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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

ST. DENIS'S SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE RIO
GRANDE, 1716-17191
CI-IHARMIIION CLAIR SHELBY
I. INTRODUCTION2
The brilliant, but disastrous, expeditions of Narv'ez, De Soto,
and Coronado within the limits of the present United States gave
Spain by 1543 extensive claims in the northern regions. The fail-
ure of these expeditions and the ruin of their leaders, however,
discouraged similar undertakings, and with asserting claims to the
tei ritory explored Spain was for some years content. Indeed no
pe nianent settlements were established within the present United
States until the encroachments of other powers caused Spain to
take action. In Florida the French were driven out and perma-
nent settlement was effected in 1565, and New Mexico was per-
manently occupied in 1598; with these exceptions Spanish expan-
sion in North America between 1543 and the close of the century
was slow but steady. As a result the frontier of New Spain,
except for the settlements in Florida and New Mexico, extended
at the beginning of the seventeenth century practically in a straight
line from Cerralvo in the lower Rio Grande region to the Gulf
of California.
This task of advancing the frontier of settlement between 1543
and the close of the century was carried on by such enterprising
and representative pioneers as the Ofiates and the Ibarras in the
west; the Urdifiolas in the region north of Queretaro, San Luis
Potosi, and Saltillo; and Luis de Carabajal in the region north-
east of Pinuco, or modern Tampico. These men not only reduced
the Indians and developed the country, but amassed great for-
'The writer desires to acknowledge her indebtedness to Dr. Charles
Hackett, of the University of Texas, for assistance in the preparation of
this paper.
"This introduction is based principally upon Bolton, Herbert E., and
Marshall, T. M., The Colonization of North America, 1192-1788 (New
York, 1920), pp. 55-61, 247-251, and 275-278; Bolton, Herbert E., The
Spanish Borderlands (New Haven, 1921); Dunn, William E., Spanish
and French Rivalry in the Gulf Region of the United States, 1678-1702
(Austin, 1917); and Bancroft, H. H., The North Mexican States and
Texas, I (San Francisco, 1884).

190

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 16, 2014.