The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941 Page: 226
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
place under de la Harpe in 1721. Only by answering the fol-
lowing two questions can the location of de Bellisle's bay be
determined. The first question might be put as follows: Which
bay on the Texas coast did de la Harpe and Beranger visit in
1721; and, secondly, was this bay, called by them Bay St. Ber-
nard, the very same one where de Bellisle landed in 1719?
The first question can be best answered by consulting B6r-
anger's accounts of his voyages of 1720 and 1721. In 1720
Beranger was sent out to occupy St. Bernard Bay. Sailing in
August, his ship, the "Saint Joseph," followed the coast, but
he missed the entrance of what he called St. Bernard's Bay
and which is now Galveston Bay. In his account, B6ranger
I did not find the opening of the bay St. Bernard
because the sea was so high and the Southwest-by-West
wind was so strong that I had to drag the anchor,
which made me pass this Bay by about thirty leagues
towards the Southwest, and finding myself at the open-
ing of a pleasant-looking bay . . . I made the decision
to enter it.5
The description by Beranger of his visit to Matagorda Bay or
Bay St. Louis, as he calls it, can be studied by following a map
drawn by Devin during the time of the sojourn of the "Saint
Joseph" in the Bay.3 B6ranger writes in his account that the
entrance of the Bay has nine feet of water and that he sailed
five leagues into the Bay when a ridge of oysters prevented
his reaching the mainland, which was about two or three
All these events can be followed on Devin's map. Beranger
says further that he set foot on an island, called Bienville
35Cf. a MS. copy of Beranger's account in the Edward E. Ayer Collection
of the Newberry Library, "Memoires de la Louisiane: A Collection of
Memoirs Concerning French Possessions, 1702-1750," MS. No. 293. (Trans-
lation by author.) Cf. also de Villiers' article, "Les Indiens du Texas,"
407-12, which contains part of B6ranger's account of this visit to Mata-
gorda Bay in 1720. The entrance of Matagorda Bay is about thirty sea
leagues, or about one hundred miles, southwest of Galveston Bay.
30The Edward E. Ayer Collection of the Newberry Library possesses a
MS. copy of this map (Cartes Marines, No. 84). De Villiers has repro-
duced the original in his article, "Les Indiens du Texas," 416. Other maps
to consult on this question in regard to the names of bays on the Texas
coast are to be found in the Karpinski Collection in the Edward E. Ayer
Collection of the Newberry Library. Cf. Nos. G.E.DD. 2987-8840; G.E.DD.
2987-8841; B. 4040-6; C. 4040-9; C. 4044-11; C. 4044-16; S.H.M. 9a-2a, 72;
S.H.M. 9a-2a-146 ; S.H.M. 9a-2a-152; J. 9a-2a-a-7; J. 9a-2a-a-15.
37Sea leagues doubtless.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941, periodical, 1941; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/m1/248/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.