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[LECTURE] La Salle’s Ghost: The Origins of Texas’ Boundaries

September 21, 2019 @ 4:00 pm 6:00 pm

Members: Suggested $5 donation, Non-members: $10 ticket

How did Texas get its present size and shape?? The famous French explorer, Rene Robert Sieur de La Salle, credited with sailing down the Mississippi to its mouth—has much to do with answering this question.

Having discovered an efficient link between the Gulf of Mexico and French Canada, La Salle convinced the Sun King (Louis XIV) to sponsor an expedition to set up a French base on the Gulf of Mexico. Although La Salle lost his life in the Texas wilderness, he laid claim to territory previously traveled by Spaniards dating back to Cabeza de Vaca. Although the Spanish quickly mobilized to assert some measure of control over the Texas gulf coast region, the French never really disappeared as rivals and troublemakers. In selling Louisiana to the United States, Napoleon transferred the Texas boundary problem to the upstart republic.

Dr. Frank de La Teja, Director of the Texas State Historical Association and former State Historian will share this intriguing story, richly illustrated in 17th, 18th, and 19th century maps of the region. It is an epic story of Texas as part of world history!