Laredo is on the Rio Grande in southwestern Webb County in South Texas, about 150 miles southwest of San Antonio and 135 miles west of Corpus Christi. It is served by Interstate Highway 35, U.S. highways 59 and 83, State Highway 359, Ranch Road 1472, and the Missouri Pacific and Texas Mexican railroads. This cosmopolitan city is a major port of entry for international trade and tourism between the United States and Mexico. Laredo was established in 1755, when Tomas Sanchez de la Barrera y Garza was granted permission by Jose de Escandon to form a new settlement about thirty miles upriver from Nuestra Senora de los Dolores Hacienda in what is now Zapata County. Laredo was the last town established under the authority of Escandon, who had been given responsibility for settling the province of Nuevo Santander. Altogether Escandon saw to the founding of twenty towns and eighteen missions in an attempt to thwart French incursion into Spanish territory and to propagate the Christian faith among the various Indian tribes of the region. Sanchez chose a site downriver from a ford later called El Paso de los Indios but known at that time as El Paso de Jacinto (after Jacinto de Leon of the San Juan Bautista garrison, who noted it in a report of 1745). About eight miles downriver from Laredo was another crossing, called the Don Miguel or Garza ford (after Miguel de la Garza Falconqv). The ford upstream could be crossed by a person on horseback, while the one downstream could be forded by sheep and goats. Tienda de Cuervo, who inspected the community in 1757, reported that Laredo was the usual crossing place for those traveling to Texas from Nuevo Leon and Coahuila. The initial settlement at Laredo was made by Sanchez and three families from Dolores...Read more @ The Handbook of Texas Online


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