Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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LUNA I ARELLANO, Tristan de (loo'-nah), Spanish explorer, born in Borobia, Aragon, in 1519; died in Yucatan in 1571. He came about 1550 to Mexico, and in 1559 was appointed by the viceroy, Luis de Velasco, commander of a fleet of thirteen ships, which he sent to conquer and colonize Florida. His landing force consisted of about 1,500 infantry and nearly 200 cavalry, and with some Dominican friars, among them Domingo de la Anunciacion, Pedro de Feria, and Domingo de Salazar, he sailed from Vera Cruz in July, 1559. The fleet arrived on 15 August in a bay which, by a former explorer, Guido de Labezares (q. v.), had been called Pilipina, but was named, by Luna, Santa Maria, on account of his arrival on the feast of the Virgin. On 21 August a violent hurricane destroyed all the vessels at anchor except one, which was driven ashore by the waves. Notwithstanding this mishap, Luna began the exploration of the interior and reached Ninicapua, a large abandoned Indian town, which he named Santa Cruz. In 15(;0 he discovered the river Olibahali, and a province called Coza by the natives: but the difficulties of the territory, the hostility of the Indians, and the want of provisions impelled many of the adventurers to return to the coast, whence they went to Cuba to ask for help. Others, under the leadership of Juan Ceron, rose in a mutiny, which Luna had much trouble to quell. In 1561 re-enforcements from Cuba arrived, and explorations were continued as far as the point of Santa Elena; but, seeing that success was doubtful, some of the captains called a council of war and returned to Cuba. Luna, with some faithful followers, continued his explorations till in December, 1562, he was recalled by the viceroy to Mexico. In 1563 he was appointed governor of the province of Yucatan, which place he held till his death.
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