Entradas and Royal Inspection Expeditions
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Martín de Alarcón, often referred to as the founder of San Antonio de Bejar, was responsible for the early settlement near the Presidio which was established there in 1519. Alarcón left the Rio Grande on 9 Apr 1718 with 72 persons including seven families, considerable number of sheep, cattle, goats, chickens, six droves of mules and 548 horses. On 1 May he founded the Mission San Antonio de Valero and four days later the Villa de Bejar. Alarcón was a Caballero (knight) in the Order of Santiago (St. James). Little is known of him except for an official document of his record aimed at receiving an endowment from the King. He is credited with heading a company in Valencia, Spain, serving in Oran and the Spanish navy. He was sargeant-major of militia at Guadalajara, alcalde and captain of Jacona de Zamora, current Michoacan, Mexico. Alarcón was governor of Coahuila in 1705 and credited with pacification of aboriginal populations. He again became governor of Coahuila in 1717 until 1719 and the province of Texas in 1716. He was a soldier of fortune performing largely at his own expense with annual salary of 500 pesos. Expeditions were generally funded on a commission basis, much as the development of Texas throughout its history. Land was the main bounty with the leader receiving a percent of all revenue that went to the royal government. Alarcón's mission, after establishing San Antonio, was to explore the San Antonio, Guadalupe and Colorado Rivers for potential new mission sites and to clarify all Texas officials on their mission. Alarcón's exploration took him through the future DeWitt Colony to La Bahia and the coast and then on to the East Texas missions before returning to Mexico. The expeditions into future DeWitt Colony were recorded by two friars, one presented below, and Father Pedro Perez de Mezquia.
From The Diary of Fray Francisco Céliz
(The Céliz diary was discovered in the Archivo General de la Nacion, Mexico City in 1933 and numerous copies transcribed and distributed in various public archives. An English translation by Fritz Leo Hoffmann was published in 1935 by The Quivara Society, Los Angeles, CA. Bracketed footnotes are in places modifications of original footnotes of translator Fritz L. Hoffmann)
To the Confluence of the Guadalupe and San Marcos Rivers (Gonzales) May 5-17, 1718
On the 5th of May, the governor [Alarcón], in the name of his Majesty, took possession of the place called San Antonio, establishing himself in it, and fixing the royal standard with the requisite solemnity, the father chaplain having previously celebrated mass, and it was given the name of villa de Bejar. This site is henceforth destined for the civil settlement and the soldiers who are to guard it, as well as for the site of the mission of San Antonio de Valero established by the said governor about threefourths of a league down the creek. On the 6th of the said month, the governor, with twenty-five men and the father chaplain, left in search of the bay of Spiritu Santo and arrived at the creek which they call Sibula which is about eight leagues from the above-named place. [present Cibola Creek near Selma, Bexar-ComalCo border, current suburb San Antonio] On the way, at three leagues' distance, a creek which they call Salado is encountered. It is bordered by trees such as live oaks, hackberries, and elms. There are also brambleberries and wild herbs on the banks. On the remainder of the way several ravines are found, all of them dry. All of the land is rough and overgrown with mesquites and very tall bushes so that one can hardly see the men on horseback. [present Salado Creek near the bridge on the Austin-San Antonio highway. Called arroyo salogre/salobre by Fathers Isidro Félix Espinosa and Ramon, Hwy 78 between San Antonio suburbs Universal City and Shertz]
On the 7th, the governor left the said place for the second river of Guadalupe, which is about seven leagues away. At five leagues a creek was found with little water, which, since it did not have a name, the governor called Arroyo de San Miguel. On the 7th, the governor left the said place for the second river of Guadalupe.
