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Timeline: Texas Settlement History

1718-1827 | 1828-1871  


In response to French encroachment in the northeastern region of New Spain, the Spanish establish buffer settlements. Franciscan missionaries led by Antonio de San Buenaventura Olivares begin three missions: Los Adaes, La Bahia, and Mission San Antonio de Valero.


Settlers arrive from the Canary Islands to form a new civil settlement, San Fernando de Béxar.


Béxar has developed a thriving ranching economy dominated by missionaries, soldiers, and civilians. Competition between them for the area's resources results in the Spanish Crown's decree of sovereignty over all stray cattle and wild mustangs.


France, Spain and England agree to divide the land in the New World. In the Treaty of Paris, Spain cedes Florida to England in return for Havana and Manila. Spain receives Louisiana from France, and English territory extends to the Mississippi River.


The threat of Indian hostilities causes Spain to reorganize its outposts. Los Adaes is eliminated and its population relocates to Béxar. Béxar becomes a provincial capital.


The population of Béxar has increased; 1,351 persons live in civilian and presidio communities, and 709 reside in the missions.


By order of the King of Spain, San Antonio de Valero Mission is secularized, and ranch properties are distributed among the civilian population.


February 27: José Antonio Navarro is born to Maria Josefa and Angel Navarro at San Antonio de Béxar.


Spain agrees to return Louisiana to France. In 1803, Napoleon will sell the land to the United States. President Thomas Jefferson will more than double the size of the new United States and gain control of the Mississippi River with this Louisiana Purchase.


An American trader and filibuster, Philip Nolan, enters northeast Texas to hunt for wild horses. Spanish troops from Nacogdoches capture Nolan and his party. To ward off other encroachments, Spain floods the border with troops over the next five years.


The Mission San Antonio de Valero is converted to a military post. The Second Company of San Carlos de Parras from El Alamo in Coahuila is stationed there.


November 31: José Antonio's father, Angel Navarro, dies.


San Antonio de Béxar experiences an economic slowdown and famine.

September 16: Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rebels against Spanish rule in Mexico and leads mestizos (people of mixed blood) in a movement for independence. The struggle for independence will not succeed until 1821.


Factions in San Antonio become involved in the Mexican independence movement. Juan Bautista de las Casas leads local troops, seizes government officials, and proclaims allegiance to the cause of Father Miguel de Hidalgo y Costilla. A month later, loyalist residents under Juan Manuel Zambrano retake San Antonio. Las Casas and other rebels are tried and executed.


A filibustering army led by a Mexican, José Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara, and an American, Augustus Magee, take San Antonio and execute Spanish officials. Gutierrez declares Texas' independence and drafts a constitution.

Navarro and other youths watch the battle of Apache-Alazan Creek from a church tower; José Angel Navarro, José Antonio's older brother, and Antonio López de Santa Anna serve in the Spanish army while others in the Navarro family support the revolutionaries. When royalists confiscate the Navarro property, the family is forced to flee to Louisiana.

A Spanish force under José Joaquin Arredondo defeats the rebel army and recaptures San Antonio.


The Spanish Crown pardons the Navarro family and other revolutionaries. The Navarros will return to Texas the following year.


José Antonio Navarro's first daughter, Maria Casimira, is born. A son, José Antonio George, will arrive in 1818.


In the Adams-Onis Treaty, Spain cedes the Floridas to the United States in exchange for Spain's recognized sovereignty over Texas, the recognition of the Sabine River as an international frontier, and the U.S. government's assumption of $5 million of Spanish debts to American citizens.

Navarro, attempting to make a living in the depressed economy of San Antonio de Béxar, illegally trades Texas mustangs for goods in Louisiana. Deputy Juan Manuel Zambrano arrests Navarro for smuggling and sentences him to a jail term.


March: Navarro is released from prison.

August 3: Stephen F. Austin arrives in San Antonio.

August 29: Antonio López de Santa Anna accepts a position in the Spanish army as lieutenant general. Later that day, he declares allegiance to the Mexican rebellion and its leader, Agustín de Iturbide. The Plan of Iguala establishes Mexican independence, and Iturbide proclaims himself Mexico's new emperor.


March: Austin returns to San Antonio; Navarro serves as Interim Alcalde (mayor) and Juez (judge).


Agustín de Iturbide abdicates as Emperor of Mexico and the territory, including Texas, is organized as a republic. The Mexican Congress grants Texans a seven-year exemption from Mexican tariffs.

Navarro is appointed secretary of San Antonio's Ayuntamiento (City Council).


May 7: The new Mexican constitutional government establishes Coahuila y Texas as a single state, with the capital at Saltillo.

Late 1820s

Lorenzo de Zavala Mexicans disagree about whether the states or the national government should hold more power under the new constitution. Centralists believe power should be centralized in the national government in Mexico City. Federalists wish to distribute power to the state governments. Tejanos who align with the Federalists are led by revolutionary war veterans Guadalupe Victoria, Vicente Guerrero, and Lorenzo de Zavala.


Tejanos, working with the liberal Viesca family, pass the State Colonization Law, which protects landowners from creditors, allows settlers to claim unsurveyed land with a ten-year tax exemption, appoints Anglo land agents to facilitate the application process, and allows colonists to retain their Protestant faith.


Texas becomes a department under the state government, with its political chief residing in San Antonio. United States president John Quincy Adams offers $1 million to Mexico to purchase Texas, but is turned down.


The Texas y Coahuila state constitution recognizes slavery, but prohibits the importation of slaves after November 1827. Soon after, the law bans the slave trade and frees the slaves of owners who die without heirs.

Navarro represents Texas in the first Texas y Coahuila legislature.

1718-1827 | 1828-1871  

page created on 1.30.2004
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