Day 5 Mission Trail
The Missions of San Antonio is today’s history lesson. Those closest to me were waiting for the blog when I start blathering about the history of the area. Here it is!
I find it interesting why the missions existed. Spain lacked the people to colonize their claimed territories so the missions served to turn the natives into Spanish settlers to legitimize its claims. Sneaky. Kind of like having dead people voting in a South Texas election.
Merrily and I dropped off the kids at their Uncle’s and we were off to the Southern part of the city. It’s so odd to drive up to a large historical landmark and find it’s across from H.E.B and Whataburger.
The first mission we visited was Mission Concepcion. It was finished in 1755. All the missions were run by Franciscan friars. They were considered hunter, gatherers. They hunted and gathered about a 1000 natives to stock their missions.
Next was Mission San Jose. I believe Frances Scott used this as inspiration for the Star Spangled Banner (“Jose Can You See…”). Okay I got that wrong. The church here was completed in 1782. It was the most productive of all the missions and stocked the other missions with provisions.
|I needed to add some character to the photo...|
unfortunately I didn't find any.
|Merrily's a barrel of laughs!|
On to Mission Espada. It was the most isolated and exposed of all the missions. In the war for Texas Independence Bowie and Fannin took over the mission with 100 men and successfully defended it against 200 Mexican soldiers who tried to dislodge them from their positions.
The last on our journey is Mission San Juan. By 1794 the mission had dwindled to almost nothing. Of the large herds of the past they were down to a mule, a mare, 2 horses, 4 yokes of oxen and 55 head of cattle.
And the most famous of them all we didn't see. Oh well, maybe another time.
And this ends Day 5 and your first Texas history lesson…