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ARANDA, MIGUEL DE (?–?). Miguel de Aranda, a member of the College of Santa Cruz de Querétaro, was assigned to Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción Mission in San Antonio. In June 1753 he accompanied an expedition led by Lt. Juan Galván, of San Antonio de Béxar Presidio, charged with exploring lands in Apachería to the northwest of San Antonio. The expedition initially reconnoitered lands along the Pedernales and Llano rivers, without finding a suitable site for Spanish settlement. It then pushed on to the San Saba River, where more favorable conditions included abundant water and arable lands. There Father Aranda offered Mass for Apaches of the region. A favorable and optimistic report, signed by Galván but probably authored by Aranda, extoled the land as potentially rich in mineral deposits and the Apaches as prime objects of religious conversion. The account also suggested that missionizing the Apaches would obviate the need for soldiers at Bexar, who could be reassigned to a new presidio situated on the San Saba River. A subsequent entrada (1754) paralleled the findings of Galván and Aranda and served as further impetus for founding a new mission for the Lipan Apaches at the site of present Menard, Texas. After the collapse of missions of the San Gabriel River and their subsequent relocation, first on the San Marcos River and subsequently on the Guadalupe, Miguel de Aranda endorsed the Guadalupe site and later served with Francisco Aparicio at San Francisco Xavier de Horcasitas Mission until its closure in March 1758. See also FRANCISCANS, SAN XAVIER MISSIONS.


Carlos E. Castañeda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas (7 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1936–58; rpt., New York: Arno, 1976). Robert S. Weddle, The San Sabá Mission (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964).

Donald E. Chipman

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Donald E. Chipman, "ARANDA, MIGUEL DE," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed December 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.