 horses.
1. - Juli�n de Ortega, Spaniard, present, resident of León, married to María Isabel de Rocha has three sons, Gaspar of 14, José of 7, and José Manuel of 5, all arms and 8 horses.
1. - Juan de los Santos, Indian, married to Martina Guillién of Real de Guadalc�zar, has two children, Juan of 5 years and María of one, all arms and six horses.
1. - Carlos Núñez, present, native of Querétaro, married to Matiana de Loya, has two sons, Gregorio of 23 years and Salvador of 10, all arms and 4 horses.
1. - José Lorenzo Campos, present, resident of Celaya, married to María Josefa, has 5 children, Bartolomé of 16 years, José of 8, B�rbara of 7, and José Alejandro of 5, and Juan Esteban of 24, all arms and 4 horses.
1. - Francisco de Casta�eda, resident of Toluca, married to María Valdez, all arms and six horses.
1. - Francisco Javier Capetillo, present, of San Luis Potosí, with two siblings, José of 5 years and Juana Manuela of 2 years, all arms, two horses, shoemaker.
1. - Juan Antonio Martín, present, resident of Guanajuato, married to María Dolores, has three children, Felipe of 8 years, Dorotea of 7, and María of 6, all arms and 5 horses.
1. - Juan Francisco de Prado, present, lives with his widowed mother and 4 brothers, Sebasti�n of 14, Simón of 7, José Lorenzo of 5, and Antonio of 4, has all arms and 4 horses.
1. - Pedro Amador, present, resident who was from San Miguel el Grande, married to Agustina Rosa, has one son Felipe of 24 years, all arms and 8 horses.
1. - Javier Tamayo, present, resident who was from Charcas, married to María de Sandoval, has one daughter María at breast, all arms and two horses.
1. - José Anselmo, present, Indian, widower, resident who was from Linares, has three children, Antonio of 12 years, Baltazar of 11, and María of 7, all arms and 7 horses.
1. - Feliciano Gómez, present, mestizo, who was from Lagos, has 5 children, Juan of 23, Bartolo of 11, Inocencia of 10, María of 7, and Félix of 5, all arms and 4 horses.
1. - Andrés de la Cruz, ill, resident who was from Querétaro, married to María Joaquina, has three horses and has no arms.
1. - Mateo de la Cruz, absent with permission, native of Querétaro, married to María de la Encarnación, has two sons, Antonio of 5, and and the other of 3, is a shoemaker, has no horses or
1. - Juan Antonio Prado, native of Parral, present, married to Juana Manuela, has arms and 4 horses.
1. - José Andrés Cuadros, mestizo, native of the town of San Felipe, married to Tomasa de Rojas, has all arms and 3 horses.
1. - Francisco V�squez, mestizo, present, widower, native of San Felipe, has three sons, Ramón of 22, Cecilio of 19, and José of 15 and three daughters, María Josefa of 14, María of 11, and
María Catarina of 7, all arms, 4 horses.
1. - Eusebio V�squez, present, resident who was from San Felipe, married to María de los Santos, has two children, Paula of 3 years and Juan of one, all arms and 4 horses.
1. - Roque Palomares, present, native of los Ranchos de Ovejas, married to María Rosalía, has 7 children, Roque of 17, Clemente of 16, Andrés of 21, Agustina of 15, Josefa of 7, Javiera of 5, and José María at breast, all arms and 5 horses.
1. - Don Felipe de Aguilar, absent with permission in Mexico, resident who was from the mentioned city, married to Doña Josefa Hern�ndez, has one son José, all arms and 6 horses.
1. - José Segundo Valdez, native of the town of Lagos, present, married to María Rodríguez, has one daughter María at breast, all arms and 5 horses.
1. - Javier García Pardo, present, resident of Querétaro, married to María Ramona, has two children, Eufrasio of 20 years and Guadalupe of 11, all arms and 7 horses.
1. Juan Antonio S�nchez Zamora, who lives under the guidance of his mother, widow, with another five siblings, María of 20 years, Felipe of 17, Eusebio of 16, María Rosalía of 12, and Santiago
of 8, all arms and twelve horses.
1. - José Lorenzo Calixto, Indian, present, resident who was from Lagos, married to B�rbara Nicolasa, has one daughter Teresa at breast, all arms and 3 horses.
