Ojeda, Alonso de (c. 1466–1516)

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Ojeda, Alonso de (c. 1466–1516)

Alonso de Ojeda (b. ca. 1466; d. 1516), Spanish navigator and conquistador. Ojeda traveled with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1493 and partook in explorations of Guadalupe and Hispaniola. Years later he obtained permission to travel to the mainland following the route of Columbus's third voyage. Ojeda set sail in 1499, accompanied by Amerigo Vespucci. They arrived near the equator, explored the coast of Trinidad and the entire Venezuelan coast, the mouth of the Orinoco, and the island of Margarita. After Ojeda returned to Spain, information from his expedition was incorporated into Juan de la Cosa's map of 1500, on which the name Venezuela appeared for the first time.

Ojeda made other expeditions in 1501 and 1509. In 1501 he was appointed governor of Coquivacoa, and in 1502 he explored the area of La Guajira. Francisco Pizarro accompanied him on his 1509 voyage, in which Juan de la Cosa and one hundred other Spaniards perished in a skirmish with natives near Cartagena Bay. Ojeda finally occupied the Gulf of Urabá and founded the city of San Sebastián, but the expedition was chaotic overall and had little commercial success. Nevertheless, Ojeda was among the most important navigators and discoverers of the New World.

See alsoColumbus, Christopher; Explorers and Exploration: Spanish America; Pizarro, Francisco.


On Ojeda see Ricardo Majo Framis, Alonso de Ojeda (1972), and Hermano Nectario María, Descubrimiento del Lago de Maracaibo por Alonso de Ojeda y Juan de la Cosa, 24 de agosto de 1499: Rasgos biográficos de ambos descubridores (1978). On the general theme of the discovery and conquest of the territory of Venezuela, see the classic work of José Oviedo y Baños, The Conquest and Settlement of Venezuela (1987), translated by Jeanette Johnson Varner.

Additional Bibliography

Alvarez Perelló, Eduardo. El conquistador Don Alonso de Ojeda. Santo Domingo [?]: Taller, 1990.

Florencia, María Christen. El caballero de la virgen: La narración de Alonso de Ojeda en la Historia de las Indias de fray Bartolomé de las Casas. Iztapalapa [Mexico City]: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, 1988.

Szászdi León-Borja, István. Los viajes de rescate de Ojeda y las rutas comerciales indias: El valor económico del Señorío del Mar de los Reyes Católicos. Santo Domingo: Ediciones Fundación García Arévalo, 2001.

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