Just Doing the Math: Juan Dominguez de Mendoza Trail to San Clemente 1683-1684

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9781518729461: Just Doing the Math: Juan Dominguez de Mendoza Trail to San Clemente 1683-1684

This document is a day by day analysis of part of a Spanish Expedition dispatched by the governor of Nueva Mexico to evaluate a source of pearls found, of all places, in the middle of Texas. The expedition was led by Maestre de Campo Juan Dominguez de Mendoza, a grizzled veteran of over thirty years of internal conflict in New Mexico. The expedition took place during a six month period beginning in December, 1683, and ending in June, 1684. Freshwater pearls had been previously found in the modern Concho River by expeditions about 1650. The Mendoza expedition was also ordered to escort missionaries to the Jumano tribe in west central Texas, and to make contact with a “Kingdom of the Tejas”. The expedition originated and ended near El Paso, Texas. This itinerary was translated by Herbert Bolton, PhD, in 1916, and published in "Spanish Exploration in the Southwest 1542-1706". Because the Bolton book has become Public Domain, this author has been able to insert the translated description of each campsite, along with a personal analysis. It is not a complete reprint of the Bolton document and some passages have been omitted and/or otherwise edited. This author has attempted to answer various uncertainties that have prevented previous researchers from reaching an agreement on the location of what has become referred to as “Mission” San Clemente. San Clemente was a six week campsite where a “bastion” was built. In published studies of the expedition, proposed locations for San Clemente have differed by over one hundred miles. Part of the lack of agreement is the result of a lack of confidence in the distances recorded in the itinerary written by Juan Mendoza. This document records the author's efforts at establishing whether those distance measurements might be relied on, as well as to project possible locations of each campsite. The author chose the title because he attempted to do so by “Just Doing the Math” to apply the distances to a map. Physical descriptions were only considered in the immediate areas of sites projected by a computer program written by the author. The program did the work of calculating map positions, thereby eliminating some personal bias that could distort the results. A small section of a US Geological Survey Topographic map of the area around each projected campsite location is inserted. In spite of all of this, he does not identify any location by archaeological evidence. A new version of Mendoza's itinerary was introduced in 2012. This version is found in “Juan Dominguez Mendoza, Soldier and Frontiersman of the Spanish Southwest, 1627-1693”. This lately completed documentary biography is the final volume of the Coronado Historical Series and confounded the original results of this author's study. This version is also examined in this document. There are conflicts with the Bolton translation in the descriptions of several segments that have raised questions regarding the authenticity of each document. The author went forward with the spirit of his study and analyzed the new information. He readily admits having stepped well beyond his credentials by discussing some aspects of the new information. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jerry L. Eoff retired after forty-six years of dental practice. As a native of Ballinger, Texas, he grew up very close to the locations of Mission San Clemente proposed by Dr. Herbert Bolton in 1916. After practicing for six and one-half years in Ballinger and four and one-half years at a state facility in Carlsbad, Texas, he located in Alpine, Texas, for the remaining thirty-five years of practice. He holds a BA from Abilene Christian University and a DDS from Baylor University, however his only claim to having any credentials whatsoever for this study is two-fold. First, his interest in the Mendoza itinerary has endured for some sixty years. Second, he has lived his life in the immediate area of one or another section of the proposed expedition route.

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