Alonso Ojeda in New Andalusia.

We now return to the constant expeditions and conquests of the Spaniards in the newly discovered America. However, the Spanish could not hope for as great an immediate benefit from their colonies as the Portuguese from the Indian trade, because the lands they discovered were new, so the trade was undeveloped. But on the one hand it was still hoped that a strait to the Indian Ocean would be found, on the other hand, that some rich gold country would be found that would yield riches without the trouble of trade. The need for gold was extremely high in Europe at that time, as almost all the precious metal had flowed to the East over time.

Alonso Ojeda in New Andalusia.

Alonso Ojeda, the brave adventurer knight, whom we already met in the biography of Columbus, had received a piece of land on the coast of present-day Columbia as a gift, but the first attempt to establish a colony there had failed. However, the brave knight did not throw his luck away, but tried a second time. He set off in the fall of 1509 on four ships with 300 men. Along with others, the pilot Juan de la Cosa, who had been on Columbus’s first and some subsequent voyages, and Francisco Pizarro, the future conqueror of Peru, accompanied the expedition. At the same time, Diego de Nicuesa set off with an even larger force to conquer Veragua, which Columbus had discovered and which had been given to him as a province.

Ojeda landed near what is now Cartagena, and his first task was to obtain slaves from the Caribbean, to cover the cost of equipment for the expedition. Suotta Juan de la Cosa warned him about the poisoned arrows of the inhabitants, with whom he had already become familiar. Ojeda captured the first village with seventy men, killed some of the inhabitants, took the rest prisoner. But when the Spaniards, after the skirmish, rested in the heat of the day, the Indians attacked them and killed every man with their poison arrows, including Juan de la Cosan. Ojeda alone saved himself under the protection of his large shield, cleared a way for himself to the shore of the sea, but could not get back to his ships from there. Fortunately, Nicuesa arrived at the same time; he left with Ojeda’s ship to search for information about the fate of the expedition that had landed. On the beach, we met Ojeda from the mangrove forest growing in the water, where he lay, half dead with hunger and exhaustion, a drawn sword in one hand, a shield pierced with three hundred arrows in the other; he couldn’t even speak anymore. At the scene of the attack, Juan de la Cosa was found tied to a tree and pierced by countless poison arrows. His poisoned body was so horrible to look at that no Spaniard dared to stay the night in that place. Everyone returned to the ships. Ojeda established a colony further west in Uraba Bay, equipping it with a fortress. Nicuesa still sailed to Veragua. But the inhabitants of Urabank were equally warlike; The Spaniards hardly dared to leave their castle, as the Caribs were lurking everywhere. Finally, the famine forced Ojeda to send a ship to Haiti, with gold and slaves, to lure the emigrants with all kinds of false boasts. After hearing these messages, a knight named Talavera, together with other adventurers, forcibly hijacked a cargo ship at anchor and sailed it to Ojeda’s gold country. With new forces they now began a battle against the Caribs, but at the very first attack Ojeda received a poison arrow in his thigh, which would certainly have resulted in death, if he had not burned it on the spot with a red-hot iron; by this means of power his bewitched spirit was again saved. which certainly would have produced death, had not he with a red-hot iron burned it on the spot; by this means of power his bewitched spirit was again saved. which certainly would have produced death, had not he with a red-hot iron burned it on the spot; by this means of power his bewitched spirit was again saved.

After recovering, Ojeda went to Haiti with Talavera and the other recent arrivals, to get more people and food supplies. Pizarro was left in charge of the colony and received such an order that if Ojeda did not return after fifty days, then those who remained could sail to Veragua and leave the colony deserted. On the south shore of Cuba, we disembarked and walked with great difficulty along the coast to an Indian village, where the guests were received kindly and they were even given a boat to continue the journey to Haiti. But in Haiti, Talavera and his men were captured and hanged. Although Ojeda got free, nothing could be done with him anymore, but he died in the greatest poverty, as a warning example to all adventurers. As he died, he felt gnawing pangs of conscience and ordered,

Colonies of Veragua.

