The Great Southwest, of which Texas is a part, was explored by the Spanish almost one hundred years before the first permanent English colony was founded along the Atlantic seaboard in 1607.1 While Spain laid claim to Texas as one of its far northern provinces in the New World, settlement was not encouraged until the late seventeenth century. The first permanent Spanish settlement in Texas was a mission at Ysleta, near El Paso, in 1682. A few civil settlements were established in the next century. The first and the largest was San Fernando de Bexar (San Antonio),...
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