Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

Joseph Chaves (University of Northern Colorado)
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Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was born late in the fifteenth century in Jérez de la Frontera in Andalucía. His mother’s side (from which was derived his last name, meaning “cow head”) participated in the


of Muslim Spain, while his father’s grandfather served as a


in the Canary Islands. Cabeza de Vaca himself pursued a long military career, which included fighting in Italy and North Africa, before setting out on the expedition to Florida that both made his name and began the plummeting of his fortunes. In 1527, almost a century before the first English settlements in North America, and only a little over a decade after Juan Ponce de León had landed upon the Florida Peninsula, Cabeza de Vaca set out from Spain as Royal Treasurer and second-in-command to…

1110 words

Citation: Chaves, Joseph. "Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 July 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4868, accessed 16 July 2024.]

4868 Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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