This archive will host all extant primary sources related to the Karankawa Indians. 

Kept busy by Southern Methodist University’s Ph.D. program, I work on this archive when time allows.  Currently, there are over 2,500 unique documents. I add new sources monthly. If you have sources of your own that you wish to contribute, please get in touch.

If looking to do heavy-duty research with this source base, I highly recommend downloading Adobe Acrobat DC (free but make sure to remove McAfee add-ons) and using the “advanced search” function to browse through multiple PDFs. If searching by keyword, beware that the Anglo-Americans, the Spaniards, and the French all refer to the Karankawas in different ways. I have made a list of these “Karankawa” variations as a guide.

– Tim Seiter

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Committed to First Archivists Circle’s “Protocols for Native American Archival Materials”



Primary Sources:

(1528) Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, La Relación and the Joint Report

2 documents

(1678-1683) Henri de Tonti, Concerning the Explorations of La Salle

1 document

(1685-1688) Henri Joutel Journal

2 documents

(1685-1698) Talon Brother’s Interrogation in Brest France

2 documents

(1687) Juan Enríquez Barroto’s Voyage and Diary

2 documents

(1689) Juan Bautista Chapa Journal

2 documents

(1689-1690) Alonso De León’s Expeditions

2 documents

(1690-1828) Robert Bruce Blake Research Collection

13 documents

(1691) Captain Francisco Martinez Diary

1 document

(1691-1692) Governor Domingo Terán de Los Ríos’s Expedition

1 document

(1714) Louis Juchereau de St. Denis’s First Expedition Through Texas

1 document

(1716) Domingo Ramón Journal

2 documents

(1718) Diaries of the Martín de Alarcón Expedition Into Texas

3 documents

(1720) Jean Béranger Journal

1 document

(1720-1722) Jean Baptiste Bénard de La Harpe Journal

1 document

(1745) Wreck of La Superb

1 document

(1747-1749) José de Escandón

1 document

(1754-1805) Bexar Archives

1000+ documents

(1765-1791) Lawrence Kinnaird’s Spain in the Mississippi Valley

500+ documents

(1767-1768) Fray Gaspar José de Solís Inspection Tour

1 document

(1767-1771) Pierre Marie François de Pagès, Travels Round the World

1 document

(1768-1780) Athanase de Mézières y Clugny

500+ documents

(1772) Antonio Bonilla‘s Brief Compendium of the History of Texas, 1772

1 document

(1777-1783) Father Juan Agustín Morfi, Indian Excerpts, History of Texas

3 documents

(1785) Fray Jose Franco Lopez, The Texas Missions

1 document

(1790-1791) Father Jose Mariano Reyes

1 document

(1808-1812) José Antonio Pichardo On the Limits of Louisiana and Texas

1 document

(1821) Stephen F. Austin Diary

2 documents

(1821-1825) Voices from the Goliad Frontier, Municipal Council Minutes

1 document

(1827-1829) Jean Louis Berlandier, Mexican Boundary Commission

1 document

(1828) Stephen F. Austin’s Descriptions of Texas

1 document

(1829-1850s) Reminiscences of Mrs. Annie Fagan Teal

2 documents

(1830-1852) Memoirs of Mrs. Annie P. Harris

1 document

(1831-1833) Mary Holley Austin, Texas Observations, Historical, Geographical, and Descriptive

3 documents

(1833-1834) Eduard Ludecus Letters of Beales’s Colony

2 documents

(1846) Benjamin Franklin French, Historical Collections of Louisiana

1 document

(1850) William Bollaert, Indian Tribes of Texas

1 document

(1852) William Bluford DeWees, Letters of an Early Settler of Texas

1 document

(1856) Henderson K. Yoakum, History of Texas

2 documents

(1857) Jonathan Hampton Kuykendall, Reminiscences of Early Texans

1 document

(1858) William Bluford DeWees, Letters from an Early Settler

1 document

(1860) F.M. Buckelew, Life of F.M. Buckelew 

1 document

(1883) John J Linn, Reminiscences of Fifty Years in Texas

1 document

(1884) Andrew Jackson Sowell, Rangers and Pioneers

1 document

(1888) Albert Samuel Gatschet, The Karankawa Indians, The Coastal People of Texas

2 documents

(1889) John Wesley Wilbarger, Indian Depredations

1 document

(1890) Andrew Jackson Sowell, Early Settlers and Indian Fighters

1 document

(1900) Noah Smithwick, Evolution of a State

1 document

(1900-1925) Joseph Osterman Dyer Papers

5 documents

(1966-1967) Galveston County

21 documents


Secondary Sources

(Source Publication Date) Source Name
(Birth and Death) Author

(1896) The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought

(1865-1914) Alexander Francis Chamberlain

(1906) “The Founding of Mission Rosario: A Chapter in the History of the Gulf Coast”

