from The Relation of Álvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca (1540s)
The map above provides a brief overview of the route Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca took after leaving Spain in 1527. He was part of a Spanish expedition headed for Florida, but weather and other hardships (not the least of which was being abandoned by their leader), left Cabeza de Vaca stranded. For roughly eight years, Cabeza de Vaca traveled through what is now the southern United States and into Mexico. During much of this time, he was a captive of various Native American tribes, yet you may find that his description of his captivity is markedly different from those offered by John Smith or Mary Rowlandson. Cabeza de Vaca recounts these experiences in his The Relation of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca. The text can be approached in many ways: as a travel narrative, as an historical document, as a captivity narrative, as a testimony, and also as an appeal on behalf of Native Americans. He begins with a dedication to the Emperor Charles V, and it may be helpful to you to consider how this dedication works. In other words, think about how and why Cabeza de Vaca might begin his text in such a way, and how that might influence the ways that he constructs the narrative, as well as how he positions himself with respect to his audience.
- Consider how Cabeza de Vaca positions himself in the narrative. How does he present himself to his audience? Why or how might this positioning be significant?
- How does Cabeza de Vaca depict the “New World”? How does he depict the native inhabitants? What do you make of these depictions?
- How does Cabeza de Vaca depict the Spanish explorers? How does he describe the interaction between the Spanish and the Native Americans? What do you make of these depictions?
- Consider Cabeza de Vaca’s narrative alongside other captivity narratives. How does his presentation of his captivity compare to the way other captives, such as Mary Rowlandson, have described their experiences?
Sacred Caesarian Catholic Majesty:
Among the many who have held sway, I think no prince can be found whose service has been attended with the ardor and emulation shown for that of your Highness at this time. The inducement is evident and powerful : men do not pursue together the same career without motive, and strangers are observed to strive with those who are equally impelled by religion and loyalty. Although ambition and love of action are common to all, as to the advantages that each may gain, there are great inequalities of fortune, the result not of conduct, but only accident, nor caused by the fault of any one, but coming in the providence of God and solely by His will. Hence to one arises deeds more signal than he thought to achieve; to another the opposite in every way occurs, so that he can show no higher proof of purpose than his effort, and at times even this is so concealed that it cannot of itself appear. As for me, I can say in undertaking the march I made on the main by the royal authority, I firmly trusted that my conduct and services would be as evident and distinguished as were those of my ancestors, and that I should not have to speak in order to be reckoned among those who for diligence and fidelity in affairs your Majesty honors. Yet, as neither my counsel nor my constancy availed to gain aught for which we set out, agreeably to your interests, for our sins, no one of the many armaments that have gone into those parts has been permitted to find itself in straits great like ours, or come to an end alike forlorn and fatal. To me, one only duty remains, to present a relation of what was seen and heard in the ten years I wandered lost and in privation through many and remote lands.’ Not merely a statement of positions and distances, animals and vegetation, but of the diverse customs of the many and very barbarous people with whom I talked and dwelt, as well as all other matters I could hear of and discern, that in some way I may avail your Highness. My hope of going out from among those nations was always small, still my care and diligence were none the less to keep in particular re- membrance everything, that if at any time God our Lord should will to bring me where I now am, it might testify to my exertion in the royal behalf. As the narrative is in my opinion of no trivial value to those who in your name go to subdue those countries and bring them to a know- ledge of the true faith and true Lord, and under the imperial dominion, I have written this with much exactness; and although in it may be read things very novel and for some persons difficult to believe, nevertheless they may without hesitation credit me as strictly faithful. Better than to exaggerate, I have lessened in all things, and it is sufficient to say the relation is offered to your Majesty for truth. I beg it may be received in the name of homage, since it is the most that one could bring who returned thence naked.
Pages 59- 72 of The Journey of Alvar Nunez Cabeza deVaca and his Companions from Florida to the Pacific
At sunset the Indians, thinking we had not left, came to bring us food, but when they saw us in such a different attire from before and so strange-looking, they were so frightened as to turn back. I went to call them, and in great fear they came. I then gave them to understand by signs how we had lost a barge and three of our men had been drowned, while before them there lay two of our men dead, with the others about to go the same way.
Upon seeing the disaster we had suffered, our misery and distress, the Indians sat down with us and all began to weep out of compassion for our misfortune, and for more than half an hour they wept so loud and so sincerely that it could be heard far away.
