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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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Controversy?

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

Does the Esteban biography disagree with history? Not really. Although it does disagree with the conventional history of him. Even though almost every account states without reservation that Zuni natives killed Esteban in 1539, the biography points out that such a death was based only on assumptions by Mexican Indians reporting to Friar Marcos who admitted they didn't see it happen.
     Actually, nobody knows for sure what happened

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Is that a painting of Esteban on the book's cover?

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 16:51
Dennis Herrick

No painting or image of Esteban during his lifetime exists. Not even much of a description.
     While Esteban certainly would have been bearded while enslaved by Indians in Texas and later traveling across the continent, and perhaps bearded even at other times, this image could be how he appeared while living in Mexico City just before going to Cíbloa. 

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Slavery still today in Mauritania

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 12:37
Dennis Herrick

A chapter in Esteban: The African Slave Who Explored America, explores the continuing existence of slavery in the world, whether "de facto" or, as usual, carried out by a society's criminal and/or greedy elements.
     One nation where slavery is still a problem is the northwestern African country of Mauritania, a country dominated by its Arab and Berber majorities just south of the Western Sahara, controlled by Morocco.

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Writing about the underdogs

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 12:23
Dennis Herrick

When asked why I wrote Esteban's biography, I reply that all my books are about average people who face such daunting obstacles that they seemed destined to fail. They are the underdogs that end up winning.
     As a slave to Spaniards, Esteban could not have been expected to survive, much less come to the attention of a king, in the harrowing circumstances he endured.

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Misnaming Esteban for centuries

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 12:21
Dennis Herrick

 The biggest problem with the Wikipedia page about Esteban is that it's posted by the name of Estevanico. That was only his slave nickname, which many writers insist on still using.
     Calling him Estevanico, which translates into English as "Little Stephen" or even as "Stevie," was how early Spanish slave owners demeaned and marginalized him as a slave. It was a dismissive reference, much like the fact that early Spanish chronicles often didn't refer to him by any name, but just called him "El Negro."

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