Sunday, November 6, 2011

Welcome To Texas...!


I'm sure that none in their party expected things to be easy when they landed.

Let's face it...these ol' boys had a rough go from the start. First the bad time they faced in Florida, then a shipwreck on Galveston Island! Nothing like Texas coast in the summer, and make no mistake, folks, November in Texas is almost like Summer!

Nov 6, 1528:
Cabeza de Vaca discovers Texas

On this day, the Spanish conquistador Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca is shipwrecked on a low sandy island off the coast of Texas. Starving, dehydrated, and desperate, he is the first European to set foot on the soil of the future Lone Star state.

Cabeza de Vaca's unintentional journey to Texas was a disaster from the start. A series of dire accidents and Indian attacks plagued his expedition's 300 men as they explored north Florida. The survivors then cobbled together five flimsy boats and headed to sea, where they endured vicious storms, severe shortages of food and water, and attacks from Indians wherever they put to shore. With his exploration party reduced to only 80 or 90 men, Cabeza de Vaca's motley flotilla finally wrecked on what was probably Galveston Island just off the coast of Texas.

Unfortunately, landing on shore did not end Cabeza de Vaca's trials. During the next four years, the party barely managed to eke out a tenuous existence by trading with the Indians located in modern-day east Texas. The crew steadily died off from illness, accidents, and attacks until only Cabeza de Vaca and three others remained. In 1532, the four survivors set out on an arduous journey across the present-day states of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Captured by the Karankawa Indians, they lived in virtual slavery for nearly two years. Only after Cabeza de Vaca had won the respect of the Karankawa by becoming a skilled medicine man and diplomat did the small band win their freedom.

In 1536, the men encountered a party of Spanish slave hunters in what is now the Mexican state of Sinaloa. They followed them back to Mexico City, where the tale of their amazing odyssey became famous throughout the colony and in Europe. Despite the many hardships experienced by Cabeza de Vaca and his men during their northern travels, their stories inspired others to intensify exploration of the region that would one day become Texas.

My guess is that Cabeza and the remnants of his crew were certainly glad to get back home, if they ever did. Probably didn't want to make a return trip to the states, either!

Back to Summer temperatures here in Houston, so let's have our coffee on the patio!

10 comments:

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

Drove to Humble, Texas about 35 years ago to see a friend. I could not wait to get back home - the heat and humidity was unbeleivable. No wonder you Texans are so strong!
No coffee on the patio today - it's 23 cold degrees outside. Brrrrr!

Sixbears said...

How about coffee next to the woodstove? It's 14 degrees here in NH this morning. No heatstroke danger for me today.

Ben in Texas said...

Can have your coffee here outside, Before the rain moves in later.

Ship wrecks always fascinated me , like most kids I guess.

There is a good book written about ole de Vaca and his exploits have been woven into many stories over the years.

Dizzy-Dick said...

The Spannish did a lot of exploration in the west, especially in Arizona and Calafornia where they tried to find gold.

JoJo said...

Great story this morning my friend.
Its just a little chilly here this morning. Nothing like those folks on the east coast.

Momlady said...

What is the translation of Cabeza de Vaca? Head of cow? If that's what it is no wonder his luck was bad. I'd be happy to join you for coffee.

TROUBLEnTX said...

Good one today,,Need to read up more on my Tx history.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
For folks not used to it, Texas weather can certainly kick your butt!

This year was the worst I can ever remember!

Thanks for coming by today (where it is back up to the 80s later)


Hey Sixbears...
Next to the wood stove is right where I want to be, if it's that cold outside!

You guys are way too tough for me, putting up with cold like that!

Keep those feet warm, my friend! Thanks for the visit.


Hey Ben...
I do hope we get a little rain today, but I'm not holding my breath.

We keep bouncing from Fall to Winter to Summer! Crazy!

Thanks, buddy, for the visit this morning!


Hey DD...
Seems to still be a lot of that going on today!

Wonder what gold sold for back then?

Hey, thanks for the visit this morning, my friend!


Hey JoJo...
You remember what that weather was like, don't ya?

Cool I can handle, but I don't do cold well at all!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by today!


Hey Momlady...
I'll bet he was glad when his adventure ended!

Home probably never looked so good!

Thanks for coming over for a cup and I'm always glad to have you visit!


Hey Trouble...
History is always interesting! Wonder why I didn't like it in school? Guess they didn't teach the interesting stuff back then!

Thanks, my friend, for coming by today!

JoJo said...

To Mom Lady,
Yes that's what it meant. Maybe his parents didn't want him or something. LOL

Craig Cavanaugh said...

I can only imagine the misery they endured. Good thing it wasn't August!

It was nice and warm today, though overcast and dreary. I hope some of that moisture that was streaming overhead all day gets dropped here when the front comes through!