March 19, 2014

Today in Texas History:

Today is March 19, 2014. It is the 78th day of the year.

On this date in March 19 Isidro Félix de Espinosa began his career as a Franciscan. Isidro Félix de Espinosa was born in Querétaro, Mexico, on November 26, 1679. His parents were Isidro de Espinosa and Gertrudis de Miraelrio Tovar. Espinoza had nine brother, of which only six of them lived to adulthood. On March 18, 1696, Isidro Félix de Espinosa joined the College of Santa Cruz de Querétaro, and March 19, 1697, he began his career as a Franciscan. On December 17, 1703 Espinoza received holy orders and 26 February of that same year he became a priest. Espinosa is thought likely that he was assigned to Mission San Juan Bautista at the end of 1703 or shortly thereafter.

On April 5, 1709, Espinosa, accompanied by Father Antonio de Olivares, Captain Pedro de Aguirre, and fourteen soldiers, left San Juan Bautista for address to the future San Antonio. Here, the Franciscans were impressed by the availability of water and the prospects of Spanish settlement. Expedition Espinosa, Aguirre Olivares and moved past the San Antonio River to the Colorado River of Texas, where they hoped to contact Hasinais who whispered that they had moved there. On this trip Espinosa also encountered Yojuanes and their allies the Simonis and the Tusonibi who tried to convince Espinos and his associates to come to their villages along the Rio Brazos but failed in this endeavor. Espinosa did not go to the villages of the Yojuane.

Espinosa and associates also failed to contact any natives on the Colorado River. The expedition returned to St. John the Baptist on April 28, 1709. Espinosa soon returned to Querétaro and he remained there until he was named President of new missions were established in the University Mission Texas. In 1716 he accompanied the expedition of Domingo Ramón, where he established three missions Querétaro in East Texas: Our Father San Francisco de los Teja, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, and San Jose de los Nazonis.

Espinosa missionary activities in Texas included participation in two other expeditions, Martín de Alarcón (1718) and Marques of San Miguel de Aguayo (1721). In late 1721, Espinosa was renamed as the guardian of Texas Missionary University and he never returned to the province. In 1733 he was named President of the future Hospice of San Fernando in Mexico city. In the last years of his life he returned to the University of Santa Cruz in Querétaro, where he died on February 14, 1755.

His contributions as a chronicler of the early history of Texas are without peer. He was called “El Julio Cesar de la Fé en Nueva España (The Julio Cesar of Faith in New Spain)” because he worked during the day and wrote by night. Espinosa left a remarkable collection of literature. This includes a biography of his friend, Antonio Margil of Jesus and the Chronicle of the Colleges of Propaganda Fide of New Spain, called “the most important contemporary achievement Franciscans in Texas”, the work was reprinted in 1964.

Source: and

March 5, 2014

Monica Porter
Monica Porter

On This Day in Texas History:

It is Tuesday March 5, 2014. It is the 64th day of 2014. There are 301 days left in the year. On this date in 1842 a Mexican force of over 500 men under Rafael Vasquez invaded Texas for the first time since the Texas Revolution in 1836. They briefly occupied San Antonio, but soon headed back to the Rio Grande River.

Monica Porter:

I ran across this interesting article in the London Daily Mail. Titled, “‘I’m 60. . . and irresistible to men of 20 who want sex with no strings attached'”

Read Monica Porter’s unashamed account of how she took 15 lovers – most of them under 30 – and two in one day at

Additional information on Monica Porter can be found at:

Photo source: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Attribution: Arno See:

The Crimson River

Crimson-fr-cov-sm“The Crimson River” by Donna Westover Gallup is Book Four in the Mysterious Ways series. The publisher is Cladach Publishing.

Donna Westover Gallup does her usual great job of telling a spellbinding tale. It is what I have come to expect from this great storyteller. I was surprised the story went back and forth between the present and the 19th-Century Colorado Territory. While that caught me off guard, the use of flashbacks was a marvelous way to tell the story.

The author wasted no time getting right to the mysteries that kept me turning the pages. I feel she had a good balance of Christian faith without a forced insertion of “the plan of salvation” just to do it. God’s activity in the lives of the characters was apparent chapter after chapter. Well done!

The story progresses well. The inclusion of historically accurate events adds to the drama. The trip to Texas with the mesquite thorn poisoning and then to Missouri with the inclusion of the small pox story line was well told and frighteningly realistic.

The author did a nice job of wrapping up a lot of loose ends as the book concluded. Without spoiling the ending I will say it was more real life than some readers may have preferred. However, I felt it was right on the mark.

I hope Donna Westover Gallup has her next book in the works. I love the way she tells her story, how it includes the Almighty’s activity in everyday life and hope she has more stories to tell.

Read in October 2012 and reviewed in March 2013.

Note: I have read all four books in the series. I read The Crimson River the last week of October 2012, the same week the book was released. I did not have a review copy. I purchased my copy. I had a job change October 29th, a major car accident November 5th that put in in the emergency room via ambulance, and serious injuries after a very bad fall on ice just when I was recovering from the car wreck. All delayed the writing of this review as well as several other projects.