The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963 Page: 560
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ground. We recrossed the river at an early hour on the following
morning, and another long and tiresome march brought us to Fray
Cristobal,4" the last camping ground before we entered La journado
del muerto. (Dead man's journey.) " This is a well-known stretch of
ninety miles. It is a level sterile and desolate plain-a desert with no
vegetation, save here and there clumps of the smallest kind of cactus,
of drawf like proportions, and clumps of the smaller kind of palms,
growing to the height of some seven feet, with long coarse leaves
branching up from the roots and forming a very mat from the close-
ness with which they grow together. This species of palm is sometimes
to be seen in gardens in Texas for an ornament, as well as curiosity,
but here in Texas it grows more luxuriant, and in the month of April
it bears blooms some two feet in height and with white wax-like
flowers closely clustered together. I believe the botanical name is
"Yuca." Near the centre of this desert is a lake which in spring or
summer, is filled with water, but when we crossed the bed was per-
Immediately on our arrival at the camping-ground of Fray Cristobal,
Salezar ordered that a beef should be slaughtered for us, it was a
miserable poor ox, but he for himself and some of his men took the
best portions of it.
I believe the beef contained not ten pounds of tallow, but being
wolfish hungry we devoured our scanty rations allowed us eagerly.
During the earlier part of the night the wind was biting and chilly,
but at midnight the weather moderated, and then commenced a fall
of snow, next morning when we got up we shook the snow from our
blankets, yet the snow seemed to protect us from the severe cold
We remained at Fray Cristobal until near sundown. Salezar said
aloud on starting, that we were to be driven through the entire ninety
miles without sleep or a morsel of food.
At a steady pace we travelled onward, but now a raw night wind
sprung up, fresh and piercing, from the snowclad mountains, and
chilling our weak frames so thoroughly that the most violent exer-
cise could not keep us warm. The animals of our guard went begging
for riders, for even their hardy owners were obliged to dismount and
run on foot to prevent them from freezing.
Near midnight we met a regiment of dragoons under Colonel
Munoz, on their way from Durango to Santa Fe, troops that had been
sent by the Central Government to fight us if we exhibited any
hostility in being taken prisoners. Being from a more southern cli-
46La Jornada del Muerto may have been known originally as La Jornada de
Muerte (the Journey of Death).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963, periodical, 1963; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/m1/600/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.