Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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IMECOURT, Antoine d' (e-may-koor), Spanish soldier, born in Noirans, Franche-Comte, in 1503; died in Patagonia in 1550. He commanded the "Espiritu Santo" in Admiral Camargo's expedition to the Straits of Magellan in 1539, and acted as chief-of-staff of the expedition. They sailed from San Lucar de Barrameda in August, 1539, and anchored on 20 January, 1540, near the Cape of the Virgins. A few days later they crossed the bar, sig-nailed the Indians that had been left in those countries by Magellan, and had already arrived in sight of Port Famine when two vessels foundered in a storm, among them the "Espiritu Santo." hnecourt managed to reach the coast in a small boat with a few men, and they waited anxiously for the return of the admiral; but the latter, driven by gales, was only too glad to enter Islay, the port of Arequipa, Peru, after one of the most perilous voyages on record. Imecourt understood, after a few days of vain expectation, that all hopes of relief were gone for the present, and he resolved to establish a Spanish colony, he left the coast, and, advancing as from as ninety miles inland, built Fort San Tomas on the banks of a stream; but his resources were few, and he could rely only on hunting and fishing for subsistence. Little by little discouragement spread in the colony and no relief ealne, as the navigators who heard from Indians of the existence of a European settlement near by disbelieved the information. In 1550 Imecourt died of exhaustion, and after his death the colony dissolved. The survivors mingled with the Indians and forgot civilized life. A few of them, after a tedious journey, reached the Spanish possessions in Chili, and in Santiago told of their sufferings and of the destruction of the colony. They were at first considered impostors, but the truth was ascertained afterward. Considering that the court and his companions had neither tools, arms, nor provisions, their energy in founding a colony that lasted ten years is unparalleled in history.
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