When Pizarro, after waiting the appointed fifty days, received no information about Ojeda, he decided to abandon the ill-fated colony and head for Haiti with the 60 men who were still alive. But one ship was shipwrecked in a storm, another met and joined the ship of the learned lawyer Martinez Fernandez Enciso, who was on his way to the continental shore to found a colony. But Enciso lost his ship on the eastern edge of the Gulf of Darien and the crew had to make their way back to the abandoned settlement of Ojeda. However, the Caribs had in the meantime destroyed it so completely that it was of no help. The expedition had to go round the shores to the west of the Gulf of Darien, to try their luck in the Isthmus of Panama, though this was a province granted to Nicuesa. It was suggested by a poor adventurer, though of noble birth, Vasco Nuñez Balboa, who was later talked about a lot. He was from Estremadura, 38 years old, had already visited the same regions ten years ago and then tried his luck as a farmer in San Domingo for years. There he was in debt, so there was no other option but to try to escape the creditors. While Enciso was fitting out his ship in the port of San Domingo, Balboa had supported himself on it in a chest of provisions shortly before departure, in order to escape his creditors. At sea Enciso, dreading so great a breach of the law, would rather have put him ashore on some uninhabited island, but prayers and the need of good kalpas saved Balboa. had already visited the same regions ten years ago and then tried his luck as a farmer in San Domingo for years. There he was in debt, so there was no other option but to try to escape the creditors. While Enciso was fitting out his ship in the port of San Domingo, Balboa had supported himself on it in a chest of provisions shortly before departure, in order to escape his creditors. At sea Enciso, dreading so great a breach of the law, would rather have put him ashore on some uninhabited island, but prayers and the need of good kalpas saved Balboa. had already visited the same regions ten years ago and then tried his luck as a farmer in San Domingo for years. There he was in debt, so there was no other option but to try to escape the creditors. While Enciso was fitting out his ship in the port of San Domingo, Balboa had supported himself on it in a chest of provisions shortly before departure, in order to escape his creditors. At sea Enciso, dreading so great a breach of the law, would rather have put him ashore on some uninhabited island, but prayers and the need of good kalpas saved Balboa. While Enciso was fitting out his ship in the port of San Domingo, Balboa had supported himself on it in a chest of provisions shortly before departure, in order to escape his creditors. At sea Enciso, dreading so great a breach of the law, would rather have put him ashore on some uninhabited island, but prayers and the need of good kalpas saved Balboa. While Enciso was fitting out his ship in the port of San Domingo, Balboa had supported himself on it in a chest of provisions shortly before departure, in order to escape his creditors. At sea Enciso, dreading so great a breach of the law, would rather have put him ashore on some uninhabited island, but prayers and the need of good kalpas saved Balboa.

The colony of Encison didn’t take either way to succeed. He intended to rule it according to legal principles, but it aroused so much discontent among the adventurer knights that Enciso was soon deposed and imprisoned, though he was then allowed to return to Spain. It was Balboa who led the disaffected. This angered the learned Baccalaureus so much that many years later, in a letter he wrote to the King of Spain, he asked to forbid all lawyers and scholars, except doctors, from coming to the American continent. They all had the devil on their minds and with their constant hooks they just created endless quarrels. Balboa was then elected leader of the Enciso colony.

After leaving Ojeda, Nicuesa had sailed towards Veragua, but had lost most of his ships in the storms. The last one lost had run aground in the estuary of a stream and broken in the waves. However, the crew was saved ashore and established a colony that Columbus had visited the bay before. But the emigrants on this unhealthy coast mostly died of fever or starved. When a relief expedition finally arrived with two ships, there were only a few remnants of the colony left. When Nicuesa heard from his auxiliary expedition — it had detoured to Balboa’s colony on the way and, at Balboa’s persuasion, had given part of its equipment there — that there was a better place, he gave up his attempt and decided to go to Balboa with the survivors. But they didn’t even want to land him there, because it was feared that he would claim the chiefship for himself, when the colony was in his county. In the end, however, Nicuesa got ashore after swearing that he would not deviate anywhere in the West Indies, but would sail the most direct route to Spain. The best of his men were taken by Balboa into his own company, and the unfortunate Nicuesa was sent home in the smallest and worst ship. He disappeared on that road. But Balboa’s colony now numbered 300 men, and with vigor and skill he governed it. He disappeared on that road. But Balboa’s colony now numbered 300 men, and with vigor and skill he governed it. He disappeared on that road. But Balboa’s colony now numbered 300 men, and with vigor and skill he governed it.

Balboa sees the Pacific Ocean.

