Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Spanish Explorer and Writer

On April 15, 1528, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, the first European explorer and chronicler of the southwest, landed near Tampa Bay Florida.  After separating from the main expedition, Cabeza de Vaca spent the next eight years exploring Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and northern Mexico.  He traveled more than 5,000 miles of country that had never before been seen by a European. His account was published in Spanish and later in English, titled “Cabeza de Vaca’s Adventures in the Unknown Interior of America” and was the first best seller about the newly discovered world.

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