We’re now four weeks into our Texas Adventure. After wrapping up our week on the LaSalle expedition, we took a few days off last week. This week we focused on the Spanish colonization of Texas, beginning with the establishment of missions throughout the region.
Although La Salle’s expedition was a failure, it rekindled Spain’s interest in the area and spurred them to stake their claim on Texas in order to keep the French out. They began to establish missions and settlements, working to convert the Indians and often also using them as labor to cultivate the land.
|Mission San Jose, San Antonio|
We read about the struggles, hardships, and adventures encountered by the padres, soldiers, and earliest settlers as they dealt with hostile Indians and isolation from civilization. We also enjoyed reading about some of the interesting legends that have sprung up around the missions, such as the Lady in Blue. The various legends are a fun addition and really fascinating. They made for some great conversation about where the stories originated and how much of each was truth or fiction.
|Presidio La Bahia, Goliad|
As we read about the various Spanish missions, I couldn’t help but think of the contrast between their missionary efforts to the Native Americans and the work of another missionary we recently studied, Saint Patrick. Patrick was able to evangelize a large number of the Irish tribes whereas the Spanish missions were ultimately a failure. We had some great discussions contrasting the two and looking at what the Spanish did both right and wrong.
We’re planning to visit several of the missions that are still in existence in the very near future! Next week we’ll continue learning about the colonization of Texas, including the war for Mexican independence and the first Anglo-American settlers.
- Week One: Texas in Ancient Times
- Week Two: Earliest Explorers-Cabeza de Vaca
- Week Three: Earliest Explorers-La Salle
Linked with Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.