EXPLORER OF THE NEW WORLD: Francisco Pizarro

Francisco Pizarro
by OK

I am Francisco Pizarro. I was born in 1474 in Trujillo, Spain, as the illegitimate and poorly educated son of a noble man.

In 1510 I arrived in the Spanish colony of Hispaniola ( see Columbus) where I later joined the expedition to settle Panama in 1519. The first expedition brought no tangible gain. My two partners and I organized three private expeditions in conquistador tradition. The second expedition led me to a northern outpost of the Inca Empire, Tumbez, where I acquired three Inca youths that I planned to train as interpreters.

For the third expedition I secured a contract, a capitulaccione, from the Spanish Monarchy that named me the Governor of Peru. I Ieft Spain on Jan. 19, 1530 and ennobled thirteen members of my company.

In late 1530, I sailed from Panama to Tumbez with 180 men. The Spanish successfully captured Atahuaipa and contemplated how they would use Atahuaipa to their own advantage. The Spanish simply intended to raid the empire and thus offered them a ransom of 13,420 pounds of gold and 26,000 pounds of silver in exchange for his release. I accepted and promised to release Atahualpa once the ransom had been delivered. Eventually I was convinced of Atahualpa’s threat to their position and had him executed in July 1533. I was raised in poverty and never learned to read and write.

I left Spain for West Indians in 1502 and lived on the island of Hispanoila. In 1509 I joined Alonso de Ojeda’s expedition to Colombia. Serving under Vasco Nunez de Balboa in 1513, I was his chief lieutenant when Balboa sighted the Pacific Ocean and claimed Spain. Later I served in Panama under governor Pedrarias Davila, who had me arrest Balboa for treason. Balboa was then tried and quickly executed in January 1519.

In Panama, I heard tales of a southern land rich in gold. During the 1520s I led two expedition down the west coast of South America and saw the golden ornaments worn by Native Americans of Inca Empire of Peru. Returning to Spain, I secured the kings permission to conquer the land and become its governor. The power struggled between Almagro and me led to the war of Las Salinas in 1538. Almagro was killed, but his son, known as Almagro the lad, continued the war. I, Francisco Pizarro, was murdered in my palace in Lima by followers of Almagro in 1541.


DELAWARE -- the Colony