(1870-1953) Herbert Eugene Bolton

(1913) Guide to Materials for the History of the United States in the Principal Archives of Mexico

(1870-1953) Herbert Eugene Bolton

(1915) Texas in the MIddle Eighteenth Century

(1870-1953) Herbert Eugene Bolton

(1916) “The Beginnings of Mission Nuestra Senora Del Refugio,” pgs 400-404

(1870-1953) Herbert Eugene Bolton

(1916) Spanish Exploration in the Southwest 1542-1706

(1870-1953) Herbert Eugene Bolton

(1917) Spanish and French Rivalry in the Gulf Region of the United States, 1678-1702: The Beginnings of Texas and Pensacola

(1888-1966) William Edward Dunn

(1919) “Les Indiens du Texas et les expéditions françaises de 1720 et 1721 à la « Baie Saint-Bernard”

(1867-1936) & (1876-1958) Marc de Villiers du Terrage and Paul Rivet

(1925) “The Hokan Affinity of Subtiaba in Nicaragua,” in American Anthropologist

(1884-1939) Edward Sapir

(1929) “Notes on Some Texas Coast Campsites”

(1885-?) George Castor Martin 

(1934) The Franciscan Pere Marquette: A Critical Biography of Father Zenobe Membre La Salle’s Chaplain and Missionary Companion

(1901-1984) Marion A. Habig

(1935) Prehistoric skeletal remains from the Texas coast 

(1902-1973) & (1890-1935) George Woodbury and Edna Woodbury

(1935) El Copano and the Ancient Port of Béxar and La Bahía 

(1893-1983) Hobart Huson 

(1936) Our Catholic Heritage, Volume 1 – 1519-1693 The Finding of Texas

(1896-1958) Carlos E. Castañeda

(1936) Our Catholic Heritage, Volume 2 – 1693-1731 The Winning of Texas

(1896-1958) Carlos E. Castañeda

(1938) Our Catholic Heritage, Volume 3 – 1731-1761 The Missions at Word

(1896-1958) Carlos E. Castañeda

(1939) Our Catholic Heritage, Volume 4 – 1762-1782 The Passing of the Missions

(1896-1958) Carlos E. Castañeda

(1939) “The Indians of Texas: the Atákapa, the Karankawa, the Tonkawa,” dissertation, University of Texas

(1902-1987) Mildred P. Mayhall

(1939) A History of Texas: Land of Promise

(1881-1969) Joseph L. Clark

(1942) Our Catholic Heritage, Volume 5 – 1780-1810 The End of the Spanish Regime

(1896-1958) Carlos E. Castañeda

(1942) History of Refugio Mission

(1899-1983) William H. Oberste

(1950) Karánkaway Country

(1878-1959) Roy Bedichek

(1951) The Bidai Indians of Southeastern Texas

(1924-2018) Andrée Frances Sjoberg

(1953-1955) Refugio: A Comprehensive History of Refugio County from Aboriginal Times to 1953

(1893-1983) Hobart Huson

(1955) The Coahuiltecan Indians of Southern Texas and Northeastern Mexico

(?-?)Frederick Henry Ruecking

(1956) “A Reappraisal of the ‘Cultural Sink’ of Texas”

(1921-2010) William W. Newcomb, Jr.

(1959) Cannibal Coast Extraordinarily biased

(1896-1969) Edward W. Kilman 

(1962) “The Last Years of Spanish Texas, 1778-1821”

(1933- ) Odie B. Faulk

(1964) “The Human Side of Science: Karankawas Left Puzzles,” in Brazosport Newspaper

(1927-2014) Blair Justice

(1964) “Jean Lafitte and the Karankawa Indians”

(1941-2020) David B. Gracy II

(1964) Conquistadores and Cannibals

(1920-1977) Vernon Smylie

(1965) “Karankawa Indians,” Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico

(1864-1956) Frederick Webb Hodge 

(1966) Presidio La Bahía 

(1883-1979) Kathryn Stoner O’Connor

(1968) San Antonio’s Mission San José 

(1901-1984) Marion A. Habig

(1968) San Juan Bautista: Gateway to Spanish Texas

(1921-2015) Robert Weddle

(1968) “The Karankawa Invasion of Texas”Ill-informed

(1928-2003) Herbert Landar

(1969) “The Karankawa Indians: Their Conflict with the White Man in Texas”

(?-?) Thomas Wolff

(1970) The Spanish Borderlands Frontier: 1513-1821

(1905-1986) John Francis Bannon

(1971) “Juan de Ugalde (1729-1816) and the Provincias Internas of Coahuila and Texas”

(1943-2021) Gary Bertram Starnes

(1971) Spanish Texas: Yesterday and Today

(?-?) Gerald Ashford

(1971) “The Karankawas,” in Indian Tribes of Texas

(1932-2005) James Day

(1972) The Indians of Texas: From Prehistoric to Modern Times

(1921-2010) William W. Newcomb, Jr.

