Not much is known about Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, but it is known that he was born in Spain in 1494, during the age of exploration. Just two years before Pineda was born, Christopher Columbus had discovered a new world to be combed through.
In 1519, the Spanish Governor of Jamaica, Francisco de Garay, was authorized by the Spanish King to explore the unknown territories of North America. Specifically, he wanted to find out if there was a waterway between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean because this would enable a direct trade route with China.
The 1519 expedition consisted of 250 men and a small fleet of three ships, Alonso Alvarez de Pineda was the man chosen to lead the voyage. The ship left Jamaica and sailed around Florida, and Pineda squashed the theory that Florida was an Island. The fleet then sailed up the Mississippi River, noting that the lands surrounding the river were rich with flakes of gold.
Alonso Alvarez de Pineda then sailed around the Gulf as far as Rio Panuco in Mexico. The fleet reached Texas but was under continuous attack from the Aztecs. In the later part of 1519, Alonso Alvarez de Pineda was killed at Chila by the Aztec Indians, two of the ships were also destroyed. Pineda was the first European in Texas and verified that Florida was not an island.