Esteban, Cabeza de Vaca, Dorantes, and Castillo escaped from the Karankawa Indians after about five years and made their way across the continent and to Mexico City. But there was another Spaniard, Lope de Oviedo, who was left behind on Malhado Island — either because the others assumed he must be dead or considered it too dangerous to return to Malhado and take him with them.
The map linked to on this blog entry is the first one that shows all the Americas as being one continent and not connected to any other landmass. From page 23 in the biography, this map was published about eleven years after Esteban left Mexico City to find the rumored rich Indian cities to the north, occupied by what are now known as the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico.
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.
For an up-to-date schedule of presentations, often including a slide show and booksigning, check out the "presentations" link here on the Esteban website. If you have any questions about the book, simply write to me on the website's "contact" tab at the top of the site or here.
African involvement in the early history of the Americas and Mexico goes back further than most people realize. Click HERE for a comprehensive article about Africans, both free and slave, in Mexico, North, Central, and South America in the 1500s and 1600s. Another informative website about African conquistadors is HERE.
Most Arabic scholars, although they usually but not always revert to the Spanish name of Esteban, use a different name when they start writing about the man whose fame is growing in North Africa because of his Morocco connection.
Repeatedly, early Spanish chronicles mention the conquistadors finding Indian tribes where they described the men and women as "naked." But were they? Sometimes maybe, but it becomes clear that the Europeans often considered anyone not covered in clothes like themselves as naked.
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.