Vicente Yáñez Pinzón (approx 1462 - 1514 ) was a navigator and Spanish explorer . Natural of Woods of the Border, ( Huelva ), in Andalusia . Codescubridor of America and first European navigator whom arrived at Brazil. in its first trip to New World, in 1492, like captain of the caravel sailed along with Cristóbal Columbus the Girl . in January of 1500 discovered the coasts of Brazil, three months before the arrival of Pedro Álvares Cabral .

The years of youth

Vicente Yáñez was born approximately towards 1462 in Woods from the Border, reason why he was youngest, with difference, of the Pinzón brothers, being very probable that " took the nickname; Yáñez " of Rodrigo Yáñez, a bailiff of Woods that would be its godfather, like was the custom of the place. The Wood tradition indicates its lot in the street of the Shore. From very young it learned the seacraft of his older brother, one of the most outstanding navigators of the time, and participated from his adolescence, that was time military, in combats and assaults. One married twice, the first with Teresa Rodriguez, that gave two daughters him: Ana Rodriguez and Juana González . Second, to the return of its last trip to Yucatan, in 1509, with Ana Núñez de Trujillo, with which coexisted in Triana until its death.

The first news documented on Vicente Yáñez are several denunciations on assaults to Catalan and Aragonese ships that realized, since it was only 15 years old, between 1477 and 1479, a time of war with Portugal, in which Woods participated actively and that its habitual shortage of wheat aggravated. Their neighbors complained to pass hunger, and the real orders to several places of which they allowed the cereal supplying to Woods were disobeyed. Pinzón, assuming its responsibilities as natural leaders of the region, attacked caravels that transported wheat essentially.

Captain of the caravel the Girl

Vicente Yáñez was first in accepting the invitation of enlisting of his brother when Martin Alonso decides to support the expedition of Cristóbal Columbus . Together they were visiting, house by house, to its relatives, known friendly and, animating to embark to the most outstanding sailors of the zone. They rejected the boats obstructed by Columbus, contracting suitable ships more, and contributed of its average property million maravedíes.

Like captain of Young, their interventions were fundamental during the trip, animating to continue the expedition when until own Columbus wanted to become. choked to the protests of the sailors of nao Santa Maria, going to the rescue of these when nao was shipwrecked and bringing to the Admiral of return to Spain .

In 1495 we found it preparing two caravels, Vicente Yáñez and Fraila, to participate in the Navy that Alonso de Aguilar, older brother of Great Captain, was going to direct against the North of Africa, but happen the wars of Naples and they go to Italy, from where they do not return to 1498, crossing of step the coasts of Algiers and Tunisia .

The discovery of Brazil

That same year, Corona decides to allow individuals that realize discovery trips. After capitulating in Seville with the Almighty Fonseca Bishop in the name of Kings Católicos, 19 of November of 1499, left Vicente Yáñez Wood Port with four small caravels, by own initiative and to its expenses. They accompanied great amount by relatives and friendly to him, among them, like notary public, Garcí Fernandez, the famous Wood physicist who supported Columbus when nobody did, his nephews and captains the Aryan Perez and Diego Fernandez Colmenero, first-born son and son-in-law, respectively, of Martin Alonso, his uncle Diego Martin Pinzón with his cousins Juan, Francisco and Bartholomew, the prestigious pilots Juan Quintero Prince, Juan de Umbría, Alonso Núñez and Juan de Jerez, as well as the sailors Cristóbal de Vega, Garci'a Alonso, Diego de Alfaro, Rodrigo Alvarez, Dark Diego, Antón Fernandez Colmenero, Bald Juan, Juan of Palencia, Manuel Valdobinos, Pedro Ramirez, Garci'a Hernandez and, by all means, their brother Francisco Martin Pinzón .

