City of San Fernando and Royal Presidio of San Antonio de Béjar, January 17,m 1793.
Bernardo Cervantes, (rubric), Pablo Flores, (rubric), Francisco Fragoso, (rubric), Antonio Hiber, (rubric), Matias del Rio, (rubric), José Cayetano de Zepeda, (rubric) and Felix Guerrero, (rubric)."
"San Antonio de Béjar, January 17, 1793.
Add this list to the record, so that by reference to the said list, we may proceed to the partition of lands which are involved in these proceedings.
For the allotment of lands, it is necessary that all persons and or parties be notified that they must be assembled so that each one of them may receive the tract of land awarded to him.
In order to prevent disputes and avoid misunderstandings, we shall proceed to partition the land by drawing lots, and each grantee must be contented with the land that falls to him, whether it is plowed land or timber land or if it is provided with irrigation or lateral conduits. Notice of this decision was served upon their attorney-in-fact, Bernardo Cervantes. He signed with me, the said Governor and the witnesses to my proceedings.
Bernardo Cervantes, (rubric) and Muñoz, (rubric).
Witnesses: Vicente de la Cuesta, (rubric) and Andres Benito Curbiere, (rubric)."
List showing the number of Indian wards in this Mission of San Antonio de Valero. This list was compiled by me, the governor of said mission, and by our Reverend Priest, Fray José Francisco Lopez, on January 17, 1793, at the command of the Governor of this Province:
Governor José Joaquin Cuevas
Urbano Hinojosa, Mayor and Francisco Parrilla
Ministerial officer Juan de Dios Cortes Juan José Cuevas
Manuel de Hinojosa Mateo Godines
Anselmo Cuevas Bernardino del Rio
José Miguel Manzano Francisco Domingo Ursua
José Agustin Puente.
Fray José Francisco Lopez, (rubric).
Hermenegildo Puente, (rubric).
In the City of San Fernando and Royal presidio of San Antonio de Bexar, January 18, 1793. Before me, Manuel Muñoz, Lieutenant Colonel of the Cavalry of His Majesty's Royal Army and Governor of this Province of Texas, and commissioned Judge in these proceedings by the Commanding General of the Provinces of the Orient, Colonel Ramon de Castro, which proceedings I authorized with the witnesses to my acts for lack of a notary public, appeared the attorney-in- fact and refugees from the abandoned Presidio of Los Adaes, the Governor Hermenegildo Puente and the remainder of the Indians from the Mission of San Antonio de Valero; they were accompanied by the surveyor Pedro Huizar, because he was an expert person of their choice, that he might survey the lands which have been assigned to them by His Excellency the Viceroy, Count of Revilla Gigedo, in accordance with the Royal Decree dated September 10, 1772, in the Royal Regulations of Presidios.
In this manner, and to avoid all kinds of misinterpretations, I administered the oath to the said surveyor in the presence of all to which he swore in the name of our Lord God, and made the sign of the Holy Cross, which sign of the cross he made with his right hand; under the solemnity of this oath he promised God and pledged to the King that he would conduct the partition of the lands assigned to the refugees from Los Adaes and the Indians of the Municipality of San Antonio de Valero and residents who have settled in said municipality, faithfully and lawfully, to the best of his knowledge and skill;
To further the proceedings let the lots be drawn, as they have petitioned and thereby establish the equity of this partition, as well in the cultivated land as in the woodland which is provided with irrigation, all of which is certified as a public document that it may be recognized as such wherever necessary. And those who knew how to write signed with me, the said Governor and the witnesses to my proceedings.
To which I bear witness. Manuel Muñoz, (rubric)
Pedro Huizar, (rubric)
Bernardo Cerbantes, (rubric) and Hermenegildo Puente, (rubric).
Francisco Fragoso, (rubric)
Pablo Flores, (rubric)
José Cayetano Zepeda, (rubric)
Antonio Chiber, (rubric)
Matias del Rio, (rubric)
Felix Guerrero, (rubric). Witnesses: Vicnte de la Cuesta, (rubric) and Andres Benito Curbiere, (rubric) "With reference to the secularization of the Mission of San Antonio de Valero I am informed that a decree concerning the distribution will be issued in a short while; therefore in the meantime let the Minister Fray José Francisco Lopez be instructed to direct the Indians to fence and prepare their lands for sowing in the Lower Labor which is the site they requested, as appears in these proceedings from page 13 reverse to page 14 reverse.
Thus, everything will be in readiness when the surveyor, whom they have selected, Pedro Huizar, begins to make the partition; they, the grantees, will also render him all necessary aid as provided in the foregoing decree.
For the present the partition of land to the refugees from the Adaes is in effect and in order that the formal draw-of lots for the land may be accomploished as they ahve requested in these proceedings as appears on pages 16 to 18 inclusive, Juan José de la Santa, acting Alcalde (mayor) of the first vote as well as Joaquin Flores, Procurador (Attorney) General will proceed to said land and supervise the drawing."
At the end of their report they will add a list of the persons to whom the suertes (drawing) of land have been allotted, each suerte to have a sowing capacity of six almudes of seed corn, which allotment may be made by Pedro Huizar, the surveyor.
After this ceremony has been completed all the individuals may settle on their respective lands with the approval of Huizar, in accordance with the decrees for said partition.
Thus by this decree, I, the said Governor, Commissioned as above, acting with the witnesses to my proceedings, decided in this City of San Fernando and Presidio of San Antonio de Bexar, February, 23, 1793.
Manuel Muñoz, (rubric).
Witnesses: Vicente de la Cuesta, (rubric) and Andres Benito Curbiere, (rubric)."
So stated the transcribed translations of the Bexar County Spanish Archives, which translations were done in the 1938-1939 under the WPA, (Work Progress Administration) paid by the United States government. The original document, which is much longer, is also in the Bexar County Spanish Archives. Two pages from the original document are included in this manuscript.
