The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001 Page: 308
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The introduction to volume two begins with a discussion on the preparations
of the Pinfilo de Narviez expedition in Spain (1525-1527). Parts one through
nine (chapters one through eleven) contain a detailed narrative by topics in
chronological order, from June 17, 1527, until Cabeza de Vaca's return back to
Spain in 1537. In chapter six, the authors discuss the six and a half years the
four survivors spent on the Texas coast, from Galveston Bay to the Rio Conchos,
from 1528 to 1535. They had no intentions of traveling inland into southern
North America, but preferrred to remain as close as possible to the coastline.
This route, however, was not possible because of the hostile Indians living along
the Texas coast. Several historians have proposed that the four men crossed the
Rio Grande somewhere in the area of the Falcon Lake reservoir, between Zapata
and Roma, Texas. The authors, however, disagree with this hypothesis because
"it would have placed the men so far west upon crossing the river that they
would be in a low mountainous area instead of on a plain" (p. 261). Therefore,
according to the authors' interpretation, the four survivors may have crossed the
Rio Grande at a point nearer to the coast. After crossing the river and traveling
through land that had no paths, the four men encountered a settlement where
there were many blind Indians. And in the next settlement, Cabeza de Vaca
described "what seemed to him to be the sexual union between some pairs of
male Indians who he says occupied a female gender role" (p. 266).
Volume three (chapters twelve through seventeen) is a continuation of vol-
ume two. This volume contains a very comprehensive bibliography (pp.
382-417) and the index. In chapters fifteen through seventeen, the authors use
Cabeza de Vaca's 1542 Relaci6n as a point of reference to place in a historical
context the events that took place in the Caribbean, the Yucatan peninsula, Rio
de la Plata, and the Mexican mainland, from 1508 to 1558. Chapter fifteen
presents a well-balanced portrayal of Pinfilo de Narviez, culled from some
sixteenth-century writers who knew him, such as Bartolom6 de las Casas, Bernal
Diaz del Castillo, and others.
The authors have produced a superb scholarly work in this three-volume publi-
cation. While they not only achieved their primary purpose of providing an edition
and an English translation of Cabeza de Vaca's 1542 Relaci6n, they have augment-
ed it with other historical works that complement the Relaci6n in different ways.
The three volumes are highly recommended for academic and public libraries.
San Antonio J. Gilberto Quezada
Shootzng the Sun: Cartographzc Results of Mzlitary Activities in Texas, 1689-z829
(vols. 1 & 2). By Jack Jackson. (Lubbock, Tex.: The Book Club of Texas,
1999. Pp. ix+565. Preface, acknowledgments, endnotes, map list, epilogue,
bibliography, index. $375.00, cloth.)
Jack Jackson's new book, Shooting the Sun, is a landmark study in the carto-
graphic history of Texas. During the past decade, Jackson has published several
important works about Texas maps, and the people who compiled them.
Indeed, he has become the most prolific author mining this important but
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101221/m1/360/?rotate=90: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.