The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898 Page: 176
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176 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
Cabeza says that shortly after crossing the last river they came
to a bay about a league wide, which he crossed, and a few miles
up a river found his friends. As they were keeping close to the
coast, they probably did not notice Matagorda bay until they had
gone some distance down the peninsula of that name. This is
one instance in which Cabeza's distances tally very closely with
the facts. He says the bay which he crossed was a league
wide, and Matagorda bay is uniformly about that wide. If he
crossed this bay about half way down the peninsula, he landed in
the vicinity of the Colorado. He does not say he was on a river;
but we know he must have been from the fact that the Indians
told him he would find other whites "up the river."
Second, we know that when the Spaniards met they were in
a few days travel of certain sand hills which were sufficiently high
to be seen "from a distance at sea." This we gather from the ac-
count afterwards given by the Spaniards. Some distance along the
coast at the mouth of the Guadalupe are some very high sand hills
standing seventy-five or eighty feet above the bay.8 They form
one of the most remarkable features of that coast, and the surround-
ings coincide very closely with the Spaniards' description. East
of this point on the coast there are no sand mounds worthy of no-
tice; west of it they are numerous but insignificant.
Third, according to Cabeza's account one of the most prominent
characteristics of the country through which they travelled was
the abundance of the prickly pear, the fruit of which constituted
the chief food through a long part of the journey.9 Six months
after their meeting, the Spaniards were taken by the Indians some
thirty leagues to where they gathered this fruit, and where they
remained several months living upon it alone.
The Spaniards then must have met at some point about thirty
leagues distant from the prickly pear region. The cactus is a
the first river from Malhado; thence three leagues to the second; thence
four to the third; and five or six to the fourth.-Oviedo, Historia Gen-
eral, quoted in B. Smith's translation of the Relation, p. 96, Addendum.
8 Report of U. S. Coast Survey, 1859, quoted in p. 325; B. Smith's
translation of the Relation, p. 89, note.
9 Relation of Cabeza de Vaca, Smith's translation, pp. 91, 105, 111, 118,
120, 125, etc.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898, periodical, 1897/1898; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101009/m1/197/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.