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Spanish mapping expedition heads for Texas

December
13
1777

On this day in 1777, Luis Antonio Andry and a crew of thirteen sailed on the schooner Señor de la Yedra from New Orleans on a mapping expedition. Andry, a French engineer in the pay of Spain, was chosen by Louisiana governor Bernardo de Gálvez to map the Gulf of Mexico coast from the Mississippi River to Matagorda Bay. Andry's survey ship reached Matagorda Bay by early March 1778, its work essentially complete. Shortly thereafter, it fell victim to the trickery of apostate Karankawas from the Texas missions. Acording to the lone survivor of the crew, the expedition sought aid from Karankawa brothers Joseph María and Mateo who, feigning friendship, claimed to be soldiers from La Bahía. After first disposing of two parties sent ashore to obtain provisions, the renegade brothers brought their companions on board the ship, seized the crew's unguarded weapons, and murdered the rest of the crew with a single exception, whom they held as a slave. After removing the guns and other useful gear from the ship, they burned the vessel and with it perhaps the most detailed Spanish map of the Texas-Louisiana coast to that time.

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