The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 31, July 1927 - April, 1928 Page: 189
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Book Reveiws and Notices
of northern Mexico, the author begins by giving us a brief intro-
duction to the man himself and his background. Then turning to
the environment in which Ibarra's work was to be done, he gives
a description of the land of Nueva Vizcaya, its resources, and its
people. This is followed by a survey of the preceding activities
of the Spaniards in central Mexico. By this method the fact is
established that "the founding of Nueva Vizcaya constitutes a
natural phase of the expansion movement in New Spain which was
inaugurated after the Cortesian conquest." With the stage thus
set for the appearance of the principal actor, we turn again to
Ibarra, who started his work in 1554 as a youth of sixteen, and
who, before his death at the age of thirty-six, established for him-
self the name of "phoenix of the explorers." The first eight years
of his work were devoted to preliminary explorations, concerning
which no definite information has hitherto been available; and the
present account of that period does not advance beyond the frag-
mentary stage. The remaining twelve years of Ibarra's career
were devoted to more extensive explorations, and to the organization
of the region which had been occupied by him and his men. Here
the material is more abundant, and naturally, the narrative is more
complete. Taken as a whole, the book is perhaps not so much a
biography of Ibarra as a history of the conquest of the vast region
which now embraces the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Durango,
Sonora, and Sinaloa. But the connecting thread running through
this history is unquestionably the leadership, initiative, and finan-
cial support of Ibarra himself.
Two distinct contributions have been made in the' writing of this
book. In the first place it gives us the nearest approach to an
adequate narrative that has ever been written on any aspect of
what might be called the dark age of Mexican history. The second
contribution is the critical evaluation of the more important parts
of the relatively inaccessible material. Wherever there seems to
be a doubt in the author's mind we are given the benfit of his
method of analysis. He has adopted the commendable practice of
refraining from categorical statements unless he has the necessary
proof. As a result we are able to distinguish between those facts
which are definitely established, and those which are still doubtful
because of the contradictory nature of the evidence. Furthermore,
we are told frankly where a lack of material requires the leaving
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 31, July 1927 - April, 1928, periodical, 1928; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101088/m1/201/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.