San Antonio De Bexar Presidio
SAN ANTONIO DE BÉXAR PRESIDIO. San Antonio de Béxar Presidio, the center of Spanish defense in western Texas, was founded by Martín de Alarcón on May 5, 1718, on the west side of the San Antonio River one-fourth league from the San Antonio de Valero Mission. In 1722 the Marqués de Aguayo relocated the presidio almost directly across the river from the mission. The presidio at that time was housed in one adobe building thatched with grass; the soldiers lived in brush huts. Because of its proximity to the Rio Grande and the better organized missions in its vicinity, Béxar did not suffer want and distress as did the other presidios. In 1726, when Pedro de Rivera made his report, there were forty-five soldiers at San Antonio de Béxar. Nine additional soldiers were on mission guard or escort duty, and four settlers and their families lived near the presidio, as did the families of the soldiers. The total Spanish population was estimated at 200. Rivera recommended that the complement of the presidio be cut from fifty-four to forty-four and reported that the captain was efficient and the soldiers well disciplined.