The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900 Page: 110
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110 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
With a royal commission to conquer and govern the provinces on
the main from Rio de las Palmas to the cape of Florida, PAnfilo de
Narvaez sailed from San Lficar de Barrameda on the 17th of April,
1527. He was detained in Cuban waters, and did not finally reach
Florida till April 12, 1528. Soon after landing and wandering in-
land, he returned to the coast, and failed to find his ships; then he
built five small boats and embarked with those of his men still living
to go the best way they could to Rio de las Palmas. After many
incidents, and after the party was forced out to sea by the current of
a great river, the boats were separated, and finally two of them were
stranded upon an island, their crews then numbering eighty men,
among them being Alvar Nufiez Cabeza de Vaca; and this island is
the one they called "isla de Mal-Hado," isle of Evil-Fate,2 from
which the route in question began.
The first natural fact leading to the identification of this island
is the current in the Mexican Gulf, known as the littoral current,
drifting floating objects towards the Texas coast, striking with its
greatest force about the northern end of St. Joseph's Island and
turning southward down its coast and that of Mustang and Padre
islands. And a careful study of this littoral current will show that
it was most natural for the boats, once thrown upon it, to be drifted
by it to St. Joseph's Island, which is most probably the one they
struck on November 6, 1528.3
The Indians on that part of the coast were, in later years, called
Carancahuaces; and their stature was such as to make them seem to
be giants, even without the fear Cabeza says they inspired in the
Cabeza says: "The Indians having Alonso de Castillo and Andres
Dorantes, and the others remaining alive, being of another tongue
and other kindred, crossed over to another part of the main to eat
oysters, and remained there until the first of April, and then
returned to the island, which was, at the widest of the water, two
1Naufragios de Alvar Nufiez Cabeza de Vaca, Cap. I, II.
' During the winter they struck the island a plague killed off all but fif-
teen of them. It was very much like the disease now called cholera, and
in 1545 it caused great mortality in Mexico among the natives, who called
3Naufragios, Cap. X.
' Ibid., Cap. XI.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900, periodical, 1900; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101015/m1/118/: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.