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3 1833 01741 4449



Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center





JULY, 1904, TO APRIL, 1905.


John H. Reagan,*
Z. T. Fulmore, C. W. Raines,

George P. Garrison, Mrs. Bride Neill Taylor.

George P. Garrison.

Herbert Eugene Bolton. Eugene C. Barker.




Reprinted with the permission of the Texas State Historical Society


Ill Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10003 Berkeley Square House, London, W.l

First reprinting, 1967, Johnson Reprint Corporation
Printed in the United States of America

X 63^554
The Texas State Historical Association.

Organized March 2, 1897.

John H. Reagan.*


D. F. Houston, F. R. Lubbock,

W. D. Wood, T. S. Miller.

George P. Garrison.

Eugene C. Barker.


Mrs. Dora Fowler Arthur, D. F. Houston,

W. J. Battle, F. R. Lubbock,

R. L. Batts, T. S. Miller,

Eugene C. Barker, C. W. Raines,

S. P. Brooks, John H. Reagan,*

Beauregard Bryan, Mrs. Bride Neill Taylor,

Z. T. Fulmore, John C. Townes,

George P. Garrison, Dudley G. Wooten.



NUMBER 1; JULY, 1904.


Texas, 1772, Elizabeth Howard West

The Wobk of the Daughters of the Republic

of Texas in Behalf of the Alamo Mrs. Adele B. Looscan

Notes and Fragments.
Book Reviews and Notices.
Affairs of the Association.


De Witt's Colony Ethel Zivley Rather

Book Reviews and Notices.
Affairs of the Association.


De Leon's Expedition of 1689 Elizabeth Howard West

Richard Montgomery Swe abingen George P. Garrison

Explanation to the Public Concerning the

Affairs of Texas by Citizen Stephen F.

Austin Ethel Zivley Rather

John R. Fenn Adele B. Looscan

Samuel Price Carson Z. T. Fulmore

Reminiscences of the Schnively Expedition of

1867 A. Whitehurst

Notes and Fragments.
Book Reviews and Notices.


The Municipal Government of San Fernando

De Bexar, 1730-1800 Mattie Alice Austin

Affairs of the Association.
Book Reviews and Notices.




The constitution of the Association provides that "Members who show,
by published work, special aptitude for historical investigation, may become
Fellows. Thirteen Fellows shall be elected by the Association when first
organized, and the body thus created may thereafter elect additional Fellows
on the nomination of the Executive Council. The number of Fellows shall
never exceed fifty."

The present list of Fellows is as follows:

Barker, Mr. Eugene C.
Batts, Prof. R. L.
Bolton, Dr. Herbert Eugene.
Casis, Miss Lilia M.
Clark, Prop. Robert Carlton.
Cooper, President O. H.
Coopwood, Judge Bethel.
Cox, Dr. I. J.
Estill, Prof. H. L.
Fulmore, Judge Z. T.
Gaines, Judge, R. R.
Garrison, Prof. George P.
Houston, Prof. D. F.
Kennet, Capt. M. M.
Kleberg, Rudolph, Jr.

Lemmon, Prof. Leonard.
Loose an, Mrs. Adele B.
Lubbock, Ex-Gov. F. R.
McCaleb, Dr. W. F.
Penntbacker, Mrs. Percy V.
Raines, Judge C. W.
Reagan, Judge John H.
Shepard, Judge Seth.
Sinks, Mrs. Julia Lee.
Smith, Mr. W. Roy.
Townes, Judge John C.
Williams, Judge O. W.
Winkler, Mr. Ernest William
Wooten, Hon. Dudley, G.

The constitution provides also that "Such benefactors of the Association
as shall pay into its treasury at any one time the sum of fifty dollars, or
shall present to the Association an equivalent in books, MSS., or other
acceptable matter, shall be classed as Life Members."

The Life Members at present are:

Brackenridge, Hon. Geo. W.

Cox, Mrs. Nellie Stedman.




Vol. VIII. JULY, 1904. No. 1.

The publication committee and the editors disclaim responsibility for views expressed by
contributors to the Quarterly.


TEXAS, 1772.

(Ad Annotated Translation.)

Introductory Note.

Bonilla's Breve Compendio, of which a translation is here given,
is one of several known summaries of the early history of Texas
written in Spanish. 2

In 1772, Baron de Ripperda, the governor of Texas, presented to
Viceroy Bucareli a report embodying certain measures which he
thought it advisable to put into effect in Texas. Thereupon the
viceroy ordered that the government office "whose duty it is" should
make a summary of all the previous history of the province, so as to
have data upon which a junta de guerra y hacienda afterward to be

ir The translator is under especial obligation to Professor Lilia M. Casis*
Dr. George P. Garrison, Dr. Herbert E. Bolton, and Miss Mattie Austin,
all of The University of Texas.

