Cabeza De Vaca

Essay by sportsdude00High School, 10th gradeA+, March 2004

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Throughout history, there have been many exciting and dangerous events. There have also been many people who have survived and persisted through journeys that seem almost unbelievable. One person who has survived a journey like that is Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca. The term "Cabeza de Vaca" actually stands for "cow's head" or "head of a cow." Nunez received that name from his ancestors who were granted the name for doing a good deed. Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca was born in 1490 in Jerez de la Frontera (southern Spain). His father was Francisco de Vera and his mother was Teresa Cabeza de Vaca. His family had ancestors of a good military background, and when he was young, Nunez decided to enter into a career in the military. He began his career very early in his life, serving in campaigns in Navarre and Italy. He learned very much from these campaigns, and that gave him great experience for his journeys later in life.

He continued his career in 1513 when he entered the service of the Duke of Medina at the age of 23. In 1527, he entered the greatest expedition of his life that would make him famous throughout history. This expedition was lead by Panfilo de Narvaez, while Nunez himself was appointed treasurer. They were commissioned by Charles V of Spain and intended to conquer Florida (at the time, Florida consisted of the current area of Florida and went west as far as Mexico). They left in June 1527 with 300 men and soldiers and ended up on the west coast of Florida in April of 1528. While in Florida, however, their plans were ruined by constant attacks by the Native Americans.

The pilot of the ship they sailed in left everyone there and sailed to...