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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Weches in Houston County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Mission San Francisco de Los Tejas

 
 
Mission San Francisco De Los Tejas Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Gustafson, April 19, 2009
1. Mission San Francisco De Los Tejas Marker
Inscription. First Spanish Mission in East Texas. Established in 1690 by Franciscan friars to convert the Tejas Indians. "Tejas", a Spanish rendition of the Indian word for "friend", was in time adopted as the state name.

The founding party was led by Capt. Alonso de León, a veteran explorer making his fifth journey into Texas. He was to see if the Tejas desired a mission and to find any remaining threat of the Frenchman La Salles' expedition of 1685. Finding none, De León proceeded to this site. As the Tejas were willing to accept missionaries, he built a dwelling and church of rough-hewn logs near a brook. The church was dedicated on June 1, 1690. Leaving Father Damian Massanet in charge, De León departed on July 4.

Three years later, however, the mission was empty. Lack of sufficient defense, the isolated location, epidemics, and the insincerity of the Indians (who took the Spaniards' gifts but not their religion) contributed to its failure. In 1693 it was abandoned, although later twice re-established and renamed.

In spite of this, Spanish officials were inspired by the Tejas effort to make long-range plans for future expeditions, which marked the beginning of the Spanish mission and colonization movement in Texas.
 
Erected 1968 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker
Mission Tejas State Park entrance image. Click for full size.
By Steve Gustafson, April 19, 2009
2. Mission Tejas State Park entrance
Number 7013.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail marker series.
 
Location. 31° 32.725′ N, 95° 14.118′ W. Marker is near Weches, Texas, in Houston County. Marker is on State Highway 21, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at entrance of Mission Tejas State Park. 12 miles southwest of Alto on Hwy 21. Marker is at or near this postal address: 120 State Park Rd 44, Grapeland TX 75844, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Joseph R. Rice Log Cabin (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mound Prairie (approx. 5.9 miles away); Site of Neches Indian Village (approx. 5.9 miles away); Ratcliff CCC Camp (approx. 11.8 miles away); Ratcliff (approx. 12 miles away); Four C Mill (approx. 12.1 miles away); Community of Coltharp (approx. 12.6 miles away); Hagerville Community (approx. 12.6 miles away).
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.Native AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
Mission San Francisco De Los Tejas image. Click for full size.
By Steve Gustafson, April 19, 2009
3. Mission San Francisco De Los Tejas
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 3, 2010, by Steve Gustafson of Lufkin, Texas. This page has been viewed 2,345 times since then and 88 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 3, 2010, by Steve Gustafson of Lufkin, Texas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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