Ramón, Domingo (unknown–1723)

By: Donald E. Chipman

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: August 4, 2020

Domingo Ramón was the son of Capt. Diego Ramón of San Juan Bautista Presidio. Following the appearance of Louis Juchereau de St. Denis on the Rio Grande in July 1714 and his subsequent arrest as a foreign interloper and suspected illegal trader, the French cavalier was ordered to Mexico City. While also in the capital, Ramón received appointment on September 30, 1715, as commander of a military unit that was to reestablish Spanish presence in East Texas, thereby countering French influence from Louisiana. At the same time, St. Denis, who had ably defended his actions, received appointment as commissary officer and guide for the Ramón expedition, which totaled seventy-five persons. The entourage included twelve priests or friars, three Frenchmen, and several dozen civilians. Seven of the soldiers were married and brought along their families; their wives the first recorded Spanish women in Texas. The expedition, including equipment, supplies, and livestock, departed the Rio Grande on April 27, 1716. Guided by St. Denis, missionaries of the Franciscan colleges of Santa Cruz de Querétaro and Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Zacatecas reached East Texas in late June. On July 3 the expedition established Nuestro Padre San Francisco de los Tejas Mission to commemorate the original San Francisco de los Tejas Mission (1690–93). Three additional missions founded by the expedition in 1716 were Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, and San José de los Nazonis. After returning from a trip to Mobile in late 1716, St. Denis assisted Ramón in the founding of two more missions in early 1717-Nuestra Señora de los Dolores and San Miguel de Linares de los Adaes. Ramón remained in East Texas until 1719, when all the Spaniards there were withdrawn to San Antonio during the so-called "Chicken War." He remained at San Antonio until March 10, 1721, when he set out with forty men to occupy Matagorda Bay. Under orders of the Marqués de Aguayo, Ramón remained on the coast and was present in the spring of 1722, when Aguayo founded Nuestra Señora de Loreto Presidio (La Bahía) at the site of La Salle's Texas Settlement. The nearby mission of Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga was also begun in April. Ramón married Luisa Maldonado de Orandai, and they had at least three children: Diego, Juan Domingo, and Miguel. Ramón died on December 23, 1723, from a wound received during a Karankawa Indian uprising at La Bahía.

Carlos E. Castañeda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas (7 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1936–58; rpt., New York: Arno, 1976). Donald E. Chipman, Spanish Texas, 1519–1821 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992). Robert S. Weddle, San Juan Bautista: Gateway to Spanish Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968).

  • Exploration
  • Explorers (Spanish)
Time Periods:
  • Spanish Texas

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

Donald E. Chipman, “Ramón, Domingo,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/ramon-domingo.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 4, 2020

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