The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913 Page: 340
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
rant of the geography of the lower Trinity and the adjacent coun-
try until 1745, when they were called into it by tales of a French
establishment somewhere on the coast. One previous official ex-
pedition to the locality had been made in 1727,1 it is true, but it
had led to no further steps toward occupation, and given no per-
manent knowledge of the topography or of the natives of the
What stirred the authorities to action in 1745 was a letter re-
porting the rumors alluded to above, written in July2 to the
viceroy by Don Joaquin de Orobio Bazterra, captain of the pre-
sidio of Bahia del Espiritu Santo, but for the time being in
Coahuila. In reply to this communication the viceroy ordered
Captain Orobio to proceed in all haste to learn the truth about
the French settlement, where and when it had been established,
if at all, and what and how many Indians there were in the vicin-
ity. If he should find Frenchmen established or intending to
settle, he was to order them to leave forthwith.3
'The prevailing ignorance of and lack of communication with
the coast country between the Guadalupe and the Trinity rivers
at this time is amply illustrated by Orobio's difficulties and un-
certainty in getting from La Bahia to his destination. His first
efforts were directed toward ascertaining whether the investigation
completed several years ago. Subsequently my manuscripts were put at
the disposal of Miss Elise Brown, a graduate student in the University
of Texas, as material for a master's thesis. This was written under my
direction with the title, "The History of the Spanish Settlements at
Orcoquisac, 1746-1772." Though the two accounts are quite different in
general, and at variance at some points, I have made some use of Miss
Brown's valuable work, and hereby make acknowledgment. In the cita-
tions which follow, B. A. stands for B6xar Archives, L. P. for Lamar
Papers, N. A. for Nacogdoches Archives, and B. MSS. for Bolton Manu-
scripts, the title by which my collection is designated.
'In 1727, when Rivera inspected the northern establishments of New
Spain, he sent Engineer Francisco Alvarez Barreyto from La Bahia east-
ward with a detachment of twenty soldiers to examine the coast country
as far as the Neches. Barreyto spent thirty-five days on the expedition
and traveled 363 leagues, but what he recorded in his reports I cannot
say, as I have not seen them, though I do know of their whereabouts, and
have taken steps toward securing them. See Rivera, Diario, 1727, leg.
8The viceroy's order was dated July 18 (Diligencias Practieadas por
Dn. Joaquin de Orobia Capn. de la Bahia Sobre establecimiento de Fran-
.ceses. B. A.). Orobio signed his name as above, but, other Spanish
officials frequently wrote it "Orobio y Basterra." The brief form of his
name is usually given as Orobio.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913, periodical, 1913; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101058/m1/348/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.