166 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
ALVAR NUNEZ CABEZA DE VACA: A PRELIMINARY
REPORT ON HIS WANDERINGS IN TEXAS.1
MISS BROWNIE PONTON AND BATES H. M'FARLAND.
Outside of the Arabian Nights and the realms of fairy tales
and fiction, there is perhaps no stranger story of adventure than
that of Cabeza de Vaca's ten years wanderings in Texas and Mexico.
The first that we hear of this interesting Spaniard is in 1527,
when he was made chief treasurer of an expedition under Pamphilo
de Narvaez, bound for the Gulf shores of the New World. "Not-
withstanding," says Buckingham Smith, "the most zealous
devotion of scholars, and the ceaseless delvings of antiquaries, the
place and period, both of his birth and decease, have evaded their
But as he was a man in 1527, his boyhood, youth, and early
manhood must have been spent in one of the most wonderful
periods of time-the age in which the Old World found the New,-
the age in which the warm southern blood of Italy, Spain and
France, as well as the cold northern blood of England, was being
intoxicated with the love of adventure, with the dream of untold
1 The following works have been used in the preparation of this paper:
Relation of Alvar Nufiez Cabeza de .Vaca. Translated from the
Spanish by Buckingham Smith. New York. 1871.
Naufragios de Alvar Nuiez Cabeza de Vaca. This was published
in 1799 in Barcia's Historiadores Primitivos de las Indias Occident-
ales, and reprinted in Biblioteca de Autores Espaioles (1877), the last
of which only we have used.
H. H. Bancroft, North Mexican States and Texas, Vol. I.
A. F. Bandelier, Contributions to the History of the Southwestern Por-
tion of the United States.
Justin Winsor, Narrative and Critical History of America, Vol. II;
article, Ancient Florida, by John Gilmary Shea.
George Parker Winship, The Coronado Expedition.
John M. Coulter, Botany of Western Texas.
The letter of Cabeza, Dorantes, and Castillo, which was used by Ovi-
edo in his Historia General, has been accessible only in extracts quoted
by Smith and Bandelier.
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101009/. Accessed March 5, 2015.