The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 4, July 1900 - April, 1901 Page: 9
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Route of Cabeza de Vaca.
silver, of which there is a good deal in that country. He went with
him once or twice, and saw some very large villages, which he com-
pared to Mexico and its environs. HIe had, seen seven very large
towns which had streets of silver workers."14 And the name of the
Seven 'Cities had already been given to the country Guzman was
aiming to discover when he first started out from Mexico.
Now, whatever may have been the understanding between Mendoza
and Fray Marcos, Coronado must have been a co-worker in the
scheme, and when the report of the friar, supervised by Mendoza and
Coronado, was completed at Mexico, .and given out to the public,
everything was ripe to organize the expedition. The stories .on the
streets of the capital connected, blended, and confused the accounts
of Cabeza de Vaca and Fray Marcos, and made the general impression
that both Ihad seen the Seven Cities, and greatly facilitated the plan
of the viceroy and of Coronado. But it is plain to every student of
the relation of Cabeza de Vaca that he did not claim to have seen or
even heard of the celebrated Seven Cities of ISibola. Indeed, all
that he says about the towns and houses is set forth in Part II of
this paper, and it is as follows:
"Y mi me dieron cinco esmeraldos hechas puntas de flechas, y
con estas flechas hacen ellos sus areitos y bales; y pareciendome a mi
que eran muy buenas, les pregunte que d6nde las habian habido, y
dijeron que las traian de unas sierras muy altas que estin hicia el
norte, y las compraban a trueco de penachos y plumas de papagayos,
y ,decian que habia alli pueblos, de mucha gente y casas muy
grandes."" ISo as to the towns, all he says is that they :said "there
were towns there of many people 'and very large houses." This was
all they could find in his relation to corroborate the tales repeated on
the streets, or the account of the Seven Cities of Sibola described
by Fray Marcos. And it seems that Cabeza de Vaca was not edu-
cated in the already existing lore as to the Seven Cities; for his
flight of more than a thousand leagues of populated country where
they had much subsistence, and always planted beans and maize
three times a year, was "close to the coast, by the way of those towns
"Fourteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1892-93, Part I,
INaufragios, Cap. XXXI.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 4, July 1900 - April, 1901, periodical, 1901; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101018/m1/15/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.