Fortún Ximénez

Fortún Ximénez (pronounced [foɾˈtun ʃiˈmeneθ]; died 1533) was Spanish sailor who led a mutiny during an early expedition along the coast of Mexico and is the first European known to have landed in Baja California.

Ximénez was the pilot of a ship, the Concepción, sent by Hernán Cortés and captained by Diego de Becerra. The ship set out November 30, 1533, to travel north along the coast of New Spain from present-day Manzanillo, Colima, in search of two ships that had been lost without a trace on a similar voyage the previous year. The previous voyages had been in search of the "Strait of Anián" (the western end of the much-hoped-for Northwest Passage) and the Island of California, named for the mythical places in the romance novel, Las sergas de Esplandián previously published in Spain and popular among the conquistadors. The fictional California was a terrestrial paradise populated only by dark-skinned women.

During the voyage, Ximénez led a revolt in which the captain was killed. The mutineers then landed near present-day La Paz, on the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, which the mutineers believed to be the Island of California. Ximénez was killed in a clash with the local natives. The survivors returned to New Spain with the story of having black pearls, which prompted further exploration of the "Island" of Santa Cruz, as Cortés named the peninsula.

The stories of the survivors prompted several follow-up expeditions by Cortés in the following years, which resulted in very short-lived pearl fisheries.

See also


  • Caughey, John W. California, second edition (Englewood: Prentice-Hall, 1953), 45-46.
  • Chapman, Charles E. A History of California: The Spanish Period (New York: The MacMillan Co., 1921), 50-51.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg Wilson, J. G.; Fiske, J., eds. (1900). "Becerra, Diego" . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.

Year 1533 (MDXXXIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

1533 in science

The year 1533 in science and technology included a number of events, some of which are listed here.

Baja California Peninsula

The Baja California Peninsula (English: Lower California Peninsula, Spanish: Península de Baja California) is a peninsula in Northwestern Mexico. It separates the Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of California. The peninsula extends 1,247 km (775 miles) from Mexicali, Baja California in the north to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur in the south. It ranges from 40 km (25 miles) at its narrowest to 320 km (200 miles) at its widest point and has approximately 3,000 km (1,900 miles) of coastline and approximately 65 islands. The total area of the Baja California Peninsula is 143,390 km2 (55,360 sq mi).

The peninsula is separated from mainland Mexico by the Gulf of California and the Colorado River. There are four main desert areas on the peninsula: the San Felipe Desert, the Central Coast Desert, the Vizcaíno Desert and the Magdalena Plain Desert.

Baja California Sur

Baja California Sur (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbaxa kaliˈfoɾnja suɾ] (listen), English: "South Lower California"), officially the Estado Libre y Soberano de Baja California Sur (English: Free and Sovereign State of South Lower California), is the second-smallest Mexican state by population and the 31st admitted state of the 31 states which, with Mexico City, make up the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico.

Before becoming a state on 8 October 1974, the area was known as the El Territorio Sur de Baja California ("South Territory of Lower California"). It has an area of 73,909 km2 (28,536 sq mi), or 3.57% of the land mass of Mexico, and occupies the southern half of the Baja California Peninsula, south of the 28th parallel, plus the uninhabited Rocas Alijos in the Pacific Ocean. It is bordered to the north by the state of Baja California, to the west by the Pacific Ocean, and to the east by the Gulf of California, or the "Sea of Cortés". The state has maritime borders with Sonora and Sinaloa to the east, across the Gulf of California.

The state is home to the tourist resorts of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Its largest city and capital is La Paz.


