Spanish and French rivalry in the Gulf region of the United States, 1678-1702

Material Information

Spanish and French rivalry in the Gulf region of the United States, 1678-1702 the beginnings of Texas and Pensacola
Dunn, William Edward, 1888-
Place of Publication:
Austin Tex
The University
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
238 p. : maps (1 fold.) ; 24 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Spaniards -- United States ( lcsh )
French -- United States ( lcsh )
History -- Gulf States -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775 ( lcsh )
History -- Texas -- To 1846 ( lcsh )
History -- Pensacola (Fla.) ( lcsh )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Oregon State monographs.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
022706376 ( ALEPH )
01444364 ( OCLC )
ADD8069 ( NOTIS )
17018073 ( LCCN )

Full Text





No. 1705:

January 20, 1917

Spanish and French Rlvalry in the Gulf Region
of the United States, 1678-1702
The Beginnings of Texas and Pensacola
Instructor ain Itin-Amera. History in the University of Texas;
Sometime Fellow in History, Columbia University


Published by the University six times a month and entered as
second-class matter at the postofce at



The beWat. of education ad of
e dL kfowledcgs ,e-r dtruMd
thmmoh a omeunit, emmtlrl
to the pmeervalon of free goveran-

Sm Houstom.

Culvated nnd s the guardia
aiuit dmocacy. It is
th. onely d-ato at free ac
knowhdge ad tme eoly eatty that
teswetm delte
P leat Si aim B. lear.



..... 5


Early Phases, .1678-1685....
La Salle's Colony, 1685-1686

. .. .. 31

Spanish Diplomacy in England, 1686.

IV. The Spanish Search for

.La Salle's Colony, 1686-

The Outcome of the Search, 1687-1689.

The First Defensive Move of Spain

of Missions among the



1694 ......... ... ... ............
The Second Defensive Move of Spain
pation of Pensacola Bay, 1689-1698..
The French Colonization of Louisiana.

. . . 81

The Founding
Indians, 1689-

The Occu-

and the Im-

potence of Spain, 1698-1702.



.... 229

. "

List of Maps


's map of French settlements in Santo Domingo,

1691 ..

La Salle's camp on Matagorda Bay,


. . .. . 33

Echagaray's map of North America, 1686..
The Sigiienza map of Pensacola Bay, 1693.

......Opposite 160


illustrating the Pez-Sigiienza


of the

mouth of the Mississippi River, 1693....................

Spanish and iFrenck Rivalry in Gulf Region



The history of the colonial relations of Spain and France within
the region of the United States may be conveniently divided into
three main periods. T includes those events which
are connected with the premature. lash between the two nations
as a result of the attempted founding of a Huguenot colony in
Florida in the latter half of the sixteenth century. This con-
flict grew out of the action taken by a persecuted religious sect
among the French people, anddoes ot therefore constitute the
true beginnings of formal state rivalry. The i com-
prises those years during which the French monarchy itself first
manifested its determination to contest with Spain the posses-
sion of the Gulf region and the lower Mississippi Valley. It
may be said to have begun in the early years of the reign of
Louis XIV, and to have been brought to a close with the definite
and permanent establishment of French settlements in Louisiana
by 1702. The third period cover the relations of Spain and
France as colonial neighbors, until the French were compelled
to abandon their ambitions for a colonial empire in America. The
romantic incidents of the first conflict in Florida have been told
in fullest detail. No attempt has hitherto been made, however
to present a systematic and connected account of the later and
more important rivalry'of the seventeenth and eighteenth cen-
turies. It is the purpose of the present monograph to provide
the first portion of such an account by covering the even o e
second period mentioned above, when France was endeavoring to
secure a foothold on the mainland of the Gulf of Meico. The
writer hopes, however, within the ne,- fture _to publish the
remainder of the study i its complete form.
In the preparation of this monograph, it has been realized that
the general facts of French colonization in the United States
have been set forth time and again by a great number of writers.
No effort has therefore been nade to repeat these familiar facts,

6 University of Texas Bulletin

except where brief summaries have seemed indispensable for a
proper understanding of the topics under discussion. Instead,
emphasis has been laid upon the Spanish side of the subject. The
utilization of a large mass of new documentary material from
the archives of Spain has made it possible for this neglected
view to be developed for the first time. Many unknown but
important'phases of Spanish. activities in the Gulf region of the
United States have been brought out, and new light thrown
upon various movements which were fairly well known, but
chiefly as isolated episodes. Specific references might be given
to explain this two-fold contribution. The first clam includes
such topics as the colonization projects of Martin de. Eh
in Florida; the disclosure of the secret of La Salle's Texas colony,
and the impression produced in Spain and Mexico; the Spanish
search for La Salle's colony, resulting in the practical redis-
covery of the coast-line of the Gulf of Mexico; Spanish diplomacy
in England, as a foil to French encroachments in America; and
the detailed history of the movement leading to the founding of
Pensacola. All of these topics have been practically entirely un-
known. In the second class, may be mentioned such matters as
the Pefialosa episode, the first occupation of Texas, and the at-
titude of Spain toward the French colonization of Louisiana.
These last named topics, as well as many other minor ones which
have been partially known, take on new significance when
brought together' in a connected narrative, and studied in the
light of new material and from the point of view here developed.
In short, it is believed that the present study will clear up
the gap which has hitherto existed in the history of the Gulf
region of the United States during the latter part of the seven-
teenth century, and that it will show to an extent never before
realized that the keynote to Spanish activities in this region must
be sought almost wholly in the fears entertained by Spain in
regard to French encroachments.
This monograph may be the first fruits of an
extended investigation carried on by the writer for the Uni-
versity of* Texas and the Library of Congress in the Arckivo
General de Indias at Seville, Spain, since the summer .of 1914.
During a residence of sixteen months in that city, the writer ex-

Spanish and French Rivalry in Gulf Region

amined approximately one thousand bundles (legajos) of docu-

- -~ a -- --

ments covering all phases of Spanish activities within the United
States during the period from about 1675 to 1821. The contents
of each legajo were fully noted, and the more important docu-
ments bearing upon the history of the United States were copied
entire. Up to the present time, more than seventeen thousand
pages, of transcripts have been secured of. such material; copies
of which have been deposited in the manuscript collections of
t University of Texas and the Library of Congress. In this
st dy, however, reliance has not been placed solely upon this
svolumirous collection. The writer has also examined material
for the period covered in the Archivo Hist6rico Nacional of
Madrid, and in the Archivo de Simancas, and has also had access

to the large collection of transcripts from Mexican archives in
the possession of the University of Texas. It is therefore con-
fidently believed that no important sources from the Spanish
view point, have been overlooked and that little if any additional
important material on the subject is yet to be made available.
A number of hitherto unpublished maps have alsg been repro-
duced from among those found at Seville.
. The writer desires first of all to express his deep obligation
to Professor Williama.I Shepherd of Colnmhia.University, under
whose direction this dissertation1 has been written, for valuable
criticism and friendly advice. -He is greatly indebted to Pro-
fessor Eugene C. Bar.E, Chairman of the School of History at
the University of Texas, for constant encouragement and aid.
He- wishes also to take this opportunity of acknowledging his
immense debt to Professor Herbert E. Bolton of' the University
of California, without whose unfailing sympathy, inspiration,
ahd patient years of training in the past this study could never
have been written. For friendly cooperation and assistance in
the gathering of the materials included herein sincere thanks are
hereby returned to the efficient staff of the Archivw General de
Indias, including its scholarly director,. Senior Torres Lanzas,
and the department chiefs, Sefiores Rubio, Navas, Lafita, and
Cervera; and also to Sefor Montero, the able and sympathetic
chief of the Archivo de Simancas. Mrs. M. A. Hatcher, arelvist
of the University of Texas, has given much assistance in the
reading of proof.

. This study has been accepted as a doctoral
* University.

thesis at Columbia

University of Texas BuUlletin


EARLY PHASES, 1678-1685.

Introductory.-By the opening of the last qdiarter of the seven-
teenth century, Spain had begun to enter upon the lowest stage
of her long, period of decline. Ruled by a periodically insane
sovereign, handicapped by a pernicious economic and industrial

system, and exhausted
tion of Europe was on]
lapse by the tribute of
annually from America.
to be made upon her
century had witnessed
of the great powers of
new world. In the firsl
were laid for the Fren
continent of North An
ever, caused Spain far

by repeated wars, the once foremost na-
ly saved' from open bankruptcy and col-
gold and silver that was still remitted
Already serious inroads were beginning
vast colonial domain. The seventeenth
almost simultaneous action on the part
Europe in obtaining a foothold in the
t decade of that century, the foundations
ch, English, and Dutch colonies on the
erica. These remote settlements, how-

less anxiety

ments within her immediate sphere
Indies. In 1625 the deserted island o
St. Kitts, was occupied by French
This action was merely the prelude
foreign nations for the lesser islan ds
appropriated such islands as Martin

than did foreign encroach-
of influence in the West
f San Crist6bal, later called
and English adventurers.
i to a general scramble by
If the Antilles. The French
ique, Guadeloupe, and Tor-

tuga; the Dutch, St. Eustatius, Tobago, and Curaqao; the En-
glish, Nevis, Barbuda, Antigua, and Montserrat. These settle-
ments became the centers of a rapidly increasing population of
lawless adventurers, who preyed upon Spanish commerce, and
plundered at frequent intervals the unprotected coast towns. In
1655 the first open conquest of territory within this region was
made when the English seized Jamaica. Fifteen years later Eng-
land forced Spain to make a formal treaty, in which the form-
er's right to Jamaica, as well as to the territory occupied by Eng-
glish colonists along the Atlantic seaboard, was definitely recog-
nized. With the conclusion of this treaty, distasteful and un-
satisfactory as it was to the Spaniards, the relations between


Spanish and iFrench Rivalry in Ghdf Region

Spain and England in America were considerably clarified. Eng-
land agreed to respect in the future the territorial claims of
Spain, and promised' to assist in exterminating the pirates who
were causing the ruin of Spanish commerce:'
While the English attitude toward America was thus in a
measure defined, the relations between Spain and France in the
same connection were far from being satisfactorily adjusted. In-
deed, it was France which inspired in Spain the liveliest anxiety
for the safety of the Indies. The unscrupulous ambitions of
Louis XIV in Europe had already been only too well exhibited.
His plans of aggrandizement on .the continent at the expense of
Spain had been almost, uniformly successful. Spain was con-
vinced that he merely awaited a favorable opportunity to ex-
tend his'aggressions to the new world, and attempt to wrest away
the choicest portions of her colonial domain. Under the direction
of the great Colbert, a notable .revival of French interest in

America had been app
commerce and general i
the various islands in
priated by French sub,
pany of the West Indii
exclusive claims of Sp

hid subjee
Of all
result of
island of


no uncerta
the freedom


t. Steps were
erity, not only of

taken to foster the
New France, but of

the West Indies which had been appro-
jects. The. creation of the French Com-
es in 1664 was a distinct challenge to the
ain. 'At the same time Louis XIV an-
in terms his determination to secure, for
n of the Spanish seas, and a share In me

trade of the western hemisphere.
the measures adopted by the French in America as a
Colbert's aggressive policy, those which concerned the
Hispaniola or of Santo Domingo, Spain's oldest colony

in America, were probably most offensive to the Spaniards.
While the northern coast of Santo Domingo had been frequented
by French adventurers as early as the year 1630, no claim to
sovereignty over that territory hdd been made at first by the
French crown. Although repelled at various times, the persis-
tency of the buccaneers had outlasted the spasmodic vigilance
of Spain, and they had continued to grow in numbers and in

1For an excellent account of the rise of the buccaneers in America.
see C. H. Haring, The Buccaneers in the West Indies in the Seventeenth
Century (New York, 1910).


10 University of Texas Bulletin

daring. Upon the organization of the Company of the West In-
dies, Louis XIV had placed the stamp of his royal approval on
their encroachments by including in the patent of the French
governor of Tortuga full jurisdiction over the settlements on the
northern coast of Santo Domingo. Families were sent over from
France, courts were established in the principal towns, and the
region became an integral portion of the French colonial domain.
By 1675 it was estimated that the French population in northern
Santo Domingo numbered several thousand inhabitants, while
Spanish settlements in the south contained only a scant fifteen
This action on the part of Louis XIV seemed to indicate clear-
ly the policy that he intended to follow in regard to Spanish
rights in America. Spain confidently believed that the French
settlements in Santo Domingo would be but a stepping-stone to
more formidable aggressions on her mainland colonies, and that
in such aggressions the pirate host of the Caribbean region would
be utilized in hiding the true designs of the French until the
desired usurpation should be successfully accomplished.
Spain's solicitude for the integrity of her insular possessions
in the West Indies was in strong contrast to the comparative in-
difference with which she regarded that portion of her colonial
domain which is now included within the limits of the United
States. The islands of the Antilles commanded the approaches
to the heart of Spain's most productive colonies. They lay within
the beaten track of travel and commerce. The mainland of the
continent north of Mexico, however, was valued chiefly as a
great -- barrier region providentially erected for the protection
of the rich mining provinces from which Spain secured a large
part of her revenues.
'Report of the fiscal of the Council of the Indies, June 28, 1740, sum-
marizing French activities in Santo Domingo from the earliest times
(Archivo Generarte Indlas, Seville; Santo Domingo, 55-1-12, 28 pp.).
Throughout this study, citations will be made to transcripts in the
collection of the University of Texas made from the original documents.
These transcript are classified according to their original archive desig-
nations. Where the citation is given in "folios" (ft.), the documents
are available in manuscript only. Unless otherwise indicated, all ref-
erences will be to documents in the Archive General de Indias.



s (Co
I, ta
,~~y / /Y

* I.



1^/N. Afc Wf ^^


C t 4JO
__ _

A' ^n ^^/orJ
KO f U
^ ^\ ^

Juan Jordan's da of French Settlement. in Santo Domingo.

(Tracing frdm photograph of original in A.
Inditerente General, 147-5-28.)

G. I.



University of Texas Bulletin

In the first flush of energy that followed the discovery of
America, while the spirit of romance and mystery hovered over
the entire new world, there had been no lack of interest mani-
fested in the region of the United States. Repeated expeditions

were made within
teenth century, bu
was found within
and the geographi
such pioneers as
Soto, and Coronad
mors of great rid

this territory during the first half of the six-
it no quick and easy road to fame and wealth
its vast extent. Interest gradually waned,
ical knowledge secured through the efforts of
Narvnez. Alvar Nufiez Cabeza de Vaca, De


[o was
ies to

tions. In 1565 the first
the present boundaries of
da, as an answer to the

soon forgotten, leaving only vague ru-
excite the imagination of later genera-
jrmjanent Spanish settlements within
the United States were glantedin Flori-
attempted Huguenot colony that had

been sent out by Coligny. Fifteen years later the next advance
into the territory north of New Spain began, and by the end of
the century Spanish dominion had been established over the
pueblo groups of New Mexico. With the occupation of these two
widely separated regions, Spanish expansion within the United
States seemed to have spent its force. Proposals were made by
various individuals from time to time for an advance into new
fields, both from the region of Florida and from that of New
Mexico, but little official interest was aroused by such petitions.

As long as there was no pressing need for the occupation
territory, the exhausted Spanish monarchy was content 1
the deserted region that lay between New Mexico and
to remain in a state of nature. It was not until a
scheme of conquest by a foreign power threatened Spain

to this region that a
tion of its defence
the year 1678, just
gles between Spain

of new
to allow
's claim

attention was turned in earnest to a considera-
and development. Such a menace arose in
at the close of another of the periodical strug-
i and France. It took the form of the well-

known proposals of Diego de Peiialoa at the court of France.
This famous scheme as.sto.lead to the reawakening of Spanish
interest in the region of the United States, and was to signalize
tfe beginning of the long struggle between Spain and France for
the possession of the unoccupied coast line of the Gulf of Mexico,
and the vast interior of the Mississippi Valley.

Spsniglt and ,Frenchk Rivalry in Gulf Region 13

The Peialosa scheme, and the royal cdula of 1678.-A few
weeks before peace was made between Spain and France by
the treaty of Nimwegen, in the autumn of 1678, news reached
Madrid that a renegade Spaniard, who called himself the Count
of Pefialosa, Was endeavoring to interest the French monarch
in a project tO conquer certain provinces on the northern fron-
tier of New Spain. Penialosa had already been the source of
much trouble to the Spanish government. A native of Peru, he
had fought fot many years in the wars of the southern viceroy-
alty; and later going to New Spain, had been made governor of
the frontier province of New Mexico in 1660. After serving in
that capacity for several years, he had become involved in a con-
troversy with the Inquisition, as a result of which he was fined,
exiled, and debarred from holding further office in the Spanish
dominions." Failing to obtain redress for his grievances, he had
gone to England in 1670, and had attempted to enlist the aid of
Charles II in some aggression against Santo Domingo or South
America. Reports concerning his activities were sent to Spain
at that time, and the Spanish ambassador had been instructed to -
try to get Pefialoda out of England before he succeed in caus-
ing any injury to the interests of Spain.' Shortly after this,

''he Inquisition's sentence against Pefalosa, dated Feb. 3, 1668, may
be found in the ramo of "Inquisici6n," Tomo 16, Archivo General y
POblico, MdIco, D. F. (Citation furnished by Mrs. A. F. Bandelier.)
'Consultas of the Council of the Indies, Aug. 29 and Dec. 10, 1671,
cited in consult of Nov. 18, 1678 (Archivo General de Indias,
Seville: Indiferente General, 141-8-1).
The writer 8as found a number of documents in the Archivo de Si-
mancas relatil to Pefialosa's activities in England. On June 12, 1671.
Marcos de Ofate, of the Spanish embassy in London, wrote the king
that Pefaloa was still trying to.promote his schemes; that money-had
been furnished him; and that he had gone to Dunkirk for an audience
with the king of France. Ofate said that an effort would be made to
setse Petalosa, and send him to Flanders, but that it would be a dim-
cult undertaking (Letter of Oflate, cite in consult of the Council of
State, July 81,' 1671; Archivo de Simancas, LegaJo 2546). In a dispatch
of August 81, 671, the Spanish ambassador, Count of Molina, reported
that he had been unable to arrest Pealosa, and that he had resolved
to ask the aidof the English king in apprehending the adventurer (Con-
sulta of the Council of State, Sept. 23, 1671, IbWd.). Such a step was
opposed by the Council of State as contrary to the practice of nations.

University of Texas Bulletin

Pefalosa had gone to France, and no further attention. ad ap-
parently been paid to him by the Spanish government until his
presence in Paris was reported in the autumn of 1678. This

news was contained in a letter of a high
ders, which was sent by the king to the Council
October 16, 1678. Few details were given as
Pefialosa's proposals to the king of France. It i
that he had offered to effect the conquest of
Quivira and Tagago (Teguayo), which he said
rich in precious metals, and with which he claim
through expeditions made to those regions dui

official of Flan'
of the Indies on
to the nature of
ras merely stated
the provinces of
were fabulously
ed to be familiar
ring his term as

* governor of New Mexico.5
In obedience to the king's decree, the Council of the Indies
gave its attention once more to the threatening activities of the
troublesome Pefalosa. The ignorance of the Spaniards in regard
to the region north of Mexico is well illustrated by the fact that
the supreme governing body of the colonies as then constituted
had apparently never heard of the province which Pefialosa had
offered to conquer for the king of France. After a vain effort to
find some one who could throw light upon the location of Qui-
vira and Teguayo, the Council began to search through its ar-
chives for a possible clue. There was finally unearthed among
the "papeles curiosos" of the Council a memorial presented in
1630 by a missionary of New Mexico, which made reference to
the provinces in question. This was the now well-known "Bena-
vides Memorial," drawn up by Father Alonso Benavides, cus-
todian for many years of the Franciscan missions in New Mexico.
The object of the memorial had been to call attention to the
work of the Franciscan order on the northern frontier of New
Spain, and to obtain royal support for the evangelization of the
unoccupied territory to the north and east of New Mexico. With
this end in view Father Benavides had given a glowing account
of the wonders and riches of that region. Among other things

"Consulta of the Council of the Indies, Nov. 18, 1678, 141-3-1, pp. 1-2.
Molina was Instructed to say nothing to the king of England, but to
endeavor to seize Peflaloea secretly (ibid.). Cf. Daenell, Die Upsnier in
Nordamerika, 1-18-18, pp. 99-103, for an account of Pefialosa's activ-
ities in England and France.


Spanish and tFrenck Rivalry in Gulf Region

he told of the reports given by the Indians concerning the great
kingdoms of Qpivira and Aixaos, which were said to be thickly
populated, and rich in silver and gold. In order to facilitate the
occupation of t is rich territory, Benavides suggested that a new
way of approach should be opened up by way M Espiritu Sant
ay, which he believed tobe situated between Apalache and Tam-
pico in latitude twenty-nine degrees, and only about one hundred
leagues from Quivira. The occupation of this famous bay,
long reputed to be the best harbor on the Gulf of Mexico, would
shorten the distance to New Mexico and Quivira by more th.n
eight hundred leagues (the usual route being overland via Mex-
ico), and would lead to the conquest of a vast new kingdom, with
corresponding benefits to the royal treasury Such were the
points in Father Benavides's memorial to which the Council of
the Indies now devoted its attention after a delay of nearly fifty
With the foregoing information in its possession the Council
proceeded on November 18 to discuss the question of Pefialosa's
activities in France. It did not believe that the king should be
greatly disturbed as to the safety of the provinces of Quivira and
Teguayo. One of two things, the Council said, must be true.
Either those provinces were not as rich as Pefialosa reported
them to be, or; their conquest was a very difficult undertaking;
for otherwise jhe English from the nearby region of Virginia
would have attempted to gain posseion of them many years
before. With its usual caution, however, the Council thought
that no chances should be taken in the matter, especially since
it was reported that Pefalosa had been assured by the French
king that his Proposals would be carefully considered as soon
as France should again be at peace. This condition had recently
been met by jhe conclusion of the treaty of Nimwegen. The
Council was of the opinion, therefore, that some steps should be
taken to guard against a possible invasion of the region
threatened by Peialosa's activities. It recommended to the
king that the colonial officials of New Spain should be instructed

fThe Memoril is translated in the Land of SBushine, vols. XIII and
XIV. A separate de lure edition based upon this translation has re-
cently been published by Mr. Edward E. Ayer of Chicago.

University of Texas Bulletin

to report as to the feasibility of occupying Espfritu Santo Bay,

and of opening up a new route to New Mexico and Quivira,
suggested by Father Benavides in his memorial. In regard
Pefialosa himself, the Council said that such a pernicious chi
acter might do much harm to the interests of Spain if allowed
remain among her enemies, and urged that some means should
devised for spiriting him away from France.'
The king concurred in the opinion of the Council, and t
corresponding royal cedula was issued on December 10. It w
addressed to the viceroy of New Spain, but copies were a
ordered sent to the governors of Havana and Florida. T

cedula, which contains a good summary of
mulgation, instructed the viceroy to make
regard to the advisability of opening up
Quivira and Teguayo by way of Espiritu
to tell what means were available for the
the conversion of the natives of those pro'
were priests in New Spain who might be
to the new region, or whether it would be
work from Florida; and, finally, whether
the proximity of the English and French

the causes for its pro
a detailed report in
communication with
Santo Bay. He was
undertaking. and for


; whether there
as missionaries
to carry on the

or not on account of
any injury was to be

apprehended from the proposals which Pefalosa had made to the
king of France.'
The cedula of December 10, 1678 marks the first definite step
in the reawakening of official Spanish interest in the deserted
Mississippi Valley and Gulf region of the United States. The
indefinite rumors of foreign encroachment had done more than
the repeated petitions of soldiers, settlers, and priests. That
the action taken by the crown at this time was not more vigorous
was due largely to the fact that it was not yet. fully aroused
to the seriousness of the danger. The whole matter was nferely
shifted to the shoulders of the viceregal officials of New Spain,
'Consulta of the Council of the Indies, Nov. 18, 1678; Indiferente Gen-
eral, 141-3-1, 6 pp.
'Real cidula, Dec. 10, 1678: Archivo General y Pfiblico, MExico, D.
F., Reales Cdnulas, Vol. 16, fr. 189-190.:.(Tranecript in the collection or
the University of Texas, 4 pp.)




