Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ROJAS, Gabriel de (ro'-has). Spanish soldier, born in Cuellar in the 15th century; died in Charcas, Peru, 17 December, 1548. He came to South America in 1514 with Pedrarias Davila, in 1524 took part in the conquest of Nicaragua with Cordova, commanded in the campaign against Gil Gonzales Davila, and assisted in the discovery of the Desaguadero, and the foundation of Gracias a Dios. In 1533 his old friend, Francisco Pizarro, solicited his aid, and Rojas armed two ships and 200 men ; but Pedro Alvarado, who was planning an expedition of his own, took possession of the ships and the forces. Rojas escaped with only a few followers and sailed to Peru, landing at San Niguel de Piura. With an escort that was provided by Sebastian de Velalcazar, he joined Pizarro in the valley of Pachacamac, took part in the foundation of Jauja, and was appointed lieutenant-governor of the town. He assisted afterward in the defenee of Cuzco, during the siege by Manco Inca Yupanqui (q. v.), and in the civil wars between the Pizarros and the Almagros. He was then commissioned by Vaea de Castro to settle Chareas, and when, on his return to Cuzco, he found Gonzalo Pizarro at the head of a rebellion, he fled to Lima. On his arrival the viceroy Nunez de Vela was already imprisoned, and Rojas narrowly escaped being killed by Francisco de Carvajal, but Gonzalo Pizarro pardoned him on account of his former services. When President De la Gasea arrived, Rojas joined the royal forces, and was appointed commander of the artillery, which he directed at the battles of Huarinas and Xaquixaguana. In recompense he was appointed magistrate of Potosi, but he died shortly afterward.
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