This article quoted above comes from the first book of the San Antonio Missions translations, found in the Spanish Archives of Bexar County, kept in the Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio, Texas.
One of the first families to receive land across from the mission of Valero was Pedro de los Angeles in 1786. In the deed records of Bexar County in book G-1, pages 1 thru 4 is found this deed:
" I, Francisco Lopez, Priest of the order of the College of of Lady of Guadalupe of Zacatecas, and Minister of this Mission of San Antonio de Valero, do say that Pedro de los Angeles has served this mission as carpenter, barber, sacristan and who has lived in house with his first wife, Augeda Maldonado, who also served this mission with the washing and drying of the clothes of this mission, and has repaired said clothing. His second wife, María Estrada has been doing the same service to this mission, and she has cared for, with love and devotion, the sick Indians of this mission. I do declare that Don Pedro is living in this mission since the year of 1779 to the present, which service I have seen him give, and in return compensation I give him now and to possess forever pacifically the house in which he lives which has 2 rooms of rock, which is 8 varas long and 4 varas wide for each room. The room which he uses for his work as a carpenter is 73/4 varas long and 61/4 wide with the lot that goes with it that has a front of 23 varas from the front of the door of the house to the Royal road that looks towards the East, and is the entrance of this mission, and from the inside of the house, looking towards the West, is 16 varas, and in depth towards the North and South is 29 varas. I also give him the garden that is next to the house and well fenced, and it has 571/2 varas running from North to South and has 16 varas wide running East and West, with the precise measurement of the kitchen of the Priests, with the necessary vegetables and other things needed. It is for him and his wife and children. He has one son and one daughter from his first wife, Agueda, and he has one son and one daughter from his present wife, María.
I give this to him in my name and in the name of the Indians of this mission, in consideration for the services and his bravery and work he has done to the Ministers of this mission, which payment could not be made to him. The house, the lot and garden and the shed are donated to him. I do this with the approval of the other Ministers of my administration of this mission. It is done without prejudice towards Don Pedro, and that which I express to him, can continue for his services and his humility and the goodness he has done. I do this on this day in this Mission of San Antonio de Valero on May 25, 1786."
Fr. Francisco Lopez, (rubric).
María Estrada de los Angeles also asked for land on April 25, 1793, found in book G-1 deed records, pages 1 thru 3 and in spanish it states:
"I, María Estrada, widow of Pedro de los Angeles and a neighbor of this town of San Antonio, for the last 16 years, do state that my late husband has given services to the church as a carpenter, barber and sacristan; cleaning the habitation of the church of this Mission of Valero, as well cleaning the chapel, together with his first wife Agueda Maldonado as well as I have given my services as needed to the priests and mission chapel. I ask for a house in which I live in which has two rooms, which measure both rooms 8 varas long and 4 varas wide, plus the lot which measures 43 varas from East to West and from South to North is 29 varas, with a shed used as a carpenter shop, which measures 71/4 varas long and 63/4 varas wide, and last a piece of land that serves as a garden which has 16 varas in from from East to West and has 571/2 varas in depth from North to South, which my late husband worked. We have served the religious men and Indians, and now the mission has been closed with orders from the Viceroy, Count of Revilla Gegido, and Fr. José Francisco Lopez, with the help of Fr. Maríano Garza, has been instructed to give the land to the government who will give the land to the inhabitants of the Presidio of San Antonio de Béjar.
I ask for this land from the said government without any malice towards anyone, but because of need that I have in which to live with my children who are María Conception and Alex de los Angeles."
[Note: A Spanish vara is 331/3 inches.]
The house, shed and garden, including the lot where the house sits were given to María Estrada by order of Governor Manuel Muñoz.
As we can see by this document, activity such as a carpenter shop, barber shop and garden were the first businesses in the plaza of San Antonio de Valero, now known as Alamo Plaza.
The other people in the list were given their lands and began to build their homes and start a garden for their household use.
On November 10, 1791, María Santa de los Angeles Charli sold to María Estrada a house that has 3 varas and 8 varas of land and 50 varas in depth. María de los Angeles Charlie claimed to have inherited this land from her father and dead mother, Ageda Maldonado. With the consent of her father, Pedro de los Angeles Charli and her husband she then sold it to her step-mother María Estrada. The land is bounded on North with land of the buyer, and the West by the Royal Street, on the South by land of said buyer and on the East with land of Margarita Jiménez. This deed is recorded in the Bexar Archives on microfilm roll no. 21, in frame no. 879.
It is interesting to know that the Angeles family name is now known as Charli, or Charles, as it is known today.
The Bexar Archives microfilm roll no. 23, frame no. 398, states of the correspondence between Father Francisco Lopez and Governor Muñoz of Texas concerning Father Garza's commission to attend to the delivery of the San Antonio de Valero Mission to the government. This took place in April 11, 1793.
In July 29, 1794, in microfilm roll no. 24, frame no. 869, General Pedro de Nava wrote to Governor of Texas, Muñoz, giving instructions for the management of the Indians at the San Antonio Missions.
The items of the mission of San Antonio de Valero were now being disbursed to other persons. In the Bexar Archives microfilm roll no. 28, frame no. 480, dated June 27, 1797, General Pedro Nava, who was in Mexico, in the state of Chihuahua, writes to Governor Muñozapproving the transfer of a bell from the Mission of San Antonio de Valero to the priest of San Fernando church. One of the bells was given to the church.
General Nava wrote to Governor Muñoz, from Chihuahua, Mexico on September 11, 1794 and acknowledges receiving the inventories of Mission Espada, San Juan Capistrano, Concepcion and San José. This letter is found in the Bexar Archives microfilm roll no. 24, in frame no. 961.
