The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900 Page: 178
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178 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
Ninth, the place where they found Diego Alcaraz and made the
document,-and thence the probable route pursued to San Miguel,
the Christian town in Nueva Galicia.
The facts and circumstances mentioned by Cabeza de Vaca tend-
ing to identify each of these objects and places will be examined and
the order in which they come kept in view to avoid being misled
by imaginary flights of hundreds and even thousands of leagues.
In construing that part of the relation touching this portion of
the route, the highest dignity -and greatest weight should be given
to natural objects named by Cabeza de Vaca, when they can be
ascertained with reasonable certainty; which will apply with peculiar
force to those objects he could have had knowledge of only by actual
experience. Next in importance are the positions of these natural
objects and their relation to each other and to the main route. Last
and least ,in importance are course and distance, or time spent in
going over the latter. But patent exaggeration and statements
liable to have been influenced by circumstances after reaching the
Spanish settlements, should not be given controlling influence; and
when in conflict with the route marked by the principal natural
objects called for, or contradicting known historical facts, they
should be rejected altogether.
With these rules in view to guide the investigation, the route will
be taken up again at Nogales in sight of the south end of Sierra de
Pamoranes which is within fifteen leagues of the Gulf coast, and the
beautiful river on which stood the village where they ate the piaones
will be sought as the first leading natural object called for on this
part of the route.
IBefore reaching Nogales, or the place of twenty houses, Cabeza
de Vaca met the women loaded with flour of maize, who told him
that forward on that other river he would find houses and plenty of
prickly pears and of that flour ; and Prieto says that some of the
people of the tribes from Rio Conchas to Rio Santander had fields
of maize and beans.2 He also mentions the Sierra de Pamoranes
north of Sierra de San Carlos, with an open space between the two
'Naufragios, Cap. XXVIII.
'Prieto: Historia, Geografia, y Estadistica del Estado de Tamaulipas, p.
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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/m1/190/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.