Spanish and French Rivalry in Gulf Region

and further action postponed until the requested reports could
be secured.
Continued rumors of French designs.-While the Council of
the Indies was evidently not greatly alarmed at Peialosa's pro-
posed conquest of Quivira and Teguayo, there is much evidence
to show that the strongest fears were entertained in regard to

French aggression in other parts of the Indies.

The records of

the Council from 1678. to 1683 indicate a growing suspicion of

the designs of Louis XIV in America.

The situation in Santo

Domingo continued to excite the greatest anxiety.

Frequent re-

ports from that island told of the rapid growth of 'the French set-
tlements on the northern coast, and of the danger that the whole

island would soon be lost to Spain.'

The voyage of the French

admiral d'Estries to America aroused much alarm.

It was be-

lived that he had been sent to investigate conditions in the
Spanish colonies, and to make a report as to the feasibility of

their conquest.

The Spanish ambassador in Paris,

the Count

of Fuentes, reported the return of d'Estries from a recent voy-
age in 1681, and gave an alarming account of rumored French


The Council of the Indies, in discussing the letter of

Fuentes, agreed with him that the frequent voyages of French
squadrons to America' foreshadowed some attack upon Spain's


In 1683 it was reported that a French engineer had

made two voyages to the

West Indies, and had visited several



under various




France, he had announced, it was said, that. France could eas-
ily conquer any island belonging to Spain with a fleet of twenty

ships and an army of six thousand men.11

Many rumors also

reached Spain during these years of increased activity in the

French naval yards at Brest, Rochefort, and Havre.

reports merely served to confirm

All of these

the general conviction

'An excellent report on conditions in Santo Domingo was made by
Governor Francisco de Segura on April 15, 1679 (MS. in the Archivo
General de Indias, Santo Domingo, 583-6-6).
UConsultas of the Council of the Indies, May 8, May 20, and May 29,
1681 (Indiferente General, 141-3-3).

"Consulta of the Council of the Indies, Feb. 20, 1683
General, 141-3-4); consult of the Junta de Guerra, Nov.
diferente General, 147-5-27).

2, 1683 (In-

18 University of Tesae Bulletin

France was preparing for some aggressive move in America.
Spain was kept in a constant state of alarm, and yet feared to
take any eonspienous steps to guard against an invasion of her
colonies, lest sneh action might lead to a renewal of war with
France. The most that she could do was to send a few additional
troops to the more important poets in the Indies, endeavor to
maintain a scant number of ships for the punishment of pirates,
issue repeated warnings for vigilance, and give orders for the
prompt remission of subsidies and supplies to the points that
were most likely to be attacked. While the Council of the Indies
realized that the only sure safeguard against foreign aggression
was the maintenance of a strong naval force in America, the im-
poverished condition of the royal treasury made such a measure
out of the question." In spite of Spain's efforts to maintain
peaceful relations with France,18 however, the aggressive policy
of Louis XIV in Flanders led to a declaration of war by the
Spanish king in October, 1683. The resumption of open hos-
tilities now brought to their height the fears of French aggres-
sion in America, and a revival of the rnmors concerning the de
signs of Pefialosa upon the northern frontier of New Spain.
The new rumors reached Spain by way of England, and came
from no less an authority than the king of England himself.
The Spanish ambassador, now Pedro Ronquillo, was informed
by the king that Pefialosa was again trying to persuade Louis
XIV to undertake the conquest of certain portions of New Spain,
this time with apparent success.14 The renegade was said to be
"Consultas of May 8, May 20, and May 29, 1681; and of February 20,
1683. Many other references to the French menace may be found in
Indiferente General, 141-3-3 and.141-3-4.
"Spain tried hard to avoid hostilities. In the summer of 1683 the
ambassador to England was instructed to propose a general arbitration
to the king of England for a settlement of all difficulties. Louis XIV
refused to join in such a move (Ronquillo to the king, July 5, 1683:
Archivo de Simaneas, Legajo 8959).
"On January 18, 1882, Pefialosa had presented a memoir to the French
king, proposing to establish a colony at the mouth of the Rio Bravo,
and to advance upon the mines of Nueva Vizeaya. He planned to utilise
the corsairs of Santo Domingo for this enterprise. In January, 1684,
he submitted another proposal, offering to proceed straight to Panuco
with an army of filibusters, and conquer the northern portion of New

Spanish and tFwnch Rivalry in Gulf Region

in poseion of a considerable sum of money, and it was known
that a formidable naval squadron was beipg fitted out at Brest.
The English king advised Ronquillo to warn his government of
these reports, and to urge that some precautions be taken against
the French, at least in the chief ports of the Indie. Ronquillo
also stated that the French ambassador. in Londo* had openly
threatened him with an invasion of America."1
On August 9, 1684 the danger was discussed by the Junta de
Guerra1" and the Council of the Indies. The proceedings of
these two bodies clearly reveal the impotence of Spain. The Junta
frankly admitted that it could see no remedy for the situation.
If the reports from England were true, it was too late to pre-
vent the invasion. The available naval forces in America were
not strong enough to cope, with the French, and it was too late
to send reinforcements. The Junta contented itself with ad-
vising that an agent be sent to Brest to learn the destination

"Consulta of the Junta de Guerra, Aug. 9, 1684 (Indiferente General,
147-5-28, p. 1).
"The Junta de Guerra was a special body entrusted with the supet-
vision ft important questions concerning the defence of the Spanish
colonies. Although in existence as early as 15P6, it does not seem to
have been given a definite status until 1600. By a decree of August 25
of that year Philip III created a "junta de guerra in the Council of the
Indies."' It was composed of four councillors from the Council of the
Indies and four from the Council of War. The meetings were presided
over by the president of the former Council Sessions were usually
held -n Tuesday and Thursday of each week. The respective spheres
of jurisdiCtion of the Council of the Indies and the Junta de Guerra
do not seem to have been clearly differentiated. Both bodies frequently
reported on the same matter. In general, however, the Junta seems to
have been practically an expert committee of the Council on military
and naval affairs concerning the colonies, reporting directly to the
king. The following legajos contain much material for a study of the
Junta de Guerra: Indiferente Genetal. 141-5-6, 141-5-7, 1415-8, and
14164. Transcripts of many of these documents are in the collection
of the University of Texas.

Spain. It was the latter project, doubtless, to which the king of England
referred in his conversation with Ronquillo. The memoirs of Peflalosa
referred to above are printed in Margry, Ddcouvertes -et Etablissements
dee FraPnse, vol. III, 44-55; and in Shea, The SEpedition of Don
Diego Dionisto de Pealeosa, etc, (New York, 1882).

University of Texas BUlletin

of the
dies re
out in

French squadron, and that the usual warnings should be
to colonial officials in America." The Council of the In-
'peated substantially the opinion of the Junta, and pointed
unmistakable terms the helplessness of the empire in the
ce of the threatened danger. In regard to Peiialosa's de-
the Council now repeated the advice which it had given

in 1678, and urged that that persistent trouble-maker should
be gotten out of France before he succeeded in his treacherous
Such was the situation in Spain when the war with France
was brought to an end by the conclusion of the humiliating truce
of Ratisbon on August 15, 1684. Once more Spain had been
forced to bow to the will of the French monarch. The cessation
of hostilities, however, did not remove the tension between the
two countries. Indeed. all Europe continued to be an armed

camp, and the violation of the truce was expected at any time.
Spain now feared with even greater anxiety than ever before
that Louis XIV, having made good his latest aggressions in Eu-
rope, would attempt to put into execution his long-deferred plans
of conquest in* America. Under these circumstances it is not
surprising that the Spanish government was willing to give
serious consideration to a project which had as its object the
defence and development of the unoccupied territory between
Florida and New Mexico, believed to be threatened by the
schemes of the spurious Count of Pefialosa.
The Echagaray project.-Early in 1684, probably in February,
a lengthy memorial was presented to the king of Spain by one
Martin de Echagaray, for many years a pilot and naval captain
of the presidio of St. Augustine, Florida, and only recently ar-
rived in Spain from that province.1' Echagaiay told first of
"Junta de Guerra, Aug. 9, 1684 (Indiferente General, 147-5-28, 3 pp.).
"Consulta of the Council, Aug. 9. 1684, ibid., 4 pp.
"Martin de Echagaray entered the services of the king at St. Augus-
tine on Jan. 31, 1671, serving in various capacities, until he reached the
rank of pilot and captain. On.April 18, 1678 he was given permission to
retire to private life, and became commander of a ship called Nuestra
Sefiora de Regla. In 1678 he was commissioned by the viceroy to go
out from Vera Cruz to meet the incoming fleet, which was threatened
by pirates. In 1679 he aided in recovering a quantity of treasure on a

8pamish and IFrench Rivalry in Gulf Region

the dangerous


to Florida of the 'settlement of




he said,


French and English adventurers in 1670.

An expedition had

been sent against the .settlement shortly after its establishment,
but the attack was a failure, and the intruders had continued

to grow in strength since that time.

It was from the French,

however, Echagaray said, that further aggression was most to

be feared.

As early as 1675 a report had been made by the gov-

ernor of Tortuga to the French king, setting forth the great
fertility and resources of the region of Florida between twenty-

five and thirty-three degrees.

Such was the productivity of the

country, the governor had said, that even the children there grew

to unusual size.js

Echagaray then enumerated various attacks

that'had been made by the French in Florida. In 1679 a force of
two hundred disguised men, either French or Indians, had at-
tacked the settlements of Santa Catalina, in the province of
Guale, and had forced the Indians to abandon their missions. In
1682 the French had made three assaults upon San Martin and

Apalache, burning the fort at'tlie latter place.2'

In the following

"The Spaniards almost invariably referred to Carolina as "San Jorge"
until well into the eighteenth century, it one may judge by the docu-
mentary sources.
Echagaray said that he had learned of this report while in Havana.
the document in question having been intercepted from the French and
taken to that port. He thought that an account of the matter had been
sent to Spain at the time.
"A rude fort was constructed on Apalache Bay in 1677 by Governor
Pablo de Hits Salazar, who was very anxious for the government to

found a colony in that region.

The fort was garrisoned by a detachment

of thirteen men (Hita Salazar to the king. Sept. 6, 1677; Santo Domingo,

58-1-26, 2 pp.;

same to same, March 6, 1680, ibid.).

sunken vessel near the Baha

mas. He re-entered the royal service in

July, 1680, being appointed pilot-major of St. Augustine.

In May, 1681

he was sent to Cuba on an important mission. On Aug. 11, 1682 he was
recommended for the rank of ca pitd de mar y ruerra by, the Council
of the Indies. He sailed from Florida in July, 1683 for the port of Gara-
chico in the Canary Islands, and proceeded thence to Spain, arriving

probably in January, 1684.

(Relaci6n de servicios de el Capitan Martin

de Echagary,

in Echagaray


pp. 57-60,



memorial of Echajaray, ibid., p. 66; consult of the Council of the
Indies, Aug. 11, 1682, Indiferente General, 147-5-27.

22 Unirsity of Tesas Bulletin

fortunately had been repulsed. The raiders had gone on to the
province of Guale, however, and had ravaged the minions of that
district. As final and conclusive evidence of the hostile designs
of the French, Echagaray told of a converation that he had
held with two French sailors in the Canary Islands while on
his way to Spain. One of these men reported that when he had
left France," about a year before, five ships were preparing to
sail to the town of St. George, 'bearing settlers for a new colony
in that region. In view of this information and of the report
that had been made by the governor of Tortuga, it could easily
be inferred, Behagray said, that the French intended to found
a colony in Florida. If they did so, they would soon gain pos-
session of that. retire province, and eventually of all New Spain.
Echagaray then stated the means by which he proposed to
guard against the French menace, and strengthen Spanish do-
minion in Florida. In order to increase the scanty population
of the province and develop its latent resources, he offered to
transport thither fifty indudtrious Spanish families from the
Canary Islands, and twenty-four Indian families from Campeche.
Similar measures to this end bad been approved by the govern-
ment, he said, but had never been carried out because of lack
of funds. He also agreed to take to Florida the fifty soldiers
that had been promised for the garrison of St. Augustine. By
such means the province would be materially strengthened, and
rendered capable of providing for its own defence. Echagaray
then offered to explore the unknown Gulf coast between Apa-
lache and Tampieo. Within this region, he said, were many
great rivers and the Bay of Espiritu Santo, well known to be one
of the best harbors shown on the navigation charts. He then
gave a short description of this famous bay, so long the subject
of myth and conjecture. According to the reports that he had
received from certain Indians in the mission at Apalache who
lived near the bay, he said, two great rivers flowed into it, one
leading to the region called Movila, and the other to New Mex-
ico. The surrounding country, of course, was very fertile. It
produced fruits similar to those of Spain, and abounded in cattle
of various kinds, including one variety which produced as good

Spatisk and French Bimlry in Gulf Region 2S

wool as that gotten from a sheep's abak." Such was Echagaray '
faith in the geral ex..m c of the bay that he aggeted that
Vera Omi heb abandoed, and Espiritu Santo made the staple
port for the fleets sailing to New Spain. It was obvious, he said,
that if the French should gain pon esnon of such a wonderful
harbor, they would be in an ideal position to harass all New
Having pointed out the two important services whioh he pro-
posed to render, Eehagaray then explained the conditions ao
whieh he wmid undertake to put them into exeoatio. In order
that he ght be compensated or the expe that he weld
inour in tnnp ing the Spanish families and soldiers to Flai-
da, he asked to be given the privilege of emMding wthe nat
galle.nsa ship of two hundred tons' bunden, laden with good
for the eoaumption of the garrison of St. Augustine. The of-
ficials of Florida were to be ordered to receive suc goods at
the same primes paid for those secured fro Mai. de&hvewd in
the provimne. The cargo was to be eempt from all dutie s ad
he was to be allowed to sell any residue in Havana and Cam-
pehe." He was also to be given the title of captain of infantry,
with the aorrespondiag salary, for the duration of the voyae.
For his series in transporting the Indian families from Cam-
peehe, he asked to be given the contract for carrying the al
car pof flour from YunatAn to Florida. If all of these eoa-
itions were complied with, Ehagaray said, he would then -
dertake the proposed exploration of the Gulf' coast and Espirit
Santo Bay. With the aid of ten soldiers and two Indian gides
to be furnished by the governor of Florida, he agreed at his
own expense to explore, draw a map of, and describe in detail
the three hundred leagues of unknown country that lay between
Apalache and Tampico." Such were the chief points in the pre-
"The buffalo, of course.
"Echagaray cited a royal cidula of 1673 as precedent for his request,
Or June 5, 1673 the king had decreed that one registered shjp of 200'
tons could be sent annually to Florida, and similar privileges had been.
granted to one Tombs de Arzn in that year.
=A final condition was that his salary as pilot-major and naval cap-
tain should be paid during his life time for the support of his family
in Florida.

University of Texas Bulletin

posals of Echagaray, which were again to bring to the attention
of the Spanish crown the much-heralded Espiritu Santo Bay,
and the unoccupied region to which it was supposed to consti-
tute the natural gateway."
Since the project of Echagaray constitutes an important chap-
ter in the early history of the Gulf region of the United States,
and since it throws much light upon the workings of the central
administrative organs of the Spanish colonial system,. it seems
worth while to trace in some detail its progress through the
governmental routine. The memorial was first taken up by the
Junta de Guerra on March 23, and was promptly referred to
the royal fiscal. As it concerned colonial trade and the sale
of registered goods, the fiscal advised that it should be submit-
ted to the Caa de la Contratadcib (House of Trade) and the
Consulado of Seville for their report.S'" It was not until July
that the latter body found time to consider the matter. With
its usual opposition to any infringement upon the established
commercial system, the Consulado showed itself' quite hostile to
Echagaray's plan. It questioned the truth of some of the state-
ments that he had made, and belittled the danger to Florida
from the French and the English. It was probable, the Con-
sulado said, that the settlement of St. George referred to by
Echagaray had already been abandoned; if it had not been, it
could be destroyed at any time with little effort. It doubted,
as well, whether the French were responsible for the various
attacks that had been made upon Florida.1' The immediate
transportation of families from the Canary Islands was regarded
."Memorial of Echagaray in the "Ecbagaray Expediente," pp. 64-73.
The document is undated, but by a study of the accompanying papers
the date may be fixed approximately as February, 1684. It was certainly
not later than March 23, when the petition Was considered by the Junta
.de Guerra.
Ehagaray Expedlente, p. 63.
*Respuesta fiscal, April 27, 1684, ibid., 73-74.
"The Consulado pointed out that the fact that the assailants of Santa
Catalina had been disguised was good proof that the French had not
'been Involved, for the latter always attacked openly, while the hostile
Indians of Florida had been known to make use of a disguise on pre-
vious occasions.

Spanish and JFrenc, Rivalry in Gulf Region

with frank disfavor. Until a suitable site should be selected
for their colony, and all necessary arrangements completed, it
would be unwise to take such families to Florida, where they
would only be a heavy burden upon the royal treasury. In re-

gard to the exploration of Espiritu Santo Bay, the Consulado
expressed its surprise that Echagaray had not already effected
its discovery before presenting his petition. If the 'bay could
be found as easily. as he indicated, it would be better for the
governor of Florida to report as to whether it should be oc-
cupied. In the opinion of the Consulado, the whole proposition
was'simply a scheme on the part of Echagaray to sell goods, free
of all duties, in Florida, Havana, and Campeche. The most ob-
jectionable feature of his proposal, however, was that he wished
to secure permission for his ship to accompany the galleons,
which were td sail in the autumn of 1684. Such a privilege would
be in violation of the agreement made between .the crown and
the merchants"e that no registered ship should be allowed to
go to New Spain in the interval between the sailings of the

regular fleet. It would be unjust to the merchants, would hurt
the fair at Jalapa,' and would therefore result in serious injury
to the royal treasury. The Consulado thought, therefore, that
the proposition of Echagaray was most undesirable, and re-
commended its rejection."
In view of the hopelessness of securing permission for his
ship to sail with the galleons, Echagaray, who had gone to Se-
ville himself to promote his enterprise, did not press the matter
further at this time," and the Casa de la Contratacion, evidently
shunning useless labor, did not trouble itself in making a report
to the Council of the Indies. After the departure of the gal-
leons in September, however, Echagaray again became active,
and asked that his vessel be allowed to sail with the next reg-
ular fleet."8 He now appealed to the Council of the Indies for
The asenato de rs.
"Report of the Consulado, July 10, 1684, ibd., 24-27.
"From a complaint made by Echagaray some months later, there are
indications that the authorities at Seville had simply neglected to con.
sider his petition, but this point is not clear.
The fifty soldiers for Florida were sent on the galleons.

26 University of Teza. Bulletin

some decision in his case. On November 28 the Council wrote
to the Ca de la Contrataci6, expreming its surprise that the
report asked for so many mouths before had not yet been made.
In extenuation of its failure to reply, the Cesa explained that
Echagmray himself had temporarily dropped the aiter. The
Conuhldo was now asked for a second report. This it made on
February 6, 1685. While it still believed tSkt Eh ,a'ay's
scheme embodied many undesirable features, ine he now de-
sired to aecompay the regular fleet and not tAe adlles, it
saw less inconvenience i arceding to hi request" The qua-
tion was next considered by the Cas. de i. CoSmtaSbo That
body took imue with the, ad support hagary's
proposals qute Sthus.mtical.y. It believed'that nat o. y would
his enterprise realt in no injury to the king's intemrcs, but
that, on the ntary', it would ba veritable Mering to the
poorly defended province of Florida."
According to the regular routine, the whole epdiente of
accumulated reports nw returned to the hands of the fiscal,
who was at last i a position to daw up his *pinion in the mat-
ter. His lengthy recommemdatiens were dated April 11, 1685.
With his broader knowledge of the affairs of the empire at large,
the fiscal at once saw the importance of Echagaray's proposals,
and their close connection .with variom measures that had been
under consideration by the government. He recalled the many
efforts that had been made in previous years to strengthen the
province of Florida, develop its resources, and ameliorate the
condition of its miserable inhabitants. He confirmed Echagaray's
statements in regard to the attacks that had been made on the
province by foreign enemies, and told of measures that liad been
recommended to protect the threatened districts. On account
of the failure of colonial officials to send in the reports that had
been asked for in this connection, no definite action had been
taken by the government." The fiscal next referred tothjalarm
"IMd., 27.
*Report of the Casa de la Contrataci6n, March 18, 1686, IMd., 21-28.
"The facts cited by the fiscal were the following: In 1678 a petition
had been received from the citizens of St Augustine, telling of the
deplorable condition of the Indians. Although cotton was produced in
abundance, the natives were without clothing because no one in the

pnish and' Prenc Rivalry in G~uf Region 27

that had been felt in Spain in 1678, when he news 9f eiall.a's
activities in rance had become known, and recalled the cd&da
that hamd ten i- su-im that year asking for a report on Qmvira
and Teguayo, and the proposed occupation of Espiritu Santo
Bay as suggested by Father Benavides. No reply, he said, had
been received to this order."'

'The fiscal evidently ignored a letter written by the governor of
Florida in 1679 in answer to the citula in question. The governor
stated that he had already reported all he knew of tie region lying to
the west of Florida in a letter and map st to the M4tg on NovemfdlB
10, 1678, and that he had bean unable to acquire any further infor-
mation (Santo Domingo, 54-5-11).

province knew how to weave cotton clot. As a result of this 'petition,
an :order ad been sent to the goraoe of aOpeehe to make ar-
rangements to asend to Florida twenty-4our Indian families killed in
weaving. Nothing further was done in the matter. In 1675 the
governor of Florida, Pablo de Hita Salamr, had reported that it
*was very important that these Indian tamlies be sent to the region
of Apmlache, together with a number .of Spaish families, who would
engage in agricultural pursuits. With such settlers, the governor
maid, the district of Apalache would soon rival Flanders in prou-
perlty. In consequence of this letter, instructions were sent to the
governor of the Canary Islands for a report as to the possibility
of sending a number of families from those islands to Florida. No
answer had been received to this oder. In 1678 Governor Hita Salamr
again set forth the desolate condition of Florida, due chiefly, in his
opinion, to the lack of industries. He suggieted that it would be
well to allow certain families of the garrison at St. Augustine to
remove to Apalache. Some financial aid would have to be given them,
but the expense would be much less than that which would be incurred
In importing families from the Canary Islands. It would be advisable,
however, to make an effort to send at least twelve families from the
Islands and an equal number of Indian families from Campeche to
serve as instructors for the inexperienced inhabitants of Florida. The
whole question had been considered by the government, but no definite
- action was taken. In 1680 reports werb received from Florida in regard
to various attacks that had been made upon the province of Guale. It
was suggested that Santa Catalina should be colonized in order to pre-
vent such incursions. Still another order was therefore sent to the
governor of the Canary Islands to. endeavor to send a number of fam-
ilies to Florida. The governor of Florida was notified of this action, and
was asked to send in a detailed report in regard to suitable sites for
colonies. He was to take no definite action, however, until receipt of
further orders from Spain.

28 University of Tezas Bulletin

All of the foregoing facts, the fiscal said, clearly proved the
timeliness of Echagaray's project. There could be no doubt that
Florida was very much exposed to the assaults of foreign ene-
mies. Echagaray's proposed measures to .protect that province
were virtually identical with those which had been attempted
in vain by the government. The fiscal believed that the explora-
tion of the Gulf region was equally as important. Although. he
realized that the monarchy was not in a position to undertake
the discovery of new territory and provide for its defence, he*
believed that the importance of the region which Echagaray of-

feared to explore
ience had shown
ing the king's i


guard against foreign
opportunity to secure
that they would take
north of New Spain
This fact was proven
loss in 1678, to the .
conquest of Quivira a
Echagaray's offer to
coast should therefore
inadvisable to occup;
the satisfaction of i
would be in a better
fence in case of fore
garay's proposals wT
nothing but benefit

ranted an exception being made. Exper-
the regular colonial officials were neglect-
ests, and could not be-depended upon to
n aggression. The French were losing no
e new territory, and there was little doubt
steps to establish settlements in the region
as soon as they were in a position to do so.
by the reply of the king of France to Pefia-
effect that as soon as the war was over, the
nd Teguayo would be favorably considered.
explore Espiritu Santo Bay and the Gulf
e be most welcome. Even if it were found
y the region at once, the king would have
knowing something definite about it, and
r position to take proper steps for its de-

ign invasion.
ere regarded,
to the crown

- a a

From whatever angle Echa-
said the fiscal, he could see
resulting from them, and he

therefore formally advised that they should be accepted,88 upon

"Respuesta fiscal, April 11, 1685, Echagaray Expediente, 76-92.
The fiscal objected to a few minor details of the plan. He was
unwilling for Echagaray to be exempted from the tax levied for the
benefit of the school of navigation at Seville. He thought that it should
be made clear that the contract to carry flour from Campeche should
be given only on condition that the Indian families were willing to
emigrate voluntarily. He advised that fifty more soldiers should be sent
to Florida with Echagaray, in addition to- the fifty that had recently
been sent. Echagaray should be required to give a bond to Insure the
execution of his agreement.


