The journey of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca and his companions from Florida to the Pacific, 1528-1536 Page: 8 of 253
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occupied countries), the impression of the
feat performed by the travellers and the tale
of their unequalled sufferings produced a
much greater effect than on the authorities.
The people saw in their reports an outline
for a possible advance into the unknown be-
yond. The picture of the country traversed
was, in the main, not enticing, but the allu-
sion to permanent settlements beyond the
unprepossessing plains was looked upon as
full of promise. The outcome was a mod-
erate "excitement" among the adventurous
and the idle, and this excitement was ably
taken advantage of by the Viceroy of New
Spain, Don Antonio de Mendoza.
This high functionary, as sagacious as he
was cautious, regarded the real merits of
Cabeza de Vaca (who is the representative
figure in the whole episode) with reserve.
On February IIth (old style), 1537, he
wrote to the Empress recommending Cabeza
de Vaca and Dorantes (the letter mentions
Dorantes, but it was Castillo who went to
Spain with Cabeza de Vaca) to the benevo-
lence of the monarch, in consideration of
"what they have done in it [this country]
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Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar Núñez. The journey of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca and his companions from Florida to the Pacific, 1528-1536, book, 1922; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth3001/m1/8/: accessed June 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .