Prior to the arrival of the first European explorers, numerous tribes of the Indians of Texas occupied the region between the Rio Grande to the south and the Red River to the north.
Sailing from a base in Jamaica, Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, a Spanish adventurer, was the first known European to explore and map the Texas coastline.
Cabeza de Vaca shipwrecked on what is believed today to be Galveston Island. After trading in the region for some six years, he later explored the Texas interior on his way to Mexico.
Robert Cavelier established Fort St. Louis at Matagorda Bay, and thus formed the basis for France's claim to Texas. Two years later, Robert was murdered by his own men.The picture below is Robert Cavelier
Mexican explorer Alonso de Leon reached Fort St. Louis, and found it abandoned, during an expedition planned to reestablish Spanish presence in Texas.
Throughout the 18th century, Spain established Catholic missions in Texas, and along with the missions, the towns of San Antonio, Goliad and Nacogdoches.
Jean Laffite occupied Galveston Island and used it as a base for his smuggling and privateering operation.
Stephen F. Austin received a grant from the Mexican government and began colonization in the region of the Brazos River.