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Explorers of New Spain (Texas). Explorer: Columbus (1492). Year He Discovered the West Indies Known for West Indies/New World Why in Texas? He wasn’t!!! Impact of Failure – he didn’t discover a faster Expedition route to India Success – he opened up the “New World” to Europe

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Explorer: Columbus (1492)

Year He Discovered the West Indies

Known forWest Indies/New World

Why in Texas?He wasn’t!!!

Impact ofFailure – he didn’t discover a fasterExpedition route to India Success – he opened up the “New World” to Europe

Impact Started Spanish exploration on Texas in North America (Texas)


Explorer: Cortez (1521)

Year He Conquered the Aztecs

Known forMexico/Aztecs

Why in Texas?He wasn’t!!! BUT his purpose for exploring was to get GOLD, GLORY and GOD for Spain

Impact ofSuccess - conquered the Aztecs and became Expedition the first “governor” of New Spain (Mexico)

Impact Inspired others to explore more on Texas territory in North America




The two explorers that we just talked about were NEVER IN TEXAS!!!!


De Vaca




La Salle

All of the rest of the explorers WERE in Texas at some point!!!


Explorer: Pineda (1519)

Year TX History began (the year he mapped our coast)

Known forMAP

Why in Texas?The governor of Jamaica ordered Pineda to explore this new area in order to find a route to the Pacific

Impact ofSuccess (he mapped the coast) ExpeditionFailure (no route to the Pacific)

Impact on Texas1st to observe and map the Texas Coast


Explorer: Cabeza de Vaca (1528-1536)

Years he was stranded in North America Known forSHIPWRECK

Why in Texas?Oops… it was an accident… shipwrecked (looking for GOLD in FL, Narvaez was killed)

Impact ofFailure – no GOLD, no GLORY… but he did… Expeditionmeet the Karwankawas, Texas’ 1st explorer, 1st surgeon, 1st author with Relacion

Impact on TexasTold tales of cities of gold – led to more exploration


Click on “Prehistoric”

Choose “South Texas Plains”

Click on “Kids Activities”

Choose the “Journey with an Explorer”


Years he explored the Great Plains Known forPANHANDLE

Why in Texas?Looking for the 7 cities of GOLD Quiviera & Cibola)

Impact ofFailure – No gold, no settlements Expeditioncrossed the “Sea of Grass” (TX Panhandle)

Impact on TexasTold about buffalo, villages, TX LAND in the Panhandle

Explorer: Coronado (1540-1542)


Hernan de Soto

Explorer: Moscoso (1542-1543)

Years he was in charge of the expedition

Known forEAST TX

Why in Texas?Hernan de Soto was looking for GOLD, when he died, Moscoso took over and took the expedition to East TX

Impact ofFailure – no goldExpedition

Impact on 1st European in East TX Texas



Explorer: Onate (1598)

Year he was exploring the El Paso area

Known forEl Paso

Why in Texas?Looking for gold that Coronado had failed to find

Impact ofFailure – no goldExpedition

Impact on 1st Thanksgiving in North America? Explored the El Paso Texas area and gave it the name “El Paso”


Years Fort St. Louis was in Texas

Known forFrench

Why in Texas?He was LOST!! Looking for the Mississippi River

Impact ofFort St. Louis (settlement) – claimed TX for the Expedition French for two years – murdered by his own crew

Impact on Made the Spanish paranoid – the Spanish got Texas more serious about settling TX and not just exploring it

Explorer: La Salle (1685-1687)