Escandón, José de (1700–1770)

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Escandón, José de (1700–1770)

José de Escandón (b. 1700; d. 1770), founder of Nuevo Santander. Born in Soto la Marina, Santander, Escandón came to New Spain in 1715 and settled in Querétaro, where he participated in numerous campaigns against the northern Indian tribes, the most notable of which being the pacification of the Sierra Gorda. In response to Indian attacks around Nuevo León and the threat of English and French expansion from Florida and Louisiana into Texas, the viceroy, the first Count of Revillagigedo, selected Escandón to conquer and settle the region around Tamaulipas and both sides of the lower Rio Grande. In 1749, after extensive planning and exploring, Escandón led a colonizing force of over 3,000 people to Tamaulipas and established twenty-one Spanish and Tlaxcalan communities and fifty-seven Franciscan and three Dominican missions. To pacify rebellious tribes in the area, he granted land and agricultural supplies to them and assigned Tlaxcalan instructors to their communities. The new region, Nuevo Santander, became one of the most successful colonies on New Spain's northern frontier and the birthplace of the Texas cattle industry.

See alsoMissions: Spanish America; Nuevo Santander; Rebelión Sierra Gorda.


Lawrence Francis Hill, José de Escandón and the Founding of Nuevo Santander: A Study in Spanish Colonization (1926).

John Francis Bannon, The Spanish Borderlands Frontier, 2d ed. (1974), pp. 139-140.

Oakah Jones, Los Paisanos: Spanish Settlers on the Northern Frontier of New Spain (1979), pp. 65-72.

Additional Bibliography

González Salas, Carlos. "La obra del Coronel Don José de Escandón en la evangelización del Nuevo Santander." Humanitas 23 (1990): 269-288.

Osante, Patricia. Orígenes del Nuevo Santander (1748–1772). Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas; Ciudad Victoria: Univ. Autónoma de Tamaulipas, 1997.

                                        Aaron Paine Mahr