Calahorra y Saenz, Jose Francisco (unknown–unknown)

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1994

Fray José Francisco Calahorra y Saenz was for over twenty years a Franciscan missionary in East Texas. His services demonstrate the superlative use to which the Spanish government put priests as mediators and diplomats. His 1745 report from Nacogdoches to Joaquín de Orobio y Basterra, captain at La Bahía, concerning Frenchmen wrecked on the Texas coast resulted in Orobio's visit to Los Adaes to consult Governor Francisco García Larios on French activities. After the defeat of Diego Ortiz Parrilla at Spanish Fort in 1759, Calahorra attempted to restore peace with the northern tribes. Tawakonis and Yscanis visited him asking peace and offering to give up Spanish captives and cannons. In September 1760 the governor furnished an escort for the priest to go to the Tawakoni villages on the upper Sabine River to meet a delegation of Taovayas for a peace meeting. He made other trips to the northern Indians in 1762 and 1763 and, as a result of the conference, proposed moving the San Sabá Presidio (see SAN LUIS DE LAS AMARILLAS PRESIDIO) to the Tawakoni area or to the country between the Tawakonis and the Taovayas. It was probably as a result of his efforts that the Taovayas took the captive Antonio Treviño to San Antonio in 1765. Though Calahorra may have been at Los Adaes part of the time, he was in Nacogdoches in 1768, when Fray Gaspar José de Solís inspected the East Texas missions.

Herbert Eugene Bolton, ed. and trans., Athanase de Mézières and the Louisiana-Texas Frontier, 1768–1780 (2 vols., Cleveland: Arthur H. Clark, 1914). Carlos E. Castañeda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas (7 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1936–58; rpt., New York: Arno, 1976). Gaspar José de Solís, "Diary," trans. Margaret Kenny Kress, Southwestern Historical Quarterly 35 (July 1931).
  • Religion
  • Catholic
Time Periods:
  • Spanish Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Calahorra y Saenz, Jose Francisco,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 16, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994

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