Vasco Nunez de Balboa Facts

Vasco Nunez de Balboa Facts
Vasco Nunez de Balboa was a Spanish explorer most well-known for crossing the 1513 crossing of the Isthmus of Panama, which made him the first European expedition to reach the Pacific Rim via the New World. He was born in 1475 in Jerez de los Caballeros, Spain to a nobleman Nuno Arias de Balboa and Lady de Badajoz. As a child he was a squire and a page to the lord of Moguer, Don Pedro de Portocarrero. He was inspired to become an explorer when his master told him Christopher Columbus's New World voyages, and ventured on an expedition to the Americas in 1500 with Rodrigo de Astidas who had a license to bring treasure back for the queen and king.
Interesting Vasco Nunez de Balboa Facts:
In 1501 Vasco Nunez de Balboa crossed the Caribbean coast. He was traveling east of Panama toward Cabo de la Vela, northeast of South America.
The expedition realized they were too short of men and sailed to Hispaniola. Vasco used his share of the earnings of the expedition to settle in Hispaniola in 1505.
Vasco unsuccessfully raised pigs and was a planter for several years, which sent him into debt. He eventually left the island.
Vasco left the island and his creditors as a stowaway in 1509. He hid in a barrel with Leoncico, his dog, but was discovered aboard the ship before arriving at San Sebastian de Uraba.
The crew pleaded for Vasco's life, but it was likely his knowledge of the area they were set to explore saved him from being deposited on the first uninhabited island they encountered.
Vasco suggested they settle San Sebastian in Darien, to the west of the Gulf of Uraba. The soil was more fertile but they were met with resistance.
Following battle against 500 warriors but the Spanish won. The natives left their village and the Spanish founded Santa Maria la Antiqua del Darien - the first permanent settlement on the American mainland.
Vasco used a legal maneuver to remove the mayor Fernandez de Enciso from power, as he had grown very unpopular with the settlers.
A municipal council was elected and Vasco Nunez de Balboa and Martin Samudio were elected as alcaldes.
The governor Diego de Nicuesa attempted to take over Santa Maria but was unsuccessful and was sent to sea aboard a boat that was no seaworthy. He was never heard from again.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa became the governor of all of Veragua which gave him absolute authority.
Vasco sent a ship back to Spain with a request for more supplies and men, and continued to explore the New World.
On Sept. 1st, 1513, Vasco Nunez de Balboa began the expedition across the Isthmus of Panama. His request for more men for the expedition had been denied. He took 190 Spaniards, some native guides and a pack of dogs along the voyage.
He found many treasures along the voyage and returned to Santa Maria in 1514.
Vasco was sentenced to beheading after a trial in 1519 that found him guilty of trying to create a separate government in the South Sea.


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