Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca's Adventure with Panphilo de Narvaez was written in 1537. Thanks to PBS, a translation of it is available on the Internet. Used for this report, it is Annotated in five parts here. The study of Cabeza de Vaca is inseparable from Hernando de Soto. Both were Spanish conquistadors who are known to have entered and exited Florida near the same locations, within a dozen years of each other. DeSoto's Chroniclers, who wrote their perceptions of Cabeza de Vaca's trail, were relied upon here for additional intelligence.
I, Donald E. Sheppard, have studied places on America's pioneer maps for 45 years, searched for and found those sites, surveyed them, surfaced collected them, excavated a few, and turned over everything I have ever found to the proper public custodian. I owe Florida my education: two Master's Degrees, one in Science from the University of West Florida, the other in Computer Arts from the University of Florida, a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of South Florida, an Associate in Arts from St. Petersburg College, and a high school diploma from Clearwater High School. I am an airplane pilot and a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Navy, but still a Boy Scout at heart. For forty-five years I have sailed Florida's coasts and flown its skies. My family has lived in Central Florida for five generations.
I have visited every site mentioned in this report to verify my source data. My interest is purely avocational, however. I have helped scientists find things over the years - quarters, transportation, sponsorship, volunteer diggers, favorable publicity and significant sites (including the Tatham Mound - pictured above) using historic documentation and dogged persistence. In the process, I have learned how difficult it was for Cabeza de Vaca to trudge North America. eMail Me
Cabeza de Vaca's Trail