162 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
NOTES ON THE HISTORY OF LA BAHIA DEL ESPIRITU
Official notes, entries, and reports made when the events occurred,
being the lighted torch of actual observation and practical exper-
ience, enabling subsequent writers to correct or avoid popular errors,
this article is intended to call attention to some Spanish data. of
this kind, with notice of the places where same may be found, with-
out reflection upon anything heretofore written on the subject by
authors of Texas history.
Under orders from Francisco Garay, then governor of Jamaica, in
1518-1519, Alonso Alvarez de Pineda ran the whole gulf coast from
the southern cape of Florida to the mouth of the Panuco river, and
made a chart of it, showing thereon a bay he called "la Bahia. del
Espiritu Santo," and noting some of the most prominent points in
its surrounding topography; and it is probable that PAnfilo Nar-
vaez had a copy -of this ,chart when he sailed from Florida in 1527;
for Alvar Nufiez Cabega de Vaca says of the bay where he and Lope
de Oviedo first heard of their three countrymen being with another
tribe: "By what appeared to us from it and what we saw, it is the
one called de Espiritu Santo," showing that he knew already that
there was ,a bay ,on that coast called by such a name.
In 1561, by virtue of a royal cedula, *Angel de Villafafie and Jorge
Seron ran the same coast and made a descriptive chart of it, the
original of which exists in the archives of Mexico. It also shows the
same bay in about the same manner Pineda's does; and in view of
it many consultations of the Clonsejo de Indias, information given
by the viceroy and cedulas ,of the king were conceived in relation
to the gulf coast.
Whether La Salle had copies of or extracts from these charts,
which had been in the public archives of Spain and Mexico for over
120 years before he sailed for the mouth of the Mississippi, and
knew its bearing from such .sources, but was deceived by the effect
of the gulf currents on his ships, lof which he was ignorant, may
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101011/. Accessed January 30, 2015.