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Francisco de Montejo

MONTEJO, Francisco de (mon-tay'-ho), Spanish soldier, born in Salamanca in 1479" died in Spain in 1549. Of his early life nothing certain is known. He enlisted in 1514, in search of fortune, in the expedition of Pedrarias Davila for the Spanish main, but shortly after his arrival in Nombre de Dias, not liking the prospect, he went to Cuba, where he served under Diego de Velasquez, who intrusted him with the command of the troops in the expedition to Yucatan of May, 1518. On his return he enlisted with Hernan Cortes, and sailed with him for the conquest of Mexico on 18 February, 1519. He was the first Spaniard to touch the shore, and assisted in the foundation of Vera Cruz, being appointed by Cortes a member of the first common council. In July of that year he was commissioned by Cortes to carry to Spain the news of the conquest and presents for the emperor, who in 1522 appointed him governor of the fortress of Vera Cruz. On his return to Mexico he assisted Cortes in the conquest till the beginning of 1526, when he returned on another commission to Spain, and in December of that year made an agreement with the emperor for the conquest of Yucatan, receiving the title of adelantado and governor. In May, 1528, he left Neville with three vessels and 500 men, and after his arrival carried on a constant war for twelve years, passing victoriously through the country from Kimpech to Vera Paz, till on 23 January, 154l, the most powerful king of that region, Tutulxin, surrendered. He founded the cities of Campeche. Valladolid, and Salamanca in Yucatan, New Sevilla and Olancho in Guatemala, and Port Caballos and Comayagua in Honduras. In 1546 a royal commissioner arrived to investigate his administration ; and, to complain at court of the injustice that was thus done him, he sailed in 1548 for Spain, where he died.--His son. Francisco, born in Salamanca in 1502; died in Merida, Yucatan, in 1560, accompanied his father on his expedition and was appointed by him in 1545 assistant governor of Yucatan and Cozumel.

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