Nuevo Santander was to extend from Tampico on the Panuco River in Mexico to the border of Texas at the Medina River near San Antonio, later placed further south at the Nueces River.

The whole colony was settled with remarkable speed in a very unique way insofar as Spanish colonization went. For the first and only time in the history of Nueva Espana, viceregal officials relied on colonists rather than missionaries and soldiers to settle a new territory. Led by Jose de Escandon, the novel colonization project began in 1747 and by 1755 had resulted in the settlement of over 6,000 colonists in twenty-three towns and fifteen missions.

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