2 The following is a list of such documents: 1. Testo. de un Parecer
dado en los Auttos fechos en Virtud de Real Cedula en qe S. M. manda
se le informe sobre surttos abusos comettidos en la Provincia de Texas
en el tiempo que se expressa: y Tambien de un Parrapho de ottro Parecer

4 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.

held could base its action. The task fell to Antonio Bonilla, 1 then
an officer of the Secretaria de Camara of Mexico. He finished the
work in fifteen days. 2

The Breve Compendio, as he called his report, consists of four
main divisions: 1. A description of the Province of Texas as it
was in 1772 (Sees. 1-2) ; 2. A summary of the history of Texas
from 1685 to 1770 (Sees. 3-24) ; 3. A summary of Ripperda's re-
ports made in 1770 and 1772, and of a report of de Mezieres, with
such of the history of Texas from 1770 to 1772 as bears upon these
reports. 4. The conclusion, which is an expression of Bonilla's per-
sonal opinion. Even though Bonilla had as a guide Altamira's Testi-
monio, mentioned in the list on page 1, the Breve Compendio is
quite a remarkable document, especially when one considers what a
mass of material Bonilla used, and what a short time he was at work.
It is written in a spirit of fairness, and so far as I have had time
and opportunity to compare it with other documents, is in the main
correct, notwithstanding some mistakes of detail. Not counting the
copies recently made by students in the United States, there are at
least four copies of the Breve Compendio known to be extant, viz. :
1. A manuscript belonging to the Agricultural and Mechanical

dado en los proprios Auttos, uno y ottro del Sor Audittor Oral de la
Guerra, llkk- 2. Expediente formado sobre las variaciones, y mutaciones
qe han tenido los Presidios internos, esquadras, y demas Tropas, desde
qe. los arreglo el Exmo. Sor. Marques de Casafuerte. "Signed by Domingo
Valcarcel, and dated August 17, 1760. Folios 20-28 are on Texas." 3.
Memoria Acerca de los limites de la Luisiana, sacada de varias Autores y
Mapas, y Cartas Geograficas por el Padre Doctor Don Jose Peredo, Pres-
vitero del Oratorio de San Felipe Neri de Mexico, 1110. 4. Breve Conv-
pendio, 1112. Full title below, p. 9. 5. Historia del Descubrimiento y
poblacidn de la Provincia de Tejas hasta el ano de 1180. Escrito por el Pe.
Fr. Melchor de Talamantes, c. 1808. 6. Quadernos trabajados por el Pe.
Dn. Jose Antonio Pichardo de la Congregacion de Sn. Felipe Neri; sobre la
linea Divisoria entre las Provincias de los Texas, y Luisiana. Volume
301, Secci6n de Historia, Archivo General.

Numerous documents among those noted by Dr. Bolton in the Secci6n
de Historia, Archivo General, bear the signature A. Bonilla, perhaps the
same officer. Some of them are dated as late as 1807 (see The Quar-
terly VI, No. 2, and VII, No. 3).

2 Breve Compendio, Sec. 25.

Bonilla's Brief Compendium. 5

College of Texas. 1 This copy is hereafter designated in this paper
as A. 2. The first document in volume 27 of the Memorias de
Nueva Espaha. A copy 2 of this, in the possession of The University
of Texas, and used by me, is herein designated as M. 3. Docu-
ment No. 9 in volume 43, Seccion de Historia, Archivo General. 3
4. A document in volume 302 of the same collection. 4

The text from which the subjoined translation is made has been
obtained by a comparison of M and A. The text is mainly that of
A, which bears prima facie evidence of greater accuracy, except in
a few instances. For convenience in collation, however, M is taken
as the basis.

There are numerous differences between these two texts, in me-
chanical form and in content. A, for example, uses more abbrevia-
tions than M ; it usually writes out numbers, while M, for the most
part, uses numerals; it often uses older forms than M does. M
often omits individual words, or even phrases or sentences, which
are found in A. Occasionally, however, M is fuller than A, notably,
in that it contains the appended Nota del Padre Colector, 5 which
A lacks. Different words are often used at corresponding places
in the two manuscripts, especially words of nearly the same form,
or of nearly' the same meaning. 6 As to the relationship of these four

formerly a part of the collection gathered in Mexico and carried to
Europe by Ramirez, a member of Maximilian's cabinet. After Ramirez's
death, his collection became scattered. This document, together with two
others, was bought for the College in 1881 from Bernard Quaritch, in
London. It is temporarily in the possession of The University of Texas.