Governor was appointed:

The story of this trip appears in several chronicles. Of them, Decades of the New World, written in 1501 by Milanese Pedro Martyr of Anglería, is nearest in the time and cradles in information of eyewitnesses, among them own Vicente Yáñez, but, mainly, Diego de Lepe, captain Palermo that made a trip " gemelo" the one of Pinzón, it left Woods a month and a half or two months later and followed its course until advancing in Amazon River to him . Also the version of is quite interesting Gonzalo Fernandez of Oviedo in his General and Natural History of the Indians, because " it knew and trató" to Pinzón that provided many to him of the data that narrate. As far as respective Chronic of the father Bartholomew of the Houses and Antonio of Herrera, is based the one of fray Bartholomew on Anglería and the one of Herrera in the Dominican one. In its peculiar and flowery language, Pedro Martyr of Anglería informs to us into which, past Canary and the islands of Green Cabo, the ships of Vicente Yáñez took southwestern course until losing of view Polestar . For the first time, the Spanish sailors passed Ecuador and they entered in South Hemisphere . Serious contingency, because logically they did not know to guide by stars of the Austral sky .

Oviedo does not relate the trip. As far as the Houses, it substantially follows Anglería, although with more austere expressions, affirming that " taken the way of the Canary Islands and there to those from Green Cabo, and left the one Santiago, that is one dellas, to 13 days of January of 1500 years, later took the route from South wind and to Levante, and long walks, according to said, 700 Leguas, lost the North and passed the line Equinoccial . Passed della, they had a most terrible storm that thought to perish; they walked by that one route of the East or the other 240 East leguas". Herrera says the same, but it points out, when it narrates the equinoccial passage of lines, that Vicente Yáñez was " the first subject of Corona of Castile and Leon that atravesó".

Finally, he says Anglería, " to us; the 26 of January saw earth from far, and observing the turbidity of the water of the sea, threw the sounding and found a depth of 16 elbows, that vulgarly call movements of the arms. Acercáronse and disembarked there and, having remained two days, because they did not find in that time man some no matter how hard they saw tracks hers in the beach, recorded in the trees and rocks next to the coast the names of the Kings and the own ones, with the news of his arrival, and marcharon". Amazing the sparseness of words of ebullient the Pedro Martyr, mainly compared with the previous one parrafada and so of the same fact it says the Houses when it affirms that " 26 of January saw good earth far; this one was the end that agora flame of Sant Agustín, and the Earth Portuguese of Brazil : púsole Vicente then Yáñez by name Cabo de Consolación ".

The Sevillan friar inserted in his work two very important affirmations: first, that the end at which arrived Pinzón and baptized like Consolation was the end known like San Agustín. Secondly, that Vicente Yáñez took possession from the Earth. Fray Bartholomew follows the story of the Milanese one, but nondoubt in completing it with the information and convictions that have been compiling in passing of the years. For him the smaller doubt did not exist: Cabo of Santa Maria of the Consolation was the one of San Agustín, first earth open pie in Brazil by Vicente Yáñez Pinzón, that took possession from her.

Before the hostile attitude of the natives, they decide to hoist the candles and to continue sailing until they arrived at another river, but with sufficient depth to be crossed with the caravels thus they did not send to earth to recognize it four barrel vaults on watch with armed men. These saw on an eminence next to the coast a multitude of natives, to those who, sending an infantry soldier ahead they invited to try. It seemed that they tried to seize and to take with himself to our man, because as well as this one she had thrown to them to attract them a bell, they, from far, did the same with palito gilded of an elbow; and when inclining the Spanish to take it, rodeáronlo quickly with the intention of to catch it; but our infant, protecting itself with the shield and the sword of which he was armed, defended until their companions helped with the boats it.

The sad result of this first bloody confrontation was, according to all the cronistas, eight dead Spaniards and more than a dozen of wounded, being between the natives rather more numerous the losses. The cronistas agree in the narration, with the shading of Oviedo, that says that " was one; gold piece labrada" what the Indians like bait used.

Of this episode they deduce some authors, aventuradamente, who the natives knew the ambition gold of the Christians. First of all, " palito of oro" that, little by little, of cronista in cronista, he happened to be " gold piece labrada" it was not recovered, reason why never we will know if really it were gold or no. Nevertheless, this fact, as well as a cross found by the expedition of Diego de Lepe, and that according to the professor Juan Apple tree had not surprised them so much, nor Juan of the Thing would have reviewed it in its famous map, if they had thought that they had placed it there the men of Yáñez, are the endebles arguments with which this author puts in doubt that the true discoverer of Brazil was Pinzón, and attributes, without the more, this merit to the expedition of the Portuguese Duarte Pacheco in 1498, that nobody exactly knows to where was, because the political circumstances advised to maintain it privily.

A hypothesis with that, according to the historian Left Julio Worked, we cannot agree too much ventured and gratuitous for being, not only because the arguments, we repeated, are very endebles, but because the secret and the discovery are not concepts that take well. To discover is not only to arrive, is to take possession, to record names, to put record from which it has arrived itself, to cause that a notary public raises to act of the event, knowledge with major or minor exactitude to where has been arrived, to measure, to map and, mainly, to inform to kings, Cosmógrafos, cronistas, sailors, to mention some offices, and public generally, in such a way that the earth at which it has arrived itself incorporate to the general knowledge of the culture, of the civilization that sends that expedition. And that did not happen from the arrival, if it arrived, of Duarte Pacheco to the Brazilian coast, but of Vicente Yáñez Pinzón, unique sailor who deserves the title of discoverer of Brazil . Title that, by the way, scrimped to him neither discussed, as we will see, their contemporaries, nor Spanish, nor Portuguese.

Nobody either disputed to the title of discoverer and first explorer to him of Amazon River, place where the related confrontation took place, in the mouth of For, and del that left saddened because of deads, until arriving at which another 40 river believed that was leguas. In fact, as already it affirms Oviedo in his chronicle, one was the other border, the other mouth of the immense Amazon. Astonished they verify that the fresh water introduces 40 leguas in the sea, and renew all the water of its containers. Decided to investigate the secret of a so powerful river, they go towards him and, according to Anglería, they discovered that from great mounts rivers of fast currents hurried with great impetus. They say that within that one sea there are numerous feracious islands by the wealth of its ground and floods of towns. They tell that the natives of this region are pacific and sociable, but little useful for ours, since they did not secure of them any tempting benefit, like gold or precious stones; in view of it, they took there of 30 captives. The natives call to this region Mariatambal ; however, the located one to the east of the river says Camamoro, and western Paricora . The natives indicated that inside that one coast existed nondespicable amount of gold.

Oviedo affirms categorically that was Vicente Yáñez Pinzón the first Christian and Spanish whom deste gave to the news grand river, to which already denominates Marañón, name that also uses the Houses, although affirms not to know who and baptized why it thus. In addition the Dominican one adds the surprise that to them the phenomenon of produced Macareo, then being in the river with the great impetus and force of the fresh water and the one of the sea that resisted to him, made a terrible noise and raised to the ships four states in stop, where they did not suffer boy danger.

Entertained in this exploration of the Amazon, they were exceeded by the expedition of Diego de Lepe, that came to them following from Woods. Therefore, in the Amazon they concluded the discoveries, strictly speaking, of Pinzón by Brazilian earth. Thence, Anglería says to us, that they followed the coast with course the West towards Pariah, in a space of 300 leguas, until the earth end where the Arctic pole is lost . This point is especially interesting and on him we will return more ahead, when dealing with on the controversy around the situation Cabo of Santa Maria of the Consolation .

Anglería continues informing on the trip into Pinzón, its arrival to the Marañón ( Orinoco, although the Houses call thus to the Amazon). Thence they continued until Pariah, where indeed loaded three thousand wood pounds Brazil, one of the few products that reported benefits in this trip. With wind the northwest they sail between several islands, very fertile but little populated by the Cannibal cruelty with . They disembark in several of them, discovering Island of May, but the natives flee. They find enormous trees and, among them, an amazing Marsupial animal .

They had crossed either 600 leguas, and passed or through the Spanish, when in the month of July they underwent a terrible storm, that made be shipwrecked two of the four caravels that took in Low of Babueca, and it took to another one, taking it with violence of his anchors and making lose itself it of view. They were desperate when, luckyly, when stopping the storm returned the caravel that believed lost, manned by 18 men. With these two ships held course to Spain. Mistreated by the waves and being lost few companions they did not return to the native Wood ground, next to his wifves and to their children, the 30 of September.

Appointments of Horseman and Governor

This trip, that longest and important was realized in the time by its geographic results, was however an economic disaster. Whatsoever, the Kings were very interested in the possession of the immense coast open pie by Pinzón, so they tried to stimulate to him so that he returned to her, there reason why the 5 of September of 1501 signed with him a capitulation in which, among other things, they name Captain and Governor of la this end of Santa Maria of the Consolation and seguyendo the pomp coast Rostro Fermoso, and of all the coast that is run to the Norueste until this river that you possisteis nonbre Santa Maria of the Sweet Sea, with yslas questán to the mouth of this river, that nonbra Mariatanbalo. And in addition they granted the sixth part to him of all the products that were obtained from that one earth, whenever he returned to her " within a year, that counts of the day of the date desta capitulaçión and asiento".