Verily, to see beings so devoid of reason, untutored, so like unto brutes, yet so deeply moved by pity for us, it increased my feel- ings and those of others in my company for our own misfortune. When the lament was over, I spoke to the Christians and asked them if they would like me to beg the Indians to take us to their homes. Some of the men, who had been to New Spain, answered that it would be unwise, as, once at their abode, they might sacrifice us to their idols.
Still, seeing there was no remedy and that in any other way death was surer and nearer, I did not mind what they said, hut begged the Indians to take us to their dwellings, at which they showed great pleasure, telling us to tarry yet a little, but that they would do what we wished. Soon thirty of them loaded themselves with fire- wood and went to their lodges, which were far away, while we stayed with the others until it was almost dark. Then they took hold of us and carried us along hurriedly to where they lived.
Against the cold, and lest on the way some one of us might faint or die, they had provided four or five big fires on the road, at each one of which they warmed us. As soon as they saw we had regained a little warmth and strength they would carry us to the next fire with such haste that our feet barely touched the ground.
So we got to their dwellings, where we saw they had built a hut for us with many fires in it. About one hour after our arrival they began to dance and to make a great celebration (which lasted the whole night), although there was neither pleasure, feast nor sleep in it for us, since we expected to be sacrificed. In the morning they again gave us fish and roots, and treated us so well that we became reassured, losing somewhat our apprehension of being butchered.
THAT same day I saw on one of the Indians a trinket he had not gotten from us, and asking from where they had obtained it they answered, by signs, that other men like ourselves and who were still in our rear, had given it to them. Hearing this, I sent two Christians with two Indians to guide them to those people. Very near by they met them, and they also were looking for us, as the Indians had told them of our presence in the neighborhood. These were the Captains Andres Dorantes and Alonso del Castillo, with all of their crew. When they came near us they were much frightened at our appearance and grieved at being unable to give us anything, since they had nothing but their clothes. And they stayed with us there, telling how, on the fifth of that same month, their barge stranded a league and a half from there, and they escaped without anything being lost.
All together, we agreed upon repairing their barge, and that those who had strength and inclination should proceed in it, while the others should remain until completely restored and then go as best they could along the coast, following it till God would be pleased to get us all together to a land of Christians.
So we set to work, but ere the barge was afloat Tavera, a gentleman in our com- pany, died, while the barge proved not to be seaworthy and soon sank. Now, being in the condition which I have stated—that is, most of us naked and the weather so un- favorable for walking and for swimming across rivers and coves, and we had neither food nor any way to carry it, we determined upon submitting to necessity and upon win- tering there, and we also agreed that four men, who were the most able-bodied, should go to Panuco.whichwe believed to be nearby, and that, if it was God, Our Lord’s will to take them there, they should tell of our remaining on the island and of our distress. One of them was a Portuguese, called Alvaro Fernandez, a carpenter and sailor; the second was Mendez; the third, Figueroa, a native of Toledo; the fourth, Astudillo, from Zafra. They were all good swimmers and took with them an Indian from the island.
A FEW days after these four Christians had left, the weather became so cold and tempestuous that the Indians could no longer pull roots, and the canebrake in which they used to fish yielded nothing more. As the lodges afforded so little shelter, people began to die, and five Christians, quartered on the coast, were driven to such an extremity that they ate each other up until but one remained, who being left alone, there was nobody to eat him. Their names are: Sierra, Diego, Lopez, Corral, Palacios and Gonzalo Ruiz. At this the Indians were so startled, and there was such an uproar among them, that I verily believe if they had seen this at the beginning they would have killed them, and we all would have been in great danger. After a very short time, out of eighty men who had come there in our two parties only fifteen remained alive.
Then the natives fell sick from the stom- ach, so that one-half of them died also, and they, believing we had killed them, and hold- ing it to be certain, they agreed among them- selves to kill those of us who survived.
