Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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VALVERDE, Vicente (vahl-vair'-day), Spanish R. C. bishop, born in Segovia about 1490; died in Oropesa, Peru, in 1543. He was a Dominican friar, and went to Peru about 1530, although it is not certain whether he accompanied Francisco Pizarro from Spain or arrived at San Miguel de Piura in 1531 with re-enforcements from Panama. Accompanying the army on its march to the south, he was sent by Pizarro, after the occupation of Cajamarea, to receive the advancing inca, Atahuallpa, whom he saluted by means of an interpreter, and, handing him a missal, explained that he had come in the name of the Spanish monarch to convert the inca to the true religion. The latter threw the book, which he did not understand, to the ground, and Valverde on his return incited the Spaniards to vengeance for the sacrilege, as it is alleged, causing the slaughter of more than 2,000 Indians and the capture of Atahuallpa, 17 November, 1532. When the latter was condemned to death by a court that had been instituted for the purpose by Pizarro, Valverde, to whom the sentence was submitted for consultation, approved it, but, by his offer to substitute strangulation for burning at the stake, obtained from the unhappy prince his nominal conversion and baptism a few hours before his death, 29 August, 1533. Valverde assisted in the entry into Cuzco on 15 November of the same year, and on 23 March, 1534, consecrated the site of the new church, which was later to be his cathedral. Pizarro gave him also a large Indian commandery, where he showed great cruelty toward the natives. About the close of 1534 he went to Spain to assist Pizarro's brother, Hernando, in his negotiations at court, and while there he was named by the empress-regent in 1535 first, bishop of Cuzco and Peru, as the original appointee, Fernando de Luque, had died. In 1536 Valverde was also named protector of the Indians and inquisitor, and, being confirmed by the pope, he repaired to Peru in the beginning of 1538, taking possession of his see after the execution of Diego de Almagro, which he had vainly tried to prevent. But, instead of preaching the gospel, he oppressed the Indians, whom he forced to work for the church. He was appointed by Pizarro on the commission to apportion lands and Indians to the royal officers, and the licentiate, Antonio de Game, whom Pizarro had appointed supreme judge of Cuzco, charged Valverde in a letter to the emperor, dated 10 March, 1539, with arbitrary acts and insisted that instead of protecting the natives, he only sought to confiscate their lands, and always gave the greater part to himself and his assistant. On 11 March, '1540, he officiated at the consecration of-the new cathedral of Lima. During the occupation of Cuzco by the younger Almagro, Valverde retired to one of his commanderies at Oropesa, and was murdered there in a rising of the oppressed Indians. While in Spain he presented to the emperor, by order of Pizarro, a memorial about the conquest under the title of "Relacion de la Conquista de los Reynos de Peru," in which he claimed that the Indians could scarcely be considered as human beings, as they had no souls.
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