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Into the Wilderness Dream

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Copyright: 1994
Trim: 6 x 9
Pages: 416 pp.


Into the Wilderness Dream

Exploration Narratives of the American West, 1500–1805

Edited by Donald A. Barclay, James H. Maguire, and Peter Wild

Western History

Not just an exploration of our early Western European roots, these rich chronicles read as literature, first-person narratives of the greatest exploration adventures in historic times.

From the Platonic vision of Atlantis to Arthur’s Avalon, pre-Columbus Europeans imagined fabulous lands to the west—and after 1492, initial reports of a new world filled with golden El Dorados, warrior queens, and Fountains of Youth merely provided confirmation.

Although these dreams were soon tempered by reality, explorers continued to set off with expectation that shaped what they say, how they saw, and how they reacted. This complex of attitudes continues to affect the way we view our world, and these accounts provide an excellent source for insight into the metaphorical systems that have permeated European and American writing about the West since the Sixteenth century.

Into the Wilderness Dreams draws from the best of three dozen accounts by the Spanish, French, English, and American explorers who came before Lewis and Clark, and explores the roots of present Western Euro-American culture.

Donald A. Barclay is a reference librarian at New Mexico State University.
James H. Maguire is a professor of English at Boise State University.
Peter Wild is a professor of English at University of Arizona.

Table of Contents:


1. Two Views of the Mists
2. Queen Calafia, Griffins, and the Naming of the Golden State (1500)
3. A Dream Revised: The New World Odyssey of Cabeza de Vaca (1528)
4. A Violent Pursuit of the Dream: The Gentleman of Elvas's Account of the de Soto Expedition (1539)
5. Exploring the Myth: Fray Marcos de Niza's Discovery of a City of Cíbola (1539)
6. Deceived by the Dream: Pedro de Castañeda's Long Look Back at the Coronado Expedition (1540)
7. Sir Francis Drake and the Brass Plate (1579)
8. Settling into the Dream: The Pioneer Epic of Gaspar Castaño de Sosa (1590)
9. Rey of the Wild Frontier: Hernán Gallego's Narrative of the Chamuscado-Rodríguez Expedition (1591)
10. Sunken Ships and Winged Corrals: The Juan de Oñate Expedition to New Mexico (1598)
11. The Dream in Verse: Gaspar Pérez de Villagra's New World Epic (1610)
12. The Basic Stuff of the West: Pierre Esprit Radisson (1651)
13. The Self as Myth: Father Louis Hennepin (1675)
14. Retaking the Dream: Diego Vargas Zapata y Luján Ponce de Léon and the Reconquest of New Mexico (1695)
15. Defending the Dream: The Diary of Juan Mateo Manje (1697)
16. Embroidering the Dream: The Fabulous Tale of Mathieu Sagean (1701)
17. How Miracles Prove Dreams: Fray Francisco de Céliz's Account of the Alarcón Expedition to Texas (1718)
18. Chasing a Nightmare into the Dream: The Valverde Campaign (1719)
19. The Stuff of Dreams: Pierre Gaultier de La Vérendrye (1730)
20. Sailing into the Northern Mists: Georg Wilhelm Steller (1741)
21. Rescued from the Dream: Miguel Costanso and the 1769 Expedition by Sea to San Diego
22. Mixing Fact and Fiction: Jonathan Carver (1769)
23. Searching for Accounts of the Search: Father Juan Crespi and the 1774 Voyage of the Santiago
24. Mystery Man of the Far North: Peter Pond (1775)
25. Crossing the Desert to the Promised Land: Pedro Font's Diary of the Second Anza Expedition (1776)
26. Searching for a Shortcut: Fray Silvestre Vélez de Escalante's Journal of the Domínguez-Escalante Expedition (1776)
27. Don Quixote in the Wilderness: John Ledyard (1779)
28. Cartographer of the Human Heart: David Thompson (1787)
29. "An Irreparable Loss": The Diaries of Frances Hornby Barkley (1787)
30. The Roads to Santa Fe: Pedro Vial and Francisco Amangual (1722)
31. The Mists Drawn Back: Alexander Mackenzie (1793)
32. "Thus Ended a Very Unpleasant Affair, with the Ruin of a Pretty Face": Alexander Henry (1799)
33. "The Most Horrid Sight...That Ever my Eyes Witnessed": John R. Jewitt (1803)

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