Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Texas. As an introduction to Texas archaeology for the layperson, Marcom's
Digging Up Texas was long overdue.
Southwest Texas State University C. BRITT BOUSMAN
The Diary of Juan Dominguez de Mendoza's Expedition into Texas, r683-z684. Edited
by Brian Imhoff. (Dallas: Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern
Methodist University, 2002. Pp. 259. Introduction, facsimiles and edition,
variants and paleographic notes, commentary, appendix, references. ISBN
1-929531-05-2. $24.50, paper.)
In December 1683 Maestre de Campo Juan Dominguez de Mendoza depart-
ed from San Lorenzo, some thirty miles down the Rio Grande from El Paso, in
command of a small expedition. For the next six months Dominguez de
Mendoza and company explored extensively in west-central Texas. Heading
downriver, the expedition traveled as far as the confluence of the Rio Conchos
and the Rio Grande before striking off to the northwest. Dominguez de
Mendoza continued in this direction, eventually crossing the Pecos and Concho
Rivers, and camped on the Colorado River in the area of present-day Ballinger,
Texas. This was the company's deepest penetration into Texas before returning
to the El Paso area, where they arrived in July 1684. Dominguez de Mendoza's
narrative record of his expedition offers readers one of the earliest glimpses
into the lives of Native American peoples of the regions visited that are particu-
larly noteworthy. Of no less interest are the descriptions of the land through
which the maestre de campo passed, such as the wild country of the Big Bend
of the Rio Grande.
This is not a book for the philologically faint at heart. Dominguez de
Mendoza's journal survives in seven original Spanish versions in several docu-
mentary repositories, and the edition presented in this volume relies on all
extant versions. Every paleographical variant among the seven versions is
painstakingly recorded, collated for ease of comparison. Two complete manu-
scripts are produced in facsimile and semipaleographic transcription.
Beyond this scholarly rigorous presentation of the texts of Dominguez de
Mendoza's expedition diary, Imhoff includes a very detailed annotated commen-
tary on Herbert Eugene Bolton's partial translation, which followed the expedi-
tion only until May 25, 1684. This section of the book provides information on
the people and places mentioned in the narrative as well as a wealth of linguistic
and lexical information.
This book paves the way for an authoritative translation of Dominguez de
Mendoza's journal by offering a scrupulously accurate Spanish transcription
(two, actually). Until such time as that rendering into equally flawless English is
produced as a companion volume, this work will appeal primarily to scholars of
the Spanish colonial Southwest. Members of that group will doubtless want to
make room for this book on their shelves.
New Mexico State Unzversity
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/. Accessed June 18, 2013.