8panish and French Rivalry in Gulf Region

(c.Eally the same conditions that Echagaray had stipulated.
With the fiscal's stamp of approval on his project, Echaga-

ray's success was practically insured.

The Junta de Guerra

adopted the recommendations without change on June 19."


the king's formal ce&dIla, announcing the acceptance

of Echagaray's offer,

was promulgated.

Copies of the royal

dispatch were ordered sent to the viceroy of New Spain and to

the governor of Florida.

By way of introduction and explana-

tion, the document repeated the contents of the cddula of De-

cember 10, 1678.

It then recited the chief points in the agree-

ment that had been made with Echagaray.

The viceroy and

governor were ordered to cooperate to the fullest extent, the
latter being instructed to furnish Echagaray with the necessary

men for the exploration of the Gulf coast.

In spite, also, of the

new arrangements that had been made, the king repeated the
order for a report on Quivira and Teguayo as originally given
in the cedula of 1678."
The adoption of Echag arjay'laa marks the second step in
the development of royal interest in the Gulf region of the
Utiied States. Th fears tHat had been aroused by the activi-
tiej-of Pefialosa in 1678 had been confirmed by the continued
reports of French designs that had been received in Spain since

that time.

The proposals of the obscure pilot were instrumental

in crystalizing the interest that had been faintly aroused by the

first rumors of Pefialosa 's proposed conquest.



the attention of the Spanish crown in a definite way to the Bay
of Espiritu Santo. The discussion aroused by the project caused
the royal governmentW rea~izeAltneessity fopabandoning its
policy of inaction and procrastination., if Spain .was to retain

"Ibid., p. 92.
"The copy of the c6dula sent to the viceroy is in the Archivo General

y Piblico, M4xico,

D. F., Reales Cedulas.

Vol. 20, f.



copy is contained in Testimo
156-159 (Mexico, 61-6-20). The

de los Autos, y diligencias fechas, pp.
copy addressed to-the governor of Florida

is in the "Delgado Expediente," pp. 55-58 (M6xico, 61-6-20).

Jtian Mar-

quez Cabrera, governor of Florida, acknowledged receipt of the e~dula
in St.. Augustine on August 20, 1686, and promised obedience' in the
customary terms (M4d., 58-59).

30 University of Tese Bulletin

her a to the vast tretek of territory that lay between Florida
and New Mexieo.
Although, as will be seen, Echagaray mbitiona pi.,, w-a
never carried out, the interest which it had aroused in Espiritu
Santo Bay and the region of the Gulf of Mexico was not to abate.
While the slowly-moving organs of Spanish colonial administra-
tion had been disncuing his proposals, the menace which he had
warned against had finally materialized. It came, however, from
an entirely_ nupected source-not from the discredited Pefia-
losa, not from the pirate host of Santo Domingo, but from a
man of whose threatening activities the Spaniards seem to have
been almost wholly heedless. For in the summer of 1684 La Salle
had sailed from La Rochelle to colonize for France the vast un-
occupied region of the Mississippi Valley.


Sxpanis ead tPrench Bivalry in Gulf Region 31


LA ALLEY'S COLONY, 1685-1686

The fonrdiyg of Fort St. La-.-The story of La Sale's ill-
fated colony on the Gulf of Mexico has been told again and
again by a host of writers from Parkman down to the present
day. In none of these accounts, however, has the subject been
treated from the Spanish viewpoint. It will be the purpose
of the present chapter to present this neglected phase, and to
show how the secret of the French colony within the forbid-
den region of the Gulf of Mexico was revealed to the Spanish
government, as well as the first measures of defence that were
called forth by the menace to Spain. For the sake of a clear
understanding of the measures adopted, however, it will be
necessary to give first a brief summary of the essential facts of
La Salle 's last venture.
While Spain slumbered, French explorers had been prepar-
ing the way for the extension of the sovereignty of France
over the. great interior region of the Mississippi Valley. The
high water-mark of French enterprise was reached in 1682,
when La Salle descended the Mississippi River to its' mouth,
and took possession in the name of Louis XIV of the vast ter-
ritory drained by its waters. La Salle returned to France in
the following year, and presented his first memorial for the
colonization of Louisiana shortly after the renewal of hostili-
ties with Spain.1 In order, doubtless, to make his plan of col-
onization more acceptable to the king, he combined with it an
impracticable scheme to utilize the savage tribes along the Mis-
sissippi in the conquest of the rich mining region of Nneya
Viszari,, on the northern ontier of New pain. He pointed
outthat, even if peace should be made before he was able to
put this part of his enterprise into execution, the colony on
the Mississippi would afford a base. for an invasion of the
Spanish colonies whenever the king might wish to effect their
conquest. 'At the same time that La Salle was presenting
'See p. 18, supra. 9

University of Texas Bulletin

his proposals, Pefialosa had a
against the Spanish colonies,
to conquer a large portion
doubtless some idea at first
La Salle's plans were finally
able to those of the Spanish i

gain become active in his intrigues
and offered to lead an expedition
of New Spain. While there was
of combining the two enterprises,
adopted by the crown as prefer-
*enegade. In April a royal patent

was issued to La Salle as governor of the indefinite region ex-
tendingfrom Fort St. Louis on the Illinois to the Spanish
settlements of Nueva Vizcaya on the south.
Preparations for the expedition were in progress throughout
the spring and summer of 1684. The plans of La Salle were
enveloped in the most profound secrecy. Even Beaujeu, the

and tl
the v(

officer who had been appointed to accompany the expe-
knew nothing definite about the route to be followed,
gh La Salle seems to have -given the impression that he
led to return to Louisiana by way of Canada. The ex-
reticence of La Salle was very annoying to Beaujeu,
ie latter came to form a very poor opiniqn of La Salle's
r and of the ultimate success of the expedition. Not until
yvage was under way was it known that the Gulf of

Mexico was the first destination of the colony.
The fleet of four vessels, bearing almost three hundred colo-
nists, set sail from La Rochelle in July, 1684, some three weeks
before the short-lived war with Spain was brought to an end by
the conclusion of the truce of Ratisbon. The course was di-
rected first to the French settlements on the northern coast of
Santo Domingo, where La Salle expected to obtain information
and assistance for the next stage of the voyage. Shortly before
reaching the port of Petit Gouave, the first serious mishap oc-

curred when the ketch St. Francois,

visions for the colony, was captured
greed of the Spaniards was evidently
tion to their country's interests, for
the vessel seems to have been made
and La Salle's designs were not rev
detained at Petit Gouave for two
Salle's illness and the necessity of re
plies. The voyage was resumed in

which bore most of the pro-
1 by Spanish corsairs. The
ly greater than their devo-
no report of the capture of
to the Spanish authorities.
ealed. The expedition was
months, on account of La
plenishing the stock of sup-
the latter part of Novem-

Sponih and French Rivalry in Gulf Region


*. I :: a

... .....- -

.. .* .- .. .- ,
*. S .

1. .-. .~.. .. ..' ..
*- ;.

*^ S. *.* f \.'M
^* S *


** 5
-S I
#* Ses .


a.6... ta, ,
4&w JtA* A Z^^
A<- d e^JM^C

La Salle's Camp on Matagords Bay, 1686.

(Tracing from photograph

of original in A. G. I., Mexico, 61-6-30.)

.I *

^o^ ';^so / 3

'YI. .. .. ..

&;. <.., -.*' :.. *.*:.: _:
. :./: --.- *** -'-1 .: :.*:*l.** ^
-*' .* **** *: :**-

:.*-. ^ *-.- .-^ ,

> .Ir,

S *S
tr, t

S .S

4- -
B S.
: ,2S -.S.
;L"-' L-

to ~
L `.4


University of Texas Butetin

her. For several weeks the vessels sailed toward the west
through the open waters of the Gulf, until at the end of De-
cember the first land was sighted. They had gone several hun-
dred miles past the Mississippi River, and were now off the
coast of Texas. After examining the coast for several days, La
Salle decided to make a landing at the present Matagorda Bay,
being firmly convinced that he was at the outlet of one of the
mouths of the Mississippi. In piloting the shins into the inner
waters of the bay, another serious misfortune was suffered in
the loss of the Aimable, which was run aground, and most of
its cargo destroyed. As La Salle persisted in his intention
to remain at the bay, Beaujeu soon returned to France, having

carried out the instructions that had been given him.

After a

short time the temporary encampment of the colony on the
shore of the bay was abandoned for a site about five miles up
the course of one of the small streams in the vicinity-the pres-
ent Garcitas Creek.2 Here a rude post was built, which was
christened Fort St. Louis. The rest of* the story may be told in
a few words. The inexperienced colonists met with one disas-
ter after another. Their numbers were steadily reduced

through sickness and hardships.
ing ship was wrecked through

of escape
tempts to
fort. His
ering far
sive river.
ritory of
mained fo
cessful as

by sea

was lost.

find the Mississippi,
first journey lasted
into the interior of t

Early in 1686 the one remain-
carelessness, and the last chance
a Salle made three fruitless at-
and secure aid from his Illinois
For five months, the party wand-
he country in search of the elus-

The second journey carried the explorers to the ter-
the Texas Indians, with whom the Frenchmen re-
r several weeks before returning to the fort, as unsuc-
before. On the last journey, in January, 1687, La

Salle was treacherously assassinated by one of his own men near

'Parkman and practically all other writers who have dealt with the
subject have identified the stream on which La Salle built his fort with
the Lavaca River.- Professor Bolton has recently established the fact
that it was on the Garcitas, and has found the exact site after a per*
sonal inspection of the locality. See H. E. Bolton, "The Location of La
Salle's Colony on the Gulf of Mexico," in the Mississippi Valley His-
torical Review, ii, 165-182.


Spanish and French Rivalry in Gulf Regn

the Brazos River in Texas." A few weeks later the rest of the
colonists, except for a few deserters and some of the children
who were spared, were massacred by the hostile coast Indians.
Such was the disastrous outcome of the first attempt of-Louis
XIV to obtain a foothold on the mainland of the Gulf of Mex-
If La Salle's hesitant attitude and, apparent indecision in
the midst of the preparations for his expedition were deliber-
ately assumed in order to deceive the world in regard to the real

purpose of his enterprise, his efforts to that end
pletely successful as far as Spain was concerned.
conspicuous absence of any contemporaneous referen
ish archives to La Salle and his activities before his
actually established. And yet the general nature o
must have been known in Spain in a vague fashion,
other countries of Europe. Indeed, there are later

were com-
There is a
ce in Span-
colony was
f his plans
, just as in

that the Spanish government was aware of his activities. So
wide-spread was the opinion that La Salle was a dreamer and
that his schemes were impractical, however, that Spain seems to
have paid little if any attention to his plan of colonization. If
any thought was given to the matter at all, it was merely sup-
posed that he was planning to return to Canada to continue his
efforts to colonize a region which was too remote from Spanish
settlement to warrant apprehension. Spain was to be taken to-
tally unawares. It was not until many months after La Salle
had planted his colony that the Spanish government realized the
menacing nature of his designs, and learned that he had estab-
lished his settlement within the region which had been brought
so prominently to the attention of the king through the pro-

'The mistake of older writers in stating that La Salle was killed on
the Trinity River was first corrected by Professor Bolton, who has
placed the scene of the tragedy near the Brazos River. (Cf. Bolton, op.
cit., 168.) This conclusion has been confirmed' by the present writer's
'Parkman's Las alle and the Discovery of the Great West, in spite
of minor inaccuracies, still constitutes the most fascinating and most
authoritative account of La Salle's enterprise. The chief French sources
are printed in Margry, Ddcouvertes et Etabflssements des Fran~ais, etc.,
Vols. II and III.


University of Texas Bulletin

posals of Martin de Echagaray. The way in which the secret
came to light, hitherto only vaguely and incorrectly stated, was
as follows:
The first news in Mexico.--While returning from a fruitless

treasure hunt to South American waters in the summer
Admiral Gasphr de Palacios, pilot-major of the Indies,

of 1685,

ered a large fleet of corsairs off the coast of Yucatan. He was
pursued for some distance, but succeeded in escaping to Vera
Cruz, whence he notified the viceroy, the Marquis of ILaguna,
of the proximity of the pirates, and of the threatened danger
to the coast towns. On July 6 the corsairs, led by the notorious
Grammont, entered Campeche, and sacked and burned the
town. They remained there for almost two months, until forced
to retire by a relief expedition sent by the viceroy. On Sep-
tember 10 one of the pirate ships was captured by the windward

squadron (armada



and taken to Vera Cruz,

with one hundred and twenty prisoners on board."

It was dur-

ing the course of the examination of these prisoners that the
Spanish officials receive< the first evidence that a French colony
had been established on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.'
The most detailed information was given in the declaration
of a young Frenchman, who claimed to have been a member of
the colony that had been founded. On October 27 this individ-
ual was subjected to a special examination. In reply to the
usual preliminary questions, he said that his name was Denis
Thomas; that he was a native of Longueville, near Dieppe;
twenty-two years old; and lately page in the .service of the
'The date of the capture of this vessel has usually been given as Sep-
tember, 1684 instead of September, 1685, and this mistake' has caused
several writers to assert that more than a year elapsed after the report
of La 8alle's colony was received in Mexico before an expedition was
sent out to search for it (Cf. Bancroft, North Mexican States and
1, 399; Clark, "The Beginnings of Texas," Bulletin of the Untversity
of Texas, No. 98, p. 14; Bolton, op. cit., p. 169).
*GaspAr de Palacios to Pedro de Oreytia. president of the Casa de la
Contrataci6n, Nov. 17, 1685; Antonio de Astina .to the king. Nov. 18,
1685; auto of Astina, Oct. 27, 1685, in Testimo de los Autos, y dlli-
genecas fechas, 4-5; Joseph de Murueta Otalora and Francisco Garcfa de
Arroyo to the viceroy, Oct. 29, 1685, ibd., 2-3; all in A. G. I., Mfxico,


S8pnis and French Rivalry in Guf


Marquis de Greville. About a year before, he said, he had
sailed from France on a. royal frigate under command of a

Captain Bonohiut (Beaujen), in company
sels, which carried all necessary supplies

colony at a
about two h
of infantry,
fessions. O]
Gonave, on
before reach
captured by

place called


hundred and fifty person
seven priests, and men
n October 28, 1684, tb
the northern coast of
ting that port. a ketch




r with three other ves-
for the founding of a
he colonists numbered
lauding two companies
ionus trades and pro-
had arrived at Petit

Santo Domingo. Shortly
laden with provisions was

and the expedition was forced to

remain at Petit Gouave for more than two months in order to
secure additional supplies. During this delay, Thomas said, he
had decided to abandon the colony,, and return to France, as
he had heard that the voyage to Mississippi would be a very
long one. Finding himself without means of livelihood he had

Vera Cr
by the y
ing the

that a
search oi
to a lar
then ret

d on the corsair which had been captured and taken to
uz. Such was the fairly accurate explanation given
south in regard to his presence in Spanish waters.
personal details having been disposed of, the Spanish
endeavored to learn something more definite concern-
French colony itself. Upon being asked who had dis-
the place called Mississippi, and when, Thomas replied
man named Monsieur de Salas had found it, after a
E eighteen years, having made his way from New France
ge river, which he had descended for five hundred
until he reached its mouth and the open sea. He had
turned to France. where the king. as a reward for his

success, give him the title of marquis, and made him
the country he had discovered. Thomas said that he
that Mt de Salas had left a number of men in a fort o
river, and that he planned to conquer some rich mix

from Mississippi. All of these
been given him by a servant of
had refused to reveal the exact
been chosen for the settlement.
asked the prisoner, and further
As the general facts of his story

viceroy of
had heard
a the large
ter not far

fa.ts, the witness stated, had
La Salle's, but his informant
location of the place that had
Many other questions were
alarming details were elicited.
were corroborated by the dee-

University of Tezas Bulletin

larations of several other prisoners, the officials at

Vera Cruz

were forced to conclude that he was telling the truth, and that
a French colony had actually been established within territory
claimed by Spain.
Maps were hurriedly consulted, and attention fixed upon the

unfamiliar region north of the Gulf

of Mexico.


clearly only one river leading from New

France to the Gulf,

along whose course one could travel for five hundred leagues.

This was the river shown on the maps of the time as the

del Espiritu Santo,



" flowing into the famous bay of the same

Admiral Palacios,' experienced pilot and navigator, was

not long in concluding that the probable site of the French set-

tlement was on

this very river and bay.

When he estimated

the distance from Espiritu Santo to the various ports of Mex-

ico and Florida,

finding that it was only

one hundred

twenty leagues from Apalache, one hundred and sixty-five from


and one hundred and ninety from



dangerous proximity of the invaders was immediately realized.
From Espiritu Santo Bay the French would be able to attack
the fleets of the Indies, and threaten the whole kingdom of New


Palacios thought that immediate and vigorous action

was imperative.

He therefore drew up a report to the viceroy

suggesting that steps be taken to ascertain the exact location
of the settlement, and that armed forces be sent out to destroy
it. Two fishing boats manned by twelve men each would aMf-

'Declaration of Denis Thomas, Oct. 27, 1685, in Testimo de los Autos,

y diligencias fechas, 5-13.

The complete testimony of the pirates exam-

Lined at Vera Cruz may be found in Mexico, 60-2-4, 668 folios. This
voluminous document gives full details concerning the attack upon
'GaspAr de Palaclos was a veteran sailor, and one of the most noted

pilots of his time.

He had been in the continuous service of the king

Of Spain for fifty-six years, having served in the following capacities:
capit6n de mar y guerra since 1657; governor and chief in command
of a fleet in Santo Domingo in 1666; pilot-major of galleons in 1671;
and in 1684 he was made admiral, with the pay of pilot-major in addi-
tion. A few years later he drew a map of the Gulf region, which was
said to have corrected more than two hundred and fifty old errors (Con-

sulta of the Junta de Guerra de Indias, Nov. 10, 1689;


General, 147-5-28,

Spanish and Frenckh Rvalry in Gulf Region 39

flee to examine the Gulf coast. Such an expedition could easily
be made from Vera Cruz, and even with more facility from
Havana, as the officials at the latter place were more familiar
with the region in question.'
The report of Admiral Palacios, and letters from other officials
at Vera Cruz who concurred in his opinion, were sent to the vice-
roy by special courier, reaching the capital on November 3. The
documents were immediately sent to the fiscal, and a council ex-
traordinary summoned to meet as soon as that official should
make his report. The fiscal was at once impressed with the
gravity of the situation. The facts disclosed in the declarations
of the prisoners' at Vera Cruz, he thought, left little doubt that
the French had occupied Espiritu Santo Bay. He recommended,
therefore, that the suggestion of Palacios should be adopted
without delay, and that an expedition should be sent out from
Havana to reconnoiter the French settlement. In the meantime,
all available naval forces should be made ready for action. The
fiscal made no recommendation in regard to an expedition from
Vera Cruz, as he understood that Palacios had suggested one
from Havana as preferable.10 On the following day the special
session of the viceroy's advisory 'council was held, and the rec-
ommendations of the fiscal adopted.11 The viceroy accordingly
ordered, on the same day, that Admiral Palacios should select
a suitable person to proceed to Havana, where a vessel and all
necessary supplies would be furnished for the proposed expe-
dition. All arrangements were left in the hands of Palacios, and
the other officials at Vera Cruz were instructed to cooperate
with him to the fullest extent.12
A week later the order of the viceroy had reached Vera Cruz
and preparations were begun. Two pilots of the windward
squadron were called upon to make the expedition. Juan En-
riquez Barroto, chief pilot of the frigate Nuestra Sefiora de la
Soledad, was chosen as leader. He was an experienced draughts-

'Palacios to the viceroy, Oct. 27, 1685, in Testimo de los Autos, y dill-
genclas fechas, 14-16.
"Respuesta fiscal, Nov. 4, 1685, ibid., 18-21.
nlJMf, 21-24.
"Decree of the viceroy, Nov. 5, 1685, ibid., 24-29.

University of Texas Buletin

man as well as a practical pilot, and a man of excellent ability.
Antonio Romero, associate pilot of the flagship of the squadron,
was appointed to accompany Barroto, as he had made many voy-
ages from Havana to Apalache, and was personally familiar with
that portion of the route to be followed. With instructions
from Palacios for their guidance, the two pilots left Vera Cruz
in a private vessel on November 21, bearing orders from the
viceroy to the governor of Havana for the fitting out of a ship
for the voyage. Palacios continued to urge the necessity for,
sending out another expedition from Vera Cruz, as he had or-
iginally suggested, but he was unable to find a suitable person
to place in command of it, and nothing was done in the matter.
Instead it was decided to supplement the expedition from Ha-
vana by a search by land from the northern frontier of New
Spain. It was chiefly upon the efforts of Barroto and Ro-
mero, however, that the viceregal authorities based their hopes
for a speedy discovery of the colony that had been founded by*
La Salle.13 Leaving the situation in New Spain at this point,
it will be necessary to make a lengthy digression in order to
note the effect produced in Spain by the news of the French in-
truion, and to describe the measures that were taken by the
home government to guard its colonial dominions from the new
Action in Spain.-The first reports from Mexico reached Spain
about the middle of March, 1686. They were conveyed by the
special ship (navio de aviso) despatched by the general of the
galleons from Havana, and consisted of letters from Admirals
Palacios and Astina" and the governor of Havana. These let-
ters related briefly the facts brought out in the declarations of
the pirates at Vera Cruz, and told of the arrangements that had
been made up to December 31 for the expedition that was to
search for the Frenchb. The matter first came before the Coun-

"Ttd., 48-76, poassi.
"Astina had succeeded to the command of the armada de barloveoto
upon the death of Andrt de Ochos y ZArate.
"Palaedos to Oreytla, Nov. 17, 1685, 8 pp.; Astina to the king, Nov. 18,
1885, 3 pp.; Munibe to the king, Dec. 81, 1885, 2 pp. (all in Miico,
61-4-20). The viceroy apparently made no report until the folwowlng
April after the return of the Arst reconnoitering expedition

Spanis and French Rivalry int Gulf Region

ail of the Indies at its meeting of Maercl
played, in accordance with the usual routi
examine the documents, and present a a
Junta de Guerra, to which body the qua
The news of the invasion of Espiritu S
at a time when relations with France
state, and added a fresh complication to
ready strained almost to the breaking

I 27, but action was
ne, until a relator ec
ummary of them to
estion was naturally


anto Bay reached Spain
were again in a critical
a situation that was al-
point. The immediate

difficulty between the two countries at this time had come as
an aftermath of the brief war of 1683-1684. Shortly after the
declaration of hostilities in October, 1683 the king of Spain, fol-
lowing the usual custom of reprisals, had inued a decree con-
fiscating the property of French subjects throughout the Spanish
dominions, including goods belonging to French merchants in

the incoming fleet from America to the value
thousand pesos." After peace was restored 1
Ratisbon, Louis XIV had continued to demand<
of this amount, and his threats to collect the
had kept Spain in a constant state of alarm.
atmosphere of suspicion and distrust, there w
tion on the part of Spanish officials to doubt
reports that had been received from Mexico, s
French had carried out their old plans of seizi
of the mainland in the Gulf region. It seemed
officials in Spain, as it had to those in Mexico,

sirable locality
chosen by tha
first it seems
the reported
sairs, headed
would follow

of five hundred
by the truce of
I the restitution
money by force
In the general
as little disposi-
the truth of the
Ihowing that the
ng some portion
1 most logical to
that such a de-

y as that of Eepiritu Santo Bay should have been
e French as the scene of their new aggression. At
to have been the general impression in Spain that
colony must have been the Work of the French cor-
by Grammont, for it was expected that Louis XIV
the same secret policy that he had adopted in the

case of Santo Domingo.

