The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939 Page: 172
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Southwestern Ilistorical Quarterly
self-sufficient. In 1538 the government in Mexico, always exceed-
ingly favorable towards the grazing industry, decreed a mesta--
a stock raisers' association.2 Two years later Coronado seems to
have had no trouble in gathering at least 500 head of cattle,
besides thousands of sheep, goats and hogs, to supply food for
his great expedition in search of the golden Seven Cities of
Cibola. These were the first cattle to enter what is now the
United States. On his way north Coronado left a number of
exhausted animals in the lower part of Sinaloa. When Francisco
de Ibarra arrived in that territory twenty-five years later, he
found cattle running wild by the thousands. Before the century
was spent, a single owner in the province of Jalisco was branding
30,000 calves a year-not to speak of great numbers destined to
become markless and ownerless cinmarrones-and in Durango and
southern Chihuahua there were individual herds numbering tens
of thousands.4 Ships loaded with hides, though not so spectacular
or rich, plowed the same waves eastward that the fleets of silver
plowed to enrich the Kingdom of Spain. A celebration honoring
the Viceroy Luis de Velasco in Mexico City in 1555 had its climax
in a bull fight yet remembered by history. Seventy or eighty bulls
were brought in from lands beyond all settlements, some of them
twenty years old without ever having seen a man, cimarrones, out-
laws fierce and desperate for liberty, that would, if given the least
chance, return to their native wilds.'
Wherever the Spanish went, they took horses and cattle. It
was their custom in colonial times to leave most of the males
uncastrated, and the sterilizing of females was unknown. In cou-
sequence, any animals lost or dropped out were fertile to breed.
As late as 1823 it was against the law in Mexico to kill calves
for meat and veal could not be purchased in the markets of the
capital city.6 Bull meat was supposed to be more invigorating
and life-prolonging anyhow, as the hero of The Journey of the
2Mecham, J. Lloyd, Francisco de Ibarra and Nueva Vizcaya, Durham,
N. C., 1927, 208-209.
3Mecham, op. cit., 29, 158.
4Rangel, Nicolfs, Historia del Toreo en Mexico, Mexico, D. F., 1924, 11;
Bolton and Marshall, The Colonization of North America, New York,
SRangel, Nicolas, op. cit., 14-15.
6Bullock, W., Six Months' Residence and Travels in Mewico, London,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939, periodical, 1939; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/m1/194/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.