But neither the fondness of the Spanish
for extending his domains, nor the desire of the nobility for new governments, nor the passion of adventurers to go in search of wealth, would suffer the abandonment of Florida
; and in 1526, Pamphilo de Narvaez
, a man of no great virtue or reputation, obtained from Charles V. the contract to explore and reduce all the territory from the Atlantic
to the River of Palms
This is he who had been sent by the jealous Governor of Cuba
to take Cortes
prisoner, and had himself been easily defeated, losing an eye, and deserted by his own troops.
‘Esteem it great good fortune, that you have taken me captive,’ said he to the man whom he had declared an outlaw; and Cortes
replied, ‘It is the least of the things I have done in Mexico
, who was both rich and covetous, haz-
arded all his treasure on the conquest of his province; and sons of Spanish nobles and men of good condition flocked to his standard.
In June, 1527, his expedi-
tion, in which Cabeza de Vaca
held the second place as treasurer, left the Guadalquiver, touched at the island of San Domingo
, and during the following winter, amidst storms and losses, passed from port to port on the southern side of Cuba
, where the experienced Miruelo
was engaged as his pilot.
In the spring of
1528, he doubled Cape San Antonio, and was stand-
ing in for Havana
, when a strong South wind drove his fleet upon the American
coast, and on the fourteenth of April, the day before Good Friday, he listed anchored in or near the outlet of Tampa Bay
On the day before Easter
landed, and in the name of Spain
took possession of the floating peninsula of Florida
The natives kept aloof, or if they drew near, marked by signs their impatience for his departure.
But they had shown him samples