Notes and Documents
cots being furnished) and even by examination of the guard by
aid of a lamp, all seemed asleep and nothing wrong.
We did not get a very early start, but had to travel 30 miles,
therefore it was dark when we reached a little village called Cuesta,
a place near which the Missouri merchants passed with their annual
We had not a morsel of food that day, but arriving at that village,
a loaf of light bread was handed to each of us.
Having had no real good light (bakers) bread for nearly four
months, I can only ascribe it to one cause, very hungry, it tasted
most deliciously. No wedding or any other cake ever tasted so good
Weary and exhausted, we wrapped our selves in the Mexican
common blankets and laid down on the ground to rest.
I was too young and too much exhausted but to sleep sound, but
those elder and more robust not sleeping so sound, perhaps dreamt
of home and friends. I had no home, I was an orphan, no one to
take care of me but guardian angels, which they surely must have
done, for I was a feeble boy, as the sequel will show. I am even now
surprised how I could stand the sufferings and many months severe
Upon leaving the village of Cuesta we followed the river Puerco
through the canada (mountain gorge); winding through there we
crossed the above stream several times, and passed several haciendas
(small villages). Here I must remark, that in Mexico one never finds
an isolated farm, unless the proprietor be a rich land owner; he
then owns tenant houses, stables and a store, and in most cases also
builds a Catholic church and parsonage. The cause of this is probably
that in the early settlement of Mexico, they had to live in groups
to defend themselves against the aboriginal race of Indians; indeed
the houses are built so that they resemble more a small one story
fort, there being but few windows to the front. The house of the
proprietor is built in a square, with a large courtyard, and in the
interior are stables arranged to protect the stock against any
The lands are always irrigated, the fences are nearly always of
stone, and sometimes are miles long going often over high hills, and
there are no partition fences.
Traveling along these after two and a half days journey, we reached
the little town of San Miguel. This town was built in a square, a
Catholic church, a poor sorry building in a corner of it. If there
were houses outside of this square I did not notice them, our range
of observation was not large, for we were too closely confined and
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed December 20, 2013.