Panfilo de NarvŠez

Spanish Soldier, Explorer, Early Conquistadors

Born: 1478

Died: 1528

NarvŠez played an important role under Diego Velasquez in the conquest of Cuba in 1511. He was rewarded with public office and land grants.

In 1520, Velasquez chose NarvŠez to lead an expedition into Mexico to capture and replace Hernan Cortes, who had recently been charged with Treason. Cortes, however, took control of NarvŠezís forces and even took NarvŠez alive and was kept as a prisoner for over a year, until he was released to Cuba by order of Spain.

NarvŠezís next expedition was in 1527 to Florida, which he explored extensively and made future plans to exploit. He landed in Tampa Bay, claimed the land for Spain and then attempted to conquer the area but was repelled by the local natives. His men then commenced a difficult journey along the Gulf Coast of what is now the United States to arrive, two years later, in present day Galveston.

NarvŠez built crude boats in an attempt to move his men to the next Spanish settlement, but off the shore of Galveston Island, NarvŠez was swept out to sea and lost, while the remaining Spaniards were quickly captured by native American Indians. Cabeza de Vaca and three others escaped, ultimately making their way on foot through what is now the southwest United States and Northern Mexico, eventually reaching a Spanish settlement.

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