[current Guadalupe River, named after Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in 1689 on its southern end by Alonso De León , Father Damián Massanet and Domingo Terán de Los Rios named it Rio San Augustin in 1691. Fathers Espinosa and Antonio Olivares called it the Guadalupe in 1709 while Espinosa and Ramon in 1716 called it the San Ybon, calling the Comal River the Guadalupe at the time]
Afterwards, at about half a league, one encounters the river of Guadalupe, the first branch the distance is about a league and a half [Comal River near New Braunfels], and from this to the second [branch]. [current Guadalupe at New Braunfels] The creek as well as the two rivers are densely overgrown with poplars, oaks, savins, and pecans, and many mulberries and grapevines. So far as can be noticed, water cannot be extracted here owing to the great depth that it has. The governor reconnoitered to the junction of the two branches of this river, which is about two leagues from the ford, and his Lordship says that its flow is as great as that of La Vercruz Vieja. [where the Comal River joins the Guadalupe, the river in Mexico is the present Rio Jamapa near Veracruz]
On the 8th of the said month, mass having been celebrated, the governor, in the name or his Majesty, took note of the two rivers of Guadalupe, fixing the royal standard on the said location as an indication of possession. The said place was left at about eight o'clock that day for the creek of Salsipuedes, to which the governor gave that name because it is located in a thick wood. It is about ten leagues from the river of Guadalupe. [probably current Mill Creek] The road is about four leagues of good and open ground; the rest of woods. This day we traveled between southeast, and many detours were made to avoid woods, the compass being used because the two Indian guides had fled fearful of the other Indians who live on the coast.
On the 9th, the said place was left for a creek which the governor named Entraaverlo, because near it are two other creeks, very deep and miry, and the wood is that in order to extricate oneself from this entanglement of very high trees, grapevines, and cocolmecates, one calls loudly for a knife. [Probably current Nash Creek] The rest of the way is wooded, but passable. It is about ten leagues from one place to the other. All the way is rough and full of dry creeks. At seven leagues we came across the river of San Marcos, which runs very deep. [current San Marcos between Ottine and Slayden, on the Adam Zumwalt league, GonzalesCo, TX, northwest of Gonzales, deep probably meaning high bluffs. Father Mezquia describes noted a distinct series of large white mounds of earth with bubbling bogs between which is thought to be no other than the sulphur springs at current Palmetto Park] There are rocks in places. All the bank could not be reconnoitered the density of the forest. Bison roam on this land, a fact known by the many tracks that are seen.
On the 10th, a place was reached where the company was baffled as to whether to follow a river which we judged to be the San Marcos. [Gonzales at the confluence of the San Marcos and Guadalupe Rivers] At a distance of about four and a half leagues from the above-named place, this river joins the Guadalupe river, which is deep and swift, and for this reason it was recognized that the other was not the real San Marcos river. [actually it was the real and current San Marcos, belief at the time was that the San Marcos flowed into the Gulf of Mexico] In this spot it forms a pasture ground, large and suitable for raising cattle, and since we had lost ourselves, we retraced our steps about a league and half in order to go in search of the origin of this river and to inspect its source. It is densely overgrown with live oaks, oaks, poplars, and pecans, and other trees that are unidentified. Near the junction of the said rivers there are also many buckthorn trees. As soon as we stopped in the said pasture, the governor went upstream to see if he could find a ford, and on the way his Lordship saw two Indians who, with loads on their backs, were walking toward the woods. They were called, but, not recognizing the people, they took flight. This day we traveled south in order to follow the bank of the river. Some crosses were left on the trees for the Indians as a sign, and on them some leaves of tobacco were hung, in order that, coming to reconnoiter, they would see that we were Spaniards and would come in search of us to get the tobacco. We traveled about six leagues this day. [interpretation of the account of Father Mezquia has caused some author's to suggest the party continued south in search of the coast and reached at least the Guadalupe at Hochheim, but it is believed also that the party returned north to the El Camino Real up the San Marcos at this point] sdct
On the 11th, before leaving the above-named place, the governor sent two soldiers to see if the tobacco which we had left at the junction of the rivers was still there, and they said that the tracks left there indicated that the Indians had carried it off. We left the place and this day traveled about five leagues until midday, and found a crossing, although it was a difficult one. Two soldiers, having crossed in order to see if there was a good place to ford on the other side, came to another wide and deep creek which they could not ford. [probably current Plum Creek near the border of Gonzales and CaldwellCo, Silas Fuqua league] That day we continued our journey upstream and arrived at a ravine which joins the river about ten leagues from where we left in the morning. The way is very rough, owing to the hills, but in parts level. Many creeks are crossed, and ravines without water, most of them with rocky beds.
