Born: c. 1490 - Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain
Died: c. 1560 - North Africa (?)
After a youth spent in Jerez, De Vaca entered the military and was sent to Italy where he took part in the battle of Ravenna in 1512. On his return to Spain in 1513, he served as an aide to the Duke of Medina Sidonia and later fought in behalf of the young Emperor Charles V during 1520-21. In 1527, he was appointed royal treasurer to the Panfilo de Navaez expedition to the Spanish Indies. During this expedition he explored the coast of Florida. Eventually separated from the main group, he continued his explorations to the Mississippi delta and Texas. He spent many months with various Indian tribes, sometimes as a captive and sometimes voluntarily, eventually travelling to Mexico and to the Pacific coast in 1535. He finally returned to Spain in 1537. He was appointed governor of Asuncion and again travelled to the Americas, reaching Brazil in 1541. He was arrested in 1544 after a revolt against his power and sent back to Spain in 1545. His trial lasted six years until in 1551 he was exiled to Oran in North Africa. His date and place of death are unknown. He published his journal of his travels in 1542, under the title of Relacion.
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Relacion - The Journey of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca
Note: An Asterisk (*) after an author´s name signifies that this is a Pseudonym