Maximo Dias de Salcedo, writes from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, a letter dated May 2, 1794, to the Governor of Texas transmitting Commandant General's ordinances appointing local Royal Judges as administrators of the secular missions of Texas. This letter is found in the Bexar Archives, microfilm no. 24, frame no. 688.
A local citizen named Juan Barrera in Oct. 20, 1795, asks Governor Muñoz the following:
"My dear Sir: I ask permission from you to live in the houses which once served as the convent in the mission of San Antonio de Valero, which I obligate myself to fix the roofs with some of the lumber that is no longer used in some of the houses, as the houses have become useless. I await for your favor and that you will give the order for the keys to be given to me so I can determine which roofs are to be fixed, which are in bad condition. I await for this favor to be executed by your excellency.
San Antonio de Bexar, Oct. 20, 1795. Signed: Juan Barrera.
At the same time, I obligate myself to rise the enclosure walls of the room that has fallen down, and also to repair the flat roofs that are leaking. As I have previously have expressed to you before, I will take some of the lumber and quarrystone to repair the flat roofs, taking an account of what is used to do the repairs.
Signed on this same date, Juan Barrera, (rubric)."
Governor Muñoz answered Barrera in the following letter.
Having seen the obligation that don Juan Barrera has taken, and I understanding that this will be for the benefit that will result for subsistence of the workshops of mission San Antonio de Valero. I order that the Spanish Judge don Matias del Rio of that mission turn over the keys to the said Barrera, as well as the lumber and quarrysontes. He is to keep an account of the amount of lumber and quarrystones that are used for these repairs. He is to give an account to the public of that town (of Valero).
I so order it and sign it with witnesses as my assistants.
Manuel Muñoz, (rubric).
As assistants: Vicente de la Cuesta and Joséph J. Diaz,(rubricas).
The Bexar County Archives, on microfilm roll no. 26, frame no. 791, dated Aug. 29, 1796 is a document in spanish that reads:
"General Pedro Nava to Governor Muñoz of Texas enclosing a copy of Revilla Gigedo's report on Texas missions to be used as a sample form for reporting on the state of the missions and towns without missionaries.
Mission in the Province of Texas: Name of the mission, year founded; distance from the capital. (Villa of San Fernando). Indian tribes the mission has."
l. San Antonio de Valero, founded in 1716, found immediate to the capital. Indians: Sanes, Payaes and Vanos.
2. Our Lady of Concepcion, founded in 1716, one league east, Indians: Samipoas, Tacanos and others.
3. San José de Aguayo, founded in 1720, 2 leagues south, Indians: Pamossos, Mayetes and others.
4. San Juan Capistrano, founded in 1716, 3 leagues south, Indians: Pamagues, Cufan and others.
5. San Francisco de la Espada, founded in 1716, 3 leagues south, Indians: Facos, Manigita and others.
6. Mission Espirito Santo (of la Bahía), founded 1720, 40 leagues southwest, Indians: Cufanos, Canineagua and others.
7. Our Lady of Rosario, founded in 1794, 38 leagues southwest, Indians: Carancaguaces.
Signed: Francisco Javier de Trujillo. (rubric).
An inventory of doors, keys, escutcheons nd other tools found at Mission San Antonio de Valero, August 6, 1803, found in Bexar County Archives microfilm roll no. 31, in frame 0473.
These items were turned over to Captain Francisco Amangual by the Mayor of the township of Valero, Vicente Amador who has been in charge of the mission.
1. Two (key hole) plates that are loose and are useless.
2. One door with plate and key of the church that goes to the new one.
3. One Alazena (?) with plate, without a key, that is inside the church.
4. One door without a plate of the sacristy.
5. One door with a bolt or latch that borders, or next to the sacristy.
6. One door with plate and key which door goes from the church to the patio.
7. One door with plate, no key, that borders the church in the inside.
8. One door with plate and key and 2 doors with bolts or latches that are used in the two rooms where the Captain lives.
9. One door with plate and key in the Chaplains' room.
10. One door with plate and key of the corridor that goes to the cellar.
11. One door with plate for the stairway.
12. One door with plate, no key, for the bedroom.
13. One door with plate and key of the room of the second Lieutenant Francisco Adam.
14. One door with plate and key of the food warehouse.
15. One door with plate, no key, of the room where Lieutenant Dionicio Valles lives.
16. One door, no key, that goes to the camp ground, no plate.
17. One kitchen door, that has no plate.
18. One door, no key, that goes to the public meeting room.
19. One door of the actual granary without a plate.
20. One door with plate and key of the living room that is next to the granary.
21. One door with a key where the weapons are kept.
22. One door with plate and key of the living room that was the old granary of the mission.
23. One swivel canon without a gun carriage.
San Antonio de Valero, August 6, 1803.
Signed: Francisco Amangual, (rubric).
The following list of Spanish Land Grants were translated by WPA workers in the 1940's. The original lands grants( in Spanish) are kept in the Spanish Archives of Bexar County, in the Bexar County Courthouse.
This section contains land grants for the areas known as Alamo Plaza and the Mission of San Antonio de Valero. These individuals owned and lived in these homes before the battle of Alamo took place on March 6th, 1836.
Land grant to Vicente Amador, a resident of the City of San Fernando de Béjar declares the following:
April 11, 1793.
"That having little means and no way to make a living for his family, he asks Yur Highness to come to his aid by granting him a parcel of land in the Lower Labor of the Mission of San Antonio de Valero (now South Alamo Street area), where the Indians of this mission are to be settled, if there should be a tract of surplus land where he may establish himself and provide his favor, even though they are few.