Calafia or Califia is a fictional character introduced by writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo in his popular novel entitled Las sergas de Esplandián (The Adventures of Esplandián), written around 1500.In the novel, Calafia is a pagan warrior queen who ruled over a kingdom of Arabic women living on the Island of California(an island off the coast of Asia. Calafia is convinced to raise an army of women warriors and sail away from California with a large flock of trained griffins so that she can join a Muslim battle against Christians who are defending Constantinople. In the siege, the griffins harm enemy and friendly forces, so they are withdrawn. Calafia and her ally Radiaro fight in single combat against the Christian leaders, a king and his son the knight Esplandián. Calafia is bested and taken prisoner, and she converts to Christianity. She marries a cousin of Esplandián and returns with her army to California for further adventures.The name of Calafia was likely formed from the Arabic word khalifa (religious state leader) which is known as caliph in English and califa in Spanish. Similarly, the name of Calafia's monarchy, California, likely originated from the same root, fabricated by the author to remind the 16th-century Spanish reader of the reconquista, a centuries-long fight between Christians and Muslims which had recently concluded in Spain. The character of Calafia is used by Rodríguez de Montalvo to portray the superiority of chivalry in which the attractive virgin queen is conquered, converted to Christian beliefs and married off. The book was very popular for many decades—Hernán Cortés read it—and it was selected by author Miguel de Cervantes as the first of many popular and assumed harmful books to be burnt by characters in his famous novel Don Quixote.Calafia has been depicted as the Spirit of California, and has been the subject of modern-day sculpture, paintings, stories and films; she often figures in the myth of California's origin, symbolizing an untamed and bountiful land prior to Europeans taking the land by force.

Exploration of the Pacific

Polynesians reached nearly all the Pacific islands by about 1200 AD, followed by Asian navigation in Southeast Asia and West Pacific. Around the Middle Ages Muslim traders linked the Middle East and East Africa to the Asian Pacific coasts (to southern China and much of the Malay Archipelago). The direct contact of European fleets with the Pacific began in 1512, with the Portuguese, on its western edges, followed by the Spanish discovery of the Pacific from the American coast.

In 1521 a Spanish expedition led by the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan was the first known crossing of the Pacific Ocean, who then named it the "peaceful sea". Starting in 1565 with the voyage of Andres de Urdaneta and for the next 250 years, the Spanish controlled the transpacific trade with the Manila galleons that crossed from Mexico to the Philippines and vice versa, until 1815. Other expeditions from Mexico and Peru discovered various archipelagos in the North and South Pacific. In the 17th and 18th centuries, other European powers sent expeditions to the Pacific, namely the Dutch Republic, England, France, and Russia.

Island of California

The Island of California refers to a long-held Spanish misconception, dating from the 16th century, that the Baja California Peninsula was not part of mainland North America but rather a large island (spelled on early maps as Cali Fornia) separated from the continent by a strait now known as the Gulf of California.

One of the most famous cartographic errors in history, it was propagated on many maps during the 17th and 18th centuries, despite contradictory evidence from various explorers. The legend was initially infused with the idea that California was a terrestrial paradise, like the Garden of Eden or Atlantis.

Jiménez (surname)

See below for disambiguation of the names Jiménez and XimenesJiménez (Galician and Portuguese: Ximenes, Catalan: Ximenis or Eiximenis) is a surname of Iberian origin, first appearing in the Basque lands.

Jiménez is a patronymic construction from the modern-styled given name Jimeno, plus the Spanish suffix -ez, meaning "son [of]". The root appears to stem from Basque semen ('son'), attested in the Aquitanian inscriptions as Sembeconnis and like forms. Variants of the surname include the archaic Ximénez, Ximenes, as well as Giménez, Gimenes, Jimenes, Chiménez, Chimenes, Seménez and Semenes.

In Spanish orthography, the variations of Jiménez that end with a z are written with an acute accent on the second syllable. In English, all variations are commonly written without the diacritic.

In Portuguese orthography, there is no diacritic used for Ximenes.

Misión de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de La Paz Airapí

Mission La Paz was established by the Jesuit missionaries Juan de Ugarte and Jaime Bravo in 1720 and financed by the Marqués de Villapuente de la Peña, at the location of the modern city of La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

La Paz was the location of the earliest Spanish activity in Baja California, and was frequently the site of conflicts between the Spanish and the local Guaycura and Pericú Indians. Fortún Ximénez, mutineer on an expedition sent by Hernán Cortéz, landed at La Paz in 1533. Two years later, Cortés himself led a large party that attempted but failed to establish a settlement. Sebastián Vizcaíno in 1596 gave it its anomalously pacific name. Isidro de Atondo y Antillón and Eusebio Francisco Kino attempted to establish a mission settlement in 1683 but again failed because of conflicts with the native inhabitants. When Jesuit missions finally took root in Baja California after 1697, the initial focus of activity was to the north, in the area around Loreto.

