Don Felipe Roque de la Portilla

Don Felipe Roque de la Portilla (HM1B0Y)

Location: San Marcos, TX 78666 Hays County
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Country: United States of America
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N 29° 51.326', W 97° 53.904'

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At the request of Antonio Cordero, interim governor of the Province of Texas, Spanish-born Felipe Roque de la Portilla (1768?-1841) established a colony here on El Camino Real. With his own family of eight, he brought 51 persons from the interior of Mexico and founded San Marcos de Neve in April 1808. Titles were issued to 13 lots, and home were built, only to be washed away in June floods. Hardships plagued the colony: the defensive troops departed; no priest arrived; seed and a farm irrigation system did not materialize; horses and cattle were lost to Indians, and the people feared for their own lives. In 1809 new settlers brought the population to 81 without bettering living conditions. Portilla lost his health and fortune and was forced to lead his people back to Matamoros, Mexico, in 1812.

In 1829, however, he helped his son-in-law, James Power, and Power's associate, James Hewetson, plant their colony at Refugio, near Copano Bay. Portilla received land there in 1834, but left for Mexico in 1836. Because he invested his own fortune in the colonizing effort, he is sometimes called the First Empresario, and recognized as a forerunner of Stephen F. Austin, "The Father of Texas".
HM NumberHM1B0Y
Series This marker is part of the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail series
Marker Number10256
Year Placed1976
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 2:37am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14R E 606403 N 3303275
Decimal Degrees29.85543333, -97.89840000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 29° 51.326', W 97° 53.904'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds29° 51' 19.56" N, 97° 53' 54.24" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)512
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 4607-4627 County Rd 266, San Marcos TX 78666, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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