Paul E. Hoffman


The voyages to North America and along the coast by Spanish explorers Juan Ponce de León, Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón, Juan de Pineda, and Esteban Gómez are known because of the work of scholars like Henry Harrissee, Woodbury Lowery, and more recently, Samuel Eliot Morison. Andres González de Barcía, in recounting these tales, now available in English translation, described the activities of Diego Miruelo, a pilot who supposedly landed in Florida in 1516 and, eight years later, 1524, while serving Vázquez de Ayllón, became mad and died when he could not find the place he had visited in 1516. But none of these authors mentioned the slave raid of Captain Pedro de Salazar, who perhaps was the first Spaniard to visit the middle latitudes of what is now the southeastern coast of the United States.