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SANCItEZ, Afl'onso (san'chess), Portuguese pilot, born in Cascaes, Estremadura, about 1430; died about 1486. According to Francisco Gomara in his "Historia de las Indias," Abreu e Lima in his "Synopsis e deducc~o chronologica," Ayres de Cazal in his "Coragrafia Brasilica," Lisboa in his "Annaes do Rio de Janeiro," and other historians, Sanchez commanded a caravel, and was trading on the coast of Africa, when he was forced by winds and currents toward the west to an unknown land, where he discovered the mouth of a mighty river, probably the Amazon, and on his return landed at some large islands, perhaps Cuba and Santo Domingo. On this homeward journey his caravel was wrecked near Madeira, or at Porto Santo, where he was rescued by Columbus, with whom he lived for the rest of his life, and to whom he left his papers and the secret of his great discovery, which afterward enabled the Genoese navigator to find America. Although no direct proofs exist as to the truth of these facts, nothing has yet been discovered to contradict them, and thus Sanchez stands among the many claimants of the discovery of America.
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