Esteban Dorantes

Updated: Oct 17, 2020



One day in February 1527, 5 ships at a seaport in Spain took board. Hundreds of people were on board. Including Esteban Dorantes. He was born in Morocco, in North Africa. The ships were on an expedition to explore a new land known as Florida. Esteban was on board with his master, Andreas Dorantes. In April 1528, they got to Florida. Esteban was one of the men chosen to go on land. In Florida, there were Native Americans who did not like that the men were there. The Americans attacked. They had battles and fights. A brave group fought back and killed many. The survivors, including Esteban returned to the ship. Many died every day from illness, starvation, and fever. They built 3 boats for the remaining men. 2 of them crashed, but Esteban survived and his master on another boat did too. Native Americans fought them. For almost 5 years, they were prisoners of the Native Americans. Esteban studied them and learned their language. Soon him and his friends escaped. They planned to go to Mexico City. Esteban lead them. He watched and studied the natives so he knew how to stay safe from animals and hunt for food. On the way, he met other friendly Native Americans. He learned all of their languages. He knew at least 7 native languages. Finally, he got to Mexico City. Esteban lead everyone to Mexico City for 3,000 miles. Their journey took 2 years. Esteban wondered if he would still be treated as a slave. And he was. His master sold him to the Governor of Mexico City. Soon after, he was asked to lead a journey to find The Seven Cities of Gold. They trusted him, after the journey he lead all the way to Mexico City. He explored a land we now know as Arizona and New Mexico. On his expedition, he was sadly killed. He was the first African American to explore the United States and discover new lands. He truly is an African American hero.

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