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Spanish expedition leaves for East Texas

May
03
1693

On this day in 1693, Gregorio de Salinas Varona, recently appointed governor of Coahuila, left Monclova, Coahuila, on a relief expedition to take supplies to the troubled missions of East Texas. The expedition consisted of some twenty soldiers, including early Texas pioneer Nicolás Flores de Valdés, and ninety-six mules loaded with provisions. Salinas, an experienced soldier and explorer, took the occasion of the trip to define a portion of the Old San Antonio Road. His diary of the expedition is an important source of information on the small Indian bands he encountered, including the Sacuache and the Piedras Blancas. As a relief mission, though, the expedition was a failure. Salinas reached San Francisco de los Tejas Mission, in what is now Houston County, on June 8 and found illness and death rampant among the mission Indians. The supplies Salinas brought were far short of the need. When he departed six days later, two of the mission's friars went with him, and conditions worsened after his departure. Salinas's term as governor ended on December 26, 1697.

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