(1972) “La Salle’s Survivors”

(1921-2015) Robert Weddle

(1972) “A Narrative History of Corpus Christi” 

(1914-2004) Eugenia Reynolds Briscoe

(1973) “Original residents left no records; Original Brazoria Countians lost out to whites,” in Brazosport Facts

(?-?) Peggy Case

(1973) Wilderness Manhunt: The Spanish Search for La Salle

(1921-2015) Robert Weddle

(1973) “The Influence of Epidemics on the Indian Populations and Cultures of Texas”

(1909-1997) John C. Ewers

(1973) The Empresario Don Martín de León

(?-?) A.B.J. Hammet

(1974) Captain Phillip Dimmitt’s Commandancy of Goliad, 1835–1836 

(1893-1983) Hobart Huson 

(1975) The Leather Jacket Soldier

(1933- ) Odie B. Faulk

(1975) Storms Brewed In Other Men’s Worlds: The Confrontation of Indians, Spanish, and French in the Southwest, 1540-1795

(?-?) Elizabeth John

(1976) Nothingness Itself, Selected Writings of Ven. Fr. Antonio Margil, 1690–1724 

(1901-1984) Marion A. Habig

(1976) Our First Residents: The Karankawas

(?-?) Harriett Johnson

(1976) “The Brackish Water Clam (Rangia cuneata): A Prehistoric “Staff of Life” or a Minor Food Resource”

(?- ) Kathleen Mary Byrd

(1977) Indianola: The Mother of Western Texas

(1910-1999) Brownson Malsch

(1982) “Sources for the La Salle Expedition of 1682,” in La Salle and His Legacy

(?- ) Patricia Galloway 

(1983) “Coahuiltecans and Their Neighbors” in Handbook of North American Indians

(1941-1992) Thomas Nolan Campbell

(1983) Indians of the Upper Texas Coast High Quality, too much content to link, must buy.

(1940-2019) Lawrence E. Aten

(1983) “Karankawa” in Handbook of North American Indians

(1921-2010) William W. Newcomb, Jr.

(1984) “The Indians of Mission Rosario”

(1914-2010) Kathleen Gilmore

(1985) City by the Sea: A History of Corpus Christi, 1519-1875

(1914-2004) Eugenia Reynolds Briscoe

(1985) Spanish Sea: The Gulf of Mexico in North American Discovery

(1921-2015) Robert Weddle

(1986) “Was there really a cannibal coast?” in The Brazosport Facts

(?-?) Dona Vaughn

(1986) Los Mesteños: Spanish Ranching in Texas, 1721-1821

(1941-2006) Jack Jackson

(1986) Galveston: A History

(1934- ) David G. McComb

(1986) “Prehistoric Settlement and Subsistence Patterns of the Baffin Bay Area of the Lower Texas Coast”

(1938-2000) Herman A. Smith

(1986) Cannibals and Condos: Texans and Texas along the Gulf Coast

(1947- ) Robert Lee Maril

(1987) “In Search of Cabeza de Vaca’s Route across Texas: An Historiographical Survey”

(?- ) Donald Chipman

(1991) The French Thorn: Rival Explorers in the Spanish Sea, 1682-1762

(1921-2015) Robert Weddle

(1991) Galveston: A History of the Island

(1934-2017) Gary Cartwright

(1992) El Fuerte Del Cíbolo: Sentinel of the Béxar-La Bahía Ranches

(1939-2015) Robert H. Thonhoff

(1992) The Spanish Frontier in North America

(1940-2010) David J. Weber 

(1994) Remember Goliad: A History of La Bahía 

(1954-2020) Craig H. Roell

(1995) Changing Tides: Twilight and Dawn in the Spanish Sea, 1763-1803

(1921-2015) Robert Weddle

(~1995) “Prehistoric and Early Historic People and Environment in the Corpus Christi Bay Area,” for the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory

(1948- ) Robert Ricklis

(1996) Indian Groups Associated with Spanish Missions of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

(1941-1992) & (?-?) T.N. Campbell and T.J. Campbell

(1996) The Karankawa Indians of Texas: The Karankawa Indians of Texas : an ecological study of cultural tradition and change High Quality, too much content to link, must buy.

