Cabeza de Vaca
In November 1528, a shipwreck brought Spanish conquistador Cabeza de Vaca ashore at present day Galveston Island. Cabeza de Vaca spent the next eight years living among the Native Americans, becoming the first European to explore what is now Texas and the Southwest. He endured slavery, served as a trader, and eventually became recognized as a great healer and spiritual leader. By the end of his long journey, Cabeza de Vaca became transformed. The once-arrogant conquistador became a passionate defender of Indian human rights.