The Explorers

• Christopher Columbus
– Wanted to find route to China
and Asia
• Trade/fortune
• King and Queen financed
– Queen thought trip could
spread Catholicism
• August 3, 1492
– Sails to the Americas
– Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria
• Land in Bahamas, think they are in the Indies
in Southeast Asia
– Named new land San Salvador, for the Holy Savior
– Named natives indios
• Wanted to colonize
• First colony: Santo Domingo on Hispaniola
• The King and Queen withdraw
– Rumored to have been torturing
and enslaving natives
– He never found a passage to Asia
• Spanish explorers
looking for riches want
to conquer the
• 1519
– Spanish explorer Pineda
makes first map of Texas
Hernan Cortes
• Cortes explores continent
– Searching for riches
Emperor Moctezuma
• Moctezuma thinks Cortes is a god
• Cortes takes advantage
– Fighting breaks out
– Spanish take over Tenochtitlan
• Changed name
of city to
Mexico City
Panifilo de Narvaez
• Narvaez was granted Florida
• Could colonize these lands to
• Explored/stranded
• Died in hurricane on makeshift
• Land in Galveston Bay
• Encounter Karankawas
• Diseases/conditionsmany die explorers
and Natives
Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca
• 2nd in Command –
Narvaez expedition
• Estavanico – First
African in Texas
• With Natives – 6 years
• Traveled to Mexico –
18 months
Seven Cities of Cibola
• Cabeza de Vaca
– Told officials of Cibola
• Estavenico and Friar Niza
sent to find city
• Estavenico killed
• Niza – rooftops of gold
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado
• Coronado searches for cities of
– Doesn’t find them
– Met El Turco in Tiguex
– El Turco leads to Quivira
• Supposed to have riches
• None
• El Turco killed
Hernando de Soto
• De Soto leaves from Spain 1539
• Searches for Cibola
– Explores Florida & many southern
– No riches
– Biggest southern exploration
Spain Establishes Missions
• Spanish begin to establish
cities and Missions
– Other competition
– First city – Santa Fe 1610
– In Texas – Mission of
Corpus Christi de la Ysleta
La Salle
• La Salle travels the Mississippi
– At mouth of river April 9, 1682
– Named land La Louisiane
(Louisiana) after King Louis XIV
• La Salle asks the King for
funding to establish
• Colony at mouth of river
– strategic
– Keep track of Spanish
– Trade
– Good soil – crops
– missionaries
La Salle faces obstacles
• La Salle’s ships raided by
– Colonists wanted to go home
• Past the mouth of Mississippi
Galveston Bay-Matagorda Bay
• land in Galveston bay – go on to Matagorda
– Lose a ship and supplies from it
• French encounter Karankawas
– Friendly
– They have French supplies from shipwreck
– French try to battle natives to get supplies back
– Become hostile – they receive no help acclimating
La Salle looks for a way home
• Tries to find Mississippi by land – many die in
these attempts
• Finally decides to go home
– He is shot on this voyage
• Colony is a failure
– Everyone (adults) killed
– 6 children - only survivors
Explorers Timeline
1492 - Columbus
reaches the
1537 - Cabeza de Vaca
Reports on Texas
1542 – De Soto-Moscoso
expedition reaches East
1682 – Spaniards established
the first mission, Corpus Christi
de la Ysleta
1519 – Alvarez de Pineda
explores Gulf Coast of
1541 – Coronado leads
expedition into Texas
1610 – Juan do Onate
establishes Santa Fe
1685 – La Salle established
Fort St. Louis

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