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The first transcontinental exploration of North America

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The first transcontinental exploration of North America

Postby dave54 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:19 pm

Before Lewis and Clark or McKenzie

Chronicle of the Narvaez Expedition by Alvar Nunez Cabeza De Vaca

The story of a group of 16th century Spanish explorers who were stranded in Florida. They quickly realized their only hope of survival was travelling across the unmapped continent to one of the few Spanish outposts in Mexico. They followed the gulf coast to what is now Texas, then across the unknown deserts of present day New Mexico, Arizona, and California until they reached their countrymen in northern Mexico.

The narrative's language is bit stilted, as it is an English translation from the 16th century Spanish. His observations on the customs and culture of the various native people he encountered is Eurocentric biased. A few amusing passages, like where he describes the first possum he saw (footnotes point out this is probably the first sighting and description of a possum by any European).
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