The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898 Page: 177
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Route of Cabeza de Vaca.
widely distributed plant occurring in the west, northwest and south-
west of Texas and in many parts of Mexico, particularly in the
northeast; the region, however, in which it grows in such abun-
dance as to constitute a food plant is limited to the country
west of the Guadalupe river. The region of abundant cactus where
the Indians would be likely to congregate for the purpose of living
on it begins about ninety or a hundred miles west of the spot we
have settled upon.10 The migration of the Indians to this cactus
region was an annual occurrence.
Fourth, Cabeza says "Cattle came as far as here."11 The buf-
faloes in Texas, according to J. G. Shea and others, probably never
ranged east of the Colorado, at least not in the southern part of
the state.12 The range extended from near the point we have
reached westward and northward over the great elevated table land
and the Llano Estacado.13
The point where Cabeza met his friends, then, according to the
narrative must have been a short distance west of four rivers
that flowed directly into the Gulf without passing through bays;
it must have been within a few days journey of sand hills on the
coast which could be seen some distance at sea; it must have been
within about thirty leagues of the prickly pear region; finally, it
must have been near the eastern limit of the range of the buffalo.
These conditions are all satisfied by the locality mentioned, viz: the
vicinity of the mouth of the Colorado. No two of these, moreover,
are satisfied by any other point on the Gulf coast.
Furthermore, if we are correct, some thirty or forty leagues east
of the Colorado we are to look for the Island Malhado on which
the boats were wrecked; to satisfy the conditions of the narrative, it
1o We are indebted for our information concerning the cactus region to
the following: Robert T. Hill, U. S. Geological Survey; William L.
Bray, University of Texas; J. Reverchon, Dallas; T. H. Stone, Houston;
J. H. Seale, Jasper; Geo. E. Beyer, Tulane University; W. W. Clen-
denin, La. Geological Survey; J. V. Vandenberg, Victoria; C. H.
Tyler Townsend, Las Cruces, N. Mex.; F. Vandervoort, Carrizo
Springs; W. F. Woods, San Antonio; E. A. Blount, Nacogdoches.
11Relation of Cabeza de Vaca, B. Smith's translation, p. 106.
18 John Gilmary Shea, in Winsor's Narrative and Critical History of
America, Vol. II, p. 244.
1s See map for buffalo and cactus regions.
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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/m1/199/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.