The Spanish Missions in Texas comprise a series of religious outposts established by Spanish Catholic, Dominicans, Jesuits, and Franciscans to spread the Catholic doctrine among area Native Americans, with the added benefit of giving Spain a toehold in the frontier land. In all, twenty-six missions were maintained for different lengths of time within the future boundaries of the state of Texas.
Since 1493, Spain had maintained missions throughout New Spain (Mexico and portions of what today are the southwestern United States) to facilitate colonization. The eastern Tejas missions were a direct response to fear of French encroachment when the remains of La Salle’sFort Saint Louis were discovered near Matagorda Bay in 1689, and a response to the first permanent French outposts along the Gulf Coast ten years later.
In the end, the mission system was not politically strong enough to protect the Native Americans against the growing power of ranchers and other business interests that sought control over mission lands and the manpower represented by the Native Americans. In the first few years of the new Republic of Mexico -between 1824 and 1830- all the missions still operating in Texas were officially secularized, with the sole exception of those in the El Paso district, which were turned over to diocesan pastors only in 1852.
• List of Existing Spanish Missions
• List of Destroyed Spanish Missions
MISSIONS AND PRESIDIOS
Mission Corpus Christi de la Ysleta
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Limpia Concepción de Los Piros de Socorro del Sur
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña
Mission Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de los Ais
Mission Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga
Mission San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo)
Mission San Francisco de la Espada
Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo
Mission San Juan Capistrano