Étienne Brûlé – the original Coureur de bois

bruleOur latest episode is on Étienne Brûlé – a Frenchman who would become the most famous of the Coureur de bois – or “Runner of woods.” In the early 1600s, he would be critical in exploring lands around the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes, becoming the first man to visit Lake Superior and Lake Ontario, as well as venture into modern-day Pennsylvania.

Sources

There is not a lot about Étienne Brûlé, but here is a list of some of the better online resources available:

brule-map

 

Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca – Part 2

la-relacionIn the final chapter on Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, the soldier and three survivors of the ill-fated Narvaez Expedition set out on a 2,500 mile trek across the America southwest and northern Mexico in a bid to return to Spanish territory. The march would be one of the greatest journeys of survival – as well as exploration – ever recorded.

Sources

The best source you can have on Cabeza de Vaca is his own writings. La Relación is available online in various forms. Texas State University has a really nice readable online version. Or you can download the book at the Internet Archive.

There are numerous quality online biographies of Cabeza de Vaca. Here are a few:

narvaez-de-vaca

Likely route of Cabeza de Vaca.

All images from Wikipedia.

Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca – Part 1

cabeza_de_vacaIn 1528, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca would wash up on the shores of modern-day Texas – a survivor of the ill-fated Narváez expedition. His story is really not one of exploration – but of survival – as he would spend eight years living and traveling the southwest of the United States and northern Mexico. It is an incredible journey – one of the most unusual in the history of exploration.

In Part 1 of our tale, we recount the aftermath of the destruction of the Narváez expedition, Cabeza de Vaca’s years-long struggle to survive – and thrive – in an alien environment, and ultimately his first steps to returning tp a home he had not seen for many, many years.

narvaez-de-vaca

Route of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca.

All images from Wikipedia.