1. - Francisco Sandoval, present, resident who was from San Miguel el Grande, married to Gertrudis de Torres, has six children, Juan de los Reyes of 33 years, Quiteria of 11, María Trinidad of
15, María Blas of 10, José Ignacio of 7, and María Ignacia of 6, all arms and 6 horses.
1. - José Ramón Peralta, present, of San Luis de la Paz, married to Petrona Marcela, has two children and three orphans, María of 7 years, Andrés of 9, Petra of 10, Diego of 9, and Joaquín of 6, all arms and 7 horses.
1. - Juan Martínez, present, in the household of his mother, widow, all arms and two horses.
1. - Luis Betancour, resident of the town of Cadereita, present, married to María de Rivera, has 5 children, Antonia of 16 years, Josefa María of 15, José of 14, Ignacio of 11, and Manuel of 7,
all arms and six horses.
1. - Pedro José de Tremiño, Spaniard, present, who was from el Guajuco, married to Doña Irene Cantu, has a son José at breast, all arms and 10 horses.
1. - Francisco Teodoro, mulato, present, resident of the town of San Felipe, married to María de los Dolores, all arms and two horses.
1. - Diego Gil, mulato, resident who was from the outlying area, married to Clara, mestiza, has all arms and three horses.
1. - Marcelino Cuadros, mestizo, present, resident who was from San Felipe, widower, has one son José of 9 years, all arms and six horses.
1. - José Domingo Cardiel, present, mulato, resident who was from the town of San Felipe, married to María de Cuadros, has two children, María of two years and José of one, all arms and 4
1. - Isidro García, present, native of Querétaro, married to Brígida de los Dolores, has all arms and two horses.
1. - José Simentales, mestizo, present, who was from the city of Guadiana, married to María Gonz�lez,
has all arms and 5 horses.
1. - Francisco Antonio de la Garza, present, of the town of Cerralvo, married to María Antonio[a] Resendes, has one daughter Antonia at breast, arms and 5 horses.
1. - Don Nicol�s de Arispe, bachelor, present, resident who was from Mexico, all arms and 20 horses.
1. - Don José de Estrada, native of las Montañas de Burgos, bachelor, present, has arms and 10 horses.
1. - José Peralta, present, native of Cerralvo, mulato, bachelor, all arms and 4 horses.
That as it seems from the review made in these boundaries, the number of families of this
neighborhood is 70 and that of its inhabitants 576 in this manner: The first 6 families to come from the
ancient settlement of San Antonio de los Llanos moved recently to this one with the name which it bears
today of Santo Domingo de Hoyos and, in the same manner, another 5 families of Indians of those who,
had their establishment in the said San Antonio de los Llanos and the 59 remaining proceeding from the
increase of the collection which has been introduced in its new settlement from several parts of the borders
including, at the same time, the number of persons which comprises 121 of Leventes, Vendizos, without
a fixed site or neighborhood or designation of lands. The goods that exist, property of the residing families
that are mentioned, in the boundary of this said town consisting of 4,350 equine beasts for breeding; 732
saddled mules; 314 yolks of oxen; 27,024 heads of sheep and 1,896 of bovine livestock, without including
801 horses that its residents keep and maintain allocated for their service and use as it appears in the same
items of this review. And regarding that, for the justification of this deed, it was petitioned to the M.R.F.
Fray Fernando Ruiz Junco, Apostolic Missionary there, to attend it for the reports that may be suitable
and, his having attended giving those which were necessary in credit of the existance the families and their
goods and also of those who appear to be there with permission, the said Don José Tienda de Cuervo
requested him to serve to concur to sign this proceeding in faith of it, which he does and, concluded in
these terms, he ordered it be put at the continuation of the documents. -José Tienda de Cuervo. -(rubric)
-Fray Fernando Ruiz Junco. -(rubric) -Roque Fern�ndez Marcial. (rubric) -Francisco José de Haro.
