Presidio of Nuestra Señora de Loreto de la Bahía, in Texas
A presidio (English: jail, fortification) was a fortified base established by the Spanish Empire around between 16th and 18th centuries in areas in condition of their control or influence.
The term is derived from the Latin word praesidium meaning protection or defense.
The presidios of Spanish-Philippines in particular, were centers where the martial art of Arnis de Mano was developed, combining Filipino, Latin-American and Spanish fighting techniques. Later in western North America, with independence, the Mexicans garrisoned the Spanish presidios on the northern frontier and followed the same pattern in unsettled frontier regions such as the Presidio de Sonoma, at Sonoma, California, and the Presidio de Calabasas, in Arizona.
In western North America, a rancho del rey or king's ranch would be established a short distance outside a presidio. This was a tract of land assigned to the presidio to furnish pasturage to the horses and other beasts of burden of the garrison. Mexico called this facility "rancho nacional".
Presidios were only accessible to Spanish military and soldiers.
The Spanish North African presidios are listed here in geographical sequence, from West to East, and including neither Spain's Atlantic settlements in the Moroccan far South (e.g. Santa Cruz de la Mar Pequeña) nor outposts gained after 1830 (e.g. the Chafarinas Islands).
Few presidios were established in the present-day desert frontier regions in northern Mexico to control and confine the existing rebellious indigenous tribes. Captured indigenous warriors were confined and enslaved at the presidio.
The Presidio Bahía San José de Valladares, founded in 1701 on St. Joseph Bay, captured by French in 1718
The Presidio San Marcos de Apalachee, founded in 1718 at the existing port of San Marcos, which developed into the town of St. Marks, ceded to Great Britain in 1763, regained 20 years later, and transferred to the United States in 1821
The Presidio Bahía San José de Nueva Asturias, founded in 1719 on St. Joseph Point, abandoned when Spanish regained Pensacola Bay area from French in 1722, Spanish relocated to Presidio Isla Santa Rosa Punta de Siguenza (see below)
The Presidio Isla Santa Rosa Punta de Siguenza, founded in 1722 on Santa Rosa Island, destroyed by a hurricane in 1755, Spanish relocated to Presidio San Miguel de Panzacola (see below)
The Presidio San Miguel de Panzacola, founded in 1755, which developed into the city of Pensacola, ceded to Great Britain in 1763, regained 20 years later, and transferred to the United States in 1821
^"presidio — Diccionario de la lengua española, Edición del Tricentenario". RAE (in Spanish). Retrieved October 28, 2017.
^"Real Fighting". 2008-02-21. Archived from the original on February 21, 2008. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
^"Ranchos of California: Extracts from: Grants of land in California made by Spanish or Mexican authorities, by Cris Perez Boundary Determination Office State Lands Commission Boundary Investigation Unit August 23, 1982. Berkeley Library website". Archived from the original on February 2, 2009. Retrieved April 17, 2011.
^"Spanish policymakers also decided to set up a line of presidios stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This presidial line was very close to today’s international border between Mexico and the United States." Reséndez, Andrés. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (p. 198). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
^"As the eighteenth century unfolded, military garrisons and soldiers superseded the missions as the lynchpins of Spain’s efforts to stabilize the frontier. With the new approach came new forms of coercion. The word “presidio” captures the dual purpose of garrison and prison." Reséndez, Andrés. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (p. 205). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
^ abcChilders, Ronald Wayne (2004). "The Presidio System in Spanish Florida 1565-1763". Historical Archaeology. 38 (3): 24–32. doi:10.1007/BF03376651. JSTOR 25617178. S2CID 160809833.
References and further reading
Gerald, Rex E. (1968). Spanish Presidios of the Late Eighteenth Century in Northern New Spain. Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe.
Moorhead, Max L. The Presidio: Bastion of the Spanish Borderlands. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press 1975.
Rene Javellana, S. J. Fortress of Empire. Ateneo de Manila University Press 1997.