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El Camino Real -- Don Felipe Roque de la Portilla, Hays Co. TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 29° 51.319 W 097° 53.908
14R E 606397 N 3303262
Quick Description: The state historic marker about Don Felipe Roque de la Portilla, who founded San Marcos in 1808 along El Camino Real, and is known as the first empresario in Texas
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 2/7/2018 2:49:23 PM
Waymark Code: WMXPCE
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 1

Long Description:
Don Felipe Roque de la Portilla, who used his own money to found not one but two settlements in Texas during the Spanish Colonial and Republic of Mexico eras. Therefore, he is the first empresario in Texas.

This state historic marker stands along Old Bastrop Highway, which was formerly El Camino Real, at the site of the first settlement of San Marcos, and reads as follows:


At the request of Antonio Cordero, interim governor of the Province of Texas, Spanish-born Felipe Roque de la Portilla (1768?-1841) established a colony here on El Camino Real. With his own family of eight, he brought 51 persons from the interior of Mexico and founded San Marcos de Neve in April 1808. Titles were issued to 13 lots, and home were built, only to be washed away in June floods. Hardships plagued the colony: the defensive troops departed; no priest arrived; seed and a farm irrigation system did not materialize; horses and cattle were lost to Indians, and the people feared for their own lives. In 1809 new settlers brought the population to 81 without bettering living conditions. Portilla lost his health and fortune and was forced to lead his people back to Matamoros, Mexico, in 1812.

In 1829, however, he helped his son-in-law, James Power, and Power's associate, James Hewetson, plant their colony at Refugio, near Copano Bay. Portilla received land there in 1834, but left for Mexico in 1836. Because he invested his own fortune in the colonizing effort, he is sometimes called the First Empresario, and recognized as a forerunner of Stephen F. Austin, "The Father of Texas." (1976)"

The El Camino Real de los Tejas has been designated a National Historic Trail through the states of Texas and New Mexico. (visit link)

"From the Rio Grande to the Red River Valley
Come on a journey that will carry you through 300 years of Louisiana and Texas frontier settlement and development on a Spanish colonial "royal road" that originally extended to Mexico City, Mexico.

You are about to travel 2,500 miles, from Mission San Juan Bautista Guerrero, Mexico to Fort St. Jean Baptiste Nachitoches Parish, Louisiana."
Feature Discription: El Camino Real Historic Site

Web address for the route: [Web Link]

Secondary Web Address: [Web Link]

Beginning of the road: Natchitoches LA

End of the road: Guerrero MX

Visit Instructions:
We ask that if you visit the site, please include a unique picture with your impressions of the location. If possible, and if you are not too shy, please include yourself and your group in the photo. Extra points will be given for your best buffalo imitation or if you are licking something salty.
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Benchmark Blasterz visited El Camino Real -- Don Felipe Roque de la Portilla, Hays Co. TX 1/15/2018 Benchmark Blasterz visited it