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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DIAZ, Miguel, Spanish adventurer, born in Aragon after the middle of the 15th century. He was in the service of Bartholomew Columbus, brother of the great discoverer, at the time he was in command of Santo Domingo, where he arrived in 1495. Having had a duel with another Spaniard, and wounded him seriously, Diaz fled from the settlement at La Isabella, concealed himself among the Indians, married their queen, and, after many romantic adventures, discovered the goldmines of St. Christopher, on the banks of the Hayna, in 1504. These were the first mines ever worked by Europeans in the New World. For this service Diaz received a pardon from Columbus. He was in command of the fortress of Santo Domingo when Bobadilla arrived to investigate the conduct of Columbus, and refused to surrender it. He submitted, however, to Bobadilla. In 1509 he was appointed lieutenant governor of Porto Rico, and nothing more is known of his life. He took a conspicuous part in the foundation of Nueva Isabella, now Santo Domingo.
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