Damian Massanet, founder for the first Spanish mission in mission in East Texas, was born in Spain, most likely in Majorca. Information concerning his place of birth, family, and early life is not available. After ordination, Massanet was among twenty-four Franciscan priests who crossed the Atlantic in 1683 to help found the missionary College of Santa Cruz de Queretaro. By the late 1680's  he had moved to the mining and cattle frontier of northern New Spain. Between Monclova and a mining camp known as Boca de Leones, Massanet had set up Mission San Bernardino de la Caldera near the border of Nuevo Leon. In 1689 he accompanied Gov. Alonso De Leon in the successful search for Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieu de La Salle's Fort St. Louis, and the next year he assisted in the establishment of San Franciso de los Tejas mission. Massanet, although placed in charge of missionary work in East Texas, did not remain there. He differd with De Leon over the size of the military guard left at Mission San Franciso, and from Mexico filed a report that was critical of the veteran commander. Massanet returned to East Texas with Domingo Teran de los Rios in 1691, and he quarreled once again with civil authority. In this instance, Massanet refused to release horses from San Franciso de los Tejas Mission that were needed by Governor Teran for the return trip to Mexico, and the animals had to be commandeered. Difficulties with the Tejas Indians as well as problems with floods, failed crops, and shortages of necessary supplies, doomed the first missions in East Texas. On October 25, 1693, Massanet and the surviving priests set fire to the remaining mission, San Francisco de los Tejas, and left for Coahuila. The small party lost its bearings for several weeks and did not reach Monclova until February 17, 1694. At that juncture, the viceroy of New Spain requested that Father Massanet suggest additional mission sites to be developed in northern Coahuila, but the padre declined-arguing that he had recommended sites on other occasions, only to see that without necessary supplies and governmental support such plans were futile. Massanet, along with the other missionaries from East Texas, returned to his missionary college in Queretaro, and it seems probable that he spent his  years at the College of Santa Cruz.


    Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.


    No Archives