Alonso Álvarez de Pineda

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Alonso Álvarez de Pineda (Spanish:  [piˈneða] ; Aldeacentenera, 1494-1519) was a Spanish Conquistador and cartographer who was first documented in Texas history. In 1519 he led several expeditions to map the western coastlines of the Gulf of Mexico, from the Yucatán Peninsula to the Pánuco River, just north of Veracruz. Ponce de León had previously mapped parts of Florida, which he believed to be an island. Antón de Alaminos' exploration eliminated the western areas as being the site of the passage, leaving the land between the Pánuco River and Florida to be mapped. [1]

Aldeacentenera village in the province of Cáceres and autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain

Aldeacentenera is a village in the province of Cáceres and autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain. The municipality covers an area of 110.56 square kilometres (42.69 sq mi) and as of 2011 had a population of 733 people.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

<i>Conquistador</i> soldiers, explorers, and adventurers primarly at the service of the Spanish Empire, and also to the Portuguese Empire

Conquistador is a term widely used to refer to the knights, soldiers and explorers of the Spanish Empire and the Portuguese Empire. During the Age of Discovery, conquistadors sailed beyond Europe to the Americas, Oceania, Africa, and Asia, conquering territory and opening trade routes. They colonized much of the world for Spain and Portugal in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.

Alaminos persuaded the governor of Santiago, Francisco de Garay, to finance an expedition to search the remainder of the Gulf. Garay outfitted three ships with two hundred and seventy soldiers, and placed them under the command of Álvarez de Pineda. [2] :133 He left Santiago in early 1519 and sailed west to follow the northern coastline of the Gulf. [1] At the western tip of Southern Florida, he attempted to sail east, but the winds were uncooperative. Instead, he sailed west from the Florida Keys along the Gulf Coast. [3]

Colony of Santiago Spanish 1509-1655 possession in the Caribbean

Santiago was a Spanish territory of the Spanish West Indies and within the Viceroyalty of New Spain, in the Caribbean region. Its location is the present-day island and nation of Jamaica.

Francisco de Garay was a Spanish Basque conquistador. He was a companion to Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World and arrived in Hispaniola in 1493. Here he attracted attention when he encountered a large gold nugget worth four thousand pesos. In 1496, Miguel Diaz and Francisco de Garay found gold nuggets along the Haina River.

Florida Keys Coral cay archipelago in Florida, United States of America

The Florida Keys are a coral cay archipelago located off the southern coast of Florida, forming the southernmost portion of the continental United States. They begin at the southeastern coast of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles (24 km) south of Miami, and extend in a gentle arc south-southwest and then westward to Key West, the westernmost of the inhabited islands, and on to the uninhabited Dry Tortugas. The islands lie along the Florida Straits, dividing the Atlantic Ocean to the east from the Gulf of Mexico to the northwest, and defining one edge of Florida Bay. At the nearest point, the southern part of Key West is just 90 miles (140 km) from Cuba. The Florida Keys are between about 23.5 and 25.5 degrees North latitude.

Pineda's map of the Gulf Coast Coast Alonso Alvarez de Pineda Map of Gulf Coast.png
Pineda's map of the Gulf Coast Coast

On June 2, 1519, Álvarez de Pineda entered a large bay with a sizable Native American settlement on one shore. He sailed upriver on the Mississippi River, the description of the land and its settlement has led many historians to believe he was describing Mobile Bay and the Alabama River. [4]

Mississippi River largest river system in North America

The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows generally south for 2,320 miles (3,730 km) to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is entirely within the United States; the total drainage basin is 1,151,000 sq mi (2,980,000 km2), of which only about one percent is in Canada. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth-longest and fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

Mobile Bay An inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, lying within the state of Alabama in the United States

Mobile Bay is a shallow inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, lying within the state of Alabama in the United States. Its mouth is formed by the Fort Morgan Peninsula on the eastern side and Dauphin Island, a barrier island on the western side. The Mobile River and Tensaw River empty into the northern end of the bay, making it an estuary. Several smaller rivers also empty into the bay: Dog River, Deer River, and Fowl River on the western side of the bay, and Fish River on the eastern side. Mobile Bay is the fourth largest estuary in the United States with a discharge of 62,000 cubic feet (1,800 m3) of water per second. Annually, and often several times during the summer months, the fish and crustaceans will swarm the shallow coastline and shore of the bay. This event, appropriately named a jubilee, draws a large crowd because of the abundance of fresh, easily caught seafood it yields. Mobile Bay is the only place on earth where jubilees are a common occurrence.

