The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898 Page: 10
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10 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
ify some of the most important events which go to make up our
Prior to 1685, Spain had accumulated many evidences of a claim
to title to most of what is now known as Texas, but no beneficial
use or occupation having followed her various discoveries and ex-
plorations, her right was merely nominal. The discovery of Amer-
ica by Columbus in 1492, and the empty ceremony of a confirma-
tion of her title to the whole of the Western continent, two years
later, by Pope Alexander VI, constituted the beginning of Spain's
claim. The discovery of the main land of the continent, bordering
the Gulf of Mexico, and the formal assertion of Spanish dominion
by Ponce de Leon in 1513, gave an additional claim to all that ter-
ritory extending from the peninsula of Florida to Yucatan, named
Florida by its discoverer. This was followed by the explorations of
Pineda in 1518, Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon in 1525, and others; but
the results were of no great practical importance until those under
the auspices of Velasquez culminated in the conquest of Mexico by
Cortez in 1521. By this conquest, Spanish occupation extended up
the Gulf coast as far as the Panuco river, which became the western
boundary of "Florida." Panfilo de Narvaez had been sent to Mex-
ico to supplant Cortez before the final consummation of the con-
quest, but was defeated by Cortez, and, returning to Cuba, and af-
terward to Spain, he secured from Charles V a concession of "Flor-
ida" in 1526. In 1528, well equipped for the purpose, he landed at
Tampa Bay and undertook an expedition which ended in disaster.
The same concession was made to Ferdinand de Soto in 1537, and
he was provided with the means for exploration and conquest. His
expedition, though more successful than that of de Narvaez, also
ended in disaster. A small remnant of de Narvaez's men, headed
by Cabeza de Vaca, having escaped the perils of the sea, were
stranded on the coast of what is now Texas, and, making efforts to
reach Mexico, traversed a part of what is now Western Texas, while
De Soto's expedition, after his death, traversed a small portion of
what is now the extreme northeastern portion of Texas. In 1540,
Coronado, in his expedition, touched the extreme western limit of
Texas, and other explorers from time to time traversed the western
limits of the country, but no effort was made towards a permanent
occupation before 1690.
The descent of La Salle down the Mississippi river and his formal
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898, periodical, 1897/1898; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101009/m1/20/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.