Juan Fernández (c. 1536 – c. 1604) was a Spanish explorer and navigator in the Pacific regions of the Viceroyalty of Peru and Captaincy General of Chile west of colonial South America. He is best known for the discovery of a fast maritime route from Callao (Peru) to Valparaíso (Chile), as well as for the discovery of the Juan Fernández Islands off the coast of Chile.
The Viceroyalty of Peru was a Spanish imperial provincial administrative district, created in 1542, that originally contained modern-day Peru and most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima. The Viceroyalty of Peru was one of the two Spanish Viceroyalties in the Americas from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.
The General Captaincy of Chile or Gobernación de Chile, was a territory of the Spanish Empire, from 1541 to 1818. It comprised most of modern-day Chile and southern parts of Argentina. Its capital was Santiago de Chile. In 1818 it declared itself independent, becoming the Republic of Chile. It had a number of Spanish governors over its long history and several kings.
Callao is a seaside city on the Pacific Ocean in the Lima metropolitan area. Callao is Peru's chief seaport and home to its main airport, Jorge Chávez International Airport. Callao municipality consists of the whole Callao Region, which is also coterminous with the Province of Callao. Founded in 1537 by the Spanish, the city has a long naval history as one of the main ports in Latin America and the Pacific, as it was one of vital Spanish towns during the colonial era. Central Callao is about 15 km (9.3 mi) west of the Historic Centre of Lima.
In 1574 he discovered an alternative maritime route between Callao and Valparaíso, much faster than the old route which bordered the coastline. By taking a detour west from the coast, he managed to avoid the northernly Humboldt Current which used to slow down ships sailing south along the coast. In doing so, he discovered the Juan Fernández Islands archipelago, located west of present-day Valparaíso in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. He also discovered the Pacific islands of San Félix and San Ambrosio in 1574.
Valparaíso is a major city, seaport, and educational centre in the commune of Valparaíso, Chile. "Greater Valparaíso" is the third largest metropolitan area in the country. Valparaíso is located about 120 kilometres (75 mi) northwest of Santiago by road and is one of the South Pacific's most important seaports. Valparaíso is the capital of Chile's second most populated administrative region and has been the headquarters for the Chilean National Congress since 1990. Valparaíso has seven universities.
The Humboldt Current, also called the Peru Current, is a cold, low-salinity ocean current that flows north along the western coast of South America. It is an eastern boundary current flowing in the direction of the equator, and extends 500–1,000 km (310–620 mi) offshore. The Humboldt Current is named after the Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. In 1846, von Humboldt reported measurements of the cold-water current in his book Cosmos.
The Juan Fernández Islands are a sparsely inhabited island group reliant on tourism and fishing in the South Pacific Ocean. Situated 670 km off the coast of Chile, they are composed of three main volcanic islands: Robinson Crusoe, Alejandro Selkirk and Santa Clara. The group is considered part of Insular Chile.
Early historians such as Alexander Dalrymple and James Burney claim that Juan Fernández was the first European to reach New Zealand. In 1575 the governor of Cuyo, Juan Jufré, organized an expedition to Terra Australis under the command of Juan Fernandez. The expedition was authorized by the governor of Chile but not the Viceroy of Peru. As a result, Jufré changed the official itinerary and pretended his expedition would only sail to the islands discovered by Fernández in 1574. In fact, the real destination of the expedition was still Terra Australis. Soon Juan Fernandez set sail from Valparaíso. After heading west for one month along the 40th parallel south, in the spring of 1576 they arrived in an island described as "mountainous, fertile, with strong-flowing rivers, inhabited by white peoples, and with all the fruits necessary to live".
Alexander Dalrymple FRS was a Scottish geographer and the first Hydrographer of the British Admiralty. He was the main proponent of the theory that there existed a vast undiscovered continent in the South Pacific, Terra Australis Incognita. He produced thousands of nautical charts, mapping a remarkable number of seas and oceans for the first time, and contributing significantly to the safety of shipping. His theories prompted a number of expeditions in search of this mythical land, until James Cook's second journey (1772–1775) led to the conclusion that, if it did exist, it was further south than the 65° line of latitude South.
