"The Story of Estevanico"
The first historically significant slave in what would become the United States was Estevanico, a Moroccan slave and member of the Narvaez Expedition in 1528 and acted as a guide on Fray Marcos de Niza’s expedition to find the Seven Cities of Gold in 1539. Estevanico became the first person from Africa known to have set foot in the present continental United States.
Estevanico; also known as Estevan, Esteban, Estebanico, Black Stephen, and Stephen the Moor, was born in Azamor, Morocco around the year 1500. In 1513, the Portuguese took control of this area. When they fell on hard times during a drought in the early 1520s, the Portuguese started selling Moroccans as slaves to European customers. Estevanico was sold to Andres de Dorantes. Estévanico was fluent in many languages spoken in Spain, including Arabic, Spainish, Berber, and Portuguese. This ability allowed Estevanico and Andres de Dorantes to develop a very positive relationship, and the two were said to be friends.