The Jesuits finally returned to the site of Airapí (probably a Guaycura name) in 1720, in coordinated expeditions from Loreto that traveled both by sea (under Ugarte and Bravo) and overland (under Clemente Guillén). The mission had little success, however. It was sacked in the Pericú Revolt of 1734 and finally abandoned in 1748, when its Indian neophytes were relocated to Todos Santos.


The Pericú (also known as Pericues, Cora, Edues) were the aboriginal inhabitants of the Cape Region, the southernmost portion of Baja California Sur, Mexico. They have been linguistically and culturally extinct since the late 18th century.

Rosarito Beach

Rosarito is a coastal resort city in the Mexican state of Baja California located approximately 10 miles south of the U.S. border in Rosarito Beach Municipality. Often mistakenly called Rosarito Beach because of the well-known Rosarito Beach Hotel, the town of Rosarito is one part of the municipality named Playas de Rosarito ("Beaches of Rosarito").

Its beaches and dance clubs are a popular destination for young people from the United States during the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. Rosarito Beach is the seat of the municipality of Rosarito Beach. The city is the second largest in the Tijuana metropolitan area and southern beach city of the San Diego–Tijuana international metropolitan region.

It is the westernmost municipal seat in Mexico, slightly farther west than neighboring Tijuana, which lies inland to its north-northeast. As of 2010, the city had a population of 65,278.

Timeline of European exploration

The following timeline covers European exploration from 1418 to 1957.

The 15th century witnessed the rounding of the feared Cape Bojador and Portuguese exploration of the west coast of Africa, while in the last decade of the century the Spanish sent expeditions to the New World, focusing on exploring the Caribbean Sea, and the Portuguese discovered the sea route to India. In the 16th century, various countries sent exploring parties into the interior of the Americas, as well as to their respective west and east coasts north to California and Labrador and south to Chile and Tierra del Fuego. In the 17th century, the Russians explored and conquered Siberia in search of sables, while the Dutch roughly worked on the chart for Australia. The 18th century saw the first extensive exploration of the South Pacific and the discovery of Alaska, while the nineteenth was dominated by exploration of the polar regions (not to mention excursions into the heart of Africa). By the 20th century, the poles themselves had been reached.

Ximénez (surname)

Ximénez, Ximenez or Jiménez, a Spanish family name.

Notable people with the name include:

David Ximenes (1777-1848) British Army officer, magistrate and Berkshire landowner.

Francisco Jiménez, a colonial governor of Tenochtitlan in the 1560s.

Francisco Jiménez Tejada (born 1986), a Spanish soccer player.

Francisco Ximenes de Texada (1703–1775), the 69th Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller

Fortún Ximénez (died 1533), Spanish sailor who led a mutiny during an early expedition along the coast of Mexico

Francisco Ximénez (1666–1729), a Spanish Catholic priest known for his conservation and translation of the Popol Vuh

José Ximénez (1601–1672), a Spanish organist and composer

Juan Ximenez and his father Miguel Ximénez (artist), Spanish Renaissance painters

Juan Ximénez Cerdán (1355–1435), a lawyer and legal theorist, Justicia Mayor of the Kingdom of Aragon 1390–1423

Mariana Diaz Ximenez, (born 1983), an East Timorese athlete who specialises in the marathon

Miguel Alberto Flangini Ximénez (1824–1900), a Uruguayan political figure

Miguel Ximénez (born 1977), a Uruguayan footballer (striker) currently playing for Club Libertad of Paraguay

Morris Ximenes (1762-1837) was a captain in the British Army and Berkshire landowner

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.