Cover

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Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. 5-6

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Foreword

Mark Wolfe

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p. 7

For more than twenty years, Texas Historical Commission (THC) archaeologists searched for La Salle’s lost ship, La Belle, in the shallow murky waters of Matagorda Bay. On a warm June day in 1995...

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Preface

Jan Felts Bullock

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p. 8

The Bullock Texas State History Museum was in the planning phase as the initial recovery of La Belle began. Within a year of the ship’s excavation in 1995 and 1996, Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock began to...

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Introduction

Victoria Ramirez and David Denney

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p. 9

When the French arrived on the Texas coast in 1685, a series of events played out that would change the course of history. Today La Belle is an important touchstone to that story, helping us understand...

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European Competition for the New World

Jesús F. de la Teja

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pp. 11-16

On classroom maps, the seventeenth-century contest for empire seems straightforward. Different colors represent the colonial boundaries of Spain, France, Portugal, and England at any given point in history...

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La Salle's 1684 Expedition

William C. Foster

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pp. 17-36

In the summer of 1684, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, was ready to sail from France to the New World. French King Louis XIV gave him authorization to establish a colony on the Mississippi, but La Salle...

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Native Americans

Juliana Barr

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pp. 37-48

At the time of European arrival in the seventeenth century, the landscape of Texas was criss- crossed with lines drawn between Indian groups that had long occupied the land that Frenchmen, Spaniards, and...

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Life and Death at Matagorda Bay

Jeffrey Durst and James E. Bruseth

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pp. 49-66

Prior to his departure from France in 1684, La Salle had encountered problems in securing able- bodied recruits for his expedition to the New World. Skilled workmen of virtually every trade were needed for...

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The Colony Kit

James E. Bruseth

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pp. 67-92

La Belle was not a treasure ship carrying gold, silver, or precious gems—it was a ship of colonization loaded with supplies to support a New World settlement. Before leaving France, four ships were loaded with...

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Discovery, Excavation, and Preservation

James E. Bruseth and Toni S. Turner

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pp. 93-108

For three centuries, the ship—and La Salle’s dreams of conquest and colonization—lay entombed in a watery grave at the bottom of Matagorda Bay, Texas. Guided by seventeenth-century Spanish maps and the expedition...

Essay Endnotes

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pp. 109-111

Illustration Credits

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p. 112

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Acknowledgments

James E. Bruseth

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p. 113

Many individuals have helped in the preparation of this catalog. David Denney and Joan Marshall offered me the opportunity to compile the exhibit catalog and have been a constant source of encouragement...

About the Guest Authors

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p. 113

Index

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pp. 114-116

Back Cover

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