'Copied by Professor Lilia M. Casis and Mr. R. C. Clark for The Uni-
versity of Texas and for the Texas State Historical Library.

3 See "Some Materials for Southwestern History in the Archivo Gen-
eral de Mexico," by Herbert Eugene Bolton, in The Quarterly, VI

4 Cited by Dr. Bolton in The Quarterly, VII 212.

"Probably the religious appointed to collect the Memorias. See "The
Archivo General de Mexico," by Professor George P. Garrison in The
Nation, May 30, 1901.

"The copy in volume 43 (No. 3 in the list above) is apparently also
more complete than M. Like M, it contains the Nota; and it contains in
addition, marginal notes by Padre Fray Manuel Vega (The Quarterly,
VI 108).

6 Texas Historical A ssociation Quarterly.

copies, nothing positive can now be stated. It is hoped that more
definite conclusions can be reached later.

In addition to translating Bonilla's history, I have made a some-
what detailed comparison of it with Altamira's Testimonio, by
which, as has been stated, Bonilla was aided in his work. In mak-
ing this summary, Altamira was carrying out an order given in
royal cedula of July 15, 1740, in virtue of which Boneo y Morales,
afterwards [1743] appointed governor of Texas, was called upon to
sketch the previous history of Texas. 1

Altamira's summary 2 emphasizes the question of international
claims and rights. Its descriptions are more detailed than those of
the Breve Compendio. Its narrative, however, except in the San-
doval case, is more condensed. A comparison with other documents
will show that it is in the main accurate. 3 Besides giving addi-
tional information in the Sandoval case, it has been helpful in gain-
ing an understanding of the Breve Compendio, and, in one case,

^is death soon after his arrival in Texas prevented his doing the work
(Bonilla, Breve Compendio, Sec. 18). Altamira, in the opening para-
graph of the second part of the Testimonio, mentions this same cedula and
two later ones to the same effect. The long delay in carrying out orders
he explains by a reference to the voluminous evidence and the numerous
appeals in the Sandoval case.

2 As this document is brought before the reader only in fragments, it
may be well to give here an analysis of its contents :

1. The second opinion (otro parecer) , mentioned in the title, urging
resistance to French encroachments ( Sec. 1 ) .

2. The opinion mentioned in the title (Sees. 2-58). a. Introduction,
stating the occasion of bringing forth the document, and giving a general
description of its contents ( Sec. 2 ) . b. A general survey of the Span-
ish and French possessions in North America (Sees. 3-22). (1) A
bird's-eye view of the actual status in North America (Sees. 3-14) ; (2)
A statement of the right of the Spanish to all the territory west of the
Mississippi (Sees. 15-17) ; (3) A more detailed description of Texas, its
physical features, its resources, its state of settlement. Incidentally, its
boundaries are partially denned (Sees. 18-22). c. A brief summary of
Texas history, 1685-1744 (Sees. 23-58) ; (1) The history, 1685-1730 (Sees.
23-34) ; (2) Reflections on the conditions and the needs of Texas (Sees.
34-41) ; (3) The history, 1730-1744, with especial attention to the Sando-
val case (Sees. 42-58).

"Some of its errors of historical detail may be, like many of its mechani-
cal imperfections, slips of the scribe or the printer.

Bonillds Brief Compendium. 7

in ascertaining the text. Bonilla was so far influenced by the Testi-
monio as to use, in some instances, almost its very words.

The copy of the Testimonio to which reference is here made is
the reprint given in Yoakum, A History of Texas, I, Appendix A.
The original has not yet come to light, either in the Bexar or the
Nacogdoches Archives, to which some of the old Bexar papers have
found their way. There is an abridgment of the Testimonio, known
as the Puntos del Parecer. 1

The only other compendium with which comparison has been pos-
sible in this article, is the Historia of Talamantes, copies of which,
made in the City of Mexico 2 in 1903 are now in the Texas State
Historical Library and at The University of Texas. It consists of
thirty-two sections, and is based upon Espinosa's Cronica Apos-
tolica. Its relationship to the Breve Compendio is much less close
than is that of the Testimonio; its emphasis, owing to its depend-
ence upon Espinosa, is mainly upon the ecclesiastical side of the
history. 3

'Bancroft, North Mexican States and Texas, I, lists in his bibliography:
"Altamira (Marques) , Puntos del Parecer, llkk- MS. in Texas, Doc. 491.
Mayer MSS. No. 28." Document No. 13 of volume 28 of the Memorias de
Nueva Espana bears the title: Puntos del Parecer que el Senor Auditor
de Guerra Marques de Altamira expuso al Exmo. Sor Virrey Conde de
Fonclara, en 4 de Julio de llhk- Bancroft's is no doubt the same as this.

