Earliest land grants, Part 2

San Leandro grant on south bank of San Diego Creek.

The Spanish were not the only ones looking at this part of Texas to see if it was suitable for their needs. The Comanche were pushing their archenemies the Lipan Apache into South Texas from their natural habitat in eastern Colorado. The Lipan Apache were a nomadic group that relied on buffalo for subsistence. By 1775, the Apache had gained control over South Texas from the more docile Coahuiltecan Indians, who found themselves in a vise grip between the Spanish and Lipan Apache.

It was not uncommon for colonists to seek protection in other settlements during Indian raids. In 1823, José María García reported Indian attacks on his property at San Diego. In December 1826, Cristóbal Treviño, “with the San Diego detachment,” returned to the presidio from patrol for Indian activities. Spanish soldiers from the presidio at Laredo often made forays in the area and to repel Indian attacks. Records suggest that the soldiers had a detachment in San Diego. Indeed, the Casa Blanca bar–a square structure with large blocks quarried from caliche, which the Spaniards called sillar–may have served as an outpost for this detachment.

This home at the corner of St. Joseph and Perez streets in
San Diego may have been part of the Flores ranch headquarters. 

Across the creek, meanwhile, Rosales was developing the San Leandro. He testified in a Spanish document “tengo…desde el antiguo gobierno cuatro sitios en el paisaje de San Diego en la costa…que poblé y cultive…” The ranch was located off the right margin of Arroyo de San Diego, 55 miles west of Corpus Christi and had pens, corrals, stock, and servants. The family had possession of that place except when driven off by Indians and during the war for independence. Ruins of a sillar house on the south banks of the creek may have served as the ranch headquarters. Across the river, ruins at the corner of St. Joseph Avenue and Perez Street may have been the location of the Flores ranch headquarters.

The San Florentina grant was never perfected and references to it disappeared from the written record.

To be continued…

10 Comments on "Earliest land grants, Part 2"

  1. Thank you for sharing this seldom mentioned part of our history. The research you've done and the details you offer are intriguing to me. As a seventh-generation descendant of Julian Flores, I am obviously fascinated by your entries. Keep up the great job!

  2. Thank you. It is good that you are open to new information. Sometimes we learn things that we are unfamiliar with and have a tendency to question it. I assure you, what I post is from primary sources or secondary sources that I know are reliable.

  3. Good and interesting reading, Mr. Cardenas. Thanks.

  4. Thank you. Glad you are enjoying reading it because I'm having a great time writing it.

  5. Thank you for your blogs- I am enjoying reading the history of Duval. I am a descendant of Juan Saenz y Lopez who was born on the San Diego de Arriba grant-

  6. Thank you Martha. I'm glad you're enjoying the blog.

  7. Mr. Cardenas,
    I'm enthralled with the history you're providing us and very much appreciative of all your efforts. Were you able to get up to the capitol for the recent unveiling of the Tejano Monument, by any chance? There was an article in Texas Monthly about it, and in it is a wonderful retelling of history and family and the foundational beginnings of Texas. I thought you might really enjoy it, if you hadn't yet seen it. http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/true-meaning-tejano-monument

  8. Thank you Jo Anna for your kind words. Unfortunately I was not able to travel to Austin for the unveiling of the Tejano Monument. Next time I'm in Austin I will go see it at the capitol. Thanks for the link to the Texas Monthly article, I will take a look at it as soon as I am able. Thanks again.

  9. Adrian Amaya | May 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Reply

    Martha Fleitas, Both surnames Saenz and Lopez are Jewish . Lopez were like the right hand all of this texas area for major Diego Montemayor who foundate Monterrey, Mx. Diego came north to practics his Jewish regilion freely. Perez is also in the bible too. Genesis 38:29 Mary and Joseph are in the line of Perez. Remember San Diego arriba and abajo Perez started selling lots and than called it Perezesville. Later when they made a post office it was changed back to San Diego,tx which is Saint James brother of Jesus name to. Just sharing i dont know where it all leads but i find it interesting.

  10. Great to here from you Ronnie. I don't know about all the other stuff you mention, but I will be addressing the question of Perezville in a future post.

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