1772 inventory mission nuestra senora de la purisima concepcion de acuna


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Rosalind Z. Rock, Ph.D.

Park Historian

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

Transcriber and Translator

Spring, 2006

In the late 1970s, Franciscan historian Benedict Leutenegger, O.F.M., pioneered transcription and translation of mission documents hitherto accessible only to a limited number of researchers.

He, along with assistants, transcribed and translated several key documents from the original Spanish colonial records of the mission era in Texas retrieved from archives in Mexico, and that shed light on mission structures and the people who inhabited them. The documents were gathered in a library, the Old Spanish Missions Historical Research Library, originally housed at Mission San José. Among the documents that were transcribed, translated and published were: Guidelines for a Texas Mission—Instructions for the Missionary of Misión Concepción in San Antonio (ca. 1760). San Antonio: Old Spanish Missions Historical Research Library, 1976. It quickly became the prime resource for knowledge of daily life, not only for Concepción, but the other nearby mission communities as well. In 1994, Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, now the home of the library, issued a fourth edition, with revised text, and explanatory footnotes.

Part of a series of publications by the University of Father Leutenegger’s work, including the three volume San José Papers, a significant contribution to Spanish colonial borderlands study, made those documents available to scholars, students, and the interested public alike.

In 1772, the four missions along the upper reaches of the San Antonio River, administered from their establishment by the Franciscan College at Querétaro, were turned over Franciscans from the College of Zacatecas. In preparation for this transfer, the missions in question, San Antonio de Valero, Concepción, San Juan, and Espada, were inventoried. These comprehensive inventories included not only the physical description of structures and listing of their furnishings, but also included the dams and acequia systems and each community’s ranches and livestock. Select entries from the mission books of baptisms, marriages, and deaths and a comprehensive listing by name of the mission inhabitants at the time of transfer, were incorporated. Father Leutenegger and his assistants were able to complete the transcriptions and translations of the inventories for San Juan and Espada, but only produced a rough draft for Concepción. That draft was housed in the Old Spanish Missions Research Library archives, with only a handful of photocopies in circulation among scholars.
At this time, San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, in a continuing effort to expand and broaden our understanding of what remains of the mission communities that make up the park, has undertaken to produce works worthy of joining those of Father Leutenegger to round out their story.

At the time of Father Leutenegger’s initial effort, only one version of the 1772 inventory for Mission Concepción was known. In 1992, another trip to Mexico was untaken, this time to the Franciscan archives at Zapópan outside of Guadalajara. A group of researchers was led by Monsignor Balthasar J. Janacek, officer of the Old Spanish Missions Research Committee overseeing the library, and primarily responsible for obtaining the initial records; Sister María Carolina Flores, archivist of the library; two of her student assistants; and Rosalind Z. Rock, the Park Historian. As a result, another group of documents was microfilmed with funding provided by the National Park Service by means of a grant from the Southwest Parks and Monuments Association (now the Western National Parks Association) in a joint activity with Our Lady of the Lake University, and the Old Spanish Missions Research Library.

In early spring of 2006, the park historian at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park began what at first was thought to be a revision of the earlier, uncompleted, work. However, it was discovered that not only the version that Father Leutenegger had transcribed existed, but another as well. Upon comparison, it was found that both versions had differences, in several instances items and people appearing in one and not the other.
Therefore, an entirely new transcription and translation was undertaken, that when completed, was compared to that of Father Leutenegger for consistency. This new work uses as its core the document which appears first in the microfilm, and therefore is referred to as the “original” in the explanatory footnotes. One version that was found immediately following on the microfilm, and for years assumed to be part of the original, is in fact, another copy with additions and omissions. It will be referred to as the “alternate version.”
In both the transcription and translation marginalia appear in brackets []. Also, any wording added for clarity in the English translation appear in brackets as well. Some alternate wording appears in parentheses. Underlining that appears in the text was in the original and the alternate version and not added by the transcriber/translator. Differences between the original and alternate versions, additional text, or English equivalents of measurements are presented in footnotes. A glossary of terms appears in an appendix.
The resulting English may appear stilted while preserving the eighteenth century feel of the document and also keeping to a true translation and not a paraphrase.

This work is dedicated to Father Leutenegger, his assistants, and others who have labored in the transcription and translation of documents whose contents have illuminated the history and life of the mission communities of San Antonio.

Rosalind Z. Rock, Ph.D.

