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Download PDF by Andrés Reséndez: A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca

By Andrés Reséndez

In 1528, a project set out from Spain to colonize Florida. however the day trip went horribly fallacious: not on time via a storm, knocked off track by way of a great blunders of navigation, and finally doomed by way of a disastrous selection to split the boys from their ships, the challenge fast turned a determined trip of survival. Of the 400 males who had launched into the voyage, basically 4 survived - 3 Spaniards and an African slave. This tiny band persevered a bad march via Florida, a harrowing raft passage around the Louisiana coast, and years of enslavement within the American Southwest. They journeyed for nearly ten years looking for the Pacific Ocean that may advisor them domestic, they usually have been without end replaced by way of their adventure. the lads lived with numerous nomadic Indians and realized a number of indigenous languages. They observed lands, peoples, vegetation, and animals that no outsider had ever ahead of obvious. during this spell binding story of 4 castaways wandering in an unknown land, Andrés Reséndez brings to lifestyles the giant, dynamic international of North the US quite a few years prior to ecu settlers could rework it ceaselessly.

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Extra info for A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca

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Instead of initiating hostilities, the licenciado reasoned, Velázquez and Narváez would gain more by simply sending two or three ships with provisions for Cortés, along with some discreet agents who could find out more about his intentions and remind him of his duties and royal orders. 30 The proud conquerors of Cuba refused to recognize the authority of the audiencia of Santo Domingo and, undaunted, proceeded with their preparations. The licenciado made arrangements of his own to follow Narváez to Mexico, where he would continue his mediating role.

No resources were spared. With the two most powerful men on the island working side by side, an armada of eighteen ships, eighty horses, and more than 1,000 men and a few women was assembled by early 1520. The armada was roughly twice as large as that of Cortés. 28 Velázquez considered leading the expedition to Mexico himself. But he was already too old and, as some playfully observed, too fat for such an undertaking. Narváez would lead it. He must have relished the staggering stakes involved. In uncharted lands, Narváez and his men would face not one but two enemies: a renegade band of Europeans and the most powerful indigenous polity in the hemisphere, possibly making common cause with each other.

At last, in the fall, this second exploratory party returned to Cuba carrying precious objects obtained by barter with the Indians of Yucatán. In their possession was gold valued at between 16,000 and 20,000 pesos, considerably more than what the Spaniards had been able to extract from Cuba in an entire year. The stuff that made dreams of El Dorado seem all too real. But Diego Velázquez was now in a bind. Although faced with a colossal opportunity, he had exhausted his financial resources by launching two expeditions in two consecutive years.

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