Balboa traveled far inland from his settlement and during these trips he came, among other things, to a river that did not run into the Atlantic, but away from it. One of the princes of the country said that in that direction, to the south, there was another sea, on the shore of which there was a large land, with much gold in the ground. It was a six-day journey to that southern sea, but it was visible in the mountains long before that. Even Columbus had heard vague rumors about the sea behind the isthmus, now they were told in a more certain form. However, Balboa had too few men at that time to be able to go that far in search of that unknown sea. He sent a message with his information to Admiral Diego Colon, the son of the great discoverer, who ruled Haiti, but the ship was shipwrecked in a storm off the coast of Yucatan. The crew bailed ashore, but fell into the hands of the Maya, and were partly sacrificed in their temples, partly enslaved. One of the last survivors, with the rank of a monk, was released by Cortes in 1519.

When there was no help, Balboa sent his last ship directly to Spain. Fortunately, however, two ships arrived from Haiti at the same time, which Diego Colon, on his own initiative, had sent to bring help; the colony was saved from famine, Balboa was appointed governor of the region and received 150 men from the blood. Through this, his position was quite strengthened, but on the other hand, he was afraid that he would be prosecuted in Spain for the frauds he had committed against Enciso and Nicuesa — indeed, the former had already filed a lawsuit. In order to improve his case, Balboa decided to gain fame and merit through a daring expedition, so that the crown would then criticize his vagaries more gently.

He left the colony on Sept. 1. 1513, accompanied by 190 Spaniards, 600 native porters and bloodhounds, which had come to be used in the fight against the natives. Balboa himself had a driving dog, which for its ferocity was more feared than twenty men. First we rowed along the shore towards the north-west to the point where the isthmus was heard to be the narrowest — but not as far as Colon — and we got guides to the primeval forest from a chief, Careta. The primeval forest is so dense on the isthmus that even today it is extremely difficult to walk across it. The leaf roof is so strong that not a single ray of sunlight can penetrate all the way to the ground, and there is a constant sweat and drizzle under it. Climbing plants and sedges wrap the gaps between the giants of the primeval forest into an impenetrable thicket. Here and there there was a forest with countless birds, insects, four-legged animals and reptiles, whose natural freedom had never been disturbed by man. Balboa and his troops pushed forward through the secret forest paths that the Indians used to take on their raids. The range of mountains across which the road ran was the domain of a hostile chief, and he tried, though in vain, to bar the Spaniards’ passage. Only in September 25 p. we came to the place where, according to the guides, the sea was supposed to be visible. Balboa climbed the mountain ahead of the others, because he wanted to be the first European to see the unknown sea. On the hill he fell on his knees, raised his hands to heaven, saluted the south, and thanked God and all the heavenly things with a devout heart that so great an honor had been bestowed on a cheap man like him. Then, beckoning with his hand, he called his companions to him and showed them the desired sea. Everyone fell on their knees and Balboa prayed to heaven, especially to the Virgin Mary, for a happy end to the attempt. He promised his soldiers bottomless riches when the new sea was reached. An altar was built on the mountain as a sign of the land impaling and the name of the King of Spain who landed on the side of the Pacific sea was carved into the trees, so that the afterlife would not claim that the brave expedition told lies. Many battles had to be fought on the way, but after happily enduring the last one, Balboa on September 29. 1513 arrived on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, plunged knee-deep into the sea with sword and flag in hand and solemnly declared all its lands, shores and islands from the North Pole to the South Pole to be the property of the King of Spain. He stayed for several weeks on the shores of the sea he had found, before setting out on his return journey, making small excursions in the boats of the natives, seeing pearls being fished and hearing of an island far away in the sea with an excellent yield of pearls. He was further told of a mighty kingdom in the south, with immense riches, ships, and beasts of burden; Judging from the clay figure shown, the load parties looked like a camel. The Spaniards thus got their first knowledge of Peru’s gold country and the llama, which is kept there as sheep on the mountain roads. These messages made the deepest impression on Pizarro, who, while serving Balboa, had gradually risen from a lowly soldier to an increasingly prominent position. saw pearls being fished for and heard of a pearl island far off in the sea with excellent harvests. He was further told of a mighty kingdom in the south, with immense riches, ships, and beasts of burden; Judging from the clay figure shown, the load parties looked like a camel. The Spaniards thus got their first knowledge of Peru’s gold country and the llama, which is kept there as sheep on the mountain roads. These messages made the deepest impression on Pizarro, who, while serving Balboa, had gradually risen from a lowly soldier to an increasingly prominent position. saw pearls being fished for and heard of a pearl island far off in the sea with excellent harvests. He was further told of a mighty kingdom in the south, with immense riches, ships, and beasts of burden; Judging from the clay figure shown, the load parties looked like a camel. The Spaniards thus got their first knowledge of Peru’s gold country and the llama, which is kept there as sheep on the mountain roads. These messages made the deepest impression on Pizarro, who, while serving Balboa, had gradually risen from a lowly soldier to an increasingly prominent position. The Spaniards thus got their first knowledge of Peru’s gold country and the llama, which is kept there as sheep on the mountain roads. These messages made the deepest impression on Pizarro, who, while serving Balboa, had gradually risen from a lowly soldier to an increasingly prominent position. The Spaniards thus got their first knowledge of Peru’s gold country and the llama, which is kept there as sheep on the mountain roads. These messages made the deepest impression on Pizarro, who, while serving Balboa, had gradually risen from a lowly soldier to an increasingly prominent position.

