RLB presentation

Raising La Belle author visits

Texas Lost Colony

In 1995 archeologists discovered a shipwreck in Matagorda Bay between Galveston and Corpus Christi.

No ordinary sunken ship, the wreck was a 17th century French bark with decorated bronze cannons, barrels of tools and weapons and a human skeleton curled in the bow!

It was the Belle, the ship of famed North American explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle.

Would your students be interested in seeing a presentation about the Belle and how its story still affects us as Texans?

Mark G. Mitchell, the award-winning author-illustrator of Raising ‘La Belle’ : the Story of the ‘La Salle Shipwreck’  can bring the shipwreck story to your campus.

His popular presentation includes slides of the excavation and artifacts and Mark’s illustrations to make the excavation and La Salle’s adventure in Texas alive for your students.

The program is suitable for all grades.  Expect lots of Q &A (the shipwreck fascinates kids of all ages) and a “chalk talk” —  a bit of live drawing for the students that stays on topic of La Salle and his French settlers, the native Americans and animals that played into their lives on Texas shores in 1685.

Mark’s illustrations have appeared in several books for children and the Carus children’s magazines Appleseeds, Cobblestone and Cricket.

Raising ‘La Belle’ won the 2003 Spur Award  for the year’s best nonfiction juvenile book on a western theme from the Western Writers of America. It also received the U.S. Maritime Literature Award for that year and was a 2011 selection of the Texas Reading Club.

Mark has been a featured author and speaker at

  • Texas Book Festival
  • Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
  • Museum of the Gulf 
  • Museum of the Coastal Bend
  • 200 elementary and middle schools across the state

Download a free teachers packet that has questions, a puzzle and an exercise  for students and a “La Salle shipwreck” resource list that your teachers might enjoy.  See Texas A&M University archeologists talking about conserving artifacts from the shipwreck and the skeleton that was found on the ship.

Talking with Helen de Wolf about the “Belle” skeleton – video interviewVideo #1    Video #2

Read more about Mark’s books.


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  1. Pingback: » Betting on books with “behaviors” Illustration Course

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