The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001 Page: 562
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
reexamination of all the documents and verification of the descriptive cal-
endar which would be included in the microfilm. During that process,
some long-separated manuscript pages were at last identified and re-
stored to the documents to which they belonged. But some isolated pages
still defied identification. Six boxes of remaining fragments still tantalize
researchers and staff, who occasionally score a crucial identification.
A case in point is this newly recovered letter from Governor Domingo
Cabello to Commandant General Teodoro de Croix. The first and last
pages, which had long occupied the document's correct position in the
chronologically ordered files of the Bexar Archives, present little sub-
stantive information. Imagine, therefore, the gratification when, in June
2ooo, John Wheat connected that letter with a fragment of ten leaves,
closely written front and back in Cabello's cramped hand. The result is
an extraordinarily meaty twenty-five-page document.
Wheat, who has been the translator of the B6xar Archives since 1978,
had found with the fragment and recognized as mine a page of notes,
scribbled in the early 198os, which speculated that Cabello was the
author. Then focused on topics later than Cabello's governorship, I had
pursued the matter no further. Now Wheat checked the voluminous cor-
respondence of Cabello, matched the long-separated parts of this letter,
and translated the entirety. He then notified me of his success, raising
the question of our publishing it together if its significance warranted.
On seeing his result, I gladly agreed.
This is not our first collaboration as editor and translator,' but it is the
first derived from the B6xar Archives. As such, it demonstrates just one
of the many advantageous aspects of longtime interaction between pro-
fessional archival staff and researchers.
Governor Domingo Cabello arrived in San Antonio in October 1778.
Nearly two years had passed since his appointment to succeed Bar6n
Juan Maria de Ripperdai, a victim of viceregal politics who departed for
his new assignment in Honduras as soon as his successor arrived.
Colonel Cabello had spent thirty-seven of his fifty-five years in distin-
guished service to Spain in Europe and in the New World. He came to
San Antonio from Nicaragua, which he had governed for more than
eleven years. There he had been notably successful, quelling some hos-
tile Indians, converting others, and building a cathedral.2
' See Elizabeth A. H. John (ed.), Vews from the Apache Frontier: Report on the Northern Border
Provinces of New Spazn by Jose Cortis, Lieutenant zn the Royal Corps of Engzneers, 1799, trans. John
Wheat (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1989); also Ehzabeth A. H. John (ed), "Views
from a Desk in Chihuahua: Manuel Merino's Report on Apaches and Neighborinng Nations, ca.
1804," trans. John Wheat, Southwestern Hzstoncal Quarterly, 95 (Oct., 1991), 139-175. The former
presents a manuscript from the British Library, London; the latter presents a manuscript from
the Bibhothbque Nationale, Paris.
2 Domingo Cabello, Hoja de Serviclo, Dec. 1785, Guadalajara 286, Archivo General de Indias,
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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/m1/640/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.