Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HERRERA y OLALLA, Alonso de, Spanish soldier, born in Agudo, Spain, about 1500; died in New Granada about 1580. In 1534 he resolved to go to Venezuela with Jorge de Spire, leaving his wife and children in Spain. He met Federmann (q. v.) in Coro, and went with him to New Granada, where he remained. He was not long in Santa Fe before the Indians of Simijaca revolted, and he was commissioned with Cespedes to reduce them to subjection. The Indians held a strong position on a rock, and defended themselves vigorously. Determined to dislodge them, Herrera climbed the steep amid a shower of stones. He had already reached the middle of it when he was struck by a stone and hurled down a distance of more than three hundred feet. His fail was broken by the branches of some trees, but he was injured, and he did not recover for two years. The spot still bears his name, and is called "Olalla's Leap." After his recovery, he headed an expedition against the natives of Tocaima, Pamplona, and Mariquilo, whom he conquered. He also reduced the natives of Bituima to subjection at his own expense and without bloodshed. He next subdued the inhabitants of the present department of La Pahna, and, having pacified the entire country between Honda and Bogota, he made also, at his own expense, a road between these two points thirty leagues in length. After building a village on this highway he undertook the conquest of the Valle de la Plata and Moquinque with 150 men. The enterprise was successful, but he died on the return march.
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