Reasons for writing a biography about Esteban

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 09:40
Dennis Herrick

Whenever I read any mention of Esteban, I was struck about how almost every reference was negative, even though no European ever reported seeing the bad acts attributed to him.
     I began to wonder. Why was all the evidence cited against Esteban based on assumptions and nearly 500-year-old negative hearsay? And why were there so many differing and increasingly dramatic versions of his death? I no longer necessarily believe the conventional wisdom that Zunis killed him the day after they first met him.

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Sorry, but there's a date error in biography

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 21:10
Dennis Herrick

Although all my notes and early manuscript versions said March 23, somehow the book ended up with an April 7 date on page 161 for Esteban’s departure from Vacapa. He actually left on March 23, 1539. The March 23 date is accurately cited in  "Noteworthy dates" on page xv.
     It was Friar Marcos who left on April 7, as the book states two pages later.
     By the way, all dates in the Spanish chronicles of the 1500s are by the Julian calendar in effect then. To convert from the early sixteenth-century Julian calendar to today’s Gregorian calendar, 10 days must be added.

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Bust of Esteban now in St. Petersburg, Florida

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 17:05
Dennis Herrick

A bronze bust of Esteban by the late sculptor John Sherrill Houser will be donated soon to the St. Petersburg Museum of History in Florida by author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist James E. MacDougald.
     He is author of the book, The Pánfilo de Narváez Expedition of 1528: Highlights of the Expedition and Determination of the Landing Place, and his research zeroed in on St. Petersburg's Jungle Prada site on Boca Ciega Bay as the place where the first major European expedition entered today's  United States in April 1528.

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Mon, 09/17/2018 - 21:21
Dennis Herrick

Does the Esteban biography disagree with history? Not really. Even though almost every "historical" account states without reservation that Zuni natives killed Esteban in 1539, the biography points out that such a fate was based on only an assumption by Mexican Indians reporting to Friar Marcos.
     Actually, nobody knows for sure what happened
     Future writers of books involving Esteban should note that there is more than one possible outcome for Esteban instead of just declaring that Zunis killed him -- because there is no proof that they did.

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