LOPEZ DE GAMARRA, FRANCISCO
LÓPEZ DE GAMARRA, FRANCISCO (?–1693). Francisco López de Gamarra, Spanish explorer and sea captain, participated in the search for René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. When the expedition of Martín de Rivas and Pedro de Iriarteqqv searching for La Salle's colony failed to return to Veracruz on schedule, two frigates were dispatched to look for them. The captains were Francisco López de Gamarra and Andrés de Pez y Malzárraga, officers in the Armada de Barlovento. Theirs was the third of the five sea voyages sent to search for La Salle.
López and Pez set sail from Veracruz on June 30, 1687; Rivas and Iriarte reached port on July 3 and 4. The frigates ran the north shore of the Gulf of Mexico as far as Cape San Blas on the Florida coast, repeating much of the previous reconnaissance. Events of the voyage are detailed in the diary of the pilot Luis Gómez Raposo, which supplements the diary of Juan Enríquez Barroto, chief pilot of the Rivas-Iriarte voyage.
On the Texas coast the frigates sighted the mouth of the Rio Grande, Aransas Pass, Galveston Bay, and Sabine Pass but missed Matagorda Bay, where Rivas and Iriarte had found the wreckage of La Salle's ships four months previously. Handicapped by their size, the deep-draft vessels sailed two days out of sight of land along the shoaly Louisiana coast. They then explored the mouth of the Mississippi River in poor visibility, a feat that would have had considerable importance had not Rivas and Iriarte done it earlier and, with their shallow-draft piraguas, more thoroughly. They returned to Veracruz on September 4, 1687.
Few facts are at hand on the life of López de Gamarra. It is known only that he and Enríquez Barroto perished in a common disaster on September 18, 1693, when their respective ships were lost in a hurricane on the Carolina Banks, fifteen leagues from the mainland shore. There were no survivors.
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, "Lopez De Gamarra, Francisco," accessed April 29, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/floxq.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles