The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

the most significant single record of territorial history. It is a
notable publishing project, ably executed.
ELMER ELLIS
University of Missouri
Pageant in the Wilderness: The Story of the Escalante Expedition
to the Interior Basin, 1776. By Herbert E. Bolton. Salt Lake
City (Utah State Historical Society), 1950. Pp. 265. $5.50.
In July, 1776, Fathers Silvestre Velez de Escalante and Francisco
Atanasio Dominguez and eight companions left Santa Fe to blaze
a much-needed trail between this New Mexican outpost and Mon-
terey and other California missions. The intrepid explorers jour-
neyed northward through western Colorado and the land of the
Sabuaganas, avoided far-ranging Comanche war parties, climbed
the lofty Wasatch Mountains, and finally descended into the Salt
Lake Basin to visit Laguna villages along the shores of Lake
Timpanogos (Utah Lake), led by the Laguna guides, Silvestre
and Joaquin. After having had interesting experiences here, still
fired by a desire to reach Monterey, they next turned southwest-
ward toward the Virgin River; but, finally, at Black Rock Springs,
since winter had overtaken them, they decided to abandon their
Monterey enterprise and to return to Santa Fe. So they reluctantly
faced eastward, crossed the Colorado River at the "Crossing of
the Fathers," about thirty miles above present-day Navajo Springs,
and on January 2, 1777, reached Santa Fe.
This widely looping, hour glass-shaped expedition of many
hundred miles across unexplored and semi-arid country was ex-
tremely hazardous and spectacular, and again and again the ex-
plorers suffered intensely from hunger and thirst. Escalante and
his fellow explorers, explains Professor Bolton, had "made one of
the most notable explorations in North American history, and
their fame is as secure as that of De Soto, Cabrillo, Zebulon Pike
or even Lewis and Clark," and he concludes that because of their
contacts with so many strange people, "they stand in a class almost
by themselves."
Professor Bolton's fifty years of mature and discriminating
scholarship and of following the explorers over every step of
their journey to locate those landmarks and camp sites that have

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/. Accessed September 20, 2014.