Martín de Alarcón appointed governor of Texas
On this day in 1716, Martín de Alarcón was appointed Spanish governor of Texas. Alarcón, though governor for just three short years, played a pivotal role in Texas history. In the spring of 1718 he led settlers across the Rio Grande and assisted in the founding of San Antonio de Valero mission and San Antonio de Béxar presidio. The accompanying families formed the beginnings of a settlement. Thus Alarcón is credited as the founder of San Antonio, the most important town in Spanish Texas and the eye of the storm of the Texas Revolution. As part of his official duties, Alarcón also inspected the East Texas missions and was constantly vigilant against the widespread French contraband trade, advising explorer and trader Jean Baptiste Bénard de La Harpe to leave Spanish territory. Alarcón was relieved of his gubernatorial duties in the fall of 1719.