PROCEEDING. - In the said town, on the said day the 7th of May of 1757 years, the letter of
entreaty, which is ordered by the previous document, was dispatched to the M.R.F.Fray José Díaz Infante
and so that it be included it is put in as a proceeding. -Tienda de Cuervo.-(rubric) - Roque Fern�ndez
Marcial.-(rubric) - Francisco José de Haro.-(rubric)
In the Town of Santo Domingo de Hoyos in 5 days of the month of May of 1757 years, the
honorable Don José Tienda de Cuervo, Gentleman of the Order of Santiago, Captain of Dragoones of the
new city of Veracruz and Inspecting Judge for the most excellent Honorable Viceroy for the inspection of
the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, ordered that a general review of the neighboring settlers and inhabitants
of this town, its weapons and baggage of service be passed and that, for this, the captain Don Domingo
de Unz�ga who is [captain] in this village and carries the command of the ordinary jurisdiction, give a list
with the statement of its women, children and families, their names and what goods, hacienda, and
livestock they have, putting at its conclusion the statement of salaries that those who are enlisted earn and
in what form the service is done, who they are and what it is that the reported captain also earns, giving
a transcript of this document to the aforesaid so that he summon the inhabitants and they be present early
tomorrow which will be counted the as sixth of the current (month) at nine of this day in the region or plaza
that would be the more suitable, in order that this deed be performed with the necessary formality and thus
he provided, ordered, and signed it. -José Tienda de Cuervo.-(rubric) -Roque Fern�ndez Marcial.-
(rubric) -Francisco José de Haro-(rubric)
In consequence of the document that precedes, I exhibit a list of all the settlers found registered
in this town, their names, those of their wives, those of their children, and ages, their quality and the
regions from where they came to populate or in which they were residing; salaries, neither they nor I have
allocations nor have we enjoyed any due to having sacrificed ourselves loyally for the service of our
Catholic Monarch at own expense. The service has been done promptly and with such constant tenacity
that, since this town was established, the settlers have not released the weapons from their hands until about
from a year ago to this time that, separated and shattered, the apostatess of el Nuevo Reino de León, who
isolated these and the other borders, found themselves in need of requesting support in the missions of the
said Nuevo Reino de León for which, leaving the competent escort in this town, all its settlers would
always marched with the soldiers of my temperate company (which also serves its coast) on all the
occasions that the need required it and even today it is served with the caution that the fickleness of all
Indians requires, be it renegade or be it heathen, due to their always being prone to treason, riots and
thefts. The settler soldiers are summoned and ready for the time that Your Lordship would like to review
Town of Santo Domingo de Hoyos and May 6 of 1757 years. -Domingo de Unzaga Ibarrola.-(rubric)
Fray Fernando Ruiz Junco, of the Order of the Minor Friars of the Regular Observance of O.F.
San Francisco, retired General preacher, Apostolic Notary, Priest and Vicar, Ecclesiastic Judge of the town
of O. F. Santo Domingo de Hoyos, etc.
I certify in the most competent form that from the 19th day of the month of April of the year of
the Lord 1752, that the obedience ordered me to come to this district, this Sierra Madre found itself gravely
harassed by the fugitive Indians of the Nuevo Reino de León, that as savages they destroyed lives and
haciendas in all its borders, especially in this one, the one in which only five settlers remained from the
population of the town of San Antonio de los Llanos which was found established at distance of one league,
so that they were no longer able to remain nor were all the weapons of the Nuevo Reino de León sufficient
to subdue said renegades, they arranged to abandon the land to secure their lives and the few goods that
remained to them, that which was contained in the order of the honorable general Don José de Escandón
who currently was found engaged in the conquest of this coast, assuring them that he would grant them,
not only the necessary aids but also an establishment, such that it would dominate so important a border
which, in fact, was done, establishing this town in the charge of the captain Don Domingo de Unz�ga
Ibarrola and it has had such good success that, what in so many years he had not been able to obtain, has
been achieved by said captain and its settlers (who serve as if they were paid soldiers) said captain
punishing and pursuing such horrible savages that he made them withdraw to request peace and missions
in the said Nuevo Reino de León, with which the entrances and exits of these roads have remained open.
Found on this side of the Sierra, la Mesa, which is right at the foot of the most perilous hill with
enough water and good land; the ranch of San Joaquín; San Juan de Letr�n; Guadalupe; San Matías.
Also I exhibit the census, that Your Lordship requests of me, of the settlers as well as of the
jurisdiction, family by family and, regarding the point of the assembled Indians, how many they are and
have been baptized, I refer to the report that its missionary, who is the Father Fray José Infante, can give
to Your Lordship.
Regarding the point of from where the first settlers proceed, I should say that it is known they are
the five citizens that had remained and the rest are from several places (the most) from land outside.