(1949- ) Robert Ricklis

(1997) Aransas: The Life of a Texas Coastal County

(?-?) William Allen and Sue Hastings Taylor

(1999) Stephen F. Austin: Empresario of Texas

(1958- ) Gregg Cantrell 

(1999) The Indian Southwest, 1580-1830: Ethnogenesis and Reinvention

(1948- ) Gary Clayton Anderson

(1999) The Conquest of the Karankawa and the Tonkawas, 1821-1859

(?- ) Kelly Himmel 

(2000) Lone Star: A History of Texas and Texans Highly Ill-Informed

(1925-2013) T. R. Fehrenbach 

(2000) Spanish Expeditions Into Texas

(1929-2015) William C. Foster

(2000) 1999 Excavations at Mission Rosario

(?-?) David L. Nickels

(2001) The Wreck of the Belle, the Ruin of La Salle

(1921-2015) Robert Weddle

(2002) Archeological investigations at the last Spanish Colonial mission established on the Texas frontier: Nuestra Señora del Refugio (41RF1), Refugio County, Texas and Archeological investigations…appendices

(?-?) Cynthia L. Tennis

(2002) We Came Naked and Barefoot: The Journey of Cabeza de Vaca Across North America

(1911-1991) Alex D. Krieger

(2003) Gone to Texas: The Lone Star State

(1940- ) Randolph B. Campbell

(2005) Bárbaros: Spaniards and Their Savages in the Age of Enlightenment

(1940-2010) David J. Weber 

(2005) The Conquest of Texas: Ethnic Cleansing in the Promised Land 1820-1875

(1948- ) Gary Clayton Anderson

(2005) From Dominance to Disappearance: The indians of Texas and the Near Southwest, 1786-1859

(?- ) Foster Todd Smith

(2007) A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca

(1970- ) Andres Reséndez

(2007) Peace Came in the Form of a Woman: Indians and Spaniards in the Texas Borderlands

(?- ) Juliana Barr

(2007) Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga: A Frontier Mission in South Texas

(1969- ) Tamra Lynn Walter

(2008) The Comanche Empire

(1967- ) Pekka Johannes Hämäläinen

(2008) “Population Dynamics of Prehistoric Foraging Groups Along the Upper Texas Coast”

(?- ) Darren Schubert

(2008) Historic Native Peoples of Texas

(1929-2015) William C. Foster

(2009) The Wrecking of La Salle’s Ship Aimable and the Trial of Claude Aigron 

(1921-2015) Robert Weddle

(2009) The Lipan Apaches: People of Wind and Lightning

(1964- ) Thomas A. Britten

(2010) “The Exploration and Preliminary Colonization of the Seno Mexicano Under Don José de Escandón (1747-1749)”

(?- ) Debbie S. Cunningham

(2010) Spanish Texas: 1519-1821 (revised, originally published in 1992)

(?- ) & (?- ) Donald Chipman and Harriett Denise Joseph

(2010) Slavery in Indian Country

(?- ) Amanda Snyder

(2011) “Native transgressions: a look at the portrayal of Karankawa natives in Texas history textbooks and trade books”

(?-?) Vivien Geneser

(2012) “The Karankawa Indians”

(?- ) Rolf Edward Moore

(2012) “Franciscan Missionary Theory and Practice in Eighteenth-Century New Spain: The Propaganda Fide Friars in the Texas Missions, 1690-1821”

(1982- ) Jay T. Harrison

(2013) The Texas Indians

(1957- ) David La Vere

(2014) “Native Americans,” in Discovering Texas History

(?- ) Matthew M. Babcock

(2014) Louisiana and the Gulf South Frontier

(?- ) Foster Todd Smith

(2015) Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850

(?- ) Andrew J. Torget

(2015) Pioneering Archaeology in the Texas Coastal Bend

(?-2018) & (1974- ) John W. Tunnell and Jace Tunnell

(2015) Where Texas Meets the Sea: Corpus Christi and Its History

(1959- ) Alan Lessoff

(2016) Conquering Sickness: Race, Health, and Colonization in the Texas Borderlands

(1978- ) Mark Goldberg

(2017) “I’m an expert in the Karankawa, natives of the Texas Gulf. I have deep knowledge of our origins and culture. AMA”Highly Ill-Informed

(2017- ) Reddit User/Milkhemet_Melekh 

(2017) “Identifying the Isla de Malhado” 

(?-?) David Carson 

(2018) The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas

(1984- ) Monica Muñoz Martinez 

(2020) The Texas Tonkawas

(1947- ) Stanley S. McGowen

(2020) Los Adaes: The First Capital of Spanish Texas

(1968- ) Francis X. Galan

(2021) A Prehistory  of Houston and Southeast Texas: Landscape and Culture  – High Quality, too much content to link, must buy.

(?- ) Dan M. Worrall



Sources for Southwestern Historical Quarterly article “The Karankawa-Spanish War from 1778 to 1789: Attempted Genocide and Karankawa Power” : Documents (zip)

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