The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992

Southwestern Hzstorical Quarterly

1975], 18), the fraudulent story by the bogus Russian otter hunter Vasilli Pe-
trovich Tarakanov (the best expose of this fraudulent manuscript is found in
Kenneth N. Owens, The Wrek of the Sv. Nikolai: Two Nanawe.s of the Fnst Rum.-
.tan Expedition to the Oiegon County, i8o8- 8xo [Portland: Oregon Historical
Society, 19851, 77-87); and the imaginary reminiscences attributed to Lorenzo
Asisara, who was not even alive during the events he supposedly recalled in
such gruesome detail (see E. L. Williams, "Narrative of a Mission Indian, etc.,"
in Edward S. Harrison, Hastoy of Santa Cruz County, California [San Francisco:
Pacific Press Publishing Co., 1892], 45-48).
All of this is unfortunate, because there are good, even very good, selections
in this fat volume. Charles F. Merbs has written an excellent summary of recent
research on "Patterns of Health and Sickness in the Precontact Southwest."
John L. Kessell shows his usual scholarly accomplishment in "Spaniards and
Pueblos: From Crusading Intolerance to Pragmatic Accommodation." John R.
Johnson has produced an authoritative study of the Chumash population at
three California missions. W. Michael Mathes has contributed an interesting
study of some unique characteristics of the Jesuit missions in Baja California.
Charles W. Polzer wrote an commentary on the Quincentenary challenge to
historians that is so good it should have been the introductory essay for the
These few scholarly studies are lonely standouts in a very uneven volume of
incongruous papers. Possibly they indicate the difficulty of translating lectures
into printed words. No doubt the book should have been edited with a firmer
hand (including serious self-examination by the editor). But clearly it is not yet
time to accept the author's view that anthropologists make good historians.
Huntinglon Libiay HARRY KELSEY
The Jou tney of Coonado, 1540-1542. 'Translated and edited by George Parker
Winship. Introduction by Donald C. Cutter. (Golden, Colo.: Fulcrum Pub-
lishing, 199o. lIp. xxx+233. Publisher's preface, introduction, bibliogra-
phy, notes. $27.95.)
In 1540-1541 Francisco Vasquez de Coronado left the town of Compostela
in western New Spain and led an epic journey into what are today the states of
Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and, possibly, Nebraska. The
search was for the mythical Quivera or, more precisely, another great inlige-
nous society like those inhabiting the central valley of Mexico and in Peru. In-
stead the explorers traveled into the center of the North American continent,
almost made contact with the remnants of the Hernando de Soto expechtion,
which had explored through the American Southeast and up the Arkansas
River, and never found the Quivera of their di eams.
They encountered new peoples and new lands. The sheer distance covered
and explored greatly reduced the teIca nuoguta, unexplored and unknown
land, from European maps thereafter. The Puebloan Indian groups and Plains
tribes were no longer grand myths of great wealth.
The story of Coronado, who should more correctly be called Vasquez de
Coronado or Vasquez as he is in the book, is an account of one early Spanish


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 24, 2016.

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