It wasn’t until the 3rd of November that Balboa set out on his return journey. He now took detours in order to extort gold from the inhabitants of the isthmus. Much cruelty was practiced. One chief along with three other chiefs were given to be torn apart by bloodhounds after all the gold had been extorted from him first. So much gold was collected that eventually the bearers couldn’t carry any more. And when the strength of the Spaniards began to wear out, Balboa returned to the village of Careta by the most direct route and arrived on January 19, 1514 back to his colony, Santa Maria del Antigua. Not a single Spaniard was lost on the trip.

In the following March, Balboa sent an account of his great find to Spain, and a large quantity of gold and 200 of the best pearls to confirm his account. The information about the discovery of a new ocean attracted the greatest attention. It was only now that one could really start thinking about whether the New World really belonged to Asia, or whether it was not a completely new continent. The consequences of the discovery were extremely large; through it, Magalhães could go on his expedition and Pizarro could conquer Peru.

Pedrarias Davila.

However, Balboa’s report arrived too late. In Spain, due to the accusation of Enciso and the disappearance of Nicuesa, other measures had already been taken, a large fleet equipped — 20 ships — and 1500 men to go to the isthmus, which had been given the name of “Golden Castile”. The fleet was led by Pedrarias Davila, appointed to succeed Balboa; it set out at the end of June, 1514. Spain had not yet sent such a brilliant troop of knights to its overseas colonies, nor wounded so many talents at the same time. Several of the men who now set out to seek their fortunes as adventurers afterwards attained a better and more lasting reputation as historians of the conquest of the West Indies, del Castillo, who recounted the conquest of Mexico, Oviedo, the historian of the West Indies Archipelago, the lawyer Enciso, — the same whom Balboa had so badly betrayed , — who wrote a book on geography, and Andagoya, who wrote a presentation about Davila’s reign. Besides, there were Almagro, the conqueror of Chile, Benalcazer, the conqueror of Quito, Soto, the explorer of the Mississippi Valley, and Serrão, who then sailed with Magalhães across the Pacific and met an unhappy end in the Philippines.

The settlement of Balboa could not yet give this brilliant crowd a proper reception. Land clearing had only just begun, the swamps had not been drained, the housing was poor, and when the climate of the Isthmus of Panama is otherwise the most unhealthy, diseases destroyed 500 of the newly arrived men in a short time. Davila, who was already an old man, was not able to improve conditions much. He viewed Balboa’s actions with suspicion, treated the Indians more cruelly than anyone before him. He embarked on large-scale efforts to conquer the entire isthmus, because the knights who came with him wanted to fight and command, and not at all to ravage the land.

First, Ayora was sent with 400 men to establish stations along the coast. The trip was a real extermination trip. Indian chiefs who were caught were burned, hanged or given to be torn apart by dogs. The Indians, on the other hand, destroyed the established positions, on the spot when the war party had left them. In the same way, the other troops, who were sent in other directions, raged. Balboa, together with Davila’s steward, made his way southward through the forests, to find the temples adorned with gold, of which rumors had been heard; but the Indians put up such a furious resistance — among other things, overturned the boats in one river — that the expedition, after losing its second leader, had to return empty-handed. A few later attempts ended just as badly. The golden temples were far away,