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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ESQUIVEL, Juan de (eskevel'), Spanish adventurer, born in Spain about 1480; died in Jamaica about 1519. in 1502, when Ovando was appointed to succeed Bobadilla as governor of Hispaniola, Esquivel went to the Island as one of his lieutenants. In 1504 Ovando sent him, at the head of 400 men, to subjugate the province of Higuey, which had revolted under the leadership of the famous cacique, Cotabanama. The Indians were defeated and driven to the mountains, but there was soon another insurrection, and Esquivel was again sent by Ovando to subdue the province. This was done after much bloodshed and the capture of the cacique, after which Esquivel founded, in 1505, the town of Santa Cruz del Seybo, which was afterward destroyed in the middle of the 18th century by an earthquake. Diego Columbus sent Esquivel, in 1509, with seventy men, to take possession of the Island of Jamaica on his behalf.
In 1509 he reduced it easily, and, in further obedience to his instructions, began a colony and founded the seat of government on the spot where Christopher Columbus had been shipwrecked in 1503, and named it Sevilla Nueva. The Indians betook themselves to the mountains, and stood on their defense; but Esquivel, after several engagements, found means at length to cut off the chiefs. The rest submitted, and were employed in planting cotton and grain. Esquivel introduced a Spanish breed of cattle, hogs, and horses, and several kinds of garden stuff were cultivated. By the moderation of his government he soon won the Indians into subjection. This commander has been highly extolled for prudent and temperate behavior. The exportation from his colony about the year 1514 had grown to be considerable, and it furnished copious supplies of provisions to the Spaniards of the continent and the neighboring islands. Unfortunately, his rule was short. In the space of ten years, five vessels had been fitted out under his direction, and two new towns were established, which he named Oristan and Melilla.
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