"He has lived in this province 38 years and during all this time, together with his sons, he has, at his own expense, taken part in expeditions, has done guard and sentry duty, etc., gladly contributing his services when called upon, since thus he was rendering a service to His Majesty (whom God preserve). He has the distinction of having been elected Alcalde (Mayor) of the first vote of this city on one occasion and on another he was Procurator General, (attorney General); at the present he is a Judge, having been appointed by Your Highness to that office with jurisdiction over the Indian wards of the Mission (of Valero) and others who have settled land there to alleviate their hardships and sufferings.
"Therefore, in view of his allegations, he anticipates that Your highness will display benignity in the consideration of his petition if he is worthy thereof,so he again humbly begs Your Highness to be so kind as to act as he has requested that you accept his petition written on this ordinary paper, for there is no sealed paper; he swears that he does not act with malice but of necessity, etc.
Vicente Amador, (rubric).
"City of San Fernando, Presidio of San Antonio de Bexar, April 11th of this year, 1793, before me, Manuel Muñoz, Lieutenant Colonel of Cavalry of the Royal Armies, Governor in office of this Province of Texas, etc., I declare: That as the Indians of the Mission of San Antonio de Valero do not object to this party being granted the land for which he asks, therefore, I decided to give him possession in the name of His Majesty. The said Indians were present as was the surveyor, Pedro Huizar. They walked over the land in my presence, leading the petitioner, who threw rocks to the four winds of the said land, which is bounded on the south by the lands surveyed and granted this same day to the said Indians; on the West by the San Antonio River; on the North by the (suerte) 177.1 acres of land granted to Pedro Huizar and on the East by the Acequia madre (irrigation ditch of Concepcion Mission.)
" And in order that he, the said Vicente Amador, his children an successors may enjoy the said land, this instrument will serve him as a deed of conveyance thereof, which was signed by the Governor, the witnesses to his proceedings, Esmeregildo Punete, representing the said Indians, and the said surveyor, Pedro Huizar, all of which I attest.
Manuel Muñoz, (rubric).
Witnesses: José de Jesus Mansolo, (rubric), Andres Benito Courbiere, (rubric), Hermenegildo Puente, (rubric) and Pedro Huizar, (rubric)."
Land grant no.26 to Ygnacio de los Santos Coy, 1797. No. 133.
To the Governor:
"I, Ygnacio de los Santos Coy, Sexton of this city of San Fernando and Royal Presidio of San Antonio de Bexar, appears before Your Highness in the best possible legal form in my behalf and declare:
"That I do not own any land on which to sow crops to maintain my large family which consists of five boys and seven girls, wherefore I am forced to pray Your Highness to command that I be granted a tract with the accompanying irrigation water.
This land is situated in the tract known as La Capillita, (the little chapel) which is part of the lands of Mission San Antonio de Valero. It is bounded on the North by the Royal Road which leads to the said mission; on the South by land granted to José de Zepeda; on the East, by the road which leads to the mission to the south; and on the West by the said suerte of land owned by Zepeda.
I also pray for another tract of land on which to build a dwelling, which land is situated on the opposite side of the saidCamino Real (Royal Road); it is bounded on the North by the river; on the West by the said road which leads to the mission; on the East it forms an angle between the river and the saidCamino Real; on the West it is bounded by theAcequia Madre of Concepcion Mission and the dam.
I will comply with all necessary conditions to obtain this grant without causing injury or prejudice to the rights of the community.
In consideration of this grant I pledge myself to teach all the children of this city and of the new settlers to pray and to read, as well as I can, without any charge whatever, with the desire only to serve the community and to serve both their Majesties.
Wherefore I pray and beseech Your Highness most earnestly that you will deign to command that I be granted and placed in possession of the said land and thus I shall be awarded merited justice. I swear in due form that my petition is not filled with malice but of necessity.
Ygnacio de los Santos, (rubric)."
City of San Fernando and Presidio of San Antonio de Béjar, September 18, 1797.
Before me, Colonel Manuel Muñoz, Civil and Military, Governor of this Province of Texas, etc., appeared Ygancio de los Santos Coy, a resident of this city who has been employed by the Holy Catholic church for many years.
I accepted his petition as having been duly filed and therefore, considering his rectitude and large family, by virtue of the powers conferred on me by the rulers of this New Spain for the partition of the lands formerly owned by the secularized Mission of San Antonio de Valero, I have decided to grant to the petitioner the lands for which he petitions as set forth in his application.
Therefore, I have forwarded the record of these proceedings to Vicente Amador who, as presiding Judge of the said municipality, will place this said Ygnacio de los Santos Coy in possession of the said land with all the formalities prescribed by law.
After this possession has been given, the said Vicente Amador will deliver this record to the said Ygnacio de los Santos Coy that it may serve as proof of his title, by virtue of this decree which I sign with the witness to my proceedings. This I decided, commanded and signed this decree.
Manuel Muñoz, (rubric).
José Antonio Bustillos, (rubric) and
Luis Galan, (rubric).
In obedience to the preceding decree of His Highness, the Governor of this Province, Colonel Manuel Muñoz, I, Vicente Amador, charged with command of these fugitives from the presidio of the Adaes who have occupied lands in the Mission of San Antonio de Valero and of the Indians, wards of that secularized mission, have been commissioned to complete these proceedings. Accordingly I proceeded to the sites of which Ygnacio de los Santos Coy has prayed possession; for this purpose I was accompanied by the witnesses to my proceedings after I had served notice upon the adjoining owners and, there on the land, the survey of the lines of the property was begun in the presence of all.
The first line of the first tract which Coy intends to farm was on the East and it measured 270 varas, where it was bounded by theCamino Real which leads south to the Missions; on the West 415 varas were measured, bounded by lands owned by José de Zepeda and the Acequia of Concepcion Mission; on the North 210 varas were measured, bounded by theCamino Real which leads to the mission and the ranches; and on the South 22 varas were measured where an angle is formed, bounded by lands owned by Diego de Herrera.
