Elizabeth Eckles' Guided Timeline of Exploration and Early Colonization of Texas

Hello, Ms. Word,  I  created a timeline about The Great Race to Texas from the years, 1519-1821.

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Age of Contact (1519-1689 in Texas) The wave of exploration that began with Columbus' voyage in 1492.

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The wave of exploration that began with Columbus’ voyage in 1492 didn’t take long to reach the land that is now Texas. Spain’s conquest of the Americas began on a series of islands in what is now the Caribbean Sea. 

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Age of Contact (1519-1689 in Texas)

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New colonial cities on those islands soon became hubs for exploration of the mainland. By 1519 ,it reached Texas, exploration had turned to conquest in what is now Mexico, when Hernán Cortés landed on the Yucatán peninsula then pushed inland to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.

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The Great Race to Texas: 1519-1821

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Age of Contact:The Great Race to Texas: European Exploration (1519-1821)

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As early as 1519, Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, in the service of the governor of Jamaica, mapped the coast of Texas. The first recorded exploration of today's Texas was made in the 1530s by Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, along with two other Spaniards and a Moorish slave named Estevanico.

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Europeans came to Texas for Gold, God and Glory. (1519-1821)

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Age of Contact:The Great Race to Texas: Spanish Exploration (1519-1821)

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Spanish exploration in Texas ( Started On April 23, 1541).The first expeditions to Texas were either accidental or spurred by the desire for riches. Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and crew are shipwrecked near Galveston and begin exploration. Francisco Vázquez de Coronado crosses part of the Texas Panhandle in search of Gran Quivira. 'Coronado's Camp at Blanco Canyon' by William K. Hartmann.

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Spanish exploration in Texas ( Started On April 23, 1541)

Cabeza de Vaca was one of the first Europeans to extensively explore Texas after an accidental landing at Galveston Island.  Alonso Alvarez de Piñeda, a mariner, first sighted Corpus Christi in 1519, while mapping the Texas coastland and also visited Galveston Island. The Europeans came to Texas for Gold, God, and Glory.

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Spanish Presence inTexas (1519-1821)

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Similar to Mexico, Texas traces its beginning to sixteenth-century encounters between Europeans and Indians who contested control over a vast land. 

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Age of Contact-1519 – Pineda maps Texas

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In 1519, there was an expedition led by Alonzo Álvarez de Pineda sailed west from Florida toward Mexico, mapping the coastline as they traveled. That map, which is still in existence, shows a long and curving coastline that we can recognize even today. It’s the first map showing the land that became Texas. There’s no evidence that the Pineda expedition came ashore in Texas, although it’s likely they stopped somewhere along the coast to restock their supplies of food and water. A later group of explorers gets credit for being the first people from the Old World to set foot on the Texas shore. 

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Age of Contact-1519 – Alonzo Alvarez De Pineda mapping

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Alonzo Alvarez De Pineda was a Spanish explorer and a map-maker that, in 1517, was sailing for the Spanish Governor of Jamaica, Francisco de Garay. The Spanish thought there was a sea lane from the gulf of Mexico to Asia. 


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Age of Contact-1519 – Alonzo Alvarez De Pineda

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In 1517-1519 Pineda led several expeditions to the western coastlines of the Gulf of Mexico, from the Yucatan Peninsula, to the Panuco River, just north of Veracruz, Mexico. On June  2, 1519 he entered a bay with a sizeable Native American settlement on one shore. 

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Age of Contact-1519 – Alonzo Alvarez De Pineda Maps

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He sailed upriver for 18 miles and saw as many as 40 villages on the banks of a large river he named "Espíritu Santo". It was long assumed that he was the first European report of the mouth of the Mississippi River. 

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1519 – Alonzo Alvarez De Pineda

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De Pineda continued his journey westward and one of the regions he explored and mapped was the area around the Corpus Christi Bay entering the bay on Corpus Christi the feast day, hence the name. 

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1519 – Alonzo Alvarez De Pineda

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Shortly after he sailed up on a river, he named Las Palmas (which was most likely the Rio Grande River) where he spent over 40 days repairing his ships. 

