Luis de Carabajal y Cueva

Luis De Carabajal Y Cueva

Luis de Carabajal y Cueva

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Luis de Carabajal y Cueva (sometimes Luis de Carvajal y de la Cueva; c. 1539 – 1595) was a Spanish-Portuguese adventurer, slave-trader and governor of Nuevo León.


Carabajal was born in Mogadouro, Portugal, to Gaspar de Carvajal and Francisca de León, Jewish conversos (converts to Catholicism). When he was eight his family took him to Sahagún, in the Kingdom of León (Spain). After his father died his tutor, Duarte de León, sent him back to Portugal. After spending 13 years in Cape Verde, Africa, as a royal accountant in the slave trade, he sailed to Seville and married Guiomar de Ribera, a lady from Lisbon whose father was also in the slave trade.

First sojourn in New Spain

Shortly thereafter, motivated by financial losses and marital problems, Carvajal sailed for New Spain in his own ship as second in command of the Spanish Indies fleet. Upon his arrival he was appointed mayor of Tampico. In the fall of 1568, mayor Carvajal rounded up 77 Englishmen marooned on the Tamaulipas coast by John Hawkins, who had lost some of his ships in a fight with the Spanish fleet at Veracruz.

When this exploit was reported to Viceroy Martín Enríquez de Almanza, he was so impressed that he commissioned Carvajal a captain, sending him to open a road between Pánuco province and the Mazapil mines. Later he was sent to chastise hostile Indian bands at the mouth of the Río Bravo (Rio Grande). He claimed to have punished the natives responsible for the massacre of 400...
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