“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Elizario in El Paso County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Rodriguez-Chamuscado Expedition - 1581

Rodriguez-Chamuscado Expedition - 1581 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, May 19, 2018
1. Rodriguez-Chamuscado Expedition - 1581 Marker
Inscription.  Inspired by Indian stories of settlements in present New Mexico and authorized by the Spanish viceroy, Fray Agustin Rodriguez, a Franciscan priest, led a missionary expedition to the area. Accompanied by Fray Juan de Santa Maria, Fray Francisco Lopez, nine soldiers, and nineteen Indian servants, he left Santa Barbara, Mexico on June 5, 1581. The military escort was led by Francisco Sanchez, who, because of his red beard, was known as El Chamuscado, "The Singed".

Following the Rio Grande, the expedition reached El Paso del Norte. Proceeding through the pass, they spent the remainder of 1581 exploring the vast region from present western New Mexico to the Texas Panhandle.

After Indians killed Fray Santa Maria in September 1581, plans were made to return for a report to the Spanish authorities. Despite the hostile environment, the two remaining missionaries chose to stay. Chamuscado led the others back through the Pass of the North, but died before reaching Santa Barbara.

Believed to have been the first Spanish expedition to use the Pass of the North, the Rodriguez-Chamuscado Expedition marked the beginning of the
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Spanish influence in the area. Their exploration opened the region, now the American Southwest, to later colonization.
Erected 1981 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 4335.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionColonial EraExplorationSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical date for this entry is June 5, 1581.
Location. 31° 35.119′ N, 106° 16.382′ W. Marker is in San Elizario, Texas, in El Paso County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of San Elizario Road and Church Street. Marker is located at the San Elizario Memorial Plaza. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1521 San Elizario Road, San Elizario TX 79849, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Salt War (here, next to this marker); Espejo Beltran Expedition - 1582-1583 (here, next to this marker); The Camino Real (here, next to this marker); Juan de Onate Expedition - 1598 (here, next to this marker); The First Thanksgiving (here, next to this marker); San Elizario (here, next to this marker); San Elizario Memorial Plaza (here, next to this marker); Los Portales (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Elizario.
San Elizario Memorial Plaza image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, November 4, 2010
2. San Elizario Memorial Plaza
Rodriquez-Chamuscado Expedition - 1581 Marker is fourth from the left.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 16, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,057 times since then and 31 times this year. Last updated on June 5, 2018, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas. Photos:   1. submitted on June 5, 2018, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas.   2. submitted on November 16, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 29, 2024