The Gulf Coast has been a principal place of entry into Texas ever since Alonso Alvarez de Pineda explored these shores in 1519. Yet, nearly five hundred years later, the maritime history of Texas remains largely untold. In this book, Richard V. Francaviglia offers a comprehensive overview of Texas' merchant and military marine history, drawn from his own extensive collection of maritime history materials, as well as from research in libraries and museums around the country.
Based on recent discoveries in nautical archaeology, Francaviglia tells the stories of the Spanish flotilla that wrecked off Padre Island in 1554 and of La Salle's flagship Belle, which sank in 1687. He explores the role of the Texas Navy in the Texas Revolution of 1835-1836 and during the years of the Texas Republic and also describes the Civil War battles at Galveston and Sabine Pass. Finally, he recounts major developments of the nineteenth century, concluding with the disastrous Galveston Hurricane in 1900. More than one hundred illustrations, many never before published, complement the text.