While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Robert S. Weddle

IRIARTE, PEDRO DE (?–?). Pedro (erroneously called Antonio in some sources) de Iriarte, explorer and sea captain, commanded one of the two small ships of the second and more important maritime voyage sent by Spain to find the French settlement made on the Texas coast by the La Salle expedition. A youthful but highly regarded "captain of sea and war" in the Armada de Barlovento, Iriarte was second in command of the expedition to Capt. Martín de Rivas. The voyage, piloted by Juan Enríquez Barroto, who made a map and kept a diary, and Antonio Romero, left Veracruz on December 25, 1686, to return on July 3 and 4, 1687, after a complete circumnavigation of the Gulf. As the younger of the two captains, Iriarte often took charge of the explorations made from the two ships in small boats. His men discovered the wreck of La Salle's ship Belle, stranded on Matagorda Peninsula. He was close at hand when some of his men seized a Karankawa Indian in an effort to persuade him to go aboard the vessels and provoked a brief skirmish before the Indians took flight.

At the conclusion of the voyage, Iriarte and the two pilots went to Mexico City to report to the Viceroy Monclova (Captain Rivas being too ill to make the journey). The same three officers were summoned to the capital again, upon the return of captains Francisco López de Gamarra and Andrés de Pez, to examine and comment on the diary of their voyage. The time and place of Iriarte's birth and death are not known. He evidently outlived most of those who commanded ships in the La Salle search except Pez.

William Edward Dunn, Spanish and French Rivalry in the Gulf Region of the United States, 1678–1702: The Beginnings of Texas and Pensacola (Austin: University of Texas, 1917). Robert S. Weddle et al., eds., La Salle, the Mississippi, and the Gulf: Three Primary Documents (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1987). Robert S. Weddle, Wilderness Manhunt: The Spanish Search for La Salle (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1973).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Robert S. Weddle, "IRIARTE, PEDRO DE," accessed July 07, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fir02.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...