Narváez, Pánfilo de [key], c.1470–1528, Spanish conquistador. After service in Jamaica, he aided Diego de Velázquez in conquering Cuba and was sent (1520) to Mexico by Velázquez to force Cortés into submission. Narváez's force was defeated, and he was captured and imprisoned. Released in 1521, he returned to Spain. Charles V commissioned him to conquer and settle Florida, which he reached (probably near Tampa Bay) in Apr., 1528. Narváez sent his ships on toward Mexico and then led 300 men inland to Apalachee (near the present-day Tallahassee) in a futile search for gold. Disappointed and much harassed by Native Americans, the Spanish turned back to the coast. There they built several crude vessels in which they set out for Mexico, but all except Cabeza de Vaca and three companions were lost off the coast of Texas or after landing among hostile Native Americans.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Latin American History: Biographies