DescriptionAlonso de Leon Manuscript Document Signed Twice, 2pp., 8.5" x 12" on sealed paper (with fours seals, the last one dated 1667), Cadereita [Nuevo Reyno de Leon], Jan. 1, 1667. Document lists the results of elections of new officials to judicial and military posts. De Leon signs as alcalde of Cadereita, with the second signature appearing at the end of an addendum swearing to the "Virgin Maria our Lady since the first instance of confession that was confessed without stain of the original sin..." to honor their posts. Additionally signed by other officials including Joseph Mendeztona, Lorenzo Perez, and Antonio de Leon. Document has ragged edges affecting the first line of text on verso as well as the bottom three lines of text at right on recto. Some dampstaining, but ink remains clear and very legible. A very scarce and early signature as relates to Texas history.
Captain Alonso de Leon (1639-1691) was born in Cadereita, Nuevo Leon, but educated in Spain. He returned to the Nuevo Leon in 1660 and would spend the majority of his life exploring the frontiers of the northeast coast of New Spain as well as the banks of the Río de San Juan. When it was discovered that the French had founded a settlement on the northern Gulf Coast in the mid 1680s, de Leon was naturally commissioned to find and expunge the interlopers, as well as to help establish a Spanish presence in the area. This curiously would lead to an expedition in search of a white man who was said to be living among the Indians to the north of the Rio Grande. De Leon and his party would successfully find and capture the Frenchman Jean Jarry. His following mission departed from Coahuila on March 27, 1689 with over a hundred men, including the captured Frenchman and chaplain Damián Massanet. It was on this foray that on April 22, that de Leon would discover the ruins of the French settlement, Fort St. Louis, on the shores of Garcitas Creek. (Handbook of Texas). De Leon is also credited with founding the first Spanish mission in East Texas, San Francisco de los Tejas. From the Taking of Texas Collection.
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