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Pineda, Alonso Alvarez

(1494 - 1519)

Alonso Alvarez de Pineda was a Spanish explorer and cartographer.

Pineda sailed in 1519 for the Spanish Governor of Jamaica, Francisco de Garay, who sent him to explore and chart the Gulf Coast (today southern United States) from Florida to Mexico. Francisco de Garay provided ships and money for the expeditions.

Pineda followed the coast today western Florida to Veracruz. During 9-month expeditions he mapped about 800 miles of shoreline. Pineda was probably the first European explorer in Texas. He also claimed regions of Texas for Spain and entered in Corpus Christi Bay. Pineda arrived in Veracruz in August 1519 and had to escape from Hernán Cortés, who had attempted to capture him. He sailed north, probably to the river Rio Grande.

Pineda probably died of wounds received in fights with Indians. His return to Jamaica history has never been confirmed. Pineda's report about voyage and map were forwarded to the governor of Jamaica.
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