Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo

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Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was a Portuguese explorer and was famous for his exploration of the west coast of North America on behalf of Spain. Cabrillo was the first European explorer to navigate the coast of present day California.Not much is known about his early life, but Juan Rodriguez was born on 1499 in Castilla .Cabrillo served in the army of a famous conquistador Hernan Cortes, where he joined the conquest of Mexico and Guatemala. Cabrillo fought as a captain of crossbowmen in the battles between Aztecs and the Spanish. After the defeat of the Aztecs, Cabrillo joined different Spanish military expeditions in what today southern Mexico, Guatemala and San Salvador. By the 1530s Cabrillo established himself as a citizen of Santiago. In 1532, he traveled to Spain where he met and married Beatriz Sanchez de Ortaga. In 1542, Cabrillo went on his first expedition to explore what is now the coast of California. He was commissioned by governor of Guatemala for a voyage up the California coast under the flag of Spain. Cabrillo hoped to find a wealthy city know as Cibola, and somewhere in the Pacific coast, and a connecting route to the Northwest Passage. The expedition sailed out of the port of Navidad, on June 1542 and brought with him a crew of sailors, soldiers, and Indians in three ships. By the end of the month Cabrillo passed Baja Point and entered uncharted waters, where no Spanish ships gone before. On the 28th of September he landed on an island which he named San Salvador, after his flagship. They reached as far north as the Russian River before the autumn storms forced them to turn back to San Salvador on November 23, 1542. They stayed there overwinter and to make repairs. Around Christmas Cabrillo splintered his shin and developed gangrene and died on January 3, 1543. The expedition stopped and the crew went back
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