Near Riviera in Kleberg County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
1766 Exploration of Diego Ortiz Parilla
First expedition to give detailed descriptions of Texas' offshore islands and to refer to Corpus Christi Bay by its present name.
The exploration was ordered by the viceroy of New Spain in the midst of rumors that the English planned to encroach on Spanish territory. Parrilla, who had fought the Moors for Spain before holding positions of civil and military leadership in the New World, was ordered to expel any intruders.
He began his trek at San Juan Bautista on the Rio Grande, September 13, 1766. At Corpus Christi Bay a detachment marched south to explore the coastal islands. Their report of uniformly bleak, treeless, waterless dunes (including this area) cast doubt on the feasibility of enemy occupation.
At this point, torrential rains and floods impeded the party's progress. At La Bahia (present Matagorda Bay) Parrilla was luckily able to interview some of the soldiers serving along the coast and thus he obtained knowledge of the geography of the area and its Indians as far north as Trinity Bay.
After several months Parrilla returned, having helped disprove rumors of the English intrusion and
Erected 1970 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 6284.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • Exploration • Native Americans.
Location. 27° 21.147′ N, 97° 49.871′ W. Marker is near Riviera, Texas, in Kleberg County. Marker is on U.S. 77 0.9 miles north of Ranch to Market Road 628, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Riviera TX 78379, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. U.S. Army March to Rio Grande, 1846 (here, next to this marker); Riviera - 1687 (approx. 9.3 miles away); Kenedy County (approx. 9.3 miles away); Kenedy County Courthouse Construction (approx. 9.3 miles away); The Town of Sarita (approx. 9.4 miles away); Taylor Camp Site, 1846 (approx. 9.6 miles away); Englishmen in South Texas, 1568 (approx. 11½ miles away); Uriah Lott (approx. 11.6 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Ortiz Parilla Gulf Coast Expedition. In 1765 Malaguita Indians, natives of the Padre Island vicinity, brought to San Juan Bautista Mission on the Rio Grande reports that white invaders were settling on the "Islas Blancas" near the mouth of the Nueces River. The squatters were presumed to be English. (Submitted on May 31, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Diego Ortiz Parrilla. Ortiz Parrilla served as interim governor of Coahuila from June 1764 to December 1765. During that time he authorized for Antonio Rivas, who had once served with him, a sizable land grant that is now part of southern Maverick County, Texas. In 1766 he was commissioned to explore the Texas Gulf Coast in response to a rumored English invasion. After exploring Padre Island, he drew a map of the coast as far as Galveston Bay, on the basis of his own exploration and interviews with persons who knew the coast. (Submitted on May 31, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 1, 2018. It was originally submitted on May 31, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 182 times since then and 53 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 31, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.