Four districts contribute to early development, establishment of Texas

Tejano Moments

SAN ANTONIO – Before Texas even became what it is now, in its early development there weren’t any counties or borders but instead four very important districts.

Spain’s development of the Texas region into New Spain is part of the founding of Texas and the American Southwest.

“It’s the most successful colonization effort, not only in North American, but it would rival any other colonization effort in the world,” historian Rudi Rodriguez said.

To protect themselves from enemies in the late 1600s and early 1700s, Texans organized districts: Los Adaes in East Texas near the Louisiana border, Bexar, which is the San Antonio, La Bahia on the Gulf Coast and Nuevo Santader, which is the South Texas region from Laredo to Brownsville.

“The four districts contribute to the development of the entire geography of Texas,” Rodriguez said.

These districts, through the years, would begin to flourish and grow, becoming pioneers in ranching and strongholds for the military.

“It’s reported that over 5,000 colonists arrive, 21 cities are founded and ranches are producing tens of thousands of horses and cattle,” Rodriguez said.

All of this important to Tejano history because of the men and women behind the colonization who are considered the first Tejanos or Texans. One of those Tejanos was General Jose De Escandon, who is also known as the “Father of South Texas.”

Jose de Escandon Courtesy: (KSAT)

“We often forget or have not recorded the fact that those efforts by Escandon and the other explorers and military men and the men and women that came to settle into different fields and so forth are the actual first inhabitants of Texas,” Rodriguez said.

Not only did these districts contribute to the development of the state but they show the deep roots Tejanos have within Texas.

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About the Author

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

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