A few days after the arrival of the

"The order for the embargo was issued on Nov. 28, 1683 (consults
of the Council of the ndies, Dec. 1, 1688; Inditerente General, 141-8-4).
The edduls ordering the conflsation of the property of all Frenchmen
in America was dated Dec.*8, 1683 (Guadalajara, 66-6-6).



University of Texas Bulletin

official reports from Mexico, however, the Council of the Indies
received a letter from a trustworthy person in Cadiz, who stated
that he had received private advices from Paris to the effect that
about a year before one thousand families had been sent out
by the king of France for the purpose of founding a new colony
in America. This additional news threw new light upon the
reports from Mexico, and left little doubt in the minds of the
royal officials that an open invasion of Spain's colonies had
been inaugurated by the French crown itself, the first move

of which was the founding of i
Santo Bay."

The great
seedings of
piritu Sant
safety of t
though the
Laguna, ha
ficient to e
flied their
in order to

La Salle's colony on Espiritu

it alarm felt in Spain is clearly shown by the pro-
[ the Junta de Guerra at its session of April 2. The
by the French of such an important place as Es-
,o was characterized as a menace which threatened the
he Indies and of the whole Spanish empire. Al-
! Junta was confident that the viceroy, Marquis of
4d already done all in his power to protect the royal
it feared that the forces at his disposal were not suf-
nable him to expel the French in case they had forti-
settlement. It was necessary," therefore, that rein-
should be sent from Spain without a moment's delay

"pluck out the thorn that had been thrust into the

very heart of America.'"" The Junta then proposed that two
frigates should be fitted out with the greatest possible number of
troops and arms, and sent to New Spain. In order to allay the
suspicion of the 'French, these vessels should go in the giise of
convoys for the annual fleet that was soon to sail, bearing the
new viceroy, Count of Monclova, who had recently been ap-
pointed to the government of New Spain. The Junta fully

"Consultas of the Junta de Guerra, April 2 and 8, 1686; Mkzico,
*'Por todas estas consideraciones, y otras muchas que se ofrecen a
la Junta y porque prepondera la ymportancia deste negoclo come el mas
critic y en el que me abentura la Conserbaclon de las Yndlas y de toda
la Monarqula de V. Magd. en cuyo pronto remedlo convene ganar las
eras, para desarraygar sta Espina que se a Yntroducido en el Corason
del Cuerpo de la America." (Consulta of April 8, 1686, p. 7; MWilco,


Spanish and French Rivalry in Gulf Region

realized that the dispatch of even this meager aid would seriously
strain the resources of the monarchy, and would necessitate the
postponement of an expedition that was on the point of leaving
for the Isthmus of Darien to relieve that region from the ravages
of pirates and hostile savages. It believed, however, .that the
expulsion of the French from Espiritu Santo Bay was a matter
of paramount importance, and that all other plans should be
subordinated to its success. The Junta recommended, in con-
cluding its report, that the new viceroy should be authorized to
use all available forces to destroy the French colony, even delay-
ing the return of the fleet if necessary, and that a fort should
be built at Espiritu Santo if such a step seemed necessary in
order to maintain the just rights of Spain.1'
While the Junta de Guerra was drawing up its recommenda-
tions for the king, the Council of the Indies was endeavoring
to ascertain the whereabouts of Martin de Echagaray, whose
project to explore Espiritu Santo Bay had suddenly taken on
-still greater importance.Y' The pilot was located in Cadiz, and
was at once summoned to Seville to make a report as to the

status of his enterprise, and to give any information

that he

might possess concerning the bay which the French were be-
lieved to have occupied. Echagaray was obliged to confess at
the outset that he had been unable to carry out his agreement
with the crown. His failure, he explained, was due to the omis-
sion from the draft of the royal cduila of the clause exempting
his goods from duties in Florida and Mexico, and the consequent
refusal of his financial supporters to supply the funds for the
undertaking. He was still willing to carry out his project if
the necessary money could be obtained. In regard to the Bay
of Esplritu Santo, he stated that he had never visited it per-
sonally, but had learned all that he knew concerning it from
various Indians in the mission at Apalache. From his general
knowledge of the region, however, he undertook to draw a map
showing the general situation of the bay. An examination of this
"lbid., 1-9.
mThe secretary of the Council of the Indies to Pedro 'de Oreytia.
president of the Casa de la Contrataci6n, April 2, 1686 (Mgxico, 61-6-20).

University of Teas Bulletin

Echagaray'a Map of North America 1688.

(Traelag hom photo-

graph of original In A. G. I., Seflle: Mexico, 61--20.)

r -

Spenish and French Rivalry in Gulf Region 45

rude sketch, which is reproduced on the opposite page, will show
concretely the meager knowledge possessed by the Spaniards con-
cerning the interior of the North American continent. The two
branches of the "Rio de Canada" or St. Lawrence River are
made to take their rise in one large inland lake. Two rivers are
shown leading southward from this lake to the Gulf of Mbxico,
both emptying into Espiritu Santo Bay, also called, according
to Echagaray, "Misipipi." Echagaray said that La Salle had
probably reached the great interior bqdy of water, had dis-
covered the channel of one of the rivers flowing toward. the
south, and, following its course, had inevitably emerged in the
Gulf at Espiritu Santo Bay; If the French had settled in that
region, he said, it was readily apparent that they would soon
make themselves masters of the whole Gulf of Mexico. and de-
stroy the commerce of the Indies.21
This supposedly expert advice was to be the only direct benefit
resulting from Echagaray 's ambitious scheme. The pilot's pen-
niless.condition made it clear that nothing further was to be ex-
pected from his efforts, and that any measures taken to clear
up the question of the French colony would have to be carried
out by the crown itself. Although Echagaray made tirther ef-
forts to raise money for his undertaking, he met with failure,
and soon fell back into the obscurity that had enveloped him be-
fore he made his proposals to the king.t" His opinion in regard
to the-menacing location of the French colony at Espiritu Santo
.Bay, however, served to confirm the conclusions of the royal
officials, and it was decided that no chances should be taken
in the matter, but that reinforcements should be sent to New

'Report of Echagaray, accompanied by his map, dated April 20, 1686,
3 pp.; Echgaray to Oreytia, April 22, 1686, 3 pp.; Qreytla to Otlora,
April 9 and 22, 1696, (all in Mxico, 61-6-20).
"The latter history of Echagaray is not known to the writer. One
reference has been found to him, however, a few years later. On the
margin of a report of the Council of the Indies recommending Echaga-
ray for the rank of capitdn de mar y guerra for the duration of his
voyage, there is an annotation, which reads as follows: "This captain
went to Cadiz, and up to this time, Sept. 6, 1691, he has not taken out
the patent; it is not known whether he is dead or alive (Consulta of
Aug. 23, 1685, Indiferente General, 147-5-28).

University of Texas Bulletin

Spain, as had been suggested, to drive out the foreign intrud-
ers. This action might be taken, it was pointed out, without vio-

lating the terms
rights whatever
No reasons ha
by the Jupta de
8, the king duly
to send the prop
structions were
June 25. Upon
the pilots who I
and in view of
pel the French,

of the truce of Ratisbon, for the French had no
in territory that belonged to the king of Spain."
ving been found to alter the plans recommended
Guerra as embodied in its formal report of April
adopted the suggestions made, and issued orders
)osed reinforcements to New Spain. Formal in-
drawn up for the new viceroy, Monclova, on
arriving at Vera Cruz he was to consult with
lad been sent out to reconnoiter the Gulf coast,
their report was to take immediate steps to ex-
building a fort at Espiritu Santo if such ae-

tion seemed necessary "
In the meantime, while the foregoing measures had been under
discussion, the controversy with France over the restitution of

the five hundred thousand pesos had
The offer of the Spanish government
ficulty by the payment of half the value
had been rejected by Louis XIV, and a
despatched to Cadiz. This fleet, the

reached an acute stage.
to compromise the dif-
of the confiscated goods
powerful fleet had been


ambassador de-

dared, would be kept before Cadiz until the money was paid,
and until French merchants were admitted to the same privi-
leges in regard to Spanish colonial trade as those enjoyed by
the English and the Dutch. Spain was in a practical state of
blockade, and once more was forced to bow before the demands
of- the French monarch. A satisfactory agreement was reached
in May, and a promise was given by the French ambassador that
the fleet would be withdrawn. In spite of this adjustment of the
difficulty, the French still maintained their threatening attitude,
and the Spanish government decided to suspend the sailing of
the regular fleet for that year. Instead only three vessels were
made ready to bear the new viceroy to his post, and to carry

"Juan Cruzado de la Cruz, pilot-major of Seville, to Oreytia, April 20,
1686, 2 pp. (M6xlco, 61-6-20).
"TIhe king to the Count of Monclova, June 25, 1686 (Indiferente Gen-
eral, 140-2-8, 5 pp.); Monclova to the king, Dec. 30, 1686 (MExico,

Spanish and iPrench Rivalry in (hitf Region 47

the quicksilver indispensable for the operation of the mines of
New Spain. Two of these vessels were frigates, and their os-
tensible purpose was to serve as convoys for the unarmed sloop.
Their, real mission, however, was to reinforce the armada which
the Count of Monclova was instructed to send forth against La
Salle's colony at Espfritu Santo Bay.2"

,Copia de memorial q. D. Pedro Ronquillo present al Rey BritAnico
dandole quenta de lo q. ha pasado en orden al ajustamto. de los 500,000
pesos del indulto, etc., June 30, 1686 (Archivo de Simancas, Legajo
8961); Consulta of the Council of State, April 26, 1686 (ifbF.); consult
of the Junta de Guerra, June 18, 1686 (A. G. I., MExico, 61-6-20).

48 University of Texas Bulletin



Having adopted the only measures of defense which the meager
resources of the monarchy permitted, Spain next resorted to
diplomacy in an effort to frustrate the newly-revealed designs
of Louis XIV in America. In her extremity, it was to England
and the Catholic James II that she turned for aid.
As long as the mercenary Charles II had remained on the
English throne, Louis XIV Bad succeed in keeping England
aloof from the growing European opposition to his aggressive
policy. The accession of James had seemed to offer no obstacle
to the continued predominance of French influence. The change
of monarchs, however, had brought a ray of hope to Spain, for
it was believed that the religious beliefs of the new king would
cause him to regard with favor the nation which had "always
stood as the greatest champion of Catholicism. The Spanish am-
bassador to England, Pedro Ronquillo, had therefore, been in-
structed to cultivate the friendship of the king, and assure him
of Spain's close alliance and support.
At the beginning of his reign James had shown a marked de-
termination to be independent of France, and had manifested
a very favorable attitude toward Spain.2 Throughout the course
of the controversy over the 500,000 pesos' worth of confiscated
goods, he had condemned the aggressive methods of the French,

'Consulta of the Council of State, March 20, 1686 (Archivo de Sfman.
cas, Legajo 3960).
*Ambassador Ronquillo reported a number of incidents to show the
Independent attitude of James. He said the story was told that Louis
had sent an envoy to warn the English king that, if he (James) did
not accept the friendship that was offered him, great sums of money
would be spent in stirring up trouble in Epgland. James was reported
to have stopped the speech of the envoy, telling him that he teared no
one. The refusal of James to give the French ambassador precedence
at the coronation ceremonies was regarded by Ronquillo as another indi-
cation of the waning French influence (Ronquillo to the king, April
2, 1685, tbid.).

Spanish and Irench Rivalry in CGuf Begion 49

and had used his influence with Louis XIV to dissuade the lat-
ter from attempting to execute further designs at the expense
and humiliation of Spain.3 Ronquillo had apparently succeeded
in securing a considerable degree of intimacy with James, and
the latter had assumed the pose of a staunch friend of the Span-
ish sovereign. Upon one occasion, Ronquillo reported, the king
became almost angry at the idea that any one should suspect
him of being capable of doing anything to injure the interests
of Spain.'
In spite of the friendly attitude which James had manifested
toward Spain, the Spanish government was extremely uneasy
lest the continued intrigues of the French monarch and the in-
fluence of some of the English ministers might cause a change
in his policy." The beginning of negotiations between England
and France for a treaty which concerned their respective pos-
sessions in America increased the anxiety of the Spanish court.
In January, 1686, Ronquillo had reported the prolonged stay
in England of the first intendant *of marine of France, M. de
Bonrepaus, and had expressed his fear that Bonrepaus's mis-
sion was to try to disturb the good relations of England and
Spain. Although, Ronquillo said, he had been assured that the
sole motive of the intendant's visit was to secure some agree-
ment in regard to the commerce of the French and English col-
onies in America, he had learned that the proposed treaty was
intended to insure peace between the two countries -in America
even though they might be at war in Europe. Bonquillo feared
that the negotiations forebode some aggressive move by the
French in America.e This treaty had been made the subject of
several audiences between'Ronquillo and the king of England.
James had assured the ambassador that England had no al-
liance with France; that the proposed treaty dealt only with
boundaries in America, peace between their colonies there, and
adjustment of disputes in colonial trade. It contained nothing

'Consulta of the Council of State, Aug. 12, 1686 (Simancas, Legajo
'Consulta of the Council of State, April 30, 1686, ibid.
'Ronquillo to the king, Jan. 21, 1686, ibid.


50 University of Texas Bulletin

whatever, he said, detrimental to the interests of Spain.7 In
spite of repeated assurances to this effect, the Spanish govern-
ment still feared that the treaty was merely a cloak to hide the
designs of the French upon Spain's colonies, and believed that
its real object was to insure the neutrality of England, leaving
Louis XIV unhampered in his plans of aggression in America.
Such were the general relations between Spain and England in
the spring of 1686, when the Spanish court turned to James II
in its endeavor to stem the tide of French encroachment revealed
by the news of the founding of La Salle's colony at Espiritu
Santo Bay.
On May 24, 1686, a dispatch was drawn up for Ronquillo,
notifying him officially of the occupation of Espiritu Santo by
the French. He was instructed to complain to the English king
of this new act of violence on the part of France, and at the
same time to protest once more against the conclusion of the
so-called treaty of commerce, which the Spaniards believed was
designed to insure the success of such an invasion as had just
been reported from Mexico.8
Before these instructions reached England, Ronquillo had al-
ready received independent advices from. America, which con-
firmed his opinion that the French were planning some move
in that quarter. His information came from one Mateo Guarin,
an adventurous privateer in the service of Spain, who had been

made a prisoner in Jamaica. Guarin had forwarded to Ron-
quillo certain intercepted correspondence intended for the
French governor of Tortuga and Santo Domingo. These doc-
uments revealed a plan for the conquest of the whole island of
Santo Domingo. They consisted of letters from Seignelay, the
French minister of marine, to Governor De Cussy, and of other
private correspondence. In the official dispatches of Seignelay,
De Cussy was notified of the king's desire that the French
corsairs should cease their attacks upon the Spanish fleets and

galleons. Their depredations

'Ronquillo to the king, April
State, April 30 and May 16, 1686
'Ronquillo to the king, June 24,
24, p. 12 (MExico, 61-6-20).


the minister explained, reacted

15, 1686; consultas of the Council of
(Archivo de Simancas, Legajo 8961).
1686, summarizing royal order of May



Spanish and iFrench Rivalry in Gulf Region

severely upon the interests of French merchants, and must be
stopped. If they could be controlled in no other way, De Cusay
was to mobilize them for the conquest of the Spanish settlements
in Santo Domingo. To this end he was ordered to send in a
report of Spanish defences, and the number of men that could be
raised for such an invasion. No definite action was to be taken,
however, until further orders should be sent from France, and
a commander-in-chief appointed to direct the operations. The
king was unwilling for anything to be done just at that time in
contravention to the terms of the truce of Ratiabon.'
Ronquillo lost no time in acquainting James with the receipt
of this alarming intelligence, and furnished him with an ex-
tract of the correspondence sent by Guaria. TIe king read the
extract in Ronquillo's presence with .great interest, and then
asked the ambassador if he believed the report to be true. Ron-
quillo quietly replied that the extract had been made from the
intercepted correspondence of the French government itself. At

this statement, the king's eyes took
quillo that the integrity of the Span
was just as vital to the interests of E
herself. If the French should gain
land of Santo Domingo, he said, the
be endangered, and commerce ruined.

on fire, and he 1
ish possessions in
ngland as to those
possession of the

old Ron-
of Spain
whole is-

safety of the fleets would
Ronquillo took advantage

of this opening to refer once more to the treaty of commerce
then being negotiated. Although, he observed, the king of Spain
would of course believe the king of England when the latter de-

dared that the treaty contained
interests of Spain, it was never
fected by the general suspicion th
sign on the part of the French.
nothing more than matters of
boundaries in America, it should

6o provisions injurious to the
heless impossible not to be af-
lat it harbored some hidden de-
If the treaty really dealt with
trade and the adjustment of
be made publiC, if for no other

reason than to quiet the anxieties of those merchants whose in-
terests were involved in the matter. The king hesitated for
an instant at these remarks, and then replied that there was
nothing more to the treaty than he had already stated, but that

'ranslated copies of this correspondence may be found in Testimo de
los Autos, y diligencias fechas, pp. 122-127 (MExico, 61-6-20).

52 University of Texas Bulletin

the negotiations were not far enough advanced to warrant any
public announcement being made. Ronquillo need have no fear,
he said, that the treaty would favor any designs of the French
in America, for any advance by Louis XIV in that quarter would
be the signal for an immediate declaration of war. James then
read again, in very bad humor, the extract concerning Santo
Domingo, and said to Ronquillo:
I am going to church now. Understand, and write thus to my
nephew, that I shall never be willing for the king of France to
possess anything more in America than he has today; and tell
him, for the love of God, to try to raise forces enough to compel
the king of France to keep his promises. You see that I am
trying to do the same thing, as well as to quiet my dominions.
I realize how greatly I am hindered by the continual intrigues
of the French, but it is necessary to make every effort to over-
come such difficulties.?0
Shortly after this audience, which was held early in June,
Ronquillo received the official dispatches from Spain notifying
him of the French occupation of Espiritu Santo Bay. Rqnquillo
seemed to have some doubt as to the truth of the report, for he
evidently shared the generally prevalent opinion in regard to
the impracticability of La Salle's schemes. He also believed
that La Salle had returned to America by way of Canada, and
planned to reach Louisiana from the north. On June 24 Ron-
quillo wrote his government that he had been unable to secure
any confirmation of the report that the French had occupied the
"Island" of Espiritu Santo, although he himself had foreseen,
he said, that La Salle's exploration on the Mississippi, or Seigne-
lay, River would eventually reach that region. According to
the available French accounts of his activities, reaching up to
1682, it appeared that La Salle had advanced a distance of five

"Ronquillo to the king, June 10, 1686, pp. 6-10 (M6xico, 61-6-20).
enclosing copy of the extract concerning Santo Domingo; consult of
the Junta de Guerra, Aug. 9, 1686, 4 pp. (bid.).
Ambassador Ronquillo was sorely embarrassed at this time by lack
of funds, and sent in every letter to his government a constant appeal
for money. In the letter of June 10 he said that, if the amount he had
asked for did not arrive soon, he would be forced to abandon the court,
and would find difficulty in maintaining himself even in the meanest
village in England.

Spanish and French Rivalry in Gulf Region

hundred leagues, but much of the journey had been possible only
in small boats, which had to be carried over portages~at frequent
intervals. When La Salle had left Paris, Ronquillo said, a year
and a half before, it was reported that the frigate in which he
had embarked had left him at the port of Montreal, the most
advanced outpost of the French settlements in Canada. From
Montreal to Espiritu Santo, it was believed that the seas were
very dangerous, and that the rivers were navigable only in small
boats. There seemed little to be feared, therefore, from his ac-
tivities. Since the "Island" of Espiritu Santo was such an im-
portant place, however, Ronquillo suggested that all details con-
cerning its occupation should be sent 'to him, so that he might
be in a better position to prove to the English king that the treaty
with France was very undesirable, and that tqle activities of
La Salle were useless to the French and of no danger to the
dominions of Spain." These statements of the Spanish am-
bassador throw much light upon the- indifferent attitude of
Spain .toward La Salle and his schemes before the real nature
of his enterprise was known. They show how successful La
Salle had been in concealing his plans from the outside world.
They also explain to a great extent the failure of Ronquillo to
share the anxiety of his government in the matter, although he
was to spare no efforts to carry out the instructions that had
been sent him to enlist the aid of England against the French.
On June 30 Ronquillo presented a memorial to the king of
England, formally notifying the latter of the news that had bean
received in Spain in regard to the seizure of Espiritu Santo Bay.
He asked for the support of England against this new proof of
French perfidy, and stated that lhe was instructed to transmit
the reply of the king to his sovereign without delay.12 A few
days later he obtained a personal interview with James. In em-
phatic terms Ronquillo pointed out the danger that would fol-

nRonquillo to the king, June 24, 1686, pp. 12-14 (M6xico, 61-6-20).
Ronquillo's request for fuller information was granted. On August 9
the Junta de Guerra ordered an extract of all documents relating to
La Salle's colony to be sent to Ronquillo (Mexico, 61-6-20).
"Copia de memorial q. D. Pedro Ronquillo present al Rey BritAnico.
June 30, 1686 (Simancae, Legajo 3961).

University of Texas Bulletin

low from the occupation by France of such a strategic region
as Espiritu Santo. The French would be in a position to threaten
not only all of New Spain, but the English possessions in Ameri-
ca as well. The king apparently was much impressed by Ron-
quillo 's arguments. The conversation was then brought around
to the inevitable subject of the treaty between England and
France. The ambassador endeavored once more to show the king
that the treaty was merely an artifice on the part of France
to further her schemes in America, as she would doubtless main-
tain that it covered all of her possessions on that continent,
whether justly or unjustly acquired. Ronquillo then went into
a lengthy discussion of Spain's attitude toward foreign nations
in America. The king well knew, the ambassador said, that all
territory possessed by foreign monarchs in America had been
acquired by virtue of treaties made with the king of Spain. Any-
thing not covered by such treaties was a usurpation." If some
nation should effect the discovery of regions yet unknown, there
might be some grounds for alleging a claim to them." But to

"Spain had recognized the legality of the English possessions in
America by the treaty of 1670.
"The Council of the Indies later took serious exception to this state-
ment by Ronquillo. It thought that the words were very injudicious, for
according to the papal bull of Alexander VI issued in 1493, it said, all
lands west of the line of demarcation had been ceded to the Spanish
crown. The French king had no right to enter any territory in America
under any pretext whatsoever. No treaty had been made with him, as
had been done with the English king in 1670, and his subjects werj
even forbidden to trade in the Indies. The Council thought that Ron-
quillo should be notified of the error he had made, and should be in-
structed to correct any wrong impression that he might have given to
the king of England. A copy of the papal bull and an extract of Ponce
de Leon's discoveries in Florida were sent to Ronquillo as evidence of
* Spain's rights in America and in the region of Florida (which included
Fsplritu Santo Bay). The Council thought that the bull would have
some weight with James. in view of his Catholic faith. (Consulta of
the Council of the Indies. Sept. 16, 1686, M6xico. 61-6-20; Copia de con-
sulta hecha por el Consejo de Indlas de 22 de Sepre. de 1686, Simancas.
Legajo 3961; Consulta of the Council of State, Oct. 22, 1686, bid.) In
this connection, Ronquillo replied on December 9 that there must have
/been some mistake in his cipher message, as he fully understood the
provisions of the papal bull (Ronquillo to the king, Dec. 9, 1686, M6xlco,
61-6-20, 3 pp.)

