Tejano History


Tejanos |

       ESTEVANICO (?–1539). Estevanico, also known as Estevan, Esteban, Estebanico, Black Stephen, and Stephen the Moor, was a native of Azamor, on the Atlantic shore of Morocco. In Spain before 1527 he became the personal slave of Andrés Dorantes de Carranza. Though Estevanico is usually referred to as a Negro or African black, a Spaniard, Diego de Guzmán, who saw him in Sinaloa in 1536, described him as “brown.” Estevanico accompanied his master as a member of the Narváez expedition, which landed in mid-April 1528 near what is now called Tampa Bay. Narváez, after a futile attempt at marching along the Gulf Coast, elected to slaughter the horses and to build five makeshift barges. The boat containing Estevanico was placed under the joint command of Dorantes and Alonso Castillo Maldonado. After a month at sea, the craft was wrecked on or near western Galveston Island. On foot Estevanico, Dorantes, and Castillo reached Matagorda Bay, the only survivors to do so. Their continued safety among hostile coastal Indians hinged on the success of faith healing, first introduced to them by Castillo Maldonado. After six years of precarious existence, a fourth survivor, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, joined them. Subsequently, the castaways escaped to the interior of Texas.


Full article on the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas Online

   Courtesy of the Texas State Historical Association.