The Journey of fray Marcos de Niza

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Author: Hallenbeck, Cleve

Year: 1949

Publisher: University Press in Dallas

Place: Dallas


[vii]+115 pages with illustrations, maps, bibliography and index. Quarto (11 1/4" x 7 3/4") bound in original brown cloth with gilt lettering to spine and decorative gilt cross and lettering to cover. Illustrated by Jose Cisneros. First edition limited to 1065 copies.

J. Frank Dobie called this volume, with illustrations and decorations by Jos� Cisneros and designed and printed by Carl Hertzog of El Paso, �one of the most beautiful books in format published in America.� Hallenbeck effectively challenged what eminent scholars of the day believed and had written when, after a detailed examination of Fray Marcos�s narrative, he concluded that the Spanish priest/explorer had never seen the legendary city of C�bola as he claimed. Rather, Hallenbeck argues, Fray Marcos turned back learning of the death of the black pathfinder Estaban at the hands of native people and never crossed the present-day international boundary.

The official account is Fray Marcos de Niza (c. 1495 � March 25, 1558) was a Franciscan friar. He was born in Nice (de Niza means of Nice in Spanish)), which was at that time under the control of the Italian House of Savoy. He went to America in 1531, and after serving his order zealously in Peru, Guatemala and was chosen to explore the country north of Sonora, whose wealth was depicted in the accounts of �lvar N��ez Cabeza de Vaca. In 1537 he arrived in Mexico City at the request of the viceroy Mendoza. Preceded by Estevanico, the Moorish companion of Cabeza de Vaca in his wanderings and the Black Mexican of Zuni traditions, Fray Marcos left Culiac�n in March 1539, crossed south-eastern Arizona, penetrated to the Zuni or the Seven Cities of Cibola, and in September returned to Culiac�n. He saw Cibola only from a distance, and his description of it as equal in size to Mexico City was probably exact; but he embodied much with mere hearsay in his report, Descubrimiento de las siete ciudades, which led Francisco V�zquez de Coronado to make his famous expedition next year to Zuni Pueblo, in present-day New Mexico, of which Fray Marcos was the guide; and the realities proved a great disappointment. Fray Marcos was made provincial superior of his order for Mexico before the second trip to Zuni, and returned in 1541 to the capital, in shame, where for a time was able to exercise the highest office of the Franciscans, in the province. He died there in March, 1558.


Previous owner's name on front paste down. Jacket with some edge wear, closed tears and small chips, spine ends chipped else a very good copy in like jacket.

SOLD 2016

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