Spanish and PrencLk Bivlry in Guhf Region

put forth a claim to a region that bordered directly upon Spain's
settled territory, and which belonged to Spain by all just rights,
even though its occupation had been deferred because of more
pressing matters-such a claim, Ronquillo asserted, was entirely
contrary to justice and reason. The French claim to Espirita
Santo Bay, he continued, had no justification whatever. That
region had been explored repeatedly by Spanish subjects, and
could not be claimed by any foreign nation on the pretext of
discovery by its own subjects or of abandonment by Spain. In
the light of these facts, Ronquillo concluded, the English king
would be better able to perceive that the purpose of the French
in making the proposed treaty with England was merely to in-
sure the latter's neutrality in America, for the chief regions in-
cluded in the negotiations were New France, New England, and
Louisiana.15 .
After listening attentively to the ambassador's remarks, the
king made his reply. In regard to the rights of Spain in Amer-
ica, he said, he fully agreed with Ronquillo. As far as the
treaty with France was concerned, there was no cause for alarm.
It was not yet concluded or signed. Nothing had been done ex-
cept to agree in a general way that it would be a good thing
to adjust the commercial interests of the French and English
colonies. The king said -that he would take especial care to pro.
tect the interests of Spain and that, before he would agree to any
provision in the treaty, he would exact a promise from the king
of France to refrain from any measures that would prejudice
Spanish rights in America. The interests of England and Spain,
he said, were identical on that point. Ronquillo, having instrue-
tions to prevent the signing of the treaty by all possible means,
pressed the matter still further, but the king merely repeated
his previous assurances that Spain had nothing to fear from the
negotiations. In Ronquillo's report to his government, made on
July 8, he expressed the hope that his conversation with the
king, even if it did not prevent the signing of the treaty, woma
at least cause it to be confined to the territory that France al-
ready occupied in America, and would exclude that which might
be acquired at a later time."1

"Ronquillo to the king, July 8, 1686, pp. 5-8 (MExico, 61-6-20).

University of Tezas Bulletin

Although Ronquillo failed to gain his point in reference to
the treaty, his efforts to induce James to use his influence to
prevent the French from encroaching further upon the Spanish

colonies were apparently to bear fruit.1'

The ambassador evi-

dently had difficulty, however, in convincing the king of the

seriousness of La Salle's reported settlement.

He reported on

July 22 that the king had said, although he realized the imn-

portance of Espiritu Santo

Bay, he did not

believe that the

French had occupied it; that even if they had done so,

meager forces could easily be expelled.


Ronquillo took this as

a hint that it was necessary to drive out the French by force of
arms, and the Council of State, in commenting upon the matter
some weeks later, said that it would be well to remember the

king of England's remark in

case an excuse

were needed

justify the vigorous measures that had been authorized to dis-

pose of La Salle's settlement.18

In spite of the king's belief that

La Salle's activities were sure to result in failure, he apparently
made good his promise to warn Louis XIV against any attempt
to extend his possessions in America at the expense of Spain,
especially where Santo Domingo was concerned, and it was said
that the French king had agreed to make no further move in

that direction.1'

This exchange of royal notes, if actually made,

"The treaty was signed in December. On December 23, 1686. Ronquillo

wrote to the king. enclosing a copy of the treaty.

As he had feared,

it contained several provisions which were objectionable to Spain. He
suggested that the only way to remedy these matters was to. make

another treaty with England covering the points in question


quillo to the king, Dec. 23, 1686, cited in consult of the Council of

State, Jan. 21, 1687, Archive de Simancas, Leg. 3962).

The Council of

the Indies thought that the treaty was very prejudicial to Spain, and
contrary to the treaty made between Spain and England in June, 1680.
Articles two and seven of this treaty obligated England to aid Spain
In case of war, not only in Europe, but also in America. Ronquillo was
Instructed to notify James II of the dissatisfaction of Spain in the
-matter, and to proceed at once to negotiate another treaty which would
dispose of the question of England's neutrality in regard to America.
The Council of State supported the recommendations of the Council of
the Indies in their entirety (Council of State, Aug. 16, 1687, ibd.).
"Consulta of the Council of State, August 12, 1686, enclosing Ron-

quillo's letter of July

22 (Simancas, Legajo 3961).

fRonquillo to the king, Aug. 19, 1686, 2 pp. (Mixico, 1-6-20).

Spanish and French Rivalry in Gulf Region

may have had much influence upon the attitude of Louis XLV to-
ward La Salle's enterprise, and may explain in part the failure
to extend any further aid to the unfortunate colonists. There
seems to be no good reason to doubt Ronquillo's claim that his
diplomacy had been successful, and that the real safeguard
against further French encroachments for the time being had
been found, as Spain had hoped, at the court of the English
Ronquillo continued to be active in securing all possible light
on La Salle's expedition. On July 6 he had sent to Spain a
copy of a relation which told of La Salle's early activities in
America, his return to France, and his departure for the Mis-
sissippi in 1684. On August 19 he forwarded another account,
which described La Salle's misfortunes up to the time of Beau-
jeu's return to France. From this latter document, Ronquillo
said, one could easily perceive the little hope that was enter-
tained in France for the success of La Salle. It led him to be-
lieve more firmly than ever in the reports current in England
to the effect that La Salle had not occupied Espiritu Santo Bay,
and in the assurances that had been given by the king of France
that no further aggressions would be made against the Spanish
colonies. La Salle's enterprise, Ronquillo said, had already cost

Louis XIV more than the discovery of America
nand and Isabella, and he believed that the Freni
no desire to invest further in the scheme."0 In
quillo secured still another relation concerning

in goo<
of thee

had cost Ferdi-
ch monarch had
December Ron-
La Salle's ac-

, together with a map showing his explorations and last
. In February, 1687 he forwarded to the viceroy of New
a copy of an official French relation which told of La
vicissitudes on the Texas coast. It was to reach ,Mexico
i time to throw needed light upon the French colony. All
e additional sources of information seemed to corroborate

the oft-expressed asuranc

"Ronquillo to the king, A
Oct. 28, 1686, 2 pp.; Copia dl
Bahia del Splritu ssto, etc.,
was sent to Spain on August

e of the king of England that La Salle

ug. 19, 1686, 2 pp.; Ronquillo to the king,
a relacion hecha al Rei Xpmo tocante a la
which is probably the same relation that
19 (all in M6xico, 61-6-20).

58 University of Tezas Bulletin

had met with disaster, and that nothing further was to be ap-
prehended from his colony."'
In spite of the reassuring reports sent by Ronquillo from Eng-
land, the Spanish government was not at ease as long as the
slightest doubt remained in regard to the fate of La Salle and
his followers. Indeed, further rumors that were received from
America from time to time confirmed the fact of the continued
existence of his colony. Spain, therefore, took no chances in
the matter. Repeated orders were sent to the officials of New
Spain during the ensuing three years to spare no efforts to find
the site of the French settlement and exterminate the invaders.
This anxiety on the part of the king was to cause a revival of
Spanish activities in America that had been unparalleled since
the wrath of Philip II was visited upon the Huguenot colonists
of Florida. As a result, no fewer than eleven distinct expedi-
tions were to be sent out from Mexico and Florida to locate the
elusive settlement on Espiritu Santo Bay. It will be the purpose
of the following chapter to trace in some detail the course of
these expeditions, which were to effect the re-discovery of the
coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and of the greater portion of the
vast territory that lay between the Spanish settlements in Florida
and those in New Mexico.

"Ronquillo to the king, Dec. 9, 1686, 3 pp.; same to same, Jan. 0,.
1687. 1 p.: Copla de relaclon hecha al Rel Xpmo tocante a la Bahia del
Spirit ssto, que remitio el Sor D. Pedro Ronqulllo al Conde
de la Monclova, etc. (Mixico, 61-6-20).

Spanish and 'French Rivalry in Gulf Region









The first



Count of Mon-

clova arrived in Mexico, bringing reinforcements and the direct
authorization of the king for the expulsion of the French from
Espiritu Santo Bay, the viceroy of New Spain, as will be re-
membered, had already begun the search by land .and sea for

La Salle 's settlement.
Aritonio Romero, whc

2 The pilots, Juan Enriquez Barroto and
Shad been chosen to reconnoiter the Gulf

coast, left

Vera Cruz on November 21, 1685,

with orders from

the viceroy to the authorities at Havana for the equipping of a

vessel for their voyage.

They arrived at Havana on December

3, and steps were immediately taken by Andres de Munibe, act-

ing military governor,

to 'carry out the viceroy's instructions.

As no royal vessel was available, it was found necessary to char-

ter a private ship.

After an inspection of all of the shipping

in the harbor, a frigate with the lengthy name of


nfora de la


y San Joseph"

was selected as


most suitable for the proposed voyage.

It was not in seaworthy

condition, however, and a delay of several weeks ensued while

the necessary repairs were being made.

Provisions were taken

on board for ninety days, several additional cannon


'The substance of this chapter and the following one were published
in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, xix, 323-369, under the title.
"The Spanish Search for Ia Salle's Colony on the Bay of EspIritu Santo,


,Considerable revision has been made in them since that
Previous to that article, very little had appeared in print

on the events here related.

Texas, Vol. I, devotes less than a page

Bancroft in his North Mexican States and

to the search for La Salle, and

his brief account is almost who'll incorrect Clark's Beginnings of
Texas, hitherto the'most exhaustive study published in this field, adds

little to Bancroft, and repeats most of the latter's errors.


and inaccurate accounts ~of the maritime expeditions are given




de la Florida;


18; and Cavu.

Los Tres Bigsks, ii.

'Supra, p. 38.


60 University of Tezxas Bulletin

cured, and a canoe was purchased, to be used in examining shal-
low places along the coast. The governor furnished a crew of
forty-two men, but this number was swelled to fifty-two by the
voluntary enlistment of a number of adventurous characters,
who offered to accompany the expedition without pay. Among
these patriots was a well-known pilot, named Juan Jordan de
Reina, who some years later was to play a prominent part in
the establishment of the presidio of San CArlos de Austria on
Pensacola Bay. He kept a diary of the voyage, which up to

the present time is the
It was no ordinary
were about to embark.

only one that has been brought to light.8
voyage upon which Barroto and Romero
The readiness of private individuals to

enlist without remuneration is sufficient proof of this fact. For
more than a century the Gulf coast between Tampico and Apa-
lache had been practically unfrequented by the Spaniards, and
the little information that had once been possessed concerning
it had long since been forgotten. -Within that unknown gap
lay the prospect of a sturdy fight with a foreign foe, and per-
haps rich booty for those who dared search for it. Everything
finally being in readiness, the vessel set sail on January 3, 1686.
Detailed instructions had been drawn up by Admiral Palacios
for the guidance of the pilots. They were ordered to proceed
first to Apalache, where native pilots should be secured. Every
indentation in the coast west of Apalache should be carefully
examined, sounding should be made, and the position of the
vessel noted at frequent intervals. Upon reaching the Apala-
chicola River, they were to question the Indians in regard to a
settlement of white men at the mouth of the Mississippi River,
on Espiritu Santo Bay. As the Apalachicola was supposed to
be only about forty leagues from this bay, great caqtion should
be exercised after passing that river. They should proceed only
at night, seeking the shelter of the land by day, in order to
escape observation, as well as to question the natives concerning
the French. Care should be taken to arrive at Espiritu Santo

fThe complete autos concerning the preparations for the voyage, both
in Vera Crux and in Havana, are contained in Testimo de los Autos, y
diligenclas techas, pp. 77-105 (Mxilco, 61-6-20). In them the most
minute details are preserved.

Spanish and French Rivalry in Gulf Region

Bay under cover of darkness. Drawings should be made of the
topography of the region, and every useful detail noted for the
benekt of the attacking squadron that was to follow. The usual
diary was ordered to be kept of each day's occurrences.'
These instructions were adhered to as closely as possible. On
January 17 the vessel was anchored in Apalache Bay, the pas-
sage having been delayed by stormy weather. A few days later
the acting lieutenant-governor of that region visited the ship.
ie warned the pilots not to place any confidence in the Indians
at Apalachicola, as the latter had been angered by the recent
action of the governor in driving out a number of English ad-
venturers, who had been trading in that region. Two native
pilots,, said to be familiar with the coast, were taken on board,
and on January 30 the voyage was continued. The Apalachi-
cola River was soon reached, but a convenient squall prevented
the explorers from entering the river, and treating with the
hostile inhabitants. On February 6 a bay was reached which
was described ,by our diarist, Juan Jordan, as "the best bay I
have ever seen in my life." This was the broad expanse of,
water known as Pensacola Bay. Its re-discovery by Barrotb
and Romero was to cause a revival of interest in this bay, which
was eventually to result in its occupation by Spain. Here the
pilots made their first attempt to obtain information from the
Indians.. A visit was made to the village of the Panzacolas, who
received the Spaniards with great friendliness. In reply to the

inquiries made, the Indians said that they knew of i
of white men in that region, although a large ship
the harbor for a short time in the previous year.
plained of the war that was being waged upon 1
Mobilas, and warned the Spaniards to be on their

no settlement
had entered
They com-
them by the
guard when

reaching the territory of those Indians.
On February 8 leave was taken of the Panzacolas. Two days
later Mobile Bay was reached. It was found to be very capa-
cious, but shallow and unsuitable for the navigation of large
vessels. Here the expedition seems to have remained for sev-
eral weeks, but no details of the sojourn are available. On

'Instrucci6n y derrota que ban de observar y guardar Juan Enrfquez
Barroto y Antonio Romero, Nov. 13, 1685 ibidd., 40-43).

University of Texas Bulletin

March 4 a large river was discovered, but it could not be en-

tered on account
which choked its

of the great quantity of trees and driftwood
mouth. It was called the Rio de la Palzada

for this reason. A prominent landmark in the vicinity was
christened Cabo de Lodo (Mud Cape). Little did the explorers
realize that they had discovered the river for which they .were
seeking, but such was the ease. They were now at the mouth
of the Mississippi River. Their failure to recognize it as
such, however, is not surprising. That great stream was sup-
posed to empty into the excellent harbor of Espiritu Santo Bay;
but no bay was to be seen, and a river whose channel was ob-
structed by debris was not imagined to be the one which La
SaUe would have chosen as the site of his settlement. Thus the

to the Spani
was interrupt
into the Gul
food was nu
turn to the

or the Palizada, as-it was thenceforth to be known
ards for many years, was passed by as unworthy of
Just at this point, moreover, further exploration
ited by a severe storm, which drove the vessel out
f as far south as latitude twenty-two degrees. As
mning low, it was thought unwise to attempt to re-
Rio de la Palizada to continue the search, and the

ship was accordingly di
arrived on March 13. S
parture from Havana. a
been re-discovered, but in

A large
all of

toward Vera Cruz, where it
days had elapsed since the de-
i portion of the Gulf coast had
the distance traversed, no trace

had been found of the French settlement and Espiritu Santo
Although the voyage had failed to accomplish its object, Bar-
roto and Romero were exonerated of any neglect of duty by Ad-
miral Palacios, who assured the viceroy that they had followed
their instructions, and had done all that was possible under the
circumstances. In his report to the viceroy, Palacios stated
that he believed that the expedition had approached very close

'The foregoing account is based chiefly on the diary of Juan Jordan
de Reina, dated. March 16, 1686, and addressed to Governor Munibe of
Havana (Mexico, 61-6-20, 10 pp.). The official diary kept by Barroto
has not been found, although it is known that he kept one. General
accounts of the voyage are given in letters of the viceroy and of Pala-
cloe to the king, dated April 3 and Sept. 6, 1686, respectively (bid.).

Spanish and Prech Eivalry iSn If Region

to the French colony, for if the voyage had not been interrupt-
ed, the Misisippi River and Espiritu Santo Bay would doubt-
less' have been reached some thirty leagues west of the Rio de
la Palizada (!) He thought it advisable, therefore, to send
out another expedition to complete the exploration of the Gulf
coast. As it was very difficult for oirdinary vessels to navigate
the shallow waters along the coast, he recommended that special
boats, equipped with sails and oars, should be constructed for

the next attempt.*
These suggestions of
factor and the fiscal.
situation had been chan

Palacios were favorably reported by the
In the meantime, however, the whole
iged by the arrival of the king's ccdu/a

of August 2, 1685, announcing the acceptance of Echagaray's
proposal to explore the Gulf coast, and asking again for the
long-delayed report on the provinces of Quivira and Teguayo.A
The cedula reached Mexico early in February. Incorporated
with it, as has been seen, was the earlier order of 1678, which
had first given warning of Pefialosa's activities in France. A
copy of Benavides's memorial was also enclosed for the infornia-

tion of the colonial officials. The facts brought out by these
documents from Spain seemed to furnish further corroboration
of the recent revelations made by the pirates at Vera Cruz. It
was naturally assumed that La Salle's settlement at Espiritu
Santo was merely the logical culmination of the designs of
Pefialosa.' The news that the king had asked for information
concerning the region of Quivira and Teguayo soon became
known. and it was to call forth the famous report of Father

Alonso de Posadas,
then living in the
missionary in New

a high dignitary of. the Franciscan order
capital. Posadas .had formerly served as
Mexico for many years, having been in that

I r- 1.----

-A e --

1 .fl. +n .,^..nnfl@^

province during renalosas term o0 omre. He wNas EnLC-Jc

YPalacios to the viceroy, March 15, 1686, in Testimo de los Autos, y
diligenclas felhas, 161-162 (MExico, 61-6-20).
'Informe de SebastiAn de GUnman y C6rdova, March 21, 1686, ibid..
162-164; respuesta fscal, March 26, 1686, ib d., 164-168.
*Supro, p. 29.
*Proof of this statement is furnished by a study of the general tenor
of the documentary sources, and especially by the opening paragraphs
of Father Posadas's report mentioned above.


University of Texas Bulletin

well qualified to draw up the memorial which he presented to
the viceroy. In this well-written document he gave an account
of the nature and extent of the kingdoms of Quivira, Teguayo,
and Texas, of the Indian tribes that inhabited those regions, and
of efforts that had been made from time to time to penetrate to
their territory. While necessarily vague in many respects, the
report furnished the best description that had yet been written
of the unoccupied region lying to the north and east of the
settled areas of New Spain, just as it is .today one of the most

important sources available for the early
western portion of the United States. It
value to the viceregal officials in their de
the" unknown northern country.10

history of the south-
was to prove of great
liberations concerning

In order to settle the various questions that had been raised
by the arrival of the royal ce'dula, as well as to take some action
in regard to the proposal of Palacios for another exploration of
the Gulf coast, a junta general was called for March 28. After
a careful consideration of the voluminous documents that had
- accumulated, the junta decided that, in view of the fact that the
king had made arrangements with Echagaray for the explora-
tion of Espiritu Santo Bay, no further action should be taken
toward a second maritime expedition until a report could be
received from the governor of Florida in regard to the status
of Echagaray 's enterprise. Should it be necessary to complete
the exploration of the Gulf coast without delay, the junta sug-
gested, the windward squadron, if not otherwise engaged, might
be given instructions to make a cruise for that purpose. By
this means it might be possible to locate and destroy the French
settlement, and avoid the costly expedition proposed by Palacios.
The junta, in obedience to the second part of the royal eodula,
also recommended that further efforts be made to secure ad-
ditional information concerning the provinces of Quivira and
Teguayo along the lines of Father Posadas's report.11

"A transcript of the Posadas memorial is in the collection of the
University of Texas, copied from Historla, Vol. III, Archivo General y
POblico, MExico, D. F. A copy is also to be found in A. G. I., Papelea de
Estado, Guadalajara, Legajo 1.
"Junta general, March 28. 1686, In Testimo de los Autos, y dlligenciau
fechas, 168-174; the viceroy to the king, April 3, 1686, 8 pp. (M6xico.

Spanish and JFrench Bivalry in Gulf Region

All of the junta's recommendations were carried out, with the
exception of the suggestion in regard to the windward squad-
ron. The vessels of that fleet were not in a fit condition for
the proposed cruise. A dispatch was sent to the governor of
Florida on March 30, ordering him to report on the progress
made by Echagaray. No further action was to be taken in
regard to a second maritime expedition during the remainder of
the term of Viceroy Laguna. Orders had already been issued,
however, for searching expeditions by land, and an account
of these journeys will now be given."=
Th search from the northern frontier.-The first suggestion
for an expedition by land to discover the French settlement
came also from Admiral Palacios. He had felt from the first
that it would be unwise to depend solely upon the voyage from
Bavana, and when his efforts to secure a competent leader for
a supplementary expedition from Vera Cruz proved unsuccess-
ful, he conceived the plan of sending out a searching party
along the'coast north of Tampico. His persistence finally bore
fruit, and the viceroy, on November 19, 1685, ordered the au-

TShortly after the events related Admiral Palacios returned to Spainl
While in Cadis he made a statement in which he told of the results of
the voyage of Barroto and Romero, and reported the latest rumors from
Havana regarding the French colony. The examination of Palaceos was
due to the suggestion of Ambassador Ronquillo. Ronqulllo had sent
copies otf various journals of French explorations on the Mississippi
River, including Marquette's journal, to the president of the Cas de la
Contratacl6n, asking him to examine the pilots from America in ref-
erence to La Salle's colony. Palacios summed up the results of the first
maritime expedition in these words: "Today the whole coast of the
Gulf of Mexico has been discovered and explored, with the exception of
the strip from the mouth of the Rio de la Empalizada [sic to
that of the Rio de Tampico. In this distance of about one hundred
leagues lies the Bay of Esplritu Santo, and west of it, the Rio Bravo
and other rivers which may form sand banks [as mentioned by Mar-
quette]." Palaclos told of an attack that had been made by pirates
upon St Augustine, but which had been repulsed. The leader of the
pirates had confirmed the news of La Salle's settlement, declaring that
it was located about forty leagues up the Mississippi River, and that it
was strongly fortified. (Statement of Palacios, Sept. 6, 1686. remitted
by Oreytia to the Council of the Indie with letter of Sept 28, 1686
(M6xico, 61--20.)

5-8. i

66 University of Texas Bulletin

thorities at Vera Cruz to offer suggestions in regard to such an

In obedience to this order, the
Cruz, including Admiral Palaeios,
enue officials of the crown, began
were unable to find any one at Ve
with the northern coast to lead an
their investigations, however, they
ern frontier certain salines had bee
to be situated on tributaries of

group of officials at Vera
the governor, and the rev-
to study the matter. They
tra Cru sufficiently familiar
expedition. In the course of
learned that on the north-
a discovered which were eard
river flowing into Espiritu

Santo Bay, and that the town of Monterey, in the province of
the Nuevo Reino de Le6n, was reported to be only a few days'
journey from this bay. They reported to the viceroy, there-
fore, that the logical person to undertake the exploration by

m t

land was the governor of Nuevo Le6n.1 The suggestion wa9
adopted by the viceroy, and on January 20, 1686, the governor
of Nuevo Le6n, the Marquis of San Miguel de Aguayo, was in-
structed to send out an expedition to search for the French.
In order to aid the governor in his quest, orders were given to
remit to Nuevo Le6n the documents relating to the discovery
of the salt deposits referred to by the officials at Vera Cruz,
together with the instructions drawn up by Palacios for the
voyage of Barroto and BRomero. In this indirect fashion wee
the inhabitants of the distant province of Nuevo Le6n to be
enlisted in the search for La Salle's colony, thereby beginning

a movement which was eventually to result in the colonization
of the region known as Texas."
The viceroy's dispatch was not to reach Nuevo Le6n until the
nnmmer of 1686. In the meantime a propald was made to seek
the French by way of the El Paso region. It came from Cap-
tain Juan Dominguez de Mendoza, a noted soldier and explorer
of New Mexico, who was then in Mdxico endeavoring to inierter
the authorities in a project for the occupation of new territory

'Palacio to the vieeroy, Nov. 14, 1685, nl Tesimo de eos Aunto, y 4d11-
geneas fechas, 4860; decree of the vieroy, iMt, 5940.
"Anto de aeuerdo, Dee. 1685. dMd, 81-68.
L"Repauesta al, N S. 185 lU4M, 7; lonta general, Jan. 20, 1686,
ibid., 77; auto de sla Junta de guerra en Monterey, June 11, 1M66 (Mldeo,

- -- r

Spanish and French Rivalry in Gulf Region

on the northern frontier. In 1684 Captain Dominguez,
pany with Father Nicolas L6pez, one of the founder
missions of La Junta, at the junction of the Conchos
Grande, had made an entrad 'into the Jumano country
plains of what is now western Texas. They had penet
far eastward as the "Nueces" River, probably the

in com-
s of the
and Rio
, on the
rated as

Concho of Texas, and bad heard much of a great tribe of Indi-
ans known as the Texas, living a few days' journey beyond the
Jumano. Both Dominguez and L6pez were enthusiastic over
the spiritual and temporal returns to be derived from an occupa-
tion of that region, and had gone to Mexico immediately after
their expedition to promote the enterprise. Just at this time
the northern country was in a critical condition on account of
the great uprising of the pueblo Indians of New Mexico, who
had forced the Spaniards to- abandon that province in 1680.

