Pascual de Andagoya
As often happened at the time, Andagoya left as an explorer of the New World at a very young age of 19, on April 11, 1514, under the command of Pedro Arias de Ávila. The expedition left carrying an army of over 2,000 in 22 ships, with the objective of colonizing Central America.
The career of Andagoya commenced in Panama, whose capital he founded in 1519 with 400 settlers. Later he moved south towards the Colombian coast, until he reached San Juan, where he took charge as governor. This was when he learned of the existence of the Inca Empire, in the distant territory called "Birú", or "Pirú". In 1522 he attempted a conquest, but it ended in miserable failure.
With his health deteriorating, he returned to Panama and spread word of his discoveries, in particular the existence of a land of enormous riches of gold and silver, namely, Peru. In 1524 Francisco Pizarro, in association with the soldier Diego de Almagro and the priest Hernando de Luque, mounted an expedition using Andagoya's ships.:24
Andagoya was rewarded in 1539 by Carlos I with the post of Representative of the Indians, which he performed with brutal zeal. In 1540 he proclaimed himself governor of Popayán, which he held until 1542, when the legitimate governor Sebastián de Belalcázar relieved him under pressure. Andagoya died in Cuzco on July 18, 1548.
- For more information on this expedition: http://www.amautacunadehistoria.com/2010/05/la-expedicion-de-pascual-de-andagoya.html.
- Hemming, J., 1970, The Conquest of the Incas, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., ISBN 0151225605
- Herrera, Antonio de. Historia General de los Hechos de los Castellanos... Decada Quarta. 1601. This famous history cites Andagoya as a source: "Afirma Pascual de Andagoya, auer visto algunos [gigantes] que los otros hombres eran enanos con ellos." p. 26.
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