The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 365
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Spanish Search for La Salle's Colony, 1685-1689
flee from his countrymen, and that he was living with a tribe of
Indians not far from the Texas, leading them against their ene-
mies and ruling over them.-l In these confused reports' one may
recognize various facts connected with La Salle's colony-the jour-
neys of La Salle to the Texas Indians, the loss of his ships, and the
picturesque figure of Jean Henri among the Indians.
As a result of these rumors, Governor Pardifias, who was well
aware of the many efforts that had been made by the viceroy to
discover the French settlement, resolved to send out an expedition
for this purpose himself. He therefore appointed Juan Fernandez
de Ratana, captain of the presidio of Conchos, to lead a force of
ninety men and a large number of Indian auxiliaries in order to
capture some of the French and explore the Bay of Espiritu Santo.
Pardifias believed that the Rio Grande flowed into this bay, and
he therefore instructed Fernandez to follow this river to its mouth.
Alliances with the Indians were especially recommended, in order
to strengthen Spanish influence in the region threatened by the
The ambition of Governor Pardifias was not to be gratified.
Although there are indications that the expedition was actually
sent out, it seems to have accomplished nothing more than the
chastisement of certain hostile tribes near Junta de los Rios. The
plan to search for the French from Nueva Vizcaya was necessarily
abandoned, because of the arrival of a despatch from the viceroy
instructing Pardifias to send fifty men to take part in the expedi-
tion that had been authorized from Coahuila.
The Discovery of La Salle's Settlement
The well-known expedition of Alonso de Leon of Texas was
made in the early spring of 1689. Captain Leon set out from
Coahuila iil the latter part of March with a force of one hundred
"8Testimonio of Don Nicolas and Fray Agustin de Colina, November 20,
1688, 9 pp.; in Audencia de Guadalajara, estante 66, caj6n 6, legajo 18.
"8Juan Isidro de Pardifias Villar de Francos to the king, November 21,
1688, with accompanying autos, 25 pp. (Manuscript in Audiencia de
Guadalajara, estante 66, caj6n 6, legajo 18.) These documents were seen
by the Council of the Indies in January, 1690. A letter of thanks was
ordered sent to Pardifias, with instructions to report the result of the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/392/: accessed December 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.