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Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca


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History's Impact

This page will give you an overview of Cabeza de Vaca's Life away from his conquest life.

Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca was born in 1490 into a family of nobles.  His parents were Francisco de Vera and Teresa Cabeza de Vaca.  de Vaca joined the Spanish army in 1511 and served in Navarre, Italy, and Spain.  In 1527, he joined the Florida expedition of Governor Narvaez as treasurer and chief constable.  In 1528, his previously seperated fleet crashed on the Isle of Misfortune, or Galveston Island.  Cabeza de Vaca was soon captured by the nearby hostile Indian tribe for five years and managed to survive.  He escaped and headed for Mexico in 1534.  They met some Spaniards near Culiacan in western Mexico and after they reported to Antonio de Mendoza, de Vaca left for Spain.  He brought back revelations of some vast new territories to Spain.  In 1540, he became governor of Rio de la Plata (Paraguay.)  He then wrote a book in which was published in 1542.  In 1544, he returned to Spain as a prisoner, but later, he was proven innocent and spent the rest of his years charting lands and writing books.