The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924

THE
SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL
QUARTERLY
VOL. XXVII JANUARY, 1924 No. 3
The publication committee and the editors dtsclasm responsibility for views expressed by
contributors to THE QUARTERLY
THE LOCATION OF LA SALLE'S COLONY ON THE GULF
OF MEXICO*
HERBERT E. BOLTON
One of the unsettled points in the history of La Salle's career
in America has been the exact location of the colony which he
established temporarily on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in
1685. The view held niy Parkman and most other writers has
been that the site was on the Lavaca river, but from this opinion
some have dissented, while others have been in doubt because
of the inadequacy of the available data.' The question is de-
batable no longer, for it is settled once for all by newly discov-
ered records in the archives of Spain, which have been corrob-
orated by archeological and topographical investigation.
In order to put this new evidence in its proper setting, it
seems desirable to review briefly the main features of the well-
*This article is reprinted with the courteous permission of the editor
of the Mississippi Valley Historical Review, in which it appeared, Sep-
tember, 1915 (Volume II, 165-182).
1Parkmarn writes: "It was on the river which he named La Vache, now
the Lavaca, which enters the head of Matagorda Bay" (La Balle and the
Discovery of the Great West [Boston, 1910], 391-392). The same view is
held by H. H. Bancroft (North Mexican States and Texas [San Francisco,
1886], I, 402); G. P. Garrison (Texa.s [Boston, 1903], 22); and R. C.
Clark (The Beginnings of Texas [Austin, 1907], 18). On their maps
Garrison and Clark both place the French fort east of the stream. Miss
Eleanor Buckley, in a scholarly discussion, concludes that the fort was on
Lavaca, but shows, correctly, that it was not on the left bank. (Texas
State Historical Association Quarterly, XV, 57-60.) W. Kingsford (The
History of Canada [London, 1888], II, 137-138) concludes that the settle-
ment was probably on Galveston Bay and certainly not on Matagorda.
For other views see post, 179.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101086/. Accessed September 15, 2014.