James Burney was an English rear-admiral, who accompanied Captain Cook on his last two voyages. He later wrote two books on naval voyages and a third on the game of whist.
Cuyo is the name given to the wine-producing, mountainous area of central-west Argentina. Historically it comprised the provinces of San Juan, San Luis and Mendoza. The modern term New Cuyo indicates both Cuyo proper and the province of La Rioja. New Cuyo is a political and economic macroregion, but culturally La Rioja is part of the North-West rather than of Cuyo.
Later, the expedition set sail back for Chile and Juan Fernández wished to convey his discovery to government officials. However, Juan Jufré refused. He requested that the discovery be kept a secret as the expedition had not been authorized by the Viceroy of Peru. Later, after Jufré's death in 1578, Fernández finally shared the discovery with the authorities and tried to convince them of the need to return to the islands and establish a colony. The idea was scrapped due to lack of interest. A record exists in the Spanish Admiralty libraries which describes this discovery. It was reviewed in the 19th century by the Chilean biographer José Toribio Medina who is one of the main sources for the claim in South American literature.
José Toribio Medina Zavala was a Chilean bibliographer, prolific writer, and historian.
Mainstream historians do not however accept these claims. University of Auckland history professor James Belich said that similar claims that the French and Chinese discovered New Zealand prior to Abel Tasman in 1642 have also been put forward. "I think there are a number of theories of this kind and all are highly unlikely.".
The University of Auckland is the largest university in New Zealand, located in the country's largest city, Auckland. It is the highest-ranked university in the country, being ranked 85th worldwide in the 2018/19 QS World University Rankings. Established in 1883 as a constituent college of the University of New Zealand, the university is made up of eight faculties; these are spread over six campuses. It has more than 40,000 students, and more than 30,000 "equivalent full-time" students.
James Christopher Belich, ONZM, is a New Zealand historian, known for his work on the New Zealand Wars and on New Zealand history more generally. One of his major works on the 19th-century clash between Māori and Pākehā, the revisionist study The New Zealand Wars (1986), was also published in an American edition and adapted into a television series and DVD.
Abel Janszoon Tasman was a Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant, best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He was the first known European explorer to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand, and to sight the Fiji islands.
In the opinion of another University of Auckland professor, Phyllis Herda, despite the short duration of the trip between Chile and New Zealand (one month, according to Spanish records) Juan Fernández was known to be a brilliant navigator. In 1574 he discovered the much faster route between Peru and Chile and was since known as the brujo del Pacífico or "wizard of the Pacific".
Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa (1532–1592) was a Spanish explorer, author, historian, mathematician, astronomer, and scientist. His birthplace is not certain and may have been Pontevedra, in Galicia, where his paternal family originated, or Alcalá de Henares in Castile, where he later is known to have studied. His father Bartolomé Sarmiento was born in Pontevedra and his mother María Gamboa was born in Bilbao, Basque Country.
Alejandro Malaspina was a Tuscan explorer who spent most of his life as a Spanish naval officer. Under a Spanish royal commission, he undertook a voyage around the world from 1786 to 1788, then, from 1789 to 1794, a scientific expedition throughout the Pacific Ocean, exploring and mapping much of the west coast of the Americas from Cape Horn to the Gulf of Alaska, crossing to Guam and the Philippines, and stopping in New Zealand, Australia, and Tonga.
The Battle of Callao occurred on May 2, 1866 between a Spanish fleet under the command of Admiral Casto Méndez Núñez and the fortified battery emplacements of the Peruvian port city of Callao during the Chincha Islands War. The Spanish fleet bombarded the port of Callao, and eventually withdrew without any notable damage to the city structures, according to the Peruvian and American sources; or after having silenced almost all the guns of the coastal defenses, according to the Spanish accounts and French observers. This proved to be the final battle of the war between Spanish and Peruvian forces.