Doubtlessly, Kings Católicos demonstrate that they grant much importance to the discoveries of Pinzón and that they trust his was worth to continue serving to them. For that reason, to award reason why he had obtained to him, they animated at the same time as it and they helped to continue serving to them, Friday 8 of October of 1501 was appointed horseman by King Fernando the Catholic in the tower of Coseas of Alhambra, the Real Palace of Granada.

Everything was useless, Vicente Yáñez Pinzón could not or it did not want to realize this trip. Generally usually one says that the lack of resources of captain Palermo prevented him to realize it. Nevertheless, Yáñez could secure credit when it was necessary, although it go to very high interests. Therefore, it does not agree to reject the possibility that already in so early date it doubted, as a result of the Portuguese trips to those coasts, of the sovereignty of the Spanish kings exceeds she in regard to Treated about Tordesillas and, therefore, its faculty to grant to him his government to him.

Juan Apple tree tries to demonstrate that Pinzón returned to those earth by him open pies in 1504, in a concerted effort to clarify to the confused narration of Pedro Martyr of Anglería on the last trip of Vicente Yáñez where Soli's mixes their fates with by Gulf of Mexico with a return to earth found in 1500, in periplo absurd and without sense. Why had to return Pinzón to Brazil ? In order to verify that the calculations of the Portuguese were correct and to inform envelope they to the Kings? This is possible, but the capitulation of 1501 said that Pinzón went to its expenses, running with expenses that their laborious economic situation made very onerous, and that effort why? In order to verify that neither it nor Spain had right on this earth? Sailing with as much secret that no of its contemporaries found out? Risking its life and the one of its crew more of the normal thing to take only one caravel? Perhaps it had not written down well the data in his first trip that it had to repeat it, to happen again through the same sites? And when in 1513 it gave declaration, with as much exactitude and honesty that it perfectly delimited between the coast that was shortage of which simply there was " corrido", since he admitted that his finding corresponded to his countryman Diego de Lepe, why is not so concrete on its arrival Cabo of San Agustín, without the minimum reference to than it had there been in second and not in the first time?

Too many questions without answers in this assumption second trip from Pinzón to Brazil, too many questions from a confused and disorderly story of Pedro Martyr of Anglería . The truth is that the fates of Vicente Yáñez between 1502 and 1504 not yet are clarified.

Expedition to Central America

Yes it was stated his presence in America during those years, probably perform one's duty like Commander in chief and Governing of Puerto Rico, the island that was shortage its brother Martin Alonso Pinzón during the first trip of 1492. However, from the spring of 1505 we return it to find in Spain, concretely in the Meeting of Navigators of Toro, in which, by a dated capitulation the 24 of April named captain and corregidor of Island of San Juan or Puerto Rico . Also participated like expert summoned by Corona in the Meeting of Navigators of Burgos of 1508 to again retake the subject of the search of a passage towards Islands of Spices. Last trip of captain Palermo with the Soli's, in whom, Veragua and crossed the coasts of Darién Pariah, present of Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala . When not finding the step looked for, surrounds the Yucatan Peninsula and they enter in Gulf of Mexico until 23,5º of North latitude, carrying out one of the first contacts with the Aztec civilization .

To the return of that trip, Vicente Yáñez house and for the second time settles down in Triana, testifying in 1513 in Columbian Lawsuits against the Admiral with its customary moderation. In 1514 is become ordained to him to accompany to Pedrarias Davila to the Darién, but Vicente Yáñez is patient and asks that it is excused to him. was the 14 of March of 1514, and this one is the last document in which it is mentioned to him. According to his friend, cronista Fernandez of Oviedo, Vicente Yáñez died this same year, probably by the end of September, with the same discretion that lived, without the place where it was buried, surely in the cemetery of Triana is known . A sad and dark end for greatest of the great navigators of its time.

Random links:1474 | Argentina dictatorship | Facilities of the buildings | Heodes virgaureae | Hood I gave Ponte

© 2007-2008; article text available under the terms of GFDL, from