Park Historian

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

Part I: Transcription……………………………………………………………1-22
Part II: Translation……………………………………………………………..1-32
Concepción, 1772, CZM, Roll 1………………………………………Frames 0393-0423
Concepción, 1772, CZM, Roll 1………………………………………Frames 0425-0454

[fr. 0393]
Concepción, 1772
[fr. 0394]

Inventory of the Spiritual and temporal that pertain to this mission of La Concepción, [in] the Province of Texas, formulated in the transfer upon the order of the Most Excellent Lord Viceroy, Fr. don Antonio María Bucarely y Ursua this past 28 July of the present year of [17]72. [It] was carried out by the Father President of the missions, Fray Juan Joseph Saenz Gumiel, [in compliance with] the abdication and renouncement [of administration of these missions] by the Reverend Father Guardian and Venerable Counselor of the College of Santa Cruz de Querétaro [for the transfer to] the religious ministries of the exalted and Holy College of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Zacatecas. It was accomplished with the assistance of the Lord Barón de Ripperdá, Governor and Commander General of this province, [and] received by the Reverend Father, Apostolic Homilist, Fr. Pedro Ramirez, President of the missions of the aforementioned college, on 16 December 1772. [It] is as follows:

The church is vaulted, of limestone and mortar rubble work. It is 30 varas1 long, including its transept, and 8 [varas]2 wide, [including] steps to the chancel and altars. It has a fine dome.3
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Dome]
On the outside, on the four corners of the base of the dome, are buttresses, merlons, and cornice for the springer for the arch of the vault, and on the north it is intricately enclosed with brick. It has a very striking octagonal cupola atop the dome. It has four large windows

[fr. 0395]

with glass panes and wire grating for their protection. On the pinnacle is a cross of 2 varas4 with its weather vane, all of iron.
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Towers]
Said church has two towers with a fortified platform, and behind [them] a boxlike structure. [Each tower can accomodate] four bells [and has a] cornice and octagonal vault. Each one [has] its cross and weathervane of iron on top of their very unusual quadrangular cupolas. One tower has two bells, one [weighing] twenty-four arrobas, and the other six.5 There is a staircase of stone and timber that permits access to said towers, in whose corners are four very striking merlons.
The entire church has rails and downspouts of stone.
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Facade]

Above the façade or portal of the church is its cross of stone, merlons, [and] on either side of its cornice, continuous [decorative] painting of various colors. In the center, [is] a round transom window with its wooden lattice, and two octagonal windows more than a vara high6 on either side. Continuing along, below, between the two windows, [is] a triangular cornice which rests above another [window]. It [the façade] has a capital with frieze, (dadoed) columns, partly inlaid, resting upon their bases. In the triangle is a niche with a stone image of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, and at the top of said niche [is] a crucifix, also of stone. This façade [is] adorned with merlons and [decorative] paintings.7

[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Wooden Screen]
The door, [with] its octagonal window, [has] two inner doors of savin (juniper, or red cedar), and [a] peep-window [along] with a spring lock [and] a large iron bar. There is a cedar screen which is beautifully painted and lacquered. There are two inner doors [in the vestibule] and one postern on the left with its lock. What catches the eye [is that] the vesituble has intricate brickwork.

[fr. 0396]

[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Baptistery]
It [the church] has a baptistery with its door and turned grating and window with lattice. The baptismal font [has] various molding patterns similar to the conch, or shell shaped baptismal ewer, [and rests] on its stand [that is] bored for [a] drain. Inside said baptismal font, [is] a good-sized copper hand basin [for storing] the holy water, so it need not be brought [each time it is needed]. In order to protect [it] from dust, it has [an] artfully made wooden cover and a cloth cover of silk.
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Chapel]
It [the church] has a chapel on the other side [across from the baptistery] dedicated to the Archangel Saint Michael, with a painting, now deteriorated, with its symbol of said archangel. Images of Christ Crucified and of Our Lady of Sorrows can still be seen painted on the wall. Its door and window are similar to that for the baptistery, with its altar table that has served recently for the [celebration] of the most holy, divine, sacred, three day exercises (Triduum). A large cross remains in said chapel that is used to serve the Lord’s Descent from the Cross on Good Fridays.

[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Holy Water Font] A short distance from this chapel is a large font for holy water on a quadrangular column more than a vara wide (more than about 33 inches wide), with angels and various designs (relief designs) that beautify it, and all of it is of one good stone.

[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Tabernacle]
On the main altar there is [a] tabernacle of gold leaf in which the Most Holy Sacrament is kept. There is a large cup (ciborium) in it, of gold plated silver, with its lid of beaten silver. Said chalice cover is clothed with two mozettas (short, cape-like covers), one of chambray and the other of ribbed, crimson silk with gold ribbon. In said sanctuary there is [an] altar, corporals (cloths), veil (canopy), and covers of crimson, ribbed silk. It [the tabernacle] has [an] escutcheon with its key [that] hangs from a handsome cloth ribbon.
[fr. 0397]
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Tabernacle Veil]
In front of the tabernacle is a rich wall-hanging or veil about a vara (33.33 inches) [in size], of lustrous fabric, [with] white background, gold flowers, its binding of shimmering gold braid, with a cross in the middle of a wide band of Milan gold.
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Cross]
Above said veil is a cross about a foot in size,8 a Dolores (Our Lady of Sorrows), [with] inscription, and silver clips.