On the 12th, we left the above-named place in search of the said river [probably means source of the San Marcos River] and traveled about twelve leagues. The way is wooded and in places open. Every day we saw tracks and we always thought they were of bison, until this day, when about five in the afternoon, upon entering a thick wood, we saw a black Castilian bull. This made us think that all the tracks were made by the cattle which General Alonso De León left exhausted on the return from his first trip to Texas.
On the 13th, after having left this place, at about noon we reached the ford of the San Marcos river, and until now we could not believe that it was the San Marcos, because everyone says that the San Marcos river enters the sea several leagues distant from the Guadalupe. The crossing is about eight to nine leagues from the above named place. [probably near current Prairie Lea, GuadalupeCo northwest of Luling] The ford is wide and good, and at the entrance there is a thick wood of the same kind of trees that are downstream. [probably the ford used on the Camino Real (later Bejar-Nacogdoches Road) below San Marcos near Stringtown community] This day we traveled in search of the Guadalupe river over the same road that leads to Texas and went about four leagues, so that in all this day we covered thirteen. We stopped because a cloudburst caught us, which lasted unceasingly all night; and here as well as in San Antonio the thunderstorms are so frightful that all those who have experienced them in Spain, as well as in these parts, say that they have not seen any like them, for the shortest last six hours, with thunder pealing like harquebus-shots in battle.
On the 14th, we left this place and arrived about midday at the Guadalupe river. This day we traveled with great difficulty, since the road was very heavy owing to the heavy rain of the night preceding; the way is very level and with some ravines. We stopped at this river because we found it very swollen. A very extensive pasture is formed by these two rivers [Comal and Guadalupe Rivers at New Braunfels which Alarcón called the two Guadalupes], which is bordered by the hills that are about a half league from the road that leads to Texas. Most of the land is overgrown with live oaks, poplars, elms, pecans, and oaks, and in all the land there are many grapes, larger than those of Castile, but, as I said, upon ripening they turn into wool. [There are also] many brambleberries. This day we traveled about four leagues.
On the 15th, we left the said place and traveled upstream with a desire to ford it or to reach its source. We traveled about three league of very rugged land owing to the heavy woods and many rocks; and at the end of the three leagues two soldiers left for upstream to reconnoiter the land. They said that it could not be traveled because it is more wooded and contains more rocks, so that we returned to spend the night at the above-named crossing [ford across the Guadalupe at New Braunfels]. The woods consist of oaks and junipers, and the bank of the river is densely bordered by very tall savins. This day we traveled about six leagues.
