VoL. XLII JANUARY, 1939 No. 3
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by contributors to THE QUARTERLY
THE FIRST CATTLE IN TEXAS AND THE SOUTHWEST
PROGENITORS OF THE LONGHORNS
On his second voyage, only a year after discovering America,
Columbus landed cattle in Santo Domingo. Descendants of that
stock, hardly tinctured by the intrusion of foreign blood, though
probably dwarfed by inbreeding without selection, may yet be
seen on the island. In 1521, two years after Cort6s landed at
Vera Cruz to begin the Conquest of Mexico, Gregorio de Villalobos
brought over from Santo Domingo to the mainland "a number of
calves, so that there might be cattle, he being the first to bring
them to New Spain." Other importations followed. Before he
undertook the Conquest, Cort6s had developed a hacienda in Cuba,
and the great estate in Mexico that he stocked from it was signifi-
cantly named Cow Horn (Cuernavaca).
The English sparrow that came to the United States centuries
later and the boll weevil of the Mexican tropics that only a gen-
eration ago settled down on an Alabama plantation in the natural
"home" he had been so long ]unting did not find conditions for
propagation more favorable than the domestic animals of Spain
found in New Spain. There were no cattle or horses in the western
hemisphere, but the continents supplied no enemies that the
hardy importations from the Spanish Peninsula could not, unaided
by man, readily overcome.
The animals were as fecund as they were thrifty, hardy and
1Hackett, Charles W., Historical Documents Relating to New Mexico,
Nueva Vizcaya, and Approaches Thereto, Washington, D. C., 1923, I, 41.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/. Accessed September 23, 2014.