NARVAEZ, PANFILO DE
NARVÁEZ, PÁNFILO DE (?–1528). Pánfilo de Narváez, conquistador, was born in either Valladolid or Tudela on the Duero River in Spain. He was married to María de Valenzuela and had several plantations in Cuba, where he was lieutenant governor. He was sent by the governor of Cuba to arrest Hernán Cortés but was defeated in a battle with Cortés in which he lost an eye. He was a favorite of the king of Spain but is described by a twentieth-century historian as a man of little ability, judgment, or foresight. In 1527 he was given the authority to conquer and govern Spanish provinces from the Río de las Palmas (the Rio Grande) to the Cape of Florida. The attempt was a series of disasters that cost the lives of about 400 men. Narváez reached the Texas coast at San Luis Island, but his ship was caught in a storm that drove them as far as Cavallo Pass, where he and others drowned in 1528. His expedition is best known for the survival of Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, whose later report sparked Spanish interest in Texas.
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, John G. Johnson, "Narvaez, Panfilo De," accessed September 30, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fna22.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.