Andrés Dorantes de Carranza

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Andrés Dorantes de Carranza (ca. 1500 - 1550), was one of the first Spanish explorers.


Dorantes de Carranza was born in Béjar, Salamanca (Spain), in ca. 1500. His father was Pablo Dorantes. Raised in a poor family, he traveled to the Americas to seek his fortune in gold and silver.[1] In 1527 Dorantes enlisted in the expedition of captain Panfilo de Narváez. When the expedition failed, he got a boat under the command, led by him and Alonso Castillo Maldonado. However, a storm sank the ship near the western end of Galveston Island, Texas, and few passengers managed to reach the coast alive. Dorantes and Castillo survived, along with Estevanico his slave and Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca.[1][2] In March 1536, after wandering throughout Texas (much of the time spent in captivity by various Native American tribes) the four survivors crossed the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sinaloa, reaching the city of Culiacán, where they made contact with other Spanish.

When the governor of New Galicia, Nuño de Guzmán, heard news that Spanish castaways had reached land under their jurisdiction, he provided them with horses and clothes and sent them to Mexico City to surrender accounts to viceroy of New Spain, Antonio de Mendoza.

Mendoza offered Dorantes the position to lead a new expedition but he refused and instead made plans to return to Spain. Dorantes sold his slave, Estevanico, to the Viceroy and was preparing to leave when the ship he was to voyage in was pronounced unfit to sail, forcing him to return to the port of Veracruz. After this, Dorantes never left New Spain again.

Dorantes married María de la Torre, the widow of Francisco de Valdés, who retained control on the Asala and Jalazintgo encomiendas. After María's death, he married Paula Dorantes Dorantes, widow of Antonio Gómez de Corona. He had more than fourteen children. He died in the 1550s.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Donald E. Chipman (August 6, 2003). "Handbook of Texas Online:Andrés Dorantes de Carranza". Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ Martínez Laínez, Fernando and Canales Torres, Carlos. Banderas lejanas: La exploración, conquista y defensa por parte de España del Territorio de los actuales Estados Unidos (Flags far: The exploration, conquest and defense by Spain of the Territory of the present United States). Page 31-33. Fourth edition: September 2009.