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Kansas Historical Collections - Early Spanish Exploration and Indian Implements

From Kansas Historical Collections, Volume VIII, pp. 152-164.

An address by W.E. Richey, of Harveyville, before the Kansas State Historical Society, at its twenty-eighth annual meeting, December 1, 1903. 1

Kansas is great in her material resources--her crops, her minerals, her oil--but her crowning glory is her history. It is a record of the transformation of a desert into a garden. The best civilization of the ages is deeply rooted in the soil once trod by the buffalo and the Indian. The founding and growth of our institutions and the marvelous progress and development, marked by the vast improvements which dot out landscapes and border our streams, have wrought a story never surpassed by man. But while every Kansan should rejoice at the matchless career of the state, the first efforts in the great drama of civilization on our soil, amidst the darkness and discouragements of a past century, should not be forgotten.

Special interest attaches to the early Spanish explorations, particularly to that of Coronado and his companions, because when their armor glittered on the sands of Kansas they became the first white discoverers of what has become an empire --a star of brilliant splendor in the constellation of civilized states.1 The narratives of this remarkable expedition are a part of Kansas history. They are full of interest and vividly describe the passage over swollen rivers, rugged mountains, and boundless plains. Many have been the theories as to the territory traversed. The subject has been treated by scores of books, in various countries and languages, until it seems to be regarded as a problem of the centuries. In my researches it has been my aim to be guided by a close study and comparison of the narratives of the explorers themselves, as published in the Fourteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology.

The object of the Coronado expedition was to explore the country north of Mexico, supposed to have much silver and gold, and to add it to the dominions of the Spanish crown. Reports of the precious metals and great cities north of Mexico had reached that country at various times after its conquest by the Spaniards. Indian traders were said to have brought gold and silver to Mexico from the mysterious region. Renewed interest was created by Cabeza de Vaca and his three companions, the remnant of the disastrous expedition led into Florida by Navarez. These unfortunate men, after much wandering and suffering, had made their way to Mexico, arriving there in 1536, and giving to the viceroy glowing accounts of "large and powerful villages" in the territory to the north, whence had come tales of gold and silver. The amount of this kind of wealth found in Mexico and Peru had prepared the Spaniards to expect the same in other quarters. Mendoza, the viceroy, therefore raised an army for the exploration and conquest of the "seven cities of Cibola" and the unknown land which seemed to possess riches like those of the days of Cortez and Pizarro.

This army consisted of about 300 Spaniards, well mounted, and 1000 friendly Indians and servants. Francisco Vasquez de Coronado was appointed commander. Neither pains nor expense was spared to carry out the object of the expedition. Arms, supplies, horses, cattle and sheep were supplied in abundance for use of the army. On February 23, 1540, the army started from Compostela on its northward march through the Pacific coast country of Mexico. The march was slow and difficult. Considerable delay was experienced in getting the cattle across the rivers. The food supply of Coronado's force was beginning to fail before it reached Culiacan, where fresh provisions were obtained. This coast city was the outpost of Spanish civilization. Thence, following the coast and cutting across to the Rio Sonora, the advance body, under Coronado himself, penetrated the mountains through a pass near the source of that stream, entered the White Mountain Apache country, and came in sight of the first of the "seven cities." The food brought from Culiacan and gathered since the advance force left that point was now exhausted. The Spaniards made an assault on the city and drove out its Indian occupants, who abandoned to the captors an abundant supply of corn, beans, fowls, and salt, common productions of the region.

The significance of the "seven cities" suddenly vanished. The one which the Spaniards now occupied was a flat-roofed pueblo village, and the others were found to be similar, such as yet exist in New Mexico.

The Spanish commander next sent out exploring parties to the grand canyon of the Colorado, Tusayan and eastward to the pueblos along the Rio Grande and the Pecos. The main portion of the army, which had been left at Culiacan, was now ordered forward, and went into winter quarters in the pueblo villages of Tiguex (Tewa), on the Rio Grande, near the site of Bernalillo. Considerable corn was left in the pueblos by the Indians, and to this means of subsistence the Spaniards added the live stock brought from Mexico with the army.

The names of Bandelier, Hodge, Simpson and Winship will always be conspicuous in the literature of the Coronado expedition. To these writers we are indebted for much valuable information, including the identification of the pueblos known as the "seven cities of Cibola," and the practical tracing of the line of march to the Rio Grande and the Pecos.

The campaign had been one of privation and disappointment. No gold and silver had been found. The winter of 1540-'41 on the Rio Grande was severe. For nearly four months the river was frozen over at Tiguex so that men on horseback crossed it on the ice. A revolt of the natives was quelled with merciless cruelty. Indian warfare was no match for that of the Europeans with the weapons of civilization.

Indian shrewdness matured a plan to get rid of the troublesome visions. A Quivira Indian, held as a prisoner or slave by the people of one of the pueblos, was persuaded by his Indian masters to represent Quivira to the Spaniards as a land where gold was found in abundance. This Indian was called "the Turk," because he resembled one. He at last admitted that the pueblo Indians had induced him to lead the Spaniards on the great plains, where water was scarce and corn unknown, to perish there, or be too weak to make a resistance should they find their way back to the pueblo settlement.