On the 16th, we crossed the river with great difficulty; but first it is necessary for us to consider the things which occurred the day before. It so happened that after we had seen the swollen river and had investigated to see if it could be crossed or gone around, and had f ound no recourse whatsoever, the melancholy and sadness that fell upon the governor was so great that in his heart he felt no less than that the last days of his life had arrived; and thus, observing the obligations of a Catholic in such danger, he wanted to prepare himself, calling his secretary and dictating to him some things that had to be done if God should take him upon crossing this river. It so happened that, twenty-four buzzards having come to tarry close to where we were stopping, the governor asked the father chaplain, "Father, what are those birds looking for?" To which the father replied, "They may have come to make happy over the funeral rites of somebody present," at which the anguish was even greater, even before entering the water. He began, therefore, to cross with great difficulty, and the greatest fatality would have befallen us that can be imagined had not God and the most holy Virgin extended the arms of their omnipotence and mercy to protect and favor the governor against the extremely dangerous situation in which he found himself. He, having started to cross on the strongest horse that could be found, carried on the haunches of the sergeant of the company. Upon arriving at the opposite bank, after having crossed most of the river, he reined the horse back, and, the current catching its haunches, it was swept downstream with both riders submerged and grasping the horse, for about half the distance of a musketshot. At this place they came up still holding on to the horse, and, going down again, they lost their grasp on the horse, and the water carried them submerged for more than another half the distance of a musket-shot where they again arose. The anxiety they experienced may well be imagined, especially since the governor, who was dressed, did not know how to swim. And, although the said sergeant knew how to swim well, this would not have enabled him to rescue himself, because of the great force of the water, if here God had not performed a miracle through the intercession of His most pure Mother who provided them with two savin branches to which they held on, and from there, because of the great depth, they were rescued by ropes. After this miraculous occurrence, I have asked the governor several times about the case, and he has always assured me that he does not know how he went [down the stream], whether under the water or over the water. The truth is that those who saw him say that he went downstream motionless, all of which proves that it was entirely a miracle, because the rescue could not have been attributed to natural causes, especially when the horse with the saddle nevermore turned up and the governor lost the buttons off his pants, thus forming a sort of ball and chain on his feet. [For all of this] we thank unceasingly only God and His most holy Mother, and, moreover, we invoke their favor in the furtherance of this expedition and [place the] conquest under their charge. Furthermore, although [the governor] carried in his pocket a small silver box with the rosary and the prayer book in which the most holy Virgin is praised, they not only did not fall into the water when his pants came down, but the prayer book did not even get wet. This same day we traveled about six leagues to a high hill where we stopped.
[From Father Mezquia's account, historian Casteñada suggested that this event occurred near Hochheim while crossing the Guadalupe River. The point was called "Paso del Gobernador" or Governor's Ford thereafter. From Céliz's diary, this point was a troublesome crossing on the second entrada to the coast described below. This point or near it was obviously an important challenge and crossing of the Guadalupe throughout the colonization of Texas, the site of Victor Hoch's crossing and inn in the mid-19th century as well as that of Little Berry Green, ancestor of the current author. The point is near where current Hwy 183 crosses the river at Hochheim]
On the 17th, we arrived at the river of San Antonio, where the villa named Bexar stands, and found that nothing had occurred during our absence. From this day until the sixteenth of June, several scouting expeditions were made in which nothing in particular took place. During these days, also, things were begun to put the villa in shape. Maize was planted and lost, and the gardens were eaten by mice, which exist in great numbers. This day we traveled about nine leagues. sdct
Through the Future DeWitt Colony to Espiritu Santo (Matagorda Bay) September 5 to 26 1718
On this mission, governor Alarcón was accompanied by Espinosa and Domingo Ramon who brought with them three Tejas Hasinai Indian guides, down the Guadalupe River to current Gonzales where it meets the San Marcos River. The party proceeded down the Guadalupe before heading west to the Colorado, then down the Colorado and southwest to Tres Palacios and then Matagorda Bay. The narrative below follows them through 25 Sep when they proceeded back north up the Colorado then west to El Camino Real and on to the East Texas Missions. They returned to Villa de Bexar in early Jan 1719.
Afterwards, the said governor [Alarcón] and the reverend father president of Texas [Fray Espinosa] left [Villa de Bexar on 5 Sept] for the bay of Spiritu Santo, with twenty-eight laden mules, sixteen laden with the clothes and remaining needful things which the governor gave to the reverend father president of Texas to carry to the said province, and the other twelve with provisions and dry goods which he takes along to distribute among the Indians of the coast. Twenty-nine persons and the father chaplain left with the governor at that time. With the reverend father president seventeen persons, as well as another religious and three Texas Indians. This day we left the said villa de Bejar, which remained well supplied with needed things and defended by troops. Both parties traveled together, with two hundred and nineteen horses, and after having gone about a league, we stopped at the spring of water where the river of San Antonio rises.