But when they came to execute it an Indian who kept me told them not to “believe we were the cause of their dying, for if we had so much power we would not have suffered so many of our own people to perish without being able to remedy it ourselves. He also told them there remained but very few of us, and none of them did any harm or injury, so that the best was to let us alone. It pleased Our Lord they should listen to his advice and counsel and give up their idea,
To this island we gave the name of the Island of ILL Fate. The people on it are tall and well formed; they have no other weapons than bows and arrows with which they are most dextrous. The men have one of their nipples perforated from side to side and sometimes both; through this hole is thrust a reed as long as two and a half hands and as thick as two fingers; they also have the under lip perforated and a piece of cane in it as thin as the half of a finger. The women do the hard work. People stay on this island from October till the end of February, feeding on the roots I have men- tioned, taken from under the water in No- vember and December. They have channels made of reeds and get fish only during that time; afterwards they subsist on roots. At the end of February they remove to other parts in search of food, because the roots begin to sprout and are not good any more.
Of all the people in the world, they are those who most love their children and treat them best, and should the child of one of them happen to die, parents and relatives bewail it, and the whole settlement, the la- ment lasting a full year, day after day. Before sunrise the parents begin to weep, after them the tribe, and the same they do at noon and at dawn. At the end of the year of mourning they celebrate the anniversary and wash and cleanse themselves of all their paint. They mourn all their dead in this manner, old people excepted, to whom they do not pay any attention, saying that these have had their time and are no longer of any use, but only take space, and food from the children.
Their custom is to bury the dead, except those who are medicine men among them, whom they burn, and while the fire is burning, all dance and make a big fes- tival, grinding the bones to powder. At the end of the year, when they celebrate the anniversary, they scarify themselves and give to the relatives the pulverized bones to drink in water. Every man has a recognized wife, but the medicine men enjoy greater privileges, since they may have two or three, and among these wives there is great friend- ship and harmony.
When one takes a woman for his wife, from the day he marries her, whatever he may hunt or fish, she has to fetch it to the home of her father, without daring to touch or eat of it, and from the home of the father- in-law they bring the food to the husband. All the while neither the wife’s father nor her mother enter his abode, nor is he allowed to go to theirs, or to the homes of his brothers- in-law, and should they happen to meet they go out of each other’s way a crossbow’s shot or so, with bowed heads and eyes cast to the ground, holding it to be an evil thing to look at each other or speak. The women are free to communicate with their parents- in-law or relatives and speak to them. This custom prevails from that island as far as about fifty leagues inland.
There is another custom, that when a son or brother dies no food is gathered by those of his household for three months, prefer- ring rather to starve, but the relatives and neighbors provide them with victuals. Now, as during the time we were there so many of them died, there was great starvation in most of the lodges, due to their customs and ceremonials, as well as to the weather, which was so rough that such as could go out after food brought in but very little, withal working hard for it. Therefore the Indians by whom I was kept forsook the island and in several canoes went over to the mainland to some bays where there were a great many oysters and during three months of the year they do not eat anything else and drink very bad water. There is lack of firewood, but great abundance of mosquitoes. Their lodges are made of matting and built on oyster shells, upon which they sleep in hides, which they only get by chance. There we remained to the end of April, when we went to the seashore, where we ate blackberries for a whole month, during which time they danced and celebrated incessantly.
ON the island I have spoken of they wanted to make medicine men of us without any examination or asking for our diplomas, because they cure diseases by breathing on the sick, and with that breath and their hands they drive the ailment away. So they summoned us to do the same in order to be at least of some use. We laughed, taking it for a jest, and said that we did not understand how to cure.
Thereupon they withheld our food to compel us to do what they wanted. Seeing our obstinacy, an Indian told me that I did not know what I said by claiming that what he knew was useless, because stones and things growing out in the field have their virtues, and he, with a heated stone, placing it on the stomach, could cure and take away pain, so that we, who were wiser men, sure- ly had greater power and virtue.
At last we found ourselves in such stress as to have to do it, without risk- ing any punishment. Their manner of curing is as follows: When one is ill they call in a medicine man, and after they are well again not only do they give him all they have, but even things they strive to obtain from their relatives. All the medicine man does is to make a few cuts where the pain is located and then suck the skin around the incisions. They cauterize with fire, thinking it very effective, and I found it to be so by my own experience. Then they breathe on the spot where the pain is and believe that with this the disease goes away.
