rom the lRio Gralnde to the Joucto
J. W. W.ILLIAMS
T o FIT the all-but-ancient story of Francisco Visquez de
Coronado to the modern map of Texas involves a type of
detective work almost without a parallel. If one unravels
the case, there is no criminal to break down and confess. If one
touches basic truth toward a correct solution, there is no ancient
jurist who can come back across four centuries and lend a know-
In such a search, not descriptions of terrain that may be subject
to varied interpretations, but facts that cannot be denied or al-
tered must weigh heavier than all else. The flora of the land-
pecans, mulberries, the date of ripening of wild grapes, and the
like-things that have been almost totally ignored in prior studies,
are to be made the chief guide lines of this strange trail hunt.
Almost as completely as the flora, some of the prior studies
of Coronado's route ignored the simple facts of arithmetic.
Thus far it has been assumed that almost everyone knows some-
thing of the story of Coronado, who was appointed to explore
the country northward of Mexico. In 1540 he assembled an army
and materials at Culiacin on the west coast of Mexico. Then
with one eye looking for lost souls and the other scouting for gold,
he moved toward his objective. Northward in southern Arizona
and northeastward in central New Mexico his search for gold
was disappointing. Likewise his search for lost souls was hardly
what it might have been. He had to force the Indians whom he
contacted to submit to his will-if not to his religion-at gun
point. With force and bloodshed he dominated the Pueblo In-
dians of the Albuquerque-Santa Fe country.
In the late spring of 1541 he moved from a point some twenty
miles north of present-day Albuquerque1 across to the pueblo
iThe place called Tiguex here was, according to Herbert Eugene Bolton, the
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/. Accessed April 21, 2014.