|Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón|
Map detail by Diego Ribero (1529), showing southeastern coast of current US was named Tiera de Ayllon
|Died||18 October 1526|
Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón(c. 1480 – 18 October 1526) was a Spanish magistrate and explorer who in 1526 established the short-lived San Miguel de Gualdape colony, one of the first European attempts at a settlement in what is now the United States. Ayllón's account of the region inspired a number of later attempts by the Spanish and French governments to colonize the southeastern United States.
Ayllón was born in Toledo around 1480, the younger son of a prominent family whose roots traced back to a high-ranking mozarab judge in Islamic Spain. His parents were city councilman Juan Vázquez de Ayllón and Inés de Villalobos. Ayllón received a good education in law and his father's position gave him valuable insights into the practice of politics.
In 1502, the Spanish Monarchs sent Nicolás de Ovando to serve as governor of Hispanola in the Indies. Ayllón accompanied Ovando's flotilla and arrived at the capital, Santo Domingo, in April 1502. In 1504 Ayllón was appointed alcalde mayor , the chief magistrate and administrative officer, of Concepción. Ayllón was expected to establish order in the turbulent gold-mining districts in the hinterlands of the island.
In 1509 Ovando and his lieutenants, including Ayllón, were recalled to Spain and subjected to a residencia, a review or audit of their term in office. Ayllón faced charges that he enriched himself unjustly but apparently was able to defend himself successfully with no harm to his career or his wealth. After his return to Spain he undertook additional studies in law and earned the equivalent of a master's degree from the University of Salamanca.
Meanwhile, Ferdinand was concerned by his lack of control in the Indies and the growing influence of the new governor, Diego Colón. In 1511 Ferdinand established a royal appeals court, the Real Audiencia in Hispanola. The king demonstrated considerable faith in Ayllón when he appointed him as one of three judges of this important court meant to assert royal power in the colonies. Ayllón reached Hispanola in May, 1512 and quickly became an important figure in the politics of the island. Around 1514 he married the daughter of a wealthy miner, Ana de Bezerra, adding wealth and prestige to his political power. He also became owner of a sugar plantation and funded various slave-trading ventures. Complaints were made that Ayllón and the other judges were unfairly dominating the slave-market and driving up the price of slaves.
When Ferdinand died in 1516, Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros became regent for the young King Charles V. Cisneros was determined to put an end to the abuse of the Indians. Ayllón and the other judges of the audencia were suspended in 1517 and put under investigation for alleged abuses. However, when Cisneros was removed from the regency, the residencia was cut short and the judges were restored to office in 1520.
Even during his suspension, Ayllón remained an influential figure in the Indies. In 1519, after Hernán Cortés began his conquest of Mexico, Cortés declared his independence from Diego Velázquez, the governor of Cuba and sponsor of the expedition. Fearful that the dispute between Cortés and Velázquez would escalate into open warfare, Crown authorities sent Ayllón first to Cuba to confer with Velázquez and then on to Mexico in an attempt to convince both sides to settle their differences in court. When Ayllón reached Mexico, he was forcibly detained and sent back to Santo Domingo with nothing to show for his efforts.
After Ayllón's reinstatement to the audiencia a ship arrived at Santo Domingo sometime around August 1521. The pilot, Francisco Gordillo, had been hired by Ayllón to lead a slaving expedition to the Bahamas. Finding the islands completely depopulated, Gordillo and another slaving ship piloted by Pedro de Quejo sailed northwest in search of land rumored to be found in that direction. On June 24, 1521, they made landfall at Winyah Bay on the coast of present-day South Carolina. After some preliminary exploration of the region, they kidnapped sixty Indians and brought them back to Hispanola.
In addition to the Indian slaves, Gordillo and Quejo brought back glowing reports of the land they had found. They said it would not require military conquest and once settled the area would become a rich and prosperous colony. Ayllón was apparently inspired by these reports and soon wrote to the Spanish crown requesting permission to explore and settle the region. Later that same year he traveled to Spain on business for the audencia but used the opportunity to personally press his case for the new land. Ayllón took with him one of the captured Indians who had recently been baptized as Francisco de Chicora. In Spain they met the court chronicler, Peter Martyr, with whom Chicora spoke at length about his people and homeland, and about neighboring provinces.
Ayllón signed a contract with the crown on June 12, 1523 allowing him to establish a settlement on the eastern seaboard and conduct trade with the local natives. He would be governor for life and the title alguacil mayor (high sheriff) would be held by him and his heirs forever. In return for these and numerous other privileges, Ayllón was required to perform a more detailed exploration of the region, establish missions, churches, and a Franciscan monastery to further conversion of the native population, and he was restrained from implementing an encomienda or other means of forcing Indian labor. While still in Spain Ayllón was also named a comendador in the military order of Santiago.
Before returning home, Ayllon was ordered to Puerto Rico where he was required to complete a number of pending investigations and audits of current and former government officials. From the Crown's viewpoint, his efforts were successful in bringing some order to the government on the island and helped put an end to Diego Colón's independent authority in the islands.
