Oliván Rebolledo, Juan Manuel de (unknown–1738)

By: John G. Johnson

Type: Biography

Published: May 1, 1995

Updated: August 7, 2020

Juan Manuel de Oliván Rebolledo, official and mapmaker in Spanish Texas, was a member of the Junta General as early as 1715. As auditor general he handled the investigation of Louis Juchereau de St. Denis after his arrest in 1717, and recommending the Canadian's release and restoration of the goods seized. On December 24, 1717, Oliván submitted a plan advocating measures to keep the French east of the Mississippi River and prevent French expansion along the Gulf Coast and Texas. With the report he prepared a map based on information obtained from St. Denis. He eventually drew up a series of seven maps of the territory north of Mexico, and at least some of the sketches were directly based on St. Denis's testimony. Oliván was designated governor of Texas in 1719, but he never assumed his duties. In 1727 as judge advocate of Mexico he advised the viceroy to send soldiers to Santa Fe to find and arrest the French there or to drive them away. That expedition was never made. In the 1720s Oliván suggested moving the presidios of Nueva Vizcaya to the Rio Grande and establishing Christian Indian settlements along that river to form a chain of forts and settlements from El Paso to San Juan Bautista. The expedition of Pedro de Rivera y Villalón resulted, but it failed because it did not follow the specified route. In 1737 Presidio del Sacramento was moved to about thirty miles south of the site of Del Rio at Oliván's suggestion. For much of his life he held the duties of auditor of war. As such, he took the report of Antonio de Valarde Cosio, governor of New Mexico, reporting the massacre of Pedro de Villasur. Oliván died in 1738.

James M. Daniel, "The Spanish Frontier in West Texas and Northern Mexico," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 71 (April 1968). Henri Folmer, Franco-Spanish Rivalry in North America, 1524–1763 (Glendale, California: Clark, 1953). Charles W. Hackett, ed., Pichardo's Treatise on the Limits of Louisiana and Texas (4 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1931–46). Jack Jackson, Robert S. Weddle, and Winston De Ville, Mapping Texas and the Gulf Coast: The Contributions of St. Denis, Oliván, and Le Maire (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1990). Robert S. Weddle, The French Thorn: Rival Explorers in the Spanish Sea, 1682–1762 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1991).

  • Exploration
  • Explorers (Spanish)
Time Periods:
  • Spanish Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

John G. Johnson, “Oliván Rebolledo, Juan Manuel de,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 02, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/olivan-rebolledo-juan-manuel-de.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995
August 7, 2020

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