Gregorio de Salinas Varona

Gregorio de Salinas Varona (1647 or 1650, Tormé, Burgos, Spain – 1720, Mexico City, New Spain) was a noble and Spanish administrator that served as governor in Texas, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon (the latter two localized in Mexico), Honduras and Pensacola. He was from Burgos and was descended from a noble family of civil servants with roots in the towns of Salinas de Rosío and Medina de Pomar.

Gregorio de Salinas Varona
2nd Governor of the Spanish Colony of Texas
In office
Preceded byDomingo de Terán de los Ríos
Succeeded byFrancisco Cuervo y Valdés
4th Governor of Coahuila
In office
Preceded byDomingo de Terán de los Ríos
Succeeded byFrancisco Cuervo y Valdés
23rd Governor of Nuevo León
In office
Preceded byFrancisco Báez Treviño
Succeeded byCipriano García de Pruneda
40th Governor of Spanish Honduras
In office
Preceded byAntonio de Monfort
Succeeded byEnrique Longman
Governor of Pensacola
In office
Preceded by?
Succeeded by?
Personal details
Born1647 or 1650
Tormé, Burgos, Spain
Mexico City, New Spain)

Family origins

Gregorio de Salinas Varona is the founder of the Mexican branch of his house. His great grandnephew, Anselmo Manuel de Salinas Varona, father of Antonio Salinas y Castañeda, founded another New World branch in the Viceroyalty of Peru, where his descendants became influential.

He was the son of Francisco de Salinas Varona, an Escribano Real residing in Torme. Francisco died on 18 October 1683. His mother was Magdalena Ruiz, who was originally from the town of Bisnela.[1]


Gregorio was born in 1647[1] or 1650[2] in Burgos. He entered the army at a very young age and managed to attain rapid promotion. He served for a period of 19 or 24[1] years in Spanish controlled Flanders. In 1687, he was made a Capitán de Infantería (Infantry Captain) and sent to New Spain in the service of Viceroy Melchor Portocarrero Lasso de la Vega, Count of Monclova. His son, Alonso de Salinas Varona accompanied Gregorio to New Spain.

Soon after his arrival in New Spain, he was sent to the Gulf of Tehuantepec to lead Spanish forces against pirates and smugglers in the region. At the time, pirates had taken control of much of New Spain's Pacific coast.

In 1690, the new Viceroy, Gaspar de la Cerda, Count of Galve, sent Gregorio on a mission to explore the region of Tejas (Texas) together with the explorer Alonso de León who would go on to also become governor of Nuevo León. The expedition also constituted the escorting of four Franciscan friars to found their first mission in Texas called San Francisco de los Tejas.

In 1691, by royal decree, he was granted the title of Comandante del Presidio de San Francisco de Coahuila. Later in the same year, he was sent to accompany an expedition run by Domingo Terán de los Ríos to extend Spanish missions into Eastern Texas.

In 1692, he was named 2nd Governor of Texas and 4th of Coahuila, a post that he held until 1697 and 1698 respectively. During his tenure in Coahuila, he extended the scope and presence of missions and concentrated on colonizing the local Indians.

In 1705, he was appointed the Governor of the Nuevo Reino de León, a post that he held for two years until 1707.

He was later named Governor of Honduras, a post that he held until 1709 when he was made the colonial Governor of Pensacola.[3] He held his post as Governor of Pensicola until 1718[4] when he was replaced by Captain Matamoros de Isla.[5][6]

He was made Governor of the Presidio de Santa María de Galve, likely in 1718 after his tenure in Pensacola.


Gregorio de Salinas Varona died in 1720 or shortly after that date in Mexico City.


  • Some of the information on this page was translated from its Spanish version.
  • Archivo General de Indias, Archivo General de Indias de Sevilla (Madrid, 1958).
  • Jay Higginbotham, Old Mobile: Fort Louis de la Louisiane, 1703–1711 (Mobile, Alabama: Museum of the City of Mobile, 1977).
  • Robert S. Weddle, The French Thorn: Rival Explorers in the Spanish Sea, 1682–1762 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1991).
  • Pedro Salinas, "De Torme a Sayan, los Salinas en el Peru" (Editorial San Marcos, Lima, 2011. 149 p.)


  1. "Torme: Vuestros Correos". Bienvenidos a Torme (in Spanish). Bienvenidos a Torme. 8 July 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  2. Weddle, Robert S. ""SALINAS VARONA, GREGORIO DE," Handbook of Texas Online". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  3. Hall, Joseph M Jr (2012). Zamumo's Gifts: Indian-European Exchange in the Colonial Southeast [Early American Studies] (illustrated ed.). University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 206. ISBN 0812222237. ISBN 9780812222234.
  4. Royal Appointment, Madrid, May 16, 1709, BNM, Vol. 19,508, fols. 78-79, 84-85.
  5. "Florida from the beginning to 1992 : a Columbus jubilee commemorative". Houston, Texas: University of Florida Digital Collections. c. 1991. LCCN 91066897. OCLC 25790765. (System ID) UF00025122:00006. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  6. Alabama Historical Quarterly: Spring & Summer, 1867 issue (PDF). Alabama State Department of Archives and History. 1867. p. 55.
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