Andrés Dorantes de Carranza

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Andrés Dorantes de Carranza
Born ca. 1500
Béjar del Castañar, Salamanca (or in Gibraleon), Spain
Died 1550
New Spain?
Nationality Castillan
Occupation Explorer

Andrés Dorantes de Carranza (ca. 1500 - 1550), was one of the first Spanish explorers. He was one of the four last survivors of the Narváez expedition, along with Cabeza de Vaca, the slave Estevanico and Castillo Maldonado. They were the first non-native people to travel in southwestern North America.[citation needed]


Dorantes de Carranza was born in Béjar del Castañar,[1] Salamanca (or in Gibraleon, according the source, Spain[2]), in ca. 1500. His father was Pablo Dorantes. He was raised in a family of poor[3] hidalgos, of ancient lineage and possessed of mayorazgos of quality.[1] He traveled to the Americas to seek his fortune in gold and silver.[3]

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.

So, Dorantes and his slave, Estevanico, traveled to Florida in 1527. After surviving a hurricane near Cuba, the expedition landed, in April, 1528, on the west coast of Florida, in a zone next to present day Tampa Bay, and they claimed the land for Spain. However, several hurricanes and fights with the local Amerindians caused the death of many of the crew. So, the captain of the ship had to sail to Mexico without many of his men. However three of the vessels sank, but the two surviving ones had about 80 men and landed at Galveston Island, Texas. In Galveston, the crew suffer a very cold winter and they had very little food, causing so the death of most of the crew: Only 15 men survived. In the spring, the men traveled along the Colorado River, walking by the deserts of modern Mexico, New Mexico, and Texas.[2] By this time there, only Dorantes and Castillo survived, along with Estevanico his slave and Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca.[3][4]

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 people.

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,[3] forcing him to return to the port of Veracruz. After this, Dorantes never left New Spain again.[3] [5]

Personal life[edit]

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.[3] One of his children was Baltazar Dorantes de Carranza, born in Mexico to mid-sixteenth century, who served as treasurer of Veracruz[1] and procurador of Mexico in Castile.[6]


  1. ^ a b c PRÓLOGO. - cdigital
  2. ^ a b Legends of America: Spanish Explorers
  3. ^ a b c d e f Donald E. Chipman (August 6, 2003). "Handbook of Texas Online:Andrés Dorantes de Carranza". Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Andrés Dorantes De Carranza - CEIP Ana de Austria
  6. ^ Dorantes de Carranza, Baltasar (s. XVII)