Victoria is located on the Guadalupe River not far from the Texas coast. The town became the hub of the De Leon Colony, founded by Don Martin De Leon in 1824. Earlier, the site had been known as Las Sabinas, or Cypress Grove. De Leon renamed the town Victoria after Nuestra De Guadalupe De Victoria, the first president of Mexico.
Victoria was established as the county seat of Victoria County on May 17, 1836, making it one of the very first towns to be incorporated by the Republic of Texas. In 1840, the town became one of the targets of a major Comanche raid, which penetrated deeper into the settlements of Texas than any other in its history. Several citizens were killed, as well as those of nearby Linnville, further down the Guadalupe on the Texas coast.
The Victoria Advocate, originally the Texian Advocate, is today the second oldest continuously running newspaper in Texas. It was founded by Thomas Sterne and John Logan, and published its first issue on May 8, 1846.
Today, Victoria is a town of some 60,000 people. With a public rose garden of over 1000 roses, it is sometimes known as the City of Roses. Numerous outdoor activities are sponsored by the town. These include Riverside Park, home of the rose garden and Texas Zoo, which features numerous species of Texas wildlife, from armadillos to prairie dogs to the endangered red wolf.