The petitions of L6pez and Domingues were coldly received by
the viceregal authorities, who regarded their proposition as fan-
tastie and inexpedient.16 The arrival of the king's cedulas of
1678 and 1685, and the consequent desire of the viceroy to learn
more about the northern regions, afforded Domlnguez an op-
portunity to renew his proposals, which he was now to couple
with an offer to seek for the French.'1 Some time in April, it
seems, he drew up a memorial for the viceroy. Dominguez said
that Peilosa had not been mistaken in regard to the wealth of
the "lands of the East and North," for he himself could testify
to their richness. EB believed that, if Pefialoea should carry
out his plan of conquest, the king would not only lose the chance
of adding a valuable territory to his dominions, but would also
be threatened with the logs of the mines of Parral. Dominguez
therefore offered to lead a force of two hundred men to discover
the "Sea of the North," explore the kingdoms of Quivira
and Texas, pacify the natives, build ferts, and, finally, learn
whether the French had actually established themselves in the

"Bolton, "The Spanih Qccpation of Texas, 1519-1690," in the BSouth-
western Historial Quarterly, xvi, pp. 20-48; "TheT Jnmano Indians in
Texas, m State. HtimrZ Qu9srterf, xv, pp. 71-74.
"Father Posadaa had referred to Domiaguep la his report as a man
who oould doubtesu give much Informatio on cerning Quivira and the
adjoining regions.

University of Texas Bulletin

northern country as had been reported.

As security for the

fulfillment of his promise, he pledged his own head.1' This
attempt on the part of Domlnguez to further his own plans by
appealing to the prevailing anxiety in regard to the French did
not meet with success. The viceroy, beset by many problems
of an urgent nature, manifested no interest in the occupation
of the Jumano country or ot~the kingdom of the Texas. And as
far as Dominguez's offer to find the French settlement was con-
cerned, the authorities were evidently content to rely for the
time being upon the results of the expedition that had been
ordered made from Nuevo Le6n.
The viceroy 's order to the Marquis of Aguayo, together with
the accompanying documents, did not reach Nuevo Le6n until
June 8, almost six months after the original decree had been
issued.1" Due to some oversight, the instructions given to Bar-
roto and Romero were not enclosed, but only the documents con-
cerning the discovery of the salines. The latter dealt with an
asiento that had been granted to Alonso de Le6n, a prominent
soldier and explorer of Nuevo Le6n, for the opening up of cer-
tain salt deposits, which he had discovered on the Gulf coast
north of Tampico.2 They threw no light whatever on the

location of
find no one
question, he
the province
spatched to
houses" at
posed to be
frequent ca
Indians, it i

Espiritu Santo Bay. As Governor Agnayo could
at Monterey who knew anything about the bay in
resolved to call a council of the leading settlers of
e to discuss the viceroy's order. Couriers were de-
the neighboring haciendas, and on June 11 some
or thirty frontiersmen assembled in the "royal
Monterey. Although most of the settlers were sup-
familiar with the surrounding country through the
umpaigns that had been made against the hostile
soon became clear that none of them knew anything

about Espiritu Santo Bay. It was decided that the bay must

"Memorial de Juan Domingues de Mendoza, no date, Guadalajara,
67-3-32, 5 pp. The memorial is printed in FernAndes Duro's Pe aloen,
pp. 74-77.
"The order was repeated on'May 1 (Auto de la Junta de guerra en
Monterey, June 11, 1686 (M6xico, 61-6-20).
The aslento Is given in Testimo de los Autos, y dilgencias fechas,


Spanish and iFrenck Rivalry in Gulf Region

lie toward the north or northeast, in an unknown region, inhab-

ited by fierce tribes of hostile Indians.z1

The members of the

council felt, however, that the danger from the French was too
serious to admit of inaction, and they patriotically agreed to
raise and equip a force of fifty men to make an expedition to

the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

It was decided to assemble at

the town of Cadereita on June 25, by which time the governor


to name a competent leader.

The route

to be fol-


was also





directly to the junction of the Rio San


and the

Grande, and descend the latter river to the sea.

In case the




was agreed

to make

another attempt in October,

The troops were reviewed by

. Alonso de Le6n

when the autumn rains should be

Aguayo at Cadereita on June

was appointed commander-in-chief.

the same day the expedition, numbering some seventy-five per-

sons in all, set out on the march.

A diary was kept by Captain


, showing the daily progress of the party.

It proceeded

first to the junction of the Rio San Juan and Rio Grande, and


the latter river to

the Gulf, as had

days were spent in exploring




south, but no signs of civilized habitations were seen.

On July

"According to the records of the council, the Rio Grande had barely

been crossed, at a point near the town

of San



leagues from Monterey.
'Auto de la Junta de guerra en Monterey, June 11, 1686 (M6xico,
61-6-20); "Un Autor An6nlmo," in Le6n's Hisoria de Ledn, pp. 296-298

(reprinted in Documentos para lHistoria de



Garcla, editor). The proceedings of the Junta were sent to the viceroy
with letter of June 15. The governor added that Just after the council
had adjourned, an Indian from a nearby hacienda had reported that a

number of white men were living near the Rio Grande.

Their settle-

ment, the Indian said, was only ten day's journey from Monterey, and he
promised to guide the Spaniards thither whenever they wished to go.
Aguayo expressed the hope that he would soon be able to send definite
information in regard to the Fraech (Aguayo to the viceroy, June 15,

1680, 10 pp.

(Mxteco, 61-6-20).

These documents were forwarded to the

king with letter of the viceroy, dated July 20, 1686.

University of Tezas Bulletin

18 the return trip was begun,
reached again without incident
The Marquis of Aguayo was

less resul
sent out
north of
the Gulf

Its of the expedition,
another party under
the mouth of the Rio
coast, and followed ii
was barred by a gre
to Nuevo Le6n with

and on the 27th Cadereita was
of note.2"
sorely disappointed at the fruit-
and in the following February
Le6n to explore the Gulf coast
Grande. The Spaniards reached
t toward the north until further
at arm of the sea. They again
ut a trace of the French settle-

ment. Aguayo was forced to report to the viceroy that all of
his diligence had been without avail."

The second plan of the viceregal govern
Salle's settlement had thus resulted in failure.
time that the search from Nuevo Le6n was in
were also being made to find the French by
This attempt will next be considered.
The search from Florida.-Although no def

seen to have beer
expedition from F
Marquez Cabrera,
sponsibility. The

dio ofl

of fresh coi

e of a Fren
a force of Fi
! St. Augusti
and forty-I
g them their
, Briganut ml

other things,

ent to locate La
But at the same
progress, efforts
way of Florida.

inite instructions

1 given by the viceroy for a reconnoitering
lorida, the governor of that province, Juan
resolved to undertake one upon his own re-
immediate incentive for his action came as a
information of the reports concerning the ex-
eh settlement in the Gulf region. In May,
rench corsairs made an attack upon the prei-
ne. They were taken prisoners by the Span-
fve of their number summarily executed,
leader, Nicolha Brigaut. Before being put to
ade a "confession," in which he declared,

that the French had really established a

"Derrotero dlarlo y demarcacion del vaJe quoe yo, el General Alonso
de Leon ce al descnbrimiento de la costa del Mar del Norte
y boca del Rio Bravo, etc., (in Historia de Nuevo Leds, 297-310). Mas-
manet's account of the route taken by the expedition is incorrect (Ct.
Carta de Don Damlan Mansanet Don CArlos de igflenoa, translated
In the Tezss BStte Histortcal QOMrterly, II, p. 281; reprinted in Bolton,
spanmih EBplontron in the Southwest, 353-354) Clark's Beginnings
of Tease follows Masanet in this matter.
HBistoria de Nuevo Ledn. 3105411; the viceroy to the king, Dec. 30,
1686 (Mxilco, 61-6-20).


Spanish and 1Frenck Rivalry in Gulf Begion 71

fortified settlement on the Muississippi River, near Espiritu
Santo Bay. The town, he said, was situated about forty league
above the mouth of the river; was garrisoned by three hundred
soldiers; and protected by twelve cannon and a coasting vessel
of twelve guns. Brigaut's statement seemed to corroborate quite
conclusively the declarations of the pirates who' had been ex-
amined at Vera Cruz, and Cabrera decided to send out an ex-
pedition to search for the town that had been described."
This determination en the' part of Cabrera was strengthened
by the recent activities of the English colonists of Carolina
among the Indians of Florida Led by one "John Henry,"
said to be the founder of the settlement of "St. George," Eng-
lish traders had penetrated as far west as the Apalachicola
River, and, according to Cabrera, were trying to reach Espiritu
Santo Bay themselves. Two retaliatory raids had been made
by the Spanish garrison at Apalache in the winter of 1685-
1686, and the intruding trader had been forced to retire. Gov-
ernor Cabrera believed that an exploring expedition toward the
west, would be useful not only to effect the discovery of the
French settlement, but also to strengthen the hold ef Spain
upon the un~ cupied territory that I between Florida and
1 *~"~~~~-- ---i ---11 -^- "-----< 3>-- <*<'
MM2Q a ow threatened by the English as well as by the French.
He hoped to r th old drm On no an oer-
land route to the eaital of New Spain, the distance to which '
he believed to be greatly exaggerated."
Preparations for the expedition were begun in June. Marcos
Delgado, a veteran soldier of St. Augustine, well versed in the
language of various Indian tribe, was selected as leader. He
was given instruction to explore carefully all "pravinces lakes
rivers, and bays between Florida and M6xWie" He was warned
to, take especial precautions against falling into the hands of
the French. In the event of such a misfortune, he was ordered

UCaban to the viceroy. Jula 22., 1S66, in the DSIadeO E ledieate p..
86 (Mhzico, 614--2;. gtameni e of Palau eom~ g aLtte o
Orejtiaa MlaM, SIt. 28& 188 ($ihd). 8spfq ag.e 65, notf- 12.
CQarsa to tea volahwn, MawL 23S. 1I68 D gao. Bpiinte, 17-SI
same taoume, JaRlna2, ta, 664t ;Cabnb t.tak.ldg, Get..^ 1686,
tbI., 100-101.

University of Texas BuUetin

to destroy all of his papers except a letter from Cabrera to the
viceroy, representing the expedition to be merely an innocent
exploring enterprise. This letter was written for the specific
/ purpose of deceiving the French. Cabrera evidently had some
hope of opening up an overland route to the city of Mexico. for
he offered a liberal reward to any of the soldiers who would
actually deliver the letter to the viceroy.;t
Up to this time, according to the available evidence, no offi-
cial notification had been received in Florida of Echagaray's
proposed exploration. Shortly after Delgado had departed for
Apalache, however, in the early part of July, Governor Ca-
brera received the viceroy's dispatch of March 30, asking for a
report on the progress made by Echagaray, and requesting any
information that he (Cabrera) might have been able to acquire
concerning the French. Cabrera replied that nothing had been
heard of Echagaray, and that he had little confidence in the
latter's ability to carry out his proposals. He then told of his
own action in sending out Delgado, and expressed the hope
that he would soon be able to report something definite in re-
gard to the settlement of the French."
Delgado left Apalache, the starting point of his expedition,
on August 28, with a force of thirteen soldiers and forty
natives. A diary was kept of each day's journey, the details
of whichaTo--ugi h ot mn h importance for the locCa history
of Florida and Alabama, need not concern us here.e
party traveled toward the northwest, through an unknown
country, being compelled to blaze a trail before them, After
passing through several Indian villages, and receiving their
submission, on September 17 they reached Miculasa, the first
town of the Tabasa" tribe, more than one hundred leagues from
Apalache. They were well received by the cacique, and on the

fInstructions to Delgado, June 28, 1686, ibid., 62-63; Cabrera to the
vceroy, June 28, 1686, IMd., 60-61; same to same, July 22, 1686, (bid.,
4-87; Cabrera to the king. Sept. 24, 1686, iMd., 98-99.
"Cabrera to the viceroy, July 22, 1686, Mid., 84-90. The king's cede.
of August 2, 1685, ordering the governor of Florida to furnish Bchaga
ray with the necessary men for his exploration, was not received by
Cabrera until. August 20, 1686 ibidd., 68-59.)
1 have retained the Spanish spelling of Indian names.

Spanish and French ivalry in Gdlf Begion

following day sit other chiefs assembled to meet the Spaniards.
Delgado presented them with gifts, and told them that he was
on a mission of much importance for the service of the king. He
asked them for provisions, but the Indians said they had none
to give on account of the long drought. Following the advice of
the chiefs, he despatched messengers to the Mobilas, giving notice
of his approach, and asking for a supply of provisions. Already
the scarcity of food was beginning to endanger the success of
the expedition. In a letter to Governor Cabrera, written from
Miculasa on September 19, Delgado gave an account of his oper-
ations up to that date, and expressed the fear that he would be
unable to complete the exploration. He pointed out, however,

that the
was not
lages, he

expedition would have been well worth while if it ac-
ed nothing more than to prove to the Indians that it
necessary to flee upon sight of Spaniards. Four vil-
said, had already promised obedience to the king, and
of friendship had been made through his mediation
several hostile tribes.'0
awaiting the return of the couriers from the Mobilas,

Delgado sent a number of soldiers to the territory of the Tiqui-
pache, and succeeded in securing a small quantity of maize. He
then proceeded westward, through a region "never before seen
by Spaniards or Christians." He was' soon joined by the cour-
iers, accompaniedby the chiefs of the Mobilas and of five other
tribes.'1 These Indians at once endeavored to dissuade the
Spaniards from continuing their journey. The chief of the
Mobilas said that it would be impossible to proceed further on
account of the lack of food. For many days, he said, his own
people had been subsisting entirely on shell-fish. In addition
to this difficulty, he doubted whether the Spaniards would be
able to pass through the territory of the Chatas, as a large num-
ber of that tribe had heard of the expedition, and were waiting
to attack it. With his food and gifts exhausted, and his men
suffering from fever, Delgado decided to give up the attempt

to reach Espiritu Santo Bay and Mcxico.

He turned over Ca-

'Delgado to Cabrera, Sept. 19, 1686, IMd., 68-70. The pueblos "re-
duced" up to this time were Miculasa, Yaimamu, Pagna, and Cusachat.
"Theee were the Thome, Yeachi, Yqusta, Canuca, and Guasa tribes.

University of Texas Bulletin

brera's letter to the Mobile chief, who promised faithfully to

forward it to the viceroy. Before beginning the homeward
march, Delgado made a final effort to obtain some information
concerning the French. In reply to the questions of Delgado,
the chief of the Mobilas, who was the chief spokesman for the
Indians, said that he had never heard of any settlement of
Spaniards, English, or other foreigners in the regions beyond
his territory. Upon one ocameion a ship had descended the river
which flowed into Espiritu Santo Bay. A party went ashore,
and were exploring the bay, when they were attacked by the

Chataa, and more than half their number
retired to a snall island in the mouth of

killed. The survivors
the river, and had re-

mamed there until rescued by a ship which came in from the
open sea. But all of this, the chief said, had happened many
year before. Except for this uncertain tale, Delgado was un-
able to obtain any evidemns of the presence of foreigners in that
reigt He wrote Cabrera again on October 16, telling him of
his fruitless quest. He stated, however, that he felt that the
expedition had net bee in vaia. He had opened up_ a saf
as far west as the Wbb j, and hasbu the mmimion of
eln tribes of ldiams, thus extending Spanimh influence over
a wide region which had previously bee. ukbaown. The return
trip was made in the latter part of October." The expeditai
had lasted for more than two months, and had approached withb-
in a ahort distance of Mobile Bay. It comntituted the first e-
temive exploration mad by the Spoiard in the western re-
gian of Florida during the seventeenth century, and marked the

rttval of Spanish activity ameag the tribes of that district.
For those reasm Delga d well merits a place among the early
eplowers of the southern portion of the United State.
As soon as Goveraer Cabrera learned of Delgado's failure to
find the Frenh, he began to make arrangements for another
expedition to continue the search from the Mobiles. The *ppo-
sition of the reveone officials, however, and the acoieomeut de-
velopment of & feud which practically plunged the prawine into

"Delmpdo to Cabrera, Ot. 16, 1686,. Md., 80-83;.
expedition, dated Oct. 30, 1686, IMd., 24-31.

"derrotero" of the

Spanish ad FrenMk Rivalry in Gulf Region

civil war, put a stop to further steps in this direction." The
suspension of Cabrera's plans may have also been due in part
to the fact that the search had again been renewed from Mexico,
following the arrival of the Count of Monclova.
The second and third maritime ezpeditions.-The Count of
Monclova arrived at Vera Cruz on September 13, 1686," bring-
ing the reinforcements that had been sent by the king to aid in
expelling the French. As will be remembered, the new viceroy
had been instructed to spare no efforts-to locate their settlement,
and to. build a fort at Espiritu Santo if he deemed such action

Monclova began
characterized his
Cruz he summoned
from them full p
about the same tin

at once to i
whole tern


manifest t
a of offi

ie pilots, Barroto
ticulars of their
word arrived frox

;hat energy an
ee. Upon re
and Romero,
a the Marquiz

d zeal which
aching Vera
and obtained
voyage. At
iof Aguayo,

telling of the failure
After diumassing the
the vieroy decided
plete the. exploration
agreed that the eoast

to find the French by way of Nuevo Le6.
situation with the officials at Vera Crun,
that it would be highly adviable to com-
of the Gulf coast. Since it was generally
line could not be theughly explored with

any of the vessels available, orders w re gie fr the conestrue-

PCabrera to the king, Jan. 4, 168Z, itW., 15-16; Cabrera to the viceroy,
Jan. 4, 1687, iid., 82-34; the oflclales reals of Florida to the king, 'Feb.
20, 1687, S pp. (Mleico, 61-6-20); Pedro de Aranda y Avellaneda to the
king, June 22, 1687, 15 pp. (4bid.)
The oflolales rules wee oppMod to Cabrem's achlvl they aidM.
beeaue of the ammeaget that t'D king had mada with. Boharay
tor the exploration of the (Qlt eoat without. eqnee te the iyal
treasury. They accused the governor of squandering money uselessaly
for this purpose. Some time latr Cabrem temporarily abandoned bhe
office, en daurit hi abheon the government was atanumeda by Pedro
de Anrmad y Ave~easda, wi that any eanutaitin from the king.
Wbe Cabmra returned, he was imprisoned by Awada, and treated
with great IIMndaIt. Ha ra e fterwand. matored san exonerated, and
AranaA was alhuad to IPrad for number of rerSa (Consults of
the Jant da GOuNa, Aug. 31l 162, 2 pp., Indifeaente General, 147-5-29:
oflcetalte rwa to. thi Mnt. March i BS 2 gg. (MXICeo, 61-6-1.)
Oficalaes rtles of Vemo Cr to the king Jan. 12. 1687 (wM~rim,

University of Texzs Buleti

tion of two pirogues, propelled both by sails and oars, as Admiral

Palacios ha
two boats v

five me
Seiora 4
Rivas, '

d suggested. Within an unusually brief time, the
rere finished. Each was equipped with forty oars,
cannon, and was manned by a crew of about sixty-
The boats were christened respectively Nuestra
Rosario and Nuestra Sefiora de la Esperanza. The
placed under the command of Captain Martin de
Barroto as chief pilot; the latter, under Captain

Antonio de Iriarte, with Romero as pilot. Each vessel carried
provisions for three months and a half. Nothing was overlooked
in the equipment of this expedition, and it was probably the
most carefully planned one of the series."
The instructions of Rivas and Iriarte ordered them to pio-
ceed from Vera Cruz to Tampico, where they were to secure
two natives to serve as pilots and interpreters: They were to
examine carefully all rivers and inlets along the coast from Tam-
pico to latitude thirty degrees, within which distance, it was
confidently expected, Espiritu Santo Bay would be found. Pro-
visions should be used sparingly, as there was no source of sup-
ply after leaving Tampico, and the viceroy intimately that he
would be sorely displeased if this expedition also failed on ac-
count of lack of provisions. Especial vigilance was enjoined,
as usual, in the exploration of Espiritu Santo Bay, and a sharp
watch was ordered to be kept for hostile vessels."
With the churches of Vera Cruz offering up prayers for the
success of the voyage, the expedition set sail on Christmas Day,
1686. Tampico was reached three days later. Here the vessels
were delayed for more than two months on account of stormy
weather. Their supplies were replenished in the meantime by the

IThe viceroy to the king, Dec. 30, 1686, 7 pp. (M6xico, 61-6-20); An-
tonio de Astina to the king, Jan. 12, 1687, 1 p. (bid.) The dimensions of
the piragsas, a list of the supplies, and other details are given in Rela-
cI6n de las dos piraguas, 2 pp., and Razon de lo que Ilenan las lbs
piraguas, 2 pp. Drawings of the boats were even sent to Spain.
*The instructions were drawn up by Admiral Francisco Navarro,
commander of the fleet of three vessels which had brought Monclova
and the azogues. They are dated Dec. 12, 1686 (Meico, 61-6-20, 4 pp.).
Additional Instructions were issued on Dec. 28 (iMd., 2 pp.). See also
Navarro to the viceroy, Dec. 25, 1686 (bieg).

Spanish and French RiBalry in Gulf Region 77

viceroy. On March 7 the voyage was resumed. Rivas and Iriarte
proceeded very slowly, keeping close to the coast, and giving to
many prominent landmarks the names which they were thence-
forth to bear during most of the Spanish period. On March 30
while they were exploring the mouth of a river, which was named
Rio de las Flores, the wreckage of a vessel was seen which bore
signs of French make. A few days later, on April 4, a large bay
was reached, nine leagues from the Rio de las Flores, to which
the name San Bernardo was given. It was of course the present
Matagorda Bay. Here the explorers found further and un-
mistakable signs of the French. Four leagues from the entrance
of t~ie bay, toward the northeast, a stranded vessel was found,
which still bore the French coat-of-arms with the familiar fleur-
de-lis. From the state of its rigging, it was judged that the
ship had been lost for more than a year. A further search dis-
closed a few barrels of powder and a number of guns in the
vicinity. An effort was made to question the Indians in re-
gard to the ship, but the interpreters from Tampico were un-
able to make themselves understood. While it was surmised
that the vessel had belonged to the French cblony, it was not
suspected that their settlement stood only a few miles away. The
region was so low and swampy that the Spaniards seem to have
been convinced that no sane person would attempt to settle there.
A further examination of the vicinity of the bay was made, how-
ever, but no further clues were found. Yet just five miles up
the Garcitas the disillusioned followers of La Salle were living
out the brief span that yet remained of their monotonous ex-
istence. San Bernardo Bay was left behind by the explorers,
and the voyage continued without incident of note until the
Rio de la Palizada was reached. The gap left by the first mari-
time expedition had been completed, but no bay answering to
the description of Espfritu Santo had been seen, nor indeed had
any suitable location for a settlement been discovered. The
leaders now concluded that the elusive bay must be further east,
and that it had been passed unrecognized by the first expedi-
tion. Passing the Mississippi River once more as unworthy of
examination, the voyage was continued to Mobile Bay, which was
entered on Mhy 22. Three days were spent in exploring its

78 University Of Texas Buletin

waters. No great river corresponding to the Miuiasippi or Rio
del Espiritu Santo was found flowing into the bay; instead six
small streams were found, which could not be navigated even by
such small boats as the pirogues. In spite of the .absence of a
large river, however, the Spaniards concluded that they must
be at the bay which was shown on the maps as Espiritu Santo.
No other body of water in that region offered any inducements
for settlement, or corresponded so closely to the general descrip-
tion that had been given of Espiritu Santo Bay. In this un-
certain fashion was the long-sought-for bay identified, but, no
doubt, with entire correctness. There was no longer any reason
for remaining on that deserted coast, and the vessels were turned
toward Havana. Pensacola Bay was not examined again, as it
was thought useless to look for a foreign settlement on its shores.
After a short stop on the Florida coast for provisions, the ves-
sels proceeded to Havana, that port being reached on June 17.
The return to Vera Cruz was not made until July 3, more than
six months after the departure of the expedition. There was
much joy in New Spain at the safe return of the pirogues. The
long delay had caused great anxiety, and just three days before
their return, the viceroy had sent out still another expedition to
search for the missing vessels, and to repeat the exploration
of the coast."'
The viceroy immediately summoned the leaders of the ex-
pedition to the capital for a personal report. Barroto took with
him the diary and map of the voyage, and the viceroy was made
acquainted with all of its details. By a fortunate coincidence,
on the same day that the explorers arrived in Mzxico, the vice-

"Although a detailed diary was kept of the second expedition, the
writer has been unable to obtain any trace of it. The above account is
based upon a number of general references, including the following:
The viceroy to the king, July 15, 1687, 7 pp.; marginal anotatlocn of
Iriarte, Barroto, and Romero, July 22, 1687, made on "Oopla de relaieon
hecha al Rei Xpmo tomante a la vahla del Splritu ssto, etc., 7 pp.;
Munibe to the king, Aug. 12, 1687, 1 p.; parecer of PeX and Barroto,
June 12, 1689,'in Autos y Diligenclas q se an Executado pr. el Capn
Alonso de Leon sobre el descubrimto de Vna poblason de fran-
seses, etc., pp. 67-69 (all of the foregoing in M lxico. 61-6-0); eonsalta
of the Council of the Indies, March 22, 1691, 2 pp. (M4flco, 61-6-21).

