A new exhibit opening at the Alamo today focuses on the Spanish mission system in Texas and the creation of the Alamo, including 16 original Spanish documents from the 1700s.
Alamo Origins: The Birth of Spanish Texas chronicles the early history of the mission, the Spanish missionaries’ interaction with the local Native American population, and the eventual sale of mission property to non-church interests.
“Everyone remembers the fall of the Alamo in 1836,” said Jerry Patterson, who oversees the Alamo as Texas land commissioner. “But we want you to learn about the rise of the Alamo that started in 1718.”
The Spanish maps and documents included in the exhibit “provide fascinating insight on the missions as frontier outposts vital to the Spanish Empire’s control of the region and defense against incursions by the French,” according to a news release from the General Land Office.
“With immigration in the forefront of public discussion, it’s important to remember that Texas began as a part of the Spanish Empire ruled from Mexico and that the first illegal immigrants had names that looked a lot more like mine,” Patterson said. “This is the whole story of the Alamo. John Wayne didn’t make a movie about it, but it’s just as important.”
The exhibit opens daily through December 31st.