The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900 Page: 109
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Route of Cabeza de Vaca in Texas. 109
Third, to find a crossing of a river about as wide as that at Se-
villa, where the water will strike the breast of a man going through
it, and beyond this crossing a mountain having a certain position
relative to it and reaching to within fifteen leagues of the sea-
When these three principal points shall have been fairly identi-
fied, that part of the route belonging to the history of Texas will
have been shown with sufficient certainty for historical purposes;
and this task, forming the first part of the present paper, written
three hundred and sixty-three years after Alvar Nufiez Cabeza de
Vaca and his companions passed over the route in question, will
now be undertaken.
Much of what is found written in Cabeza's relation requires the
salt of reason to extract from it the real facts comporting with
known natural truth. It is something like the testimony in regard
to a diversity of incidents and circumstances, which is used to de-
duce therefrom the main fact it is sought to establish, and may be
brought under the rules established by experience and reason in
such cases; but those incidents which harmonize with known natural
facts should not be rejected, since many of these may still exist and
may be collated with the statements made, however confused such
statements may be in their order. So the things mentioned in con-
nection with Cabeza's traveling inland as a peddler, when found still
existing, may tend with some certainty to identify the places on the
ground; while the failure to mention prominent natural objects in
noted regions may tend to prove that he did not travel in that direc-
tion. And, while the mention of things common in diverse places
and extending over many degrees of latitude may not afford strong
affirmative evidence in favor of any suggested route on which they
may be found, it would be powerful negative evidence against the
route not having them. Therefore the data given by Cabeza must be
considered both affirmatively and negatively and harmonized, as far
as possible, with known natural as well as historical facts, rejecting
only such as are absolutely irreconcilable with others well known,
or are upon their face purely hyperbolical.
With these rules in view, the whereabouts of the island of Mal-
Hado will first be sought as the initial point of the route in ques-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900, periodical, 1900; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101015/m1/117/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.