[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Patroness]

Above the cornice of the tabernacle is a beautiful image of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción with her Most Holy Son in her arms and her imperial crown of silver. [The] base consists of a globe [of the world] and a serpent.

For [an] altar screen it has a sculpted dais with many paintings, all gilded and laminated (estafado). On said altar, there are 6 large church candlesticks of silver plated bronze, 12 old, gilded center-pieces, [and] 12 pewter cups, [with] decorated relief. There is [an] altar hanging of white lustrous material from China, two fine quality altar cloths of Brittany linen, and one worked with wide, fine quality lace, the other, plain, with its lace (border). It has a tabernacle veil of lustrous red fabric with gold flowers. [Along with] its lectern and pulpit on the Epistle side [of the church, there] is a small table that serves for [reciting] of the Creed, and for the blessing (viaticum). Another old veil with its ribbed silk false trim is there, [along with a] small bronze bell. It [has an] altar cover of woolen cloth with silver fringe; a cotton (cloth) and purple silk wall hanging; [a] crimson hanging for covering the entire canopy (dais) at the time of the Passion (Passiontide). The altar is of stone. The entire façade of the Main Altar is of teak. [There is] another canopy, on the wall [is a] painting depicting the Five Lords, [along with] two leather hangings painted with the images of the Holy Shepherds and [a] Pilgrim.

[fr. 0398]
A walnut chair is there for the Lord Priest. [There are] two turned, portable balustrades for communion, with cloth covers, and balustrades of iron. Upon the base of said main altar is a cotton rug three and one-half varas9 long with blue trim for [use during] the principal holy days. [There is] another rug, four varas10 square, crimson colored, of plush, lined in coarse brown linen.
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Lamp].
[There is] a fine looking hanging lamp made of 16 marcos of silver (approximately 128 ounces). It cost 143 pesos in addition to shipping.
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Gilded Cross]
On either side [of it are objects]: on one side, a large silver cross with an image of Christ; on the other [side] an image of la Purísima [Concepción].
On either side of said cross, [is] another [image] of Saint Francis and [one] of la Concepción. The three images [of saints described] above are gilded.

[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Ceremonial Candlesticks]

Two ceremonial candlesticks weighing 26 marcos11 remain, whose cost, in addition to shipping, is 401 pesos.
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Transept]
On one arm of the transept, on the left, [there] is a limestone and mortar altar with table; [a] communion table; two altar cloths with covers; a crimson altar cloth of silk stuff with its silver trim; two small church candlesticks of bronze; a small candlestick for the mourning vigil, lectern, podium, cross, and cotton cover with fringe; [an] altar hanging of sheepskin on [a] rod.

Above the altar is a large niche and inside it a much venerated image of Jesus the Nazarene, hinged, with a chambray under-tunic with a fine lace border and exterior [tunic of] purple, with silver trim, sash with braid and long fringe all along the hem with buttons and trim; a cord of silk hangs from its neck in a way that the hands may be tied. This Sacred Image for Holy Thursday has been undressed and placed [next] to the pillar and evokes deep compassion in keeping with the writing of the Venerable Mother Agreda.12

[fr. 0399]
Also, it is associated with [a] cross carried on its shoulders in the Good Friday procession, and on the day of celebration, that [occurs on] the Sunday of Mardi Gras. (Domingo de Carnestolendas).
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Benefactress]
Lady Phelipa de Villa Nueva y Terreros of Querétaro gave the image as alms, [and] through prayer, they [the friars] may make dispensation [for her], commending her to God as a special benefactress.
On the same altar lies a medium-sized image of Our Lady of Sorrows (Nuestra Señora de los Dolores) with diadem and dagger of silver. A large image remains painted on the wall of Christ crucified with [Mary] Magdalene and St. John the Evangelist. There is a small bronze bell, [and] on its entablature, a cotton altar cloth.
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Canopy]
A good damask canopy with its flowers, silver braid, and fringe of silk hanging on rods, is in the transept,. Also, [there is a] bier, and a base for [an image of] Jesus the Nazarene. This statue has a small silver heart and arm that was presented by [a] devout [patron].
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Descent]
In the same transept, there is a large wooden table which serves as an altar in the main body of the church. Upon said table is a striking urn or pyx in the shape of a sepulcher finely painted, with its glass case. Inside said urn lies a much revered image of the Lord for the Descent from the Cross
[fr. 0400]

with its beribboned chambray cloth, [and] two very richly embroidered cushions that a faithful woman donated. Over the urn [is] a purple cotton altar cloth which serves to protect it from dust. Above is a much revered image of Our Lady of Sorrows, with a crimson damask gown, blue mantle with stars, and diadem and dagger of silver leafed wood. Said image, [has] hinges and screws, [and] serves among other things, as part of the devout service of the Descent from the Cross.

On the other side of the transept, closest to the sacristy, there is an altar with its platform of limestone and mortar; communion table; two altar cloths, one with a narrow border and the other with a wide [lace] border; [a] crimson altar cloth with silver stitching; two large candlesticks of bronze; one small candlestick for the vigil before the Eucharist;
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Urn]
[a] three-armed candelabra; a cross about one-third vara in size (about one foot); with a Christ, Our Lady of Sorrows, bronze corner plates, and its pedestal; an urn, gilded inside and out, is there for placement in the sepulcher on Holy Thursday. On its door is an image of the Lord’s Last Supper, with a good silver plated escutcheon and key suspended from a fine ribbon of silver cloth.
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Nativity]
Inside said urn, the images of Holy Mary, Saint Joseph, and the Son of God, that represent the most affecting mystery of the nativity, remain protected. On the sides of the urn, which are triangular, are relief sculptures of the Holy Apostles, Saint Peter and Saint Paul.

[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Lord Saint Joseph]

Above the urn there is a box niche about two varas13 in size that contains a very fine statue of Saint Joseph, with diadem of gold leaf on wood, white lil[ies], and the Son of God in his arms, that was donated by don Juan Francisco Nuñez de Prado,
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Benefactor]
whom, the ministers out of gratitude, will commend

[fr. 0401]

to God. On the same altar is a sculptured image of the Immaculate Conception with her Imperial crown of silver, [that along with its] bier, is used when the rosary is sung by the townspeople. Above the niche of the Lord Saint Joseph is found an image of Our Lady of Pilar, along with other paintings, covering the wall. Near said image is a very attractive wooden clock with its bronze bell and chime, that is kept on a shelf proportioned (to fit its size) which rests upon four walnut brackets embedded in mortar.

[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Pulpit]
The pulpit has a stairway of stone and wood, with its railing that simulates a rod of iron, all beautifully worked.
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Confessionals]
Two very fine and spacious confessionals with their grates and curtains remain, [along with] their iron railings, their doors and cord fasteners.
[There is] a fine, spacious bench for the town council, and another three for the elderly, and the rest for the Indians so that they may hear the catechism or sermon [in] some comfort.
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Choir Loft]
The choir loft is vaulted with its corresponding roof arch and turned balustrades.
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Calvary Walk or Way of the Cross]
The Calvary walkway remains laid out proportionally with its small crosses and engravings in their painted frames. A coffin is there for carrying the dead. In the choir loft is [a] lectern.

[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Paneled]

The entire church floor is made of boards in 11 sections, resting on beams of oak or cypress board to board. Two tables serve, among other things, as altars in the village on Corpus [Christi] Day.
[fr. 0402]

The sacristy is vaulted, eight varas14 long and four and one-half15 wide. There are three large chests in it that occupy all of the front part with two cupboards on either side, all painted with various colors and lacquered, the small chests gilded. Said chests and cupboards have their bolts (tirantes) of iron, [with] escutcheons, and keys duplicated for each missionary. There is a corniced platform with a woolen rug for the chests [near where] the priests change to clerical robes.

First Chest, for Everyday
[The following appears in the left-hand margin: Everyday Items]
Two black chasubles lined in Chinese silk, one with gold shrimp [design], and the other with silver shrimp.
Item: another two chasubles of crimson satin for everyday.
Item: another two [chasubles], purple, one with gold shrimp and the other with silver trim.

Item: another [chasuble], white, trimmed in plain or ordinary Chinese silk.

Item: another [chasuble], old, purple.
Item: another [chasuble] of white silk for Saturday mass and for major tolling [of bells] for funerals or double major rite. All these chasubles have [matching] cloth(s) for chalice, stole, and maniple and cushions, all in very good condition.
Second Chest, for Holy Days
One white damask chasuble trimmed in gold for [feasts of] the second class.
Another [chasuble], white, with half the cloth [covered] with gold flowers, and silk and gold braid trim.
Another [chasuble] of lustrous [cloth] white, very fine, with Milan gold trim, the two [this one and the previous], [for feasts of the] first class.16
Another [chasuble] of black damask with gold border.
Another [chasuble], purple, very fine with fancy silk trim. All of said chasubles for Holy Days have with them the necessary
[fr. 0403]

matching cloths in their bags.

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