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Spanish Influence

Silver coins on exhibit at the Museum of the Coastal Bend

Beginning with Pineda’s mapping the coast from Florida to Tampico in 1519, Spanish ships sailed Gulf coastal waters throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. During that time a number of ships went down, largely due to bad weather.

In 1554, a Spanish trade fleet sailed en route from Veracruz to Spain, with a planned stopover in Havana. A storm grounded three of the four ships on the shore of Padre Island. More than 300 people perished in the incident.