The army was eager to go to this new land of promise. In April, 1541, the whole force, guided by "the Turk," left the Rio Grande country, an pursuing a northeast direction, in eight days came to another river, which was bridged and crossed. The evidence seems conclusive that this river was the Pecos. From this point to Quivira we have the accounts of Coronado himself, Captain Jaramillo, Castanedam and the "Relacion del Suceso."

The Great Plains as Seen by the Spanish in 1541

Soon after leaving the bridge the army came to the great plains, on which roamed buffaloes in such immense herds that their number seemed incredible. Among these herds were found two tribes of plains Indians, first the Querechos and next the Teyas. It is very interesting to study the plains tribes as found 360 years ago. The very existence of these nomads depended on the buffaloes. Their flesh was used as food; their hides as clothes, shoes, blankets, tents and ropes; their bones as needles; their sinews and wool as strings; their dung as fuel; their stomachs and larger entrails as water-vessels; and their horns as cup.

The flesh was generally eaten raw, rarely warmed over a fire. When they killed a buffalo they cut the hide open at the back and pulled it off at the joints, using a flint knife as large as a finger tied in a little stick, with as much ease as if working with a good iron tool. Seizing the flesh with the fingers, they would pull it out with one hand, and with a flint knife in the other cut off mouthfuls. The blood and he water of the stomachs were used to quench thirst. The flesh was sometimes cut thin, life a leaf, dried in the sun, and ground into a meal to keep it and to make a soup. A handful thrown into a vessel of water would increase much in size. Some poles drawn together at the top in tripod fashion and covered with hides served as tents. These Indians could make themselves very well understood by signs. In traveling they exercised direction. In the morning they would notice where the sun rose, observe the direction they intended taking, and then shoot an arrow in this direction. Before reaching this they would shoot another arrow over it, and in this way they would go all day toward the water where they intended to camp.

When they moved their tents they carried them on poles. The ends of two poles were fastened, one on each side of a dog, the other ends dragging along on the ground. These animals, called dogs by the Spaniards, were undoubtedly tamed wolves. On these poles the Indians tied their tent and other things. There were no roads except those of the buffaloes, but the Indians wandered much among these animals over the country and knew it perfectly. They undoubtedly had trails or routes between point for long distances. Coronado was piloted to Quivira and back to the pueblos by them, but their trails were often those of the buffaloes, which ran in various directions and especially between watering-places. Many of these paths cut, cut deeply in the banks of streams, are yet visible. At the best crossings these beaten tracks were probably traveled by animals and Indians for hundreds of years.

In killing animals and in fighting, bows and arrows were used with skill. On one occasion a Teya was seen to shoot a buffalo bull right through both shoulders with an arrow, "which," the narrator adds, "would be a good shot for a musket." These Teyas were skillful warriors. They had destroyed one large pueblo village. The Spaniards saw many stone balls as large as twelve-quart bowls still lying about the ruins, and thought they had been thrown by engines or catapults. The contestants had become friendly, and the Teyas spent the winters under the wings of the pueblo settlements. The Indians in the pueblos, however, would not allow them to enter the building after night.

There was an aboriginal commerce on the plains at that early day. The Querechos and Tejas took tanned skins to the settlements, and spent the winters there, each party going to the nearest settlement; some going to the settlements on the Pecos, others toward Quivira, and others to settlements in the direction of Florida. These hides were traded at the settlements for corn, and, likely, at times for flint weapons, bows and arrows. Beans and melons were also raised by the Indians at the settlements, and may have been sometimes traded.

Castaneda says the country was so level that in traversing 250 leagues not a hill nor a hillock three times as high as man was seen. The grass raised up, after being tramped, so that no tracks were left. The advance-guard found it necessary to make piles of buffalo chips to guide the army.

When the army was resting in a large ravine, a tempest came up one day, which battered the helmet, broke all the crockery of the army, and caused nearly all the horses to break away and run up the side of the ravine, so that they were gotten down with difficulty. Had this storm struck the army while it was on the plain, there would have been danger of losing all of the horses.

This march, over vast and unknown regions, has had few parallels. The Spanish navigators in Coronado's time had the same daring spirit. In small, inferior and poorly supplied vessels, with crews that were nearly destroyed by scurvy, they fought their way northward along the Pacific coast of North America, to the wildest parts of the Alaskan coast, and almost regardless of season. Prof. George Davidson, an assistant of the United States Coast Survey, who has identified many points visited by these navigators, as recorded in the Spanish charts, says: "There were giants in the earth in those days."

Coronado's March from the Rio Grande to Quivira and Return

After leaving the Rio Grande, crossing the bridge mentioned and reaching the edge of the plains or desert, the army guided by "the Turk," marched over the plains in a general direction of east and southeast, without any guiding landmarks, until reaching a Teya encampment. These people told the Spaniards that Quivira was far to the north. With the army was another Indian from a neighboring tribe of the Quiviras called Harahey. This Indian, named Isopete, was returning to his country, and stoutly maintained that "the Turk" was lying, and leading the army too much toward the east. The army was getting short of provisions, and, at a council of officers, it was decided that the main body of the army should return to the Rio Grande, and that Coronado, with thirty packed horsemen, including Captain Jaramillo, should proceed northward to Quivira. Isopete was now believed, and he and some of the Teyas were taken with Coronados detachment as guides. The Turk was taken along in chains and afterward strangled.

