Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »

BOSQUE, FERNANDO DEL

Donald E. Chipman

BOSQUE, FERNANDO DEL (?–?). On May 15, 1674, the Audiencia of Guadalajara appointed Antonio Balcárcel as alcalde mayor (governor) of Coahuila for five years. The new official was charged with exploring and colonizing the province at his own expense. In November 1674 on a march to the north of Saltillo, Balcárcel chose Fernando del Bosque, an experienced and trustworthy soldier, as his standard bearer. That expedition founded the settlement of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe near the site of present Monclova on December 8, 1674. Associated with the new outpost were two missionaries, fathers Juan Larios and Dionisio de San Buenaventura, who wished to expand their Christianization efforts to include Indians north of the Rio Grande.

In 1675 Barcárcel chose Bosque to accompany an expedition that crossed the Rio Grande on May 11 of that year. The site of the crossing is in dispute, but it was perhaps Paso de Francia (see SAN ANTONIO CROSSING), near the future site of mission San Juan Bautista. The Bosque-Larios expedition traveled forty-one leagues (about 110 miles) beyond the Rio Grande and gave names to six localities. During the journey Bosque wrote an extensive report describing the topography that they encountered. At several sites Indians indicated their willingness to accept religious instruction in the Christian faith. This undertaking and an earlier reconnaissance of the same general area by Brother Manuel de la Cruz is notable in that they are the earliest well-authenticated missionary enterprises to cross the Rio Grande below the Pecos junction.

After completion of the entrada in June 1675, Bosque suggested that three mission districts, including lands and Indians north of the Rio Grande, be established. Internal conditions in Coahuila delayed action on the proposal for a decade. By then the focus of attention had shifted to East Texas to counter the threat posed by René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. The French challenge in many respects served to short-circuit early missionary activity in extreme south central Texas. In the late 1670s Fernando del Bosque disappears from known historical records.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Herbert Eugene Bolton, ed., Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542–1706 (New York: Scribner, 1908; rpt., New York: Barnes and Noble, 1959). Carlos E. Castañeda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas (7 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1936–58; rpt., New York: Arno, 1976). Donald E. Chipman, Spanish Texas, 1519–1821 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992). Robert S. Weddle, San Juan Bautista: Gateway to Spanish Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Donald E. Chipman, "BOSQUE, FERNANDO DEL," accessed December 12, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fboaj.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...