On the 6th of the said month, the entire company left the said place for the creek called Sibulo. [present Cibola Creek] The night before a conference was held of the governor, the three religious, and the other principal officers, as to what was to be done for the greater success of the expedition, and all being together it was resolved that the entire company should go in search of the bay of Spiritu Santo, in order that, the forces being joined, they might aid one another, and after having found the said bay, we might all together take the road for Texas. This day we traveled about six leagues.
On the 7th of the said month, we left the above-named place and after having gone about three leagues, we left the road we were following, which is the same which goes to Tejas [Camino Real or Bexar-Nacogdoches Road], and heading straight to the east, we traveled about five leagues, over some hills and all along the way through woods, in places thick with mesquites and some oaks. There are on the way some small hills and some short ravines, all of very loose soil. This day we came to a stop at a high hill which is on the bank of the Guadalupe river in which the two branches now flow together. [directly west of current Seguin, GuadalupeCo, below New Braunfels where the Comal and Guadalupe join, called the first and second Guadalupe at the time] There is here a waterfall which crosses the river from one side to the other. It is probably a little less than the distance of a musket-shot across. This day, at the order of the governor, Domingo Ramon went out with two soldiers to scout and reconnoiter the ground to be traveled the next day. Eight leagues were traveled.
On the 8th of the said month, day of the nativity of the most holy Mary, after the holy sacrifice of the mass had been celebrated, we left the said place in the direction of the east, downstream, through a wood so thick that it was necessary to go ahead with axes to open a path, and still it remained for us to open a way with our hands so that the laden mules might pass, which had to be led one by one by their halters. The wood is of mesquites, hackberries, much nopal, and some mulberries and oaks. This day we traveled about five leagues and stopped on the bank of the same river [Guadalupe east of Seguin]. The guide, who was a Moruame Indian fled today, and also another, a Payaya, and they carried off with them the horses on which they were riding.
On the 9th of the said month, before leaving the place, the governor sent two companions to examine the direction and way we were to take. Presently the governor mounted a horse to inspect a waterfall which is downstream [and] which crosses the entire river, and upon descending to the bank to examine it, the horse fell and left him on the ground. The camp left about eleven o'clock in the morning, heading east through woods, most of which were passable. We traveled close to the bank of the river, but it was necessary to leave it, because the woods were so thick that the father chaplain entangled himself in such a manner that he could not get out on any side. We went about four leagues, and a little while after we arrived at the place which was on the bank of the same river of Guadalupe, the said companions returned, who said they had reconnoitered about three leagues ahead, and that upon exploring the river they had become stuck and one had been thrown, and that they had seen two Castilian bulls. [Probably near Nash Creek or Belmont near the current GonzalesCo line] There are also some turkeys in these woods.
On the 10th, we left the said place, the runners having first gone to reconnoiter, and we traveled downstream through woods and high rocky hills with oaks, live oaks, and pecans, always examining the river in order to find the falls and watering places. The river is densely overgrown with savins and pecans and is entirely navigable where it has been examined, for although two falls have been seen that cross it, they are low. This day on the road a Castilian bull was killed, and we stopped on the bank of the same river, having traveled about six leagues.
On the 11th, we left the said spot and traveled east down the same river over hills and through woods very thick with oaks and live oaks. We crossed two dry creeks, and it was necessary in these as well as in the wood to open a road with axes in order to pass. This day we traveled about seven leagues and the junction of the three rivers was passed, that is, of the Guadalupe, the Alarcón, and that which on the road that leads to Tejas is called the San Marcos. [here the party is at current Gonzales, the junction of the San Marcos and Guadalupe Rivers. Here Céliz's Guadalupe is the Comal, or first Guadalupe, the Alarcón is the current Guadalupe, and the San Marcos the current San Marcos. Céliz means that here three rivers run into one]
On the 12th, we left the above-named place and went east down the river, in which the three now run together, and at a matter of three leagues we came out of the wood upon some very good and extensive plains, and a little after having come upon the plains, we saw a small hill where a cross with a pedestal of rock was placed. This river is very deep and has a wide bed, so that water cannot be drawn, and it is very delightful because it is overgrown with savins, pecans, willows, and plum trees which have plums already ripe and of a very good flavor. This day about six leagues were traveled, and we stopped on the bank of the same river. This place was named Real del Santísimo Nombre de María. [Thought to be on the west side of the river across from current Hochheim in DeWittCo]
On the 13th, the river was crossed. The whole day was spent doing this, because it was necessary to open ways for a good distance on both sides of the river due to the thick foliage of the trees. [this obviously was a difficult crossing taking the entire day. Interpretation of some of Father Mezquia's diary has suggested that this point was also crossed in the first entrada to Gonzales] A raft of logs was made on which the entire cargo was crossed, because the river was swollen. On the opposite bank the camp was pitched, after we had left a cross on a tree on either bank. It is to be noted that at this point four rivers were crossed which now run in one stream: the Guadalupe [Comal], the one called San Marcos [San Marcos] on the road that leads to Tejas, the Alarcón [Guadalupe], and the San Raphael [either the Blanco River or Plum Creek, both referred to as San Rafael in earlier records]. The governor named this place Real de la Exaltacion de la Santisima Cruz. [on the southeast side of the Guadalupe at Hochheim]
On the 14th, the camp went downstream through a very thick wood of oaks and live oaks, and two creeks that contain water, although not running, and that are bordered by some willows. In places [we went through] some small clearings. This day we traveled over some hills in the direction of the northeast, and the expedition, having traveled about five leagues this day, stopped at some lakes of water that contain burdock and tule, with a very tasty fruit. [probably near present Cuero, DeWittCo, assuming a continued southern direction for the party]
On the 15th, the camp left the above-named place, and having gone a league we arrived at a miry creek where it was necessary to repair the crossing. Beyond this there is another large lake. About two leagues farther on we came out of the wood upon open ground with low hills and several clumps of live oaks. The camp stopped near a creek, after having gone about seven leagues. Soon thereafter a squad of soldiers went out to scout and reconnoiter the ground. [probably near current Nursery, VictoriaCo, northeast of Victoria] sdct
On the 16th, we left the said place and headed in the direction of the northeast, quarter to the north and sometimes quarter to the east, over some very extensive, fertile, and delightful plains. We crossed this day on these plains three creeks of running water, and on one we stopped. There are some clumps of live oaks. Eight leagues were covered, and as soon as the camp halted, four soldiers went out to reconnoiter and examine the ground. [near present Salem, VictoriaCo]
On the 17th, day of the stigmata of my father Saint Francis, the camp left this place while it was raining, and we traveled about three leagues over level and fertile ground, and two which in places were wooded although not thickly. [We passed] two running creeks and [came to] another on which the camp halted. This creek had plenty of running water and was heavily wooded on both banks. This day five leagues were traveled. [probably crossing the present Lavaca and Navidad Rivers, camping on the Navidad]
On the 18th, the camp left the above-named creek, and after crossing it we entered a very thick wood. Afterward, we came out on a plain with some barren hills, and from there we entered another wood, much thicker, and upon leaving it, we came upon a marsh which is near the San Marcos river, which is that called the Colorado river on the road now used to go to Texas, but which is, in reality, the San Marcos. All this day we traveled ten leagues toward the east-northeast. Here the camp halted. [the current Colorado River near current Garwood and Nada in ColoradoCo]