From this point we learn from Jaramillo and the "Relacion del Suceso" that Coronado's detachment, guided by the compass, pursued a northward direction, and, after thirty short days' march, came to a river which was given the name of St. Peter's and St. Paul's. The explorers crossed the river, and, traveling along it toward the northeast for thirty leagues (about eighty miles), came to the village of a supposed Quivira hunting party. This river was certainly the Arkansas, because it is the only one near the latitude mentioned along which the Spaniards could have marched eighty miles in a northeast direction. The explorers must have crossed near the bend below Dodge City in order to follow the river eighty miles in a northeast direction, which distance would have taken them to the site of Great Bend, where the river changes direction from the northeast. The village of the hunting party must, consequently, have been in the vicinity of Great Bend.

The Spanish narratives state that the approximate distance through Quivira, as marched by the explorers, was twenty-five leagues (nearly sixty-six miles). They also described the surface of Quivira as rough, and state that mulberries, plums and grapes were found there. But the country stretching northeast, and in fact in every direction, from Great Bend is level, and at that time had no such fruit.

Many localities have been proposed for Quivira, and rejected because the Spanish line of march could not be traced to them, or because they could not be identified by the narratives of the Coronado expedition. Surely no other manner of identification is possible.

In order to locate the Quivira of Coronado, it is evident that his march to that region and its identification should be established by the narratives of the explorers themselves, and that the natural landmarks, the distances between them, the latitude and topography of the country traversed should all be as described by these narratives. They are our only guide and proof. Nothing can be established without them, and nothing can be eliminated from them.

Coronado's March to the End of the Quivira

Let us now aim to trace Coronado and his party to and through Quivira. Jaramillo says that from the point where the river was crossed to the Indian village was six or seven days' march. This, added to the thirty days' march before the river was reached, would have made about thirty-seven days' march from the point where Coronado's northward journey commenced to the first Quivira village, near the site of Great Bend.

By a close study of the narratives, I have learned that Coronado, in his official report to the king, states that from the point whence he and his detachment started northward it was forty-two days' march to Quivira. This is five days more than the thirty-seven stated by Jaramillo. Coronado confirms his statement by saying in the same official report that he journeyed across the desert seventy-seven days to reach Quivira. Castaneda says that up to the point where Coronado started northward the army had made thirty-seven days' march, evidently meaning from the bridge which the army made and crossed before entering the plains. Everything shows that this bridge was near the edge of the desert or plains; in fact, the statements of Coronado and Jaramillo make the distance just two days' march from the bridge to the beginning of the plains. Deducting these two days from the thirty-seven, there would have been, from the beginning of the plains to the point where the northward point commenced, just thirty-five days, which added to the forty-two days from this point to Quivira, would have made seventy-seven days of desert marching, the exact number officially reported by Coronado. Thus the double official statement of Coronado shows that from where he and his detachment started northward it was forty-two days' march to Quivira.

Castaneda says: "The country is level as far as Quivira, and there they began to see mountain chains." These were the high hills along the Smoky Hill river, which have the appearance of low mountain chains. Jaramillo says of Quivira: "It is not a very rough country, but is made up of hills and plains and very fine appearing rivers and streams." Jaramillo also says the Quivira settlements were found (first) "along good river bottoms," and (second) "good streams which flow into another, larger than the one I have mentioned."

It is evident that Jaramillo's count of thirty-seven days carried the Spanish party only to the level country near Great Bend, where the village of the m Quivira hunting party was seen, while Coronado's count of forty-two days carried the Spaniards five days further, to the hills and "good river bottoms," where the first settlements were found, not far from the "mountain chains" or high hills spoken of by Castaneda.

Northeast is the only direction given of the march after the Arkansas was crossed. Five days' march in this direction from Great Bend would have taken the Spaniards to the "good river bottoms," the hills and rough country along the big bend of the Smoky Hill, near Lindsborg, and this five days' march added to Jaramillo's thirty seven would have made his statement agree with the official report of Coronado to the distance marched (forty-two days), and also with the statement of Jaramillo himself as to the hills and the "good river bottoms" at the place where Quivira was reached.

Jaramillo speaks of the abode of the hunting party as a village or "houses," and says the Spaniards proceeded until they reached the settlements, which must have taken five days, as shown by the fact that they are included in Coronado's official report of the number of days ' march, and the different topography of the country reached by this five days' march.

Thus the narratives, taken together, show conclusively that the Indian village seen near the site of Great Bend was merely that of a Quivira hunting party, and that the "good river bottoms" and the hills of the Smoky Hill river near Lindsborg located the first settlements and marked the beginning of the land of Quivira.