Regarding the establishment of said town, I refer to the first point of this, andregardint its cost, the
conveyance, and increases, they are due to the care and zeal of the honorable Captain Don Domingo de
Unzaga Ibarrola, giving also to the assembled Indians several things and corn for their subsistence. The
honorable most illustrious Bishop of Guadalajara cooperated for the relief of these, at my insistence through
a letter, with 350 pesos and neither the Indians nor settlers have had any financial aid, from which has
resulted (from what he says of the Indians) that, all in all, they may not be found nor may they all be able
to be assembled, and they are quite a few.
About the origin of their ornaments, I have no individual report; what I can truly say is that those
that I found were, and are, very indecent except for one that the R. F. Orpinel, priest who was from the
town of San Antonio de los Llanos, made and another which the honorable captain, who now attends to
its conservation, gave, he gave a reliquary and a lamp of which I do not know the value.
About what it says regarding the synod, none was assigned to me for my maintenance, therefore
by the Diocesan Duty, I rule that it was what was arranged for the said effect.
Regarding whether the Indians have quarters for their abode, it appears to me they have their little
Indian hut chapel, and if possession of these has been given to the apostolic ministries, I refer myself to
the report of its missionary.
In regard to the lands of this town, they are extensive enough and these are in good cultivation,
so much that it appears to me there have been enough seeds from these for the other villages without the
settlers of this one lacking enough for their maintenance and I seem to have seen, the times that I have had
to go to administer them, their granaries provided.
The number of their plantings, I can not be sure of the amount, due to my not understanding, but
according to the latest it is not a small amount, it does appear to me that all their fields have been benefitted
by irrigation and also in the rainy season: "taliter", which in the past rainfall, that was serious of 40
continuous days, did not prevent the crops and they were abundant. It appears to me that the land of this
town is suitable for major and minor livestock, since there are three large haciendas there. The villages
that border on this town, one is the town of Linares at a distance of 22 leagues, more or less; the Río
Blanco at a distance of 15 or 16, a very difficult road. I know and it appears to me that, after the
establishment of this town, they have achieved not only the safety of its citizens but, where before even
the men feared to go, now the women alone [go] along its roads. It is found in enough tranquility and the
peaceful immediate haciendas, although always fearing the danger of the enemy, since these are children
of ungratefulness, fathers of the iniquity and, at the least movement, they have no control, those that
approach this district can experience some damage. Regarding whether the other borders may have been
injured, it does not appear to me, nor have I heard that they may have had some detriment with its
establishment, instead I have observed some trade in this one from the others.
And so that it appear, by virtue of the requirement that proceeds, I give the present [report] in this
town of O.F. Santo Domingo de Hoyos, in 7 days of the month of May of 1757 and I signed. - Fray
Fernando Ruiz Junco. (rubric)
Fray José Diaz Infante, of the Regular Observance of O.H.F. San Francisco of the province of
Zacatecas, preacher and director of the mission of San Pedro Alc�ntara de Tamaulipa:
Attentive to the previous exhortation of the Honorable Don José Tienda de Cuervo, Gentleman
of the Order of Santiago, Captain of Dragoons of the new city of Veracruz and Inspecting Judge of the
villages of the Gulf of Mexico and its colony by the most excellent Honorable Viceroy: I certify, in the best
manner that I can, the truth of the subsequent points.
To the first I say that the number of the assembled Indian warriors is more than one hundred, those
with wives and children will surpass four hundred. Their names unpronounceable for being Tamaulipan
and Malincheño heathens, the most indomitable in the war although docile in dealing. They have not been
baptized because their stubborness and ferocity makes the pronouncement of the christian doctrine
extremely difficult and the lack of measures makes their leaving essential. Their languages are so "specie"
different, that the major application can not understand them .
The time in which this expedition was begun is from the 19th day of October of 755. They
have been preserved and supported with the affability of the treaty that I have given them with the
expenses, easy treatment, and the skillful conduct of Captain Don Domingo de Unzaga Ibarrola and other
------------- end of Part 1 of Volume 1 -------
Names Index Volume 1 GENERAL STATE of the SETTLEMENTS MADE by D. JOSE DE ESCANDON in the COLONY of NUEVO SANTANDER COAST of the GULF of MEXICO
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