Spanish and JFrench Rivoary in sulf Region

roy received a letter from Ambassador Roaquillo in London,
enclosing an account of La Salle's voyage taken from official
French reports. This relation told of La Salle's failure to find
the mouth of the Mimissippi River, of his landing on the coast,
of the wreck of one of his vessels, and of other incidents which
had taken place up to the time of the departure of Captain
Beaujeu. This document threw a great deal of light, of course,
upon the voyage that had just been made. By comparing it
with the diary kept by Barroto, the officials were able to ar-
rive at rather definite conclusions in regard to the wreeked ves-
sels that had been found at the Rio de Flores and San Bernardo
Bay. It seemed practically certain now that they had belonged

to La Salle, and that the French
from drowning, starvation, or at
Great satisfaction prevailed in
second maritime expedition had
tlement, it had brought news that

colony had met its destruction
the hands of the natives."
the city of Mexico. While the
not discovered the French set-
was far more welcome, namely,

that La Salle had met with disaster, and that nothing more was
to be feared from his activities. This optimistic view was ex-
pressed by the Count of Monelova in a letter to the king, writ-
ten on July 25:
The whole Gulf of Mexico has been examined with the most
exact diligence possible, and no port, river, or bay long its
entire eaot has been found to be occupied by enmies, or EBro-
peans, nor have any sign of settlement r fortifietions of any
kind been seen. Wherefore Your NMajesty'a entire mon-
archy is to be congratulated; for, although this kingdom would
never be endangered by a settlement of enemies along this coast
(since they could be dislodged), it is much better that no such
settlement should exist, and that the many plausible tflsehoods
that have been told concerning this matter both here and in

Spain should be
"The viceroy to
Rel Xpmo tocanti
Pedro Roaquillo
deste aio de 1687

so felicitously disproved."

Sthe king, July' 25, 1687; CopLa de relaolon hecha al
e a la vahia del Bpiritu ssto que remitio el Sor Dn.
S. al Conde de la Monclova a 7 de Febro.
(M6ixco, 61-6-20), Barroto, Iriarte, and Romero exam-

ined the latter document, and placed their comments on the margin
opposite passages which had a bearing upon the voyage that had Juat
been completed.
'The viceroy to the king, July 25, 1687, p. 1 (Mlxico, 61-8-20).



80 University of Texas Bulletin

As has been stated, the long delay in the return of the piro-
gues had caused the viceroy to become alarmed as to their safe-
ty, and on June 20 he had instructed Admiral Navarro to select
two frigates from the squadron under his command to make a
search for the missing vessels. Great haste was urged, as the
sumner was well advanced, and it was desired to take advantage
of the few weeks of remaining good weather. Navarro selected
Andr4s de Pez and Francisco de Gamarra, both captains in the
windward squadron, to make the voyage. The appointment of
the former was to mark the beginning of a meteoric rise to
prominence, until he reached one of the highest offices in the
Spanish colonial service. "Pez in fact was destined to become
a conspicuous figure in the history of the Gulf region of the
United States.
The two captains bore the same instructions as the leaders
of the preceding expedition. Such haste was made that the ves-
sels were ready to sail ten days after the viceroy's order was
received. Three days after the departure from Vera Cruz, the
long-delayed pirogues entered the harbor. Fruitless efforts were
made to detain Pez and Gamarra at Tampico. Alarming news
had been received from the Indians in regard to the fate of the
pirogues, and the two captains had been careful to make all
haste, and explore the coast as thoroughly ap possible. They
found the same wreckage near San Bernardo Bay, but no other
signs of French occupation. Mobile Bay was visited. An
attempt to enter Pensacola Bay was frustrated by contrary cur-
rents. The two vessels returned to Vera Cruz early in Septem-
ber, bringing corroborative evidence to prove that the French
colony had met with disaster, and that nothing further need be
feared from it.1
"Bancroft erroneously calls Pez, "Andres de P6res" (North Meitcav
States and Tesas, 1, 399).
"Few details of this voyage are available. The official diary has not
been found. The above account is based upon the following documents:
Navarro to the viceroy, June 24, 1687, 1 p.; the viceroy to the king,
July 25, 1687, 5 pp.; same to same. March 20, 1688, p. 1 (all in Mexico,
61-6-20); consult of the Junta de Guerra, March 22, 1691, p. 3 (Mfxico,
61-6-21). A number of secondary writers refer to the voyage of Pea
and Gamarra as the most important of the series, but give no details.

Spanish and tFrench Rivalry in Gulf Region



The fourth maritime ezpedition.-In spite of the Count of
Monclova's confident assertion that no foreign settlement ex-
isted on the coast of the Gulf of Mlexico, it is evident that he
was not entirely at ease in the matter-, for, upon the strength of
the uncorroborated statement of an obscure English adventurer,
a fourth maritime expedition was authorized. The responsibili-
ty for this fourth search by sea must be laid at the door of an
individual named Ralph Wilkinson, who deserves to go down in
the history of America in close company with such famous pre-
varicators as Hennepin and La Hontan.
In September, 1687, just when the colonial officials were be-
ginning to breathe freely once more, Governor Munibe of BHav-
ana sent to Vera Cruz an Englishman named Ralph Wilkinson,
accused of piracy, who claimed to havO positive knowledge con-
cerning a French town called St. Jean, situated near the coast
of the Gulf of Mexico. Wilkinson was interrogated at Vera
Cruz by Admiral Navarro, and was then remitted to the capital.

On November 21 he was examined by th
of a number of prominent officials, inc
Barroto. The declarations made by W
Vera Cruz were so conflicting that he i
he had not told the entire truth; but
he had nothing to fear, he promised
tion all that he knew about the French
his story was as follows:
He declared that he was forty-six ye
castle, England; but resident for the i
Jamaica, where he had followed the t

ie viceroy in the presence
luding Captain Pez and
rilkinson in Havana and
ras forced to confess that
upon being assured that
to tell without reserva-
town. The substance of

ars old; a native of New-
past twenty-five years of
rade of ship's carpenter,

having embarked in that capacity on many voyages to various
parts of the Indies. In June, 1685 he had contracted to sail
on a French vessel, which had been forced to put in to Jamaica
for repairs. He soon learned that the ship had been sent by the
governor, of Petit Gouave to warn the inhabitants of a French


University of Texas Bulletin

town called St. Jean, located near the Bay of Espiritu Santo,
that the Spaniards were plannmg to attack their settlement.
After a voyage of several weeks, the ship reached the latitude of

thirty degrees, and anchored without the mouth
The next day a canoe was seen approaching,
Indian and a Frenhman. When hailed in F,
on beard, and Wilkinson found, strange to say,
man was an old friend of his by the name of
captain of the sip, Wilkinson, and La Fleur
up the river in the canoe until they reached

of a large river.
containing three
rench, they came
that the Frenhk-
La Fleur. The
then proceeded
the town, some

thirty leagues away. The place was strongly fortified, Wilkin-
sm maid. The chief deene consisted of a fort of twenty-two
annon, garrisoned by fifty or sixty soldiers A short distance
from the fort was a redoubt of eleven guns. The wharf was
protected by nine guns. The population of the town, he thought,
was about four hundred, but there were many estates along the
river, so that the total number of inhabitants would probably
reae one thousand--all French. When asked by whom this town
had been founded, Wilkinson replied that he thought that a cer-
tain Monsieur de Salas had founded it, but that he could not
be sure on that point. He had remained in the settlement, he
aid, for more than six moths, during which time he had be-
eoae euamoured of a widow who owned a plantation on the
river, and had married her. Being tired of wandering around,
he decided that he had found at last the place where he would
pan the remainder of his years in tranquility. He had there-
fare resolved to go to London to kl some property that he owned
there, with the intention of returning to St. Jean to end Ii.
days. It was while on his way to London, he said, that he had
been captured by the Spaniards, and taken to Havaa, unjustly
accused of. being a pirate. Wilkinmon gave the most minute de-
tails concerning the French colony, and showed remarkable in-
genuity in answering the many questions that were propounded
to him by the Spanih icials.
'Declaration of Wilkiason. Nov. 21 and 22, 1687, in an e tpedleut en-
titled, El Virrey Conde de la Monclova da qta a V. M. de hauer emblado
a! Capn. Dn. Andris de Pe a repetir el reconosimlento del Seno
Mano, etc., pp. 5-23 (Miuico, 61--20). Wilklansen's deelaratoa in H a
vana is found in ibid., 24-29; and that made in Vera Crus, Ibd., 29-84.
The first examination in the City of Mexico lasted for seven hours, and
had to be suspended until the following day.

Spanish and French Rivalry in Oulf Region

While the viceroy doubted the truth of the loquacious English-
man's story, he was unwilling to take any chances in a matter
which had caused the king such great uneasiness. He therefore
decided to send out another expedition, guided by Wilkinson,
to search for the town of St. Jean Wilkinson recklessly assured
the viceroy that he would find the river and town again, or for-
feit his head in the attempt. Captain Andrf de Pee and Juan
Enriquez Barroto were again called upon, and were ordered to
embark in one of the vesseb of the windward squadron. They
were instructed .to explore only that region which lay within
latitude thirty degrees, where Wilkiaon had said the entrance
to the river would be found.
Pea and Barrote left Vera CiCm in the early part of Mareh,
1688. With them went many of the men who had taken part
in previous expeditions. Wilkinson was very much in evidence,
and regaled his eompanions with many stories concerning the
French colony. The vessel proceeded fist to Mobile Bay, where
it was safely anchored, and a small boat (chalupa) was put into
shape for the exploration. Slowly and carefully the rivers and
indentations of the coast were again examined, but at no point

did the Spaniards find a great
truth of Wilkinson's tale grew
near the Rio de la Palizada,

navigable river. Doubt as to the
day by day. Fiaefly Cape Lode,
was reached, and Wilkinson, who

had by this time been placed in iroe, was
where his town was. The zgishman replied
know; that he had never been in the town 1
merely been told of its existence by certain F
he had met at Laguna de Trmianos in Yu
imagine th exasperation of the Spaiards wh

mcoraflly asked
that he did net
himself, but had
'renchmen wheot
eatn. One ea.
ten theyreAised

that they had been duped by the mendacious Englishmen. Wil-
kinson was forced to siga a sworn statement, aes(Swmg that all
of his story eoueraig the tow was binsed up.e hearsay only.P
Althegh the Spania rd were f the foert tine Hi the very

'eeerton of Willkiuon at Cabq dGe bMo April 5, .668 in ewpe-
diente eattle, El ViLey e d la MIcWve da qt a V. M. de la que
remalt. el .e 4 him O. Adkb d e r Pe eai e aer el i. vu
embustero, etc., 4-6 (Mdxico, 61-6-20); Pez to the viceroy, Apal 24, 1688.
iid., 34; the vier~w to the f, MV 27, 168, Wd., 1-.

84 University of Texas Bulletin

mouth of the greatest river on the continent, they ignored its ex..
istence completely. Never did it seem to occur to them that the
Rio de la Palizada was the great river for which they were
seeking. Wilkinson 's declaration, moreover, showed that they
were engaged in a wild goose chase, and there seemed nothing
to do but return home. The expedition arrived at Vera Cruz
on April 24. By this time Wilkinson had recovered his self-
possession, and stoutly maintained that he had told the truth
in the beginning. He was no pilot, he said, and had never
claimed that he could find the town by his own unaided effort.
All that he had agreed to do was to show the way to the town
if placed in the mouth of the river on which it was located.
When reminded of the confession that he had made at Cape Lodo,
he said that he did not remember what he had said there; that
all that he knew was that he had spent several months at St. Jean,
and that his wife still lived there. Needless to state, he was no
longer believed. Captain Pez, angry and exasperated, wrote the
viceroy that Wilkinson was nothing but a great "embustero,"
incapable of telling the truth. Pez assured the viceroy with
great emphasis that no foreign settlement existed on the Gulf
coast. Such an idea was absurd, he said, for it was impossible
for ships even of moderate size to navigate those waters with
It was very obvious that Captain Pez had correctly summed
up the true character of Ralph Wilkinson. The fiscal in the city
of Mexico, in discussing the matter, agreed with Pez that the
Englishman was an extraordinary liar, and that he had con-
.octed the whole tale of the French settlement in order to free
himself from punishment for his piracies. There remained noth-
ing to do save to punish Wilkinson as he richly deserved. Orders
were therefore given for a full investigation into his past career,
and the imposition of the severest penalty that his crimes would
justify. He was later condemned to hard labor in the galleys..
sPez to the viceroy, April 24, 1688, bMd., 3-4; declaration made by
Wilkinson upon the return to Vera Cruz, (bid., 6-8. The diary and navi.
gation-chart of this voyage were sent by Pea to the viceroy, but have
not been found.
*Respuesta fiscal, May 5, 1688, b/d., 9-12; Cavo, Los Tres BigIos, ii, 72.

Spanish and JFrench Rivalry in Gulf Region

The town of St. Jean had been proven to be a myth, and the
Spanish officials were inclined to believe that the whole tale of
French encroachment had little better foundation than that
imaginary settlement. The naval forces that had been brought
over by the Count of Monelova were now sent back to Spain.'
Once again New Spain could rest at ease. But hardly had the
humiliating Wilkinson episode been concluded, when informa-
tion reached the region of Nuevo Le6n, which indicated in
unequivocal fashion that, notwithstanding the results of the re-
peated expeditions that had been made by land and sea, the
French were actually settled within the territory bordering on

the Gulf ol
The Cap

? Mexico.
ture of

Jeoan Gery, and the Revival of the French

the spring of 1688 Alonso de Le6n, who will be re-
as the leader of the two expeditions that had been

made from Nuevo Le6n in search of the French, was busily
engaged in a series of campaigns against the Toboso Indians
and their allies, who had recently gone on the war-path. Le6n
in the previous year had been made captain of a company of
twenty-five soldiers, and had been given permission to found
a presidio and villa in the region lying to the westward of
Nuevo Le6n, and known as Coahuila or Nueva Estremadura.
The title of governor of this province had also been bestowed
upon him. The beginnings of the new settlement had been
made under favorable auspices, but the completion of the found-
ing had been interrupted by the outbreak of Indian hostilities.
Governor Le6n was forced to abandon the site that had been
chosen- for his colony. He took up his headquarters at the

Tlaxcaltecan pueblo of San.
inforcements from his old
more began his efforts to I
engaged in this task, he wI
participation in the search i

'Consulta of the
BSee p. 88, note
Le6n had been
huila by a decree

Francisco de Coahuila, obtained re-
province of Nuevo Le6n, and once
pacify the country. While he was
as to be brought again into active
!or the French settlement.6

Council of the Indies, March 22, 1691, p. 4 (Mexico,

authorized to found a villa of thirty families in Coa-
of the viceroy, dated October 13, 1687. He had first

University of Texas Bulletin

In May, 1688 Governor Le6n sent a Tlaxealtecan Indian by the
name of Agustin into the region north of Coahuila to enlist
the support of various friendly tribes against the hostile Tobosos.
The Tlaxealtecan crossed the Rio Grande in the course of his
wanderings, and arrived at a large Indian camp or rancheria
ruled over by a white chief. Agustin was taken into the presence
of this personage, and made to kneel before him with treat

reverence. He found t
years of age, white like
after the fashion of his

he chief to be
the Spaniards, 1
followers. He

a man of about fifty
but naked and painted
was seated on a bench

with buffalo skins,

throne. An attendant st
style. The chief was at
the aid of signs and nat
not a Spaumird, but a Fr
among the Indians, and

which served him
d on either side in
to converse with 1
e interpreters. He
chman, seat by God
ranize them for cj

as a rude
said that
to found

sort of
he was

their enemies. When told of the proximity of Alonso de Le6n,
he expressed a desire to see the governor, and gave Augnutin
selected the "Mesa de los Catulanes"'as a tIltable site, but this had been
rejected for a place knon as the "Boca de Nadadores," on the river
of that name. Here the work at founding had been begun, only to be
Interrupted by the uprisig of the natives mentioned above. It was not
until August 12, 1689 that the villa was finally to be established with
the name of "Santiago de Monelova," in honor of the viceroy. The site
was a quarter of a league from the Tiatcaltecan pueblo, where Le6n
maintained his presidio temporarily, and constitutes today the modern
town of Monclova, Coabula (Auto de fdaon de la Villa he t.amtlag
de Mondova, GuadalaJra, 7-4-13, 4 pp.)
Dr. Clark, in his Beginsning of Teas, says that the presidio of Santi-
ago de Monclova, containing a population of two hundred and seventy
persons, was 'founded in 1687 by the viceroy in order to erect'a barrier
to French encroachment (op. cit., p. 15). This statement, based upon
mavo's Tre Bigleo, Is obviously incorrect. The presidial .gairson Ma-
meited of only twentr-fve men, in 1687, and the villa dsetl which was
not actually founded until 1689, was to Include only thirty families. It
is doubtful whether there were so many at first. In studying a wide
range of soures, I have found no indication that laen's settlement was
made as a result of the French alarm. It seems, rather, to have been
merely a part of the general expansion activities on the northern fron-
tier at this time.



Spanish and French Rivalry in Glf Region 87

some pages from a French book to carry back to the Spaniards
as a message.'
Such was the story told by the Tlaxcaltecan upon his return
to Coahuila. Governor Le6n immediately concluded that the
white chief must indeed be a Frenchman; who had been sent
out from a French settlement to win the friendship of the In-
dians, and prepare the way for a formal invasion of the Spanish.
provinces. He therefore decided to try to capture the myrt-
terious stranger, and learn his designs. On May 18 he set out.
from his presidio with a force of eighteen picked men, including
Martin de Mendiondo, captain of the detachment from Nuevo
Le6n. Father Buenaventura Bonal accompanied the party as
chaplain. After a week's journey toward the northeast, the
Rio Grande was reached, forty-two leagues away. Here fire
soldiers were left in charge of the camp, while Le6n pressed
on with the .remainder of his force. About twenty leagues
further, they encountered a large number of Indians engaged
in a buffalo hunt. When the savages were questioned i regard
to the presence of a "Spaniard" in that region, they said Sey
knew him well, for he was their own chief. They then led the
way to their rancher f. The Spaniards reined up their tarean
before the house of the chief, which was guarded by a number
of Indians armed with bws and arrows. Le6n, Mendiondo and
Father Bea dismounted, and pushed their way through the
guards into the presence of the chief. They mnd ldm jut as
the Indian Augustin had described. As the priest approahd,
the man knelt in his seat, and kissed the father's babit. He
then asek heads very courteously with Le6n and Mendiondo,
crying out egaim ad aga in broken Spanish, "Yo PcMnh,
Yo Fraane." After much persuson and diplomacy, Captain
Le6n suneeeeded in spiriting away the Prenchma, telling the
Indians that their chief would 'be given the bet of trea M t,

'Auto of Len, May 18, 1688, in Auttos y Duigencias q e na KMNl-
tado, pp. 5-7 (Mico, 61-6420); LeOn to the viceroy, umne 21, 18 (tl.,
1-2; iators de sue o Ledu, 314). The pages Trom the Yreadh tiot,
were forwarded to the viceroy.

University of Texas Bulletin

and soon brought back to the rancheria.

The return trip was

made without difficulty, and the presidio reached on June 6.'


had attempted

to question

prisoner on

the return trip, but had been unable to make himself under-
stood. Upon the arrival at the presidio a formal examination
was held. An Indian of the mission of Caldera, who knew the

tongue of the tribe ruled over


by the Frenchman, served as

prisoner said that his name was Fratcisco,

but that his countrymen

called him



that he was a native of St'Jean de Orlians, in France; and
that he had been sent by order of Monsieur Philip, governor
of a town which had been built on a large river, to win over the



to the


of the king

of France.

said that he had been among the Indians for more than three
years, and had married into the tribe with which he had been


He was asked how long it had been since his country-

men settled on the large river, how many families had come,
and under what pretext they had invaded territory which be-

longed to the king of Spain.

Replying by signs, the Frenchman

was understood to say that the town had been founded about
fifteen years before; but no answer could 'be obtained to the rest

of the queries.

He was then asked to describe the town.

'The diary and derrotero of this early journey into Texas Is in Auttos

y Diligencias q se an Executado, 16-20.

The list of soldiers is given

ibid., 16-17. A brief account of this entrada is given in the Historia de
Nuevo Ledn, 314. Some of these autos are also given in Portillo, Apuntes

para La lIstoria antigua de Coahuila b Tdzas (Saltillo, 1888),


"This name is given in the documents in a variety of forms, such

as "Jarri," "Xarri," and "Xeri.

Although the Frenchman was usually

called "Juan Enrique" by the Spaniards, and has so been referred, to
by modern writers, there is good evidence for believing that his name
was "Jean G4ry." The form "Xeri" occurs in the declaration of Arche-
vrque before the viceroy, and the statement is made that "the said

Frenchman is named Juan Xeri."

As is well known, the letter "X" in

early Spanish often had the sound of the French "J," or "0" before

"'e and '"i".

This is shown in the same document, where the name

'"Jaques Grollet" is written "Xaque Grole." "Xeri" therefore naturally

becomes "G4ry."

(Declaration of Archevlque, June 10, 1689, in Auttos y

Dligenclas q se an Executado, p. 66.)