The approximate distance through the Quivira settlements was as has been stated twenty-five leagues (nearly sixty-six miles), according to the "Relacion del Suceso." Of this part of the journey Jaramillo says: "There were, if I recall correctly, six or seven settlements, at quite a distance from one another, among which we traveled for four or five days, since it was understood to be uninhabited between one stream and the other." This indicates about the same distance as given by the "Relacion del Suceso." An approximate distance of sixty-six miles from the Smoky Hill south of Lindsborg, in a northeast direction, would have carried the line of march of Coronado and his companions through the country south of Smoky Hill to the Kansas, several miles below where it is formed by the junction of the Smoky Hill and Republican, and near McDowell's creek, ten or twelve miles northeast of Junction City. It should be remembered that the waters of the river with "good river bottoms," where the first settlements were found, and of the "good streams" on which other settlement were found, flowed into a larger river. This was evidently the Kansas. Here was the "end of Quivira," and Jaramillo says the river had "more water and more inhabitants than the others." The tributary "good streams," where the intervening settlements were found, were the creeks which flowed into the Smoky Hill and the upper Kansas from the south side, in the section of country extending from the big bend of the Smoky Hill near Lindsborg to McDowell's creek.

The natural features of the country between the big bend of the Smoky Hill and the upper Kansas precisely answer the description of Quivira given by the narratives of Coronado himself and the other Spanish explorers. Here are the hills, springs rivulets, "very fine appearing rivers and streams, "and even the mulberries, plums grapes and nuts described by the narratives. At that time such fruit would not have been found west or north of the Smoky Hill.

Attention is called to the map accompanying this paper, showing the natural features of the country traversed and the distances between the points. Between points, the line of march as indicated may be only approximately correct.

It will be seen that the distance was from the beginning of the plains thirty-five days' march to the point where Coronado started northward, thirty days thence to the Arkansas crossing, seven days (eighty miles) then to the Smoky Hill south of Lindsborg, and approximately sixty-six miles (four or five days), thence to the Kansas, at the "end of Quivira," near McDowell's creek.

As indisputable evidence, I cit the fact that the beginning of the Quivira settlements, as located by the "good river bottoms" and high hills of the Smoky Hill, near Lindsborg, is the distance required by the narratives from the Indian village near the site of Great Bend, from the crossing of the Arkansas, from the point where Coronado started northward, from the point where he entered the desert or plains, and also from the river and settlements at the "end of Quivira."

At one of the meetings of the State Historical Society, Professor Williston stated that an old sword bearing a Spanish inscription had been found in western Kansas. In August, 1901, this sword 2 came into my possession. It seems that it had not previously been examined by any one posted on the Coronado expedition. When found it was partly concealed in the hard ground and roots of the buffalo-grass, and not in the roots of a tree, as dispatches stated. It was deeply covered with rust and was rubbed with brick dust until the letter appeared. No vestige of a handle remained. Not including the part which held the handle, it is a little more than twenty-six inches long, straight a double-edged, and tapers to a beveled point. From near the broad end two parallel grooves extend almost half-way toward the point, and in them are these words in capitals:

"No Me Saques Sin Razon;
No Me Enbaines Sin Honor

This, translated into English, is: "Draw me not without reason; sheath me not without honor." 2

This inscription was put on Spanish swords during Coronado's time and before. Between the inscription and broad end are two crosses in the grooves and four lines of the sword. Between these is the name "Gallego," in script. Opposite this, on the other side, are the letters "a" and "n" joined. To the left of the "a" are two marks, evidently a part of a capital "J" and a "u," as they appear in the word "Juan." There is also under this word a capital "G" and an "l" at the distance it would appear in the word "Gallego." The name can be none other than Juan Gallego, one of Coronado's officers. Each side is a duplicate of the other, except the script letters, as stated. The sword was likely made at Toledo, Spain. There is some etching. The metal is steel and exceedingly hard. This and the dry climate undoubtedly preserved it. Articles of steel have been exposed to the elements for longer periods of time and still retained letters written or stamped on them.

Double-edged swords were used for cutting armor, but when armor was done away with, about the year 1600, single-edged swords became common. The finding and authenticity of this sword are verified by affidavit. In fact, it would seem impossible to bring it to its present condition mechanically. The name, style, material and the opinions of able archaeologists all tend to show that it is the sword of Capt. Juan Gallego. It is the first thing ever found that gives indisputable evidence of his presence in Kansas. It was found in 1886, about 30 miles north and a little west of Cimarron, on the head waters of the Pawnee. This would seem to be a little off Coronado's march, but he may have sent a detachment up the Smoky Hill, Walnut or Pawnee. He states that he sent "captains and men in many directions." It may have been left by a scouting party, or it may have found it way into the hands of Indians and been lost. But if not left here by Coronado's men, I do not think it was carried far. Castaneda says that Coronado's detachment returned from Quivira lightly equipped, indicating that some things had been thrown away.

If the sword found its way into the hands of Indians, why should they have carried it in the direction and to the spot where it was afterward found rather than any other? There seem to be a hundred probabilities that it was left there by Coronado's men to on against it.

Castaneda states that at the organization of the Coronado expedition Juan Gallego was one of the gentlemen placed under the flag of the general with other distinguished persons; but he became a captain later, and kept the way open between Coronado's army and Mexico. Castaneda credits him with feats of great bravery and skill. He evidently regards hm as one of Coronado's distinguished officers. As he equipped himself for rapid traveling he likely loaned or gave his sword to some friend, probably at Tiguex. It was quite likely carried to Quivira and thrown away when Coronado's men lightened their equipment for the return journey.

