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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 632 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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VICENTE YANEZ PINION, who commanded the " Nina" in 1492–1493, also gave Columbus material help, and remained loyal to his leader throughout. In after years he made important discoveries on his own account. Late in December 1499 he sailed with four caravels across the Atlantic to the south-west, and on the 7th of February 1500 he struck the South American continent at Cape S. Agostinho, near its most easterly projection (called by him Cape Santa Maria de la Consolacion) almost three months before the Portuguese navigator Cabral reached Brazil, the discovery of which is generally attributed to him. Proceeding southwards a short distance, he then turned north, followed the coast to the north-west, discovered the Amazon estuary, and went at least as far as what is now Costa Rica. After touching at Haiti, and losing two of his vessels among the Bahamas, Vicente returned to Palos in the end of September 1500. Although concessions were made to him, and he was created governor of the newly discovered lands by Ferdinand and Isabella, he does not seem to have ever taken possession. In 1507 we find Vicente sailing with Juan Diaz de Solis along the east coast of Central America. In 1509, again with De Solis, he coasted the Atlantic side of South America as far as the La Plata estuary, hoping to find an opening westwards leading to the Spice Islands. According to Herrera, he even reached 4o° S., passing the La Plata without recognizing it, and turning back about the mouth of the Rio Negro, but this is probably an exaggeration. After 1523 all traces of Vicente are lost. See Navarrete, Coleccion de viajes; Washington Irving's Columbus, Bk. XIV., ch. ii.; bibliography in Joaquim Caetano da Silva's L'Oyapoc et l'Arnazone (Paris, 1861); Herrera, Indias Occid., Dec. I., lib. vi. cap. 17; lib. vii., caps. i and 9 (Madrid, 1730) ; Oviedo, Hist. general de las Indias, lib. xxiii. cap. i (Madrid, 1852) ; 0. Peschel, Geschichte der Erdkunde, pp. 230, 233, 249 (Munich, 1865) ; Zeitalter der Entdeckungen, pp. 305, &c., 426; Jose Maria Asensio, Cristoval Colon, su vida, sus viajes, sus descobrimientos (Barcelona, 1891) ; Cesareo Fernandez Duro, Colon e Pinzon.
GIL VICENTE (147o-1540)

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