The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 31, July 1927 - April, 1928 Page: 15
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Review of Work of Texas State Historical Association 15
as complementary to each other. The story thus told becomes
localized, coherent and enlightening. It ceases to be mythical or
only the exploits of a pathfinder-or a mere incident in Ancient
History. It is so consistent that it refutes the criticisms ques-
tioning the intelligence and accuracy of Cabeza de Vaca and Cap-
tain Andres Dorantes, made by those writers who were unable to
adjust the narratives to their preconceived theory of the probable
Thus written, it becomes Chapter I in the history of Texas,
and not a prologue, as modestly suggested by Messrs. Davenport
and Wells. This first Chapter written by Europeans, gives a de-
tailed description of the Gulf Coast of Texas from Galveston to
Corpus Christi as it appeared from 1528 to 1535--with its rivers,
bays, islands and inlets. It mentions the points where timber
grows near the shore, the kind of trees, the dewberry patches, pecan
groves, and describes the land of the nopal and tuna (prickly
pear) ; also the primeval areas covered by the mesquite. It gives
the first description and account of the buffalo, proving how far
south he roamed at that time. It describes the deer and the
methods used by the aborigines in killing it for food, besides other
wild animals, shell fish, reptiles, and insects, especially mosquitoes.
It proves that Texas, Mexico and New Mexico were then in-
habited by Indians occupying practically all the land across the
continent from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific, divided into
numerous tribes, of different languages, habits and customs.
Six years were spent by Cabeza de Vaca and his companions in
Texas, and under such circumstances as to give them an intimate
knowledge of the different tribes of Indians immediately on the
coast, as well as some acquaintance with those from the interior,
who came each year at the season when prickly pear fruit and
pecans were ripe to subsist on them. This experience makes their
observations on the marital relations, food and method of prepar-
ing it, superstitions, personal appearance, indurance, fleetness of
foot, dress and degree of intelligence of the Indians, authorita-
tive. It is not a flattering description, and partially answers the
question, how it was possible for the coastal plains of Texas to
have been in the possession of human beings for so many years,
who have vanished and left no sign of occupancy save a few
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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/m1/21/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.