Great Conquers: Francisco De Orellana

Eli West

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In 1541, a Spanish conquistador by the name of Francisco De Orellana boarded an expedition, with his brother Gonzalo as the leader of the expedition, set 0ut for uncharted lands East of the city of Quito. What the explorers didn’t know what they were about to discover, was the Amazon River.

Francisco De Orellana was a Spanish colonist, explorer, conquistador, and most importantly, the man who discovered the Amazon River. Francisco De Orellana was born in 1511, in Spain, and went to the Americas when he was still young. Francisco was also apart of Francisco Pizarro’s conquest of the Inca Empire. He also gained lands in Ecuador after civil wars among the conquistadors, but lost an eye in the process.

His brother, Gonzalo, believed in El Dorado, the lost golden city. So Francisco help fund the expedition, and set out in 1541. El Dorado was a city governed by a king, covered by gold dust, but that was not real, as we know today.

However, of course they did not find any gold or silver, instead furious natives, flooded rivers, hunger, and deadly insects. In December of 1541, the expedition stopped, and set camp, but they had heard, of course, about the myths of the Amazons, legendry warrior women who were exceptionally fierce. And that actually, was somewhat, true.

After the long haul, the river widened so that Orellana and his men could put the sails down on their brigantines. But eventually on August 26th 1542, they slipped out of the Amazon, and returned in the Atlantic Ocean. They returned to the settlement at the island of Cubagua on September 11th. And from there, Orellana headed back for Spain, honored as an hero.





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Great Conquers: Francisco De Orellana