HIS CEMETERY ON MATAGORDA ISLAND
There are about twenty-seven or more of M de La Salle's people, soldiers and workman [sic], buried in the sands at the tip of Matagorda Island where the old town of Saluria once was located.
The Sieur de Minet, M de La Salle's engineer, in writing about the landing of La Salle, states that all were sick in some degree with nausea and dysentery and that four or five died nearly every day. This rate of death among the members of the expedition could not [have] been of long duration for after a carefull [sic] study of the historical records, we find that the number of all the people in the expedition, counting the crews of the wrecked L'Aimable and the Bark La Belle, when they arrived at the entrance to Matagorda Bay, was about two hundred. Along about the middle of March (1685), Monsieur de Beaujeu, Capt. of the La Joli, departed for France [with] several of the Gentleman Volunteers, and the crew of the L'Aimable sailed with him, leaving a total of one hundred and eighty members of the expedition embarked on the island, not counting the crew of the Bark La Belle.
From the 20th of February, the day the landing was made, [until] about the first of June, when the Matagorda landing site was abandoned, there was a total of twenty-eight deaths and two desertions. Of the twenty-eight deaths, twenty-seven are buried there. Twenty-four of these died from sickness, one was hung, two were killed by the Indians.
Among those known to be buried there are:
Sieur de, Talon - A Canadaian [ sic] and the only real Colonist in the expedition. His death left a widow with four children, the youngest a baby girl born on the voyage over.
Sieur de O'ris - A volunteer from Roan France. Killed by the Indians, March 5th 1685.
Sieur de Desloges - A volunteer from Roan France, killed by the Indians March
These two with several others, had stolen two canoes belonging to the Indians. They were overtaken by the Indians before they had gotten back to camp. The Indians recovered their canoes.
One soldier was hung by order of M de La Salle. He was condemed [sic] to death for being the leader of five who made a desertion attempt. They got as far as the main land, about where Port O'Connor is now located, when they were caught.
One workman, in taking fish from the nets set in the channel was caught in the currents and swept out into the gulf, and drowned. His body was never recovered.
The two soldiers, who deserted and made good their escape, were never heard from afterwards, and it was presumed that the natives had killed them.
In the first three months after the landing on Matagorda Island, M de La Salle lost thirty members out of the one hundred and eighty that made up the expeditionary force that landed in Texas. M de La Salle had left France with two hundred and eighty. The expeditionary force was now down to one hundred and fifty people. Not counting the crew of the La Belle, of this one hundred and fifty, nine were women, and four were childern [sic] (the Talon children) leaving only one hundred and thirty-seven men to work, and protect the establishment that was made farther inland, on the Petite Riviere, de Cannes (Lavaca River) and called by M de La Salle, Fort St. Louis. All of the one hundred and fifty, were by the middle of June 1685, living at the new location. And by the end of the month, it became necessary to again, lay out another cemetery.