Benalcázar, Sebastián de

Benalcázar or Belalcázar, Sebastián de

(sābästyän` dā bānälkä`thär, bāläl–), c.1479–1551, Spanish conquistador. After accompanying Columbus on his third voyage (1498), Benalcázar served in Darién and Nicaragua before joining 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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 in the conquest of Peru (1532). Setting out from PiuraPiura
, city (1993 pop. 199,484), capital of Piura dept., NW Peru, in the irrigated Piura valley of the Peruvian coastal desert. It is the commercial center for the region's cotton, sugarcane, and rice crops. Textiles are its principal manufacture.
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, he forestalled Pedro de Alvarado in support of Diego de AlmagroAlmagro, Diego de
, c.1475–1538, Spanish conquistador, a leader in the conquest of Peru. A partner of Francisco Pizarro, he took part in the first (1524) and second (1526–28) expeditions and in the bloody subjugation of the Incas after 1532.
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, the elder, and entered (1533) the native stronghold of Quito, founded Guayaquil, and marched (1535) into SW Colombia in search of El DoradoEl Dorado
[Span.,=the gilded man], legendary country of the Golden Man sought by adventurers in South America. The legend supposedly originated in a custom of the Chibcha people of Colombia who each year anointed a chieftain and rolled him in gold, which he then ceremonially
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. While in Colombia he founded Pasto and Cali. In 1539, he tried unsuccessfully to ally himself with FedermannFedermann, Nikolaus
, 1501–42, German adventurer in Venezuela and Colombia. In the service of the Welser brothers, Augsburg bankers to whom Charles V had granted rights in Venezuela, Federmann first landed at Santa Ana de Coro in 1530.
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 against Jiménez de QuesadaJiménez de Quesada, Gonzalo
, c.1499–1579, Spanish conquistador in Colombia. Chief magistrate of Santa Marta, he was commissioned to explore the Magdalena in search of El Dorado.
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. Journeying to Spain with them to settle accounts, Benalcázar returned (1541) as governor of Popayán prov. Between 1541 and 1548 he aided Vaca de Castro against Diego de Almagro, the younger, and then helped Nuñez Vela and Pedro de la Gasca against Gonzalo Pizarro. For executing the leader of a neighboring province that he claimed as his, Benalcázar was tried (1550) and convicted. On his way to appeal to the Council of the Indies he died of fever in Cartagena.
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