In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

534Southwestern Hhtorical QuarterlyApril the Spanish King: 1643," "The Spanish Inquisition Interrogates the Lady in Blue: 1650," and "Fruits of a Mystic's Labor: 1650." At the end of the book are seven appendices treating various historical aspects of the study of Maria ofAgreda and her apparitions in Texas and New Mexico and their legacy. Beyond any doubt, this book by Dr. Fedewa is an outstanding contribution to the researching of the Catholic heritage of the American Southwest, especially that ofTexas and New Mexico. This work is one that should bring the author many accolades. Catholic Southwest: AJournal ofHistory and CulturePatrick Foley, Editor Emeritus The Wrecking of La Salle's Ship Aimable and the Trial of Claude Aigron. By Robert S. Weddle, translations by Fran├žois Lagarde. (Austin: Univeristy of Texas Press, 2009. Pp. 148. Illustrations, maps, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 9780292719408, $50.00 cloth.) With this short book, Robert Weddle demonstrates why historians must do their own primary source research. Ever since Francis Parkman's publication ?? La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West in 1 879, most historians of Spanish Texas have accepted Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle's version of the events surrounding the sinking of his cargo ship while it attempted to enter what is now Matagorda Bay in 1 685. For The Wrecking ofLa Salle's Ship Aimable and the Trial of Claude Aigron, Weddle went to the French court records of the various proceedings and other official documents and found that the story was more complicated than it first appeared. While the full story may never be known, Weddle shows that La Salle's blaming of Claude Aigron for the wreck may have been based more on personal hostility than actual fact. In part one, Weddle traces the history of the Aimable from before it was leased by La Salle in France to its loss in Texas. He also tells of Captain Claude Aigron and his abilities at sea. From the time La Salle leased the ship and hired its crew, there was trouble. Not only was the Aimable carrying cannons and supplies, it was also carrying twenty-two crew members and dozens of passengers. Thejourney to the New World saw many difficulties. La Salle's four ships, The Aimable, the Saint Fran├žois, the Belle, and theJoIy, sailed through storms, and crew members defected at the first port, the ships got separated, and La Salle missed the Mississippi River. The landing was a disaster. The ships had to sail dirough a narrow pass to get into Matagorda Bay. The Belle crossed without incident and the crew sounded the pass and the bay to ascertain whether the Aimable would be able to do the same. Much of the heaviest part of Aimable's cargo was offloaded but the ship was still too low in the water to cross safely. La Salle ordered the ship into the bay, then went ashore himselfto greet Indians who lived nearby. The Aimable ran aground on a sandbar. More ofits cargo was offloaded but the ship did not float free. La Salle's report blamed Captain Aigron and the other seamen for the loss. TheJoIy returned to France with the Captain and reports from eyewitnesses. Aigron was then turned over to French authorities for trial. 201 o Book Reviews535 The majority of the book concerns the trial itself and the evidence presented. Weddle does a goodjob of unraveling the intricate proceedings, the overlapping accusations, and the eventualjudgments. These still-extant records are translated here, including La Salle's official reports, the charges themselves and Aigron's rebuttal, the transcription of the actual hearing, and the written arguments of complainants and defendants. Aigron apparently won his case. At the end of the work, Weddle recounts the search to find the Aimable at the bottom of Matagorda Bay. While this search was unsuccessful, he hopes that new technology will be more effective in future searches. Weddle successfully overturns the traditional interpretation ofthis event, which had been based solely on La Salle's official report. He reveals the complicated interpersonal relations that resulted in conflicting testimony and concludes that Aigron should not be blamed for the loss of the Aimable. West...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 534-535
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.