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A chain of five missions established along the San Antonio River in the 18th century became the largest concentration of Catholic missions in North America. Built primarily to expand Spanish New World influence northward from Mexico, the missions also served to introduce native inhabitants into Spanish society.

Four of the missions (San Jose, San Juan, Concepcion, and Espada) were originally founded in East Texas. As the East Texas missions succumbed to drought, malaria, and French incursions, however, they were relocated to San Antonio.

The missions flourished during the middle of the 18th century, but later declined due to inadequate military support, disease, and increased hostilities with Apaches and Comanches.

San Jose (1720)

Soon after the building of the Alamo, a second mission was founded in 1720 about five miles downstream. Named San Jose, this new mission was established by Fray Antonio Margil de Jesus, who had previously left a failed mission in East Texas. A model among the Texas missions, San Jose gained a reputation as a major social and cultural center. Among the San Antonio missions, it also provided the strongest garrison against raids from Indians. (from http://www.lsjunction.com Lone Star Junction).

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Additional Photos by Don Hills (dghills) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13 W: 19 N: 66] (689)
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