The Chincha Islands War, also known as Spanish–South American War, was a series of coastal and naval battles between Spain and its former colonies of Peru and Chile from 1864 to 1866. The conflict began with Spain's seizure of the guano-rich Chincha Islands in one of a series of attempts by Spain, under Isabella II, to reassert its influence over its former South American colonies. The war saw the use of ironclads, including the Spanish ship Numancia, the first ironclad to circumnavigate the world.
The Malaspina Expedition (1789–1794) was a five-year maritime scientific exploration commanded by Alessandro Malaspina and José de Bustamante y Guerra. Although the expedition receives its name from Malaspina, he always insisted on giving Bustamante an equal share of command. Bustamante however acknowledged Malaspina as the "head of the expedition" since the beginning.
Domingo Bernardo de Bonechea Andonaegui, born on September 21, 1713, in Getaria, Basque Country, Spain, died in Tahiti on January 26, 1775, was a captain in the Spanish Royal Navy and an explorer for the Spanish crown. He is known for having tried to incorporate Tahiti to the Spanish seaborne empire.
José de Bustamante y Guerra, sometimes referred to simply as Bustamante, was a Spanish naval officer, explorer, and politician.
Tauere Atoll or Taouere, also known as Te Putua, is a small atoll of the central Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia. It is located 85 kilometres northwest of Hao Atoll's westernmost point.
Juan Jufré de Loayza y Montesa (1516–1578) was a Spanish conquistador who participated in the 1541 expedition of Pedro de Valdivia to Chile. He was the first alcalde of Santiago, Chile and held the position of governor of the Argentine province of Cuyo. He founded the city of San Juan de la Frontera and re-founded the city of Mendoza.
Francisco José de Ovando y Solís Rol de La Cerda, 1st Marquis of Brindisi was a Spanish soldier who served as governor of Chile.
On 6 March 1866, during the Chincha Islands War, the Spanish steam frigate Blancacaptured the Chilean sidewheel steamer Paquete de Maule in the Gulf of Arauco.
Águila was the first naval vessel of the Chilean Navy. She was later renamed Pueyrredón.
The corvette Abtao was a wooden ship built in Scotland during 1864 of 1.600 tons and 800 IHP. She fought in the War of the Pacific and was in service for the Chilean Navy until 1922.
Esmeralda was a 44-gun frigate built in Port Mahón, Balearic Islands in 1791 for the Spanish Navy. The First Chilean Navy Squadron, under the command of Thomas Cochrane, captured her on the night of 5 November 1820. She was renamed Valdivia in Chilean service. She was beached at Valparaíso in June 1825.
The First Chilean Navy Squadron was the heterogeneous naval force that terminated temporarily Spanish colonial rule on the south-west coast of South America, and protagonized the most important naval actions of Chile in the Latin American wars of independence. The Chilean revolutionary government organized the squadron in order to carry the war to the Viceroyalty of Perú, then the center of Spanish power in South America, and thus secure the independence of Chile and Argentina.
Polynesians reached nearly all the Pacific islands by about 1200 AD, followed by Asian navigation in Southeast Asia and West Pacific. Around the Middle Ages Muslim traders linked the Middle East and East Africa to the Asian Pacific coasts. The direct contact of European fleets with the Pacific began in 1512, with the Portuguese, on its western edges, followed by the Spanish discovery of the Pacific from the American coast.
Aquiles was a brigantine, originally Spanish, that later served in the Chilean Navy. It was driven ashore and wrecked at Callao, Peru on 24 July 1839.
At the end of the Chilean Civil War of 1829–1830 the government decided to buy the brigantine-schooner Flora to confront a new attack of insurgents. She was renamed Colo Colo.
In Colonial times the Spanish Empire diverted significant resources to fortify the Chilean coast as consequence of Dutch and English raids. During the 16th century the Spanish strategy was to complement the fortification work in its Caribbean ports with forts in the Strait of Magellan. As attempts at settling and fortifying the Strait of Magellan were abandoned the Spanish began to fortify the Captaincy General of Chile and other parts of the west coast of the Americas. The coastal fortifications and defense system was at its peak in the mid-18th century.