Texas History Timeline

  • Period: Aug 3, 1492 to May 23, 1500

    Christopher Columbus

    He started the Colombian Exchange which brought cattle, mustangs, plants, animals and disease's. He was determined to find a direct water route west from Europe to Asia, but he never did. Instead, he accidentally stumbled upon the Americas. Though he did not really “discover” the New World–millions of people already lived there–his journeys marked the beginning of centuries of trans-Atlantic conquest and colonization.
  • Aug 13, 1510

    Pánfilo de Narváez

    After surviving a hurricane near Cuba, his expedition landed on the west coast of Florida (near Tampa Bay) in April, 1528, claiming the land for Spain. Three rafts sank, but the two surviving rafts (carrying 80 men) landed at Galveston Island (off what is now Texas). Narvaez did not survive.
  • Period: Jun 2, 1519 to

    Álonso Álvarez de Pineda

    On June 2, 1519, Alvarez de Pineda entered a large bay with a sizable Native American settlement on one shore. He sailed upriver for eighteen miles and observed as many as forty villages on the banks of the large, deep river he named "Espíritu Santo". Long assumed to have been the first European report of the mouth of the Mississippi River, the description of the land and its settlement has led many historians to believe he was describing Mobile Bay and the Alabama River. He mapped Texas.
  • Oct 4, 1527

    Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

    On the Florida coast, Narváez unwisely decided to land 300 men and about forty horses from his support vessels in order to reconnoiter lands to the north. Due to a gross misunderstanding of Gulf Coast geography, Narváez believed the Río de las Palmas to be only thirty to forty-five miles distant, when the actual distance via the coast was approximately 1,500 miles. Permanently separated from his ships and short of food, the land contingent trekked and fought near Florida.
  • Jun 2, 1540

    Francisco Vázquez de Coronado

    Francisco Vázquez de Coronado y Luján was a Spanish conquistador and explorer, who led a large expedition from Mexico to present-day Kansas through parts of the southwestern United States between 1540 and 1542.
  • Juan de Õnate

    On September 21, 1595, Oñate was awarded a contract by King Philip II of Spain to settle New Mexico. Spreading Catholicism was a primary objective, but many colonists enlisted in hopes of finding a new silver strike. After many delays Oñate began the entrada in early 1598. He forded the Rio Grande at the famous crossing point of El Paso del Norte, which he discovered in May 1598, after making a formal declaration of possession of New Mexico on April 30 of that year.
  • Matagorda Bay

    The French colonization of Texas began with Fort Saint Louis, established in 1685 near Arenosa Creek and Matagorda Bay by explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle.
  • Fort St. Louis

    Fort St. Louis was established by La Salle
  • René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle

    René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, or Robert de La Salle was a French explorer. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico.
  • San Antonio

    Spanish colonist finds a now major Texas city named San Antonio
  • 1779

    Nacogdoches is founded
  • 1782

    Mission San José is completed
  • 1793

    Most missions in Texas are closed
  • 1803

    Louisiana Purchase
  • 1810

    Father Miguel Hildago issues Grito de Dolores
  • 1811

    Las Casas captured and executed
  • 1811

    Juan Bautista de las Casas declares Texas independent from Spain
  • 1811

    Father Hildago is executed
  • 1821

    Mexico gains independence from Spain