The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900 Page: 63
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Route of Cabeza de Vaca in Texas.
once. He had had for eight years no means of verifying his esti-
mates of distances, and in this particular instance he had traveled
over a desert country, where the Spaniards had suffered greatly
both for food and water, and it would have been very natural for
de Vaca to have had an exaggerated idea of this distance.
After crossing the river they seem to have left it for a short dis-
tance, coming to it again at a settlement where there were "fixed
habitations." Some twenty to forty miles below Presidio del Norte
it would have been impossible to travel along the banks of that
river, which would account for the deflection. Somewhere in here
they must have crossed the river again, as we find them shortly
afterwards going up on the north bank. To reconcile my route
with the strict letter of the narration, they must have crossed the
Rio Grande above the mouth of the Concho river, and afterwards
have come to and traveled along the north bank of the Concho
river in Chihuahua.
I have preferred to believe that they crossed the Rio Grande
again to the north bank without there being any record of it for
the following reasons: A short distance above the "fixed habita-
tions" they came to an Indian town, where beans, pumpkins, and
corn were cultivated. I am inclined to place this near the present
town of Presidio. I am led to this principally on account of the
mention made by de Vaca of their manner of planting corn. Irri-
gation is necessary at the present day--and as far back as we have
any record-to farming in all of West Texas and New Mexico.
But in the neighborhood of Presidio, corn has been planted from
time immemorial in "temporales," that is, in sandy stretches near
the river. It is not irrigated, but depends upon rain and sub-irri-
gation from the river to bring it to fruitage. This is the only place
in all this country where I can learn of corn being planted in this
way. Now the people at this point as described by de Vaca begged
the Spaniards to tell the sky to rain that they might plant their
corn, and told them that the "rain had failed for two years and
that the moles had eaten up their seed, etc." Evidently they must
have planted in "temporales," and not have used irrigation.
De Vaca says that he called these people the "Cow" nation be-
cause "most of the cattle are slaughtered in their neighborhood,
and along up the river for over fifty leagues they destroy great
numbers." Now apparently he means this to apply to the people
who planted the corn. If so the river could hardly have been the
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
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/m1/71/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.