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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GARAY, Juan de, Spanish soldier, born in the Basque provinces in 1541; died in South America in 1584. He was born of an illustrious but poor family, and, in the hope of bettering his fortunes, embarked with other adventurers for America, The governor of Paraguay appointed him his secretary, but he soon became dissatisfied with his position, and unsuccessfully requested employ-meat in the army. Shortly afterward he discovered that the Indians were about to attack the town, and with forty Spaniards put to flight several hundred of the savages. He was then appointed captain, and sent with eighty. Spaniards to sail up the Parana. After undergoing numerous dangers and discovering an immense country, he founded, near this River, in July, 1573, the City of Santa-Fe de Vera-Cruz, but before finishing it he was obliged to hasten to the aid of his government against the Charruas Indians. He gave battle near the River Uruguay, and defeated them completely. As a reward for these services he was named lieutenant-general by Philip II., and was afterward appointed governor of Assuncion in 1576. Having visited the old site of Buenos Ayres, he founded that City anew in 1580 on the ruins of the old, and surrounded it with fortifications. Seeing that he was obliged to meet frequent attacks by the Indians, he thought the best way to spare the effusion of blood was to try to civilize them. Acccompanied by missionaries, he traveled over the different countries of his government with this object, he formed the Indians into colonies, built villages, gave them laws and established among them chiefs who, by their conduct, made the Spanish name loved among the natives. The latter looked on the Spanish governor as their protector, and were always ready to arm in his defense. He then sailed up the Parana in order to reach Assuncion, but, meeting with a storm, he was obliged to land in an unknown country about the 30th degree of latitude. Here, during the night, he was surprised by savages who massacred him and thirty-nine of his companions.
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