The way we treated the sick was to make over them the sign of the cross while breathing on them, recite a Pater noster and Ave Maria, and pray to God, Our Lord, as best we could to give them good health and inspire them to do us some favors. Thanks to His will and the mercy He had upon us, all those for whom we prayed, as’ soon as we crossed them, told the others that they were cured and felt well again. For this they gave us good cheer, and would rather be without food themselves so as to give it to us, and they gave us hides and other small things. So great was the lack of food then that I often remained without eating anything whatsoever for three days, and they were in the same plight, so that it seemed to me impossible for life to last, although I afterwards suffered still greater privations and much more distress, as I shall tell further on.
The Indians that kept Alonsq del Castillo, Andres Dorantes and the others, who were still alive, being of another language and stock, had gone to feed on oysters at another point of the mainland, where they remained until the first day of the month of April. Then they came back to the island, which was from there nearly two leagues off, where the channel is broadest. The island is half a league wide and five long.
All the people of this country go naked; only the women cover part of their bodies with a kind of wool that grows on trees. The girls go about in deer skins. They are very liberal towards each other with what they have. There is no ruler among them. All who are of the same descendancy cluster together. There are two distinct languages spoken on the island; those of one language are called Capoques, those of the other Han. They have the custom, when they know each other and meet from time to time, before they speak, to weep for half an hour. After they have wept the one who receives the visit rises and gives to the other all he has. The other takes it, and in a little while goes away with everything. Even sometimes, after having given and obtained all, they part without having uttered a word. There are other very queer customs, but having told the principal ones and the most striking, I must now proceed to relate what further happened to us.
During six of the eighteen months we were with them we suffered much from hunger, because they do not have fish either. At the end of that time the tunas began to ripen, and without their noticing it we left and went to other Indians further ahead, called Maliacones, at a distance of one day’s travel. Three days after I and the negro reached there I sent him back to get Castillo and Dorantes, and after they rejoined me we all departed in company of the Indians, who went to eat a small fruit of some trees. On this fruit they subsist for ten or twelve days until the tunas are fully ripe. There they joined other Indians called Arbadaos, whom we found to be so sick, emaciated and swollen that we were greatly astonished. The Indians with whom we had come went back on the same trail, and we told them that we wished to remain with the others, at which they showed grief. So we remained with the others in the field near their dwellings.
When the Indians saw us they clustered together, after having talked among them selves, and each one of them took the one of us whom he claimed by the hand and they led us to their homes. While with those we suffered more from hunger than among any of the others. In the course of a whole day we did not eat more than two handfuls of the fruit, which was green and contained so much milky juice that our mouths were burnt by it. As water was very scarce, who ever ate of them became very thirsty. And we finally grew so hungry that we purchased two dogs, in exchange for nets and other things, and a hide with which I used to cover myself. I have said already that through all that country we went naked, and not being accustomed to it, like snakes we shed our skin twice a year. Exposure to the sun and air covered our chests and backs with big sores that made it very painful to carry the big and heavy loads, the ropes of which cut into the flesh of our arms.
The country is so rough and overgrown that often after we had gathered firewood in the timber and dragged it out, we would bleed freely from the thorns and spines which cut and slashed us wherever they touched. Sometimes it happened that I was unable to carry or drag out the firewood after I had gathered it with much loss of blood. In all that trouble my only relief or consolation was to remember the passion of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, and the blood He shed for me, and to ponder how much greater His sufferings had been from the thorns, than those I was then enduring. I made a contract with the Indians to make combs, arrows, bows and nets for them.
Also we made matting of which their lodges are constructed and of which they are in very great need, for, although they know how to make it, they do not like to do any work, in order to be able to go in quest of food. Whenever they work they suffer greatly from hunger.
Again, they would make me scrape skins and tan them, and the greatest luxury I enjoyed was on the day they would give me a skin to scrape, because I scraped it very deep in order to eat the parings, which would last me two or three days. It also happened to us, while being with these Indians and those before mentioned, that we would eat a piece of meat which they gave us, raw, be cause if we broiled it the first Indian coming along would snatch and eat it; it seemed useless to take any pains, in view of what we might expect; neither were we particular to go to any trouble in order to have it broiled and might just as well eat it raw. Such was the life we led there, and even that scanty maintenance we had to earn through the objects made by our own hands for barter.