After an absence of three years, Ayllón returned to Santo Domingo around December, 1524 and, per his contract, began organizing an expedition to further explore the southeastern shore of North America. He hired Quejo to lead a voyage consisting of two caravels and about sixty crewmen. They set sail in early April, 1525 with instructions to explore 200 leagues (640 nautical miles) of coastline, record necessary bearings and soundings, erect stone markers bearing the name of Charles V, and obtain Indians who might serve as guides and interpreters for future voyages. They made their first landfall on May 3, 1525, likely at the Savannah River. From there they continued north until reaching Winyah Bay, the site of their original landing in 1521. It is not clear how much further north Quejo traveled, perhaps as far as Chesapeake Bay, but he observed that the coast beyond Winyah Bay was mostly sand dunes and pine scrub. The expedition returned home in July, 1525.
Quejo's return marked the beginning of active preparation for a voyage of settlement led by Ayllón himself. He spent his own considerable fortune and even put himself into debt to outfit the expedition. A fleet consisting of six vessels carrying about 600-700 passengers and crew was assembled. Some women, children and African slaves were included among the settlers. Supplies and livestock, including cows, sheep, pigs and a hundred horses, were loaded and the fleet departed in mid-July, 1526. The large colonizing group landed in Winyah Bay on August 9, 1526 and encountered their first significant setback when their largest ship struck a sandbar and sank. There was no loss of life but a large portion of their supplies was lost. Ayllón ordered a replacement vessel to be built, probably the earliest example of European-style boat building in what is now the United States.
Ayllón looked for a suitable site to establish a settlement at nearby Pawleys Island but the soil was poor and a sparse Indian population offered little chance for profitable trade. Several reconnaissance parties were sent out in a wide search for better opportunities. Based on their reports, Ayllón decided to move about 200 miles south to a "powerful river", probably the Sapelo Sound in present-day Georgia. Early in September, the healthy men rode to the new site on horseback while the rest traveled by ship. When they reached Sapelo Sound they began immediately to construct houses and a church.
The short-lived colony of San Miguel de Gualdape was formally established on the festival of Saint Michael, September 29, 1526. It was the first European settlement in the present-day United States. Ayllón's rough-hewn town survived less than three months, enduring exhaustion, cold, hunger, disease, and troubles with the local natives. When Ayllón died on October 18, 1526 from an unnamed illness, the entire enterprise fell apart. The surviving colonists broke into warring factions and by mid-November decided to give up and sail home. Of the 600-700 people whom Ayllón had brought with him, only 150 survivors made their way back to Hispaniola that winter.
San Miguel de Gualdape was the first European colony in what is now the United States, preceding St. Augustine, Florida (the first successful colony) by 39 years, the Roanoke Colony by 61 years, and Jamestown, Virginia by 81 years. Despite repeated attempts, archaeologists have been unable to locate the site of the town or the shipwreck in Winyah Bay.
Diego de Nicuesa was a Spanish conquistador and explorer.
Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar was a Spanish conquistador. He conquered and governed Cuba on behalf of Spain and moved Havana from the south coast of western Cuba to the north coast, placing it well as a port for Spanish trade.
Delaware Bay is the estuary outlet of the Delaware River on the northeast seaboard of the United States. Approximately 782 square miles (2,030 km2) in area, the bay's fresh water mixes for many miles with the salt water of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Winyaw were a Native American tribe living near Winyah Bay, Black River, and the lower course of the Pee Dee River in South Carolina. The Winyaw people disappeared as a distinct entity after 1720 and are thought to have merged with the Waccamaw.
Spanish Florida was the first major European land claim and attempted settlement in North America during the European Age of Discovery. La Florida formed part of the Captaincy General of Cuba, the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and the Spanish Empire during Spanish colonization of the Americas. While its boundaries were never clearly or formally defined, the territory was much larger than the present-day state of Florida, extending over much of what is now the southeastern United States, including all of present-day Florida plus portions of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and southeastern Louisiana. Spain's claim to this vast area was based on several wide-ranging expeditions mounted during the 16th century. A number of missions, settlements, and small forts existed in the 16th and to a lesser extent in the 17th century; eventually they were abandoned due to pressure from the expanding English and French colonial projects, the collapse of the native populations, and the general difficulty in becoming agriculturally or economically self-sufficient. By the 18th century, Spain's control over La Florida did not extend much beyond its forts, all located in present-day Florida: near St. Augustine, St. Marks, and Pensacola. From 1763 to 1783, the territory was governed by Great Britain.
San Miguel de Gualdape, founded in 1526 by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón, was the first European settlement in what became the continental United States. Established on the coast of Georgia, the colony lasted less than four months before it was overwhelmed by disease, hunger, and a hostile Indian population. Of the 600 persons who set out to establish the settlement, only about 150 returned home alive.
Chicora was a legendary Native American kingdom or tribe sought by various European explorers in present-day South Carolina during the 16th century. The legend originated after Spanish slave traders captured an Indian they called Francisco de Chicora in 1521; afterward, they came to treat Francisco's home country as a land of abundant wealth and natural resources. The "Chicora Legend" influenced both the Spanish and the French in their attempts to colonize North America for the next 60 years.