This sword is regarded by antiquarians as most interesting and important. Perhaps no one is more thoroughly qualified to judge of it than Mr. F. W. Hodge, of the Bureau of Ethnology, at Washington. In a letter to me date June 11, 1902, he says: "The occurrence of Gallego's name is very significant, it seems to me, and it is not at all unlikely, that the sword belonged to that distinguished member of Coronado's expedition. This relic is most interesting and important, and is hope that after it has been fully described in print it may be deposited in some institution where it may be cared for for all time.

A piece of chain armor has been unearthed at the prehistoric dwelling sites near the Smoky Hill, a few miles south of Lindsborg. About fifteen miles east of this point, near the S. E. Miller village site of Gypsum creek, the iron part of an antique Spanish bridle was unearthed, and is now in my possession. Competent antiquarians say it is as old as Coronado's time. During the first settlement of this vicinity an old weathered inscription was seen on a rock, but it has disappeared. Mr. James T. Hanna has furnished me the following proofs found at other points in McPherson county: The plain marks of an ax near the center of an oak tree, long dead and about five fee in diameter: the bones of a horse found in muck at the bottom of stock well dug several years ago near a hill; a bar of lead with a Spanish brand on it. The ax marks were likely made by Coronado's men. The horse likely mired, probably in Coronado's time, where its bones were found, and the hill afterward caved in on it. The facts concerning these finds are fully established by the parties named, and by other reliable citizens in the same localities.

Last winter Mr. J.A. Johnson, a bridge contractor, in excavating for the abutment of a bridge on Clark's creek, a half mile south of Skiddy, at a depth of fifteen feet, unearthed a fireplace, or hearth, of matched stones, nicely fitted together, on a ledge of solid rock. On this fireplace Mr. Johnson and his workmen found ashes, coals, a buffalo bone, a flint knife, and a coin-shaped piece of brass. The flint knife was of a different color from that found cropping out of the hills near, and undoubtedly been brought from a distance. It had, very likely, been used to cut the meat from the buffalo bone. Near the fireplace a spring or vein of water was uncovered. Above the fireplace, six or seven fee under the surface, and oak tree, two feet thick, had grown. The stump was removed in excavating. There is an unmistakable trace of an ancient channel a short distance east of the fireplace, which was, apparently, at on time west of and near this ancient channel. The present channel is west of and near he fireplace. In the depression where the ancient channel was many large trees have grown. Everything shows that this fireplace was used a long time ago. Another fireplace has since been unearthed in the same vicinity.

This locality was an excellent camping-place. Good springs are near. The probabilities seem strong that this was of camping-place of Coronado's force. It is directly on the line of exploration herein indicated.

Mr. R. P. Church of Channing, Tex., informs me than an old Spanish armor was found on the Canadian.

In the sixteenth century the Spanish reckoning of latitude made it too far north. This is show by Mr. Hodge, of the Bureau of Ethnology. If have learned from the records of the United States Coast Survey that nearly forty points on the Pacific coast of North America, located in Coronado's time by the Spanish navigators Cabrillo, Ferrelo and Vizcaino, were all too far north, as now reckoned. Coronado states that the place where he reached Quivira was to the fortieth degree. Allowing for the difference in reckoning, the fortieth degree would have been at the "good river bottoms" and high hills of the Smoky Hill, near Lindsborg. This difference in latitude seems not to have been noticed by the earlier writers, who, therefore, improperly regarded the Nebraska boundary, which is on the fortieth degree, as the beginning of Quivira.

Castaneda says that when Coronado started northward it took him forty-eight days to reach Quivira. Castaneda kept with the main army and did not go to Quivira with Coronado, Jarmillo, and the author of the "Relacion del Suceso"; therefore their statements took precedence. Castaneda may have included a delay during which Coronado sent the main army for new guides; but he most probably included the march through Quivira in counting the number of days' march. He was evidently confused by what he heard. He states that the country was level as far as Quivira, but his account of the march reaches farther than where Quivira began. He says of Quivira: "There are other thickly settled provinces around it, containing large numbers of men," and that it "is in the midst of the country." He could not have thought that other provinces or tribes were around Quivira unless the Spaniards had marched through one of them. None of the explorers, after the northward march commenced, speak of seeing any Indians until the hunting party was met, but Coronado says there were different languages in Quivira, showing that there were at least two tribes. The narratives also indicate that there were Indians of another tribe seen in Quivira west of the Quiviras. Castaneda very probably included the distance through the tribe and to the "end of Quivira," which would practically make this statement agree with the others.

Jaramillo says that on the return from Quivira the Indian guides brought the Spaniards back by the same road to the crossing of the St. Peter's and St. Paul's (Arkansas), and there , "taking the right hand," conducted them to Tiguex. This indicates a direct route. Careful investigators have pronounced the Santa Fe Trail a prehistoric route, and this was likely it. The narratives repeatedly say the only roads were those of cows (buffaloes), which of course means the buffalo paths running in various directions. In the spring of 1902 is examined the Arkansas river at the McKinney ranchs, where the river makes a sharp turn toward the northeast, below Dodge City and for some distance above. Many old things found here indicate a route and crossing which may have been preceded by one more ancient. There seems to be no landmark here, however, except the bend, but there was surely a known route.