Spaeis and French Rivalry in Gulf Region 89

said that it was protected by two castles (castiaos), one belong-
ing to the French, and one to the Flemish. The French castlee
contained twenty cannon, and was garrisoned by six companies
of soldiers. There was a Capuchin convent, and a church with
ten bells in its tower. He said that he had been visited twice by
his countrymen since leaving the town; the first time about a
year before, when "Captain Monsieur Jarri" had come with
sixteen men, and the second time by seven others, who wished to
know what progress he was making with the Indians. Many
other questions were asked him, but the facilities for examining
him were so poor that it was impossible to secure any further
In spite of the absurdity and contradictions of many of the
Frenchman's replies, Governor Le6n had no doubt but that he
had finally obtained positive proof of the existence of the
French settlement so long sought for in vain. He therefore
decided to remit the prisoner to the capital, where he might be
examined more thoroughly by the viceroy, and the exact location
of the settlement perhaps ascertained. Jean G6ry was there-
fore taken by Le6n to Monterey, and sent from the latter place
to the city of Mexico. From Mbnterey Le6n wrote the viceroy,
emphasizing the imminent danger from the French, and remind-
ing him that the presidio of Coahuila had a garrison of only
twenty-five men with which to withstand the threatened invasion.
He advised that a formidable attack be made upon the French
settlement at once both by land and by sea. He promised to
send out spies upon his return to Coahuila in an effort to learn
something definite about the location of the enemy's stronghold.11

"Declarasion del frances Frco. alias Yan Jarrl, June 8, 1688, in Auttos
y Diligencias q se an Executado, 11-15..
"Le6n to the viceroy, June 21, 1688, enclosing autos and derrotero
previously cited (bIMd., 1-20); Historia de Nuevo Le6n, 315-317.
The story of the capture of Jean GOry, as drawn from the original
sources cited above, differs materially from the account given in the
Carts of Father Maasanet, which has hitherto been the accepted author-
ity for this episode. Fray Damlan Massanet, or Manzanet, was a mis-
sionary at the. time in the mission of Caldera, and later wrote an ac-
count of the whole matter. He makes it appear that the capture of the
Frenchman was due chiefly to his own efforts. One of the Indians in

University of Texzas Bulletin

The pihoner reached the city of iMxico on June 12 in the
custody of Captain Mendiondo, and was immediately taken be-

fore the viceroy for examination. This time
name was "Juan Enrique"; that he was a

he declared that his
native of Xebe in

France. He said that when he was a youth he had been caF
at sea by the EngliA. When asked whither his captor
taken him, he made no reply, but merely laughed. He
said that he had oome from France five years before, in
pany with Monsieur Philip and Monsieur Xarri. When
how far it was from the racheria in which he had been


to the French settlement on the Gulf of Mexico, he replied at
first that it was three leagues, but immediately corrected him-
self, and said that it was three hundred. When questioned far-
ther on this point, he remained silent, twisting a handkerchief


to th



h he wore around his neek, and shrugging his
a asked the same question again in a different
d that it was a journey of thirty-two days from
to the runaerd. Yet only a moment later, w
many days it had taken him to walk from the
a settlement, he did net answer, but merely struck

form, he
the settle-
hen asked
ranchis breast
iB breast

his open palm, sad remained in deep contemplation. He
then asked how he had happened to be among the Indians
whom he had been living. He replied that he had come
three ships to a certain bay, where all had embarked in

se e pall bats, and gone up the river to the place where the
fat wEs built. From the fort .he had made his way to the
rnokeria to rule over the Indians. A map was then shown the

his mmtlon, he says, had told him of the Frenchman. and at Massanet's
order had succeeded in inducing the Frenchman to go to a rancher$
nerer Calbusla, where Lean had captured him without any trouble or
danger whatever.- (arta de Do aialan uMananet A Don Carlos de
igaenma, .in the Tea StatWe HBtoricel Quarterly, ii, 255-256; reprinted
ta Bolton, 8,aiSh ugobraios is the Bouthowet, 154.-2706.) Le6n
makes so maltomo of the part played by the priest, and his account of
the -capture Is quite different, as has been seen. Maanet's Carta can
. longer be accepted as 4 reliable authority in all of its details, as
the writer basafound to be the case in numerous other Instances, where
the original sources are new available. Cark's Beginnifngs of Teas,
which relies almost exclusively upon Massanet for the early period of
Texas history, is therefore inexact in several places.

Spanish and FPrench Rivalry in Gulf Region

on the ri
were six
earned by
and had
visited th
fort, on t

and he was asked to tell the number of men in the fort
ver that was pointed out to him.12 Hie said that there
companies of twenty-four men each in the fort, gov-
Monsieur Philip. The fort was constructed of adobe,
twenty pieces of artillery. The last time that he had
ie settlement, it consisted of seventeen houses near the
the north side of the river. On the opposite side of the

river, he said, were the fields of the
the distance from the fort to the Bae
be traversed in three days by land,
When questioned further in regard
fort to the rancheria, he said that he
was; that it might be one hundred a

settlers. He thought that
y of Espiritu Santo could
and in one day by boat.
to the distance from the
e did net know how far it
ad fity leagues, or that it

might be three hundred. He did not remember the name ef the
river or bay on which the fort was located, but said that the
fort itself was called "La V~rit6" ratcherfa where he had lived had been named "Enjen" rby
his countrymen. There was no other settlement on the coat,
he said, with the exception of a small unfrtified town belonging
to the Flemiuh.
At this point the emminatia wad smpended, and was not ire-
sumed ntil July 16. At Ihe secd baring the prisoner was
omafnted wih the declaration he had made im COahila, ad
was ated to dpin he vaous ditrepct ppeaed
between it and the statamet he had made before the viceroy.
The Frenchman said that he. had eviently not ben uudentood
in Coshuila, tfr what he had told the ery was the truth.
A few mire deta were emrd frmm him now nm ega a to his
penal bhitory and the met ent itelf. The three ships
whibh be had previuilty melti ned, be sad, id aed from the
poit R toe Viin Mary, three rateB o h native town of
Xebte, hring been sent by the king of Frame to found a new
"colony. They had not gone directly to the place where the fort
was built, but had first explored the coast, seeking a suitable
site. They had finally found the bay and river mentioned be-
fore, and had been forced land im evare, all boats, the three

"JJut what river was Indicated -is eot lear; but .it was probably that
of Eepfritu Santo, as shown on the current maps of the time.

University of Texas BuZletin

large vessels having been wrecked in the bay.

in regard to the distance from the fo
put again. The Frenchman replied
that it had taken him twelve days
was sure that he could find the way
signs along the route. Many other
ture were asked the prisoner, and
sanity. He was asked to repeat the
other bits of the catechism, all of
Nothing further could be learned ha

rt to the i
I that he
to make
again, as

The old question
rancheria was now
remembered now
the journey. He
he had left many
of a personal na-

various tests made of his
creed, the Ave Maria, and
which he knew very well.
however in regard to the lo-

cation of the fort and colony, and the longer he was examined,
the more incoherent his answers became. The officials were finally
forced to desist, being firmly convinced that the man was de-
In spite of the conflicting nature of the prisoner's statements,

of two facts there
Frenchman, and th
of territory claimed
that he could have
all of the details he
Count of Monclova,
that had been give
make a final attempt
on July 23 it was m

could be no doubt, namely: that he was a
at he had been found far within the limits
by Spain. It seemed improbable, moreover,
drawntupon his disordered imagination for
had given concerning the French fort. The
therefofie, remembering the imperative orders
1 him, decided that it would be necessary to
t to find the French. At a junta general held
unanimously decided to send out an expedition

from Coahuila, to be commanded by Alonso de Le6n. It was not
to be made ready until the following year."
The Fifth Maritime Expedition.-Three days after the exam-
ination of Jean GQry was concluded, the viceroy wrote to Captain
Martin de Rivas in regard to another maritime expedition to
search for the town described by the Frenchman." Rivas was at
Vera Cruz, and was preparing to make a voyage to Laguna de
T~rminos to drive out the foreigners who were cutting the val-

"Declarazon del franzes ante el virrey, in Auttos y Diligenclas q ee
an Executado, 20-34; Monclova to the king, Feb. 10, 1688 (Mexico,
4"Junta general, July 28, 1688, in Auttos y Dillgenclas q se an Execu-
tado. 37-40; viceroy's decree, Aug. 9, 1688, ibNd., 43.
"Rivas had commanded one of the vessels of the second maritime
expedition. Bupra, p. 74.

Spanish and Frenci Rivalry in Gulf Region

unable logwood the


The viceroy ordered him to suspend this

put into

commission, with supplies for about three and one-half

viceroy wholly approved of these suggestions,

and gave orders for the vessels to sail wit
instructions from the capital.?8
Rivas and Pez left .Vera Cruz on Aug
directly to Tampico, where they remained
"The viceroy to Rivas, July 19, 1688, 2 pp.
1Rivas and Pes to the viceroy, July 24, 1688,
"The viceroy to Rdvas, July 28, 1688, 2 pp.

lout awaiting further

'ust 8, and proceeded
d for nine days. Six
(M6xico, 61-6-20).
3 pp. (ibi.)

operation, and consult with Andr6s de Pea in regard to another
reconnaissance of the Gulf coast. According to the confused
statements of the French prisoner, the viceroy said, the settle-
ment appeared to be about one hundred leagues from the Indian
village where the man had been found, and about five leagues
from the sea. It did not seem necessary, therefore, to explore
the whole coast again, but merely that portion from Tampico
to the bay where the wrecked vessel had been found. Extreme
care should be taken this time, the viceroy admonished, to ex-
plore every river and inlet, no matter how insignificant, and
landing parties should be sent out for this purpose when it was
impossible to make a thorough examination from the vessels.
Monclova urged great haste in the matter, and authorized Rivas
to send his reply by special courier.1"
Captain Rivas lost no time in getting into touch with Andres
de Pez. On July 24 the two captains sent in a joint report.
While they were absolutely certain in their own minds, they
said, that there was no suitable site for a settlement on that por-
tion of the coast indicated by the viceroy, yet in order to clear up
any lingering doubts that might have arisen in consequence of
the Frenchman's story, they were willing to mah another
voyage. They suggested that the Rio Grande should be ex-
plored more extensively than had been done before, and that
the voyage should then be continued as far as San Bernardo
Bay and the Rio de Cibolas. If nothing were found in that
distance, it would be useless to look further, as the remainder of
the coast was swampy and unfit for settlement. They suggested
that the two pirogues used on the second expedition should be

94 University of Tesa Bulel

days were spent in exploring the Rio de Palmas or Maupate,
just north of Tampico, as reports of white men in that region
had been received through the Indians." On September 1 the
pirognes were anchored opposite the month of the Rio Grande.
The first exploring party sent out was forced to return on ac-
count of the hostile attitude of the Indians. Shortly afterward.
two canoes filled with armed men were despatched to explore
the river. For five days the explorers ascended the river, until,
according to the report given, the water became so shallow that
it was decided that the source of the stream could not be far
distant, and that further progress was therefore useless. The
party returned to the pirogues on September 9. San Bernardo
Bay was next visited. The wreck of the French vessel was no
longer to be seen, having finally been broken up by the wind
and waves. Fourteen days were spent in exploring the vi-
cinity of the bay. Most of the streams which flowed into the
bay seem to have been dry of water, however, and were therefore
not examined for any considerable distance up their channels.
The whole region appeared so uninviting that wies again it
seemed absurd to imagine that foreigners would choose to es-
tablish a settlement there. An attempt was made to communi-
eate with the natives, but only one band was seen, which fled
in haste after expressing their enmity by a shower of arrows.
The search was then continued to the Rio de Cibolas, which was
aso found to be without water on aceount of the unusally dry
season. The negative resUlts of the voyage bore out eonclu-
sively, it seemed, the previo convictions of both Rivs and
Pe. The return voyage was began on September 25, and Vet
Cru was made at midnight, September 29.'

"This investigation was doubtless due to a letter written to the
viceroy by Fray Juan de la Cruz Durango, stating that the Indians of
Cerro Gordo had told their cpitdn protector, Francisco de Cfrdenas,
that 3000 "Spaniards" were settled in the region to the north. ThMe
letter had bOa coasidred in the junta general of Jut 23 (Auttos y
Diligencian q me an xaeeutado, pp. 34-38).
'Diario del Viage que se va a ejecutar. .. con las dos Gateotas a
efectos del real Servio de 8. M. siendo cavo de ellas el Capn. de mar y
guerra Martin de Rivas, 11 pp.; the viceroy, Conde de Galve, to the
king, June 14, 1689, 3 pp.; Monclova to the king, Feb. 10, 1689, pp. 5-6
(all in M6xlco, 61-6-20).

Spamisk and French Rivalry is Gulf Region

Upon their arrival at Vera Cruz, Rivas and Pez found there
the new viceroy, the Count of Galve, who had been appointed
to succeed Monclova, the latter having been promoted to the
viceroyalty of Peru. The explorers turned over the diary and
map of the navigation to the new viceroy, who soon assumed the
duties of his office. The Count of Galve was of the opinion that
it was manifestly useless to send out any more maritime ex-
peditions, but that it was more logical to continue the search
by land from the northern frontier. He did not therefore make
any changes in the plans for the expedition from Coahuila under
Alonso de Le6n, and preparations to end this were continued
during the winter of 1688-1689.~
The search from Nuett Vizcaya.-Several months before the
apprehension of Jean G6ry took place, rumors concerning the
presence of foreigners on the Gulf coast had begun to penetrate
to the far western region of Nueva Vizeaya, as a result of which

the authorities of that province were to ti
the search for the French colony. The d
rumors affords an interesting example of
formation was carried by the Indians of the
to tribe across great stretches of semi-arid
more clearly the fact that the first channel
tween Spaaish settlements in Mexico and
Texas was first opened up from the distant
along the upper Rio Grande, instead of
provinces of Cpahuila and Nuevo Le6n imm
ward. How well established was this line o
be shown by the following account of the ser
which the officials of Nueva Vizeaya were n
activities and final fate of La Salle's colony

government, with all of its industry, succeed
the mystery.
Among the Indiana who were a*ustokmed 1
visits to the straggling missions of La Junta, a
hundred miles below El Paso at the confluence o
and Conchos Rivers, were various migratory 1

lThe oaunt of Galve to their king, June 14, 1 89,

ike an active part in
insemination of these
the way in which in-
Southwest from tribe
country, and reveals
of communication be-
the region known as
group of settlements
from the contiguous
lediately to the south-
f communication will
ies of events- through
iade cognizant of the
before the viceregal

d in clearing up

o make periodic
situated mae two
f theRie Grande
bands of the Ju-

pp. 1-2 (MA6iea,

University of Texas Bulletin

mano and Cibolo tribes.

These were the natives whom Father

L6pez and
when they
country to
or capitdn
Xaviata or
during the
year.=s In
his people
to participi

Juan Dominguez de Mendoza

set forth their proposals f
the eastward of New Miexico
grande, of these allied tribe
Sabeata,2" who had been el
padres to begin their work
the spring of each year,


i had wished to reach
the occupation of the
1684. The head chief,
was the famous Juan
fly instrumental in in-
La Junta in that same

this tireless traveler led

long journeys toward the east to hunt buffalo, and
in the annual fair that was held with the friendly

tribes of the Texa
At this fair the pl
the northern froni
bartered. The- reti
made in the autunm
of La Junta. In
ber of the Jumano
country, and were
sionaries at Junta

is or Hasinai




under secured from the Spaniards all along
tier seems to have been haggled over and
irn trip to the Jumano country was usually
I, and the rest of the year spent in the vicinity
the latter part of 1687, apparently, a num-
and Cibolo had just returned from the Texas
on one of their accustomed visits to the mis-
de los Rios. They brought news of "other

Spaniards," who were Jiving near the territory of the Texas,
and asked the priests for a letter to carry to these people. One
of the missionaries, Father Agustin de Colina, placing little
confidence in the chatter of his savage friends, told them first to
bring a letter from the other Spaniards in order to prove the
truth of their statements. This the Indians promised to do.
In September of the following year the advance guard of the re-
turning Jumano and Cibolo began to arrive at the mission,
bringing further confirmation of the presence of white men in
the eastern country. They said that the Spaniards were carry-
ing on a regular trade with the Texas Iridians, but that they

"I have found this name written as "Xaviata" or "Javiata" in the
documents at my disposal. Other sources from the Mexican archives
refer to this chief as "Sabeata." Bolton uses the latter form exclusively
(See "The Spanish Occupation of Texas." Southwestern Historical
Quarterly, xvi, 19-20; and "The Jumano Indians in Texas," Texas State
Historical Quarterly, xv., 72-73.)
"For brief accounts of the founding of the missions at Junta de los
Rios, see the two articles last cited, and Hughes, "The Beginnings of
Spanish Settlement in the El Paso District," University o Coaltfornia
Publications in History, 1, 330-338).

Spanish and French Rivalry in Gulf Region

always returned to their wooden houses near the sea.

their hou
armor, th
of Parral
enter the
near the
these fact
who was

One of

oes on the water had been lost. The strangers wore
ey said, and had told the Indians that' the Spaniards
were "no good," and that they themselves would soon
western region in order to bring it under their sub-
The Indians also told of an individual, whom they
as a "Moor" (Moro), who was ruling over a tribe
Texas, and leading them in their eampaigb;"'. All of

s would
then en

be confirmed, they said, by one of their chiefs,
route to the missions, bearing the promised

letter, and full details in regard to the strangers.

The whole kingdom of New Spain had been too greatly stirred
by the many efforts that had been made to find the reported
Freneh settlement for even the exiles at the isolated mission of
La Junta to be ignorant of the significance and importance of
the tales told by the Indians. The governor of the province,
Juan Isidro de Pardifias, was immediately advised of the reports.
HIe at once resolved to make an attempt to gain for himself .the
credit that wodld come from solving the problem that had vexed
the higher officials for so long a time. He therefore planned to
send out a' searching expedition, to be made in conjunction with
a campaign to punish the hostile tribes which had again been
harassing the northern outposts of his province. On November
2 he issued` orders to Juan de Retana, captain of the presidio
of Conchos, for the raising of a force of ninety men to make
the proposed expedition. Captain Retana was instructed first to
march to La Junta to subdue the troublesome Indians in that
region. He was then to cross the Rio Grande, and penetrate as
far as practicable toward the east in an effort to find the French

"In. these confused tales, one may recognize various incidents which
have been brought out in the preceding chapters: the journeys of La
Salle in search of the Mississippi, the wreck of his ships, the building
of the huts on the' Garcitas, and the presence of Jean Gery among the
Indians north of Coahuila.
"Declarations of various Indians, and of Fathers Colina and' Hinojosa
at the presidio of San Francisco de Conchos, NOv. 21-23, 1688, in Autos
fhos por el' Sor Gour y Capn Genl de la Nueva Vizcay sobte las
noticlas q dibron los Yndios del Rio del Norte de qe subian por 41
Naclones estrangeras, pp. 2-9 (Guadalajara, 67-4-11).

University of Texas Bulletin

intruders. The governor, of course, had no idea of the great
distance that lay between his province and the Gulf of Mexico.
In his instructions to Retana he stated that, according to the
most reliable information at hand, the Rio Grande flowed into

Espiritu Santo Bay, where the French were said
referred to the ineffectual attempts that had be
viceroy to locate this bay. Retana should there
reach it, reconnoiter it carefully, and learn al
as to the strength of the French colony. He was
pains to cultivate friendly relations with the
should find any nation, such as the Texas, who h
form of government and were ruled over by
(jefe), he was to make a binding treaty of alli
and give them to understand that the king of
rightful owner of all the western world. The
ordered to set out from the presidio of Conchoa on

to be settled. He
en made by the
fore endeavor to
l that he could
to take especial
Indians. If he
ad an organized
a king or chief
ance with them,
Spain was the
expedition was
I November 15."

The exact date of the departure of the expedition from Conchos
is not clear, but it apparently did not take place until December
or January."2 Captain Retana first turned his attention to the
work of pacifying the country. He attacked and defeated three
of the tribes that had been most troublesome, and took a large
number of prisoners, with much booty. He then proceeded to
La Junta to carry out the second part of his instructions for the
exploration of the Rio Grande and Espiritu Santo Bay. Upon
arriving at the Rio Grande, he sent out scouts to select the best
"Autos Iroveidos por el gouor con las primas noticias, Nov. 2, 16888,
ibd., 13-14; Horden para qu se vaya a reconocer el Rio del Norte, Nov.
2, 1688, ibid., 14-19.
"While arrangements were being made for the campaign, the situ-
ation at La Junta had become so critical that the priests were forced
to abandon their mission and retire to the establishments on the Con-
chos. When Retana learned of their arrival at the neighboring mission,
he held a formal investigation to verify the first reports that had been
brought by the Indians concerning the French. The two priests from
La Junta, Father Agustin de Colina and Father Joaqufn de Hlnojoua,
were examined, as well as several Indians who had accompanied them in
their retreat. These declarations have been drawn upon for the fore;
going account (Auto of Retana, Nov. 20, 1688, and testimony of various
witnesses, iMd., 2-9. Copies of the same documents are in Guadalajara,

Spanish and rFrench Rivalry in Gulf Region

route for the expedition. Within a few days these scouts re-
turned, reporting that the governor of the allied tribes of that
region was en route to La Junta from the Texas, bringing letters
for the Spaniards which would explain everything. Upon re-
ceipt of this news, Captain Retana decided to go forth to meet
this important personage. Four days' journey from La Junta,
the returning chief was encountered. He proved to be none
other than Juan Xaviata, the old friend of the Spaniards. He
expressed his .pleasure at seeing the soldiers in his country, and
asked Retana the motive for the expedition. Betana then ex-
plained that he was in search of the strangers who had been
seen in the eastern country. Xaviata told him not to be alarmed;
that the "Mores" had already been killed, and their settlement
destroyed by the, neighboring Indians. In order to prove the
truth of his assertions, the chief then showed Betana some sheets
of paper which'contained French writing, and a piece of parch-
ment on which the. picture of a ship had been drawn, together
with a poem in French. He said that he had secured the relies
from some of the Indians who had taken part in the massacre
of the French." The story told by Xaviata seemed so plans-

ible and well authenticated that Captain Retana d
suspend further operations until he could communicate
governor, and receive new orders. On March 3 he w
diias, reporting the foregoing facts, and announcing th

decided to
e with the
rote Par-
tat Xavia-

. "The documents that were preserved from destruction in this mar-
velous manner, and which today constitute, doubtless, the only known
relics of La alle's Texas colony, still exist in the Archivo General do
Indias at Beville. Photographs of them have been made for the Uni-
versity of Texas. They consist of a portion of an original journal of
La Salle's voyage from Santo Domingo to the Texas coat, unidentifled
as yet by the present writer, and a venerable looking piece of parch-
ment, upon which is depicted what must have been one of La Salle's
ships. The drawing is probably the work of Jean de l'Archevlque, who
was implicated in the murder of La Salle, for his name is signed to the
poem inscribed on the parchment. The' presence of these interesting
mementos in a bundle of documents relating to petty Indian uprisings
in western Mexico no doubt explains the failure of previous investi-
gators to identity them, and explain their significance. The parehment
has long been known to2 the authorities of the archive, but its connec-
tion with La Salle wat not realized.

100 University of Texas Bulletin

ta and other chiefs would continue their journey to Parral to
pay their respects to the governor, and deliver to him the "let-
ters" and parchment in their possession."
Retana's letter reached Parral on March 30, and the delegation
of chiefs arrived soon afterwards. The Indians were examined
thoroughly in regard to the whole matter of the French settle-
ment, and gave, incidentally, much valuable and interesting
information concerning the country of the Texas Indians and
the surrounding regions. Their story left no reasonable doubt
that the French colonists had been killed by the hostile coast

Indians. Pardifas accordingly
give up the proposed expedition.
sued on April 12. This action
avenue of approach to Texas by
for a long period unfrequented
new line of communication was t

resolved to recall Retana, and
. Orders to this effect were is-
meant that the well-established
way of the west was to remain
by the Spaniards, and that, a
Xo be opened up from the region

of Coahuila and Nuevo Le6n.'
None of the foregoing facts were of course known to the central

authorities until several weeks la
de Le6n's expedition from Coahu
completed, and the final search fop
way. It now remains to give an
expedition, which was definitely
Salle's colony, and lead to-the first
tion into the region threatened by
The discovery of La Salle's set

ter. Preparations for Alonso
ila had in the meantime been
the French was already under
account of Le6n's important
to solve the mystery of La
extension of Spanish coloniza-
the French invasion.a1
tlement.-The viceroy 's order

for a third expedition by land from the northeastern frontier had
"Retana to Pardlfias, March 3, 1688, ibid., 19-22.
"The valuable declarations of Xavlata and his fellow chiefs at Parral,
made on April 11 and 12, 1688, are to be found ibid., 22-41. Many inter-
esting facts relating to the vielsitudes of. La Salle's colony are con-
tained therein.
"The action of Governor Pardlflas in suspending Retana's expedition
was doubtless due also to the fact that he was well aware of the estrada
to be made from Coahulla. Orders had been sent by the viceroy for
the dispatch of fifty men from the presidios of Nueva Vizcaya to acs
company Le6n's force, and these troops had already reached Coahuila
some time before the news of the fate of the French was brought by
the Indians.