The second tract where Coy intends to build a house and plant a garden was bounded as follows:
On the East, 25 varas, where it forms a kind of angle it is bounded by the Camino Real which leads to the municipality; on the West 50 varas, bounded by the Acequia of Concepcion Mission; on the North 150 varas, bounded by the river; on the South 180 varas, bounded by theCamino Real which leads from the said mission to the presidio; the said lands lie within the boundaries described by the petitioner without any variation whatever.
As there was no objection or complaint by any of the adjoining owners, I placed him in quiet and peaceful possession in the name of His Majesty, (whom God preserve.)
I took him by the hand and let him about the said lands and then I instructed the said Ygnacio de los Santos Coy to uproot weeds and hurl stones, which he did to the four winds, in witness of having acquired actual possession and of having been granted for the same reason, title ownership and property in said lands as provided by law, who that he may hold it and enjoy it freely, he, his children, successors and anyone who from him or any of them may acquire right, title or interest with all its uses and customs; I instructed him that he must occupy the land within the period fixed by law and that he must not sell it without the indispensable permission of the Governor of this Province.
Since these proceedings have been completed, the said Ygnacio de los Santos Coy will deliver this deed of possession to the Superior Tribunal of the Governor who issued my commission as provided by His Highness in his previous decree aforesaid, for his approval and action.
Thus I, the said Judge, decided, commanded and signed this decree November 15, 1797, acting as delegate Judge with the witness to my proceedings for lack of any notary within the meaning of the law: to which I bear witness.
Vicente Amador, (rubric).
Witnesses: José Ventura Losoya, (rubric),
and Matias del Rio, (rubric).
In the Unidentified Files Section of Bexar County Spanish Archives we find entry No. 24
In the City of San Fernando de Béjar, November 2, 1809, before me Manuel Barrera, Mayor of the first election of the said city appeared Captain Francisco Amangual who is well known to me and declared:
That by this deed he sells and conveys at Royal sale by right of inheritance now and forever to José Benito de Octon, a merchant of the said city, to wit:
One rock house situated in the borough of San Antonio de Valero, which is bounded on the south by land of Francisco Carmona, with an alley between which leads to the river; [Crockett St.?] on the North by land of María Estrada and Miguel Losoya; on the East by the Plaza of the said borough and on the West by land of the grantor.
This house consists of one living room with two doors with keys, one porch on the side of the Plaza with a double door with key; one room with flat roof and without a door; one porch on the West thatched with grass, mesquite walls and cedar beams; on the alley one kitchen with door and lock; on the north side one room without a door and two other rooms; one serves as a privy and the other is used as a store room; one gate at the corral with lock and key.
Also onesolar on which the house is built which is 141/2 varas in frontage by 40 varas in depth, all fenced with mesquite posts but this conveyance includes only the fence on the alley which leads to the river for the other three fences belong to the adjoining owners.
The vender sells said house and land without prejudice to rights of heirs or adjacent owners, who were summoned and advised of the sale and price, which is 600 pesos, of which he acknowledges receipt to his entire satisfaction. If it is worth more or should increase in value, the vendor makes a gift and donation of any such excess to the purchaser in the pure, perfect, absolute and irrevocable manner known to the law as inter vivos.
The grantor conveys this house and lot clear of lien, mortgage or any encumbrance, special or general and he assigns to the said Benito Octon, all the rights of property possession and ownership which he never held in the said land and house, so that the said purchaser may be recognized and acknowledge as lawful owner, etc., to which I certify.
Manuel Barrera, (rubric) Francisco Amangual, (rubric).
Francisco Barrera (rubric) and
Miguel de Uraga, (rubric).
As one can see, merchants were already buying land and setting up businesses on Alamo Plaza. Mr. Octon is a Frenchman who came to San Antonio from Louisiana.
In Land Grants and Sales of the Bexar County Spanish Archives no. 34 Francisco Amangual got some more land on Alamo Plaza area:
To the Governor.
I,Francisco Amangual, Captain of the Presidial Company of La Bahía del Espiritu Santo, and Commander of theFlying Company of Parras, appears before Your Highness with the utmost humility and due respect and declare:
That, since December, 1805, he has been lodged in a dilapidated one-roomjacal which was situated in the outer walls of Valero and the said shack was the property of the King. His own home was occupied as a military hospital.
The dilapidated shack aforesaid consisted of one room of eight varas and a porch and both buildings are used as a kitchen as the roofs still clearly show; the land was 15 varas deep, not counting a narrow strip of public land which adjoins thisjacal.
This shack and porch, formerly occupied by an Indian woman named Dolores, was one of those still standing when the mission was demolished.
He (Amangual) has done much personal work and has expended a large sum to repair the shack, as appears in a detailed account which he maintained; and, considering the expenses which he has incurred, and realizing that if he leaves the said shack for any station to which he may be assigned, no purchaser will be found who would care to reimburse him for the said expense (as a purchaser) because it would be very heavy, but your petitioner considered it most necessary in order to provide a suitable home for himself and his baby girl.
Wherefore he prays Your Highness, in the name of Justice, to sell him the said land and shack, after appraisement is made by the best experts in valuation obtainable, so that from its gross value may be deducted the expenses incurred by your petitioner and the balance paid to the person entitled thereto.
San Antonio de Valero, February 8, 1808.
Francisco Almangual, (rubric)."
Bexar, February 9, 1808.
The Judge at Valero will please advise me what use was made of the house in question during the existence of the mission which house Captain Amangual repaired and now claims as his own.
He will also make a fair appraisement of the value of the house when Amangual went to live there and attach a vouched statement giving in detail the expense which the petitioner claims he incurred in making repairs and improvements.
(Signed) Gov. Cordero, (rubric).
