The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907

246

Texas Historical Association Quarterly.

A STUDY OF THE ROUTE OF CABEZA DE VACA.
I.
JAMES NEWTON BASKETT.
1. Introduction.
It may seem superfluous to attempt a new discussion of the
route of Cabeza de Vaca from Texas to Sonora; but to 'the writer
there seems to be so much omitted from previous examinations
which bears directly on the location of the route, that he has ven-
tured to submit yet another study of the journey.
It will be presumed that the reader is familiar with at least the
narrative of Cabeza's wanderings as told by himself in what is
usually called his Naufragios; but it will be probably better to out-
line briefly here the more evident stages of the journey, for im-
mediate reference.
Besides the account written by Cabeza alone, after he had re-
turned to Spain, he -and his three companion's (being, with the negro
Steven, all that were left of the army of De Narvaez, which was
stranded on the west coast of the Gulf of Mexico) wrote, while in
the city of Mexico, a joint letter to the Royal Audiencia at Santo
Domingo; and this letter has been incorporated by Oviedo in his
Historic de las Indias, with a little additional comment. As Cabeza
and Castillo went home in 1537,' they left this account at Santo
Domingo; and that of Cabeza 'alone was not published till 1542.
Besides these there is a relation of Cabeza's which Mr. Bandelier
thinks is a mere condensation of the Naufragios, and of small im-
port. This I have not examined.
I can not agree with Bandelier in his low estimate of the
accuracy of the joint letter in comparison with Cabeza's narrative;
and I agree with Oviedo in believing that the testimony of three,
fresh from the scenes, is better than that of one, recorded some
years later, when, by his own confession, his memory fails him at
certain points. The Naufragios is longer, and much more detailed
generally, especially on incidents of topography and customs of the

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101040/. Accessed September 18, 2014.