In company with Professor Welin, of Lindsborg, is made three visits to the prehistoric dwelling sites near the Smoky Hill in the vicinity of Lindsborg. We had a number of these sits plowed and scraped and unearthed a number of interesting objects, but none showing evidence of civilization. The piece of chain armor before referred to was found here. President Swensson and Professor Welin, of Bethany College, at Lindsborg, were deeply interested in these sites, and kindly provided facilities for their examination.

My study of the route of Coronado began thirty years ago. is was led to an investigation of the Smoky Hill region, about the year 1890, by Hon. W.A. Phillips, of Salina, now deceased, who told me he had seen the Spanish flag cut on stone, presumably by Coronado's Spaniards, on Big Creek, a tributary of the Smoky Hill. is was prompted to renewed researches in the same region by Mr. L. R. Elliott, several years ago.

During my investigation, is have been on explorations in Kansas, Nebraska and Indian Territory, is have also conducted, by correspondence, a number of lines of investigation with parties in Kansas, Nebraska, Indian Territory, New Mexico, and Texas.

Humana's Expedition

An expedition is attributed to Human, in 1595, which likely reached Kansas. Bonilla was the real commander. The party was sent out on a raid against rebellious Indians, apparently in 1594-'96. Bonilla, hearing the current reports of northeastern wealth, determined to extend his operations to Quivira. The governor send Cazorla to overtake the party and forbid the expedition. The progress of the adventurers to and through New Mexico has no record. They were next heard from far out on the plains, in search of Quivira. Here, in a quarrel, Human killed his commander and assumed command. A little later, when the party had passed through an immense settlement, and reached a broad river, which was to be crossed on balsas, three Mexican Indians deserted, one of whom, Joses, survived to tell the tale to Onate in 1598. Once more we hear of the adventurous gold-seekers. While they were encamped on the plains, at a place called Matanza, the Indians rushed, thousands strong, upon the Spaniards just before dawn. Human and nearly all his men were killed.

Onate's Expedition

Governor Onate, of New Mexico, marched with eighty men in search of Quivira in 1601. Guided by the Mexican Indian who had accompanied Human on his expedition, he crossed the buffalo plains and, journeying an estimated distance of 200 leagues in a northeasterly direction, arrived at the territory of the tribe of Indians called the Escanjaques. These Indians were preparing to make war on their enemies, the Quiviras. A large force of the former joined Onate's troops, who entered the country of the Quiviras. The Escanjaques began to set fire to the Quivira villages. The Spanish commander tried to stop these and other outrages, the Quiviras having fled. Enraged at the Spaniards for the interference, the Escanjaques attacked them and a battle ensued, the Indians losing 1000 of their number killed. The Spanish loss was slight.

Penalosa's Hoax

Don Diego Penalosa, another governor of New Mexico, becoming involved in trouble with an officer of the inquisition, went to London and Paris in 1673, and presented the French government what purported to be an account of expedition to Quivira made by himself in 1662, written by Padre Freitas, one of his friars, and sent to the Spanish king. He never made any such expedition or submitted any such narrative to the Spanish monarch. The researches of Bancroft have shown that the narrative was that of Onate's expedition of 1601, slightly changed to suit Penalosa's purposes in Paris.

Bancroft says that Onate's battle with the Escanjaques was near the scene of Human's defeat. An attempt to locate these fights with the Indians would be a mere guess. Many indications lead me to believe that the country about the junction of the Republican and Smoky Hill has been noted Indian ground for centuries. The name of Quivira was applied to various sections of country after Coronado's time, but future researches may show that Human and Onate reached the lower Republican. A river described by Padre Freitas, Penalosa's friar, corresponds with the Republican for one or two days' march above its mouth. The adjacent country corresponds in topography with the described by Freitas. Mr. Alvin Gates, of Clay Center, informs me that, near the junction of Madison creek with the Republican river, large leaden bullets have been taken from the center of large trees. As the accounts state that these later expeditions crossed the buffalo plains to the hills, the inference seems reasonable that they reached the hilly country. It may be that the fullest narrative of Onate's expedition was the one written by Freitas for Penalosa's use.

Indian Implements in Kansas

Flint hills were the gold mines of the Indian. Knowing little of metals, he wrought flint, his best material, into various implements for his uses. These are scattered over many parts of Kansas. The typical arrow-point and spear-head are most frequently found, but pieces are also found which show that they have been used as hoes, digging implements, sledges, axes, hammers, scrapers, knives, and drills. Many of these are paleolithic or rough, but some are neolithic or smooth. Among these latter are celts and axes which have been worn smooth by rubbing or grinding. These axes commonly have a groove around them, for facility in hafting. Strings of buffalo or other hide were fitted into the groove and passed round the handle in such a way that the ax and handle were bound together, thus making an effective implement or weapon. Wood being scarce in public countries, there were not as many axes used as where timber abounded. Materials best suited for the purposes of the Indians were eagerly sought by them, and the localities where they were obtained were known for hundreds of miles. The catlinite, a soft red stone found in Minnesota, was wrought into pipes and tablets, after having been carried long distances. Many of these pipes were found in Kansas. The material of which they were made was highly prized, and it is said that such was the reverence for the locality where it was found that hostile tribes suspended hostilities when near it.

