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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HEREDIA, Pedro de, Spanish soldier, born in Madrid in the last quarter of the 15th century; died at sea in 1555. In his youth he killed three noblemen in a brawl, and was obliged to leave Madrid, taking refuge in Santo Domingo, where he inherited some property. In 1526 he was appointed to supersede the governor of Santa Marta, and went to the American continent, where he soon distinguished himself in the numerous battles against the Indians. Heredia went to Spain and obtained, in 1532, from Charles V., permission to explore and possess the territory from the river Magdalen to the Atrato, as far inland as the equator. With three vessels and about 100 men, he sailed from Spain, touched at Hispaniola, where, from his estates, he obtained more men and a supply of horses, and on 15 January, 1533, reached the coast of what was then called the province of Calamari, entering, in 11. N., a port which he called Cartagena de las Indias, and on a small island, Codego, he laid, on 21 January, the foundations for the city of that name. After defeating the Indians in the battles of Canopete and Turvaco, he conquered a large territory, and founded the cities of San Sebastian de Buena Vista, Santiago de Tolfi, and Villa Maria. In 1535 he had a disagreement with the newly elected bishop, Tomas de Toro, and was accused of appropriating the treasure found in the Indian villages without accounting to the crown for its share. He was tried and sent as a prisoner to Spain. But the council of India exonerated him, and he soon returned to his government. Hearing that Antioquia, which he claimed as belonging to his dominions, was occupied by Benalcazar's troops, he marched against them; but on 4 March, 1542, was taken prisoner and sent to Panama for trial. The judges acknowledged his right, and he was liberated. On 27 July, 1543, the French fleet took Cartagena by surprise. Heredia fled to the woods, and the city was plundered. A special commissioner was sent to investigate the government of New Granada, Heredia was accused of malfeasance, was again deposed, and in 1556 was sent as a prisoner to Spain on the fleet commanded by Admiral Cosme Rodriguez Farfan, which was lost on the coast of Africa.
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