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LÓPEZ, NICOLÁS (?–?). Fray Nicolás López, a Franciscan, was custodian of the missions in New Mexico in 1680 when the Indian revolt drove the Spanish back to El Paso. In 1683 a group of Jumano Indians under Juan Sabeata came to El Paso and petitioned López for a mission at La Junta de los Ríos. After ascertaining the Indians' sincerity, he approved the project and with Fray Juan de Zavaleta and Antonio Acevedo established two missions, La Navidad en las Cruces and Apostol Santiago, in December of 1683. López and Zavaleta joined Juan Domínguez de Mendoza at Apostol Santiago and accompanied his expedition in the explorations of northern Texas. Both López and Mendoza prepared memorials urging occupation of the Jumano country with soldiers and missionaries. (see FRANCISCANS.)


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).

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"LOPEZ, NICOLAS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 30, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.