On the 19th, the camp having remained in the said place, the governor set out with seventeen men, the three religious, and an Indian, for the bay of Spiritu Santo, and at about a fourth of a league we entered a very delightful valley which is bordered on the one side by the San Marcos river and on the other by a creek. It is four leagues wide in its widest place, and in its narrowest two, and six leagues long. It was given the name of El Valle de San Matheo. We arrived to rest at a small wood which separates this valley from another which follows, which has a length to a point which the river forms of four leagues, and one cannot see to where the plain reaches in breadth. It is all very fertile and unirrigated. The governor gave this second valley the name of San Martin. This whole river is very beautiful and bordered by poplars, plum trees, and other different trees. This day we traveled about eleven leagues toward the east-southeast. [near current El Campo, WhartonCo]
On the 20th, we left the said plain of San Martin and entered another much more extensive, which, in what we have traveled, is six leagues long, and, as far as the eye can reach, is about twelve leagues in width. The governor gave it the name of La Vega de San Isidro. It is very fertile, and very abundant in partridges. Today two bison were killed, and in order that there might be time to get the meat, we did not go forward and traveled only six leagues toward the east-southeast. We halted on the bank of the same river of San Marcos. [Colorado River near Markham, east of Bay City, MatagordaCo]
On the 21st, after the holy sacrifice of the mass had been celebrated, we continued our journey in the direction of the east-southeast, leaving the plain of San Isidro, and in the same direction we entered another which was given the name of San Joseph. It is seven leagues long and ends in a creek from which another plain begins, which was given the name of San Francisco, and soon thereafter, in order to search for the river, we changed our direction, choosing east-northeast as far as a creek with water on which we stopped, having traveled ten leagues. [the directions here are confusing, it is thought the party hit Tres Palacios Bay, the large inlet described below opposite current Palacios town]
On the 22d, we continued our journey in the direction of southeast, and at about seven leagues we stopped to rest. Soon thereafter we proceeded in the same direction until we ran into a large inlet which we were obliged to circle, because it was very wide and deep, and, it seems, navigable. We traveled four leagues to the south, the west, and in the direction of the north along a creek that contains some water, having gone this day twelve leagues. It happened that on this day, from noon until the evening prayers, the governor lay on a large snake at this place, without the reptile having moved, in spite of its known ferocity. This occurrence was taken to be almost a miracle.
On the 23d of the said month, we left the said creek, following the direction of the north in order to go around the head of the inlet. About half a league beyond we chose the direction of the south, and having gone five and a half leagues, we encountered another lake of salt water, and having discovered that we had to return in order to go around it, we stopped to rest. [current Carancahua Bay, JacksonCo, probably at Carancahua] After having gone around the head of it, we traveled about three leagues toward the southeast and came upon the bay of Spiritu Santo. Having arrived on the beach, we went coasting along the entire shore of the sea to about two leagues to the southwest, to an islet which may be about a fourth of a league long and a little more than the distance of a musket-shot across. This small island has some small nopal groves, some mesquites, and clumps of small oaks and chaparral. On the shore was a very thick beam, aground in the sand, and a short distance away in the water [there was] another, also aground. These [beams] are seen at low tide. Having arrived at the sea, we saw two Indians, and when we called them with signs, in order to talk to them about peace, they became afraid and threw themselves into the water and crossed the cove by swimming, which [cove] is a fourth of a league wide, more or less. [the party is thought to have gone southeast on the peninsula separating Lavaca and Carancahua Bays, arriving on Matagorda Bay]
We continued along the same shore on which, at about a league, we came unexpectedly upon a spring of fresh water which was very useful as we had no hope of finding any. There we halted. This spring of water rises in a clump of reeds near a small wood of mesquites, nopals, and some oaks and palms. The governor gave this spring of water the name of Santo Domingo. The position of the bay is from north to southwest, in the shape of a semicircle, and [is] encompassed by an islet which seems to run from east to south for a distance of nearly three leagues, and from there the high seas begin. Along the channel that runs north and northeast, is seen a mouth through which the bays of Todos Santos and San Bernardo join the sea. These bays are formed by the various inlets which we explored the preceding day. One can travel on them in canoes and reach fertile and very level lands judging by what was explored this time, the San Marcos, in the examination of which we traveled almost to the sea, shows signs of entering the bay on the other side of the aforementioned islet, which forms an angle with the bay. In ascertaining these facts we traveled twelve leagues from the place where we stopped the day before.
