“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)

Juan de Onate Expedition - 1598

Juan de Onate Expedition 1598 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, November 4, 2010
1. Juan de Onate Expedition 1598 Marker
Inscription. Spanish interest in the territory known as New Mexico increased during the 1580s and 1590s. Although reports of mining and missionary possibilities were significant, King Phillip II of Spain was also concerned about New World explorations of rival England. As a result, Don Juan de Onate was commissioned in 1595 to lead an expedition to claim and colonize the New Mexico region in the name of the King.

After many delays, Onate and his party of 400 men and members of their families left Santa Barbara, Mexico in January 1598. Instead of following the earlier routes, they crossed the Chihuahua desert to reach the El Paso area. In a ceremony at this site on April 30, 1598, Onate issued a proclamation known as La Toma, taking possession of the region for Spain. Included was all land drained by the Rio del Norte, the Rio Grande.

Proceeding north, Onate established headquarters near present Santa Fe and founded the province of New Mexico. As Governor, he directed exploration of the area until he resigned in 1607. Onate's expedition and La Toma brought Spanish rule to the American Southwest and preceded colonization efforts of other European nations on the North American continent.
Erected 1981 by Texas Historical Commission.
San Elizario Memorial Plaza image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner
2. San Elizario Memorial Plaza
Juan de Onate Expedition 1598 Marker is the third marker from the right.
31° 35.117′ N, 106° 16.379′ W. Marker is in San Elizario, Texas, in El Paso County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Church Road and Glorietta Road. Touch for map. Marker is located at the San Elizario Memorial Plaza. Marker is in this post office area: San Elizario TX 79849, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. San Elizario (here, next to this marker); Espejo Beltran Expedition - 1582-1583 (here, next to this marker); San Elizario Memorial Plaza (here, next to this marker); Rodriguez-Chamuscado Expedition - 1581 (here, next to this marker); Salt War (here, next to this marker); The First Thanksgiving (here, next to this marker); The Camino Real (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.
Also see . . .  Don Juan de Ornate - Explorations. Oņate explored more than just New Mexico, taking a party north to the interior of the continent. (Submitted on November 22, 2010.) 
Categories. Exploration
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 16, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 874 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 16, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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