A Voyage to the Bottom of the Earth, 1581-84: Spain’s Ill-Fated Attempt to Colonize Patagonia
Carla Rahn Phillips, University of Minnesota
Francis Drake’s unexpected raids on Spain’s overseas colonies in 1577-80 alarmed the Spanish court and its global bureaucracy. The first official response to those raids was the expedition led by Diego Flores de Valdés and Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa. History has dubbed Sarmiento a hero and Valdés a buffoon or worse, but the documents paint a richer and more complicated picture of the struggle for the South Atlantic.
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