While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


URRUTIA, JOSÉ DE (ca. 1678–1741). José (Joseph, Josef) de Urrutia was born in Guipúzcoa, Spain, about 1678. He came to America before 1691, when, as a member of the Domingo Terán de los Ríos expedition, he was left at the garrison established near the Neches River. When the soldiers withdrew in 1693, Urrutia met with an accident on the Colorado River and was forced to remain among the Indians. He was one of four soldiers who remained in East Texas at this time. He lived with the Kanohatinos, Tohos, and Xarames for seven years, was made "captain general" of all the nations hostile to the Apaches, and conducted several extensive campaigns against the Apaches. He rejoined his countrymen shortly after the founding of San Juan Bautista Mission in 1700. By July 23, 1733, when Urrutia was made captain of San Antonio de Béxar Presidio, he had forty years' experience with the Indians in Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Texas and was probably the best informed of all Spaniards on Indian affairs in Texas. In the winter of 1739 he led a campaign against the Apaches in the San Saba region; he apparently reached the same point that Juan Antonio Bustillo y Ceballos had reached in his Apache campaign of 1732. Urrutia's first wife was Antonia Ramón; they had one daughter, Antonia, who married Joseph Antonio Menchaca (also known as Franscisco Menchaca). Urrutia later married Rosa Flores y Valdez; they had four daughters and six sons, including Toribio de Urrutia, who succeeded him as captain of the Bexar presidio. Urrutia died on July 16, 1741.


Bexar Archives, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Carlos E. Castañeda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas (7 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1936–58; rpt., New York: Arno, 1976). William Edward Dunn, "Apache Relations in Texas, 1718–1750," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 14 (January 1911). Robert S. Weddle, "San Juan Bautista: Mother of Texas Missions," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 71 (April 1968). Elizabeth Howard West, trans., "Bonilla's Brief Compendium of the History of Texas, 1772," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 8 (July 1904).

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.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, "URRUTIA, JOSE DE," accessed July 06, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fur03.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on January 24, 2013. 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...