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1519 – Alonzo Alvarez De Pineda Maps

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The expedition established the rest of the Gulf of Mexico boundaries, while disapproving a sea passage to Asia. It was also verified that Florida was a peninsula instead of an island, and allowed Pineda to be the first European to explore the coastal areas of western Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, lands he called, "Amichel." 

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1519-Alonzo Alvarez De Pineda

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His map is the first known Texas history document and was the first map of the Gulf coast region f the U.S. The next year he was killed in a fight in Panuco, Mexico with Huastec Indians.

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Age of Contact:1537 – Cabeza de Vaca reports on Texas

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Cabeza de Vaca was one of the first Europeans to extensively explore Texas after an accidental landing at Galveston Island. 

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Age of Contact: The Great Race toTexas: Spanish Exploration:1682 – Spaniards establish the first Texas mission at Corpus Christi de la Ysleta

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Mission Corpus Christi de la Ysleta, once a New Mexican mission, is today considered to be the first mission in what is now Texas.

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Age of Contact: Ysleta Mission (Mission Corpus Christi de San Antonio de la Ysleta Sur) ( 1681–82)

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The mission was established by Antonio de Otermín, governor of New Mexico, and Fray Francisco de Ayeta in 1682 and was maintained by Franciscans for the purpose of Christianizing the Tigua Indians. The Tigua came as refugees and captives with Otermín on his retreat to the El Paso area after his unsuccessful attempt to recover New Mexico in the winter of 1681–82 following the Pueblo Revolt.

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Ysleta Mission (Mission Corpus Christi de San Antonio de la Ysleta Sur) ( 1681–82)

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 La Misión de la Ysleta del Sur, consecrated in 1682, was built by the Tigua (Tewa, Tiwa) speaking peoples originally from Isleta and Sandia Pueblos in what is today New Mexico and administered by Franciscan priests. 

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Ysleta Mission (Corpus Christi in San Antonio ) ( 1681–82)

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The mission was located east of present day El Paso, Texas. Dedicated to the Tiguas' patron, St. Anthony of Padua, the pueblo and mission became the nucleus of a community that has existed for 300 years—the oldest continuously occupied settlement in Texas.

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Mission Corpus Christi de San Antonio de la Ysleta Sur ( 1681–82)

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 Today, Ysleta Mission is on the National Register of Historic Places and is located along the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail.

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Cabeza De Vaca (November 6, 1528)

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Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and eighty companions accidentally became the first Europeans to travel through Texas when they crashed onto Galveston Island after a storm on November 6, 1528. They were the survivors of Pánfilo de Narváez's expedition that left Spain in 1527 to conquer and govern Florida. Cabeza de Vaca and other survivors were rescued by the Karankawa Indians after being thrown on Texas shore. The survivors were soon reduced to fifteen through the first winter, with many resorting to cannibalism. Cabeza de Vaca wandered through Texas for eight years as a slave, a trader and a healer. When epidemics caused Native hostility, the Karankawas withheld food from the Spaniards to force them to be healers. After several years as a slave for the Karankawas, Cabeza de Vaca left and lived among Coahuiltecan Indians for several years, trading seashells and coral on their behalf. He eventually joined Alonso Castillo Maldonado, Andrés Dorantes de Carranza and the Moorish slave Estevanico and attempted to journey to New Spain heading west across Texas and following the Gulf of California coastline. His oral and written accounts helped increase the exploration of Texas.


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Age of Contact: The Great Race to Texas:Spanish Conquistador 15th-17th century.

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Conquistadors (from Portuguese or Spanish conquistadores "conquerors" is a term used to refer to the soldiers and explorers of the Spanish Empire or the Portuguese Empire in a general sense.During the Age of Discovery, conquistadors sailed beyond Europe to the Americas, Oceania, Africa and Asia, conquering territory and opening trade routes. They colonized much of the world for Spain and Portugal in the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

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French exploration

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The French colonization of Texas began with Fort Saint Louis in present-day southeastern Texas. It was established in 1685 near Arenosa Creek and Matagorda Bay by explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle.

