San Juan Bautista
SAN JUAN BAUTISTA. San Juan Bautista Mission was founded on St. John's Day, June 24, 1699, on the Río de Sabinas, some twenty-five miles north of Lampazos, Nuevo León, Mexico, with 150 Indians of various Coahuiltecan bands. It lasted only a few months at this site, then was reestablished on January 1, 1700, at the site of present-day Guerrero, Coahuila, thirty-five miles down the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras. The founding Franciscans—fathers Francisco Hidalgo, Antonio de San Buenaventura y Olivares,qqv and Marcos de Guereña of the College of Santa Cruz de Querétaro—were assisted by a squad of soldiers under Capt. Diego Ramón. The new site, five miles from the Rio Grande, was strategically located near a series of crossings providing access to Texas. Here San Juan Bautista, growing into a complex of three missions, a presidio, and a civilian settlement, served as a way station and gateway for expeditions to the Texas interior from 1700 until the Mexican War.