Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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GUANOALCA (goo-an-o-ahl'-ka), Araucanian cacique, born in the valley of Puren in 1530; died in Mariguenu in 1591. In his early youth he offered his services to the Araucanian toqui, or general-in-chief, Caupolican, and participated against the Spaniards in all the battles of the war for independence, which lasted from 1541 till 1600. At the head of his tribe, he was at the capture of Fort Tucapel in November, 1553, and the subsequent defeat and death of Valdivia in the same place in 1554. He continued to lead his tribe in the national strife for liberty, and used to penetrate into the midst of the Spanish hosts, to avoid the effect of the fire-arms, and engage a hand-to-hand fight, so that his whole body was soon covered by wounds and scars. In 1587, at the head of 1,000 Indians, he captured the fort of Puren, which was, however, recovered two days afterward by the Spaniards, on the arrival of re-enforcements. In 1588, at the death of the toqui Cadiguala, Guanoalca was elected by the united tribes as commander-in-chief, and at their head invested again the fortress of Puren, which after a time was abandoned by its defenders for want of provisions, and destroyed by the Indians. He also gained in that year two important victories at Trinidad and Espiritu Santo, and made an unsuccessful attack on the fortress of Marigueinu. In the two following years he continued the warfare with varying fortunes, capturing some forts and destroying several settlements, and when, in 1591, he invested Marigueinu again with a strong force, he was, notwithstanding his age and numerous wounds, the first in the assault, but was killed by the stroke of a battle-axe.
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