Frey Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres was a Spanish soldier from a noble family and a Knight of the Order of Alcántara, a military order of Spain. He was Governor of the Indies (Hispaniola) from 1502 until 1509, sent by the Spanish crown to investigate the administration of Francisco de Bobadilla and re-establish order. His administration subdued rebellious Spaniards, and completed the brutal "pacification" of the native Taíno population of Hispaniola.
Juan Ortiz de Matienzo was a Spanish colonial judge and a member of the first Real Audiencia in the New World, that of Santo Domingo, in 1512. From December 9, 1528 until January 9, 1531, he was a member of the First Audiencia of Mexico City, which was the governing body of New Spain during that period.
Vázquez, in non Spanish-speaking countries often as Vazquez or Vasquez, is an originally Galician surname, in use not only in Galicia but all over Spanish-speaking world.
Gil González Dávila or Gil González de Ávila was a Spanish Conquistador and the first European to arrive in present-day Nicaragua.
Slavery in Georgia is known to have been practiced by the original or earliest-known inhabitants of the future colony and state of Georgia, for centuries prior to European colonization. During the colonial era, the practice of Indian slavery in Georgia soon became surpassed by industrial-scale plantation slavery.
Santa Elena, a Spanish settlement on what is now Parris Island, South Carolina, was the capital of Spanish Florida from 1566 to 1587. It was established under Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the first governor of Spanish Florida. There had been a number of earlier attempts to establish colonies in the area by both the Spanish and the French, who had been inspired by earlier accounts of the plentiful land of Chicora. Menéndez's Santa Elena settlement was intended as the new capital of the Spanish colony of La Florida, shifting the focus of Spanish colonial efforts north from St. Augustine, which had been established in 1565 to oust the French from their colony of Fort Caroline. Santa Elena was ultimately built at the site of the abandoned French outpost of Charlesfort, founded in 1562 by Jean Ribault.
Ajacán in the province of Axacan, variants include Xacan, Jacan, Iacan, Axaca, Axacam; was located in the Mid-Atlantic near and including the Chesapeake Bay and present day Virginia, United States. In his 1842 Historia de la Compania de Fesus en Nueva Espana, Alegre said Father Juan Bautista de Segura and his companions called the province Axacan.
Cofitachequi was a paramount chiefdom founded about 1300 AD and encountered by the Hernando de Soto expedition in South Carolina in April 1540. Cofitachequi was later visited by Juan Pardo during his two expeditions (1566–1568) and by Henry Woodward in 1670. Cofitachequi ceased to exist as a political entity prior to 1701.
Antonio de Montesinos or Antonio Montesino was a Spanish Dominican friar who was a missionary on the island of Hispaniola. With the backing of Friar Pedro de Córdoba and his Dominican community at Santo Domingo, Montesinos was the first European to publicly denounce the enslavement and harsh treatment of the indigenous peoples of the island. His censure initiated an enduring struggle to reform the Spanish conduct towards all indigenous people in the New World. Montesinos' outspoken criticism influenced Bartolomé de las Casas to head the humane treatment of Indians movement.
Santo Domingo, officially the Captaincy General of Santo Domingo or alternatively the Kingdom of Santo Domingo was the first colony established in the New World under Spain. The island was named "La Española" (Hispaniola) by Christopher Columbus. In 1511, the courts of the colony were placed under the jurisdiction of the Real Audiencia of Santo Domingo. French buccaneers took over part of the west coast in 1625 and French settlers arrived soon thereafter due to the island's strategic position in he region. After decades of armed conflicts Spain finally ceded the western third of Hispaniola to France in the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697, thus establishing the basis for the later national divisions between the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Francisco de Chicora was the baptismal name given to a Native American kidnapped in 1521, along with 70 others, from near the mouth of the Pee Dee River by Spanish explorer Francisco Gordillo and slave trader Pedro de Quexos, based in Santo Domingo and the first Europeans to reach the area. From analysis of the account by Peter Martyr, court chronicler, the ethnographer John R. Swanton believed that Chicora was from a Catawban group.
The Jaragua massacre of July 1503, was the killing of indigenous natives from the town of Xaragua on the island of Hispañola. It was ordered by the Spanish governor of Santo Domingo, Nicolás de Ovando, and carried out by Alonso de Ojeda during a native celebration that was held in the village of "Guava" near present-day Léogâne in the territory of Jaragua of the Cacique Anacaona.
The White Lion was a privateer ship of English manufacture that brought the first Africans to Virginia in late August 1619, a year before the Mayflower. Though the Africans were initially sold as indentured servants, it is regarded as the origin of enslaved Africans in English colonies in mainland North America. There had been slavery among Native Americans in the United States since before Europeans arrived, which continued with capture and purchase of Native Americans for work in mainland colonies and export to the Caribbean. African slaves had earlier arrived on the current Georgia or Carolina coast in 1526 with Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón though they escaped, and in Florida in 1539 with Hernando de Soto, and in the 1565 founding of St. Augustine, Florida.
| Library resources about |
Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón