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Francisco Pizarro Biography

This next stage in the Francisco Pizarro Biography found Pizarro overcoming certain setbacks; also, exciting rumors leading to the support of the Royal Family.






Francisco Pizarro Biography
Francisco Pizarro Biography and Life

Part II 1527 - 1531



The Famous Thirteen - Francisco Pizarro Biography

Following many animated discussions between Pizarro and Almagro, it was resolved that Pizarro would remain at a less dangerous place, the Isla de Gallo, close to the coast, while Almagro could go back once more to Panama together with Luque to get more manpower — this time around along with evidence of the gold they had just stumbled upon and the report of the uncovering of a clearly-wealthy territory they had recently found.

Part I  1475-1526

  • Journey to the Americas
  • Pizarro in Panama
  • Explorations of South America

Part II  1527-1531   

  • The Famous Thirteen
  • 'Capitulacion de Toledo'

Part III  1532-1541

  • Conquering Peru
  • The Death of Pizarro

However, the latest governor of Panama, Pedro de los Rios, had received reports of the many set-backs and accidents marring  Pizarro's trips as well as the deaths of a number of the colonists who had accompanied him. Afraid of a failure, he turned down Almagro's solicitation for a third trip in 1527. Additionally, he demanded a couple of ships captained by Juan Tafur to be dispatched instantly with the intent of returning Pizarro and all the others to Panama.

Of course, Pizarro had no intentions of returning to Panama, and the Francisco Pizarro biography did not come to an untimely end...yet. When Tafur got to the currently well-known Isla de Gallo, Pizarro inscribed a line in the sand, stating: "There lies Peru with its riches; here, Panama and its poverty. Decide, each man, what most becomes a valiant Castilian." Of those left of the expeditionary force, thirteen men made the decision to remain with Pizarro. This group of adventurers who made the decision to continue the push into new and likely dangerous areas eventually grew to be referred to as The Famous Thirteen.

The other adventurers departed with Tafur on board his ships. Ruiz likewise departed in one of the vessels with the objective of connecting with Almagro and Luque in their endeavors to assemble more manpower and ultimately go back to help Pizarro. Shortly afterwards the boats departed, the thirteen men and Pizarro built a very basic sail boat and made a short journey of nine miles (14 km) northward for La Isla Gorgona, at which they would linger for seven months prior to the advent of fresh supplies.

Upon the return to Panama of Ruiz and his ships, the governor, Pedro de los Rios (after a lot of persuading on the part of Luque), had at last agreed to the supplications for one more vessel. Supposedly, this ship was meant only to bring Pizarro back to Panama again inside of six months and force him to totally give up on the trip. But both Almagro and Luque rapidly grabbed what they saw as an opportunity to quit Panama (this time with no fresh men) for la Isla Gorgona in order to again join up with Pizarro.

When they did rejoin Pizarro, the friends determined to keep on cruising south. They relied for this on the counsel of Ruiz's indigenous guides.

By April 1528, they at last arrived at the northwestern Peruvian Tumbes Area. Tumbes ended up being territory of the earliest fruits of success the Spaniards had such a long time sought. At Tumbes (currently in the very north of Peru), they were welcomed by a friendly reception and given supplies by the locals, a tribe called the Tumpis. During the course of the following days, two of Pizarro's crew checked out the surrounding region.

These two, each giving their own distinct account, verified the previous reports of the unlimited wealth of the territory. They described, among other things, the adornments of silver and gold throughout the households of the chiefs as well as the friendly attention with which they were received by everybody.

The Spaniards likewise observed, for the first time, the
Francisco Pizarro Biography
Francisco Pizarro Biography and Life
previously-unknown Peruvian llama which Pizarro referred to as the "little camels". The local inhabitants at this point had begun referring to the Spaniards as the "Children of the Sun" because of their light skin and bright armor.

Pizarro, in the meantime, had continued to get similar accounts concerning a potent king who governed the territory that they were traversing. The reports of his own men as well as rumors reaching him through the local populace served to further persuade the adventurers of the riches and power to be had. What they had seen for themselves at Tumbes alone was an indication to them of the wealth that the Peruvian region possessed - just waiting to be mastered.

Realistically, though, another prolonged campaign was just not possible at this point. The conquistadores made the decision to go back to Panama in order to set up the ultimate expedition of conquest along with additional personnel and supplies.

Prior to making the return to Panama, however, Pizarro and his adherents sailed southward a short distance down the shoreline to determine if anything at all of interest might be noticed.

Historical author William H. Prescott writes that soon after moving through regions they spoke of as Cabo Blanco, port of Payta, Sechura, Punta de Aguja, Santa Cruz, and Trujillo (a city established by Almagro long time later), they eventually came for the first time to the 9th degree of the southern latitude in South America.

Upon their turning back in direction of Panama, Pizarro briefly halted in Tumbes, where a couple of his crew had made the decision to remain to master the traditions and tongue of the local inhabitants. There, Pizarro was offered a couple of natives for his personal use, one of whom was afterwards baptized as Felipillo and acted as a very important translator, very similar to Cortes' La Malinche of Mexico.

Their last halt was at La Isla Gorgona, an island of significance in the Francisco Pizarro biography. where two of his sick men (one had died) had remained previously. Following a minimum of eighteen months out, Pizarro and his men hove to near the coasts of Panama in order to get ready for the last expedition.
Francisco Pizarro Biography
Francisco Pizarro Biography and Life



Capitulacion de Toledo - Francisco Pizarro Biography

When the latest governor of Panama, Pedro de los Rios, had decided not to permit a 3rd trip towards the south, the friends made the big decision for Pizarro to undertake the long voyage back to Spain with the intention of asking the king himself for support of another expedition. Pizarro sailed from Panama for Spain early in the year of 1528, making it to Seville in beginning of summer.

Spain's King Charles I, who was in Toledo at that time, agreed to a meeting with Pizarro. From him, the king heard about his travels in South America, a region the adventurer painted as extremely rich in gold and silver, which he along with his men had courageously explored "to expand the empire of Castile."

The Sovereign, who was soon to depart for Italy, was fascinated by the stories of Pizarro and ultimately guaranteed to provide his assistance in the conquering of Peru. However, in the absence of the Ruler, ,  it turned out that it was Queen Isabel who would be the one to sign what was known as the Capitulacion de Toledo, a license document that gave the authority to Francisco Pizarro to continue with the conquering of Peru.

Pizarro ended up being formally given the titles of Governor, Captain General, as well as the "Adelantado" of the New Castile to the distance of 200 leagues down the recently discovered coastline. The complete the authority and prerogatives were given only to Pizarro, however, his friends getting left with basically no authority at all, a reality that later on angered Almagro and would eventually result in serious arguments with Pizarro.

Among the stipulations within the grant given by the queen to Pizarro was the requirement that inside of six months Pizarro must get together an adequately outfitted army of 250 men, of whom 100 could be gotten from the colonial territories. Otherwise, permission was not to be granted.

Pizarro immediately departed for his hometown of Trujillo and
Francisco Pizarro Biography
Francisco Pizarro Biography and Life
persuaded his sibling, Hernando Pizarro, along with other close associates to work with him on his 3rd expedition. Additionally, they were joined by Francisco de Orellana, another explorer famous in history who would afterwards discover and explore the whole distance of the Amazon River.

Two more of Pizarro's siblings, Juan Pizarro and Gonzalo Pizarro, would eventually choose to likewise join him; these in addition to his cousin Pedro Pizarro who would act as Pizarro's personal aide. Once the expeditionary force, which included three sailing vessels, 180 men, and also 27 horses, was complete, they set out.

The big problem was that Pizarro could not find the total number of 250 men required by the written agreement with the queen. Because he could not satisfy the amount of men the Capitulacion had demanded, Pizarro left Spain secretly from the harbor of Sanlucar de Barrameda and sailed to the Canary Island of La Gomera in January 1530. He was there to be united with his sibling Hernando as well as the leftover crew in two boats that would navigate again to Panama.

In the Francisco Pizarro Biography, his third and last expedition departed Panama towards Peru on 27 December 1530.
Francisco Pizarro Biography
Francisco Pizarro Biography and Life

Continue to Part III - Francisco Pizarro and the Spanish Conquistadores

Return to Part I - Francisco Pizarro

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