AFTER we had eaten the dogs it seemed to us that we had enough strength to go further on, so we commended ourselves to the guidance of God, Our Lord, took leave of these Indians, and they put us on the track of others of their language who were nearby. While on our way it began to rain and rained the whole day. We lost the trail and found ourselves in a big forest, where we gathered plenty of leaves of tunas which we roasted that same night in an oven made by ourselves, and so much heat did we give them that in the morning they were fit to be eaten. After eating them we recommended ourselves to God again, and left, and struck the trail we had lost.
Issuing from the timber, we met other Indian dwellings, where we saw two women and some boys, who were so frightened at the sight of us that they fled to the forest to call the men that were in the woods. When these came they hid behind trees to peep at us. We called them and they approached in great fear. After we addressed them they told us they were very hungry and that nearby were many of their own lodges, and they would take us to them. So that night we reached a site where there were fifty dwellings, and the people were stupefied at seeing us and showed much fear. After they had recovered from their astonishment they approached and put their hands to our faces and bodies and afterwards to their faces and bodies also. We stayed there that night, and in the morning they brought their sick people, begging us to cross them, and gave us of what they had to eat, which were leaves of tunas and green tunas baked.
For the sake of this good treatment, giving us all they had, content with being with out anything for our sake, we remained with, them several days, and during that time others came from further on. When those were about to leave we told the first ones that we intended to accompany them. This made them very sad, and they begged us on their knees not to go. But we went and left them in tears at our departure, as it pained them greatly.
FROM the Island of Ill-Fate on, all the Indians whom we met as far as to here have the custom of not cohabiting with their wives when these are preg nant, and until the child is two years old. Children are nursed to the age of twelve years, when they are old enough to gather their own food. We asked them why they brought their children up in that way and they replied, it was owing to the great scar city of food all over that country, since it was common (as we saw) to be without it two or three days, and even four, and for that reason they nursed the little ones so long to preserve them from perishing through hunger. And even if they should survive, they would be very delicate and weak. When one falls sick he is left to die in the field unless he be somebody’s child; Other invalids, if unable to travel, are abandoned; but a son or brother is taken along.
There is also a custom for husbands to leave their wives if they do not agree, and to remarry whom they please; this applies to the young men, but after they have had children they stay with their women and do not leave them.
When, in any village, they quarrel among themselves, they strike and beat each other until worn out, and only then do they separate. Sometimes their women step in and separate them, but men never interfere in these brawls. Nor do they ever use bow and arrow, and after they have fought and settled the question, they take their lodges and women and go out into the field to live apart from the others till their anger is over, and when they are no longer angry and their resentment has passed away they return to the village and are as friendly again as if nothing had happened. There is no need of mediation. When the quarrel is between unmarried people they go to some of the neighbors, who, even if they be enemies, will receive them well, with great festivities and gifts of what they have, so that, when pacified, they return to their village wealthy.
Having seen positive traces of Christians and become satisfied they were very near, we gave many thanks to our Lord for redeeming us from our sad and gloomy condition. Any one can imagine our delight when he reflects how long we had been in that land, and how many dangers and hard sships we had suffered. That night I en treated one of my companions to go after the Christians, who were moving through the part of the country pacified and quieted by us, and who were three days ahead of where we were. They did not like my suggestion, and excused themselves from going, on the ground of being tired and worn out, although any of them might have done it far better than I, being younger and stronger.
Seeing their reluctance, in the morning I took with me the negro and eleven Indians and, following the trail, went in search of the Christians. On that day we made ten leagues, passing three places were they had slept. The next morning I came upon four Christians on horseback, who, seeing me in such a strange attire, and in company with Indians, were greatly startled. They stared at me for quite awhile, speechless; so great was their surprise that they could not find words to ask me anything. I spoke first, and told them to lead me to their captain, and we went to sgether to Diego de Alcaraz, their commander.”
After I had addressed him he said that he was himself in a plight, as for many days he had been unable to capture Indians, and did ‘not know where to go, also that starvation was beginning to place them in great distress. I stated to him that, in the rear of me, at a distance of ten leagues, were Dorantes and Castillo, with many people who had guided us through the country. He at once dispatched three horsemen, with fifty of his Indians, and the negro went with them as guide, while I remained and asked them to give me a certified statement of the date—year, month and day—when I had met them, also the condition in which I had come, with which request they complied.
From this river to the village called San Miguel, which pertains to the government called New Galicia, there are thirty leagues.
