Martin de Alarcón Expedition of 1718

 

By Steve Gibson

 

 

On December 9, 1716 in Mexico City, only 8 months after the Ramón Expedition had crossed the Rio Grande River and entered into the province of Tejas, the newly appointed Viceroy of New Spain, the Marqués de Valero, appointed Martin de Alarcón as commander of the Presidio San Francisco de Coahuila and as Governor of the province of Tejas.  Alarcón was to re-supply Domingo Ramón and his men who had gone into the province of Tejas to establish a presence in East Texas.  It is not known when Alarcón left Mexico City, but he arrived at Saltillo in June 1717, where he was delayed for several months while investigating the trading activities of Louis Juchereau de St. Denis. 

 

Most noteworthy of all was the company of militia.  They were reviewed in the Plaza de Armas and Villa of Santiago de la Monclova.  In April 1718 Alarcón crossed the Rio Grande into the province of Tejas with an entrada numbering 35 soldiers, seven with families and a total of seventy-two persons in all. 

 

Alarcon's company was made up "as recommended by the fiscal and as provided for by the council of war and the instructions."  He was supplied with 100 head of sheep (ganado menor), the greater part of which were females (obejas) there were some nanny goats and their males (padres); 200 head of cattle; and 150 loads of flour.  There were also war supplies and offensive arms.

 

On May 1, 1718, he assisted Father Antonio San Buenaventura y Olivares in the founding of the mission, San Antonio de Valero.  Four days later Alarcón founded the presidio, San Antonio de Béxar.  The families clustered around the presidio and mission formed the beginnings of the Villa de Béxar, destined to become the most important town in Spanish Texas.  

 

Alarcón visited the six missions that had been set up in East Texas previously (in 1716 and 1717), completing his assignment on November 21, 1718.  While in East Texas he confiscated a variety of illegal merchandise, all of French origin. Alarcón returned to San Antonio in January 1719 and from there on May 28 wrote Jean Baptiste Bénard de La Harpe, advising him to withdraw from Spanish territory.  In the fall of 1719, Alarcón was relieved of his duties as governor of Texas.  His record of merits and services to the Spanish crown was filed in Mexico City on January 18, 1721.

 

 

The soldiers enlisted for the expedition, according to Alarcón were:

 

1.                   Francisco Hernández, Alférez, who was going with his family. (most likly his wife, Ana Garcia and 3 son’s; Andres, Diego and Jacobo, and two daughters, Ana and Maria, total of 7 family members, plus two sons listed below.)

2.                  Diego de Escobar, with his family. (most likly with his wife, there are no records for this family in the San Fernando records.)

3.                  Francisco Varreyro, (Barreyro), engineer, who was put under arrest September 20, for complicity with Diego Ramón.  (There are no records for this name in the San Fernando records.)

4.                  Miguel Martinez de Valenzuela.  (There are no records for this name in the San Fernando records.)

5.                  Diego de Zárate y Andizávar.  (There are no records for this name in the San Fernando records.)

6.                  Juan Varrera. (Barrera)

7.                  Cristóbal Carvajal.  (probably the brother of Mateo, married Josefa Guerra, he died in San Antonio in 1734.)

8.                 Joseph Flores Quiñones.  (married Maria Flores de la Peña on May 6, 1721 at the mission San Antonio de Valero.)

9.                  Juan Valdés.

10.              Joseph Gaona, with his family.  (most likly with his wife, there are no records for this family in the San Fernando records.)

11.               Juan de Castro, with his family.  (most likly his wife Ana de Padilla)

12.              Nicolás Hernández, son of the Alférez.  (he married Simona de Sepulveda.)

13.              Francisco Hernández, son of the Alférez.  (he married Marciana Longoria)

14.              Joseph de Neira.  (There are no records for this name in the San Fernando records.)

15.               Joseph Velásquez.  (There are no records for this name in the San Fernando records.)

16.              Francisco Menchaca.  (Minchaca)

17.               Lázaro Joseph Chirino, with family. (most likly his wife, Maria Gonzales de la Torre.)

18.              Gerónimo Carvajal.  (he married Maria Zapopa Minchaca, he died prior to 1722.)

19.              Sebastián Peniche.  (There are no records for this name in the San Fernando records.)

20.             Antonio Guerra. (he married Catharina Ximenes y Menchaca.)

21.              Francisco de Escobar.  (There are no records for this name in the San Fernando records.)

22.             Domingo Flores, with his family. (most likly his wife, Manuela Marcela Treviño)

23.             Cristóbal de la Garza.  (he married Antonia Guerra, the daughter of Miguel Guerra and Maria Josefa Longoria on February 24, 1722 in La Villa de Béxar.)

24.             Sebastián Gonzáles.  (There are no records for this name in the San Fernando records.)

25.              Joseph Plácido Flores.  (There are no records for this name in the San Fernando records.)

26.             Joseph Jiménes.  (Ximenes)  (he married Maria Flores de Valdés.)

27.              Manuel Maldonado.  (There are no records for this name in the San Fernando records.)

28.             Manuel de Vargas.  (There are no records for this name in the San Fernando records.)

29.             Pedro Rodriguez.  (There are no records for this name in the San Fernando records.)

30.             Francisco Juan de la Cruz, master mason.  (There are no records for this name in the San Fernando records.)

31.              Santiago Pérez, carpenter.  (There are no records for this name in the San Fernando records.)

32.             Joseph Menchaca.

33.             (Joseph) Antonio Menchaca.  (According to Chabot, he is also known as Francisco Menchaca, he married Antonia Urrutia, the daughter of Capitán Jose Urrutia and Antonia Ramón.)

34.             Vicente Guerra.

35.              Cristóbal Barrera. (Varrera), (possibly Cristobal Barrera who married Maria de Zapopan.)

 

Sources:

1)      Frederick C. Chabot, With the Makers of San Antonio,  Artes Graficas, (Copyright 1937), page 90.

2)     Carlos E. Castaneda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas 1519-1936, Vol., II,  (Arno Press, New York, 1976), pages 84-85.

3)     "ALARCON, MARTIN DE." The Handbook of Texas Online. <http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fal02>

 

 

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