Texas Dig Yields Earliest Settlers French Colonists Killed by Indians after Building Fort

The Florida Times Union, December 4, 2000 | Go to article overview

Texas Dig Yields Earliest Settlers French Colonists Killed by Indians after Building Fort


VICTORIA, Texas -- Crouching in a 15-inch-deep trench beside a creek running into Lavaca Bay, Jeff Durst carefully scraped away dirt clinging to the skeletons of at least two people thought to be among the first European settlers of Texas, massacred by Indians more than 300 years ago.

Archaeologists say the skulls, bones and teeth discovered last month at the site of Fort St. Louis almost certainly are the first remains found of the first European settlers in the state. They were French colonists who built the fort south of present-day Victoria in 1685 but were wiped out on Christmas Eve 1688.

"This is big stuff for Texas history, a very heady find," Durst said as he used a bamboo hand pick to coax one of the missing links of Texas history from the black gumbo soil.

"You're looking there at two individuals who constitute some of Texas' earliest colonists," said Mike Davis, site director for the Texas Historical Commission.

It's the most important discovery in the 14 months since the commission began a $1.8 million archaeological dig on the west bank of Garcitas Creek, officials said. It further confirms that the French led the way in settling Texas, a fact obscured by Spanish and American activity that followed.

Written records suggest identities for the remains, and DNA testing may enable the team to link them to descendants who have been located in France and Louisiana, said Jim Bruseth, director of archaeology for the commission.

"We're very excited," Bruseth said.

Also interested is Paul Newfield III, 58, of Metairie, La., a descendant of a woman who may be in the grave.

"I take a great deal of pride in these ancestors of mine," said Newfield, who has studied his family history and stands ready to provide a DNA sample.

Fort St. Louis was founded by about 150 Frenchmen led by Robert Cavelier, Sieur de LaSalle, at a time when France and Spain were competing for footholds and riches in the New World. The Spanish had claimed Texas but largely ignored it until hearing of the French settlement.

"This was what created the settlement of Texas. It got the Spanish interested, and then you had Anglo immigrants," said Henry Wolff, a Victoria folklorist and columnist for the Victoria Advocate. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Texas Dig Yields Earliest Settlers French Colonists Killed by Indians after Building Fort
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.