[the islet is likely Matagorda Peninsula. Bay names are confusing, Francisco de Llanos called Lavaca Bay, the Todos Santos Bay. Teran in 1691 called current Espirito Santo the Lago de Todos Santos. San Bernardo Bay is thought to have been the name for Matagorda Bay to both Spanish and French]
On the 24th of the said month, before everything else, the holy sacrifice of the mass was celebrated by the father chaplain, Fray Francisco de Zelis, preacher and missionary of the mission of El Santissimo Nombre de Jesus del Peyote of the province of Coahuila, and the said father is of the "Regular Observancia de Santiago de Jalisco del Orden Seraphico." At this [mass] everybody was present. The muskets fired salvos while it was being celebrated, and mass being over voices were heard in the cove which faces east. The governor went with the Indian guide of the Asinay nation who conducted us to the said bay, and also two soldiers, and upon nearing the said cove, they saw a canoe with several Indians paddling, Two remained on the shore. The Teja Indian approached them cautiously, making signs of peace by which he detained them to speak to them. They made signs for us to leave. Nevertheless, they came closer and in a language somewhat familiar to them in which the Indian is proficient, he called to them and told them not to have any misgivings. They thus did as they were told, although very perturbed, and they embraced the governor. By this time the three religious and more soldiers had arrived, and going closer to the shore of the cove and alighting from our horses, we caressed them by embracing them and showed other customary signs of peace. Afterward, in the name of his Majesty, the said governor proceeded to distribute clothing and tobacco among the three who were present, and by means of the Indian guide who served as an interpreter, he told them to call the others who were in the canoe, who in all were four men, four women, and eight children, and to all of them he gave clothing and tobacco with which they were well pleased and showed their acknowledgment with a few dried fish which were all that they had with them at the time. They were given to understand that the intention of the Spaniards was to come and settle the said bay, and that they should give notice of the peace and friendship that were shown them to all those of their nation, which is called Caocose and which is said to be very numerous and to inhabit the islets and shoals which surround the bay. They left very consoled and before going they told us of the place where Señor de la Sala with his Frenchmen had been, which is two leagues from the bay toward the west, and we, having returned to the place, in the name of his Majesty, whom God keep, the said governor took lawful possession of all the bay, lakes, and neighboring lands in the manner required, and this act having been performed, we returned in the direction of the northeast by a straight route over level ground and we came to stop at a brook lined with poplars and willows and with pools of water, after having traveled ten leagues. sdct
On Sunday, the 25th of the said month, after the holy sacrifice of the mass had been celebrated, we continued our journey in search of the camp, and we traveled until noon in the direction of the north to the bank of the river of San Marcos, on which we halted after having gone sixteen leagues.
On the 26th, we continued a little in the direction of the north and the rest of the day toward the northwest, until we arrived at the place where the camp had remained, which, owing to the fact that the water had diminished, had moved another four leagues to the bank of the same river of San Marcos. Because of this it was necessary for us to proceed this same day until we reached it. At the camp we found the entire nation of the Anames, who had come in search of the governor to whom they gave [promises of] peace. From this a great deal was gained, because they are very proud Indians and because on other occasions they have been offered peace and have refused it, replying that they are as brave as the Spaniards. The whole crowd could not be counted because of its numbers. Here the governor, in the name of his Majesty, named as governor the oldest of them all. There was a storm here and a ray of lightning killed a very good horse of the father preacher Joseph Guerra, who is going as a missionary to Tejas. On the bank of this river there are also medlar trees like those of Spain. This day we traveled about eighteen leagues.