It is very probable that certain Indian implements found in Kansas were used for more than one purpose. A hammer or ax, besides being a formidable weapon in war, was also useful for other purposes. The same may be said of arrow-points or spear-heads. While they were useful in killing animals for subsistence and to supply other wants, they were he main weapons on the warpath. The bones of the buffalo and other animals were sometimes fashioned into implements.

The Indians of Kansas, or at least some of them, certainly had a love for the beautiful. In my collection there are pieces in which streaks of beautiful red alternate with others of white. Others have an attractive mottled appearance, while still others have the appearance of miniature rainbows. In my rambles over the state is have frequently seen intermingled many objects of flint differing in color and quality from those manufactured from the flint in the vicinity. This is an indication, if not a proof, that the Indians residing in such localities had communication with others from remote distances. It is not at all likely that all, or even half, from a distance were obtained by conquest. Near Marquette, on the Smoky Hill, and in other places, is have obtained some very small pieces of rare beauty. Some of these were likely used as ornaments, and, indeed a, they would be appreciated as such at the present day. These pieces are very interesting, and the skill by which flint was wrought into such small and beautiful forms is worthy of our admiration and study.

A certain writer has assumed that the western limit of Quivira was on the Arkansas, near Great Bend; and, in support of that theory, he states that some flint Indian relics have bee found near that point, as though that was a significant fact. Old settlers and others have known, since the earliest settlement of the country, that such Indian relics are found in many localities in Kansas, as well as elsewhere. He has gone so far as to represent on a map that Quivira extended from the Arkansas, near Great Bend, to near the mouth of the Smoky Hill. This would be twice the distance of sixty-six miles, which the narratives plainly state was the length of the journey through Quivira. It is plain that, if the western limit of Quivira was near Great Bend, as he states, Quivira could have extended only sixty-six miles from that point. But he utterly ignores and eliminates the distance of sixty-six miles, and, stretching it about twice its extent, to some Indian-village sites, declares that the relics on these sites, like the relics near Great Bend, mark the location of Quivira.

Besides the fact that he eliminates the part of the narratives giving the sixty-six mile limit of the journey, and, consequently, does not trace the march to these sites, they are far beyond the sixty-six mile limit from Great Bend, his western terminal, and, consequently, he utterly fails to connect them with the Spanish line of march.

It is surely obvious that no location of Quivira can be made by ignoring or eliminating the narratives of the explorers, especially as regards distance.

The significance attached by this writer to the Indian relics found on the village sites referred to led a few people temporarily, and in a complimentary way, to give countenance to that theory. It was soon learned, however, that it had no foundation, for a personal investigation showed that flint implements, similar to those on the lower Smoky Hill, were found in Nebraska, on the Verdigres, the Cottonwood, and other streams in Kansas, and in disconnected localities elsewhere. Much, therefore, as we might wish that these flint relics would throw light on the subject, their wide distribution eliminates their evidence, and renders them inconclusive, if not worthless, as factors in determining the location of the Quivira of Coronado. Besides this, the most of them may have been manufactured since Coronado's time.

In the accompanying illustrations is call attention to similarity of flint implements found on the Smoky Hill with those found on other streams. For convenience of illustration, many of the implements illustrated are placed in groups of two, and in each group one of the implements is from the lower Smoky Hill, or the region near its mouth, and the other is from the Cottonwood, the Verdigres or some other stream. Mr. G. U. S. Hovey of Wyandotte County, who has traveled over Kansas a great deal collecting Indian relics, has found flint implements similar to those illustrated in localities different from those named, while others have found similar implements in still other localities. Surely these facts show that a claim of locating Quivira by Indian relics has no foundation: there is no warrant or justification for such a claim. Neither Coronado nor his explorers describe or even mention the flint implements of Quivira. We do not know that any were found there, if we take the narratives of the explorers as a guide, and we have no other guide. Fragments of Indian pottery are also found in many parts of Kansas. It has been asserted that the Quiviras had no pottery, but pottery is found along the lower Smoky Hill, as well as elsewhere. On the streams flowing into the lower Smoky Hill fro m the south side, investigation has shown that pottery is found where it has been alleged that none existed.


1. Mrs. E.F. Hollibaugh, in "Biographical History of Cloud County, Kansas," 1903, p. 7 says:

In the home of William J. Ion, of Grant township, the author and found among many other heirlooms a volume of ancient hisory published in 1607-'71. The manuscript was prepared forty years prior to that date by the Rev. Samuel A. Clark, a Welsh historian. This intensely interesting and valuable work was handed down to its present owner from a grand-uncle, John Ion, who was a son of Mr. Ion's paternal great -grandfather. It was brought to America by Mr. Ion's mother, Mrs. Maria Williams, of Ebbwvale, Merionethshire, South Wales, Great Britain. This priceless work was also the property of Mr. Ion's great-grandmother, Maria Gregg, given her by her father Thomas Gregg.

