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Vasco de Balboa Facts

Vasco Nunez da Balboa

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Facts about Vasco de Balboa
The following Fact File contains fast information about the life of Vasco de Balboa. Interesting facts and an overview and description of the life and times and his involvement in the Exploration and the discovery of the New World leading to the colonization of America. Why was Vasco de Balboa famous and what part of America did he explore?

Vasco de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean to become the first European to lead an expedition to reach the Pacific Ocean from the New World. Vasco Nunez de Balboa was the first European to see the Pacific Ocean from a peak in Darien, Panama - he had climbed the peak alone

When was Vasco Nunez de Balboa born? He was born c. 1475

What was his country of origin and where was Vasco de Balboa born? He was born in Jerez de los Caballeros in Estremadura, Spain. He came from a noble Spanish family and was well educated

Following the new of the voyage and discovery of Christopher Columbus, Vasco de Balboa was motivated to explore the new lands. He joined an expedition in 1501 to explore the north east of South America and then sailed to Hispaniola (Jamaica). He tried farming but it was unsuccessful and by 1509 he was deeply in debt.

In 1510 Vasco de Balboa, and his dog Leoncico, stowed away on a boat going from Santo Domingo to San Sebastian in Columbia. The expedition travelled further south and in 1511 the captain, Nicuesa, founded the town of Santa Maria de la Antigua del Darien which was the first European settlement in South America

In 1511 the king of Spain appointed Vasco de Balboa as the interim governor of the new colony. He married the daughter of Careta, the local Indian chief and was appointed supreme commander of the colony.

There was a great political power struggle between the leaders of the colony with accusations of from Encisco that he had illegally taken charge of the colony

September 1, 1513: Vasco Nunez de Balboa sailed with hundreds of Spaniards and Native Indians across the Gulf of Uraba to the Darien Peninsula, Panama. The famous explorer Francisco Pizarro, who later conquered the Incas of Peru, also took part in the voyage.

September 27, 1513: Vasco Nunez de Balboa was the first European to see the Pacific Ocean and claimed it, and all the land that touched it, for Spain

He explored the Pacific coast and found a fortune in gold, pearls and slaves. He then returned to the colony

Political tensions had increased in the colony, Vasco Nunez de Balboa was accused of treason by the new governor, Pedrarias Davila.

He was acquitted and went on to marry the daughter of the new governor Pedrarias Davila in 1516

Vasco de Balboa left the colony to continue his explorations of the New World and in 1519 was given the title of Adelantado of the South Sea, Governor of Panama

Pedrarias Davila pretended friendship with Vasco de Balboa then had him arrested for treason. This time he was found guilty.

Vasco de Balboa was publicly beheaded in the colony of Darien in January, 1519

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