In compliance with the preceding command, I went to the home of Captain Francisco Almangual, accompanied by Juan de Dios Cortes, bricklayer, an Indian of the Mission of Valero, Miguel Sorrolla and José Bustillos, who lived in the same house while the mission existed, Juan Diego Belos, bricklayer and the carpenter, Manuel Arenales.
In the presence of the said captain, I made known to them the command of your Highness, informing them of the condition of the house when the captain took possession.
They, being well acquainted with the deplorable condition of the house at that time, which they know from having see it, declared that, although it was uninhabitable because of the condition of the walls and roof, the walls might have been of use in repairing the house, and only the cost of the stone could be appraised at the customary value. The roofs and doors could be assigned very little value because they could scarcely be used. They also declared that no one would rent the house because it was unfit for habitation; therefore, if the said Captain had not repaired the house, it would have collapsed long since.
They also declared that in good conscience they would appraise the walls, the lumber which could be used and the site of the house at a value of 85 pesos; and this valuation would not burden their consciences.
Wherefore, having been so informed and believing this to be the just value of the said house, I am forwarding this return to you, and attach here a copy of a detailed statement of the sums expended by the said Captain in the repairs, so that on considering them you may take any action appropriate to your superior rank.
I signed this in the presence of the appraisers, today, February 10, 1808.
Vicente Amador, (rubric)."
February 13, 1808.
In consideration of the repairs and restoration made to this small Royal property by Captain Francisco Amangual, and the just reasons given by him and, inasmuch as this property is not needed for any service of the King, I hereby grant the house to the said Captain as his own property on payment of 84 pesos in current cash to be paid to His Majesty, the money to be expended in public works at Valero. This, I, Antonio Cordero, Colonel of the Cavalry of the Royal Armies, Militay and Civil governor of the Province of Coahuila and Governor pro tempore of this Province of Texas, provide, command and sign.
Antonio Cordero, (rubric).
Witnesses: José Anselmo Pereyra, (rubric) and Rafael Gonzales, (rubric)."
In obedience to the preceding decree of the Honorable Governor, Colonel Antonio Cordero, dated February 13, 1808, I, Vicente Amador, in command of all the fugitives from the Adaes who have taken lands in the Mission of Valero and the secularized Indians, wards of said Mission, commissioned in this proceeding executed it as follows:
On February 16, 1808, I went to the dwelling house in Valero occupied by Captain Francisco Amangual, together with the witnesses to my proceedings for lack of any notary of which there is none within the meaning of the law and with the instrumental witnesses who were: Juan Beramendi, José Antonio Bustillos and Bentura Losoya, all of this community.
After I had notified the adjoining property owners, and in the presence of all, the measurements of the land were made.
The frontage, from North to South, was 14 1/2 varas; from East to West, the depth, 45 1/2 varas and from North to South, at the rear there are not 14 1/2 varas as in the frontage, because it adjoins the labor and therefore it contains only 10 varas according to the measurements. The said land is within the measurements claimed and is bounded as follows:
On the North by the house of Bentura Losoya; on the West by land of the labor; (farm land, now Losoya St.*) on the South by the alley that leads from the plaza (of Valero) to the river and on the East by the said Plaza.
And there being no objection by any one or on the part of the adjoining property owners, I placed him in quiet and peaceful possession, in the name of His Majesty, (whom God preserve), and, taking him by the hand and walking with him over the said land, I commanded the aforesaid Captain to pull weeds and cast rocks to the four winds, which he did as proof of real ownership which he thus acquired; and for a like reason he acquired the dominion, ownership and possession as provided by law, to hold it, sell it, or enjoy it freely as may his children and successors or anyone claiming under him or them right, title or interest, with all its uses, customs and easements.
On the said land is a four-wall one-room house, the property of the King, together with the land as shown by the appraisement which precedes and which said Captain requests at Royal sale; it was appraised in my presence by the experts therein named at a price of 85 pesos; this is its just value which was approved by the Governor as appears at the beginning of these proceedings, which sum I have received and which is to be devoted to the public works of Valero or to be expended as His highness may direct; I have received this money in current gold, coined in Mexico, to my entire satisfaction, etc.......Vicente Amador (rubric).
Witnesses: Alvino Pacheco, (rubric) and José del Toro, (rubric).(* This information put in by this author John O. Leal.)
In Land Grant no. 38, of the sale of land by Juan Martínez to Felipe Arciniega is the entry which is:
Valid for the reign of Ferdinand VII. Vicente Amador.
San Antonio de Valero, September 6, 1809.
Before me, Alexo Charli, Lieutenant Governor pro tem, of this municipality in the absence of the incumbent, Vicente Amador, appeared Juan Martínez, known to me personally and declared:
That he sells and conveys at Royal Sale, by right of inheritance, in perpetuity, to Lieutenant Felipe Arciniega, to wit: (a tract of) land with a frontage of 13 varas and a depth of 20 varas.
It is bounded on the North by a solar owned by Manuel Martínez; on the south and East by land belonging to Juan Martínez and on the West by the Calle Real (Royal Street) of this city.
Juan Martínez acquired this land from Juan María de la Serda at public sale and he sells it without prejudice to the rights of the heirs because they have been informed of the sale and of the price, which is 27 pesos, receipt of which he acknowledges in silver coined in Mexico, to his entire satisfaction.
The vendor waives the protection of the laws of Royal decree and all other laws which are in his favor. He declares that the sum which he has received is the just and lawful price of the said land, and if it is worth more or should acquire more value, he makes a free gift and donation of the excess value to the buyer, in complete, final total and irrevocable manner known to the law as inter vivos, etc..
signed: Alexo Charli."
Frederick Chabot states in his book "With the makers of San Antonio", on page 255:
"Pedro de los Angeles, from the City of Angers, France. By his marriage to Agueda Maldonado they had children, and one son Alejo, born about 1786 and died 1821," was the Lieutenant Governor of the township of Valero together with Vicente Amador, who was the Mayor of this township."
Sale of land by the widow of José Ramirez to María Gertrudis Casanova, Land Grant no. 140 states:
Received of Antonio Murrial, 4 reales, the cost of one sheet of paper bearing the Third Seal, which I have validated.
San Antonio de Béjar, March 4, 1809.
Amador, (rubric) and Luis Galan, (rubric).
In the pueblo (city) of the Mission of San Antonio de Valero, March 4, 1809, before me, Vicente Amador, Lieutenant Governor of this said municipality, appeared Antonio Munrrial, who is well known to me and declared:
That he holds a power of attorney from the widow of the late José Ramirez to sell a lot of land, by which he is authorized to convey at Royal Sale, by right of inheritance, now and forever, to María Gertrudis Casanova, to wit: One lot which is situated on the street which leads from this community to the ranches. [Goliad St.?] It is bounded on the North by land of Sierra; on the East by the street leading to the ranches; on the South by public land and on the West by the river."
The Land Grants records show that in the early 1800s, many of the lands of Mission San Antonio de Valero were being bought and sold by new arrivals coming from Mexico and Louisiana as .
In Land Grant no. 410, on July 11, 1809, there is a record of the sale of land and irrigation water by María Marques to Juan Eugene Michanpa. The following is a translation of that excerpt from the original Spanish:
In the town of San Antonio de Valero, before me, Alejo Charle, Lieutenant Governor pro tempore of the said town in the illness of the incumbent, Vicente Amador, personally appeared María Rosa Marques, a resident of this community who is well known to me and declared:
That she conveys at Royal Sale by right of inheritance, now and forever, to Juan Eugene Michanpa [Menchaca?], to wit; 33 varas of land with one-half day of irrigation water, which land is situated in this community on Alameda [East Commerce] Street. It is bounded on the North by land of Dionicio Lopez; on the South by the Alameda Street; on the East by the Acequia Madre; and on the West by the irrigation ditch which separates it from the land ofJoaquín Leal.
She sells the land for 86 pesos in Mexican coin. She acquired the land through a grant which the King made to the Adaesenos."[Citizens of the Los Adaes colony.]
In the Petition of a lot by José Vicente Flores in Land grand and Sales no. 228 is the following entry:
To the Governor.
I, José Vicente Flores, citizen of the community of this City of San Fernando, Royal Presidio of San Antonio de Bexar, appear before Your Highness and declare:
That it is my intention to help increase the population of my community and to accomplish this (if Your Highness will consent in accordance with the well known justice of your procedure) it is indispensable for me to pray you kindly to command that I be granted a solar which is situated on the far bank of the river in the lands of the Mission of San Antonio de Valero, at the rear of the church. (Now the chapel.)
It is bounded on the North by the lot of the soldier, Francisco Martínez, on the West by the street which leads to the entrance of the Upper Labor; on the south by the lot of Juan de la Cerda and on the East by the road which leads to Nacogdoches (now Bonham St,)
At the same time I hope you will take into consideration the slight merit which I possess, for example: I have served at my expense and to my injury, 36 years in all the campaigns which have been conducted from this city. I was also one of the first who sallied out in the campaigns and attacks to fight against the Indians: I have also participated in the sessions of this Ayuntamiento [city council] and have discharged faithfully whatever commissions the governors have, in their discretion, conferred upon me; the last commission which they entrusted to me was in 1807 when I built three bridges across San Pedro Creek, opened three streets which lead to the suburb of Laredo and also built two bridges across the Acequia Madre of said suburb.
Your Highness, I realize well that these are small deeds accomplished by a vassal who desires solely to serve his King, to defend and foster the prosperity of his country, and to uphold its religion but if Your Highness approves of my petition I shall receive that indulgence for which I hope from your well known kindness.
I am the most submissive servant of Your Highness.
José Vicente Flores, (rubric)."
Spanish Land Grant found in the Spanish Archives of Bexar County, translated from the Spanish by the WPA workers in 1939 is found this entry no. 411.
In the suburb of San Antonio de Valero, September 5, 1809, before me, Alexo Charli, Lieutenant Governor pro tempore (temporary) of this community in the absence of Vicente Amador, appeared Juan María de la Serda, who is well known to me and declared:
That he conveys at Royal sale by right of inheritance, now and forever, to Juan Martínez, a resident of this city, to wit: A lot of land with a frontage of 20 varas and a depth of 30 varas. It is bounded on the North by the lot of Manuel Martínez; on the South by land of Joaquin Leal; on the East by land of Juan Martínez; on the West by the Royal (Alamo) Street of this city.
Serda inherited this lot from his mother and he conveys it without prejudice of the rights of the heirs and adjoining landholders because they have been informed of the sale and price which is 20 pesos which he has received to his entire satisfaction in silver of Mexican coinage, etc..
Land Grant No. 354, Spanish Archives of Bexar County is the following translation.
Petition for land by José Francisco Leal.
To the Governor.
I, José Francisco Leal, a resident of this City of San Fernando de Béjar, appear before Your Highness in the best legal form in my own behalf and declare:
That at the present time I have a large family and I do not own even a handbreadth of land on which I can erect a house in which to live or upon which I can plant a crop in order to maintain and feed my family. Therefore I appeal to the charity of Your Highness kindly to grant me (if you think it proper) possession of a suerte (177 & 1/7 acres) of land which is situated in the Suburb of Valero on the far bank of the Acequia Madre: (irrigation ditch), this land has always been recognized as vacant, unoccupied and public. (Now part of Hemisfair grounds.)
It is bounded on the West by land of Antonio Martínez with the Acequia between; on the North and East by unoccupied lands and on the South by the Royal Road (Goliad St.) which leads to the ranches.
