Mission San Francisco De Los Tejas

Mission San Francisco De Los Tejas (HMI1B)

Location: Grapeland, TX 75844 Houston County
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Country: United States of America
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N 31° 32.725', W 95° 14.118'

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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 Leon, 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, DeLeon 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 Leon 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.
HM NumberHMI1B
Series This marker is part of the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail series
Year Placed1968
Placed ByState Historical Survey Committee
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 11th, 2014 at 10:35pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 287804 N 3492216
Decimal Degrees31.54541667, -95.23530000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 32.725', W 95° 14.118'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 32' 43.50" N, 95° 14' 7.08" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)936, 979, 903
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 50-68 Park Rd 44, Grapeland TX 75844, US
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