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French exploration: 1685 – LaSalle establishes Fort St. Louis

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The French colonization of Texas began with Fort Saint Louis in present-day southeastern Texas. It was established in 1685 near Arenosa Creek and Matagorda Bay by explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle. René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, established a French settlement on the Texas coast in summer 1685, the result of faulty geography that caused him to believe the Mississippi River emptied into the Gulf of Mexico in the Texas coastal bend.


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French exploration: (1685 ) LaSalle

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The colony faced numerous difficulties during its brief existence, including Native American raids, epidemics, and harsh conditions. From that base, La Salle led several expeditions to find the Mississippi River. These did not succeed, but La Salle did explore much of the Rio Grande and parts of east Texas. During one of his absences in 1686, the colony's last ship was wrecked, leaving the colonists unable to obtain resources from the French colonies of the Caribbean. As conditions deteriorated, La Salle realized the colony could survive only with help from the French settlements in Illinois Country to the north, along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. His last expedition ended along the Brazos River in early 1687, when La Salle and five of his men were murdered during a mutiny.

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French Colonization: Fort St. Louis (1685 )

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the little colony had no official name. It had none of the trappings usually associated with a fort. There was no palisade, or defensive wall. The eight cannons arranged around a few crude dwellings offered no defense, for there were no cannonballs of the right caliber. Instead of a stronghold, there were only crude huts built largely of wood poles and thatch, plus the headquarters house made of timbers salvaged from La Salle's wrecked supply ship, Aimable. 


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French Colonization: Fort St. Louis Huts (1685 )

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One of the huts, built by the priests, served as a chapel. As described by the Frenchman, Henri Joutel, it was "made of stakes driven into the ground and roofed with grass or reeds." It was the first Christian house of worship on this entire stretch of coast and the first in the present state of Texas that was not situated on the Rio Grande.

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Age of Contact :Spanish Colonial 1689-1821

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The Spanish Colonial era in Texas began with a system of missions and presidios, designed to spread Christianity and to establish control over the region. The missions were managed by friars from the order of St. Francis – the Franciscans — and were placed in lands that had been home to Native Americans for thousands of years. The missionaries hoped to spread Christianity and the Spanish culture to native groups. Presidios were the missions’ secular counterpart. The earliest were small garrisons of Spanish soldiers who protected travel along roadways. As towns began to grow around the presidios and the missions, the presidios’ role evolved into protecting not only roads, but also the developing Spanish missions and settlements. Under the Spanish crown, distinctions between religious and secular power were blurred. Together, the missions and presidios served as centers for that power – the foundations of a strategy to subdue and control the land and the people in what is now Texas.

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Age of Contact: Roman Catholic Religion 1689-1821

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The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with more than 1.29 billion members worldwide. One of the oldest religious institutions in the world, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation.

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Age of Contact: Missions and Presidios 1689-1821

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The Spanish authorities decided in 1729 to abolish the presidio, Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de los Tejas, which protected the East Texas missions. The presidio near present-day Douglass was unnecessary, the government said, because of the peaceful demeanor of the Indians.

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Age of Contact: Canary Islanders 1689-1821

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On February 14, 1719, the Marqués de San Miguel de Aguayo made a report to the king of Spain proposing that 400 families be transported from the Canary Islands, Galicia, or Havana to populate the province of Texas.

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Age of Contact: Founding of San Antonio 1689-1821

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San Antonio was given its name on June 13, 1691, because that was the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua and the day that a Spanish expedition came to the river they called Rio San Antonio. But San Antonio was not founded until 1718, when its first mission and first presidio were established at San Pedro Springs.

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Age of Contact: Camino Reale 1689-1821

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The El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail is a National Historic Trail covering the U.S. section of the El Camino Real de Los Tejas, a thoroughfare from the 18th-century Spanish colonial era in Spanish Texas instrumental in the settlement, development and history of Texas.




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