Five days later Andres Dorantes and Alonso del Castillo came with those who had gone in quest of them. They brought along more than six hundred Indians, from the village, the people of which the Christians had caused to flee to the woods, and who were in hiding about the country. Those who had come with us as far as that place had taken them out of their places of concealment, turning them over to the Christians. They had also dispatched the others who had come that far.
When they arrived at where I was Alcaraz begged me to send for the people of the villages along the banks of the river, who were hiding in the timber, and he also requested me to order them to fetch supplies. There was no occasion for the latter, as the Indians always took good care to bring us whatever they could; nevertheless, we sent our messengers at once to call them, and six hundred persons came with all the maize they had, in pots closed with clay, which they had buried for concealment. They also brought nearly everything else they possessed, but we only took of the food, giving the rest to the Christians for distribution among themselves.
Thereupon we had many and bitter quarrels with the Christians, for they wanted to make slaves of our Indians, and we grew so angry at it that at our departure we forgot to take along many bows, pouches and arrows, also the five emeralds, and so they were left and lost to us. We gave the Christians a great many cow-skin robes, and other objects, and had much, trouble in persuading the Indians to return home and plant their crops in peace. They insisted upon accompanying us until, according to their custom, we should be in the custody of other Indians, because otherwise they were afraid to die; besides, as long as we were with them, they had no fear of the Christians and of their lances. At all this the Christians were greatly vexed, and told their own interpreter to say to the Indians how we were of their own race, but had gone astray for a long while, and were people of no luck and little heart, whereas they were the lords of the land-, whom they should obey and serve.
The Indians gave all that talk of theirs little attention. They parleyed among themselves, saying that the Christians lied, for we had come from sunrise, while the others came from where the sun sets; that we cured the sick, while the others killed those who were healthy; that we went naked and shoeless, whereas the others wore clothes and went on horseback and with lances. Also, that we asked for nothing, but gave away all we were presented with, meanwhile the others seemed to have no other aim than to steal what they could, and never gave anything to anybody. In short, they recalled all our deeds, and praised them highly, contrasting them with the conduct of the others.
This they told the interpreter of the Christians, and made understood to the others by means of a language they have among them, and by which we understood each other. We call those who use that language properly Primahaitu, which means the same as saying Bizcayans. For more than four hundred leagues, of those we travelled, we found this language in use, and the only one among them over that extent of country. Finally, we never could convince the Indians that we belonged to the other Christians, and only with much trouble and insistency could we prevail upon them to go home.
We recommended to them to rest easy and settle again in their villages, tilling and planting their fields as usual, which, from lying waste, were overgrown with shrubbery, while it is beyond all doubt the best land in these Indies, the most fertile and productive of food, where they raise three crops every year. It has an abundance of fruit, very handsome rivers, and other waters of good virtues. There are many evidences and traces of gold and silver; the inhabitants are well conditioned, and willingly attend to the Christians, that is, those of the natives that are friendly. They are much better inclined than the natives of Mexico; in short, it is a country that lacks nothing to make it very good. When the Indians took leave of us they said they would do as we had told them, and settle in their villages, provided the Christians would not interfere, and so I say and affirm that, if they should not do it, it will be the fault of the Christians.
After we had dispatched the Indians in peace, and with thanks for what they had gone through with and for us, the Christians (out of mistrust) sent us to a certain Alcalde Cebreros, who had with him two other men.” He took us through forests and uninhabited country in order to prevent our communicating with the Indians, in reality, salso, to prevent us from seeing or hearing what the Christians were carrying on.
This clearly shows how the designs of men sometimes miscarry. We went on with the idea of insuring the liberty of the Indians, and, when we believed it to be assured, the opposite took place. The Spaniards had planned to fall upon those Indians we had sent back in fancied security and in peace, and that plan they carried out.
They took us through the timber for two days, with no trail, bewildered and without water, so we all expected to die from thirst. Seven of our men perished, and many friends whom the Christians had taken along could not reach before noon the following day the place, where we found water that same night. We travelled with them twenty-five leagues, more or less, and at last came to a settlement of peaceable Indians. There the Alcalde left us and went ahead, three leagues further, to a place called Culiacan, where Melchor Diaz was chief Alcalde and the captain of the province.
The Journey of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza De Vaca And His Companions From Florida to the Pacific by Cabeza De Vaca is produced by HathiTrust and released under a public domain license