The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912 Page: 38
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38 Texas Historical Association Quarterly
expedition reached the vicinity of the Colorado,' and camped on
what is now Onion Creek,2 crossing it later, apparently at the site
of the present McKinney Falls. The crossing is described as be-
ing over "a strip of rocks which spans the river and makes a beau-
tiful waterfall," distant some six or seven miles from the Colo-
rado. The expedition was delayed in crossing the droves over the
latter river, which is described as being twice the size of the
former ones and as lined with trees and vines. From the time it
crossed the Colorado, May 23 to May 31, the route took them over
numberless little streams, crossing as many as twenty arroyos in
one day.3 The two considerable ones which they crossed, the
Spaniards called Las Animas and - San Xavier, doubtless the
present Brushy Creek and San Gabriel River respectively.4
1Though Terdn realized that the Colorado "on previous expeditions and
on different routes had been named the San Marcos and the Colorado," he
named it the San Pedro y San Pablo Anostoles (Demarcaci6n, entry for
June 28, 1691). In reality the name Colorado or Espiritu Santo had been
applied in the previous expedition to the Brazos (De Le6n, Diario, entry
for May 14, 1690). With the adoption of a higher route, the name Colo-
rado, as was the case with the San Marcos, was carried back and given
to the present river of that name. In 1709 it was again called the Espiritu
Santo or Colorado by Espinosa and Olivares (Diario, entry for April 17).
This is due, doubtless, to the fact that they were following De Le6n's
diary, which gave that name to the present Brazos. Espinosa and Olivares,
ignorant of the geography of the country, presumed, as did De LeOn, that
the river they would reach after the San Marcos would be the Espiritu
Santo, or Colorado. In 1716 to Espinosa it was still the same; to Ram6n
it was simply the Colorado (Diario and Derrotero, entries for May 23).
As Aguayo had not recognized the present San Marcos as such when he
crossed it, he carried the name over to the next large river, and applied
it to the Colorado. To Rivera this last named river was likewise the San
Marcos (Diario, entry for August 23, 1727). To La Fora, 1767, it was
again the Colorado (Diario, entry for August 29).
2They called this the Garrapatas. This name was first applied to a trib-
utary of the Colorado in 1709 by Espinosa and Olivares (Diario, entry for
April 16), on account of their unpleasant exnerience with the ticks
(garrapatas). In 1716, Espinosa met his "old friends again," who were
"this time somewhat more merciful," and again gave the stream the same
name (Diario, entry for May 22). In 1727 it still had the unenviable
name (Rivera, Diario, entry for August 27). As there are several small
tributaries to the Colorado, all about the same size and bearing the same
relative locations, different ones might have been given the same name on
the different expeditions, without varying their descriptions or the route
sensibly. But in the Peila diary, at least, the location is definitely identi-
fied by the description of the well known falls on Onion Creek.
4The name Animas was given to Brushy Creek in 1716 by Espinosa, who
called it "de las benditas animas (blessed souls), because we had com-
mended our route to them" (Diario, entry for May 28). Ram6n (Derro-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 15, July 1911 - April, 1912, periodical, 1912; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101056/m1/43/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.