The following quotation is a facsimile of an article contained on its pages regarding Quivira, that once included the fair state of Kansas within its boundaries. In the copy which follows it will be noticed that the letter f takes the sound of s in most instances, making the literature difficult to read. The Rev. Samuel A. Clark, who compiled the work, evidently believed in the fulfillment of the scripture which reads: "The first shall be last and the last shall be first," as this historical volume is published in two editions, the last one being issued first, and are bound together in that form.

"Next to Mexico is Quivira, which is feated onthe moft weftern part of America, over againft Tartary, from whence probably the inhabitants firft came into this New World, that fide of the country being moft populous, and the people living much after the manner of the Tartars, following the Seafons of the Year for the Pafturage of their Cattel; that fide of America being full of Herbage, and enjoying a temperate Air. The People defire glafs more than Gold. their chief Riches are their Kine, which are Meat, Drink, Cloth, Houfes and Utensils to them: for their Hides yield them Houfes; their Bones, Bodkins; their Hair, thread; their Sinews, Ropes; their Horns, Maws, and Bladders, Vessels; their Dung, fire; their Calves, Skins, Budgets to draw and keep water in; their Blood, Drink; their Flesh, Meat, etc.

In Quivira there are but two Provinces that are known, Cibola and Nova Albion, fo Named by Sir Francis Drake, when he compaffed the World. It abounds with Fruits, pleasant to both eye and palate. The people are given to Hofpitality, but withall, to Wich-craft, and worshipping of Devils.

2. See sketch at bottom of map accompanying this article. The following letters and affidavit give the history of the finding of the sword:

Washington, D.C., November 24, 1899
Mr. John T. Clark, Ellis, Kan." Dear Sire--With reference to your letter of the November 14, addressed to Mr. Paul Beckwith, I am infomrated by Mr. A. Howard clark, custodian of the section of American history, that swords having the inscription which you have quoted date from medieval times down to the peroid of the revolutionary war. The one in question would seem to be a Spanish sword, as the incription is in that language.
Yours respectfully,
F.W.True, Executive Curator.

Garden City, Kan., July 19, 1901.
Mr. W.E. Richey, Harveyville, Kan.: dear Sir--The Spanish sword abut which you wrote me some months ago is now about to be disposed of. An offer of five dollars has been refused, as it seems to me that the price at which I hold it (eight dollars) is little enough for such an interesting relic as this may prove to be. It is in a state of good preservation and I enclose this sword, and whether the above price is satisfacotry. The inscription on th esword translated is, 'Draw me not without reason; sheathe me not without honor.' Across the end are two names in script, and, as they have not been translated, must be proper names. In length this sword is about sixty-two centimeters, width at hilt about three centimeters; evidently an officer's sword, as only the point has been sharpened. Hoping to hear from you soon, I am yours respectfully,
John T. Clark, Garden City, Kan."

State of Kansas, Kearny county, ss.
"John T. Clark, of lawful age and sound mind and memory, being by me duly sworn, deposes and says, that in the year 1886 there was found on the prairie, in what was then Finney county, an old sword, partly concealed in the grass-roots and was much rusted, which, when rust was removed by scouring with brick dust, was fund to bear this inscription, written in two parallel grooves running from hilt toward the point:

'No Me Saques Sin Razon;
No Me Enbaines Sin Honor.'
"This sword was about thirty inches in length and one and one-half in width at the hilt. Sides, or edges, blunt. Point sharpened to a length of perhaps three inches. No handle or other parts found. Etching on sword and some script words written across borad end of sword, apparently proper nounds. Sword is quite flexible, very resonant, and exceedingly hard. Each side of the blade is an exact duplicate of the other, including motto, etching, grooves, etc. The place of finding was near the head waters of the Pawnee, close tothe noth line of Finney county, and nearly due north of the town of Ingalls, on the Santa Fe railroad. This sword was found about seven miles northeast of an Indian burial-ground, known as White Mound, where several articles have been found; as beads, teeth, bracelets (brass, copper), arrow-heads, bones, etc. I further state that I have disposed of this same sword to mr. W.E. Richey, of Harveyville, Kan.
John T. Clark."

"Subscribed in my presence and sworn to before me, this 2d day of December, 1901.
E.R. Sharpe, Notary Public (My commission expires January 26, 1905.)"

Washington, D.C., June 11, 1902.
My Dear Sire: Pressure of official duties has prevented me from giving the attention to your letter of February 5 (kindly handed to me by Mr. miller) deserved. I am deeply interested in the discovery of the sword, and your sketch of it renders a very adequate idea of the relic. The occurence of Gallego's name is very significant, it seems to me, and it is not at all unlikely that the sword belonged to that distinguished member of Coronado's expedition. Care should be taken, however, lest too much stress be laid on the place in which it was found, for there seems to be no evidence that it was lost or thrown away at that point by the Spaniards. The sword may possibly have found its way into hands of Indians and afterward lost; for I have known Indians to lose things as well as whites. Nevertheless, the relic is most interesting and important, and I hope that, after it has been fully described in print, that it may be deposited in some institution where it may be cared for for all time. Thanking you for calling my attention to it, and hoping that I may have a copy of your printed description, I am, very truly yours,
F.W. Hodge."