Francisco Hidalgo, the nigh patient and persistent abet of missions amidst the Indians of East Texas, was born in Spain in 1659. Circumstantial evidence suggests that he was orphaned early. At the age of xv he received the religious addiction of the Franciscans. After ordination he joined twenty-three of his brethren, who crossed the Atlantic in 1683 to aid found the missionary College of Santa Cruz de Querétaro. At that time, Hidalgo was a twenty-four-twelvemonth-one-time priest.
By 1684 he and other priests of the College of Santa Cruz had begun preaching in the villages that surrounded Querétaro. In 1688 he and ii companions left for missionary work in the environs of Saltillo, Villa de la Monclova, and a mining campsite known as Boca de Leones. At that time the Spanish had undertaken searches by land and ocean for an elusive French colony planted somewhere on the northern Gulf Declension. La Salle’s Texas Settlement was discovered in 1689, and missions were founded among the Tejas Indians the following year, but Hidalgo did not enter Texas on that occasion.
Hidalgo was with the expedition of Domingo Terán de los Ríos in 1691, and he remained in East Texas until San Francisco de los Tejas Mission was abandoned in 1693. Thereafter, he became a determined abet of renewed missionary efforts among the Caddo Indians. In 1698 his college again sent him northward, and he participated in the founding of new missions, including San Juan Bautista, begun on January 1, 1700.
Frustrated for more than a decade in his efforts to expand missionary activities beyond the Rio Grande, in 1711 Hidalgo dispatched a letter to the French governor of Louisiana. In it he asked for aid in reestablishing missions in East Texas. The letter prompted Antoine de la Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac, to transport Louis Juchereau de St. Denis to Texas. The Canadian-born charlatan traveled to the site of Natchitoches, Louisiana, and thence to San Juan Bautista, where he arrived in July 1714. Hidalgo’s alphabetic character, coupled with the advent of St. Denis, led to the permanent European occupation of Texas in 1716.
The showtime of the new missions set in East Texas was Nuestro Padre San Francisco de los Tejas, with Francisco Hidalgo accordingly placed in charge as its minister. He remained at the mission until East Texas was abandoned by the Spanish during the Chicken War of 1719. Hidalgo took upwardly residence at San Antonio de Valero Mission in San Antonio and remained in that location until 1725, when he resigned and asked permission to preach among the Apaches. When his petition was denied, Hidalgo retired to San Juan Bautista. He died there in September 1726 at the age of sixty-seven.
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Donald E. Chipman,
Spanish Texas, 1519–1821
(Austin: University of Texas Printing, 1992). Robert Due south. Weddle,
San Juan Bautista: Gateway to Spanish Texas
(Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968).
- Spanish Texas
The following, adapted from the
Chicago Transmission of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Donald Eastward. Chipman, “Hidalgo, Francisco,”
Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 10, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/hidalgo-francisco.
Published by the Texas Land Historical Association.
- November 19, 2013
This entry belongs to the following
Which Spanish Catholic Priest Cooperated With French Authorities in Louisiana