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Locate primary sources, including images, objects, media, and texts. Annotations by scholars contextualize sources.

Misión San Gregorio de Abó

The San Gregorio de Abó Mission once operated as a site of Spain’s evangelization efforts in the Americas. As the Spanish crown expanded its empire throughout North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean, it encountered a major obstacle: a shortage of bureaucrats to run all of the governments it was establishing.

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Misión San José de los Jémez

The San José de los Jémez Mission is located near Albuquerque, New Mexico. It once belonged to a larger group of Spanish colonial churches along what is now the Us-Mexico borderlands. It was originally built in the early-seventeenth century to evangelize the native peoples, including the Jemez. Today, stone ruins remain.

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Misión San Lorenzo de Picuris

In the mid-seventeenth century, Spanish friars built a mission near modern-day Taos. The goal of this settlement was to convert the native peoples to Christianity. In this area, the local communities were the Picuris.

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Nuestra Señora de la Concepción del Socorro

The Nuestra Señora de la Concepción del Socorro was originally founded in the late-seventeenth century in modern-day New Mexico. It was moved in the eighteenth century to the El Paso region after local indigenous groups rebelled against Spanish rule, although flooding destroyed that structure soon after. The adobe church that stands today was built in the 1840s.

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Misión San Miguel (New Mexico)

The San Miguel Chapel was built between 1610 and 1625 as part of the Spanish Crown’s efforts to evangelize the native peoples of the Americas. Located in modern-day Santa Fe, this church complex aimed to convert the Tlaxcalan community under the supervision of Francsican friars, while coercing them into Spanish ways of life.

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Misión San José de Laguna

The San José Laguna Mission is one of several Spanish colonial churches that still stands in modern-day New Mexico. It was built in the late-seventeenth century by Spanish friars with indigenous labor. The objective for this type of settlement was to evangelize the native peoples, which here included the Kawaiks, teaching them about the Catholic church and European ways of life.

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Misión San Estévan del Rey de Ácoma

Located in modern-day New Mexico, this church was founded in 1629 by Spanish priests in 1629. It belonged to the Spanish monarch’s larger project of converting the native peoples of the Americas to Christianity. The indigneous communities who lived, worked, and worshipped at the San Estévan del Rey de Ácoma mission built the structure. Many came from the Acoma people.

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Misión San Elizario

Located in modern-day El Paso, Texas, the San Elizario Mission was originally established in 1789 by Spanish friars. The structure that stands today is considerably newer (1877) because a series of natural disasters destroyed previous buildings. Its name originates from the patron saint of the Spanish troops stationed in the region, San Elizario.

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Misión Nuestra Señora del Refugio

The Nuestra Señora del Refugio Mission was a Spanish colonial church complex built in the late-eighteenth century. By this period, Spanish friars had established dozens of similar communities throughout the modern-day US Southwest. At this time, this region functioned as a borderlands between Spain’s possessions and those of France and England.

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Misión San Juan Capistrano

The Misión San Juan Capistrano was a Spanish colonial complex intended to evangelize the native peoples. Although Spain claimed vast stretches of territory throughout the Americas, it struggled to produce enough bureaucrats to staff local governments.

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