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Parent Category: Kansas Reading Library
Category: Castañeda's Narrative Of Coronado's Search For Quivira
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Quivira is to the west of those ravines, in the midst of the country, somewhat nearer the mountains toward the sea, for the country is level as far as Quivira, and there they began to see some mountain chains. The country is well settled.

Judging from what was seen on the borders of it, this country is very similar to that of Spain in the varieties of vegetation and fruits. There are plums like those of Castile, grapes, nuts, mulberries, oats, pennyroyal, wild marjoram, and large quantities of flax, but this does not do them any good, because they do not know how to use it.[264] The people are of almost the same sort and appearance as the Teyas. They have villages like those in New Spain. The houses are round, without a wall, and they have one story like a loft, under the roof, where they sleep and keep their belongings. The roofs [p529] are of straw. There are other thickly settled provinces around it containing large numbers of men. A friar named Juan de Padilla remained in this province, together with a Spanish-Portuguese and a negro and a half-blood and some Indians from the province of Capothan,[265] in New Spain. They killed the friar because he wanted to go to the province of the Guas,[266] who were their enemies. The Spaniard escaped by taking flight on a mare, and afterward reached New Spain, coming out by way of Panuco. The Indians from New Spain who accompanied the friar were allowed by the murderers to bury him, and then they followed the Spaniard and overtook him. This Spaniard was a Portuguese, named Campo.[267]

The great river of the Holy Spirit (Espiritu Santo),[268] which Don Fernando de Soto discovered in the country of Florida, flows through this country. It passes through a province called Arache, according to the reliable accounts which were obtained here. The sources were not visited, because, according to what they said, it comes from a very distant country in the mountains of the South sea, from the part that sheds its waters onto the plains. It flows across all the level country and breaks through the mountains of the North sea, and comes out where the people with Don Fernando de Soto navigated it. This is more than 300 leagues from where it enters the sea. On account of this, and also because it has large tributaries, it is so mighty when it enters the sea that they lost sight of the land before the water ceased to be fresh.[269]

This country of Quivira was the last that was seen, of which I am able to give any description or information. Now it is proper for me to return and speak of the army, which I left in Tiguex, resting for the winter, so that it would be able to proceed or return in search of these settlements of Quivira, which was not accomplished after all, because it was [p530] God’s pleasure that these discoveries should remain for other peoples and that we who had been there should content ourselves with saying that we were the first who discovered it and obtained any information concerning it, just as Hercules knew the site where Julius Cæsar was to found Seville or Hispales. May the all-powerful Lord grant that His will be done in everything. It is certain that if this had not been His will Francisco Vazquez would not have returned to New Spain without cause or reason, as he did, and that it would not have been left for those with Don Fernando de Soto to settle such a good country, as they have done, and besides settling it to increase its extent, after obtaining, as they did, information from our army.[270]

Notes:

[264] Mr Savage, in the Transactions of the Nebraska Historical Society, vol. i, p. 198, shows how closely the descriptions of Castañeda, Jaramillo, and the others on the expedition, harmonize with the flora and fauna of his State.

[265] Ternaux, p. 194, read this Capetlan.

[266] Temaus, ibid., miscopied it Guyas.

[267] Herrera, Historia General, dec. vi, lib. ix, cap. xii, vol. iii, p. 207 (ed. 1730): “Toda esta Tierra [Quivira] tiene mejor aparencia, que ninguna de las mejores de Europa, porque no es mui doblada, sino de Lomas, Llanos, i Rios de hermosa vista, i buena para Ganados, pues la experiencia lo mostraba. Hallaronse Ciruelas de Castilla, entre coloradas, i verdes, de mui gentil sabor; entre las Vacas se hallò Lino, que produce la Tierra, mui perfecto, que como el Ganado no lo come, se queda por alli con sus cabeçuelas, i flor azul; i en algunos Arroios, se ballaron Vbas de buen gusto, Moras, Nueces, i otras Frutas; las Casas, que estos Indios tenian eran de Paja, muchas de ellas redondas, que la Paja llegaba hasta el suelo, i encima vna como Capitla, ò Garita, de donde se asomaban.”

Gomara, cap. ccxiiii: “Esta Quinira en quarenta grados, es tierra templada, de buenas aguas, de muchas yeruas, ciruelas, moras, nuezes, melones, y vuas, que maduran bien: no ay algodon, y visten cueros de vacas, y venados. Vieron por la costa naos, que trayan arcatrazes de oro, y de plata en las proas, co mercaderias, y pensaron ser del Catayo, y China, por[=q] señalauan auer navegado treynta dias. Fray Iuan de Padilla se quedo en Tiguex, con otro frayle Francisco, y torno a Quinira, con hasta doze Indios de Mechuacan, y con Andres do Campo Portugues, hortelano de Francisco de Solis. Lleuo caualgaduras, y azemilas con prouision. Leuo ouejas, y gallinas de Castilla, y ornamentos para dezir missa. Los de Quiuira mataron a los frayles, y escapose el Portugues, con algunos Mechuacanes. El qual, aun que se libro entonces de la muerte, no se libro de catinerio, porque luego le prendieron: mas de alli a diez meses, que fue esclauo, huyo con dos perros. Santiguaua por el camino con vna cruz, aque le ofrecian mucho, y do quiera que llegaua, le dauan limosna, aluergue, y de comer. Vino a tierra de Chichimecas, y aporto a Panuco.”

[268] The Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

[269] This is probably a reminiscence of Cabeza de Vaca’s narrative.

[270] Mota Padilla, cap. xxxiii, 4, p. 166, gives his reasons for the failure of the expedition: “It was most likely the chastisement of God that riches were not found on this expedition, because, when this ought to have been the secondary object of the expedition, and the conversion of all those heathen their first aim, they bartered with fate and struggled after the secondary; and thus the misfortune is not so much that all those labors were without fruit, but the worst is that such a number of souls have remained in their blindness.”

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