Goliad is a city in Goliad County, Texas, United States. It had a population of 1975 at the 2000 census. Founded on the San Antonio River, it is the county seat of Goliad County. It is part of the Victoria, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. Goliad is located on U.S. Highway 59, named also for the late U.S. Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen.
In 1747, the Spanish government sent José de Escandón to inspect the northern frontier of its North American colonies, including Spanish Texas. In his final report, Escandónt recommended that Presidio La Bahia be moved from its Guadalupe River location to the banks of the San Antonio River, so that it could better assist settlements along the Rio Grande. Both the presidio and the mission it protected, Mission Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga, likely moved to their new location in October 1749. Escandón proposed that 25 Mexican families be relocated near the presidio to form a civilian settlement, but he was unable to find enough willing settlers.
With the conclusion of the Seven Years War in 1763, France ceded Louisiana and its claims to Texas, to Spain. With France no longer a threat to the Crown's North American interests, the Spanish monarchy commissioned the Marquis de Rubi to inspect all of the presidios on the northern frontier of New Spain and make recommendations for the future. Rubi recommended that several presidios be closed, but that La Bahia be kept and rebuilt in stone. La Bahia was soon "the only Spanish fortress for the entire Gulf Coast from the mouth of the Rio Grande to the Mississippi River." The presidio was at the crossroads of several major trade and military routes. It quickly became one of the three most important areas in Texas, alongside Béxar and Nacogdoches. A civil settlement, then known as La Bahia, soon developed near the presidio. By 1804 the settlement had one of only two schools in Texas.