The Puntos del Parecer, as has been said, is an abridgement of the
Testimonio. It omits sections 1-2, and 53-58. It is signed by Thorivio
de Urrutia, and is dated tat San Antonio de Vexar, November 25, 1749.
The Testimonio is signed by Felix de Sandoval, and is dated Mexico, July
4, 1744.

So far as it goes, the Pantos is practically the same as the Testimonio,
though variations are found by the score. The two most striking differ-
ences are the occasional omission in the Puntos of individual words or
even of phrases or sentences which occur in the Testimonio, and the ab-
sence of the peculiar doubling of the t's which is a characteristic feature
of the Testimonio. Often the Puntos text helps in correcting that of the

2 By Dr. Herbert Eugene Bolton.

"The occasion of the compilation of Talamantes's Historia is told in The


The references to Talamantes in the notes are to an unpublished trans-
lation by Miss Mattie Austin, Fellow in History in The University of

8 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.

It would be impracticable, in a translation of this sort, to note
all textual variations. Such as are considered sufficiently important,
however, are indicated, either in the body of the translation or in
footnotes. Additions from M to A are bracketed and italicised.
Additions to A from M are enclosed within asterisks. The trans-
lator's amplifications are bracketed. Doubtful or unusual transla-
tions are followed by the corresponding Spanish printed in Italics
and enclosed within parentheses. For the sake of convenience, the
section headings, which are in the margin of A, are printed in the
middle of the page.

Spanish proper names are consistently retained in the form given
by A. Spanish words having no exact English equivalent are also
retained. For the sake of clearness, abbreviations are usually writ-
ten out in full. A is usually followed in the matter of writing out
numbers, instead of using numerals, except in the case of dates in-
cluding months.

It has been the translator's purpose to render the meaning of
the Spanish with the utmost possible accuracy, and at the same time
to secure good English. With this end in view it has been neces-
sary to break the long, involved sentences of the text, and to omit
words such as y [and] and dicho [said], where they add nothing
to the sense.

The annotation is by no means complete. So great was the mass
of material upon which Bonilla drew that a complete set of notes,
giving reference to the documents he used, would be a work of im-
mense proportions. It is hoped, however, that enough has been
done in this line to throw some light upon the character and the
value of the Breve Compendio.

BonUlcCs Brief Compendium. 9






[Compendium of all the events which have occurred in the Prov-
ince of Texas from its conquest, or reduction, to the present date.] 2

Compiled from royal cedulas and orders which I have seen in the
Secretaria de Camara of this viceroyalty, and from the bulky vol-
umes (quadernos) of reports 3 which are in the Government Office
of Don Joseph Gorraez, which likewise I have examined freely.

[Brief Description of the Province.]

The Province of Texas, or Nuevas Filipinas, is worthy of the
closest attention, equally because of its extensive, rich, and very
fertile lands, and of the immense number of warlike nations of
heathen Indians who infest it and who may work its ruin and deso-

At the Medina River, where the government of Coaguila ends,
that of Texas begins; it ends at the Presidio 4 of Nuestra Sefiora
del Pilar de los Adaes. Its length from south to north is estimated

1 Breve Compendio de los sucesos ocurridos en la Provincia de Texas
desde su conquista, 6 reducion hasta la fecha. Por el Teniente de Infan-
teria dn. Antonio Bonilla. Mexico 10. de Noviembre de 1772. Found in
A on the title page; in M, in substantially the same form, on the first
page, just before the text.

t Compendio de todas ids novedades occurids. en la Provincia de Texas
desde su conquista, 6 reduccn. hasta el dia de la fha. Found in A on p. 1,
just before the text.

*Autos, in the sense of judicial decisions. When used with reference to
a decree, or order, the word auto is retained in this translation.

^English fort, or post. The word presidio is retained when it refers to
a Spanish fort, but is translated when it refers to a French fort.

10 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.

as two hundred and forty leagues, and its width from east to west 1
as eighty. To the southeast it borders on the Seno Mexicano [Gulf
of Mexico], and to the east- northeast on Luisiana.

All the country is level. It is crossed by twenty-seven rivers and
very deep creeks (arroyos) which in their freshets and overflows
form many small sreams 2 and lakes.

