In fall 1984, Randolph B. “Mike” Campbell urged Donald E. Chipman, his colleague at the University of North Texas, to take an active role in writing entries on colonial Texas for The New Handbook of Texas, then targeted for publication in the mid-1990s. It was a fortuitous suggestion. Initially, Chipman approached the early history of the Lone Star State as a part of colonial Mexico, or New Spain. In writing entries for the New Handbook of Texas, he soon saw the need for a one-volume synthesis of the Spanish experience in Texas and its continuing legacies in the Lone Star State. The result was Spanish Texas, 1519–1821 (1992), an award-winning publication. Initially, we wish to express appreciation to Mike for opening the vistas of Texas’s colonial history, and for his assistance in improving the first and second editions of this book.
Since 1984 we have received aid and encouragement from many individuals and institutions. Remembering them and expressing our gratitude is one of the more pleasant aspects of writing a book.
In spring 1990, Chipman received a Faculty Development Leave from the University of North Texas (UNT) that permitted him to conduct research in Spanish archives. He also received grants from UNT’s Faculty Research Committee to cover airfare expenses, map preparation, and photo duplication.
Off campus, Chipman was assisted by a grant from the Ottis Lock Foundation that helped underwrite research expenses at the Barker Texas History Center (now the Center for American History) and the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection in Austin. In Spain, doña Rosario Parra Cala of the Archivo General de Indias and doña Esperanza Salán Paniagua of the Archivo Central y Biblioteca del Ministerio de Economía y Hacienda and their staffs provided courteous and vital assistance. Professor Joseph W. McKnight of the Southern Methodist University School of Law and Professor Emeritus Thomas N. Campbell of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin read parts of the first edition manuscript