Sunday, April 27, 2008



When Phillip III of Spain discovered among his fathers papers a sworn declaration of the existence of a populous and rich city named Quivira, the King of Spain made every effort to learn more and to discover it's location.
In 1601, the Spanish Viceroy in Mexico City, Conde de Monterey, appointed Sebastien VizcaĆ­no the General in charge of an expedition to locate safe harbours in Alta California for Spanish Galleons to use on their return voyage to Acapulco from Manila and to search for the mythical city of Quivira, one of the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. While exploring along the northern California coast, a storm separated VizcaĆ­no's ship the San Diego and Martin d'Aguilar's ship the Tres Reyes. VizcaĆ­no is believed to have reached the present Oregon-California border, while d'Aguilar continued up the coast and may have only reached as far north as present-day Coos Bay.
Aguilar reported sighting a "rapid and abundant" river that he did not enter because of the current. He then returned to Mexico because of scurvy among his crew, he arrived in Acapulco with only 5 survivors. It is unknown what river he sighted, but maps referred to the "Rio d'Aguilar" in the 1700s. The river that Martin d'Aguilar was reported to have found and that could never be located by later navigators, was supposed by some to be the one leading to the great city of Quivira.
Quivera, for many years in the 16th and 17th centuries, was shown on maps and charts as laying along the coast of what is now Northern California and Southern Oregon. On Mercator's map of 1569, Alaska [Anian] is clear and the coast below Alaska is Quivira regnum, the kingdom of Quivira and continued to be shown on maps as late as 1750. The kingdom of Quivira's ruler was the bearded, white-haired Tatarrax, reputed to sleep upon beds of roses. Some reports described Chinese ships located within the harbor of Quivira. Quivira was located on a bay at the mouth of a big river, farther up the river was another city by the name of Tuchano.
An old article from the Port Orford Post describes a storm in Flores Creek in 1881 that uprooted an ancient spruce tree that grew upon one of many mounds in the area. The big tree's root spread, several feet thick and many feet across, opened up the ground like the lid being lifted off a box. The rock exposed was unmistakably cut stone "bearing quite plainly the marks of the stonecutter's chisel". The stones seemed to lie "as if a wall had tumbled down". Other mounds were excavated by people of the region and similar cut stones were found in many of them.
Remnants of the lost Kingdom of Quivira?


Anonymous said...

2 trips over last week and pretty much got, the shaft.


Anonymous said...

I have heard it was once located on the shores of Lake Oswego. Legend or fact?

Anonymous said...