If Your Highness thinks it proper to make this grant, I shall build my house on this land and cultivate it very promptly because my present poverty will compel me to do so as well as the injunction of the law; thus I shall be awarded merited justice." etc. (This grant was given to Francisco Leal on Aug. 31, 1810.)
(Note: This Francisco Leal is a descendant of the Canary Islander families who came to found this city in 1731.)
In the Spanish Land Grants of Bexar County is found the following land grant to Gregorio Arciniega, no. 40.
To the Governor.
I, Gregorio Arciniega, a retired soldier of the company of San Carlos de Parras, appears before Your Highness in the best legal form conducive to my rights and declare:
That I reside in this city with my family and have no house in which to live, therefore I appeal to your kindness and pray that you grant me a tract of land in this suburb of Valero, situated on the street which leads to the lower missions; [Alamo St.] this land is bounded on the East by the said street; on the South by land of Cayetano Dominguez; on the West by land assigned to the Barracks of the Militia; and on the North by land of Clemente Delgado.[Where a hotel now stands by Durango and S. Alamo Street, on the West side of Alamo Street.]
If the lofty condescension of Your Highness will grant the prayer of my petition I shall immediately proceed to build a house and fence the land and cultivate it and thus enjoy fully the pleasure of a real possessor and obtain recognition as lawful owner.
Again I request that Your Highness do as I request. I do not know how to write, so another signed for me.
Francisco Barrera, (rubric).
San Fernando de Béjar, November 14, 1811." etc.
The land was given to Mr. Arciniega by order of Herrera on November 25, 1811. His son, Miguel Arciniega inherited this land later. Arciniega Street is named for them and the street runs where the land given them was located.
Gregorio Arciniega came to San Antonio with the San Carlos of Alamo de Parras military company by April 5, 1803, according to the baptismal records of that company with the baptismal of a Billegas (Villegas) child.
In Land Grant no. 357, is found the 1817 grant of land to Felipe Loa states thus:
To the Governor:
I, Felipe Loa, an emancipated negro and a resident to this city, appear before Your Highness with the most profound submission and respect and declare:
That my present resources do not suffice to maintain my large family and besides I have no land of my own to cultivate and erect a dwelling. I have inspected a tract of land at the end of Alameda Street, on the far side of the acequia, North of the road which leads to the new sentry post (New Braunfels and Commerce Sts. area) which, I have been informed is public land, there I will be able not only to erect my dwelling but also to do some farming whereby I may provide food for my family.
Wherefore I pray Your Highness to have the kindness to grant me from this said land a suerte of land with a frontage of 100 varas and a depth of 400 varas. I agree to occupy and cultivate it within the period fixed by law. Likewise I am prepared, as I have always been to assume any duties or preform any military services that may be necessary in defence of the sacred rights of Our Sovereign King and of our country.
Wherefore a second time I pray and beseech Your Highness kindly to make me the grant which I implore of your charity also to accept this, my petition, on this common paper for lack of any sealed paper.
San Fernando de Béjar, Dec. 22, 1817."
The land was given to him by order of Governor Martínez, on January 19, 1818. It is interesting to see a black man be given land and a spanish subject in San Antonio. They were rare to find in San Antonio. He also got some more land by Alamo Plaza.
Grant of a lot to José Amador, no. 42 in the Bexar Archives:
To the Governor:
I, José Amador, a resident of this city, appear before the proved equity of Your Highness and with all due submission and respect declare:
That having no land of my own to farm and raise crops that might help support my large family, I have discovered a tract of land in the Suburb of Valero, in the district of La Villita; the said land is vacant and uninhabited and measure 50 feet in frontage and 30 feet in depth, which is exactly the right size to cultivate.
I beg Your Highness, as an act of charity, to authorize the grant of this tract to me so that I may improve it by building a place to live and cultivate the land as my own which I know will bring great relief to my unhappy family.
Wherefore I ask Your Highness to grant this, my petition, and to accept it on this common paper because there is no sealed paper and I swear I have not filed this petition through malice but of necessity.
José Amador, (rubric)."
The land is bounded on the North by lands of Gregory Arciniega; on the West by public lands; on the East by the highway which leads to the missions, (So. Alamo St.), and on the south by lands of José Saenz."
This land was granted to him Oct. 24, 1817 by Governor Antonio Martínez and today this land grant is located in Hemsifair grounds, South of the entrance to Hemisfair on South Alamo Street to Durango Street. José Amador was the son of Vicente Amador, the Mayor of the township of Valero. This area was part of La Villita.
Diego Perez, was granted land in 1818, in grant no. 523.
To the Governor:
I, Diego Perez, a retired soldier of the Flying Company of San Carlos de Parras appear before the dignity of Your Highness and declare:
That I do not own any land on which to plant corn and other crops necessary for my sustenance, neither this year nor in the years that God may be pleased to spare my life; therefore I pray Your Highness if you approve and are thereto moved by your compassionate heart, to command that I be granted (if this is a just request) one suerte of land with the accompanying irrigation water and I will assume whatever obligations are attached to such a grant;
The said land is situated near the gate which gives release the water into the two acequias; on the South by land of the widow of the late Juan Bautista de la Cerda; on the West by a solar of Sergeant Alexo Charli and on the East by the Acequia Madre (Main ditch) of said suburb and public lands: (This land is on Bonham street, north of Travis St. towards the freeway near Brooklyn Street.)
Wherefore I again appeal to Your Highness and most humbly pray you to decree as I request, whereby I shall be awarded the justice for which I implore. I swear that I did not act with malice by of necessity, etc.
Bexar, January 31, 1818.
I do not know how to write, Diego Perez.:
The land was granted to him onFebruary 8, 1818 by Governor Martínez.
John O. Leal