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Sebastian Vizcaino is not as well remembered as Christopher Columbus, but his travels and maps are equally as important to our history. He was not just an explorer; he was also a merchant, a diplomat and a Spanish soldier. He believed there was wealth to be found, if one was brave enough to go after it. He failed to achieve many of his undertakings but continued to search. What effect did Sebastian Vizcaino have in California? In 1593, he made a deal with the viceroy, Luis de Velasco, for a license to pearl fish off the coast of California.
In return, he would provide information about the country and its people. Before he set sail, the agreement was amended to include the right for him and his men to enter California and place it under the subjection of the crown. The expedition left for California in 1596 with three ships. The voyage took over 6 months and bad weather was a constant problem. He landed in Baja and continued North to a place he called “La Paz”.
There he left a number of horses, men, women and friars to begin a colony.
He took other men and continued further North on his explorations. Things went well until the soldiers and the Indians got into a fight. Vizcaino and his men retreated and many drowned when the boat tipped in their haste to climb aboard. He made his way back to the settlement, only to find that it was not going well either. They could not fish for pearls due to the storms, food was running out, and the Indians accused the soldiers of looking at the native women too much.
Viscaino and his people abandoned the settlement and headed back for New Spain.
What other things did Sebastian Vicaino do in his lifetime? Vizcaino was a soldier for Spain during the invasion of Portugal from 1580-1583. . He made another voyage to California after the first one, but this one met with no success either. In 1611 Vizcaino went to Japan as a Spanish ambassador. He was there to return Japanese men who had been in Mexico. Once finished with that, he left for the Eastern shore of Japan hoping to find treasure. He tried twice to find this treasure but was turned back both times by fierce weather.
He sailed for 3 years on the Manila galleon. He was a merchant on the ship and they did trade in the Philippines. He gained knowledge of ships and navigation while on his travels. These helped him well in his later travels. What legacy did Sebastian Vizcaino leave behind? Despite the ill luck and failure of some of his endeavors, Sebastian Vizcaino did succeed at some things. The Japanese men he returned home safely with no loss of life. His reputation with the viceroy improved, enabling him to get permission for future endeavors.
Date Masamune, the Daimyo of Sendai, credits Vizcaino with using his knowledge of ships and navigation to help build a better galleon for the embassy and thus insured the success of its mission. Vizacaino also kept his word to the viceroy concerning information about California. Even with the trouble with fighting and the storms, he made maps and notes of the areas he traveled. His maps of the coast of California were accurate enough to be used for another 200 years. We can learn a lot from Sebastian Vizcaino.
He never let setbacks stop him from trying again. Had the weather not stopped him, we would have heard much more about Sebastian Vizcaino
Chapman, Charles E. A History of California: The Spanish Period. New York: Macmillan, 1991. Questia. 28 Nov. 2006 <http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=90632678>. Mathes, Michael “Sebastian Vizcaino. ” Wikipedia Nov. 2006 “San Diego Biographies: Sebastian Vizcaino” San Diego Historical Society (nd) Website: http://www. sandiegohistory. org/bio/vizcaino/vizcaino. htm
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