Nuevo Santander

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Nuevo Santander

Nuevo Santander, a northeastern province of New Spain stretching northward beyond the Nueces River in present-day Texas and southward to the Río Pánuco in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Francisco de Garay began the colonization of the area in 1519. After Hernán Cortés conquered the Huasteca Indian inhabitants in 1523, the Spaniards started selling them into slavery in the Central Valley of Mexico and in the Caribbean. Following the height of the slave trade under Governor Luis de Carvajal in 1581–1586, the region slowly became depopulated and both colonies and missionaries lost interest. Beginning in the mid-1740s, José de Escandón reestablished control over the area, founding over twenty towns and colonies. From its establishment as a separate political jurisdiction in 1748, Nuevo Santander was under the direct control of the viceroy except in 1788–1792 and 1813–1821, when it formed part of the Provincias Internas and fell under a separate authority. With the promulgation of the Mexican Constitution of 1824, Nuevo Santander disappeared into the new state of Tamaulipas.

See alsoCarvajal, Luis de; Escandón, José de; Garay, Francisco de; New Spain, Colonization of the Northern Frontier; Tamaulipas.


Vicente De Santa María, Relación histórica de la colonia del Nuevo Santander (1973).

Lionel Garza, The Kingdom of Nuevo Leon, the Cradle of Coahuila, Tejas, and Nuevo Santander (1989).

Juan Fidel Zorrilla, El poder colonial en Nuevo Santander (1989).

Peter Gerhard, The North Frontier of New Spain, rev. ed. (1993).

Additional Bibliography

Cavazos Garza, Israel. Nuevo León y la colonización del Nuevo Santander. Monterrey, N.L., México: Sección 21 del SNTE, 2004, 1994.

López de la Cámara Alta, Agustín. Descripción general de la colonial de nuevo Santander. México, DF: Universidad Autónoma Nacional de México, 2006.

Osante, Patricia. Orígenes del Nuevo Santander. México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, 1997.

                                 Carmen Ramos-EscandÓ n