The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 200
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Texas historical Association Quarterly.
control of the St. Lawrence and the Lake region, the French had
pushed into the Mississippi valley. In 1685, La Salle led a colony
which was to be planted at the mouth of the river, and thus to
begin the occupation of the newly-claimed Louisiana. He missed
his destination, and landed on what is now Matagorda bay, on the
Texas coast. The settlement was a failure, and nearly all who
were connected with it lost their lives by disease or by violence.
When the news of this attempt to settle on Spanish territory
reached Mexico, the viceroy promptly reported to the government
at Madrid, and made several efforts to find the French settlement.'
As all these early attempts failed to bring any information re-
garding the reported encroachment, the matter was dropped until
1689, when the finding of an old Frenchman, a member of La
Salle's party, among the Indians near Coahuila,2 led to an ex-
pedition under Alonso de Le6n; this expedition actually found the
remains of the French fort. The result was the first occupation of
Texas by the Spaniards in 16908 through another expedition, also
under the command of De Le6n.
The itinerary of De Le6n given below is a translation of the
second document in the Memorias de Nueva Espaa. It is the
diary of the expedition of 1689, written by some one who took
part in it, probably by De Le6n himself.4 This is the only con-
1See THE QUARTERLY, II 281-282, V 176-177, and VIII 13, for accounts
of the early expeditions sent out for this purpose. There are two small
maps of a part of Espiritu Santo Bay, as the Spanish called the bay where
La Salle settled, listed as Nos. 79 and 80 in Lanzas, Relaei6n Descriptiva
de los Mapas, Planos, &. de Mdwico y Floridas Existentes en El Archivo
General de Indias, which, no doubt, relate in some way to the epdedition
of La Salle. Both were sent by Pedro Ronquillo, then Spanish ambas-
sador to England, from London to Madrid in January, 1687. Their exact
meaning and value, however, can of course not be determined until the
documents accompanying them have been exploited. Tracings of these
maps were made several years ago for Mr. Peter J. Hamilton, of 1SMobile,
who called my attention to them and placed them in my hands. The
accompanying documents, however, have, so far as I know, never been
2See THE QUARTERLY, II 25.
'Ysleta dates further back, but, as is pointed out in Garrison's Texas,
19, 67, it was not properly a Spanish settlement.
'See page 203 for the full title in Spanish. The writer was in De Le6n's
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905, periodical, 1905; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101033/m1/207/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.