"Nearly four hundred years old, this unique classic of Southwestern American history is now available in a modern translation to a wide reading public. Fray Alonso de Benavides, a Portuguese Franciscan and third head of the mission churches of New Mexico, published this highly engaging book in 1630 as his official report to the king of Spain." "In 1625, Father Benavides and his party traveled north from Mexico City via creaking oxcart and muleback to reach the mission fields of New Mexico. A keen observer, Benavides described New Mexico as a strange land of frozen rivers, Indian citadels, and elusive mines full of silver and garnets. Benavides and his Franciscan brothers built schools, erected churches, engineered peace treaties, gazed in awe at endless miles of buffalo grazing placidly on the Great Plains, and were said to perform miracles." "The most thorough and riveting account ever written of Southwestern life in the early seventeenth century, A Harvest of Reluctant Souls is at once medieval and a tale of the Renaissance - a portrait of the Pueblos, the Apaches, and the Navajos at a time of fundamental change in their lives."--BOOK JACKET.