Institute of Texan Cultures' Texans Series
The Spanish discovery of Texas occurred in 1519, when Alonso Alvarez de Pineda sailed the coastline and drew a map. Nine years later another Spaniard, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, was shipwrecked on the coast with several companions and survived to write about the Texas region.
The writings of Cabeza de Vaca led to an expedition from Mexico City north to the area of New Mexico and Texas by Francisco Vázquez de Coronado in 1540. For three centuries, Spaniards claimed the area, from 1519 to 1821, bringing what was needed to build a country like their own: horses, cattle, chickens, goats, sheep, grapes and peaches, armor and firearms, laws and government, a different language, a new religion, other ways of farming and irrigation, architecture and printing.