Alvarado, Pedro de

Alvarado, Pedro de

(pā`thrō dā älvärä`thō), 1486–1541, Spanish conquistador. He went to Hispaniola (1510), sailed in the expedition (1518) of Juan de Grijalva, and was the chief lieutenant of Hernán CortésCortés, Hernán,
or Hernando Cortez
, 1485–1547, Spanish conquistador, conqueror of Mexico. Expedition to Mexico

Cortés went (1504) first to Hispaniola and later (1511) accompanied Diego de Velázquez to Cuba.
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 in the conquest of Mexico. He commanded at Tenochtitlán in the absence of Cortés, and his brutality provoked a brief native rebellion. Sent out by Cortés in 1523, he conquered Guatemala and Salvador. He was governor of Guatemala until his death. He met with much opposition from the audiencia in Mexico, but strengthening his power on two voyages to Spain (1527–28, 1536–39), he exercised absolute control. He founded many cities and developed the colony. An expedition to Ecuador (1534–35), made in an attempt to share in the booty Francisco PizarroPizarro, Francisco
, c.1476–1541, Spanish conquistador, conqueror of Peru. Born in Trujillo, he was an illegitimate son of a Spanish gentleman and as a child was an illiterate swineherd.
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 was taking from the Incan empire, ended in defeat. In 1540, Alvarado, sailing for the Moluccas, stopped in Mexico. While there he was influenced by the viceroy Antonio de MendozaMendoza, Antonio de
, 1490?–1552, Spanish administrator, first viceroy of New Spain (1535–50) and viceroy of Peru (1551–52). Of noble family, Mendoza held high offices before going to Mexico, where his wise rule earned him the appellation "the good viceroy.
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 and by the tales of Marcos de NizaMarcos de Niza
, c.1495–1558, missionary explorer in Spanish North America. A Franciscan friar, he served in Peru and Guatemala before going to Mexico. There he headed an expedition (1539) planned by Antonio de Mendoza, who had been excited by Cabeza de Vaca's stories of
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 to begin a search for the fabled Cibola. When the indigenous people of Nueva Galicia unexpectedly revolted in 1541, Alvarado took part against them in the Mixtón War. He led a foolhardy attack and was accidentally killed in the subsequent retreat. Juan Rodríguez CabrilloCabrillo, Juan Rodríguez
, Port. João Rodrigues Cabrilho, d. 1543, Spanish conquistador and discoverer of California, b. Portugal. In 1520 he landed in Mexico with Pánfilo de Narváez and joined in the conquests of Mexico and Guatemala.
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 took command of the maritime expedition. Alvarado's wife, Doña Beatriz de la CuevaCueva, Beatriz de la
, d. 1541, governor of Guatemala. After the death of her husband, Pedro de Alvarado, she maneuvered her own election and became the only woman to govern a major American political division in Spanish times.
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, succeeded him as governor of Guatemala. His letters concerning the conquest of Guatemala have been published.

Bibliography

See J. E. Kelly, Pedro de Alvarado (1932).