The rivers abound in fish, and the forests in large and leafy trees,
some bearing savory chestnuts, 3 nuts, persimmons, 4 and mulberries ;
and likewise in buffalo, deer, bears, rabbits, partridges, and other


[Present State of Settlement of the Province.]

This very spacious region contains the Presidio of San Antonio
de Vexar, eight leagues 5 distant from the Medina River, and three
hundred and seventy from this capital. 5 I has a garrison composed
of a captain, a lieutenant, an alferez* a sergeant, two corporals
and thirty-nine soldiers. 7 Under its protection are the Villa

^'From the west to the Seno Mexicano [Gulf of Mexico]" (Test., Sec.

2 Esteros, here used in reference to a stream produced by an overflow,
and disappearing at its subsidence.

8 A has at this point estrafias, M, entranas, either of which is hard to
fit into the connection. The Testimonio has casttarias. Bonilla had no
first-hand knowledge of Texas, and was influenced by the Testimonio, as
has already been remarked. Casttanas, therefore, is no doubt the true
reading, incorrectly copied by the scribe.

^Nisperos, In Lopes and Bensley, Nuevo Diccionario, nispero is ren-
dered medlar (mespilus germanica) . In Spanish North America, it has
the meaning given in the translation.

The Testimonio (Sec. 19) speaks of this presidio as being six leagues
within the province and seventy from San Juan Bautista. The estimates
of the length and width are the same in the two documents.

8 A cavalry officer, according to the Diccionario Enciclopedico de la
Lengua Castellana, who, in the absence of the lieutenant or of the captain,
takes command of the company. He formerly had the additional duty of
a standard bearer.

7 A captain and forty-three soldiers (plazas), (Test., Sec. 19).

BonillcCs Brief Compendium. 11

of San Fernando and five missions, namely (tituladas) : San An-
tonio de Valero, La Purisima Concepcion, Senor San Josef, San
Juan Capistrano, and San Francisco de la Espada. 1 Taking a
southeasterly course one finds at forty leagues' distance from the
said Presidio of Vexar that of Espiritu Santo, with the missions of
Nuestra Sehora del Rosario and San Bernardo. 2

The Presidio of Orcoquisac used to be situated in the center of
the province, and in its immediate neighborhood was the Mission
of Nuestra Senora de la Luz. 3 Since it is at present abandoned,
however, its garrison, composed of a captain, a lieutenant, a ser-
geant, and twenty-five soldiers, is to be found in San Antonio de

At a distance of a little more than a hundred and twenty-six
leagues from the above-named Mission of Nuestra Senora de la
Luz are situated (tienen su establecimiento) those of Nacogdoches
and los Ais.

The Presidio of Nuestra Senora del Pilar de los Adaes is the
capital and most remote settlement of the province. It has adjoin-
ing it the mission of the same name. It is seven leagues distant
from the Presidio of Nachitoches, which belongs to the government
of Luisiana, twenty from the Mission of los Ais, forty-seven from
that of Nacogdoches, one hundred and fifty from the Presidio of
Orcoquisac, two hundred from that la Bahia, two hundred and
forty from that of San Antonio de Vexar, 4 and six hundred from
this capital. Its force consists of a captain, — the governor of the
province holds that office, — a lieutenant, an alferez, a sergeant,
six 5 corporals, and forty-one soldiers.

2 The Testimonio (Sec. 19) states that there are five missions in the
province, but does not give their names. It states further that they are
ministered to by Franciscan religious of the colleges of Queretaro and

2 The Testimonio (Sec. 19) mentions one mission and presidio without
giving their names.

'The Testimonio mentions neither presidio nor mission.

4 The Testimonio (Sec. 22) puts los Adaes two hundred and forty-two
leagues from San Antonio, six hundred from the City of Mexico, and
seven from "San Juan Baupttistta de Nochitos."

6 One (M).

12 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.

At present, therefore, the the province contains four presidios,
one villa, and eleven missions, and has assigned for its defense
one hundred and sixty 1 effective troops, including nine officers,
whose salary and stipend amount to eighty-eight thousand and
ninety-six pesos a year.


[Circumstances which led to the Discovery and Reduction of the


In a letter of December 31, 1G86, His Excellency the Viceroy,
Conde de Monclova, gave to His Majesty, in connection with a state-
ment that Frenchmen had established themselves on the Bay of
Espiritu Santo, an account of having ordered the making of two
pirogues, which were to go out of Vera Cruz, on the twenty-fifth
day of the same [month], to make an investigation of this [matter].
This precautionary measure was approved in royal cedula 2 of April
nineteenth of the following year, 1687.

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