The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 31, July 1927 - April, 1928 Page: 16
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The first sentence of Yoakum's History of Texas published in
1856 is as follows: "The first European emigrants to Texas, were
led hither by Robert Cavalier, the Sieur de La Salle, who landed
on the west side and near the entrance of Matagorda bay, on the
eighteenth of February, 1685," and he devotes his first three Chap-
ters to La Salle, his voyages and adventures; the fourth is the re-
action of Spain to the news of the French occupation of the coast
of Texas, investigated by Captain Alonzo de Leon with his soldiers,
and the immediate steps to make secure its title by settlement and
missions. (Yoakum, History of Texas, I, 13-34).
Yoakum asserts that Texas was French by right of discovery
and that to Spain it was utterly unknown-that Ponce de Leon,
Narvaez, De Ayllon and De Soto had never seen any of the vast
extent of sea-coast between Cape Florida and Soto la Marina,
and that therefore according to the rules of international law,
Spain had no title to it. Although Buckingham Smith had pub-
lished his translation of the narrative of Alvar Nufiez Cabeza de
Vaca at Washington in 1851, Yoakum does not refer to it, and
must have regarded it as unworthy of belief or concluded that in
his wanderings De Vaca never reached Texas. Mr. Dudley G.
Wooten, the editor of A Comprehensive Ilistory of Texas, in which
the text of Yoakum is reprinted, corrects this portion of the
text. He gives a most scholarly and authentic history of the
Spanish claim to Texas by original discovery, with the map of
the Gulf Coast made by Cortez in 1520 and sent to Spain. He
also gives a sketch of the Narviez expedition, with the Cabeza de
Vaca narrative-thinks that the exact whereabouts of Mal-I-Iado
will never be known, but suggests a route, which only emphasizes
the importance of these intensive historic researches. The facts
established in these papers published in TnE QUARTERLY prove be-
yond question that Narviez and a portion of his followers did
reach San Luis Island on the coast of Texas in 1528 and that
Narvaez himself explored it as far as Passo Cavallo, where he
was drowned; and that Captain Dorantes and the treasurer, Ca-
beza de Vaca, explored the coast of Texas as far as Corpus Christi,
probably passing near the site of Fort St. Louis more than one
hundred and fifty years before La Salle reached Passo Cavallo.
The survivors of the Narvaez expedition made an official report
of their discoveries and were rewarded by their government.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 31, July 1927 - April, 1928, periodical, 1928; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101088/m1/22/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.