The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919

THE
SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL
QUARTERLY
VOL. XXI OCTOBER, 1918 No. 2
The publication committee and the editors disclaim responsibility for views expressed by
contributors to TaE QUARTERLY
THE FIRST EUROPEANS IN TEXAS, 1528-1536
I
HARBERT DAVENPORT AND JOSEPH K. WELLS
1. Introductory Statement
The story of the adventures of Alvar Nufiez C'abeza de Vaca
and his companions, survivors from the expedition of Pamphilo de
Narvez, which was shipwrecked on the coast of Texas in Novem-
ber, 1528, is a prologue to the History of Texas, rather than its
first chapter. A hundred and fifty years elapsed before the Span-
iards occupied Texas, and the men who eventually took Texas for
Spain probably never heard of Cabeza de Vaca. Yet this story is
not without practical importance. It affords us our only glimpse
of prehistoric Texas and its aboriginal inhabitants. For more
than six years these men lived the lives and spoke the language of
the Texas Indians, and thus knew them more intimately than did
later explorers. They were the first Europeans to set foot on the
soil of Texas, and the first to cross the North American continent.
Their story rivals "Robinson Crusoe" and the "Odyssey" for ro-
mantic interest, a fact, indeed, which has rather obscured the prac-
tical importance of their adventures.
Two contemporary accounts of their journey from Texas to
Sinaloa are available. One of these is a relation written by Cabeza
de Vaca alone, and published by him at Zamora. in 1542. It is
usually called his "Naufragios." This is well known to the gen-

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117156/. Accessed March 6, 2015.