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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MARTINEZ, Pedro, Spanish missionary, born in Celda, Aragon, 15 October, 1523; died about nine miles from the mouth of St. John's river, Florida, 6 October, 1565. He took a vow of perpetual chastity when he was a boy, ultimately became a member of the Society of Jesus, and in 1558 accompanied the army of Count Alcahudete in the African campaign. Before setting out for the conquest of Florida in 1565, Menendez applied for some Jesuits to accompany him. Martinez was appointed their superior, but he did not sail with Menendez, going several months later with another expedition. When the vessel came within sight of Florida, it took a northerly direction, different from that of the other ships. The captain, on reaching the shore, directed some of his sailors to land in a boat and explore the country. They refused to expose themselves to unknown dangers, but at last about twelve Belgians and Spaniards consented to obey if Martinez would accompany them. The Jesuit at once leaped into a boat and landed with the exploring party, being thus the first of his order to step on North American soil. No sooner had he done so than a storm arose and the ship was driven from the coast. The position of the explorers was now one of great danger, and would have been hopeless but for the energy and courage with which Martinez inspired his companions. They stayed on the coast for ten days, and met with many adventures in their efforts to reach a settlement. At one of the rivers Martinez waited for two Belgians who had been exhausted by their journey, and he was overtaken and killed by savages.
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