Alabama River river in the United States of America

The Alabama River, in the U.S. state of Alabama, is formed by the Tallapoosa and Coosa rivers, which unite about 6 miles (10 km) north of Montgomery, near the suburb of Wetumpka.

Alonzo Álvarez de Pineda continued his rough journey westward. On June 24, 1519, on the Roman Catholic Feast Day of Corpus Christi, he sailed into what he named Corpus Christi Bay. There is no reliable evidence that he ever disembarked on the shores of Texas, but he anchored off of Villa Rica de la Veracruz shortly after Hernán Cortés had departed. [3] Cortés returned on hearing of Álvarez de Pineda's arrival. [2] :132–134 Álvarez de Pineda wished to establish a boundary between the lands he was claiming for Garay and those that Cortés had already claimed; Cortés was unwilling to bargain, and Álvarez de Pineda left to retrace his route northward. [5] Shortly thereafter, he sailed up a river he named Las Palmas, where he spent over 40 days repairing his ships. The Las Palmas was most likely the Panuco River near present-day Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico. [6]

Corpus Christi Bay

Corpus Christi Bay is a scenic semi-tropical bay on the Texas coast found in San Patricio and Nueces counties, next to the major city of Corpus Christi. It is separated from the Gulf of Mexico by Mustang Island, and is fed by the Nueces River and Oso Creek from its western and southern extensions, Nueces Bay and Oso Bay. The bay is located approximately 136 miles (219 km) south of San Antonio, and 179 miles (288 km) southwest of Houston.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast.

Hernán Cortés Spanish conquistador

Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano, Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca was a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of what is now mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century. Cortés was part of the generation of Spanish colonizers who began the first phase of the Spanish colonization of the Americas.

Although de Pineda was killed in a battle with the native Huastec people at the Panuco River, his map made it back to Governor Garay.

The Huastec or Téenek, are an indigenous people of Mexico, living in the La Huasteca region including the states of Hidalgo, Veracruz, San Luis Potosí and Tamaulipas concentrated along the route of the Pánuco River and along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

The expedition established the remainder of the boundaries of the Gulf of Mexico, while disproving the idea of a sea passage to Asia. It also verified that Florida was a peninsula instead of an island, and allowed Álvarez de Pineda to be the first European to see the coastal areas of what is now western Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, lands he called "Amichel." [1] His map is the first known document of Texas history and was the first map of the Gulf Coast region of the United States and is stored at the Archivo General de Indias in Spain. [7]

The recorded history of Texas begins with the arrival of the first Spanish conquistadors in the region of North America now known as Texas in 1519, who found the region populated by numerous Native American tribes. The Native Americans' ancestors had been there for more than 10,000 years as evidenced by the discovery of the remains of prehistoric Leanderthal Lady. During the period of recorded history from A.D. 1519 to 1848, all or parts of Texas were claimed by five countries: France, Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States of America.

Gulf Coast of the United States Coastline in the United States

The Gulf Coast of the United States is the coastline along the Southern United States where they meet the Gulf of Mexico. The coastal states that have a shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico are Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and these are known as the Gulf States.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Footnotes

  1. 1 2 3 Weber (1992), p. 34.
  2. 1 2 Diaz, B., 1963, The Conquest of New Spain, London: Penguin Books, ISBN   0140441239
  3. 1 2 Chipman (1992), p. 24.
  4. Atkins, Leah Rawls (1994) "European Exploration and Colonization in Alabama" in William Warren Rogers, Robert David Ward, Leah Rawls Atkins and Wayne Flint. Alabama: The History of a Deep South State. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, p. 18.
  5. Chipman (1992), p. 26.
  6. Robert S. Weddle, "ALVAREZ DE PINEDA, ALONSO," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fal72), accessed February 26, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  7. Chipman (1992), p. 243.

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